• Mamo #347: Days of Future Last

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    Summer begins now! Welcome to the annual Mamo Summer Box Office Competition, and this, our kickoff episode – in which the Matts lay out their vague theories on how things will go down in the domestic marketplace for the summer of 2014.

    To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo347.mp3

    Use this thread to enter the contest. Entries are valid between March 30 and April 30, 2014.

    Rules:

    THE SUMMER STARTS ON MAY 1 AND ENDS ON AUGUST 31, in terms of movies you can pick. Please work by domestic release dates only and with domestic grosses only. Scores will be tabulated after the Toronto International Film Festival is over.

    Players will submit the following:

    Top ten films, in order of total grosses. Also total gross $ amount and opening weekend gross $ amount. So as an example, submissions should look like this:

    1. Kind Hearts and Coronets, $402 million, $175 million
    2. The Ruling Class, $375 million, $150 million

    Points awarded for:

    A. 1-10 Points for film rankings. If you are bang on (your #1 pick comes in #1) you get 10. If you are 5 places away (your #8 film comes in #3) you get 5, etc.

    B. 10 bonus points for every film who’s gross you have within 5 million of the actual gross.

    C. 5 bonus points for every film who’s gross you have within 10 million of the actual gross.

    D. 1 bonus point for every film who’s gross you have within 20 million of the actual gross.

    E. 10 Bonus Points for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $1 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    F. 5 Bonus Points for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $5 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    G. 1 Bonus Point for every film who’s opening weekend gross is within $10 million of the actual opening weekend gross.

    E. 10 point bonus for every film you have ranked correctly AND within 5 million of the actual gross AND within $1 million of the opening weekend gross.

    F. For the purposes of calculating weekends – Films opening on a Wednesday are counted until the first Sunday they are released. Films opening on Memorial Day weekend are counted until the following Monday. Films opening the week of July 4 are counted from whenever they open in that week until the first Sunday of their release. Example – Spiderman opens on Tuesday, July 3. Your guess for weekend gross would actually be its 6 day total, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

  • Trailer: Night Moves

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    Kelly Reichardt’s minimalist eco-thriller Night Moves edges closer to its commercial release (May 30th in the US) after a successful run on the festival circuit (My review is here), this engaging, tense trailer has been cut for the film to showcase, quite effectively, the vibe of the film which involves three extreme environmentalists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard) who plan on blowing up a damn to save the spawning river for the local fish.

  • Friday One Sheet: The Key [Enemy]

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    One more poster from Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy. This one was designed by Sam Smyth and highlights the spider imagery in the film, certainly suggesting its connection to the key – both the one exists in the film, as well as the the more ‘big picture’ key to figuring out exactly what the film is trying to be. Further with this, the tagline on the key art is “Chaos is Order Yet Deciphered” which is the declarative opening quote on that kicks off the film.

    If you like the kind of nexus you might get from crossing David Lynch and David Cronenberg, and the film is still playing somewhere nearby, you should really give this unusual film a try.

  • Blu-Ray/DVD Review: Wake in Fright

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    Director: Ted Kotcheff
    Screenplay: Evan Jones
    Based on a Novel by: Kenneth Cook
    Starring: Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson
    Producer: George Willoughby
    Country: Australia/USA
    Running Time: 109 min
    Year: 1971
    BBFC Certificate: 18

    (4.5/5)


    Getting a prestigious Masters of Cinema re-release on the same day as White Dog seemed fitting for Wake in Fright, as it reminded me of that film in a number of ways. Both are brash indictments of states/institutions as well as humanity in general and both had a difficult history which caused them to be pretty much forgotten for a number of years. Wake in Fright got off to a better start, not only gaining critical praise, but playing at the Cannes Film Festival. Like White Dog it didn’t play so well at home though (Australia in this case) and understandably so, as it doesn’t cast the country in a good light at all. Nevertheless, the film proved a pivotal piece of Australian film history. Along with 1971′s Walkabout it helped kickstart the Australian New Wave, bringing the country’s film industry back to life after decades of despondency following its groundbreaking early years (Australia produced the world’s first ever feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang back in 1906).

