Cinecast Episode 398 – Crying in the Darkness and Licking the Floor

Outside of the lengthy “Game of Thrones” discussion this week (which covers the last two episodes), we manage to stay pretty spoiler free, despite a main review for part of the 2015 western resurgence in Slow West. Also, Andrew hits the theater for the latest Cameron Crowe joint from Hawaii and the Brian Wilson / Beach Boys biopic, Love & Mercy. On the “television” front, Netflix and Kurt hangout for about 12 hours in the compelling mess that is “Sense8” and Andrew finds enough commuting time to follow-up with Adnan and friends in the “Undisclosed” podcast. It’s a jam packed show full of fire and Australia; yes all of it (copyright Mark Kermode).

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



aloha-cinecastposter aloha-cinecastposter


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Cinecast Episode 273 – It’s TIFF 2012!

Thanks once again to Ryan McNeil of The Matinee for dropping back in for our huge TIFF recap (and almost spoiler-free!). Andrew sits in quiet solitude on the sofa, acting mainly as an audience member (admittedly, mostly fiddling with Pinterest and playing Tiger Woods Golf) with much amusement as Ryan and Kurt recap a large chunk of their TIFF experience. Sadly, due to the late hour of recording, there was no time left for The Watch List. We are happy, hoever to kick of the Fall Semester of homework assignments. The discussion gets pretty spirited where there is agreement and disagreement on many of the films screening at this years festival. Drop in again next week for a return to our usual programming: a lengthy discussion on PT Anderson’s The Master and responses to this first volley of homework assignments.

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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Seven Psychopaths Trailer Parses the Long Term Consequences of “An Eye For An Eye”

If there is a fun genre theme this year it is crazy events being kicked off by kidnapping or otherwise messing around with dogs. Quentin Depieux’s Wrong, UK Mock-doc Black Pond, and now Martin “In Bruges” McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. This one wins to contest of most A-List character actors, featuring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woodey Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Tom Waits. It looks to be a lot better version of the equally loaded and promising (but not great) Welcome to Collinwood from 2012 which also starred a younger Sam Rockwell.

A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.

The film is playing the Midnight Madness sidebar at TIFF this year, and should be great with a crowd, particularly the pretty damn funny, ever so slightly Reservoir Dogs-y “Eye for an Eye” car conversation shown at the end of this trailer.

Cinecast Episode 214 – I Hate that I Know That

We start things off simple. No Kurt. Just some Pirates and Priests. With unpleasantness out of the way, Kurt jumps in with both feet for a indie post-apocalyptic film out of Toronto, a re-evaluation of Inglorious Basterds and Tarantino’s career. Trains and Toni Collette keep the conversation chugging along and with Gamble here, “Game of Thrones” is sort of unavoidable. We all revel in the love for Rip Torn and South Korea before rounding everything out with a talk about sequels that are crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse (ala Caddyshack II and Gremilns II). Nobody dies.

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: The Book of Eli

It was only a matter of time before someone took Denzel Washington’s confident teacher shtick (a recurring trait present in his performances all the way back to 1987’s Cry Freedom) and turned the actor into a bonafide preacher. Although the Hughes Brothers are far more interested in comic book appropriation of Spaghetti Westerns, Samurai films and Post Apocalyptic landscapes. It is a winning combination actually, even if the execution is far more John Carpenter than Sergio Leone or Akira Kurosawa. This is not a complaint, in fact, much like Carpenter’s scientist-meet-supernatural Prince of Darkness, it makes the blunt themes around the power of religion and spirituality play better to the material.

There is a dry wit buried in the presentation, of The Book of Eli from Gary Oldman’s town-boss, Carnagie (marvelously chewing scenery) sending illiterates out into the wilderness to find The Bible (they come back with The DaVinci Code and some Oprah magazines) to a brothel room adorned with a poster for A Boy and His Dog. L.Q. Jones’ 1975 cult post-apocalyptic flick is another underrated post-apocalyptic fable with a streak of jet-black humour.

Thirty years after nuclear war, presumably a holy war, as all the religious texts were torched sometime shortly thereafter, a long-in-the-tooth solitary walker, the proverbial Man With No Name (you can call him Zato… -err- Yojim… -err- just Eli) wanders into a one horse town in the desert to get a little fresh water and recharge his iPod (a scene involving a highly pleasurable Tom Waits cameo) but gets sucked into a war over the power of words/religion with Carnagie.

