Rian Johnson to Write/Direct Star Wars: Episode VIII & IX

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #a9a883;”] T [/dropcap]itle pretty much sums up everything that I could ever write in the following couple of paragraphs, but wow this is unexpected and fairly exciting! Depending on the amount of studio (read as Disney and George Lucas) interference, we might find a fairly unique look and feel to the Star Wars universe. Of course there is a certain amount of consistency that needs to be had throughout the new trilogy and franchise, but still; meshing out what Abrams does and then going into full Johnson mode for the next two films sounds promising.

His success with Looper is of course what likely solidified the position for Johnson, though appearing on the RowThree Cinecast was what initially got his foot in the door.

Rian has yet to comment on this new turn of events. But his Twitter feed had this to say:

We’re huge fans of Brick and Brothers Bloom in the third row. We’re also pretty big fans of Star Wars – at least this author is. So while there are literally dozens of directors I can think of that would make great choices for carrying the Galaxy Far Far Away torch, Rian Johnson is solidly in that list and I’m excited to see how it pans out. Congrats Rian!

RowThree Finds a Way [ver. 6.1]

EDIT: So we’ve revamped things again. This time it’s sort of a hybrid of the old and the new. Gone is all of the java and crazy comment links and we’re back with a little bit more traditional linking system.

Again, there may be some oddities at first, but over time they’ll get wrinkled out. Hopefully.

Not sure exactly which evolution of the third row this is, but 6.0 sounds like a reasonable iteration. One thing is for sure, it’s a significant change! It’s still all of the same great(?) content, but we’ve skimmed down the scope and look of the site to be as streamlined and minimal as possible. Gone is the “old west” look and in with the flat and sharp. Many might have some initial reservations about this new look/style, but we welcome you to just play around with it and hopefully embrace it. It isn’t rocket science, but it’s quite unlike the usual functionality/aesthetic of most movie (or any) blogs out there.

We’ve abandoned the traditional scrolling list of posts and everything on the sides. It’s a simple, clean landing page with just a logo. Rollover the logo to see all of the latest posts and podcasts broken into their subsequent categories (one of which is “all posts” so you’ll never miss a thing. Once you’re in, you can navigate the topics via the menu at the bottom of your screen or the large left/right arrows on either side. To return to the main home screen, simply “X” out of the display window or hit the temporary “HOME” button at the top of the screen.

There is bound to be a few kinks and wrinkles in these opening few days and if you find any, feel free to email the admin about them. Most of the older posts might look a little strange and/or not all that handsome, but all posts going forward should be streamlined with the rest of the site aesthetic in mind.

We’re hope you’re able to get used to the new layout and color scheme. Hey, at least it’s not in 3D!

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.

Prometheus 2: King David


When all was done and said (and said, and said, and said) about Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, my final conclusion was that the film was ultimately far more about Michael Fassbender’s David character, an inquisitive android who perhaps oversteps his bounds against his human creators, than Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw (an altruistic human who perhaps oversteps her bounds against her own cosmic creators). Either way, both characters have an open-ending upon the films final shot leaving them slightly battered, but free to cruise the stars and have further adventures in some capacity.

It turns out, according to The Wrap (and the internet echo chamber) that there will be a follow up, likely focusing on David. Ridley Scott is eyeing the Prometheus sequel for the director’s job; which of course assumes his health at nearly 80 permits such a huge effort as another Alien film. Twentieth Century Fox has hired the writers of Transcendence (Wally Pfister’s directorial debut about a man/machine hybrid forcefully commandeering the planet’s collective technology) and Green Lantern (yea, that one that lost Warner Brothers a few shekels) to cobble a screenplay together.

We generally don’t focus on news items at this site, we wait for a trailer or at least a proper production still. But I cannot help myself here, as a rather enthusiastic fan of the messy but beautiful 2012 film, I hope this gets made and that they hit their targeted 2016 release date.

Young Toronto Filmmakers On a Deadline – The 2014 T24 Project

2014T24POSTERFounded by Henry Wong in 2009, the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival is an excellent programme. A short film festival geared towards the young and talented filmmakers from our great city of Toronto. Part of the festival is the T24 Project, a 24 hour film challenge. For this year’s competition, the various teams were given a theme, rather than the usual prop, shot, or line of dialogue. This year, contestants were asked to redefine “the end”, and paint their picture of a post-apocalyptic world. A done to death theme left in the hands of Toronto’s cinephile youth should offer an original eye on the concept.

Thirteen groups signed up, and only eight made the deadline. Those eight were the films shown at the final screening. Sadly, with only a few exceptions, it’s not talent, but timing, that made the cut.

