Review: Silence

Time and again throughout history, humanity has been lost due to hubris. There is a spiritual arrogance that we are often guilty of that has a way of taking a delicate situation and making a quick mess of it. This pride comes from a deep place in our guts and hearts – a place that believe it knows. It has listened to teachings, studied the supposed Truth, and parlayed that word into action.

People believe, people testify, and people suffer in the faith that they are doing the right thing. But how do they know for sure? Silence is a seventeenth century quest for Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson).

As the story begins, his brother missionaries back in Portugal are learning of his committing apostasy in Japan after his followers are tortured by the ruling class. His status and whereabouts are now unknown. The case prompts two young priests named Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garrpe (Adam Driver) to strike out to Japan in search of their missing brother missionary.

The quest is a dangerous one. The Buddhists in charge of Japan do not want Christianity to take root in their society, and have been making a point to persecute anyone declaring themselves a Christian. Followers are routinely rounded-up and persecuted, but the prize target is a man of the cloth. Followers are merely victims; leaders are something to make an example of.

When the missionaries arrive in Japan, they soon split off in the hopes of greater safety and better results. It is Rodrigues we follow for most of the rest of the trip. The priest goes from village to village, seeing firsthand evidence of Christian persecution. Some is even in the hopes of smoking out Rodrigues himself, since the governing bodies have heard rumour of his arrival. All the while, Christian followers are turning to him, looking for guidance. He, in turn, speaks to God…who responds only with silence.

Eventually, Rodrigues faces his oppressor (Issei Ogata). Like Christ in the desert, Rodrigues is offered bargain after bargain if he will just renounce. Lives will be spared, whole communities left in peace…all he needs to do is disavow his God. Like Christ in Gethsemane, Rodrigues pleads with The Almighty to take the task away from him, and instead allow him to worship and serve in peace.

The only response is silence.

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Trailer: Martin Scorsese’s Silence

For this Thanksgiving, we are thankful that Martin Scorsese can still make these kind of pictures. The director has been working at getting Shūsaku Endō’s novel, Silence turned into a film for decades, and now it is here. Set in the seventeenth century, the story involves two young Portuguese Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and spread Christianity. Things do not go well, as Japan was in an era of deep isolation, and Christianity was illegal to practice in this time period. The Japanese had however been working on ‘Water Crucifixion’ (Mizuharitsuke) for a while, and certainly strung up a few worshipers – images that appearance in this trailer.

Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Shinya Tsuakmoto(!), and Ciarán Hinds star in the film which is getting released on December 23, 2016.

Cinecast Episode 383 – Dogpocalypse

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Ever walk into a typical coffee shop, order a basic cup of joe and think to yourself, “well this is a much nicer brew of java than I would have expected!”? This is how we bookend this weeks review on the show. While we rarely dive into “the news” on The Cinecast, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the magnificent Mr. Spock himself, is an important issue that both Andrew and Kurt feel needs addressing; as does Harrison Ford in another Blade Runner movie. Meanwhile, canines take over the city in White Dog God, which the boys discuss despite Andrew’s screener conking out at the halfway mark (Kurt managed to get it all in however).

In The Watch List, Andrew tackles two more films on the IMDb 250 Project after defending the choice of using such a list for viewing fodder, while Kurt caught up with a Wong Kar-Wai influenced piece of joy in Millenium Mambo as well. Kurt also gives a brief sneak review of Jay Cheel’s (FilmJunk.com) How to Build a Time Machine based on the current work-print (fair warning). Lastly, Liam Neeson goes smokes on airplanes and Anne Hathaway is cute then sexy. All in an evening’s work here in the third row.

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 343 – Listen, Do You Smell Something?

Hope you like gigolos; cause we talk about it again. Matt Gamble joins us with eloquence and a the usual splash of tom-foolery. Non-Stop is ostensibly the main topic of discussion today; but the Oscar recap (45 minutes worth) and “True Detective.” get the lion’s share. After all that noise, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray get the spotlight in Ghostbusters, as the 1984 Project trucks on; also starring Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts and Rick Moranis and Richard “Dick” Thornburg. The film is of course beloved but Andrew struggles with the fact that he’d rather be watching Rocky Balboa (Fuckyea) If that simply isn’t enough for you, we have “Breaking Bad”, Wong Kar-Wai, The Oscar-bait Bottleshock nominee Omar before Andrew sheepishly admits his desire to see 300: Rise of an Empire. You have been warned.

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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Review: Non-Stop

Non-Stop

In Liam Neeson’s latest venture as Action Hero, we are presented with Non-Stop. Twisting the whodunit motif with a slew of red herrings, it’s a thrill ride that builds to a fever pitch with delightful treats along the way. Hardly an intellectually stimulating affair, Non-Stop never masquerades as a brilliant psychological thriller. Instead, it earnestly offers high-altitude thrills and melodrama that really delivers.

Bill Marks (Neeson) hates flying. Odd, considering he’s a US Federal Air Marshal. Once his transatlantic flight to London is in the air, the messages start pouring in. Threats from an unknown source on a secure network. The perpetrator threatens to kill one person on board every 20 minutes until 150 million dollars is transferred into an offshore bank account. As Bill calls their bluff, the death toll starts to climb. Gradually, Bill himself is marked as the terrorist supposedly hijacking the plane. He has to prove his innocence and save the day, all while cruising at 30,000 feet.