    Largely due to its poor performance in its home country I imagine, Wake in Fright became a famously “lost” title though. Good quality prints of the film had pretty much disappeared, preventing any sort of home video release for decades. Thankfully, in 2004, one was found in storage somewhere, spotted just in time as it was labelled “for destruction”. The print wasn’t in great shape, but the film’s editor, Anthony Buckley, headed a restoration project, re-releasing it in 2009 to great acclaim. It was even screened at Cannes again in the Cannes Classics selection, making it only the second film (after L’Avventura) ever to play twice at the festival. After this, the film has been able to grow in stature once again and is considered a classic of Australian cinema (although it must be said the director was Canadian and the production was a collaboration between America and Australia).

    Would you like to know more…?

  • Robert Lepage: Possible Worlds at TIFF Bell Lightbox

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    Dreamscapes and fluid transitions dominate the otherworldly aesthetic of Robert Lepage’s oeuvre. His seamless transitions across time are stunning, while he allows a kind of whimsy to seep through even his bleakest pieces. He’s a transitional master, blending time and space with elegant fluidity. No genre is out of reach, and each film has his unique eye branded upon it.

    In celebration of this masterful mind, TIFF Bell Lightbox in conjunction with the Glenn Gould Foundation are honoring the Canadian filmmaker and stage director, this year’s recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize. The Prize is awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts. Lepage’s elegant, sensual, and highly theatrical work has certainly made its mark on Canadian cinema. This short retrospective runs from March 27th until April 1st, and showcases eight of Lepage’s films, including his latest film Triptych, the cinematic adaptation of his nine-hour theatrical production Lipsynch.

    Le Confessionnal

    The series begins tonight, Thursday, March 27th, at 6:30pm with Lepage’s cinematic debut, Le Confessionnal. A beautifully shot drama, the film follows two estranged brothers as they attempt to unravel a family mystery. Delicately transitioning across time, the film flips between 1952 and 1989 in Quebec City. In ’89, Pierre Lamontagne has returned home after the death of his father, a presumably careless man who severely neglected his diabetes, leading to his demise. As he attempts to paint over the stained memories of his childhood home, he seeks out his long estranged adopted brother, Marc, in an attempt to discover his birth father. Would you like to know more…?

  • After the Credits Episode 148: April Preview

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    The calendar still says spring but the movies are clearly screaming summer. A new Marvel movie, a couple of indies, a handful of horror movies and some kick ass action in this month’s line-up means that there’s a little something to get even Dale (Letterboxd), Colleen and I (Letterboxd) excited.

    And the Wagner doc I couldn’t remember… it’s Wagner & Me with Stephen Fry.

    Direct Download

    Subscribe:
    show

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

    Show Notes:

    Would you like to know more…?

  • Mamo #346: Convergent

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    Matt and Matt deconstruct the mid-range success of the high-expectations Divergent, walks away from Muppets Most Wanted, and announces the 2014 Mamo Road Trip.

    To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo346.mp3

  • DVD/Blu-Ray Review: White Dog

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    Director: Samuel Fuller
    Screenplay: Samuel Fuller, Curtis Hanson
    Based on an Article & Book by: Romain Gary
    Starring: Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield, Burl Ives
    Producer: Jon Davison
    Country: USA
    Running Time: 90 min
    Year: 1982
    BBFC Certificate: 15

    (3/5)


    White Dog is a film with a chequered past. Telling the story of a dog that has been trained to attack black people, the film picked up controversy before it was even released. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) caught wind of the production early on and requested a visit to the set. Rumours that the film was racist and could incite racial hatred and copycat dog training spread fast and the film was pretty much shelved on completion in the US. It had a small release in Europe and picked up some decent reviews, but in its home country it was hidden away for years. After watching the film myself I’m rather baffled as to why it was deemed racist though. That couldn’t be further from the truth and it seems clear that the detractors hadn’t actually watched it.

    White Dog begins with bit-part actress Julie Sawyer (Kristy McNichol) hitting a dog in her car late one night. She takes it to a vet and nurses it back to health at her home whilst she waits for someone to pick it up. When no one comes, she decides to keep it. She soon discovers however that the German Shepherd has been trained as an attack dog, and not just any attack dog, but a ‘white dog’, one that has been conditioned to specifically go for black people on sight.

    Julie’s boyfriend and others try to convince her to put the dog down as well as a renowned Hollywood animal trainer (Burl Ives) who spots its evil mindset. However, a black trainer at the same site, Keys (Paul Winfield), vows to do everything in his power to un-train the beast. Julie agrees to let him do his work and the film follows the difficult process to see if this hatred can be eradicated.

    Would you like to know more…?

  • Prometheus 2: King David

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    Prometheus

    When all was done and said (and said, and said, and said) about Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, my final conclusion was that the film was ultimately far more about Michael Fassbender’s David character, an inquisitive android who perhaps oversteps his bounds against his human creators, than Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw (an altruistic human who perhaps oversteps her bounds against her own cosmic creators). Either way, both characters have an open-ending upon the films final shot leaving them slightly battered, but free to cruise the stars and have further adventures in some capacity.

    It turns out, according to The Wrap (and the internet echo chamber) that there will be a follow up, likely focusing on David. Ridley Scott is eyeing the Prometheus sequel for the director’s job; which of course assumes his health at nearly 80 permits such a huge effort as another Alien film. Twentieth Century Fox has hired the writers of Transcendence (Wally Pfister’s directorial debut about a man/machine hybrid forcefully commandeering the planet’s collective technology) and Green Lantern (yea, that one that lost Warner Brothers a few shekels) to cobble a screenplay together.

    We generally don’t focus on news items at this site, we wait for a trailer or at least a proper production still. But I cannot help myself here, as a rather enthusiastic fan of the messy but beautiful 2012 film, I hope this gets made and that they hit their targeted 2016 release date.

  • Trailer: Plastic

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    Plastic

    Sam and Fordy run a credit card fraud scheme to support their risky, expensive and fast lifestyle. When they steal from the wrong man, however, they find themselves threatened by heavier criminals (one of whom is familiar character actor Thomas Kretschmann) who are not playing around in white collar crime just for shits and giggles and beach vacations. With their life hanging in the balance, they double down to pull off a daring diamond heist to clear their debts.

    While the basic story idea seems familiar, that of overly-clever twenty-somethings getting into trouble way over their head with white collar crime, this one is directed by Julian Gilbey, who made the marvelously tense and very, very pretty A Lonely Place To Die. It opens in the UK in early May, not sure about any sort of release dates in North America, but it has Paramount distributing it, so that remains a strong possibility if the film sees any success in Britain.

  • Trailer: The Signal

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    The Signal

    Well, this one slipped my by last week, which is a shame because I am a huge fan and am a big booster of William Eubank’s gorgeous indie sci-fi flick Love (Review) which features a man trapped on the dying International Space Station while an unnamed apocalypse has devastated earth, and is scored entirely with Angels & Airwaves songs.

    His next film is called The Signal was very well received at The Sundance Film Festival in January. This gorgeous trailer which came out last week; better late than never here in the third row. Larry Fishburne is the big name in the project, but like Love, the real star is the drop-dead-gorgeous cinematography, and the heady science fiction conceits. When a character says “We’re not 100% certain with what we are dealing with here,” well that says it all. It’s beautiful and intriguing in the same way that Upstream Color was. Here’s hoping Eubank can hit that high watermark.


    Nick and Jonah are MIT freshmen with a passion for hacking. While driving cross-country through Nevada with Nick’s girlfriend, Hailey, they follow rival hacker Nomad’s clues to a location 180 miles away. After a terrifying confrontation with Nomad in the middle of the desert, the trio regain consciousness in captivity. Struggling to comprehend the true nature of their confinement, they discover they are part of a plot much larger than themselves.

  • James Rebhorn 1948-2014

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    James Rebhorn

    Another loss of a fine and prolific character actor. James Rebhorn, who was 65 and recently seen on TV’s Homeland and Enlightened spans a lengthy career playing doctors, lawyers, politicians and judges in film and TV. Mostly doctors though. Maybe it was that ‘professional white guy’ look he had. A professional “HEY IT’S THAT GUY” who did his work well on huge blockbusters, and small TV movies with aplomb and well, professionalism.

    More here.

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