Certain pieces had very clear potential. Hinterland by Adrienne Knott is about the last man on Earth desperately searching for someone. Anyone. The prospect of eternal solitude is terrifying, and an incredibly risky theme given the limited time available for filming. Jacky Vuong’s The Drought places the apocalypse in a comedic realm, suggesting our end of days could come about simply by a global onset of diminished libidos. Stiffilis attempts to pull cyber obsession into the mix, with an infectious meme that brings about our eventual global collapse. Would you like to know more…?

Odd Thomas Comes to DVD March 25th

Anchor Bay and Raven Banner have just announced the Canadian DVD release of Stephen Sommers’ Odd Thomas. The adaptation of Dean Koontz’s bestseller will be available on March 25, 2014.

The film played at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival to mixed reviews, but was widely loved by fans of Koontz’s series on the oddball detective. It’s a fast-paced film, that would keep anyone engaged. Though it relies far too heavily on shoddy CGI, the film is a gem if for no other reason than its cast. Anton Yelchin as Odd Thomas himself is absolutely wonderful, and elevates the film to the highest calibre. For him alone, this is one not to miss.

In a California desert town, a young cook Odd Thomas (Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin) with a unique ability to see supernatural forces at work encounters a mysterious man with a link to a darkness that threatens to destroy the people around him. The mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world’s worst killers and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14. In less than twenty-four hours, the town of Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

Odd Thomas will launch the newest program of Sinister Cinema this Thursday, February 13th in select cinemas across Canada.

Adam Curtis and John Zaritsky to Receive Honours at 21st Hot Docs Film Festival

Hot Docs has chosen English documentary filmmaker and journalist Adam Curtis as the recipient of its 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award. In honour of the award, a retrospective will be screened during the 21st annual Festival, which runs from April 24 to May 4, 2014.

“Adam Curtis blends journalism and cinematic storytelling to critique media and power in society with an unmatched style and complexity,” says Hot Docs director of programming Charlotte Cook. “It’s our pleasure to be able to showcase the work of a master of our craft and to celebrate his incredible contribution, not only to the art form, but to our culture as a whole.”

Adam Curtis is a multiple BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist. Known for his visual style, he favours exploring themes of power and its function in society, allowing viewers to arrive at new perspective on sociology, philosophy and political history.  He’s been closely associated with the BBC throughout his career, and currently writes a blog for the public service broadcaster. Would you like to know more…?

Here Comes The Devil to Open at The Royal Cinema This Valentine’s Day

If you haven’t heard of Adrián García Bogliano yet, you certainly will soon. The subject of the January feature at Rue Morgue Magazine, and a critically triumphant run in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Vanguard programme in 2012, Here Comes The Devil is, to date, his most sophisticated piece. Finally, it is getting a theatrical release, however limited.

As any parent can attest, the safety of their children is their number one priority. But what happens when that safety is threatened – not by a tangible thing, but a force far beyond a mother or father’s control? Writer/director Adrián García Bogliano has taken this concept to new heights with Here Comes the Devil, a darkly perverse tale of the family dynamic gone grossly awry, playing in theatres in Canada February 2014, from Video Services Corp. (VSC) Would you like to know more…?

Clive Barker’s JACQUELINE ESS: HER LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT Optioned by Raven Banner Entertainment

Raven Banner Entertainment announced this morning that it has optioned Clive Barker’s short story Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament from Barker’s anthology novel The Books of Blood Vol. 1.

Raven Banner will produce with Barker’s Seraphim Films on board to Executive Produce. The deal was negotiated by Raven Banner partners Michael Paszt, James Fler and Andrew Hunt, with Noor Ahmed of Reder & Feig LLP negotiating on behalf of Seraphim.

Jacqueline Ess tells the story of a beautiful woman with the ability to horrifically change people’s body shapes simply with her mind. Her ability gives her the power to grant men the ultimate sexual experience, albeit one that always proves fatal. It’s a story of sex, power, and the extremes that await us at the limits of desire.

“All of us at Raven Banner have been huge fans of Clive’s for years,” says managing partner Andrew Hunt, “and I personally have always loved the story of Jacqueline Ess. It has all the qualities one wants in a modern horror film, so I’m excited to see it finally being brought to life on film.”

“We love what Raven Banner is doing for horror,” says Seraphim’s VP Mark Miller. “We are excited to be collaborating with them.”

The film is currently being scripted, and is slated to go into production Fall 2014.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Announces 2014 Special Award Winners

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has just announced four Academy Special Award winners for the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards — Ted Kotcheff, Colm Feore, Marge Anthony and CTV News’ iGateway.

“We are deeply honoured to present these Canadian screen leaders with Academy Special Awards,” says Academy Chair Martin Katz. “As we look forward to our national Canadian Screen Awards telecast on March 9, the Academy continues to recognize and celebrate Canada’s most talented actors, directors and digital innovators, as well as the broadcast executive who made ‘first’ her personal trademark,” says Katz. Would you like to know more…?