A Movie Montage For Spring

Maybe it’s that fresh smell in the air…Maybe it’s that warm breeze that occasionally wafts by that signals the end of the long winter those of us in the colder climes have had…Hell, maybe it was just the Super Moon, but the arrival of Spring has given us all here the urge to DANCE!

Yes, dance. Set to the tune “Cineramascope” by the monster groove band Galactic (from New Orleans), the following video is a compilation of dancing clips from a diverse set of films. We avoided too many “professional” dancers in the clips in order to get things closer to how we here in the RowThree offices are celebrating the arrival of Spring.

This time we’re leaving off the movie titles at the end, so start guessing. There are obvious and non-obvious titles alike, so use the Comments section to list where the clips came from and we’ll keep a running tab to see who gets the most right. As with the Screenshot quizzes (also about to come back out after a lengthy hibernation), the winner will be rewarded with our greatest gift – respect.


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Sunday Bookmarks: March 14-20


  • Why see ‘Don’t Look Now’?
    Coming to BluRay and rep screenings in the UK: “In hindsight, ‘Don’t Look Now’ is the perfect mixture of Roeg’s abilities as a teller of mysterious stories and as one of the most accomplished cinematic stylists ever to peep through a viewfinder. The film smashes up chronology and pieces it back together in a deviously strange order, so we get constant hints and suggestions of dark events to come. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are utterly convincing as the central couple who flee to Venice to retain a focus on their messed-up lives.”
  • Notes on Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire
    “No, what this moment is about is Charlie Sheen solo. It’s about a well-earned mid-life crisis played out on Sheen’s Korner instead of in a life coach’s office somewhere in Burbank. The mid-life crisis is the moment in a man’s life when you realize you can’t (won’t) maintain the pose that you thought was required of you any longer—you’re older and you have a different view of life and this is when the bitterness and acceptance blooms. Tom Cruise had a similar meltdown at the same age in the summer of 2005, but his was more politely manufactured (and, of course, he was never known as an addict). Cruise had his breakdown while smiling and he couldn’t get loose, he couldn’t be natural about it. He’s always essentially been the good boy who can’t say “Fuck You” the way Sheen can.”
  • An Interview with Greta Gerwig at SxSW
    Greta Gerwig is no stranger to SXSW. Her new film, “The Dish & the Spoon,” marks the sixth time she has had a movie in the festival in an film career that has stretched the same number of years. This new film, directed by Alison Bagnall, about a woman and a young man (Olly Alexander) who bond during a tumultuous time in their lives. Ms. Gerwig’s acting style, which A.O. Scott lauded for its “apparent absence of any method,” is employed in this intimate, primarily two-character study.
  • Bernardo Bertolucci has a 3D Project
    “Cult Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci said in an interview for his 70th birthday on Wednesday that he will be making his first 3D film this year saying it was like riding on a “flying carpet” […] “I want to use 3D in a different way from what we have seen in films like ‘Avatar’ or other films characterised by special effects,” he said.”
  • Is Netflix Abandoning Its Business Model Again?
    With the production of David Fincher/Kevin Space HBO-styled TV DRAMA, It looks like a new strategy is here. In the great tradition of the network and cable game, make themselves a “must carry.” I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the bidding for hockey or trying to make a deal to stream Major League Baseball or something like that before long. If they are going this way, no one show “airing” 13 times a year is going to keep customers paying $8 or more a month. If Netflix becomes a thrift shop, with content here and there and everywhere, the churn will get worse […] This choice, combined with the exit of Criterion and the abandonment of Red Envelope, their previously stab at original content, clearly tells us that Netflix sees no future in quality film lovers as a primary audience for the service. Fair enough. But it will be interesting to see when the cineastes get the message.”
  • Zediva – A Clever End Run Around the Movie-Streaming Gremlins
    “It lets you listen to the director’s commentary, turn on subtitles and change languages. It lets you enjoy your movie for two weeks instead of 24 hours, starting and stopping at will. It offers the 100 biggest movies for streaming on the very same day the DVD comes out. It sidesteps any meddling by the movie companies, HBO contracts and studio lawyers. And here’s the best news of all — are you sitting down on your favorite movie couch? The price is only $2 for one movie or $1 if you buy a 10-pack. There’s no signup fee, no monthly fee, no hardware to buy. Zediva’s secret is so outrageous, you may think it’s an early April Fool’s prank. But it’s no joke.”
  • Is Matthew McConaughey Really Shirtless in Every Movie?
    “Conventional wisdom likes to assume that Matthew McConaughey has taken his shirt off in every single one of his movies. True, McConaughey is not shy when it comes to going bare chested on-screen and in public, but is he really sans shirt in every one of his movies?” Yes, Movieline actually checks out each and every one of them to be sure.


