• Screen Shot Quiz #157


    Aaron and then Swarez were both correct in that yesterday’s quiz was from Thunderball. While I can marvel at the final underwater battle I still find that it really dragged overall and is one of my my least watched Bond flicks. For today’s quiz I would also like to know the actor in the shot as well as the movie. Once again no Googling allowed.

    screen shot #157

    I’ll post the the answer tomorrow along with the next quiz.

  • High-Brow Sci-fi: Inception Will Kick Ass


    Christopher NolanHow do I know it will kick ass when no one else even knows what the movie is about? By virtue of the talent involved.

    Let’s see if we can’t get you on board. Inception is Christopher Nolan’s new project (you know, the Batman guy? the man that also made Insomnia and Memento), written and directed by Nolan himself. Leonardo DiCaprio had previously signed on to star and news today is that Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page are also in talks to star.

    Really, with a cast this talented, do you really need a synopsis? I didn’t think so and that’s a good thing too because the film’s subject matter is a tightly guarded secret. The most the studio (WB) is willing to leak is that it’s a sci-fi action film “set within the architecture of the mind.” So…like The Matrix? Oh jeez, where do I buy my ticket?

    We’ll be keeping you posted as more details are revealed until then, speculate away!

  • Jack Says: Low Budget Noir Looks Promising


    Jack Says Quad PosterWhen you promote your film with a poster that is eerily reminiscent of Sin City, you’re bound to get someone’s attention and this morning, that someone happens to be me.

    Winner of the best film award at Newport International Film Festival, Jack Says is Bob Phillips’ directorial debut. It’s the story of Jack, a man who wakes up on a London street suffering from amnesia. He can’t remember his former life but an address scribbled on a piece of paper starts him on a trail that leads to Paris where a chance encounter with a woman brings him to the attention of the underworld. There’s a whole lot more to the story and if you’re looking for details, be sure to check out the film’s very spiffy website.

    Noir isn’t really my thing but Phillips is obviously a fan of the genre and the trailer and synopsis has my attention. Sadly, the film is opening in very limited release on Friday, April 3 and that limited release doesn’t include any Canadian cities.

    It’s a nice looking trailer and a promising looking film, one I’d love to catch on DVD down the road. That said, if you’re curious and living in the US, I encourage you to check out the list of cities where the film is playing; I’ve tucked that list, along with the trailer, under the seat!

    Would you like to know more…?

  • Timecrimes and Special now available on DVD


    While the spotlight may have been stolen by Tuesday’s DVD premiere of Oscar darling Slumdog Millionaire, two other films also debuted on home video that day, both of which are worth noting, and certainly worth checking out.

    Timecrimes is an intense, fascinating thriller from director Nacho Vigalando that tells the story of a man named Hector who takes an unexpected leap backwards in time. Karra Elejalde is effective as Hector, gathering up our sympathies for his plight even when his character has crossed the line of acceptable behavior, but what I found most appealing about Timecrimes was its pacing. The film is in no hurry to get from point A to point B; it reveals itself slowly, layer by layer, taking the viewer down one path, then another, then another, and each more intriguing than the last. Aside from effectively building tension, this pacing also helps us to keep up with what’s going on, which in turn magnifies the numerous surprises lurking around each and every corner. Timecrimes is shocking, exciting, and entirely satisfying.

    In Special (a film both Andrew and Kurt have also offered their opinions on), Michael Rapaport stars as Les, a man who signs on as a test subject for a new medication and, as a result, starts to believe he’s developed super powers. At times, Special is a very funny film, especially early on when Les is demonstrating his ‘powers’ to those around him. But Special is more than just a comedy; it’s the portrait of a man whose lifetime of disappointment has suddenly been filled with hope and purpose, a storyline that supplies the film with a very real dramatic layer. Rapaport, whom I had only seen in supporting roles prior to Special, is superb, and the combined direction of Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore is near flawless. Made on a budget of just around a million dollars, Special may have the look and feel of a small film, but it delivers in a big, big way.

    Both Timecrimes and Special are available for purchase at Amazon, and were released by Magnolia Home Entertainment.

