Cinecast Episode 281 – Bromancing the Stone

Welcome to the next evolution of the Row Three Cinecast; and it is good. We call this little something, “video”. That’s right, this week Andrew and Kurt decided to try a little experiment and go face to face, using the higher bandwidth and Google technology that the 21st century has afforded us and actually video chat live for listeners viewers to see in all of its potential folly. You can see the embedded video of the entire show below or head over to the Tubes of You and watch a much larger (and potentially scarier) version of the show. Unfortunately, Spielberg did not succeed in figured out what exactly he wanted to do with his latest picture, Lincoln. We discuss what is good (even great) and how the high points are completely undermined, at length – beware of SPOILERS! After this it is on to a most difficult grading task with this weeks homework and a very short (and very positive) segment on The Watch List which includes the “in theaters now” mention of the very divisive HOLY MOTORS, a time traveling romance, the excellence that is always Frankenheimer/Mamet and a revisit of an older Coen Brothers movie that gives away a big joke in the one-sheet. So the experiment turned out most triumphantly and you can look forward to more of the video versions of the show from now on.

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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Trailer: Vanishing on 7th Street

There seem to be a lot of folks who have seen Brad Anderson’s latest, Vanishing on 7th Street, that want the film that is offered in this trailer, a post-apocalyptic action/survivor film. Instead the film is not exactly as advertised, but turns out to be an interesting enough metaphysical tale. It is smarter than people are giving it credit for, based on the usual expectations of the genre. I am not saying the film is for everyone, but I really dug it (Kurt’s Review.)

The stylish and kinetic trailer is tucked under the seat.
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Cinecast Episode 188 – Wind and Leaves and Avid Farts

After a Halloween hiatus, the boys are back with quite the metric tonne of movie mutterings. First up is a recap of the Flyway Film Festival and all the goings on with cheese curds and Delayed onset stress disorders. Despite a lack of worthy wide releases, ’tis the season for horror miscellany and AMC has given a real doozy in the way of the zombie genre with “The Walking Dead.” We also cover a fair amount of foreign fare (Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, Britain’s Eden Lake and the infamous A Serbian Film) as well as some of the classics (The Shining, The Exorcist, Something Wicked This Way Comes) and the proverbial much, much more. Atmosphere is certainly the focus of the conversation.

With the North American bow of the final chapter in the Millennium (“The Girl Who…” ) Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, did hit the cinema in MN, and Andrew takes a step back and puts the third film in the context of the trilogy as a whole. There is a lengthy tangent about the David Fincher remake and what should could be brought to the table and the whole ‘too soon’ aspect of foreign language do-overs expect Let The Right One in and Ils to make the conversation. Also, some Doc talk and Jack Rebney goodness from the Winnebago Man Q&A here in Toronto following its commercial cinema release and a wee bit more on Catfish. From content to delivery, Kurt offers his virgin experiences with Netflix in Canada, and everyone has a go at hashing out the Canadian bandwidth wars on the horizon due to the services ‘streaming only’ mandate in the Great White North. We get a quick sneak review of the upcoming Tony Scott film, Unstoppable and quality DVD releases this week are not hard to come by. While it is a forehead slapping moment that we forgot to talk about The Larry Sanders Show complete collection on DVD, or the Criterion 50% Sale, there is still plenty of DVD goodness out there, even after the scary expensive pre-halloween weekend!

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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Trailer: The Vanishing on 7th Street


I do enjoy me a good Brad Anderson flick. Sure, he doesn’t work out of the United States much these days, preferring Europe, which essentially means his type of genre flick is a little lower budgeted than all the ‘horror remake’ stuff going on stateside currently. Session 9, The Machinist, Transsiberian are all solid (if occasionally workmanlike) flicks. Making its debut at the 2010 edition of TIFF is Anderson’s latest, The Vanishing on 7th Street, sort of a post-apocalyptic survival film starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo (incidentally, none of these are popular with the mainstream-genre-crowd, so casting here is a bit baffling):

From TIFF:

It starts with a power outage. Where once stood living beings are now piles of discarded clothes. The once sunny city is shrouded in blackness. Shadows creep across every surface and whispers echo in the empty streets. Is it some form of enemy attack or a swift judgment from the divine? Each passing day contains fewer daylight hours, and only those who cling to some other form of light can escape the encroaching darkness.

