Author Archive

  • Wish I Was Here [teaser]

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    Haters be damned. Seriously. Garden State was one of the best films of 2004 (especially for a first time writer/director!) and continues to delight and entertain me every time I pop it in the DVD player about every 12-18 months. But I’ve been lamenting the fact that Zach Braff hadn’t bothered to do anything else since. Then along comes Kickstarter.

    It raised quite the controversy when Braff announced he’d make his next movie if we could help pay for it. No controversy for me; I was glad to help out. So I backed it and I’m hoping for the best while following production diaries over the past few months.

    And here comes the teaser today. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but it looks damn good visually and it’s got The Postal Service aurally. And what’s this? Could Kate Hudson finally, finally(!), be putting on a performance that comes close to her Oscar nominated Penny Lane?

    Take a look at the trailer below and see what you think. The film also stars Braff, Ashley Greene, Joey king, Jim Parsons and Mandy Patinkin.

  • MSPIFF 2014 Review: Google and the World Brain

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    Director: Ben Lewis
    Producers: Viva Van Loock, Bettina Walter
    Starring: Various speakers, experts and current and former Google Employees
    MPAA Rating: NR
    Running time: 90 min.
    Country of Origin: UK

    Google and the World Brain screens this Saturday, April 12th at 6:00pm
    [tickets]

     
     

    (4/5)

     

    Love ‘em or hate ‘em, or no opinion either way, Google is here to stay. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve used Google at some point. Very likely in the last ten minutes. If this site’s stats are accurate, you’re even very likely to be using a Google product this very moment. It’s safe to say Google is as much a part of our lives as television ever was. They’re always innovating, always coming up with ways to make life “better.” And they’re growing. Fast. So in the early part of this century, when Google decided they wanted to scan every book ever made into a colossal digital library, some eyebrows were raised – some out of curiosity, some out of fascination, some out of skepticism and many others, out of fear and anger.

    The World Brain is a concept by H.G. Wells which talks of a world encyclopedia that is accessible by all human beings in order to make their lives better and hopefully contribute to world peace. Google has taken this concept and run with it. The plan is to digitize every single book ever printed (that is still in existence) and make them available to everyone. At first glance, this sounds like a great idea: free information for everyone, anytime, all the time. But there are concerns. Copyright of course being a glaring issue. Monetizing “orphaned” pieces of publication. Or possibly even an Orwellian monopoly of information.
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

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    Check out these links:
    Lick (a lickable app to teach you correct oral pleasure technique)
    Some really great ideas
    Man gives homeless guy a winning lottery ticket
    TurtleCam!!!!!!!!!!!

     


     

     


     

    Wes Anderson Films in a Graphic Nutshell

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Row Three App Updated and Now Available in the Google Play Store!

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    Yes, if you weren’t aware there is a mobile phone app for RowThree. If you’re on the go alot but like to keep up with the latest snark in the comment section, listen to a streaming episode of the Matts’s’ or the latest Cinecast; or even just see what the latest posts/reviews are being shared here on the site, the RowThree app is for you. We may even occasionally send out notices. I promise not to bug you very often though!

    The latest updates include a much nicer looking icon, stripped down aesthetic and some tweaks to the content. If you already have the app downloaded, some of this stuff may already have updated on your device. If you’re an Android user, I’d recommend uninstalling your current version of the app and reinstalling now that we’re now officially in the Google Play Store! It’s better streamlined for notifications of updates or if you would like to rate/review the app (please do!),

    You can play with the app a little bit before downloading if you’d like. I set up a web based version so you can sort of see its capabilities and features. Check out the web based demo right here.

    For those of you uncomfortable with downloading an app for your device that isn’t from a “trusted” source, you can no longer have any fear. All content has been approved and scanned by the Google crew and by Conduit Mobile to ensure this app is malware free and doesn’t ask for any sketchy permissions. Plus I made it; do you think I’m the type of guy to invade your privacy?

    THE NEW ICON:

     
    Apple fans no need to fret. While the app is not yet available on the iTunes store (because they’re sticklers for content and charge me an arm and leg), the app is fully functional for the latest iOS and is available for download. Simply scan the QR code or download through Amazon.

    Please leave your comments and thoughts about the app in the comment section below and/or in the Play Store. And please help spread the word with a +1 and/or a 5-star rating on the Play Store profile page. Thanks and enjoy!

     
    UPDATE: We’re aware that you can’t directly leave comments on posts through the app itself. Except you can… kinda. After you see a comment you want to reply to, just click on “view original post” at the bottom of the comment. That will use your mobile browser to take you to the replay thread in the post. So it’s sort of an external way of leaving a comment while on the go.

