Foreign Language Oscar Submissions – 83 of Them!

Wait, it’s Oscar nom time? But I haven’t seen anything good this year! Well, perhaps you’re in the wrong country or not hitting the festival circuit; because apparently the world seem to think that there are at least 83 films worthy of Oscar consideration. It’s a record year for the Foreign Language submissions this year. Last year there were 76 submissions (also a record), but 2014 has bested that number by seven.

Of course not all 83 will be up for an actual nomination. Eventually this list of 83 will be whittled down to five (which you will likely have heard of by then) and then on the big night only one will survive. I’ve always contended that the foreign language category is the one category that The Academy actually gets (mostly) right – both in nominations and often the winner.

At any rate, come February 22nd, one of the following titles will be crowned king of the films not funded by American monies:

Would you like to know more…?

Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

Check out these links:
A huge list of movies playing on YouTube in their entirety
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The Blair Witch Project Turns 15 Today.


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Would you like to know more…?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 [trailer]

Arguably the most bankable actress Hollywood has under its wing right now is The J-Law. And she’s back firing explosive arrows at space ships in the latest entry from “The Hunger Games” franchise: Mockingjay Part I. Yes, the new hip thing these days is to make a trilogy from a book, but then cheat and make them quadrilogies but still call them trilogies.

To get to the point, I’ve not a clue what’s going on here. I read the first book and saw the first movie and decided that was enough for me. Nothing wrong with what’s going on, it’s just not for me. But maybe this is totally your jam and you’re excited for getting back together with Katniss, Plutarch and Haymitch. Well then prepare to rejoice. The new trailer was released today and I have to say it does sort of make me want to go back and see what I missed (though I said that about Mr. Potter too, and I’ve never bothered).

For those that haven’t read the books or know what’s coming, I feel like this trailer is maybe a bit spoilery in plot; but maybe not. As I said, I have no idea what’s going on here. Lots of mental stand-offs and explosions. So enjoy…

Toronto After Dark 2014

Toronto After Dark is the film festival more or less responsible for RowThree existing. We got the name of the site from the third row at Toronto’s Bloor Cinema (circa 2006), which had a bit more leg room than any other row, so that’s where we sat for every screening. After eight years, TAD is still going on; stronger than ever.

While TIFF is just getting into second gear this weekend, TAD has snuck out an announcement, half the lineup for the 2014 festival! There will be nine more titles announced at the end of the month, along with all of the shorts scheduled to play (which by the way are better than anything you’ll see in the Oscar nominated short categories).

The festival this year will run nine spectacular nights, from October 16-24th at the Scotiabank in downtown Toronto. You can pick up tickets and buy passes either at the venue or on their web site. The early bird, full season pass is a hell of a deal(!), I suggest picking one up if you’re planning on attending.

Have a look at the festival lineup thus far announced and see what you think. Looks like a pretty good time to me! The following trailer is actually a full YouTube playlist of each of the titles listed below so you can see what’s most worthy of your time. In my opinion this looks like a pretty strong year! A link to the one sheet follows each synopsis.

HELLMOUTH (Canada) World Premiere
From the twisted mind of writer Tony Burgess (PONTYPOOL) comes a stunning, spectacular ode to classic horror and fantasy. HELLMOUTH tells the tale of gravekeeper Charlie Baker, (WATCHMEN’s Stephen McHattie) assigned to tend to a mysterious cemetery. Charlie’s routine journey to his new place of employment turns out to be a dark and fantastic voyage through a Gothic landscape, filled with demonic forces, and a life-altering encounter with a beautiful woman he must try to rescue from the bowels of hell. Poster

THE BABADOOK (AUSTRALIA) Toronto Premiere
In the scary new horror hit from Australia, single mother Amelia must battle with her son Samuel’s fear of a monster lurking in their house. After a creepy pop-up book called Mister Babadook is found on the doorstep, Samuel begins to sense a sinister presence, and strange things begin to happen around the house. Amelia is at first dismissive, but then begins to question whether THE BABADOOK is a figment of Samuel’s troubled imagination or whether there might be something genuinely evil lurking in their midst. Poster

PREDESTINATION (AUSTRALIA) Toronto Premiere
Based on a story by acclaimed sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein (STARSHIP TROOPERS), the Spierig Brothers (DAYBREAKERS, UNDEAD) direct Ethan Hawke (GATTACA, TRAINING DAY) in this riveting sci-fi thriller in the mold of LOOPER and MINORITY REPORT about a Temporal Agent, tasked with traveling through time to stop crimes before they’re committed. On his final assignment, the agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time, the elusive Fizzle Bomber, determined to unleash mass destruction upon New York City, and who somehow always seems to be one step ahead of the Temporal Agency. Poster

DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (NORWAY) Toronto Premiere
The gruesome army of awakened Nazi Zombies from fan favourite DEAD SNOW once again return to terrorize the Norwegian countryside! In this crowd-pleasing zombie action comedy follow-up, Martin, the sole survivor of the first movie, must join forces with an American zombie hunter (cult favourite FREAKS AND GEEKS’ Martin Starr) and a reanimated squad of dead Russians if he is to try to defeat the undead Nazi horde and their evil commander! Poster