A small group of survivors congregate in an old bar powered by a gas generator. Luke (Hayden Christensen) is a slick TV anchor forced to live by his wits. Paul (John Leguizamo) is a lonely projectionist working in a multiplex theatre. Rosemary (Thandie Newton) is a distraught mother whose baby is missing, and James (Jacob Latimore) is a shotgun-toting kid waiting for his mother to return. With their light sources slowly dying, they must find alternative illumination and a way out of the city. Overcome with paranoia and fear, the group struggles to understand the events that have brought them together.

Nevertheless, the idea with the slowly shrinking span of daylight is a keeper, and Anderson doesn’t scrimp on character development, so here is hoping.

The full trailer is tucked under the seat.

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Midnight Madness Line-up at TIFF



There are genre festivals, and then there is the Midnight Madness sidebar at TIFF. Curated with a good eye for upscale genre fare and often paying tribute to the masters, building its own set of alumni by inviting previous filmmakers back with new fims and lots of love for kinetic Asian cinema, the line-up for 2010 features John Carpenter’s The Ward, Dante Lam’s Fire of Conscience, Brad Anderson’s The Vanishing on 7th Street, Laurent Courtiaud’s Red Nights, James Gunn’s Super, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, James Wan’s Insidious, Guy Moshe’s Bunraku, Wu Ershan’s The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman and of course Michael Dowse’s Fubar 2 is the opening film for Midnight Madness 2010.

All in all, this is an exciting line-up full of comforts and discoveries. More information and trailers to follow, but for now, click the above IMDB links as your information portal.

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Masters in the Making

It was September, 2000 – my first premeditated attempt at the Toronto International Film Festival. At this early date the internet was, at least to me, still a rumour, and with nary a blog nor Wikipedia to consult, the collection of films that filled my program book were unknown commodities waiting to be discovered. Left to my own devices, feeling my way through the sweet con of synopsis hell, I found myself drawn to one page in particular: poised in the still was a tattooed man with cryptic phrases across his chest and arms, of whose blurb promised stylish, suspenseful and even philosophical qualities. I bought my ticket for the film mere days before reading an unfavorable review in the local free press (NOW magazine, I think), and by the time I had entered the cramped basement theater of the now defunct Uptown Cinema, my expectations for the film were pretty low, I knew none of the talent, heard nothing positive about the film, and the very venue reeked of a sense of failure. By the time I had left, however, I was a devout believer in the greatness of the then little known director, Christopher Nolan, and his little known soon-to-be modern classic, Memento.

A big part of why I bother writing at all about film is because of such eureka encounters, going in blind and being caught in the maelstrom of new talent. It would happen again the first time I saw Paul Greengrass’ Bloody Sunday and Todd Field’s In the Bedroom (oddly enough in the same theater, and in the same far-too-close first row). The internet being what it is today, it becomes perhaps harder to get to this point of intimate contact with unfiltered greatness, but it is of course still possible. Cinema needs its heroes, these auteurs, whether or not such a thing can realistically be said to occur in the creation of a film, the mythic importance overrides reason, and this cult of celebrity, when oriented towards proven talent rather than passing fancy, is nearly as important as what happens inside the screen.

The passing of Stanley Kubrick has left a sizable hole in the mythic world of film auteurs; Spielberg, Coppola, Herzog, Scorsese, are not getting any younger, and with the departure of Antonioni, Kurosawa, Kieslowski, and Fellini, the hole is getting wider. The contenders for Kubrick’s mantle need to make themselves known, and where better to look then at the budding filmmakers who put their heart and soul into their first features, the eventful out of left field introductions to new ways of seeing which boldly diverge from the familiar talent-for-hire fare.

This collaborative post is an attempt to pinpoint the masters in the making of recent years, to find filmmakers who demonstrate unique visions that have yet to breakthrough into the Christopher Nolan stratosphere, but who clearly have the ability to get there. Such masters tend to be writer/directors able to fashion an auteur-like imprint on the films they contribute to. Our list is short and open-ended, so wherever obviously lacking please add your own considerations to the comment section.

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