Friday, December 21, 2007

****new release list no.147


Its cold, and its late December, which kinda means, it’s movie time. It turns out that we have 8 new releases for you this Friday, December 21st, for some unknown reason probably having something to do with Christmas They are on the shelves, even as I type.

Before I get to them, however, I want to re-cap a few of the newer movies I have seen in the last couple weeks. So, scroll down if you are not interested in some cinematic rambling. First off, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. It’s a one emotion film (anxiety), but it has that emotion down real well. There’s a lot of fast cut, MTV-style editing, meant to mimic the action of the characters. Some of that is a little nauseating, but all in all, I thought this film was a total joyride. It’s funny thinking about this edition of Matt Damon hanging out with Ben Affleck. I wonder what they talk about? Who knows, maybe Matt and Ben aren’t pals anymore. Somehow, that seems sad. Next, SAINT CLARA. This is the little Israeli film that we mentioned is about a Junior High School love story with a girl who has telekinetic powers. Yeah, that’s true, but it’s so much more. It’s like HEATHERS meets GUMMO meets REPO MAN directed by John Hughes’s very strange European cousin. It is a fascinating kids vs. The Man type story, with the kids being self-possessed and not afraid of the man at all. Especially lingering with me is the image of a hanging and burning full size sculpture of Golda Meir. These kids are punk rock. This movie is not for the traditional lot. Another recent one I saw was ONCE, the rock and roll musical tale of a couple of musical artists sharing their love for music during a mutually lonely moment. Oh, I can’t say enough about this film. You must watch it. It is such a nice movie with power and strength and longing and MUSIC! It really is great. Four stars!!!! Lastly, THE NAMESAKE, a film based on the book of the same name. First off, I loved the book. It is amazing. Don’t bother with the film, just go right now down to Red Hill Books and buy yourself a nice little holiday gift of this incredible tale of a family from India living in the Northeast in America from the 1970’s to the present time. It will leave you feeling full of life and joyful, even in the presence of sorrow and dysfunction.

Okay, so what’s on tap? Well, we’ve got THE KINGDOM, RUSH HOUR 3, PARDISE TEXAS, EASTERN PROMISES, INTIMATE AFFAIRS, THE HEARTBREAK KID, THE BROTHERS SOLOMON and MEN IN THE NUDE. Everything you could want for Christmas. We also have a slew of new television acquisitions, including INSPECTOR LYNLEY SET 4, THE FORSYTE SERIES 1, and more. Capping this moments new DVD’s to the store are about ten separate titles of the children’s movies series featuring KIPPER. This is something we heard about and wanted to stock up on, so we hope your kids dig it. Give us feedback!

A couple other pieces of store news: We are having a used DVD sale from Friday, Dec 21 through Monday, Dec 24th. Buy one for $8 (plus tax) and get one free! We have about 60-80 titles and about 200 total movies to sell. So get your inexpensive holiday gifts here.

Also, we had another slight shift in the movie arrangement. Back in the New Release area, we pulled all the New Release Television out of the New Release Movies and split them up. They are all still in the back room, and there are some handy-dandy signs that should point everything out to you, but as always, please ask anyone for help if you can’t find what you are looking for.

Peace out,
Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

THE BROTHERS SOLOMON.
Comedy.
Will Arnett/Will Forte.
Directed by Bob Odenkirk.
* I am not sure what this is about, but I think it is the kind of comedy that compares itself to DUMB AND DUMBER (which was humorously hard for me to type). The tagline to this flick is “They want to put a baby in you.”

EASTERN PROMISES.
Crime/Drama/Foreign (Canadian).
Viggo Mortensen/Naomi Watts.
Directed by David Cronenberg.
* Did you catch this film in the theatres? All summer, it seemed, I heard about a very intense scene in a Turkish bath. It is in this film, where a pair of Chechen heavies do their best to take Nikolai (Mortensen) out. I have not seen this film, but I have seen my share of Cronenberg’s creations. His hard eye and penchant for unhappy endings (figuratively, not literally – though maybe literally, too) pack a punch that is usually felt everywhere. This film follows Mortensen’s character plod methodically through the painfully dark underworld of London.

THE HEARTBREAK KID.
Comedy/Romance.
Ben Stiller/Michelle Monaghan.
Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly..
* It was Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd in the original. Different times. Original screenplay by Neil Simon.

INTIMATE AFFAIRS.
Comedy/Drama.
Dermot Mulroney/Julie Delpy/Robin Tunney/Neve Campbell/Nick Nolte/Terrence Howard/Tuesday Weld.
Directed by Alan Rudolph.
* This flick was originally called INVESTIGATING SEX when it came out in 2002. An all-star cast play some men and women scientifically (just like you) studying sex.

