After the Credits Episode 87 – August Preview


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Dale (Digital Doodles), Colleen (Mary Ostler Wood Butchery & Other Stuff) and I talk about the movie opening in August.

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An “Unstoppable” Trailer

So most people haven’t been real impressed with anything Tony Scott has done for about ten years now. Me? Well despite the horrid outing of his last picture/remake, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, I’m still an apologist and defender of the man’s filmography. I’m still on board with just about anything the studios release with Scott’s name attached as director.

Not real surprising that Denzel takes the lead yet again for Tony Scott’s newest: Unstoppable. Washington has essentially been Scott’s “anti-muse” for the better part of 15 years and I imagine we’ll see the two collaborating for years to come. What might be of interest to many is the return of Chris Pine for a big role in a major studio picture. Was the Capt. Kirk role a fluke or can the kid bring something to the proverbial table? I feel like I’ve seen the premise of this movie ten times already (a runaway train loaded with chemical explosives) and was pretty underwhelmed with what I see in the trailer… until Rosario Dawson popped in. That’s it, I’m sold.

Is there any sort of excitement or interest in this movie (releasing November 12th) at all?

The trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Finite Focus: Literary Interlude (The Big Sleep)


There’s pretty much nothing I don’t love about Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep – Bogart’s world-weary but somehow still idealistic private eye Philip Marlowe, the chemistry between him and Lauren Bacall (now an off-screen couple starring in their second film together), the cast of colorful supporting characters like Martha Vickers as Bacall’s crazy sister, the witty and caustic script, the florid dialogue, yes, even the fact that some of the mystery isn’t even resolved. I love the very messiness of it. But when I think back about The Big Sleep, the scene that usually pops into my head is essentially extraneous to the main mystery, is unrelated to Marlowe’s relationship with Bacall’s character, and is basically an all-but-unnecessary interlude to the entire rest of the film. I’m talking about the scene where Philip Marlowe goes to a pair of rare bookstores to follow up on a clue.

Read more and see the scene after the jump. (No spoilers for the film as a whole.)

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Review: 1

So this is one possible outcome when a film, here a science fiction think-piece, is based on a critical essay? That essay was penned by eastern bloc author Stanislaw Lem perhaps best known as the author of book used for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solyaris (an adaptation the author was not particularly happy with, albeit it is one of the key films of science fiction cinema). I wonder what Lem, if he were alive today would have to say about 1. Would he like the ponderously dense wordplay within the film a hybrid of voice-over narration, expository information overload and satirical potshots at a variety of societal institutions including book publishing, news-media and shady governmental secret police. 1 is a curious beast because it does make attempts to ‘show-don’t-tell’ but cannot figure out any coherent way to do so, so it ultimately has to talk-talk-talk, while cross-cutting to surreal imagery. As if Louis Buñuel and Terry Gilliam co-directed a run-on sentence. One will note connections to dystopian mind-fucks along the lines of Brazil, Ghost in the Shell or Neil Stephenson’s Snowcrash albeit without the whimsy or kineticism in any of those works, perhaps the more apt comparison would be to Oshii’s follow-up Innocence, a film that also gets swallowed by its own linguistic pretensions.

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Trailer: The Winning Season

Comments about The Winning Season from early screenings suggest that this is a much darker and raunchier film than one might expect from what we have seen of this so far – which has been limited to a single clip released back in January of 2009. James Strouse, who has a writing credit for Lonesome Jim and a director’s credit from Grace is Gone under his belt, is behind this project, which may give us a little more of a sense of what to expect. Maybe. The trailer is not spectacular here, but I have a feeling that they are marketing this thing for a wider audience. I have faith in Rockwell’s film selections.

The movie opens in LA and NYC on September 3, 2010. The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Shinsedai 2010 Review: Kakera: A Piece of Our Life

Director: Momoko Ando
Writer: Momoko Ando, from the manga Love Vibes by Erika Sakurazawa
Producers: Sakura Momoyama, Keiko Watanabe
Starring: Hikari Mitsushima, Eriko Nakamura, Ken Mitsuishi, Tasuku Nagaoka, Rino Katase
Running time: 107 min.

Haru (Hikari Mitsushima), the character at the centre of Kakera: A Piece of Our Life, is a charming creature who swiftly engraves herself in viewers’ memories with her big eyes, frequently dazed expression and a fat grey scarf that envelops her head. She is unfortunately trapped in a relationship with a boorish boyfriend who only ever meets with her just to have sex. But one day in a café, she meets Riko (Eriko Nakamura), who introduces herself by dabbing away a layer of cocoa from Haru’s lip. She openly states that she is intrigued by Haru and leaves her phone number along with a charming little sketched drawing, thus beginning an affectionate yet sometimes challenging relationship.

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Community and Contrarianism: Almost 3 Years of Row Three


So, we do not actually turn three until some time in October, but there is no time like the present for a little bit of back-clapping, narcissism and nostalgia! Here we offer the Row Three Posts that generated the largest number of comments, for one reason or another. Click the links and re-live the great digital water-cooler and film forum on offer. We are glad you keep coming back and bring all the feist and fury (and wit and knowledge) to the conversation.