  • Period Romcom Fun: Easy Virtue Trailer


    Easy Virtue Movie StillIn 1994, writer director Stephan Elliott hit the ground running with the release of the cult favourite The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Though I saw it years after its release, it was my first introduction to two very talented actors: Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce not to mention that it was a gorgeous and fun film.

    Ellilot’s film career never skyrocketed but the director did make a few other films, none of which I’ve seen, but he jumped back on the radar when it was announced that he would be stepping behind the camera to direct Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas in Easy Virtue. A period drama about an Englishman (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’s Ben Barnes) who marries a glamorous but scandalous American woman (Jessica Biel), the project instantly had my attention but I never realized it would be the riot the trailer suggests.

    Though Firth and Thomas were and remain my main attraction to the project, this looks to be Biel’s opportunity to be more than just the pretty face and the trailer suggest she may have struck gold. It’s a familiar story (essentially a period romcom) but with this much talent behind and in front of the camera (not to mention that it looks beautiful), it’s one to keep an eye on.

    Easy Virtue has been making the festival rounds since it premiered at TIFF last; it will open in limited release across the US and Canada on May 22nd.

  • After the Credits Episode 59 – April Preview


    To download show directly, paste this link into your downloader: http://www.rowthree.com/audio/AfterTheCredits-Episode59.MP3

    Dale (Digital Doodles), Colleen (353 Haiku Review) and Marina look ahead to the films opening in April.

    Row Three:

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    We can also be contacted via email – marina@rowthree.com!

    Show Notes:

    Would you like to know more…?

  • Review: Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre poster

    Director: Cary Fukunaga
    Screenplay: Cary Fukunaga
    Producers: Amy Kaufman
    Starring: Edgar Flores, Paulina Gaitan, Kristian Ferrer, Tenoch Huerta, Luis Fernando Peña
    MPAA Rating: R
    Running time: 96min.

    Once in a while, a first-time director jumps onto the scene with a film that is so assured and so well-made and has such an air of vitality and realism that it’s difficult to believe he hasn’t made a dozen films already. Cary Fukunaga has pretty much done that with Sin Nombre, a favorite at this year’s Sundance Film Festival that’s now in limited theatrical release.

    Sin Nombre - SayraThe story is relatively straight-forward. In one thread, teenage Sayra travels with her uncle and estranged father from Guatemala through Mexico toward the United States, where the father has started a new family in New Jersey, riding illicitly along with hundreds of others on the tops of freight trains. In the other, Caspar, a young member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, tries to balance his loyalty to the gang with his love for a girl from the right side of town. The threads inevitably come together, and while it’s not difficult to figure out most everything that happens, suspense is not what keeps you interested in the film and the lives of the people it depicts. The delicate balance of emotional involvement in these individuals and their situations with the unsentimental, unwavering style (not to mention flawless visuals, camera setups, and editing) kept me rapt for the entire film, and I wanted to keep the experience with me all day.

    Would you like to know more…?

  • I Want This: The Girlfriend Experience One Sheet


    Leave it to Steven Soderbergh to make my day.

    His upcoming film The Girlfriend Experience was shot in 21 days and features a cast of mostly non-professional actors with the exception of porn star Sasha Grey who portrays an elite callgirl. It’s supposed to be a “revealing look at the world of prostitution” but considering that the description comes from IMDb, it’s anyone’s guess what’s really going on here. One thing is certain: Soderbergh in “experimental” mode is always an interesting watch and if reactions from Sundance, where he screened a work-in-progress cut of the film, are any indication this thing is going to rock my socks off.

    I was already looking forward to seeing the film but now that Vulture has unveiled the poster, I’m even more excited. And good golly, if anyone finds a larger version of this file or finds it for sale online, please let me know; if necessary I’ll have a copy printed for myself. Yes, I love it that much.

    The Girlfriend Experience opens in New York and LA on May 22nd and will be available on demand on April 30th. Here’s hoping that Magnolia manages some sort of Canadian release.