THE KINGDOM.
Action/Drama.
Jamie Foxx/Chris Cooper;/Jason Bateman/Jennifer Garner.
Directed by Peter Berg.
* Super action flick about agents investigating a massacre of Americans living on a compound in Saudi Arabia. Shila saw it, she said it was awesome.

MEN IN THE NUDE.
Drama/Romance/Foreign (Hungarian).
Laszlo Galffi/David Szabo/Eva Kerekes.
Directed by Karoly Esztergalyos.
* Twisting plots involving thieving and prostituting street kids mark this love tale of a Hungarian writer who falls for a young androgynous teenage boy.

PARADISE TEXAS.
Drama.
Timothy Bottoms/Meredith Baxter/Ben Estus/Sheryl Lee.
Directed by Lorraine Senna.
* Indie film about a middle aged actor struggling to reconnect with his wife, his kids and himself.

RUSH HOUR 3.
Action/Comedy.
Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan.
Directed by Brett Ratner.
* Part 3 in the action series starring Chan and Tucker.

............//TELEVISION//............

INSPECTOR LYNLEY SERIES 4.
Television.
Sharon Small/Nathaniel Parker.
* Series 4 of this very popular mystery series. We missed this one and season 5 as well, but now we are all caught up. Season 6 will be coming soon.

INSPECTOR LYNLEY SERIES 5.
Television.
Sharon Small/Nathaniel Parker.

............//FAMILY//............

KIPPER HELPS OUT.

KIPPER – AMAZING DISCOVERIES.

KIPPER – FRIENDSHIP TALES.

KIPPER – FUN IN THE SUN.

KIPPER – IMAGINE THAT.

KIPPER – LET IT SNOW.

KIPPER – PLAYTIME IN THE SUN.

KIPPER - POOLS PARKS AND PICNICS.

KIPPER - PUPPY LOVE.

KIPPER - TIGER TALES.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

ALLEGRO NON TROPPO.
Replacement copy.

LUTHER (2003).
First DVD.

X FILES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Replacement copy.

SNL: SEASON TWO.
Another copy, I guess it was on backorder.

THE FORSYTE SAGA: SEASON ONE.

****

Monday, December 17, 2007

****new release list no.146


Yo, yo!

We received a really wonderful email from a customer recently. The customer emailed to give us feedback on certain aspects of the store and how we run it. The particulars of what this person had to say were good for us to hear and know, for sure, but it wasn’t someone ranting and venting, it was good, solid, caring, constructive criticism. It meant a lot to us to have someone care about the store and trust that their customer input would make a difference. It did and it does. We are so happy and grateful when you tell us what you think – how else will we know?

Also, just as people, it means so much to us—all of us—when each of us take it upon ourselves to speak. Speak out, speak up. I think, in many ways, that it doesn’t matter on what we are voicing our opinions, but that we are taking responsibility for the world around us, owning it and owning up to it in our own ways, and saying “Yes, that is OK,” or saying, “No, that is not working for me.” That is what creates and sustains community, that sense of ownership and responsibility that connect us to others’ business (in every sense of the word).

Now, on to the movies . . .

Rock the house,
Ken and Amy

............//NEW TITLES//............

BALLS OF FURY.
Comedy/Schtick.
Dan Fogler/Christopher Walken/George Lopez.
Directed by Robert Ben Garant.
* The world of extreme Ping-Pong is the background of this intrigue-filled CIA-fueled revenge flick about a washed-up former Ping-Pong budding star (Fogler) who is recruited to whip some table tennis ass in the secret jungle compound of super nemesis Feng (Walken). You can be sure the balls will be flying.

BOY EATS GIRL.
Comedy/Zombie/Foreign (Irish).
Samantha Mumba/David Leon.
Directed by Stephen Bradley.
* In the FIDO theme of Zombie tales, a boy dies after declaring his eternal love for his special one. Once he’s a zombie, his desire grows to new heights. Hey, who hasn’t wanted to take a big bite out of the one you love most?

DRUNKEN ANGEL.
Yakuza/Foreign (Japan)/Criterion.
Takashi Shimura/Toshiro Mifune/
Directed by Akira Kurosawa..
* The relationship between a small-time hood and the alcoholic doctor treating him for tuberculosis is at the center of this 1948 film that marked the first completely uncensored Kurosawa film, after battling the powers that be. Won multiple international cinematic awards in 1949.

ILLEGAL TENDER.
Crime/Drama.
Rick Gonzalez.
Directed by Franc Reyes.
* Don’t mess with a mom intent on protecting her son. When a killer from her past catches up with a mom and her young adult son, they decide to stop running, and prepare for a battle to put their ghosts to rest.

ONCE.
Drama/Music.
Glen Hansard/Marketa Inglova.
Directed by John Carney.
* Fairy-tale about two nameless people who meet on the streets of Dublin and slowly whisk each other away into a week of tenderness and emotion. Hansard is the frontman for the Irish band, The Frames, and Inglova is a young Czech musician who became his partner in music and love in real life—either during or after the filming of the movie (there are conflicting accounts.)

