Author Archive

  • MSPIFF 2014 Review: Boyhood

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    Director: Richard Linklater
    Writer: Richard Linklater
    Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
    Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater
    MPAA Rating: R
    Running time: 163 min.
    Country of Origin: USA

     
     

    (5/5)

     
     

     

    Coming-of-age films seems to be a dime a dozen these days. Some films receive the title and aren’t really coming-of-age films at all. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is the first “true” coming-of-age film I’ve ever seen. Had I known what I was walking into before the screening, I would have been much more excited settling into my seat.

    Shot over the course of eleven years, Boyhood is sort of the equivalent of taking all of Linklater’s “Before” movies and combining them into one film. Throughout the picture, we watch as young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) matures from roughly age six, to his first day at college and everything that happens to him and his family during that time. In a brilliant and patient concept, Linklater uses all of the same actors over the course of this time period. So actually, if there’s one complaint I have about the film, it’s that the title slights the movie a tad; in that while this is very much Mason’s journey through adolescence, it also plunges us into a significant chunk of the parents’ lives too. Lives showcased by, as Mason’s mother (Patricia Arquette) notes, “nothing more than ‘a series of events’.”

    In the beginning, the chemistry feels a little off and we don’t yet have much investment with the child actors who get most of the screen time. Even Arquette seems a little unpolished. We’re thankfully saved by Ethan Hawke’s character who really injects heart and humor into the film just as we’re wondering if this is going to be a slog. Suddenly we flash forward in time and everyone is slightly older and there are some new players on the table. By now, (a couple of years in real time and in movie time), actors seem more comfortable and understanding of Linklater’s vision. The chemistry is much more on and the kids have taken a real leap in the performance department. This chemistry and vision only gets stronger as the movie progresses.
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • 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.

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