Finite Focus: Do You Know Mr Sheldrake? (The Apartment)


[spoilers for The Apartment]

C.C. Baxter’s non-descript walk-up in The Apartment is like any other apartment in New York City – one bedroom, a kitchen, a washroom, and a cozy living area, with a table brought out only for meals. But this apartment is the key to C.C. Baxter’s potential success at Consolidated Life, where he hopes to move from pencil-pushing to a corner office faster than the company’s other 32,000 employees. Baxter’s apartment might not be much, but well-stocked with cheese, crackers, and a bit of booze, it’s the perfect rendezvous point for company execs and the girls they’re seeing on the side.

Baxter’s corporate interests rise significantly when Personnel Director Jeff Sheldrake gets wind of the apartment and offers a juicy promotion in exchange for exclusive use of the apartment. Baxter knows better than to ask any questions. Instead, now that he’s a well-heeled exec, he asks out Fran Kubelik, the comely elevator operator who’s been a breath of fresh air in an office otherwise full of men and women looking out for number one. She stands him up; he doesn’t know why (we do – she’s just renewed her relationship with Sheldrake). The next day, Baxter discreetly returns a compact with a broken mirror that Sheldrake’s girl left in his apartment.

This scene is the office Christmas extravaganza. Baxter is giddy with his new private office and ridiculous bowler hat, but Fran has just learned the devastating truth about Sheldrake. This is one of the most heartbreaking scenes Wilder ever filmed, and a perfect example of how his subtle filmmaking style could tell so much through showing, even though he’s best known for his trenchant dialogue. Lemmon and MacLaine are utterly perfect, as they each come face to face with the harsh reality of dashed hopes and yet must put up a front for the other.

Pixels. More Dangerous than Think. [Trailer]

…And people are saying it looks terrible? Ok, yes it’s an Adam Sandler joint. Yes, that is Kevin James. Yes, Peter Dinklage. Sandler’s current run of film outings have been pretty miserable. But still. If it gets as ridiculous and over the top and as dumb as it looks, it could be the very thing that makes it one of the best popcorn munching films of the year.

Give me a power pellet and a sledge hammer. I’m in.

Not At Odds #06 – This Episode Has No Context



Hi guys! Sorry for skipping a week. Allow us to make it up to you by offering an episode free from context. Or was it an episode about context? Dang. I may or may not have forgotten the topic before starting this episode. Fling your umbrage at will. Mmm. Umbrage.


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Review: Run All Night

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Unknown, Non-Stop)
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Producers: Roy Lee, Michael Tadross, Brooklyn Weaver
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, Boyd Holbrook, Bruce McGill, Genesis Rodriguez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Common
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 114 min.



My original posting of this review can be found on LetterBoxd


Another month, another Liam Neeson genre movie. For the fourth time in the past year, the 62-year-old Irishman puts a pistol in hand and hits the streets as the grizzled alternative to the young action stars who aren’t really cutting it these days. While I’ve spent the last five or so years tearing apart every entry that comes out of the Action-Neeson oeuvre, I’m pleasantly surprised to say that Run All Night is the exception to the rule — the first one since the original Taken and even a step above that one that kickstarted it all. Reuniting with director Jaume Collet-Sera, who steered Neeson in the paltry Unknown and the abhorrent Non-Stop this time last year, Run All Night proves that apparently the third time was the charm for this duo. Here they take on a refreshingly hardened approach to their genre sensibilities for a gritty descent into the mean streets of New York City that feels more in line with ’70s American cinema than it does Taken 3.

That’s not to say that it’s on par with movies of that era, but it certainly feels like Neeson and Collet-Serra set out to make something more serious and less absurd than their previous work, and the effort mostly pays off. Neeson portrays Jimmy Conlon, a former mob hitman who’s become a punchline for the new brood of criminals making their way in the organization that holds them in their employ and is run by his longtime friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). The two grew up together and share a deep connection that is shattered when Jimmy is forced to execute Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) when the younger Maguire puts a gun to the head of Jimmy’s estranged son Michael (Joel Kinnaman). As the code of these men goes, Shawn pulls together every resource at his disposal to go after Michael and Jimmy, demanding the blood of the Conlon duo and setting them up for a night they won’t escape without a few scratches.

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Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

It has been a few weeks since this regular feature on RowThree has been around. For that I apologize… if you were feeling bad about it. School is an ass-kicker. But I have been saving up a few odds and ends that I’ve found across the intertubes over the weeks just for this occasion. Hence, there may be one or two items below that you’ve already seen weeks ago or possibly aren’t even relevant anymore. On the other hand, there’s some entertaining stuff in here that should make your Monday a bit more merry.

Check out these links:
Abandoned movie sets
25 Refreshing Currency Redesign Concepts
RIPT hits back at the Academy
Facebook tells Native Americans that their names aren’t “real”
How FLETCH created the modern hipster
“Weird” Al and Huey Lewis fix American Psycho
Brewery Successfully Recreates 172-Year-Old Beer Recovered From Shipwreck
Word or not a word (QUIZ)

Would you like to know more…?

Let’s Scare Matthew Price To Death!

Our friends over at The Modern Superior Podcast network are hosting side projects from both of the Mamo! Matt’s. Matt Brown’s SuperZero focuses on all things super hero. Matt Price on the other hand, is asking a number of podcasting pals to recommend horror films to him for Let’s Scare Matthew Price To Death.

Mr. Price was generous enough to let me participate in the second episode of the show, which went online today. The movie, as indicated by the picture above is Kim Jee-Woon’s remarkable haunted house slash familial meltdown horror, A Tale Of Two Sisters

Hop on over there and give it a listen.

Friday One Sheet: Frankenstein Three Sheet

Got a spare $225000 burning a hole in your pocket? This ultra-rare 3-panel (2 meter long, 1 meter wide) “3-Sheet” poster for the Universal Monster classic, 1931s Frankenstein, is up for auction. It is a ultra-large sized variant of the original one-sheeet design which was only printed in small supply for promotion of the film upon its original release, and all were though lost or destroyed until this one was discovered in the 1970s in an abandoned movie house on Long Island. I’m confident that this is the most expensive “floaty head” poster in existence.

The Daily Mail has more.

Trailer: Con Man

In what is likely the fastest IndieGoGo campaign to ever hit a million dollars (less than a day), Alan Tudyk’s already-in-production web series, Con Man, is aiming to kinda-sorta be his Galaxy Quest (or at least the first act of that film.)

Reuniting Firefly co-stars Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, with other geek friendly pals (James Gunn, Seth Green and Felicia Day) and focusing on the odd goings and experiences of a fictionalized version of Alan Tudyk in the Sci-Fi convention world, hampered by the fact that a fictionalized Fillion has gone on to “Matt Damon level” A-List stardom.

The series is a light-hearted take on the personalities, luminaries, and characters in the sci­fi community we are privileged to call ourselves members. Con Man is a way to share some of the surreal occurrences we have had, while telling the story of a guy learning to love and embrace his fans.