WOLVES (USA/CANADA) North American Premiere
In this coming of age werewolf action movie from David Hayter (writer of X-MEN, X-MEN 2), Lucas Till (XMEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) plays Cayden Richards, a high school senior who awakens one day to find his parents brutally murdered and his body transforming into a wild, savage wolf. In search of the truth behind his animalistic tendencies, Cayden heads to the small town of Lupine Ridge, only to find himself caught between an ongoing war between two opposing werewolf clans, led by Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONES) and Stephen McHattie (WATCHMEN). As the past begins to reveal itself, so does Cayden’s power to put an end to the savage violence around him and within him. Poster

OPEN WINDOWS (SPAIN/USA) Toronto Premiere
In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW comes this gripping cyber-thriller from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES) that exposes a terrifying dark side to internet voyeurism. When an unwitting celebrity fan-site operator (LORD OF THE RINGS’ Elijah Wood) is persuaded by a mysterious caller to hack into the personal webcam of a movie actress he idolizes (Sasha Grey), he finds himself not only uncovering a dark and sinister plot, but also trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Poster

ZOMBEAVERS (USA) Toronto Premiere
From the producers of CABIN FEVER, THE HANGOVER, and AMERICAN PIE comes ZOMBEAVERS, a crowd-pleasing zombie comedy co-starring Cortney Palm (SUSHI GIRL) that delivers exactly what you’d want from its title and more! A group of college kids’ weekend of sex and debauchery at a riverside cabin turns gruesome when they find themselves menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers. Riding the line between scary, sexy, and funny, the kids are soon fighting for their lives in a desperate attempt to fend off the blood-thirsty undead beaver horde! Poster

SUBURBAN GOTHIC (USA) Toronto Premiere
Richard Bates Jr. follows up his acclaimed horror film EXCISION with a supernatural comedy about an unemployed graduate (CRIMINAL MINDS’ Matthew Gray Gubler) who returns to his small-town family home, only to encounter a vengeful ghost and a mystery that must be solved before everyone’s lives are lost. A spooktacular treat of a movie, SUBURBAN GOTHIC features an endearingly quirky script with numerous fan favourites in scene-stealing supporting roles, including Kat Dennings (THOR), Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS), Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR) and John Waters (PINK FLAMINGOS). Poster

TIME LAPSE (USA) Toronto Premiere
In this award-winning new sci-fi thriller, three friends, including Danielle Panabaker (THE FLASH) discover a mysterious machine in an abandoned apartment that seems to print photos taken 24 hours into their future. The trio conspire to use the device for personal gain, but it’s not long before the images start to reveal a disturbing and dangerous chain of events they must somehow try to avert before it’s too late. Co-stars John Rhys-Davies (INDIANA JONES TRILOGY). Poster

ABCS OF DEATH 2 (USA/New Zealand/Canada/Israel/Japan) Canadian Premiere
Get ready to gasp, laugh, shriek and cheer at this latest anthology of 26 short tales, each punctuated by a different shocking, wickedly entertaining death. Completely one-upping its predecessor, ABCS OF DEATH 2 is packed with outstanding thrills, chills and kills, brought to you by some of the acclaimed film-making talents behind fan favourites CUBE (Vincenzo Natali), AMERICAN MARY (The Soska Twins), BIG BAD WOLVES (Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado), MANBORG (Steven Kostanski), ROOM 237 (Rodney Ascher), INSIDE (Alexandre Bustillo) and JUAN OF THE DEAD (Alejandro Brugues), just to name but a few! Poster

“Spring” is Coming

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s Spring, which debuts at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival gets trailerized, just in time to make all of us jealous who aren’t near the greater Toronto area for the next 12 days. And hey look! It’s the kid from Thumbsucker (or Evil Dead remake)!

A young man in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a girl hiding a dark secret. What begins as a naturalistic romance in an idyllic Mediterranean town, takes an unexpected turn as the two lovers confront figurative and literal relationship monsters. Balancing dark humor, heart, and visceral thrills, Spring evokes undercurrents of Beauty and the Beast by way of Linklater and early Cronenberg, while remaining its own cutting edge genre cinema.

The beginning of this trailer doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but once it gets going, I can see the above comparisons to Cronenberg coming through and I look forward to hearing the details from TIFF goers over the next couple of weeks. Check out the genre-ness of the trailer below.

Friday One Sheet

click for full screen

In the vein of crime classics like Mean Streets and Infernal Affairs, Revenge of the Green Dragons follows two immigrant brothers Sonny (Justin Chon) and Steven (Kevin Wu) who survive the impoverished despair of New York in the 1980s by joining Chinatown gang “The Green Dragons”. The brothers quickly rise up the ranks, drawing the unwanted attention of hard-boiled city cops. After an ill- fated love affair pits Sonny against his own brother, he sets out for revenge on the very gang who made him who he is. From acclaimed Director Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo, and legendary Executive Producer Martin Scorsese comes a brilliant mix between a Hong Kong action film and a New York City crime thriller, portraying the never-before-told true story of “The Green Dragons”.