Prologue: Alien Covenant

Is this the first 5 minutes of the new Alien movie, or merely a web-released bit of glossy fan-service? (Or do you remember that TED Talk issued prior to Prometheus?)

Nevertheless, if you want a look at the crew of the Covenant, a colony ship with its human inhabitants (and another version of Michael Fassbender’s android, David) bound for a humanities first reachable Class-M planet on the far side of the galaxy, Fox has put a solid introduction online. With some quite serendipitous timing, in light of the recent NASA discovery of host of possible Class-M’s only 40 light years away.

I hold out hope that Alien: Covenant will continue the weird ‘quest for god’ angle in Prometheus, rather than simply rehashing Scott’s 1979 film. But I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t point out that I find it a little weird that cowboy hat sporting Danny McBride and ghoulish kill-joy James Franco are humanities idea of future world builders. Katherine Waterston, Amy Seimetz and Billy Crudup among others make up the principle cast in this chapter, and the IMDb indicates that Noomi Rapace will return.

But for now: props to David’s 22nd century improvement on the Heimlich Maneuver.

In Which Hermione Granger Says Fuck and the World Ends. A Trailer.

I know, I know, Red Band trailers spoil all the fun. But really, it looks like Seth Rogan, Danny McBride and James Franco want to out-stupid Your Highness (or Neighborhood Watch if you prefer) by way of Bill Murray’s cameo in Zombieland. Beware all enterprises whose chief joke is an actor playing a fictional version of themselves dying onscreen for the pleasure of its audience.

(And while the title of this post slightly misleading, it is very much indeed Emma Watson who drops F-Bombs whilst wielding an axe.)

I’ll wait for the Edgar Wright’s The World’s End which has a shockingly similar title and premise and comes out a bit later later this year. It also promises to be a lot smarter, if this trailer for This Is The End is accurate.

Cinecast Episode 208 – It’s Gonna Be Ass-Tastic!

Welcome to another edition of the Cinecast, wherein the boys talk a little Joe Wright and Super-Spy-Assassins with the weekend release of Hanna. There is no Gamble on the show today, but in order to properly plumb the depth and nuance of Your Highness, we bring in a mystery guest. Then it is on to Kurt’s 3 days in Asheville, NC watching action films and stunt folks from around the world ply their trade at ActionFest. A recap of some of the highlight titles (from Bangkok stunt-reel filmmaking to white knuckle mountain climbing thrillers and Mixed Martial Arts Kumite) along with plans to revisit next year. DVD and netflix picks round out a show that is on-target and efficient, but a tad on the foul-tongued side. Fair warning.

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:

Full show notes are under the seats…
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Your Highness Trailer

After several heavy-duty atmospheric arthouse films (George Washington, All The Real Girls, Undertow, Snow Angels) David Gordon Green appeared to have found a particular niche, indie North Carolina indie dramas with some genre wiggle room from romantic to coming of age to thriller. But then low and behold, The Pinapple Express and work-for-hire gigs on “Eastbound and Down” revealed a very goofy broad comedy side of things, just off-kilter from the mainstream, but not espousing too much pretense. It is not quite a 180 degree turn, but there you have it. Now it looks like he has assembled a lot of Team Pineapple (James Franco, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and his cinematographer Tim Orr) and picked up two of the cultiest geek-crush girls, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel and dropped them all into a stoner comedy set in the Middle Ages, Your Highness. The trailer does not offer any hint of a framing story, but the contemporary language and wink-wink aspects seem to indicate some sort of drug induced fantasy, as if instead of Peter Falk telling a fairy tale to Fred Savage, you have two stoners self-participating in their own hazy imaginations. Either way, the trailer certainly tickles my funny bone in the same manner as Pineapple Express did, and in lieu of Gary Cole, we have a personal favourite, Charles Dance.

The trailer is tucked under the seat. Warning: It is a Redbander and raunchy, delightfully stupid and runs a curiously long 3min30sec.

