Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

  • Mamo #347: Days of Future Last

    58

    Summer begins now! Welcome to the annual Mamo Summer Box Office Competition, and this, our kickoff episode – in which the Matts lay out their vague theories on how things will go down in the domestic marketplace for the summer of 2014.

    To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo347.mp3

    Use this thread to enter the contest. Entries are valid between March 30 and April 30, 2014.

    Rules:

    THE SUMMER STARTS ON MAY 1 AND ENDS ON AUGUST 31, in terms of movies you can pick. Please work by domestic release dates only and with domestic grosses only. Scores will be tabulated after the Toronto International Film Festival is over.

    Players will submit the following:

    Top ten films, in order of total grosses. Also total gross $ amount and opening weekend gross $ amount. So as an example, submissions should look like this:

    1. Kind Hearts and Coronets, $402 million, $175 million
    2. The Ruling Class, $375 million, $150 million

    Points awarded for:

    A. 1-10 Points for film rankings. If you are bang on (your #1 pick comes in #1) you get 10. If you are 5 places away (your #8 film comes in #3) you get 5, etc.

    B. 10 bonus points for every film who’s gross you have within 5 million of the actual gross.

    C. 5 bonus points for every film who’s gross you have within 10 million of the actual gross.

    D. 1 bonus point for every film who’s gross you have within 20 million of the actual gross.

    E. 10 Bonus Points for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $1 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    F. 5 Bonus Points for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $5 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    G. 1 Bonus Point for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $10 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    E. 10 point bonus for every film you have ranked correctly AND within 5 million of the actual gross AND within $1 million of the opening weekend gross.

    F. For the purposes of calculating weekends – Films opening on a Wednesday are counted until the first Sunday they are released. Films opening on Memorial Day weekend are counted until the following Monday. Films opening the week of July 4 are counted from whenever they open in that week until the first Sunday of their release. Example – Spiderman opens on Tuesday, July 3. Your guess for weekend gross would actually be its 6 day total, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

  • Mamo #346: Convergent

    8

    Matt and Matt deconstruct the mid-range success of the high-expectations Divergent, walks away from Muppets Most Wanted, and announces the 2014 Mamo Road Trip.

    To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo346.mp3

  • Review: Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II

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    Nymphomaniac Volume I & II
    At first glance, much of Lars von Trier’s work seems disrespectful, antagonistic, self-aggrandizing, and unapologetically brutish. His latest piece,
    Nymphomaniac, the nearly 5-hour-long story of a self-professed nymphomaniac, certainly felt this way prior to its release. Proclaiming the film to be hardcore pornography, calling out the public and media alike for their prudish reception of his concept, and generally baiting the entire cinematic community, it’s been a long road to Nymphomaniac’s two lengthy volumes. Going into the film, you anticipate relentless sex and little else. You almost resign yourself to no plot or point other than to force the public to get over its preconceived notions of sex. What we’re left with, however, is far more compelling.

    What lies beneath the surface of Nymphomaniac is an accessible and seemingly honest portrayal of the type of person often perceived as little more than a deviant in society’s eyes. Here we find Trier’s two voices – his learned, rational self debating the nature of humanity and humility with his angry, impassioned, animalistic side – facing off in a kind of battle to save the soul of the so-called afflicted Joe. We’re shown the portrait of a woman who played carelessly with lust as a young adult, blossomed into a woman, and found herself taking ownership of her compulsion. In spite of the overall positive intention of Volume I, and the eye-opening, soul-crushing Volume II, the final message fits into Trier’s canon as antagonistic … with a point.

    The story begins with Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) being found, beaten and filthy in a dark alley, by a man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). Urging the wounded woman to call the police, he’s left with no choice but to nurse her himself when she refuses. Carrying her back to his lonely apartment, he changes her clothes, and lays her in bed. Once awake and alert, Joe rambles on about being a horrible person, attempting to convince the kindly Seligman that he should have left her there. Eventually, Joe finds herself defending her self-proclaimed villainy, and begins to tell her life’s story in an attempt to convince her saviour. » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Review: Enemy

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    Enemy

    Director: Denis Villeneuve
    Screenplay: Javier Gullón (Based on a novel by José Saramago)
    Producers: M.A. Faura, Niv Fichman
    Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
    MPAA Rating: R
    Running time: 90 min.


    Denis Villeneuve is a national tresure. The Canadian director who has garnered acclaim around the festival circuit for years, landed in Hollywood with a bang, delivering the great 2013 thriller Prisoners, that didn’t rip him of his artistic integrity. Unsatisfied with simply one movie, Villeneuve was also in post production on a second feature which co-produces with France instead of Hollywood. Far smaller, Enemy is also proving to be the more ambitious of the two projects in both subject matter and scope; a tall feat considering Prisoners went to some pretty deep places.

