Darren Aronofsky creates universes.

For one reason or another, no one around here has been talking about Darren Aronofsky’s surprising (yet, bizarrely obvious) decision to direct The Wolverine, the sequel… er… not sequel… er… the whatever it is movie that stars Hugh Jackman as the eventual X-Men team-member named Logan (aka Wolverine).

Mustache and scarf intact, Aronofsky – the director behind critical darlings such as The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, and the upcoming Black Swan – describes why he made the decision to direct this film and how The Wolverine is a stand-alone story that apparently has nothing to do with “that universe,” meaning the universe of the X-Men movie trilogy and Wolverine’s origin prequel. As he puts it in this recent interview:

“Every time I start a film, everyone’s like, ‘What the hell is he doing?’ So hopefully once again, I’ll surprise everyone. … Every single film I’ve done so far, I’ve been the only person in the room who wants to make the movie and I kind of am excited about doing a film where actually everyone wants to make it – just to see what the experience is like and see if I can do what I do in that world. It’s not like I’m going to change my process. I’m going to be working with the same team and… really trying to do something very, very different and see what happens.”

Well, the man certainly has me curious. It will be interesting to see where he takes the movie and the character. His comments that there will not be much “blowing shit up” are promising, as we all know what happened with Gavin Hood’s laughably bad, over-the-top prequel.

What are your thoughts? Is the man wasting his time and talents or is he onto something?

Hathway Does Holmes

I missed this weekend’s episode of SNL and I’m really sorry I did. Not only was one of my current favorite crush’s hosting (Anne Hathaway), but she does a nice job of taking some loving jabs at Katie Holmes in this mock interview from Miley Cyrus. Normally I don’t follow the gossip show but since the hyenas at SNL Productions don’t allow any of their stuff on YouTube, we have to settle for this clip. It’s worth it though.



Mamo #184: Harry Potter and the Deathly Mamo, Part One

Harry Potter 7 (of 8 ) is here to gobble up your November moviebucks, and it’s a great experiment – part one of two, with no narrative closure to be found. Not since the heyday of Back to the Future II has a big studio left a franchise twisting in the proverbial wind like this… did they have better luck with it this time? Plus, Green Lantern, Cowboys & Aliens, and Amazon Studios!

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our Harry Potter debate over at The Substream! Vote Mamo!

To download this episode use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo184.mp3


Film on TV: November 22-28

Limelight, playing on TCM on Saturday

Not too many new ones this week – in fact, almost all of the ones programmed along with TCM’s next installment of Moguls and Movie Stars are ones we’ve seen a bunch before on TCM, but that’s okay – moving into the history of sound era with Warner Bros gangsters, classic musicals, and the Marx Brothers is A-OK with me. TCM has also got one of Bette Davis’s first big films Of Human Bondage early Thursday morning, Chaplin’s last American film Limelight on Saturday, and Sundance has the first part of the Red Riding trilogy on Sunday. Among previously featured films, check out the Hitchcock triple feature on TCM on Friday.

Monday, November 22

7:00am – TCM – Kiss Me Deadly
Fairly iconic noir film, with hard-boiled action, nuclear paranoia, and one of the more memorable non-Hitchcock McGuffins in movie history. Plus some great LA locations. I didn’t quite love it as much as I wanted to the first time I saw it, but I’m due for a rewatch, and it definitely needs to be seen at least once, especially if you’re a noir fan.
1955 USA. Director: Robert Aldrich. Starring: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Cloris Leachman, Marian Carr.

8:15am – IFC – Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway is likely my all-time favorite book or very close to it, and it’s a book that you’d never expect could be made into a good film. It depends an awful lot on stream of consciousness, internal monologue and memory, and a subjective experience of time – all stylistic and narrative elements that don’t translate well to film. However, this 1997 version of the novel with Vanessa Redgrave perfectly cast as the older Clarissa Dalloway and Natascha McElhone (why the heck isn’t she in more stuff?) as flashback-Clarissa comes about as close as I think is cinematically possible. It doesn’t come close to matching the book for me, but it is a solid film and captures a lot of Woolf’s spirit.
1997 USA/UK. Director: Marleen Gorris. Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Natascha McElhone, Michael Kitchen, Alan Cox, Sarah Badel, Lena Headey, John Standing.

