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!

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ALTERNATIVE (no music track):

Full show notes are under the seats…
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Bookmarks for January 3rd

You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button to your left. It looks remarkably similar to this:

  • Analyzing 2009
    What story can be told of the film industry in 2009? The story, as I see it, is Hollywood’s realization that it must do a better job of protecting the financial viability of franchise films from being undermined by an increasingly voracious and savvy viewing public that is constantly searching for a greater degree of access to and control over the film properties to which they have become attached.
  • Movie Posters of the Decade
    Trawling through databases of all the movie posters released in the past ten years and trying to remember my ten favorites, two things stand out: that only a very small percentage qualify as great pieces of design in their own right and that my favorite posters have little bearing on my favorite films.
  • Dissertations on His Dudeness
    Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 movie, “The Big Lebowski,” which stars Jeff Bridges as a beatific, pot-smoking, bowling-obsessed slacker known as the Dude, snuck up on the English-speaking world during the ’00s: it became, stealthily, the decade’s most venerated cult film. It’s got that elusive and addictive quality that a great midnight movie has to have: it blissfully widens and expands in your mind upon repeat viewings.
  • Criticwatch 2009: The Whores of the Year
    “The question is whether Nature actually deserves a religious response. Traditional theism has to wrestle with the problem of evil: if God is good, why does he allow suffering and death? But Nature is suffering and death. Its harmonies require violence. Its “circle of life” is really a cycle of mortality. And the human societies that hew closest to the natural order aren’t the shining Edens of James Cameron’s fond imaginings. They’re places where existence tends to be nasty, brutish and short.”
  • God, Gaia, and Avatar
    Another year, another accoutrement of whores to accompany those who put some actual thought into film. The death of the film critic has been greatly exaggerated, but as always the rise of the quote whores and anonymous fanboy bloggers has gone ruefully under-reported.
  • Unwatchable Avatar: Hollywood Greed Could Kill 3D
    Like millions of others, I saw Avatar last weekend. I loved it—despite the 3D, not because of it. Admittedly, my seat was shitty and I wear eyeglasses, but if the experience isn’t guaranteed, 3D will fail.
  • The man who is scaling Mt. Criterion film by film
    The Criterion Collection is the standard bearer among high-quality DVDs, but he wasn’t associated with them, except in an indirect way: He has set himself the goal of seeing and writing about every single film in the Collection!
  • Too Big to Fail: The 34th Toronto International Film Festival
    Firmly established as the pre-eminent film event in North America, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) seems less compromised than comfortable. Rumours of a few years ago that TIFF was cutting back on adventurous programming may or may not have been accurate, but quite a few strange little items are still finding their way into the festival.
  • Current Decade Rates as Worst in 50 Years
    Not really movie related (not directly anyway), but we wanted to share. As the current decade draws to a close, relatively few Americans have positive things to say about it. By roughly two-to-one, more say they have a generally negative (50%) rather than a generally positive (27%) impression of the past 10 years.
  • Larry Gross’s Four Most Underreported / Misreported Movie Stories Of 2009
    The Hangover, The Road, Zoe Kazan, Funny People. Have at it; Larry is not shy with his opinion.
  • 40 Brilliant Robot Artworks
    Robots have been a driving force in technological innovations and in multimedia roles. From movies such as Star Wars, i,Robot, Wall-E, and Terminator, to videogames, and even real life with the Mars Rover, robots have advanced significantly over the past years in both design and functionality. As with any expanding field, artists often create conceptual works to help direct and illustrate.
  • Going Na’vi: Why Avatar’s politics are more revolutionary than its images
    Cameron is blunt when it comes to Avatar’s political overtones. But rather than a clunky work of agitprop the movie can—and, I think, ought to—be seen as a polemic, which makes criticism of its obviousness beside the point. Having Lang’s colonel refer to his plan to bomb the Na’vi into submission with the words “shock and awe” is not subtle, but it’s not meant to be. Cameron means to be confrontational, and to be sure, audiences looking for a diverting night out are not allowed to overlook the parallels.

Cinecast Episode 114 – The “Major League” Solution

cinecast_promo.jpg Matt Gamble

Episode 114:
A boatload of catch-up movies to talk about. Matt Gamble from joins in since he loves Watchmen so much. Some of us did the homework assignment too: top 5 hangin’ out movies.
Thanks for checking out the show!

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Below the fold are the Show Notes…
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Dude! Lebowski Turns 10 With SE DVD

Oh yes, the most endlessly quotable film (for guys). So much so that the comments section of a recent Screen Shot Quiz broke into a quote fest with the boys trying to outdo each other.

For one reason or another, I’ve never seen The Big Lebowski in one sitting. I don’t even think I’ve seen the entire film, just bits and pieces here and there. Because there’s never been much pressure to see it, I’ve never even bothered with picking up a copy of the DVD but that, dear folks, is about to change.

IGN has news that the well loved film is getting a 10th Anniversary Edition featuring a whole load of extras namely:

* Making of The Big Lebowski
* Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story
* Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream
* Sequences of the Dude
* Interactive Map
* Jeff Bridges Photo Book
* Photo Gallery
* An Exclusive Introduction
* The Dude’s Life
* The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later
* Production Notes
* Theatrical Trailer

If that’s not cool enough, you can either get the simple DVD or the wicked cool Limited Edition release which includes a DVD cover in the shape of a bowling ball. It’s brilliant! The DVD will hit store shelves on September 9th!

Lebowsky SE DVD