2015 Oscar Winners

Welcome to part of the Third Row’s coverage of the 87th annual Academy Awards presentation! We’ll be here all night updating the winners live as they’re announced. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Surprises? Happy? Pissed? Confused? How was NPH?

*winners are marked in red


American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything


Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game


Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything


Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

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Movie Club Podcast #30: POPEYE and PUNCH DRUNK LOVE

The Movie Club and Row Three want to serve up a great big hug and a kiss for Valentine’s Day with two rather unconventional love stories. The first is Robert Altman’s uniquely weird live-action adaptation of Popeye cartoons. The second, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love, is a deconstruction of the Adam Sandler man-child character amongst many other things. Kurt Halfyard is joined by a number of Rowthree regulars Jim Laczkowski (who also runs The Director’s Club Podcast, Bob Turnbull (who is also caretaker for Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind), as well as the Mamo! Podcasts’s Matthew Price to discuss these two films at length. Andrew James produced and edited the episode. Join us if you like, it beats flowers and candy.

The streaming conversation as well as the downloadable audio podcast can be found at:

The Movie Club Site


Comments are turned off for this post, feel free to leave your comments on
The Movie Club Podcast page.

87th Annual Academy Award Nominations [Oscars]

Good day! Welcome to another year of attempting to live blog the annual Oscar Nominations! We’re going to be posting the 2015 nominations for the 87th Academy Awards right here on this page (almost) as quickly as they are announced – and you can watch the presentation in the video above.

The Academy is doing something new this year. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs will take the stage along with actor Chris Pine and directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams to present all 24 categories live on stage. Previous years only had the major categories being verbally announced while the rest were posted on the web site a couple hours later.

I’ll be trying to keep up with them as best I can at least the major categories as they (very very quickly, traditionally) announce the titles and names for the nominees.

You can check out all of the nominees printed below soon after they’re announced. See anything interesting or surprising? Anyone snubbed or is anything garnering undeserved attention? Comments will be turned on Thursday morning so you may make your thoughts/rants known!

The award winners will be announced on Sunday, FEBRUARY 22nd at 7pm ET live on ABC at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.


Birdman 9
The Grand Budapest Hotel 9
The Imitation Game 8
Boyhood 6
American Sniper 6
Foxcatcher 6
Interstellar 5
The Theory of Everything 5
Whiplash 5
Mr. Turner 4

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Review: The Fault in Our Stars


Director: Josh Boone (Stuck In Love)
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Webe, John Green (book)
Producer: Brendan Prost
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 125 min.

Cancer sucks and generally speaking, movies about cancer suck. They’re saccharin and overtly manipulative of emotions and show you beautiful people dying and those around them suffering and in the end there’s a moment of happiness when you remember the dead soul who so deeply touched the life/lives of the central characters in the short time they knew the sickly person. The Fault in Our Stars is exactly that movie. The only difference here is that this features such charismatic performances that it doesn’t feel like emotional manipulation but more like some sort of catharsis.

Emerging writing superstars Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are starting to corner the market on touching teen dramas starring Shailene Woodley. Last year they were behind the script for the much loved The Spectacular Now and here they are again adapting from John Green’s best selling novel about cancer kinds falling in love. Hazel (Woodley) is really sick and Gus (Ansel Elgort) is in remission. The pair meet at support group and immediately strike up a friendship that later develops into romance before tragedy strikes. After all, you can’t have a movie about cancer without some sort of tragedy (because having cancer isn’t tragedy enough).

The thing is that in the case of The Fault in Our Stars, the tragedy and emotion that goes with it works. Part of it is the fact that Green’s novel has a streak of bluntness running through it. It’s not all good moments and bad moments but a mix of the two, comedy hand-in-hand with tragedy, and Hazel and Gus tackle life with a sarcasm and sense of mortality that is refreshing. They talk about death, about what comes after (if anything) about the limitless living one can do in our limited time on earth and rather than feel sorry for the sick kids, I couldn’t help but think about what I’m doing with my life. Nothing like seeing young people suffer and possibly die to make you consider if you’ve done enough with your 30 years on earth.

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Review: Night Moves


When purchasing a used boat for an act of extreme vandalism, the young activist, quips that she chose the one named “Night Moves” because it was better in her mind than “Sea Breeze” or “Heart’s Ease.” I tend to pay attention to the names of boats and films because they are usually chosen with care. This is double-so when that happens to be the name of the film. Part of me wants Kelly Reichardt’s choice of names to be based on the Gene Hackman noir from 1975 (directed by Arthur Penn), which does indeed feature a sinking boat, among other things, along with a healthy dose of paranoia and confusion and stylish ineffectuality.  It’s a better boat name than The Conversation, but I digress. Reichardt has become a marquee name on the festival circuit with her last three films, Old Joy, Wendy & Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff.  All three are decidedly different animals story-wise, but all deal with being lost in a way, and are told with an in-camera intimacy that has made her one of the more interesting American auteur filmmakers.  

Dena (Dakota Fanning) and Ross (Jesse Eisenberg) both work at jobs outside the mainstream.  She helps maintain a ‘wellness spa’ that has old ladies dipping in hot pools while soothing music is piped in.  He works on a co-operative farm that puts local organic vegetables into the hands of local Oregon folks who probably are proponents of the local food movement.  Eschewing the feel-good brand of activism in making earnest documentaries as when they watch the earnest footage shown by a cute young girl at a local meeting. The credits reveal that the film within the film was shot by Reichard’s onetime producer Larry Fessenden which I find cheeky considering his own eco-horror films. Anyway, Dena and Ross have bigger, far more hands on plans of direct activism. They buy the eponymous boat and hook up with the rather shifty Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard at his most Sarsgaard-ian) who can turn 500 pounds of fertilizer into a bomb, for which the Night Moves is the delivery vessel.   

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Super Ticket Episode 3 – New Levels of Thin

The rare collision of Cinecast and Mamo! seems to happen when Kaiju come to town, and this time is no different. Welcome to the third Rowthree Super Ticket, in which Matt, Matt, Matt, Kurt and Andrew discuss big old Godzilla in the context of the 2014 blockbuster model. When will the doctorate thesis on how mega-sized movies gleefully destroy cities be written? What would the HBO version of a monster catastrophe look like? Will the already green-lit sequel feature Godzilla in a back-to-college comedy? Where does Aaron Taylor Johnson rank on the Sam Worthington to Ryan Reynolds index? All these questions and more are answered herein.

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

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[mp3player width=560 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=http://rowthree.com/audio/superticket/episode_03.mp3]
DOWNLOAD mp3 | 45 MB
if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

More show details are under the seats…
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Trailer for Chris Nolan’s Interstellar

The full trailer for realist science fiction Blockbuster Interstellar not only does a great job of explaining Murphy’s Law, but it also brings Matthew McConaughey full circle to his big role in Robert Zemeckis’ Contact. The visuals looks just right here, the emotion hits the significant notes for the genre, and 21st century dreams and fears seem to be realized simultaneously.

I simply can’t wait for November, folks.

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!



[mp3player width=640 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_14/episode_352.mp3]
DOWNLOAD mp3 | 93 MB
if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

Full show notes are under the seats…
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