The summer of 2015 is over! We declare a winner in the Row Three summer box office contest, and then have a look back at the season’s top ten and what they might mean, or not mean, about the audience’s relationship to the movies.
After 400 episodes, you might think there would be some animosity, down in the dark recesses of our subconscious. With a special mailbag segment of the show, we get to the bottom of things and it is a wellspring of love and support. Or maybe not, as some listeners think it is a good idea to draw new lines of warring factions with other podcasts (really McNeil?… really!?). Otherwise it is business as usual in the Third Row.
We debate the high water marks of Pixar, past and present, and talk about the margins and the minutiae of their latest endeavor, Inside Out.
We ponder the opening and unconventional first episode of the second season of True Detective. Will it evolve into greatness, or even be worth discussing (or even watching) for an entire season?
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening! After all these years and episodes we are grateful for any and all audience that hangs with us, week in and week out. Onwards.
Ten! Years!! of Mamo!!! Tenth anniversary episode of our little show, much like our first: two guys, sitting in a coffee shop, talking about the movies.
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How do you measure happiness?
The latest Pixar movie makes a convincing argument, pitched at wavelengths that should be easily received to both to children and adults, that periods of sadness, be it mundane or profound, are crucial to living a full, exuberant existence on this remote little ball of mud spinning through the void of space. Inside Out offers a specific, universal, and staggeringly emotional journey that is the rares of birds, a bonafide family movie. There is no light without shadow, and all that philosophical, spiritual paraphernalia is packaged into the easy to digest tale of moving to a new place and struggling to acclimatize to new surroundings.
Riley is on the verge of turning 12, a single child with affluent, doting parents (at this moment I am certain there is a queue online to chew on white privilege, but I will not be one of them). Her inner-self, represented by anthropomorphic emotional avatars of Fear, Disgust, Anger, Sadness and Joy dwell in the construct of her developing brain. The latter rules the roost in a chirpy, but passive-aggressive, dominant manner, wanting everything to be happy all the time for Riley. There is even a way for these emotion characters to quantify their success: Every memory Riley makes is represented as a coloured crystal ball, a single-shot 360 degree video unit shaded in the hue of the emotion attached to it. Her memories are almost entirely hued yellow. Presumably Riley’s parents want also this perpetual happiness for their daughter as well. It’s a fools errand and we all race on this treadmill!
The bulk of the memories, at the end of each day, are pneumatically delivered to her brain’s storage archives and compartmentalized via a Brazil-like bureaucracy. A detail that I love about this representation are the various departments working at odds each other, be it clock-watching transport engineers, an over enthusiastic disposal crew (“She won’t need these phone numbers anymore, they’re stored in her phone.”) or the fact that there are simply memory spheres lying between shelves and in the nooks and crannies all willy-nilly. In this bright Pixar world, a way was found to make biology look messy and kudos for that.
After getting the chance to see the first 10 minutes of Pete Doctor’s Inside Out, the Pixar animated film told from the POV of inside a 12 year old girls subconscious, a few weeks ago, I have been rapidly raising my anticipation levels for the film after its middling first trailer.
Because the film was announced as part of the 2015 Cannes line-up today, Pixar offers this treat, a short scene from the film, on how anthropomorphisized feelings prepare for the first day of school.
MAMO! The show about movies and popular culture strides confidently into the summer of 2015 at the domestic box office with our picks for the top ten grossing films of the season. We haven’t seen any of ’em! We talk about all of ’em! And kick it open to YOU to sound off in the comments below with your entries for the Mamo Summer Box Office Contest!
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Bread and butter. The Salvation is ours this episode, and it is all Mads Mikkelsen will get from the dawn of the oil era in the western United States. The Danish Western shot in South Africa plays as a metaphor for USA style Capitalism – a revenge movie where there will definitely be blood (even if it is all CGI) engenders a good hour of (*spoiler filled*) conversation. Our viewpoints differ, but ultimately the same conclusion is reached: the film is exploitative and pretty decent even if it is often unpleasant.
From there, The Watch List takes over as Kurt catches a few moments from the new Pixar feature and cautiously claims that they may have climbed from the pit of safe mediocrity that they have chosen to dwell in over the past few years. Andrew wanted more of Eva Green’s assets (her voice) and tries the 300 side-quel on for size. Kurt finds one of the key inspirations for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom a sweet little puppy-love slice of life called, Melody. We close out the show with the much talked about doc-mini, “The Jinx,” which is catching headlines and turning heads, and we are not immune to the charms and the crutches of documentary film making.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Oh how the mighty Pixar has shrunk. I know a trailer is not indicative of potentially complex tone or emotional depth, but if this warmed-over sitcom level entertainment, with its lazy humour, is how the animation-company wants to represent their new film to the world (via the UK), then so be it. There was a time when each Pixar project was met with excitement and anticipation by kids and adults alike. Not today. I hope the trailer-cutters or other marketing brain-trust execs have been sacked.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. As Riley struggles to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, inner turmoil ensues on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
I had imagined that the ‘inside-the-mind’ POV would be limited only the the main character, the young girl, but it looks like the film will be spastically jumping in and out of all her family members minds, with each of the emotions getting a moustache, girly headbands or mom-jeans to tell whose inner-thoughts belong to whom.
We do not often post this kind of news on this site, but after Planes, Monster University and Fire & Rescue, I’m just very happy to see an original Pixar movie happen. Inside Out is directed by Pete Doctor (Up, Monster’s Inc.) and is going to be released June 2015.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.”