  • 86th Annual Academy Award WINNERS [Oscars]

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    This is the nominee and winners list for the 2014 Academy Awards. The results will be updated as the winners are announced. Or as close to live as possible. The party I’m at like to pause and chill and distract themselves so as our TiVO catches up the results below will begin to emerge in RED.

    If you’re interested in hanging out with the crew, you can join up with the live blog and up-to-the-minute commentary from RowThree staff and readers. Kurt Halfyard should be in fine form. Anything you like, he will hate. Guaranteed.

    TOTAL NOMINATIONS COUNT:
    American Hustle 10
    Gravity 10
    12 Years a Slave 9
    Captain Phillips 6
    Dallas Buyers’ Club 6
    Nebraska 6
    Her 5
    The Wolf of Wall Street 5

     
     

    TOTAL WIN COUNT:                 
    Gravity 7
    12 Years a Slave 3
    Dallas Buyers’ Club 3
    The Great Gatsby 2
    Frozen 2
    Her 1
    American Hustle 0
    Captain Phillips 0
    Nebraska 0
    The Wolf of Wall Street 0

     

    BEST MOTION PICTURE:
    12 Years a Slave
    American Hustle
    Captain Phillips
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Gravity
    Nebraska
    Her
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Philomena

    DIRECTOR:
    Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
    Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
    David O. Russell, American Hustle
    Alexander Payne, Nebraska
    Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

    ACTOR:
    Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
    Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
    Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
    Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
    Christian Bale (American Hustle)

    ACTRESS:
    Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
    Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
    Amy Adams (American Hustle)
    Judi Dench (Philomena)
    Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

    SUPPORTING ACTOR:
    Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
    Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
    Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
    Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
    Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
    Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
    Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
    Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
    June Squibb (Nebraska)
    Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • 2013 Independent Spirit Award WINNERS

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    spirit awards 2013

     
    Tomorrow is Oscar Night. But the real party is tonight at “The Spirit Awards.” While 12 Years a Slave unsurprisingly pretty much cleaned house (earning 5 wins of its 7 nominations), it was nice to see some recognition for other, smaller films like Mud and Short Term 12.

    Mostly nothing overly surprising from this end. How bout you? Anything on the below list catching your eye? Winners are obviously in RED

    BEST FEATURE
    12 Years a Slave
    All is Lost
    Frances Ha
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Nebraska

    BEST DIRECTOR
    Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
    J.C. Chandor, All is Lost
    Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
    Jeff Nichols, Mud
    Alexander Payne, Nebraska

    BEST FEMALE LEAD
    Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
    Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
    Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy
    Brie Larson, Short Term 12
    Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

    BEST MALE LEAD
    Bruce Dern, Nebraska
    Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
    Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
    Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
    Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
    Robert Redford, All Is Lost
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • The Second Screen Movie is Here: “App”

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    So 2013 was the year I started using a second screen to play video games. Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed both use secondary apps that you download to your phone for enhancing your game play experience. The latter is a great addition to the game by the way. The Wii U comes with a handheld touchscreen in which you interact with various games by looking down at a second screen in your lap. To be honest, if done correctly, I love this additional, interactive content… for video games. Not so sure about it with my movie experience.

    Yet that’s exactly what we’re getting with App, directed by Bobby Boermans. App is about a young psychology student who is drawn into the dark and fearful world of a diabolic and mysterious App that starts to terrorize her; distributing compromising photographs, videos and text messages about herself and delves deeper and deeper into her personal life, flawlessly exposing all of her deepest secrets.

    The kicker is that while the film is playing, you leave your mobile device on your lap and you’ll receive additional information about the film every time your device vibrates. What exactly that additional content is, is unknown to me at the moment, but I suppose it could be interesting in this case as the antagonist of the movie is actually a phone app. The app is called IRIS by the way (SIRI in reverse for you Apple fans).

    I’m willing to give the movie a try if it ever makes it into wide release. Like D-box and 3D and any other gimmick, the idea might be fun to try once, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want all movies to eventually go down this path. And I’m pretty sure they won’t. The theater constantly lighting up with cellular activity would be a real nuisance, even if I’m checking my phone too. Director Boermans said that “the notion of technology taking control of our lives is a concept that has always fascinated me. I’m a big technology addict myself…”. So in this case, a bunch of people sitting in a theater checking their phones is maybe a bit too meta?

    Have a look at the trailer below. Beyond the phone thing, the movie has to be good for anything to work at all. So what do you think? A brave new world in film-watching or a terrible idea?

  • “Penny Dreadful” Trailer

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    Some time in the recent past, I mentioned that I may be forced to go see the inevitable shitstorm that is going to be the sequel to 300, simply for the need of a an Eva Green fix. Turns out I may get a much more pure fix simply by subscribing to Showtime.