Carnegie has his sights set on empire expansion (he is introduced reading a biography of Mussolini) but feels that the whip and a monopoly on fresh water can only go so far in building an empire – in short, he needs a more powerful weapon. How about the Bible? (“Hearts and minds and all that.”) When he gets wind that Eli, who kills about half of his men in a bloody bar fight, happens to be carrying a copy. It’s a grandiose big old leather bound and locking type, not a pocket sized Gideon issue, commensurate with the budget and size of the film. Carnagie tries several approaches to obtain it before finally setting on heavy artillery. Eli, is reluctant to get involved, like a prophet (or stoic warrior monk), his focus is to stay the course in his journey “west.” But like any good western, he becomes entangled when Carnagie’s prized beauty (Mila Kunis) takes a liking to the good book or the good warrior (or both), and becomes a sort of acolyte slash damsel in distress.

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Review: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

[Yes, Rowthree programming as usual will be continuing shortly into the new year, in the mean time, if you happen to be in a major film market, do yourselves a favour and check out Terry Gilliam’s latest, reprinted below is our pre-TIFF review of the film.]


A question: “Where are we – geographically, socially, narratively?”
A snappy reply: “The northern hemisphere, on the margins, further to go.”

There are three great surprises of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. The first is that Terry Gilliam is back in top form, weaving the contemporary and the fantastical into a whimsical and dark package. Despite the death of Heath Ledger occurring in the middle of production, that which forced the subsequent hiring of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to complete the part, works charmingly well in the film. This second surprise is so deeply woven into the plot that it looks like this was the intent all along. The third one, perhaps the most surprising of the bunch, is that Terry Gilliam has commandeered the digital effects so effectively that the film retains its nostalgia simultaneously to looking modern. The films deceptively simple plot forms serves to evoke the best of former Python’s directorial work and at the same time (or so I am told) close up a loose trilogy of the imagination starting with fragile innocence of Time Bandits, carrying forward to the full blown exuberance contained in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and reflecting on mortality, wisdom (with more than a hint of melancholy) with Dr. Parnassus.

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So Called “Oscar Season” at The End of a Decade

Well, it’s here: not just the final two months of 2009, but the end of another decade. Not that these films are necessarily Oscar contenders, but November and December are notorious for launching all the high profile, “good” movies of the year. While we’ve seen some great stuff over the past 10 months, here is a smattering of pictures being released wide in the final two months of the decade that we’re really looking forward to and anticipate much critical love for; including making several top ten lists. Sure there are more than just these titles that are anticipated, and we’d love you to mention them in the comment section, but there are enough here to keep you busy and these are probably the “must sees” for these final 60 days of the year…



Lars Von Trier
RowThree review
The more I think about this film and the more times I see the trailer the more and more I absolutely love it and little by little it keeps climbing notches on my ten best of the year list. If Charlotte Gainsbourg isn’t nominated for a best actress statue then there is positively no justice in the world. Obviously not for everyone as the film is fantastically brutal and psychologically traumatic. But it is also gorgeous in every way a film can be gorgeous before punching you in the face with tennis racket made of lead.

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“The Book of Eli” Cast: Denzel, Oldman, Waits

Denzel Washington in Book of EliSince it is “reading/book” week with the RowThree Screen Shot Quizzes, it’s only appropriate we have some book themed movie news as well. OK, not really news per se, but I thought a little post-apocalyptic goodness on a Tuesday afternoon is warranted (honestly though, when is post-apocalyptic goodness not warranted?).

I ran across some pictures this morning for The Book of Eli which is slated for release in early 2010. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which a lone “warrior” must transport and protect a secret book that hold the key to mankind’s redemption. Of course there is trouble afoot as certain undesirables vie for possession of the book. The style of the film apparently has sort of a western feel to it and looks like a good chunk of it takes place in sort of a make-shift town that look similar to “Bartertown” (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). Yum yum.

Now of course most of us around here are already awaiting our post-apocalyptic western in the form of a little movie penned by Cormac McCarthy entitled The Road, but still, I gotta say that this still sounds intriguing.

Not convinced? The cast was what got my attention and ultimately sold me on the idea. Denzel in the hero role, Gary Oldman as our antagonist along with Mila Kunis, Jennifer Beals and Tom Waits in supporting roles. It’s interesting to see Beals in there. Maybe her career will get some sort of a resurgence after starring in such a high profile vehicle? Directed by Allen and Albert Hughes, I’ve never been a big fan of anything they’ve done (Dead Presidents, From Hell), but there’s always been potential there I thought. The spark was there but no fire, so to speak. I guess we’ll gain a little more of a notion as to Hughes’ potential this summer as Allen is directing a segment in the much anticipated New York, I Love You picture.

At any rate food for thought on this Tuesday afternoon. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a trailer over the coming months.

a few pictures of Denzel and Oldman on set are pasted below the seats…
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