SAINT CLARA.
Romance/Foreign (Hebrew/Russian).
Lucy Dubinchik/Halil Elohey.
Directed by Ari Folman and Ori Sivan.
* Junior High school love story about a 7th grader Russian immigrant who has telekinetic powers (yeah, I know, don’t we all) and who can see the future. Based on a story by Czech novelists.

SEX CRAZY.
Comedy/Foreign (Spanish).
Jordi Vilches/Inma del Moral.
Directed by Javier Rebollo.
* And I quote: “Sex Crazy is ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST meets THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS in Spanish.”

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.
Comedy/Animation/Donuts.
Directed by David Silverman.
* Spiderpig, spiderpig, does whatever a spiderpig does. You’ve prolly heard of this film. Some critics said it didn’t translate quite as well as a feature film, but I think the diehards wanna watch anyway.

STARDUST.
Action/Fantasy
Sienna Miller/Peter O’Toole/Ian McKellen/Charlie Cox.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
* Kings, witches, quests, maybe goblins (I may be stretching here) all compliment a boy, a promise and a fallen star.

SUSANA.
Drama /Foreign (Mexico).
Fernando Soler/Rosita Quintana/Victor Manuel Mendoza.
Directed by Luis Bunuel.
* Bunuel potboiler. The story of a wayward girl who is bad to the bone, but somehow god is on her side.

TWO LANE BLACKTOP.
Car Racing/Action.
James Taylor/Dennis Wilson/Harry Dean Stanton.
Directed by Monte Hellman.
* Epic drag racing film from the early 70’s just hitting DVD.

UNDEAD OR ALIVE.
Comedy/Western/Zombie.
James Denton/Chris Kattan.
Directed by Glasgow Phillips.
* Man, the zombie thing is HAPPENING! A sorrowful cowboy, and an AWOL soldier find solace robbing a corrupt sheriff just as the curse of Geronimo (that’s right, THE Geronimo) has turned the people in the surrounding area into zombies.

UNDERDOG.
Action/Comic/Dog.
Jason Lee/James Belushi/Others.
Directed by Frederik Du Chau.
* A lab accident provides a dawg with some swagger to go with his bark. This film is targeted for the very young.

............//TELEVISION//............

BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ.
German Television/Criterion.
Gunter Lamprecht.

BROTHERHOOD: 1ST SEASON.
Television/Crime.
Jason Isaacs/Jason Clarke.
Created by Blake Masters.
* Cops and robbers New England style with two brothers on opposite sides of the law, one a gangster and one a police officer.

............//NEW TO DVD//............

HEARTS OF DARKNESS.
Documentary.
Created by Fax Bahr and George Hinckenlooper.
* Inside story about how the challenges in making APOCALYPSE NOW nearly destroyed the film, Francis Ford Coppola, and Coppola’s career. Some footage covertly filmed by Eleanor Coppola.

............//FAMILY//............

PLAN BEE.
* Classic tale of society’s transformation from an agrarian monarchy to an industrialized oligarchy.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

DOCTOR.
Replacement copy of this William Hurt flick.

LITTLE MONSTERS.
Fred Savage and Howie Mandel…why did we get this? Not sure.

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
Replacement copy of this Coen Brothers gem.

OZ: THE 5TH SEASON.
Replacement discs.

SNL: SEASON ONE.
We missed this the first time around, and since we bought season two, we thought we’d pick up the first season, also.

THE WEST WING: COMPLETE SERIES.
Replacement discs of all seasons 1 through 7.

****

Monday, December 10, 2007

****new release list no.145


Rock on Four Star Customers!

Poor Daniel Radcliffe is going to spend his career either playing Harry Potter or playing a character that is NOT Harry Potter. While his latest performance as Mr. P is sure to be as good as the others, check him out also in DECEMBER BOYS, where he also plays an orphan but one living a much different life. As Harry Potter may have defined Daniel Radcliffe’s career, so have the Harry Potter movies forever doomed young boys who wear glasses to being told they look like Harry Potter.

And what about Matt Damon? Can he ever make another movie in which we don’t think of him as Jason Bourne? Who knows? Not sure it really matters if you are curled up watching him all buffed out, dodge governmental assassins.

SO . . . do you start the week with some serious action-adventure (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) or with suspense and wizardry with the character who is defining this decade more than almost any other (HARRY POTTER: THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX)? Drama (DANZON, DECEMBER BOYS, INTERVIEW) or comedy (BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2, THE NANNY DIARIES)? Reality? You want some of that? It isn’t pretty but it is important and we’ve got that, too (BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE, COLCALERO, EVERYTHING’S COOL, ROSES IN DECEMBER).