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Bow Down to New Pics from “Your Highness”

While we’re all big fans of David Gordon Green around here, I venture that I’m not alone in expressing my slight dismay at yet another stoner comedy with two of the same actors from Pineapple Express. Not to say that I don’t look forward to it; I do, but I like him when sticking to the much lovelier indie drama types.

That said, I also look forward to seeing what he can do with a medieval-style, big budget fiesta complete with outrageous special effects. Said effects apparently are what is dogging down the post production and has the film pushed back a few months into mid-2011 rather than this Halloween as previously stated. I think it’ll be worth the wait – Portman usually is.

Anyway, a new batch of pics floating around the nets today, scanned from a Spanish magazine, Fotogramas. Check ’em out below. Franco has a pretty unruly looking sword there (a human spine?) and the above shot of Portman sort of reminds me of a still from King Arthur featuring Keira Knightley. Awesome.


Up In the Air Promises to Be Great

UpInTheAirMovieStillI was impressed by the first clip from Jason Reitman’s Up In the Air. It suggested a fun film about a guy (Clooney) who lives out of his bag. A travelling salesman of a sort that, rather than selling, makes a living by firing people.

The first teaser for the film has surfaced and it doesn’t simply suggest that this is something to watch out for, it squarely cements Reitman’s newest effort as a must watch. Perhaps the trailer is misleading (Thank You For Smoking had a fantastic trailer and though the film was good, it wasn’t great) but Clooney’s feel good speech accompanied by images from his life doesn’t necessarily say much about the story but it clearly outlines what we can expect: a smart, well written drama about a man putting his life in order.

Up In the Air opens on December 4th.

Teaser trailer is tucked under the seat!

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First Look at Reitman’s Up in the Air

Up in the Air Movie StillOne of the films everyone seems to be talking about, namely because it appears as though no one managed to get a ticket to the screening, is Jason Retiman’s Juno follow up Up in the Air.

The film stars George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert “whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he’s met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.” The film also stars Jason Bateman, Vera Farmiga, Danny McBride and Anna Kendrick.

We haven’t seen much of the film outside of the poster but TIFFInsider has uncovered the first clip from the film. It features Clooney and Farmiga in what appears to be airport lounge comparing hotel loyalty cards. It’s an amusing short clip which I hope is a good preview of the film.

Up in the Air opens on December 4th.

Clip tucked under the seat!

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Remembering a Decade…2003

(prologue) As we can begin to hear the death rattle of the oughts, we in the third row decided to start on this continuing series throughout 2009 that will look back at our favorite films of each of the past ten years (2000-2009). This will ultimately culminate in a “ten best/favorites of the oughts” piece sometime in early 2010.

The year 2003 seems to be the first film year of the decade in which all of the writers here at RowThree are generally on the same page. Our top three films from that year were pretty much no-brainers. After that things get choppy and we discovered that there are quite a few hidden gems from 2003 that might make the list but frankly not enough of us had seen them (Code 46, Temps de Loup, My Life without Me, etc). Animation fans might fret the fact that Triplets of Bellville didn’t quite make the cut either. But them’s the breaks.

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Zooey, McBride, Franco, Portman. Seriously?

Yeah, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the four of them are teaming up to star in a fantasy film co-written by McBride himself entitled Your Highness. According to McBride, It’s about two brothers (James Franco and Danny) whose fiancée gets kidnapped by an evil wizard and we have to go on the road and save her. There’s everything from stop-motion creatures to puppets like in Dark Crystal. Other inspirations floating around include Barry Lyndon and Krull.

According to Collider, McBride plays an arrogant, lazy prince who must complete a quest to save his father’s kingdom. Joining him on the quest is his more heroic brother (Franco). Deschanel would play Belladonna, Franco’s virginal bride. Natalie Portman is McBride’s love-interest, a warrior princess. Sounds like ten tons of fun to me.

They’re going for a mostly British cast and not necessarily comedians for the rest of the parts. Which sounds to me like a bit of The Princess Bride thrown in for good measure. I’ll definitely be watching where this one goes over the next several months. Early reports sound promising.