    The basics of the story are fairly simple: while watching a movie, a history professor named Adam spots a man who appears to be his identical twin. Adam becomes obsessed with the idea of meeting his double and after some stealthy manoeuvring, discovers his double’s name (Anthony) and address. The pair eventually meet and it’s immediately clear that beyond looking identical, they share nothing in common. Adam is mousy and bumbling while Anthony is confident, womanizing and conniving.

    As one might expect, the pair eventually trade places but the events surrounding the switch are far more nuanced and complicated than anything Hollywood has ever offered up from mistaken identity stories. Mind you, Enemy is adapted from a José Saramago novel so exploration of deep, philosophical ideas are to be expected and screenwriter Javier Gullón doesn’t shy away from any of them.

    Adam is completely engulfed and haunted by the discovery of his double, almost as if he’s discovered some secret that will change his world. Helen, Anthony’s pregnant wife, is just as shaken by the discovery of her husband’s double but for Anthony, the emergence of Adam simply provides him with an excuse to be even more self centered. I can’t help but think that maybe Gullón and Villeneuve are making a statement on the perils of self involvement because things don’t progress very well for Anthony.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

    11

    An enormous hotel perched at the top of a mountain, a grand old European country on the cusp of war, headlines sprawled across the local broadsheet, the one with the charming moniker of the Trans-Alpine Yodel: Wes Anderson’s latest is a truffle of pageantry which barters the pathos intrinsic to his previous work (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, even Fantastic Mr. Fox which is this films closest analogue in the auteur’s growing oeuvre) for the overstuffed frippery and copious quirk that his critics tend to use as a bludgeon when fail to see the trees for the forest. Like Mendl’s chocolates so often on display in The Grand Budapest Hotel, everything is elaborately packaged and constructed out of tastefully ostentatious pastel, and contains far more empty calories than actual nourishment, but no matter, they are ‘the finest.’

    The film is more ephemeral than anything the director has ever done; it is that murder-mystery party you and your pals dress up for in a suburban living room as a convoluted excuse to hang out without the bother of attempting any kind of meaningful conversation. All that being said, the The Grand Budapest Hotel is also effervescent, pitch perfect in its pacing, celebratory in its bursts of vulgarity, and hilarious with its mannered turns of phrase. It would be dishonest, and a tad uncharitable of me to deny that I had an absolute buzz on during its fleet 100 minutes and laughed out loud far more time than any comedy made in the past 15 years.

    Gustav H. is said to be the most perfumed man in Europe and is gainfully employed as the fussy head concierge at the eponymous Grand Budapest – a hotel situated near the painted backdrop of Carpathian peaks in Hungary, accessible by funicular. Ralph Fiennes becomes thoroughly immersed in the comedy and pomp of this mythic character, and plays the type of control freak that director Wes Anderson has self-deprecated himself in a series of Visa advertisements from a few years ago. Gustav H. glides, perhaps even plows, through the high ceilinged lobby of the GBH making quippy criticism and snappy correction of the aesthetic choices of the staff, elaborating on proper posture and behaviour, and in confident command on how the entire hotel-machine is run; this without so much as getting winded. He is a man on a beer budget with champagne taste who has a habit of discreetly wooing the elderly rich and royal guests, perhaps as a way to ‘inherit’ his way out of his class-situation. One of these matrons, Madame D., is played by Tilda Swinton, sporting impeccable old-age make-up to bring her up to an octogenarian state, who promptly kicks the bucket and leaves a large fortune and an even larger number of heirs (and estate staff) looking for what is theirs. Madam D.’s last will and testament consist of a heaping pile of scraps of paper that is cumbersomely carted in by her lawyer (Jeff Goldblum with notable spectacles, wondrous facial hair sitting at a desk made entirely from antlers), that will take ages to disentangle, but her top priority, the last thing she wrote was to gift a priceless painting (“Boy with Apple”) to Gustav H. much to the chagrin of Madame’s eldest son, Adrien Brody; here repurposing his Salvador Dali caricature to great effect as a blustering, rather ineffectual villain.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Cinecast Episode 343 – Listen, Do You Smell Something?

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    Hope you like gigolos; cause we talk about it again. Matt Gamble joins us with eloquence and a the usual splash of tom-foolery. Non-Stop is ostensibly the main topic of discussion today; but the Oscar recap (45 minutes worth) and “True Detective.” get the lion’s share. After all that noise, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray get the spotlight in Ghostbusters, as the 1984 Project trucks on; also starring Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts and Rick Moranis and Richard “Dick” Thornburg. The film is of course beloved but Andrew struggles with the fact that he’d rather be watching Rocky Balboa (Fuckyea) If that simply isn’t enough for you, we have “Breaking Bad”, Wong Kar-Wai, The Oscar-bait Bottleshock nominee Omar before Andrew sheepishly admits his desire to see 300: Rise of an Empire. You have been warned.

    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 | 114 MB
    if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

     
     
    Full show notes are under the seats…
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • 86th Annual Academy Award WINNERS [Oscars]

    5

     
    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..