Enjoy! We love you!
Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR: THE MOVIE.
Comedy/Documentary.
Larry the Cable Guy/Ron White/Bill Engval/Jeff Foxworthy
Directed by C. B. Harding.
* Stand up!.

BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Action/Adventure/Espionage.
Matt Damon/Joan Allen/Albert Finney.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.
* Bourne. Again. A London-based reporter inadvertently pulls Bourne out of hiding. This sets off a series of events leading Bourne to “ultimately, finally uncover his dark past.” WHAT?? Is this the last one??? Noooooooo!!!!! Action-adventure as it is meant to be in the third installment of the movies based upon the Robert Ludlum books.

BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE
Nature.
Judi Dench (narrator).
Directed by Mike Slee.
* Set in the rainforests of Borneo. ”Larger-than-life story of a caterpillar and a praying mantis is dazzling, if you're not too grossed out.” See more than 40 insects, up close. Originally made for IMAX.

DANZON.
Drama/Foreign (Mexico).
Maria Rojo/Carmen Salinas.
Directed by Maria Novaro.
* Maria Rojo plays Julia, an ordinary woman living in Mexico City who is devoted to the danzon, a Cuban dance. When her regular Wednesday dancing partner disappears without a trace, Julia is stunned and takes a life-changing trip to Veracruz where the man’s brother lives.

DECEMBER BOYS.
Drama/Coming of Age/Foreign (Australia).
Daniel Radcliffe/Teresa Palmer.
Directed by Ron Hardy.
* Four orphan boys, all with December birthdays and so known as the December Boys, are sent on a coastal holiday by a dying benefactor. The boys’ friendships are tested when word gets out that someone in the vacation town might adopt one of them. This is a charming tale and is set in an incredibly beautiful and magical landscape.

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.
Fantasy/Sci-Fi.
Daniel Radcliffe/Rupert Grint.
Directed by David Yates.
* Harry leads “Dumbledore’s Army” in a fight of resistance against an authoritarian pedagogue who takes over at Hogwarts and threatens free speech, progressive wizard education and the future of good as we know it.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2: SING IT ALL OR NOTHING.
Teen/Musical.
Zac Efron/Ashley Tisdale.
Directed by Kenny Ortega.
* Oh I’ll sing it. Ever wonder how much more high school or how much more musical it can get? Well, the answer is none more high school, none more musical.

INTERVIEW.
Drama.
Steve Buscemi/Sienna Miller.
Directed by Steve Buscemi.
* Steve Buscemi plays a political journalist who is forced to interview a very popular soap opera actress, played by Sienna Miller. Poor, poor Steve Buscemi.

THE NANNY DIARIES.
Comedy/Drama.
Scarlet Johansson/Laura Linney.
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Pulcini.
* College graduate becomes a nanny for a wealthy New York family. Girl is just nannying in the wrong ‘hood. Come to Bernal Heights! BERNAL NANNIES ROCK.


............//TELEVISION//............

BIG LOVE: SEASON 2.
Comedy/Polygamy
* Everyone’s favorite polygamist and his three wives. This show always makes me think of Bob Foster, an ex-Mormon fundamentalist we met on our honeymoon who had obtained a long-term lease on a half-mile long rock from the BLM and bored various living spaces into its permanently temperate center, the largest of which he ultimately turned into a bed and breakfast called “Rockland.”

LOST: SEASON 3.
Adventure/Thriller.
* Season 3 of this gripping adventure story.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............
COCALERO.
Documentary.
Directed by Alejandro Landes.
* The story of Evo Morales and the Bolivian farmers who he came to represent, and the union formed to oppose governmental efforts to erradicate the coca crops. I hope this is not a spoiler, but the U.S. was in on this one.

EVERYTHING’S COOL.
Documentary
Directed by Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand.
* What does it take for people to speak about climate change? What must they do to get through to us? The subjects of this documentary are the people—desperate, exasperated, determined—who are trying to get us all to listen.

ROSES IN DECEMBER.
Documentary.
Directed by Ana Carrigan and Bernard Stone.
* With this war still being waged in Iraq bearing so much resemblance to the Vietnam War, it is important to remember that destructive foreign policy has been a consistent practice of the U.S. government between the two debacles. That of the Reagan Administration in Central America is an outstanding example and, ultimately, is the subject of this documentary. The story unfolds as we learn about four American women were among those providing humanitarian aid in El Salvador and who were raped, tortured and murdered by the U.S.-backed military in its efforts to suppress the poor and the very threatening liberation theology.

............//FAMILY//............

HIP HOP HARRY: FUN WITH FRIENDS
Kids.
* Its fun, and he is a bear. Hip. Hop.


****

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

****new release list no.144


Yo, yo!