    All of the creative stars are aligning for me to absolutely love this horror, mini-series starting up in May. Sam Mendes is executive producing and Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) will be directing the first two episodes. And of course there is the aforementioned Eva Green factor.

    Some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula. become embroiled in Victorian London.

    The show will begin airing on Showtime on May 11th. Have a look at the trailer below and sound off with the creepy, gothic love.

  • Lego Ramblings

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    It’s been ages since I’ve actually written a proper review. And I don’t really feel like doing so now. But we gotta talk LEGO(TM) for second. It’s the first darling of the year (I think); with critics and fans raving about it and absolutely adoring it. The trailer looked like shit to me so I had zero interest in seeing a giant corporation just shilling for itself with a bajillion dollars to back it up. But then all of these amazing reviews from friends on LetterBoxd and Rotten Tomatoes et. al. had me actually interested in seeing what the fuss was about. I walked out of the film with ~20 minutes left to go. I had contemplated walking out after about ten minutes, but decided I paid my matinee price, I should give it a little time. I gave it too much.

    So again, here are my thoughts. No proper, certainly not well-written review. But here’s a hybrid of current rambling thoughts, my LetterBoxd paragraph and comments on Facebook sort of all rolled into one…

    It isn’t that I totally hate the movie – it’s the universal LOVE that boggles me. “Hate” would be a strong word, but an A.D.H.D., ugly, unfunny, generic, lazy bore would be appropriate adjectives. Whoever thinks the jokes in here are funny, clever or original have clearly never watched any sitcom ever. Or just like the rehashing of said early 80′s sitcoms. Which is fine. Humor is ubjective obviously. So I can see quite enjoying this if you’re 10 and have never seen anything else, but the pleasure button this is hitting on everyone I know is beyond baffling.

    Creative? Original? In what way? It’s LEGO for fuck sake. They’re everywhere. Of course there’s going to be a movie about them. In fact, there are about a million stop motion and animated Lego movies on YouTube already. The LEGO video games are popular as hell. Someone just had the business sense enough to throw $100 million dollars at it and hire Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman to do the voice work. How is that in any way original or creative? It’s the epitome of lazy cash grab.

    The visuals? Well again, YouTube is chock full of this stuff, and most of it is better specifically because it’s low budget. Throwing millions at it makes it look like LEGO vomit. Color palette? There isn’t one. It’s a million colors thrown all over the screen with the most ADHD editing I’ve seen in a long time. The above image is exactly what the whole movie looks like. Even if there is attention to detail (which there isn’t), I’d never be able to see any of it because the camera is racing around so hard and cutting from shot to shot so fast it’s like the computer controller or whatever did a line of cocaine mixed with pixi-sticks every time the director yelled action. The word “action” is not to be taken literally!

    The look of the movie changes from scene to scene out of pure laziness. There is zero attention to detail here – they are LEGO blocks. How much more detailed can you get? The smoke coming out of the train (and a couple other sequences) was kind of neat, but this level of stop motion has been achieved ages ago; I think Peter Gabriel did a good job actually. So it’s nothing overly special.

    Every idea in here is obvious. “All we have to do is make sure we cram in every single LEGO playset (wild west, pirates, spaceship, Hobbit, Marvel, etc) into at least one scene and we’ve got a movie guys.” When Star Wars showed up, I pretty much threw up my arms in defeat; knowing there would be not one single thought of originality in this picture. Yay for Billie Dee William and Anthony Daniels though… I guess.

    There were one or two mentions of working together as a team while making Lego creations that were kind of amusing as well (“does anyone have any more black pieces… or very dark grey?” “what is this piece for?” “I need pink wheels, does anyone have any pink wheels”?). These bits reminded me of sitting in my friend’s bedroom at age nine and not having quite enough pieces (or the right color pieces) to finish my creation how I wanted it to be. But this was about ten seconds of the entire films. So upon its shoulders the movie cannot sit.

    Then the half-ass message about being creative and trusting your gut and the weird utopia fascist world; but when push comes to shove, always follow the directions and do what you’re supposed to do in a team. Lame and boring and who gives a shit.

    I’m pretty confident I didn’t miss anything of importance or funny or intelligence by walking out early. The plot played itself, so I know exactly what happened without me even having to see it.

    And can Morgan Freeman just stop? Just stop. Is he now in the business of just trying to caricaturize himself always (see trailer for “Lemurs” that played before this movie).

    Liam Neeson singing O Danny Boy was pretty funny though.

    (1.5/5)
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