Cinecast Episode 484 – It’s Unfunny ‘Cause It’s True

The reviews for Baywatch were simply too toxic for even Andrew to stomach, and so it was a stay at home and check out the latest offerings from Netflix kind of week. Luckily Brad Pitt and Tilda Swinton step in to hopefully offer up something militarily wondrous over the Memorial Holiday weekend with War Machine. But does the material match up to the cast/performances? Also, while The Bad Batch does not hit theaters for a month or so, we managed to get into a sneak peek screening and so have a decent discussion on Ana Lily Amirpour’s sophomore effort. It’s one of those films (with empirical evidence provided herein) that requires a second watch to truly appreciate. The Watch List has a documentary double-dose, a 90s Oscar contender, home invasion meets slasher flick, the capture of Osama Bin Laden and we close it all off with some joyful misogyny courtesy of India.

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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Miguel Ferrer: 1955 – 2017

Character actor extraordinaire, from cocky Bob Morden in Robocop to assholish-sweetheart Agent Rosenfield in Twin Peaks to batshit crazy Snyder in Deep Star Six, Miguel Ferrer was an unpredictable ball of energy in whatever scene he happened to steal in whatever film or TV show he popped up in. In fact, he does this quite literally in Hot Shots: Part Deux.

The 61 year old actor was struck down by the Big C today.

Son of legendary actor Jose Ferrer (who also worked for David Lynch as the Padishah Emperor in 1984s Dune), and famous singer Rosemary Clooney (which makes him cousin to George Clooney), Miguel Ferrer’s legacy of dozens upon dozens of memorable roles will remain to be discovered for folks who happen to catch him in, say, an episode of Magnum P.I., or an officer in Star Trek III, or hear his distinctive voice in dozens of animated shows and feature films.

Miguel Ferrer will reprise his role as Albert Rosenfield in the 2017 season of Twin Peaks.

The Hollywood Reporter has more.

Teaser: Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is returning in 2017 (ignore the date on the poster above!) with David Lynch at the helm. As evidenced in this latest, rather unorthodox teaser-trailer, the eccentric director will be reprising his role as FBI section-chief, Gordon Cole. I could watch Lynch eating donuts for a lot longer than 30 seconds, but here you go!

Review: Love and Terror On The Howling Plains of Nowhere


[It’s out on iTunes today. Give this one a whirl. The film was on Kurt’s Top 10 films of the year.]


In a sparse corner of Nebraska, as far as possible from the state’s cities of Lincoln and Omaha sits the high-elevation prairie town of Chadron, population 5600. The town, described as ‘politely hanging on’ after peaking somewhere in the 19th century is host to the State College and was the hometown of NFL wide receiver Don Beebe, but is now quite remarkable for its motley collection of characters unearthed and endeared by author Poe Ballantine (himself one of those characters) in his memoir-slash-true-crime novel, “Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere: A Memoir.”

It has been adapted, wrangled, and condensed into documentary form by Dave Jannetta in the same tattered, rascally spirit as the book – equal parts pragmatism and poetry. Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere is morbid, hilarious and whipsmart film-making that belies strained budget and open-ended narrative. It will never look as good as The Imposter or offer the closure of The Thin Blue Line, but its humour is mighty. The Chadron Record’s ‘Police Beat’ newspaper column which features heavily here (more on that in a minute) alone is a treasure of treasures.

In deep, dark winter of 2006, the college’s resident PhD theoretical mathematics professor, Steven Haataja, withdrew $100 from the local cash machine and bought a large bag of charcoal from the Safeway before trundling off onto the wilderness in sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures. The townsfolk and the local police are baffled that the introverted professor, who appeared to be settling into the community just fine, left just before the end of the semester without offering any closure to his occupation, family, or colleagues. Chadron has always been a town of transience, a way-station for drifters (or footballers) to Denver or Omaha or any other American city, so someone up and leaving for greener pastures was a common enough event and an eccentric exit from a nebbish math professor was chalked up as just that. Already a source of gossip and amateur sleuthing, when Haataja’s corpse was found in the spring by a rancher on his property a few miles from campus, in copse of trees bound with electrical cords and burned right down to the bones, it becomes the towns biggest mystery.

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Mondays Suck Less in the Third Row

Check out these links:
A huge list of movies playing on YouTube in their entirety
Krispy Kreme is making Ghostbusters Doughnuts
Living the GoPro life
100 things in GTA V that will blow your mind
The challenges of archiving digital video
Parasitic wasps exploit the genetic remnants of an ancient virus to stun their hosts into submission.
Space Simulation
Why Does Alcohol Burn on a Cut or Wound?
Crouching Tiger gets a sequel – courtesy of Netflix!
The Blair Witch Project Turns 15 Today.

Twin Peaks is Back in 2016 – 9 Episode Run on SHOWTIME network directed by David Lynch

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Lynch Shooting Twin Peaks Conclusion/Promo/Something.