Neeson’s Bill Marks is a broken man – a trend that seems to be following his heroes from role to role. A struggling alcoholic and bereaved father, he’s an easy target, and a perfect scapegoat. He spends the film defending himself against criminal charges and moral accusations in equal measure. The film serves as a leaden story of redemption – essentially we’re watching Bill save his daughter and, by osmosis, himself. Would you like to know more…?

Mamo #275: The “Death” of the “Moviestar”

Taken a look at the Hollywood moviestar lately? Some might argue that the star system is dead, but don’t tell Liam Neeson – he’ll prove you wrong and kick your ass. Plus, we talk about Matt’s James Bond series, From A to Bond – already in progress on The Substream! – and heap praise on Shorts That Are Not Pants.

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo275.mp3

Cinecast Episode 276 – Give ’em an F!

It is festival time in Minneapolis and Turkey time in Canada and nobody bothered to go see Frankenweenie. Gamble joins us to moan about how thin the premise of Taken 2 is stretched, and Kurt recommends the Ron Fricke Baraka sequel Samsara, but neither have too much to say about either film. More time is spent on Homework grading this week, and the grading gets a little harsh at times. The Watch List covers Mean Girls, The Hole, Morgan Spurlock, James McTeigue and Bill O’Reilly. All of this put together equals less than two hours; so wherever you are, stand up and give us a hand for brevity!

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 244 – Of Muscles and Men

We’re going to spoil the shit out of Liam Neeson in The Grey this week. So I hope you’ve seen the film or don’t care about that sort of thing before listening. Right along with our “punch nature in the face” review, we’ve got a brand new top 5 list to go over that deals with manliness in cinema. Not entirely sure what that means to everyone out there, but Kurt and Andrew each give their take on the matter. A smaller watch list this week since we’re recording so close to last week’s episode, but there a bit in here to chew on for sure – including Kurt finally hitting up Joe Wright and his heavy melodrama, Atonement. That should be worth your price of admission right there. We’ve also brought back the homework assignment segment to the show and there may be rewards for those who complete their coursework, so be sure to listen for that. So sit back and enjoy the spirited festivities.

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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Man Bites Wolf: Trailer for The Grey

I like me a good survival horror/thriller. I think I may just pay $10 to see Liam Neeson punch nature in the face.

From this trailer, it appears that director Joe Carnahan has dropped the silly Smokin’ Aces shtick and gone back to that rough and weighty opening chase from Narc. The film has gotten solid reviews from those who care about this kind of genre, that is to say, fans of the David Mamet penned, Lee Tamahori directed The Edge.

Below is the red-band (bloody and language and all that) trailer for The Grey.


Cinecast Episode 223 – Just the Alien from Cloverfield and Super 8?

 
 
A bit of a break in the usual routine as summer comes closer to a close – In this episode of the Cinecast director Jim Mickle (Stake Land and Mulberry St.) joins Kurt and Andrew for a chat on Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens and Errol Morris’s Tabloid. We mix up the typical show order and do DVD picks first (as Stake Land hits DVD shelves this week!), then our main reviews, with liberal sprinkling of Netflix instant watch suggestions throughout the show before finally ending on The Watch List. This allows for a lot of delightful tangents and director/screenwriter insights. Hope you enjoy this one, it’s a keeper.

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


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 187 – Stop Putting Wings on Paul Bettany!

Are we silly enough to talk about the use of 3D in Jackass 3D whilst watching it in 2D? Yes we are. Indulge us, as we do not spend that much time on it, but hey, this franchise gets crapped on more than it deserves and the boys are creative and energetically subversive enough in their stunt-ery to be worthy of some consideration. And despite what the haters think, it is still funny. We rehash some of the finer details of Knoxville and company over the past decade before switching gears to a second opinion on the seniors-on-a-mission mayhem from Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis and John Malkovich in Red. This leads to a bit of a tangent on all the ‘on-a-mission’ movies released this summer. Meanwhile, Andrew has been managing to keep up with his one-a-day DVD viewings and this week plugs another hole in the Polanski oeuvre with a quite violent take on a Shakespearean classic. Furthermore, the question of why are there not more caveman movies is uttered aloud after we look back at 1981’s Quest for Fire and also the pretty darn swell filmography of Frenchman Jean-Jacques Annaud. Another round of Nolan’s Batman pictures vs. Ang Lee’s Hulk, and the joy of surround sound screenings are all tossed into the conversational mixer. It is a good week for classic and contemporary DVDs and Blurays too. They are considered. If the title (or the truncated runtime of this episode makes little sense to you, that is because some seasonal gremlins ate a discussion on some of the remaining films to be released. Suffice it to say that the segment was out-of-this-world awesome now that it has been sacrificed to the binary demons and no one can hear it, but we are both surprisingly anticipating the Angelina Jolie / Johnny Depp ‘Charade-esque‘ thriller The Tourist amongst other things. Enjoy this exceedingly rare ‘short version’ of the RowThree cinecast!

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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