August Criterion Blu-Rays Announced

And boy am I excited; for we’re finally getting a quality transfer of Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down! Now if we could just get a Criterion of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. But I digress…

Although not a lot of titles, there are five good ones here. I have quite fond memories of Y Tu Mamá También as it was one of the first foreign language films I saw in a theater. Vengeance is Mine was one I used to own (the standard Criterion DVD) until about three years ago. We had a contest here in the third row and someone chose that DVD as their prize, so I had to cough it up. All that Jazz is on my list of shame and one I’ve been meaning to get to for a while – long live the memory of the Scheider! Meanwhile, John Cassavetes Love Streams is one I know next to nothing about.

At any rate, here’s a quick breakdown of August releases from Criterion…


Special Features:

New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Two audio commentaries: a feature-length one with editor Alan Heim and a scene-specific one with actor Roy Scheider
Razzle-Dazzle, a new video essay on the film by critic Matt Zoller Seitz
Episode from 1980 of the television talk show Tomorrow, featuring director Bob Fosse and choreographer Agnes de Mille
New interview with Heim
New interview with Fosse biographer Sam Wasson
Interview excerpts and footage from the set, featuring Fosse and Scheider
Portrait of a Choreographer, a 2007 documentary on Fosse
The Soundtrack: Perverting the Standards, a 2007 documentary about the music in the film
Interview from 2007 with George Benson about his song “On Broadway,” which opens the film
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by theater critic Hilton Als


Special Features:

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring writer Michael Ventura
New video essay on actor Gena Rowlands by film critic Sheila O’Malley
New interviews with executive producer and director of photography Al Ruban and actor Diahnne Abbott
Interview from 2008 with actor Seymour Cassel
“I’m Almost Not Crazy . . .”—John Cassavetes: The Man and His Work (1984), a sixty-minute documentary by Ventura on the making of Love Streams
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Dennis Lim and a 1984 piece by Cassavetes on the film from the New York Times


Special Features:

New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Pedro Almodóvar and executive producer Agustín Almodóvar, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New documentary on the making of the film including interviews with Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar; actors Antonio Banderas, Victoria Abril, Loles Léon, Rossy de Palma, and Penélope Cruz; production manager Esther García; editor José Salcedo; and cinematographer José Luis Alcaine
New interview with Almodóvar collaborator and Sony Pictures Classics copresident Michael Barker
Conversation from 2003 between Almodóvar and Banderas
Footage from the film’s 1990 premieres in Madrid and New York
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a 1990 piece about the film by Almodóvar, a conversation between filmmaker Wes Anderson and critic Kent Jones, and an interview with Almodóvar from 1989


Special Features:

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary from 2005 featuring critic Tony Rayns
Excerpts from a 1999 interview with director Shohei Imamura, produced by the Directors Guild of Japan
Trailer and teaser
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson, a 1994 interview with Imamura by writer Toichi Nakata, and writings by Imamura on Vengeance Is Mine and his approach to filmmaking


Special Features:

New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki and approved by director Alfonso Cuarón, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
On “Y tu mamá también”: Then and On “Y tu mamá también”: Now, two new pieces on the making of the film, featuring interviews with actors Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Maribel Verdú; Cuarón; cowriter Carlos Cuarón; and Lubezki
New interview with philosopher Slavoj Žižek about the film
On-set documentary from 2001
Deleted scenes
You Owe Me One (2002), a short film by Carlos Cuarón
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Charles Taylor and character biographies by Carlos Cuarón

Cinecast Episode 352 – This is What Happens with Progress

Though the power of the RowThree fell silent for a couple of days, Andrew and Kurt refused to give in. Andrew talks Locke. Kurt talks some Orson Welles, some Wickerman and some Nuclear Power on this weeks Watch List. Kurt’s 11 year old son Willem joins for a discussion the best performance of Schwarzenegger’s career. And Westeros is in chaos, as always.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

DOWNLOAD mp3 | 93 MB
if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

Check out these links:
10 Best And 10 Worst Villains In Superhero Movies
What “Frozen” would look like with Tim Burton behind the camera
iPhone users are pretentious, Android users are poor, lazy slobs.
What Movie Posters Would Look Like if Their 1-Star Amazon Reviews Were on Them (I like the “Argo” one)
The Rise of Sadvertising





A lunar eclipse seen from space:







Would you like to know more…?