A little bit about the numbers. We have a plug-in on the site which feeds back the most commented posts here at Rowthree. Commenting and conversation and recommendation and elucidation are what we are all about, and it is satisfying that we more than 30 posts on the site that generated over 100 comments and almost a handful that broke the 200 comment mark

Here is the countdown:

#11. Kurt’s Review of Shutter Island – From continuity errors to psychiatric patient weaponization, to the sweet final piece of dialogue in Martin Scorsese’s sharp genre film – yes, we pretty much cover it all in the comments section. (139)
#10. Kurt’s Transformers 2 Challenge – When an archival audio snippet of how much Kurt hated Transformers 1 is posted on the eve of Transformers 2 things get ugly. (160)
#9. Kurt’s Inglourious Basterds Review – For the Love of Cinema, we talk a lot of Basterds! (166)
#8. Andrew picks The Five Films That SHOULD Have Been Nominated for Best Picture Oscars in 2008 – “I Am Your Sensei And if You Do not Agree I will interrupt you!” It’s a cornucopia of come-uppance in there, but we do go to the old standby – The Lady In The Water Debate. Michael Haneke, WallE, Bergman vs. Antonioni, Speedracer and Norwegian Black Metal makes for one of the more tangential comment treads of the site (and that is saying something!) (166)
#7. Cinecast #118 – In Fabulous 2D! – Lots of debate on Observe and Report. (174)
#6. Kurt’s Review of The Wrestler – Wherein Gamble brings up the whole ‘contrived and manipulated’ argument against the picture and once that gauntlet is thrown down, things drift to the WWE and There Will Be Blood and the whole high art / low art debate ensues. Let it not be said that the comments section does not have range. (190)
#5. Cinecast #114 – The “Major League” Solution – Matt Gamble joins the cinecast as a regular and oh, boy – so many things in the comment section, Our rambling Watchmen review, but also a lot of love/hate for Dear Zachary and Behind The Mask and Time Crimes and even The Staircase. (213)
#4. Brave New Worldview – 30 Science Fiction Films of the 21st Century Bringing out fans of hard science fiction, fanboys of all stripes and sizes, and a lot of StumbleUpon folks that had trouble reading the title yet commented anyway. Some savvy folks chime in with a few more obscure titles too. (218)
#3. Rot’s Collapse Review Wherein the Rowthree community takes sides in calling Rot a conspiracy obsessive, or a passionate follow-up guy. (260)
#2. David’s Avatar Review – Wherein Spectacle vs. Originality is the starting point, and the merits of Kung Fu Fighting as a soundtrack is brought up (again) along with the ever popular 3D debate. The chaser: Alfred Hitchcock’s vs. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (seriously.) (336)
#1. Rot Rewatches and Reconsiders Paul Haggis’s Crash – Oh boy. All bets are off folks, it is flat out war in there. (375)

Bookmarks for Early August

  • “The film we had imagined”, or: Anna and Jean-Luc Go To the Movies
    An exploration of the trope of fllmgoing within films, centering on the Passion de Jeanne d’Arc quotation in Vivre sa vie. “In this case, Nana’s response to Jeanne’s tears is, of course, tears of her own [...] But this sequence also has other curious and sympathetic qualities. [...] The off-centre, often literally decapitating framing that characterises passages of Dreyer’s film, is also paralleled by Godard’s. This suggests that we can read this sequence as both homage and an act of identification by the director. [...] These are a series of connections and possibilities that deepen if one has an intimate knowledge of Godard’s cinema and Dreyer’s film. So the quotation of this particular mode of framing refers to other moments in Dreyer’s film and, specifically, the points it makes about Jeanne’s existential and spatial – she is separated, out of place, often framed alone – plight.”
  • Put Julia Roberts On Hold: Seven Big-Name Movies That Have Yet to Reach Theaters or DVD
    Plenty of films don’t ever see a theatrical release, but it’s rare in this day and age for something not even get released on home video in the U.S., especially if it stars Julia Roberts or Jim Carrey. With issues both economic and otherwise, there’s a growing collection of films gathering dust
  • The Nic Cage Factor
    Cage’s oddly unhinged energy and cadence made most of his early film appearances in the mid- to late ’80s unforgettable. But instead of sticking to modest or interesting projects, Cage, after winning his Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, embraced an action star future with Con Air, and since then his work has been patchy at best. Here are his 5 best reviewed films, 5 most underrated and 5 worst.
  • Arts and Leisure Preview – ‘Inception’ Criticism Raises Questions for Critics
    A.O. Scott takes a step back and looks at the frenzied reaction and re-reaction to Inception in the days before (!) its release. A bit of a commentary on the insane speed of reactionaryness in internet-culture criticism.
  • Top 10 Movies That Mess with Your Mind
    With Inception out there gnawing away at everyone’s conscious (and possibly subconscious), TIME magazine has put together a list of film that are sometimes tough to wrap your head around. From Last Year at Marienbad to pi, here are ten films that will mess with your head.
  • Interview: Filmmaker Vincenzo Natali |
    The Canadian director of “Splice” talks about the origin of his story, science, what scared him as a kid and his next project, the much anticipated adaptation of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”
  • Creepshow 2 is Better than the Original
    A simple case of wrong. But worth a look just to comment with the correct answer.


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this: