Cinecast Episode 360 – It’s Like Mustard

 
Sone famous once said that a person’s character can be defined by what he chooses to complain about. What do you despise? Is it Max Brooks? Is it Steve Guttenberg? The video streaming entity such as Vudu? Or is it someone/something else? By all means sound off! So yes, we explore the depths of our personal hatreds on this week’s Cinecast, but equally so, we also share some fondness, nay love, for Charles Grodin, Jean-Marc Vallée, Brent Spiner, Chris Tucker, Louis C.K. and yes, even Mel Gibson.

Documentaries and Ozploitation occupy the bulk of this week’s conversation. Steve James’ documentary, Life Itself (aka you’re better off just reading the book) and Russell Mulcahy’s creature feature, Razorback. But, and this is important. don’t even bother downloading this show until you’ve purchased your 4-pack of Midnight Run sequels. Yeah, it’s that kind of show.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 
 

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Cinecast Episode 295 – I Wouldn’t Wear That. Even in the Future!

This week sees a return to form with all sorts of negativity and disagreement. But [in best DeForest Kelley voice] for God sake man, it’s Anne Hathaway. She’s worth fighting for! Outside of that little tussle, Sean Kelly from SKonMovies.com joins in on the discussion with a bit more of a unique Oscar experience having seen the whole thing in a packed theater. For the majority of this Cinecast it is a look back at Sunday nights Hollywood back-patting at the Academy Awards. We talk about it all: from winners to losers to hosting to gowns (OK, not really) to stage direction to orchestration. Look no further; it’s all in here. From there we venture into the Watch List with Kurt proving Matt Gamble’s prognostication mostly correct with a viewing of Margaret. We grind the axe a bit more (though less enthusiastically) about modern biblical epics while Sean looks at a couple of Oscar-nominated documentaries and Andrew continues his Star Treking.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


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To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_13/episode_295.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 206 – My Disney Compass is Spinning

 

 
 
Hello folks. We are back after a week off and we waste no time getting into a detailed, and probably too damn introspective, conversation about Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. Is it a movie that panders so hard to its base, or a movie that stabs its core audience in the chest while smiling? Is it a case of too much director ambition, too little story telling chops or simply a product of too much fiddling on the studio end such that, and there is no debate on this last bit, things just end up a muddled mess? Matt and Kurt discuss the particulars (onward ye Soldiers of Cinema, this may be your toughest battle yet) and remain, astonishingly spoiler free in the process. Afterwards, it is around the table again (and again) for a lengthy session of what we watched. We go from cheese-merchants to sleaze-merchants (that would be from Don Simpson and Joel Silver to Elmore Leonard and Paul Schrader for those keeping score) before Gamble trumps all with crazy-awful Dan Aykroyd paranormal documentary TV. Kurt revisits a couple of childhood horror-kids flicks, Gremlins and Dragonslayer while Matt travels to New York for the premiere of Beauty Day. Andrew re-evaluates Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, and there is mucho talk about the Spanish Swords and Sandals and Science Blockbuster Agora. Of course, there is the proverbial much, much more in that segment (which clocks in at a staggering 110 minutes) as well as DVD picks, Netflix fresh and expiring picks and a tiny tangent on the Canadian Bandwidth Wars(tm). Grab your battle-axe, strap on your shield and wade into it.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_11/episode_206.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 177 – Veneer of Terrible

 
Without the Gamble here to grace us with the newest multi-plex fare and zero interest in anything going on theatrically, Kurt and Andrew got together over a couple of virtual beers and looked at Agora once again with new vigor. There were also some recent DVD screenings to discuss including Kurt’s swan dive into season one of another popular TV show, “Breaking Bad”, and Andrew’s slight reassessment of Rian Johnson’s Brick. And finally(!) the store shelves are seeing a nice selection of newly released movies on video this week including a healthy dose of Blu-ray re-releases which provide enough fodder for a longer than normal walkabout through the weekly DVD picks. All these things and a few nuggets more – hopefully you’re into the whole brevity thing as we are able to keep it under an hour and a half.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader or right click the link and “save as…”:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_177.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_177-alt.mp3