  • Six Annual Row Three Oscar Live Blog and Prize POOL – Oh Yeah!

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    It’s hard to believe we’ve been at it this long but alas, it’s true. Once again, Row Three will be Live Blogging the Oscars. For the 6th year in a row.

    Kurt is going to play master of ceremonies (and uber-priss), guiding us through the night with quips and observations but other R3 staff will be dropping in to share in the festivities and if you’ve participated in previous years, you’ll know that things get very interesting as the night (and drinking) progresses. Oh yes, ’tis a barrel of laughs that will never see the light of day again once the event is over so be sure to mark your calendar and drop on by and join us for the action. I cannot guarantee anything but I have a feeling there will likely be more than one “FU” spat at a TV/computer/phone screen. I am saddened that Seth MacFarlane will not be back (Hey, I liked the boobs song, so sue me) but heck, Ellen should manage quite well. She has those magical shoes and all.

      In the meantime, drop your Oscar picks for the main categories

    – Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary, Animated, Foreign Language, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Best Song, Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Makeup, Production Design and Score —

      in the space below and we’ll send you some Blu Rays if you score the most correct guesses.

    The show kicks off at 4PT/7ET though if last year is any indication, the “official” red carpet will eat into the first 30 minutes of air time with the show kicking off at 4:30/7:30.

    ‘Till Sunday…

  • Review: Tim’s Vermeer

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    Johannes Vermeer is regarded as one of the great Baroque painters, along with contemporaries such as Diego Velázquez, and Rembrandt. He’s often considered one of the greatest painters in history. His depiction of light is masterful, incomparable to any of his contemporaries. In the 17th century, the guild system was still firmly in place, not to see its fall until nearly the 19th century. Most, if not all, great masters of art studied in the guilds. They trained, and honed their skills, in order to, hopefully, become a master. Vermeer, however, had no such training.

    It’s common amongst art historians looking for more in-depth knowledge of their subjects to x-ray their paintings. This penetrates the various layers and unveils the artists’ process. You can literally see the painting from inception to final product. In the work of Manet, for instance, such as The Dead Toreador and The Bullfight, when x-rayed, you can see various adjustments: the removal of a matador, the changed placement of a bull, the raising or lowering of a wall. This is common amongst artists of every era. Vermeer’s paintings, however, show virtually no alterations. This is almost unheard of amongst painters of any kind, let alone a Baroque painter of Vermeer’s quality.

    Tim's Vermeer - Camera Obscura

    There has been a wide range of speculation about Vermeer’s practice, as he was not a trained painter, yet rendered some of the most photorealistic paintings in history. Scholars such as David Hockney and Philip Steadman, both experts on Vermeer, have often suggested that the master was as such because of the use of a camera obscura, or camera lucida. Simple tools often implemented by artists in order to help them properly render more realistic scenarios in their paintings. However, they would mostly be used to lay the groundwork for their paintings, never to produce them as a whole, which was what Steadman and Hockney were suggesting. Such speculation both titillated and outraged art historians and scholars alike. To suppose that a master used machinery to render his work would challenge the very notion of art as a practice. It suggests an objective, almost scientific, nature. For many, it was interpreted as a kind of cheat. » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Cinecast Episode 341 – The Pleasure Port

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    Perhaps the reboot of RoboCop (beware of SPOILERS!) isn’t quite as horrible and unnecessary as we all feared. Perhaps it’s chock full of good ideas updating its presence for the new millennium… or perhaps not. Matt Fabramble crosses international borders to join the Cinecast this week to discuss. We also Lynch the sci-fi fantasy cluster-feck that is Dune, in our ongoing 1984 project. “True Detective” keeps on trucking as well and continues to excel. Kurt and Andrew tackle the nature of time itself and the various dark dimensions swirling about humanity. The Watch List includes a whole lot of debauchery with sex masters and gigolos, hot Helen Hunt, crying on the inside and the best looking black and white film ever made. Oh, and apparently we’re not done hashing out LEGOgate. We’ve done it before and we’re destined to do it again. And again. And again. And over again.

    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 | 116 MB
    if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

     
     
    Full show notes are under the seats…
    » Read the rest of the entry..

  • Review: RoboCop (2014)

    7
    RoboCop poster

    Director: Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Bus 174)
    Screenplay: Joshua Zetumer,
    Producers: Marc Abraham, Brad Fischer, Eric Newman
    Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Running time: 108 min.

    (3/5)


    As with any original property that is beloved by fans the world over, the idea of remaking RoboCop was not one that was going to be met with rapturous applause. But unlike a lot of remakes, especially from the ’80s – that most fondly remembered of entertainment eras – there’s actually nuggets of ideas in there that could very well work as a modern update.

    And that’s where the RoboCop remake at least partially succeeds at what it sets out to do; update this technology-driven high concept to the modern day, or rather almost a decade and a half into the future, when the idea of robotic limbs and Artificial Intelligence is no longer just science fiction.

    » Read the rest of the entry..

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