Of course many good flicks this week, including the much-awaited release of the week, SUPERBAD. Things move quickly to DVD these days and it is a good thing! It is interesting how Judd Apatow has moved in reverse chronological order, the main characters of his big films getting younger and younger. Reminds me of that line in DAZED AND CONFUSED, “I keep getting older and the high school girls keep staying the same age.” Or something to that effect. Judd Apatow’s films are kind of the opposite. Kind of. Or something.

A must-see this week is SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: SEASON TWO. Go look it up on IMDB, each season gets broken down by episode and the line ups for this season are unbelievable. Have I mentioned how notsalgic I feel for 70’s TV?

Rock the house,
Ken and Amy

............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............

SUPERBAD.
Comedy.
Jonah Hill/Michael Cera
Directed by Greg Mottola.
* Latest super funny release from producer Judd Apatow, in which best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) set out to lose their virginity at a high school party with the girls of their dreams. They will be going to different colleges, so this they must do before they are forced to be apart. The smart young men know that the quickest way into a girl’s pants is by getting her drunk, so they get a friend to get a fake ID to buy beer to take to the party. Not surprisingly, in the end . . . oh, well, you’ll have to see for yourselves! Written by Seth Rogen (knocked her up in Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg (wrote for Da Ali G Show). Tell us what you think about the homoerotic element; this film was at one point titled, “Separation Anxiety.”

............//NEW TITLES//............

BOY CRUSH.
Drama/Foreign (world-wide).
Directed by George Barbakadze/Daniel Falcone/Hong Khaou/Judd King/Sven J. Matten/Eric Rognard/David M. Young
* Seven gay-themed shorts from around the world.

THE KID.
Action/Martial Arts.
Bruce Lee.
Directed by Fung Fung.
* A 10-year-old Bruce Lee stars as Kid Cheung, an orphan boy who sells comics in a little stall in the slums to survive. A classic story of a good deed bringing wealth and friendship. Bruce Lee has one of the longest Wikipedia entries I’ve ever seen for an entertainer, describing a life much more amazing than the 70’s Hollywood films where I first met Bruce Lee (amazing unto themselves, too).

CZECH DREAM.
Documentary/Comedy.
Directed by Vít Klusák/Filip Remunda.
* Documentary in the most Michael Moore sense of the word: Two Czech films students hire an advertising agency to put together an ad campaign for a supermarket, Czech Dream, which does not exist. Art or social experiment?

EAST SIDE STORY.
Comedy/Gay and Lesbian.
David Beron/Rene Alvarado.
Directed by Carlos Portugal.
* “Love thy neighbor. Just don’t get caught.”

HOTTEST STATE.
Drama/Suspense.
Mark Webber/Laura Linney/Sonia Braga/Michelle Williams
Directed by Ethan Hawke.
* Not only did Ethan Hawke write and direct this baby, but he apparently wrote a novel upon which the screenplay is based. But don’t hate him ‘cause he’s beautiful. A young man’s coming of age as he tries to make it in New York as an actor, falls for an unavailable chanteuse and eventually goes to home Texas to make peace with his father (played by Ethan Hawke).

LIVE-IN MAID.
Drama.
Norma Aleandro/Norma Argentina.
Directed by Jorge Gaggero.
* Set in Buenos Aires, a story of how things change between a wealthy woman and her live-in maid as the Argentinean economy collapses.

MIDNIGHT CLEAR.
Drama.
Stephen Baldwin/K Callan.
Directed by Dallas Jenkins.
* Unrelated characters, each full of his or her own despair, cross paths on Christmas Eve. Random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty ensue.

MIKOGAMI TRILOGY: THE TRAIL OF BLOOD; THE FEARLESS AVENGER; SLAUGHTER IN THE SNOW.
Samurai/Foreign (Japan).
Directed by Kazuo Ikehiro.
* The central character of these classic 70’s samurai action flicks is Jokichi of Mikogami, a famed wandering yakuza soldier.

PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: AT WORLDS END.
Action/Adventure.
Johnny Depp/Orlando Bloom/Keira Knightly/Chow Yun-Fat.
Directed by Gore Verbinski.
* A journey to World’s End to rescue Jack Sparrow. Jack, as luck would have it, is stuck in Davy Jones’ Locker. Remember that Brady Bunch episode? With Davy Jones? Well, this film is way more adventure-filled.

GUY X.
Comedy.
Jason Biggs/Natasha McElhone.
Directed by Saul Metzstein.
* A soldier mistakenly sent to an arctic army base in Greenland, only to be told he doesn’t exist. The soldier uncovers a secret and adjusts to the dark beauty and mystery of the great north. Set in 1979.

............//TELEVISION//............

24: SEASON 6.
Terrorism.
Keifer Sutherland.
* Day. After Day.

CSI: SEASON 7.
Crime/Soft Science.
Created by Anthony Zuicker

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
Comedy.
John Belushi/Gilda Radner/Dan Akroyd/Jane Curtain/Lorraine Newman. . .
Created by Lorne Michaels.
* Some of the funniest sketch comedy ever made. Like ever, ever, ever . . . in my life.