2:00pm – Sundance – The Darjeeling Limited
Not perhaps my favorite Wes Anderson film, but that’s not really that much of a negative statement for one of my favorite directors. Certainly the central image of the train is a fitting one for his flat, widescreen visual style, and the Indian setting allows for great use of color, so if nothing else, it looks freaking gorgeous.
2007 USA. Director: Wes Anderson. Starring: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Angelica Huston.
(repeats at 5:25pm on the 25th and 1:45am on the 26th)

8:00pm – TCM – Moguls and Movie Stars: Brother Can You Spare a Dream
This week Moguls and Movie Stars jumps out of the silent era and into the 1930s, showcasing the films that Hollywood made during and just after the Depression Era – and the films programmed to go along with it tonight are apropos: Warner Bros. backstage musicals and gangster films.

8:30pm – IFC – Office Space
Anyone who’s ever worked in an office will identify with Office Space immediately – with the paper-jamming printers, the piles of beaurocratic paperwork, and the difficulty of keeping up with staplers if not the plot to make off with boatloads of money due to an accounting loophole. In fact, if you do or have worked an office job, I’m gonna call this required viewing.
1999 USA. Director: Mike Judge. Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston.
(repeats at 1:35am on the 23rd)

9:00pm – TCM – Footlight Parade
Other Busby Berkeley-choreogaphed films are better known than this one (42nd Street, the Gold Diggers series), but this one is one of my favorites, with James Cagney taking on a musical role and giving the film that extra burst of energy that he brings to everything. Though known mostly for his gangster roles, Cagney was actually a song-and-dance man before he came to the movies, and it’s fun to see him hoofing his stuff.
1933 USA. Director: Lloyd Bacon. Starring: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell.
Newly Featured!

12:00M – TCM – The Public Enemy
Famous for the scene where James Cagney smashes a grapefruit into Mae Clarke’s face, this is one of the gold standards of early gangster films, along with Little Caesar and Howard Hawks’s Scarface.
1931 USA. Director: William A. Wellman. Starring: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell, Mae Clarke.

1:30am (23rd) – TCM – Little Caesar
One of the classic early 1930s gangster films, the one that essentially typecast Edward G. Robinson in the role of the cigar-chewing tough guy. It’s a little more abrupt than some of the others in the genre, but still worth watching if you’re a fan.
1931 USA. Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell.

3:00am (23rd) – TCM – I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
Paul Muni plays an initially optimistic and energetic young man who struggles to find a job during the Depression. Eventually he ends up unwillingly involved in a robbery and sentenced to the chain gang. One of Warner Bros’ best “ripped from the headlines” socially conscious films – they did a lot of them in the 1930s.
1931 USA. Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Starring: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson.

Would you like to know more…?

Duncan Jones’ “Source Code” Trailer is Here

Welcome to Friday Night Videos here at RowThree. Tonight we’re featuring Duncan Jones’ sophomore effort, Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but two things strike me right away. 1) awesome. 2) looks like a slight variation of “Quantum Leap” meets Groundhog Day with Tony Scott’s Deja Vu replacing Punxsutawney Phil.

The premise appears to revolve around a military installation that is able to send a person into the shoes of a man who died in a train explosion over and over again until he is able to discover who the bomber is. Check out this fairly interesting trailer below…



Casting News: Daniel Day-Lewis is Lincoln

The internet is abuzz with some seriously exciting news: Daniel Day-Lewis will be portraying the sixteenth President of the United States in the long-awaited Steven Spielberg directed Lincoln, according to an official press release by DreamWorks. From that release:

“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln,” said Steven Spielberg. “Throughout his career, he has been exceptionally selective in his choice of material,” added Stacey Snider, “which makes us feel even more fortunate that he has chosen to join with us for Lincoln.”

Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the screenplay has been written by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg.

It is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.

Yes, please and thank you. Despite the original intent of casting Liam Neeson (which had been a verbal arrangement between Neeson and Spielberg for years and years before he finally stepped away from the project a few months ago, citing his age), can anyone argue that there would be no better actor than Day-Lewis to portray the Great Emancipator, both as an actor and in his physique?

As of now, they expect to begin filming in the fall of 2011, with a release aim of awards season 2012. In the meantime, I shall wet my pants with anticipation.

Fruit Loops, Federico Luppi and Firearms: A Frenetic Trailer for Fase 7

I missed this disease outbreak film from Argentina by a mere few days at this years Sitges Fantastic Film Festal due to my departure flight being early in the day. Then came the positive reviews to rub a little salt in the wounds. But I can contentedly go into little seizures with this high number of cuts-per-minute trailer. Fans of Guillermo Del Toro’s films will recognize actor Federico Luppi and not unlike Helen Mirren in Red, the filmmakers here have seen fit to let him fire a lot of guns. Furthermore, there have been a lot of good satirical films coming out of Argentina (Nine Queens, The Method) but this is the first time I’ve seen that national cinema do a full-blown, post-apocalyptic one. I am interested.

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?