The casting call for this is hilariously politically incorrect, as is usual for this sort of thing (see below), but are you ready for a tiny taste of Peaks after 25 years?

“TWIN PEAKS PROMO. Directed by David Lynch. Shoots in Los Angeles on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Prob a 6 hour or less day. Rate is 150/8. You must live in LA to submit. I don’t think SAG has jurisdiction on this, so SAG and NON can submit. I have called SAG to double check this and I am awaiting a call back to confirm.
HOT Caucasian girl – BRUNETTE OR REDHEADS ONLY to play waitress. Age 18-27. MUST have an amazing body. Busty, very period looking face. Please submit two current color photos (one body shot, one face shot), your sizes, union status and contact info to:”


TIFF Review: Horns


“A“re you Horny?” asks Juno Temple of Daniel Radcliffe in one of the more tranquil moments in this goofy yet sincere adaptation of Joe Hill’s by all accounts quite good novel, Horns. Their two lovers, Iggy and Merrin lay like Yin and Yang across a spread blanket in the leafy Washington State forest, their own little eden. They kiss while the camera looks on from heaven only to have it then quickly drill down into the ground to look up from Hell as we learn that shortly after their playful kiss that Merrin is murdered and Iggy is kind of the chief suspect. David Bowie’s “Heroes” plays on a turntable only before it is physically impeded to produce that ominously SLLLOOOOWW deep sound that only vinyl can produce. The town mourns the loss of Merrin, its Laura Palmer, the perfect girl struck down in her youth. This kind of crime brings out the worst kind of weirdness in small towns. It is impossible to miss the Twin Peaks-y vibe going on here, hell, Heather Graham is even serving coffee and pie at the local diner. Iggy cannot convince anyone of his innocence, not his parents, not his future father in law and least of all the salacious local news media, but all of this become a heck of a lot harder when he literally starts to sprout horns from his head. Is he becoming the devil the town is all projecting upon him with their accusatory stares?

I am all for jarring tonal shifts in films, the Koreans do this kind of thing masterfully, but the throw-back towards 80s high concept fantasy and 21st century addiction on CGI and bloated run times go together like oil-and-water. In spite of decent performances from the leads, there is something unflatteringly off about the storytelling and plethora of secondary characters. Director Alexandre Aja the storyteller seems to have peaked with Haute Tension a decade ago when he kicked off the wave New French Horror, his American work is glossier, but more muddled. While Horns is a step up from Mirrors or Piranha 3D, it is still muddled. He can never seem to focus on what is important – that is the love story between Iggy and Merrin. Cutting away for lengthy flashbacks, revenge story theatrics and procedural sleuthing work well in long form TV, but every element feels sloppy, rushed, and undeveloped. The film has a heyday with Iggy’s horns giving him the a kind of super-power to bring out the worst kind of pettiness in people where tone is over-the-top silly, more Joe Dante than Dante Alighieri. A woman comically gorges on donunts inhibitions and propriety thrown out the window, a doctor drops all levels of professionalism to screw his nurse, and the media have a literal scrum over a scoop. When this power starts to have his family and friends confess and misbehave, it becomes almost unbearably tragic. Separate scenes with Iggy’s mom and dad, played by Kathleen Quinlan and James Remar, see both parents reject their son in the most raw manner. Merrin’s father, a tiny but pivotal part handled by the always reliable David Morse, plays out with the kind of dark poignancy (“She was my favourite thing about you.”) of a Stephen King novel – this is perhaps no surprise considering Joe Hill is the Horror Master’s son.

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Cinecast Episode 300 – Lets Talk Some Shit!

For our MEGA-SUPER-DUPER-EXTRAVAGANZA episode 300, we do what we always do, talk casually about movies. Seriously folks, despite our inability to properly plan for these big milestone episodes, we appreciate our listening audience mightily, and their ongoing interaction on the site and by email and other means. To kick off the show, Andrew reads some listener mail which gets us right down into the minutiae of Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker (again.) This is a film we love to talk about! Kurt skims across the surface of three profound science fiction epics, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Sunshine before getting mired in the bizarre world of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me. We talk the legacy of James Cameron’s Titanic in all its goofy glory, as well as boats and tigers novel adaptations with Life of Pi. And we leave with a bang in the form of homo-erotic riff on Sergio Leone by way of Bill Murray’s Quick Change – the 1967 Japanese-noir-gangster-western A Colt Is My Passport.

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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 299 – Techincally, Literally and Actually

We don’t have much to get into today. Mostly were just shaking in our boots about the expectations for Episode 300. So far we’ve got nothing but we’ll figure out what to do for something at least a little bit different. For today, it’s all Park Chan-Wook and trying to pronounce Mia Wasikowska. Love doesn’t quite do it justice. Be prepared for SPOILERS though. We look forward to the next couple of episodes and Kurt gives brief impressions of his thoughts on Dreamworks’ The Croods, which we’ll talk a little bit more about later this week.