THE WIRE: SEASON 4.
Crime.
Created by David Simon.
* Season 4 of one of the tightest and complex shows on television.

............//FAMILY//............

CURIOUS GEORGE: PLAYS IN THE SNOW & OTHER AWESOME ACTIVITIES.
* Far, far from his natural habitat.

ARCTIC TALE.
Nature/Polar Regions.
Queen Latifah (narrator)
Directed by Sarah Robertson.
* A seal and a polar bear followed from birth into parenthood. Music by Aimee Man and Ben Harper. Glacier groove.

****

Monday, November 26, 2007

****new release list no.143


This time of year is madness, dominated by “holidays” that are too fierce to mention by name. While the final weeks of the year are filled with (hopefully) good food and good people, they too often become causes of stress, anxiety and intra/inter-family strife. Just say no! Winter’s beautiful light is a precious commodity, so get it while you can—take a walk, marvel at the beauty that is this city, and be happy just to be.

There is plenty of good entertainment coming into the store this week, old (BRIEF ENCOUNTER, SOY CUBA, KILLER OF SHEEP) and new (BEYOND THE GATES, DAY NIGHT/DAY NIGHT, HOT ROD, THE NAMESAKE,PAPRIKA, VITUS, WAITRESS), if you need to get away from it all.

See you at the shop,
Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

I AM CUBA (SOY CUBA).
Drama/Foreign (Cuba/Soviet Union).
Sergio Corrieri/Salvador Wood/Luz Maria Collazo.
Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov.
* Marxist take on Cuba in 1964, told in 4 vignettes.

BEYOND THE GATES (aka SHOOTING DOGS).
Drama/History/Foreign (UK-Germany).
John Hurt/Hugh Dancy.
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones.
* A Catholic Priest and an idealistic school teacher try to protect thousands of Tutsi refugees during the first days of the Rwandan genocide.

BRATZ.
Comedy/Family.
* Four best friends rise above petty, high school cliques and become their own gang. Bratz. “High school is about to get a make-over.”

BREIF ENCOUNTER.
Criterion Collection Release.
Drama/Romance.
Celia Johnson/Trevor Howard.
Directed by David Lean.
* Masterful tale of forbidden love between a housewife and the doctor she meets at a railway station. They meet regularly until they decide never to see each other again. Set during WWII.

DAY NIGHT/DAY NIGHT.
Thriller/Drama/Crime.
Luisa Williams/Josh Phillip Weinstein.
Directed by Julia Loktev.
* A 19 year old woman prepares to be a suicide bomber in Times Square. Her place of origin, reasons, causes are unknown and remain in their most abstracted form as the viewer is plunged into the details of her preparations.

FIRST SNOW.
Drama/Thriller.
Guy Pearce/Piper Perabo.
Directed by Mark Fergus.
* Sassy salesman sent into a mental tailspin when soothsayer says that his last day will be the first snow. Tense and cold.

KILLER OF SHEEP.
Drama/Life.
Henry Sanders/Kaycee Moore/James Miles.
Directed by Charles Burnett.
* The rediscovered 1973 film of a UCLA student. Set in the Watts projects in LA during the 70’s, Told through the eyes of a slaughterhouse worked, this is an enigmatic portrayal of life—at times bleak, at times stunningly beautiful.

HOT ROD.
Comedy.
Andy Samberg/Jorma Taccone.
Directed by Akiva Schaffer.
* SNL peeps, a cameo by Sissy Spacek and motorcycle stunts. Pure fun. Especially after the Chronic- (what?) -cles of Narnia.

I KNOW WHO KILLED ME.
Drama/Suspense.
Lindsay Lohan.
Directed by Chris Sivertson.
* Lohan’s character is abducted and tortured by a sadistic murderer. She manages to escape and is found in the woods two weeks later. She has forgotten her identity, taking on the characters she wrote about in high school. She insists the person everyone says she is remains in mortal danger. You go, girl.

MR BEAN’S HOLIDAY.
Comedy/Type A.
Rowan Atkinson.
Directed by Robin Driscoll/Hannish McColl.
* Mr. Bean in Cannes! Watch out, French Riviera, “Je vais a la plage!”

THE NAMESAKE.
Drama.
Kal Penn/Irfan Kahn/Gabriel Byrne/Glenne Headly.
Directed by Mira Nair.
* Based upon the wonderful Jhumpa Lahiri novel by the same name, it follows the growth, into adulthood, of Gogol Ganguli, American born son of Indian immigrants.

PAPRIKA.
Animation/Sci-Fi/Foreign (Japan).
(voices of) Megumi Hayshibara/Toru Emori/Katsunosuke Hori.
Directed by Satoshi Kon.
* Anime extravaganza about technology’s final frontier—the human dream.