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:


Review: I Saw The Devil

[In light of its Canadian commercial release, I give you our review of over the top South Korean serial killer cat & mouse thriller from the Row Three Archives]

“Nothing will go wrong,” is about the must amusing thing to ever hear in a Kim Ji Woon film. The director has made a number of films spanning a number of genres and they are about just about everything going terribly, terribly wrong. Even if the players fancy themselves in control of the situation. Here we have a methodical (Oldboy‘s Choi Min Sik) but unhinged killer of young women, who drives a small school bus and has a torture dungeon for scattering body parts across town. When he kills the fiancée of a state policeman (A Bitter Sweet Life‘s Lee Byung-Hun) he gets far more than he bargained for. Instead of spending his grief-time mourning the loss of his beloved, he uses that time to go full vigilante, initially soliciting help from the victims father (also a retired cop), but rapidly killing and torturing his way to cut through the red tape of typical police work. But, as is the mantra of the film, ‘we are just getting started’, the agent does not want to capture or kill his enemy, he wants to make him suffer in every way possible. Things do not go according to plan, and thus a back and forth of people doing terrible things to each other escalates to a point where the film moves well beyond serial killer movie clichés because nothing quite this charismatically sadistic has been done in the genre at this point. I Saw The Devil is a movie of oneupmanship usually reserved for comedies – here it is a oneupmanship of tragedies that ripple outward from the two crazy men at the center.

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Review: The Butcher, the Chef & the Swordsman

[In light of its Canadian commercial release, I give you our review of The Butcher, the Chef & the Swordsman from the Row Three Archives]

When a fat, vulgar and none-too-bright butcher glimpses the woman of his dreams, the lovely Mei who conjures visions of peach blossoms and naughty sex, there is nothing that is going to stop him from making her his own, or shouting about it at full volume. She is queen and seemingly unreachable at the town’s upscale brothel. Mocked even by his own friend for his crass boldness, our Butcher is smitten to the point where class, looks, money, a full-blown rap number from the brothel matron are not deterrents. But then there is the vicious sword-wielding thug appropriately named “Big Beard” who seems invincible and intent on humiliating our ‘hero’ by carving a pig tattoo on his chest with rapid flicks of his blade. But luck favours the plump blow-hard in the form of a vengeful chef who wanders in town with an invincible cleaver forged from the melted down iron of the greatest weapons on the planet.

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March Madness: Director’s Cut [ROUND THREE]

Welcome to ROUND THREE of the RowThree March Madness pool! We’ve got four divisions of contenders looking to advance to the next round (Note: there is a fifth set of brackets we’re calling the Consolation Division – a group of 16 directors we really wanted to see compete but weren’t quite “worthy” of the big dance). It’s up to you to decide who advances. Look through each bracket within all five divisions and make your choice. After a few days the polls will close and we’ll see who advances to the next round. There can be only one victor.

So a funny world we live in. In this round we’ve got the battle of the Stevens, the battle of the Fords and the battle of the Davids. And over in our foreign bracket, we’ve got four very different countries vying for glory. Once again not too many huge surprises in the previous round. It’s a little disheartening to see the Coen Brothers get bounced out so quickly (though only bya very narrow margin of 43-40). But I guess when you’re going up against the #1 seed in The Master of Suspense you’ve gotta count your blessings that you’re even hanging close.