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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Full show notes and VIDEO version are under the seats…
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Review: Stoker

When Pauline Kael wrote off The Coen Brothers’ 1984 debut, Blood Simple, she had this to say: “Reviewers who hail the film as a great début and rank the Coens with Welles, Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Sergio Leone may be transported by seeing so many tricks and flourishes from sources they’re familiar with. But the reason the camera whoop-de-do is so noticeable is that there’s nothing else going on.”

Nearly 30 years later, style as substance has pretty much won the day as much as extruded franchised dinguses (and at the risk of boiling American Cinema down to two camps, I certainly prefer the former to the latter endless string of blockbuster product.) The South Koreans have been elevating arch style and glossy violence since the start of this young century. After dominating Japanese culture for a number years, and getting every single person on the goddamn planet to watch Psy’s Gangnam Style video on YouTube, it was only a matter of time before Busan’s top directors started coming to America to make Hollywood movies with caucasian A-listers. Earlier this year, it was Kim Ji Woon with The Last Stand, and later this year it will be Bong Joon Ho with Snow Piercer, but right here, right now, it is Park Chan-Wook with Stoker. Put aside any concerns that the Korean auteur’s particular style of filmmaking would be in any way dulled, diluted or even perverted by his entrance into Hollywood system. Putting his more literal vampire film, Thirst, aside for a moment, Stoker feels like the logical cultural transition from his cult ‘Vengeance’ Trilogy, a set of films that seemed to get more classy -and classical- as they went along. Here, his collaboration with screenwriter Wentworth Miller, handsomely merges Shadow of a Doubt and Let The Right One In together inside the tasteful glass house of Joseph Losey’s The Servant. Stoker is a hermetically sealed coming of age film with a taste for blood and emotional straight jackets. One of many exquisite images in the film is of candles on a birthday cake so casually extinguished whereupon a crystal casing is put over top of the lit flames, effectively and cutting off the oxygen, but allowing the smoke to linger in suspension. It is a telling enough portrait of the family dynamic to follow.

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Bookmarks for April 6-8th

  • 20th Anniversary of the Death of Laura Palmer – How Twin Peaks Changed TV
    “”Twenty years after the influential cult television show began, David Lynch’s sci-fi, absurdist murder-mystery soap opera continues to scare and befuddle legions of viewers. Without it, there would be no ‘Lost’, ‘The X-Files’ or any of the countless serials habitually labeled “quirky” and/or “weird” since the show’s debut on April 8, 1990.”
  • Some Love for Tina Fey: No More Catty Best Friends
    “She makes me laugh, unexpectedly, sheepishly, loudly, thoroughly and consistently. She is, without question, one of the ten best comedians working today. She’s John Belushi doing Joe Cocker. She’s Richard Pryor killing on the mic. She’s Norm MacDonald cracking jokes about O.J. Simpson, Vince Vaughn standing on a diner table and Johnny Carson direct addressing his audience as K-Mart shoppers. I believe in Tina Fey because she makes me laugh, and that’s why, for the first time in my life, I’m going to see a comedy entirely because of its female star.”
  • Slumming it in the movies
    “The history of American indie film happens to be dominated by lowlifes and inarticulates. This is what happens when the godfathers of independent film are John Cassavetes and Melvin van Peebles, both attracted to working-class sparks. Complaining about intelligent guys wasting their talents on “low-lifes” smacks of snobbery, but it also ignores the fact that American indie film is and always has been primarily oriented towards the marginalized, who aren’t going to make movies about themselves, and certainly aren’t about to be the stars of mainstream films.”
  • My Friend Francis, The Commentator (DVD Commentary as Art?)
    “”What you really need—yeah, there it is—what you really need is a filmmaker commentary situation. Straight art, straight cinema—it’s gonna hit you between the eyes too hard. You need a buffer, someone talking, someone intelligent to talk you through the night and the images. And damn if Francis Ford Coppola is not the man to do it. He is. Yeah. In fact I believe Francis Ford Coppola could single-handedly bring anyone through heartache with his combination of DVD commentaries, wine, and pasta sauces. But let’s focus on the DVD commentaries.”
  • Dennis Hopper Blues: The Mix Tape
    “Doctors are more than likely telling Dennis Hopper to take it easy while he battles prostate cancer. It’s not easy to rest comfortably when he’s in court in a divorce battle and now ordered to pay his estranged wife $12,000 a month. Dennis Hopper, fighting until the bitter end. Let’s create a set of music around his situation, his films, etc.”
  • Chuck Norris is Dead. Werner Herzog Killed Him.
    “The San Francisco Guardian recently reported that the hottest new Twitter trend is the “Werner Herzog vs. Chuck Norris” tag, which modifies a Chuck Norris fact to showcase how film director Werner Herzog is infinitely more awesome. A choice example: “Chuck Norris counted from 0 to infinity. Werner Herzog counted backwards from infinity to 0.”


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