 
 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Bookmarks for July 1-4

  • The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What it Is.
    Errol Morris takes you through the literal and metaphorical ins and outs and whathaveyous of the strange condition of Anosognosia: From Donald Rumsfeld to Woodrow Wilson, to Lemon Juice induced ‘invisibility’ in bank robbers: “If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity.” A wonderful Mega-Morris post to rival the Crimean War Cannon Ball Photos, In FIVE Parts!
  • Agora: the “Reel” vs. the “Real” Hypatia
    A look at how history was molded into narrative with Amenebar’s AGORA – “Bravo! The movie managed to get both versions of the story as told by Damascius in his Life of Isadore. The student wasn’t Orestes (I’ll talk about all the characters in a later post), but the sentiment was real. Damascius reports that after a student professed his love for her, Hypatia showed him her bloody menstrual rag and said, “This is what you really love, my young man, but you do not love beauty for its own sake.”” – In THREE Parts.
  • The Great Directors: David Lynch Segment
    In a snippet of video interview with Angela Ismailos, David Lynch talks about the perceived failure of his blockbuster version of Dune, and how it liberated him to do Blue Velvet.
  • The Carleton Cinema Reborn!
    “For fans of art-house cinema and independent film, the Carlton was often the one venue at which to catch an extended run of a first-run feature that might otherwise be out of theatres in a week. Canadian filmmakers such as Ron Mann and Atom Egoyan claimed it as the birthplace of their careers with an attempt to save the theatre several years ago, though the facilities had already fallen into disrepair. Members of Toronto’s cinema community expressed their outrage at the closing via social media, though critics like The Toronto Star’s Peter Howell bemoaned their “crocodile tears.” It seemed that the Carlton’s closure was just another example of Toronto’s cultural gentrification and the hypocrisy of its supporters in a year that had also seen the loss of another beloved yet unprofitable institution, Pages Bookstore. “
  • Writer Details the SUPERMAN Movie That Never Came To Be
    “The intent was to leapfrog over Superman III and especially IV, and return the series to the high mark achieved in 1 and 2,” Bates told Newsarama. “[It was] our desire to do a fully developed, balls-out science fiction story pitting Superman and Brainiac against each other mano a mano.”
  • Chris Doyle Used to Expose Himself from the Set of Chungking Express, According to Bill Murray“Wait, really? Doyle did indeed live in an apartment looking out over Hong Kong’s Central-Mid-Levels escalator—famously, it was his apartment that Wong used as the abode of the depressed cop played by Tony Leung in Chungking Express. You get a great view of Doyle’s/Cop 663’s apartment, and a bit of the escalator…”
  • Entrance Romance – NOWNESS (Video)
    A short and wonderful fashion video that showcases the super-slow motion used in both The Fall and Antichrist. Here, dog licking, flaming hairspray and smashing beer bottles over models head.

 

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:

Cinecast Episode 173 – Killing Squirrels for Entertainment

 
From La-La-Land and subbing in for Gamble this week, is RowThree contributor and all around special lady Jandy Stone. Kurt & Jandy immediately get down to business talking Christians and heavenly bodies in Spanish toga epic, Agora (note *SPOILERS*). They move into the Ozarks for another (spoiler-free) look at Debra Granik’s Sundance winner, Winter’s Bone. Jandy then highlights some of her favourite indies and foreign fare taken in at last weeks Los Angeles Film Festival. The LOST Chronicles continue with Kurt eating crow, swallowing most of his past-gripes and actually enjoying Season 4 (“The Freighter“) and particularly enjoy the hell out of Season 5 (“Back to the Future“) of the show. Note: Minutiae (and *SPOILERS*) ensue. DVD Picks and more round out a darn near 3 hour gangly-sized episode.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!




To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_173.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Review: AGORA

Agora

The word Agora in ancient Greek times indicated a place of public assembly, equally a forum of politics, ideas and commerce. The film by Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar is all of those things, and also great drama and spectacle, but always politics and ideas (its successful theatrical release in Spain gives it a bit of the ol’ commerce, too). Agora proves that it is entire possible to have an old-school blockbuster (and I am talking Cecil B. DeMille and Alan Mann spectacle films with casts of thousands wearing togas and swords) coupled with science, mathematics and commentary on modern times nudge shoulders with romance, upheaval and politics of antiquity. A woman hero is at the epicenter of the story: the first significant female mathematician and scholar, Hypatia, depicted in a wonderfully giving and inquisitive performance from Rachel Weisz. Her students worship her, her father dotes on her, the State (the Prefect is former student) seeks advice from her. More importantly, the Church considers her ideas, particularly that the Earth revolves around the Sun (and not the other way around) down right heretical.

In Agora, Hypatia is indeed the sun around which all of the other planetary bodies revolve.

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Agora May Be Coming to North America After Success in Spain?

Agora2

One film that seemed to turn off the print media during the Toronto International Film Festival as being an overblown and bombastic (as in Cecil B. Demille with way more computer generated crowds) was Alejandro Amenabar’s Agora. My reaction was quite the contrary, it is fascinating balance of faith in science to deliver the answers by questioning everything (and the freedom to do so) contrasted with faith in religion (take you pick here, there is Judaism, the Roman Gods and Christianity – the latter of which gets the harshest treatment more likely due to its infancy than an anti-Christian slant, although it remains to be seen how an American ‘fly-over-state’ audience will take it) and all the political baggage associated with the unquestioning mob. It is a love letter to both the library of Alexandria and the mathematical construct of the ellipse (it uses the ellipse to illustrate ‘out of the box (…er, out of the circle)’ thinking, something that should be applied to religion as much as science). The film is quite easily accessible (hence the ‘blunt’ label) but still asks questions that are not often asked in big blockbuster films. Agora is gorgeous to look at and well acted with a solid Rachel Weisz, here convincingly portraying an intense spinster-philosopher who becomes the heart of the politics and philosophy of crumbling Rome.

The news is that on its first weekend in its Spanish release (Amenabar’s home turf), it is already the biggest weekend opener the country has ever seen. If it maintains this momentum, distributors from countries that passed on the film at Cannes and Toronto (Notably American and Canadian) may sit up and take notice (bonus: The film is English Language, so wide audience subtitle-fear is not an issue). Here is hoping, the film should easily be able find a mainstream adult audience and god forbid, challenge it a bit. (Heck, it beats the pants off of The Passion of the Christ, often at its own game…)

The previously released trailer for the film is tucked under the seat.

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