VITUS.
Drama/Music/Foreign (Switzerland).
Fabrizio Borsani/Teo Gheorghiu/Julika Jenkins/Urs Jucker.
Directed by Fredi M. Murer.
* Vitus is a musically gifted child and his parents want him to become a pianist. One day the boy decides that he does not want to go along with his parents plans and has dreams of his own.

WAITRESS.
Comedy/Romance.
Keri Russell/Cheryl Hines.
Directed by Adrienne Shelly.
* Small town waitress makes amazing pies that earn her the admiration of everyone as she plots her escape. Her unplanned pregnancy only affirms her ambitions and unexpectedly leads her to love.

............//TELEVISION//............

DEMETRI MARTIN. PERSON.
Comedy/Music.
Demetri Martin.
Directed by Jay Karas.
* Demetri Martin’s Comedy Central Special

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

A VILLAGE ROMANCE.
Documentary/Foreign (Hungary).
Directed by Bodis Kristza.
* Two women from a small Hungarian villages fall in love. And their love endures, for as long as it takes for them to be together.

WHY WE SING.
Documentary.
Narrated by Gavin Newsom.
Directed by Lawrence B. Dillon.
* Local filmmaker’s exploration of the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Chorus movement, documented at the GALA Chorus’s International Festival.

............//FAMILY//............

LAND BEFORE TIME: THE WISDOM OF FRIENDS.
Family/Pink Dinosaurs.
* Word up to my prehistoric brothers, yo.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

ALL OF ME.
Comedy/80’s.
Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin.
Directed by Carl Reiner.
* Now we have this classic story of the dying heiress who has her soul inadvertently transferred into a lawyer’s body (which he hasn’t left) on DVD.

ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS.
Comedy/Classic.
Carey Elwes/Richard Lewis.
Directed by Mel Brooks.
* With obligatory cameos by Dom DeLuise, Tracey Ullman, Dick van Patten. Apparently you can order this DVD and it comes with a barbeque book. First DVD copy.

SHIP OF FOOLS.
Drama.
Vivian Leigh/Simone Signoret/Oskar Werner.
Directed by Stanley Cramer.
* Based on Katherine Anne Porter novel. Passengers on a cruise from Mexico to Europe in the 30’s, the Nazis are coming to power and Europe is changing. First DVD copy.

SPICE WORLD—SPECIAL EDITION.
Musical.
Geri Halliwell/Melanie Brown/Victoria Adams/Melanie Chisholm/Emma Bunton.
Directed by Bob Spiers.
* Lets make a movie, girls. Lets make it spicy and LETS SING! 10 year anniversary special edition!! You have got to swing it, shake it, move it, make it. Who do you think you are? First DVD copy.

ULEE’S GOLD.
Drama.
Peter Fonda/Patricia Richardson/Jessica Biel.
Directed by Victor Nunez.
* Reclusive beekeeper tries to save his own family from their version of colony collapse disorder. First DVD copy.

WIZARD OF OZ—SPECIAL EDITION.
Musical.
Judy Garland/Ray Bolger/Burt Lahr.
Directed by Victor Flemming.
* New DVD copy.

****

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

****new release list no.142


I think we have 48 titles to offer you this week. An absolute ton of new acquisitions, as well as quite of few new releases, featuring RESCUE DAWN and LIVE FREE OR DIE among many many others.

Remember, we will be closed on Thanksgiving, so get your flicks by Wednesday. We will re-open at the regular time on Friday morning.

To a life of joy and peace,

Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

ANGEL-A.
Comedy/Fantasy/Romance/Foreign (France).
Jamel Debbouze/Rie Rasmussen.
Directed by Luc Besson.
* Two people living in the underworld of Paris survive a suicidal jump off a bridge and help each other regain the will to live.

BORDER CAFE.
Drama/Foreign (Iran).
Fereshteh Sadr Orfani/Parviz Parastoui.
Directed by Kambuzia Partovi.
* When Reyhan (Orfani)’s husband dies, she resolves to turn down his brother’s offer to take her as his 2nd wife and instead decides to run her husband’s failed truck stop restaurant. This marked the directorial debut of Partovi, who has had a successful screenwriting career.

BROKEN.
Drama/Thriller.
Heather Graham/Jeremy Sisto.
Directed by Alan White.
* A bad night gets worse and worse for Hope (Graham) a Ohio transplant trying to make it in Los Angeles.

CASSHERN.
Adventure/Action/Sci-Fi/Foreign (Japan).
Yusuke Iseya.
Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya.
* Super well-received live-action movie based on a 1973 anime of the same name.

COLMA THE MUSICAL!.
Musical.
Jake Moreno/H.P. Mendoza/L.A. Renigen.
Directed by Richard Wong.
* Dude! A musical about Colma! That’s so cool. The story revolves around a trio of young friends trying to FIGURE IT ALL OUT.