Prometheus 2 is Happening (someday)

Just a quick rumor report to dish out for all you Ridley Scott / Alien fans. Michael Fassbender recently told Collider that he wasn’t sure when Prometheus 2 would be released (or even when it production was scheduled), but he did say it is happening and has laid the claim he will be reprising his role of David. So there you go.

Quick Thoughts: Locke

Director: Steven Knight (Redemption)
Writer: Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, Closed Circuit)
Producers: Guy Heeley, Paul Webster
Starring: Tom Hardy
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 85 min.



When I was a kid, I loved radio dramas. Saturday nights were kind of a big deal because E.G. Marshall would deliver the latest of the macabre in “Mystery Theater.” But even at age 9 I liked the drama and the comedy as well, which was admittedly mostly of an audio slapstick nature. I still listen to the radio “dramas” from time to time and always get a kick from them. Sometimes even a thrill. All throughout Locke, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wish this was a radio drama.

A little secret I’ll let you in on. I played a video game on my phone throughout a good chunk of this movie. This is most certainly a first. I even sent out a “tweet” at one point. First of all, relax. There was no one around and the light (which was at minimum plus a filter) could not be seen by anybody; I assure you. But frankly I just couldn’t take it anymore. I go to the movies to see the movies; not a yellow face with flashing lights for ninety minutes. I simply had to look at something else.

The director attempts a few things to make it visually interesting, but putting the bridge of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek into the dead of night on the expressway and blurring things here and there just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m a fan of the visual. The visuals here had me nearly in tears (literally) with dizziness and monotony.

Tom Hardy is about as good as one can be. The praise he’s receiving is a bit over the top in my opinion. But yes, he’s pretty great. That said, could any number of currently working actors do roughly the same thing and deliver a similar performance? Yes, yes they could.

The score is bitingly generic and only had me more frustrated. It doesn’t add to the tension, it doesn’t sound unique or exciting. It’s just there and sounds manipulative.

I can only assume the praise for this movie will be mostly for the immediate satisfaction of the drama. Watching a man struggle with stress, morality and his own internal ego is certainly captivating – it’s all that kept me from leaving the theater at minute sixty, but the piecemeal delivery and episodic treatment of the matters at hand just feel obvious and at times ludicrous.

The last straw that has me giving the thumbs down is the hackneyed conversation with the “dead father in the back seat” fantasy that Hardy is constantly going back to. It is unnecessary, needlessly convoluted and frankly, eye-rollingly stupid given the nature of the character we’ve come to know.

I didn’t hate the film by any means, but outside of the dizzying and blurry streaks of light all over the place, Locke is pretty forgettable.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [trailer #2]

In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was not only a box office success, it was very surprisingly quite a critical success as well. With that kind of success, we knew a sequel couldn’t be far off. Three years later and the story of Caesar and his minions continues. And it looks like war in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Sure to be one of the top bananas in the Mamo Box Office contest, this is one of the few summer blockbusters I actually quite look forward to. There are more than just apes here though. Besides Andy Serkis as Caesar, the human cast includes Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Judy Greer and Keri Russell.

Have a look at the new trailer which gives a bit more of “the story.” Probably not much to chew on for the long haul, but it definitely looks well conceived and exciting!

NYC Indie Film Festival Needs our Help

While it may not be quite as obvious as of late, we here in the RowThree really love our indie fare. In fact, without Indie Film Festivals, it’s pretty likely that this site wouldn’t even exist.

At any rate, if you’re in the NYC area (or not in the NYC area) and want to help support a local festival that really tries hard to advance the cause of indie films by introducing little known artists, free submissions and promoting a community of awesome, check out the indiegogo campaign for the NYC Indie Film Festival.

Here in Minnesota, I’m a HUGE fan of The Flyway Film Fest and this looks like a really great NYC version of a similar tone, atmosphere and camaraderie.

Star Wars VII Cast Announced


Thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi, a new story is about to be told. But there will be familiar faces. JJ Abrams and Disney today announced the cast of the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. No mention of who they will be portraying, but these are the names – most which are already familiar to us:

John Boyega
Daisy Ridley
Adam Driver
Oscar Isaac
Andy Serkis
Domhnall Gleeson
and Max von Sydow

Original cast members include:
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Mark Hamill
Peter Mayhew
Anthony Daniels

and Kenny Baker

See them all in action, December 2015.