Over in the NIT division things are a bit more interesting. Somehow Brian DePalma managed to take out Mike Nichols in a ridiculous display of film making. Meanwhile, Frears fought the good fight but couldn’t get out from under the death grip of Mr. George Romero. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Ridley Scott/Michael Mann match-up. Both team have their enemies, but both have some classics under their belts as well.

We draw ever closer to the final four! Enjoy and let the voting continue…


SCHEDULE (begins – ends):
Round 1: 3/9 – 3/13  
Round 2: 3/14 – 3/18
Round 3: 3/19 – 3/23
Round 4: 3/24 – 3/27
Round 5: 3/28 – 3/30
Round 6: 3/31 – 4/1


The same rules from round one still apply:
show content



DVD Triage: Week of March 18

I‘ve been working on these DVD/Instant Watch release posts on my personal blog, and I’m finally getting efficient enough at them that I think I can commit to crossposting them here without them being incredibly out of date by the time I do. So let’s give it a try. Next week I should be on a Tuesday or Wednesday schedule with them. The Instant Watch releases for this post are US only; for future posts I’m going to try to include Canadian release information.

The big DVD/Blu release this week is The Fighter, fresh off Best Supporting Actor and Actress Oscar wins for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Also check out No One Knows About Persian Cats, though, a fine example of Iranian underground cinema, where some pretty exciting things are happening. This is the first time I’ve included Instant Watch expiring titles; be aware that the lists of expiring films, which I pull from InstantWatcher.com, which in turn gets them from Netflix’s API, are often not set in stone. Things sometimes don’t expire, are brought back quickly, or expire without hitting the InstantWatcher lists at all prior to their expiration. So hopefully this will be a helpful guide, but it’s not a perfect one.


Au revoir, les enfants Criterion blu-ray
A French boys’ school in the 1940s gets a new student. One boy in particular befriends him, but it soon becomes clear that the new boy is Jewish and on the run from the Nazis. Incredibly subtle and moving view of WWII and its attendant racial conflict through the eyes of children.
1987 France. Director: Louis Malle. Starring: Gaspard Manesse, Francine Racette.
Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix (DVD and streaming)



The Fighter
I don’t have a lot of use for boxing movies, which is why I couldn’t stir up much personal interest in seeing this last year, despite having liked David O. Russell films in the past. The reviews were strong enough, though, and pointed out aspects of the story dealing with Bale’s drug addiction, media portrayal of the story, and the interfamilial relationships (and accompanying excellent acting turns) that definitely make me willing to check it out on DVD.
2010 USA. Director: David O. Russell. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix (DVD and Blu-ray)

No One Knows About Persian Cats
I caught this a couple of years ago at the AFI Film Festival, and it’s stuck with me – it’s the fictionalized story of the two real-life musicians Negar and Ashkan, who attempt to put on one last underground rock show in Tehran before fleeing to London, where they can perform without government censorship and interference (the film also had to be shot guerilla-style, without government permits). Also on Instant Watch.
2009 Iran. Director: Bahman Ghobadi. Starring: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad.
Amazon DVD | Netflix (DVD and streaming)

Would you like to know more…?

Aronofsky drops out of The Wolverine.

Sorry superhero fanboys who were hoping to finally receive a prestigious and life-changing hard-R superhero film about Wolverine before he joined up with the X-Men. Black Swan and The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky has backed out as director. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year,” Aronofsky said in a joint statement with Fox.

“I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won’t be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again,” he continued.

Stated Fox: “While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do The Wolverine, we also understand and respect his reasons. Having done both The Wrestler and Black Swan with Darren, we know he is an extraordinary talent and we look forward to working with him on other projects in the future. Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making The Wolverine. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”

For some, this is great news, as many felt he was wasting his talents on a nonsense blockbuster franchise. To others, they were curious to see what a unique director such as Aronofsky could do with such a film. After all, they said, the last time that Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky teamed up, the result was golden.

I think it’s obvious that there is a little more to this than they announced, perhaps Fox not offering Aronofsky the creative freedom that he had expected. Regardless of the reasons though, where do you stand on the issue? Are you glad that he is moving on from this project? Or are you slightly disappointed that he wasn’t going to take on a project that seems very risky for a director such as himself?