    And now, prepare for the greatness:

    The Girlfriend Experience

  • Mikael Håfström Will Exorcise Your Demons


    Mikael HåfströmMy first brush wish Swedish director Mikael Håfström came during the film festival a few years ago when I caught a screening of the teen drama Ondskan. I was impressed by the intensity and look of the film and how Håfström managed to make a common story so memorable that it still comes to mind years later.

    I was surprised when Håfström made his Hollywood debut with the mostly forgettable thriller Derailed which was, as I remember, a nice looking but ultimately flat film (with the exception of the great Vincent Cassel and admittedly, I didn’t see the twist coming). I saw 1408 in the hopes that it would perhaps be a step into something great but alas, it too was a dud. Now, news that the director has signed on for another thriller, this one religious in scope, puts me one step closer to losing faith in a once promising director.

    Titled Last Rite, an adaptation of a non-fiction book, the new project is a thriller about the Vatican’s Exorcism School. I love these religious thrillers (heck, I’m sure I’m one of only a handful of people who bothered to see The Order *cough cough*…maybe even more than once *cough cough*) but this feels like another cheap run at overdone religious thrillers.

    My fingers are crossed that Shanghai, Håfström’s re-teaming with John Cusack which is due in theatres in September, is good otherwise, I’m on the brink of writing him off my watch list. And, you know, with all the power I yield, that could be devastating for his career.

  • Clashing Titans…I’m Watching You!


    Mads MikkelsenI’d heard some rumblings that the Hollywood machine was looking to update Clash of the Titans, a movie I haven’t seen in decades but of which I still remember specific elements (mostly Harryhausen’s effects). Until this point, I hadn’t been particularly interested in the production which had already signed Louis Leterrier (of The Incredible Hulk, Transporter 2 and Danny the Dog fame) and Sam Worthington (who is certain to make a splash when Terminator Salvation opens later this year) but the announcement of a new addition to the cast has caught my attention.

    News today is that in addition to Worthington playing Perseus, Mads Mikkelsen will also star in the film, taking on the role of Draco, the leader of the Praetorian Guard that accompanies the questing hero. Not exactly a role I’d have guessed Mikkelsen to be interested in but after a bit of though, I recalled his appearance in Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur, another action/adventure epic.

    The addition of Mikkelsen doesn’t completely get me on board but it helps. I’m just not sure how a mythical story like this one will play to today’s audience and though I’ve enjoyed Leterrier’s work, I’m not convinced he’s the right guy to direct. That said, they’ve got my attention.

  • Screen Shot Quiz #156


    No one figured out that yesterday’s quiz was from the opening scene of For Your Eyes Only. Moore as Bond is visiting his wife’s grave till he is called away. The helicopter he flies off on is a remote controlled one and Blofield attempts to kill Bond for the final time. Blofield is dumped by Bond down a large smokestack and we never see him again… until he returns in the non-EON produced Never Say Never Again but that one doesn’t really count.

    Screen Shot #156

    I’ll post the the answer tomorrow along with the next quiz.

  • Paul Bettany as a Vampire Fighting Priest? Hell Yes!


    Paul BettanyThe western/supernatural mashup may be a new developing trend. First there’s the yet to be released Gallowwalker (which we previously discussed) and now it looks like another entry into the genre fusion is right around the corner.

    News today is that the ridiculously talented Paul Bettany is in talks to star in the big screen adaptation of Hyung Min-woo’s popular Korean manga “Priest”. It’s the story of Ivan Isaacs, the title character of Priest, who basically has to save the world by fighting off evil beings, including vampires. It’s an extended and somewhat convoluted plot featuring fallen angels, God, demons and all sorts of other nasties which, if you’re looking for more detail, is well documented here.

    There is speculation that the film adaptation will not look at either the fallen angels or zombies but will focus specifically on the vampires and having yet to read the material, I can’t comment on what the omission means for the film but I will say this: Paul Bettany in talks to save the world against bad guys in a western themed world certainly has my attention.

    It looks like this isn’t the first time Bettany and director Scott Charles Stewart have worked together. The duo recently finished filming Legion, an interesting sounding horror thriller which is now in post production.

    I’m interested. The story of “Priest” sounds like something I should be reading and with Bettany slated to star in the adaptation, I’m definitely curious about the production.