DAY WATCH.
Action/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Foreign (Russia).
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
* The second in a trilogy (NIGHT WATCH) that evidently CAN be seen out of order, this is one of those films that is described by mentioning the forces of LIGHT and DARK. However, much like CASSHERN, this film has been very critically acclaimed.

THE EX.
Comedy/Romance.
Zach Braff/Jason Bateman/Amanda Peet.
Directed by Jesse Peretz.
* AKA, FAST TRACK, this film follows a putzy guy who is trying to succeed so his wife can be a stay-home mommy. Unfortunately, her dad is his new boss, and her ex-boyfriend is her new supervisor. Yikes.

HAIRSPRAY 07.
Musical/Remake.
John Travolta/Michelle Pfeifer/Christopher Walken/Amanda Bynes/Queen Latifah.
Directed by Adam Shankman.
* 1962 Baltimore is the setting for this remake of the popular John Waters film from 1988. Hot dancing is the cure for the racial tension in this flick.

HAVOC.
Drama.
Anne Hathaway/Bijou Phillips.
Directed by Barbara Kopple.
* Hathaway and Phillips are rich white kids who want to be hip and down with the East LA latino community until they get waaay too close to the actual gang cultha. This film seems to have really launched Hathaway’s career.

IN BETWEEN DAYS.
Drama/Foreign (Korea).
Taegu Andy Kang/Bokja Kim/Nathan Rodriguez.
Directed by So Yong Kim.
* The directorial debut of Kim deals with a young Korean immigrant struggling to adapt to a new country.

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD.
Action!
Bruce Willis/Andrew Friedman (though maybe not the one who works here).
Directed by Len Wiseman.
* John McLane takes on the world again, this time in the guise of an internet based terror organization who is systematically shutting down the US grid. I don’t see how he could survive this time.

MONSIEUR HIRE.
Crime/Thriller/Foreign (France).
Michel Blanc/Sandrine Bonnaire.
Directed by Patrice Leconte.
* Remake of Julien Duvivier's film PANIQUE released in 1948. This movie is just making it’s way to DVD from 1990.

RESCUE DAWN.
Action/Adventure.
Christian Bale/Steve Zahn.
Directed by Werner Herzog.
* Herzog loved this story so much he made it twice. First as a documentary called LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, now as this feature film about Dieter Dengler, a US pilot who is shot down over Laos and captured and tortured during the Vietnam War.

SANTA BABY.
Comedy.
Jenny McCarthy.
Directed by Ron Underwood.
* The tagline of this movie says something about how Mary, Santa’s daughter (McCarthy) has “some big ideas”. The staff has gotten a lot of laughter out of that this week.

SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE.
Comedy.
Tim Allen/Elizabeth Mitchell.
Directed by Michael Lembeck.
* Santa and Jack Frost battling it out.

SAWDUST AND TINSEL.
Drama/Criterion/Foreign (Sweden).
Directed by Ingmar Bergman.
* Brilliant 1956 tale by the master.

............//TELEVISION//............

MISS MARPLE: SEASON 3.
Television.
Created by Agatha Christie.
* Season three in the mystery series.

PROJECT RUNWAY: SEASON 3.
“Reality” Television.
Directed by Eli Holzman.
* Season three of the show about designers trying to break into the fashion industry.

............//COMEDY//............

KATT WILLIAMS: AMERICAN HUSTLE THE MOVIE.
Stand-Up Comedy.
Katt Williams.
Directed by Britt McAdams.
* I hear Snoop has a cameo.

KYLE CEASE: WEIRDER, BLACKER, DIMPLER.
Stand-Up Comedy.
Kyle Cease.
Directed by Craig Kelly.
* Whoop-whoop! Ask Shila about this new comedy stuff.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

A LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR.
Documentary.
Directed by Eric Chaikin.
* An “interesting but rather odd” documentary about the stress caused by taking the bar exam. I remember when Amy was preparing for the bar. That was super fun!

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES.
Documentary.
P by Jennifer Baichwal.
* This doc is about photographer Edward Burtynsky whose work focuses on changes in the world due to manufacturing and industrialism.

NEGATIVLAND: OUR FAVORITE THINGS.
Music Weirdness.
Presented by Negativland.
* Do you know about the band Negativland? They are a very strange and amazing collagist group that you should just go straight to YouTube right now and experience. This is a collection of experimental shorts films that capture the flavor of what the band is trying to accomplish.

THE HISTORY CHANNEL PRESENTS: THE UNIVERSE.
Music Weirdness.
Directed by Douglas Cohen and Laura Verklan
* A more flashy doc-style than the BBC folks, THC gives us THE UNIVERSE. Peppered with images from our space program, and a lot of graphics and speculation, it is quite a visual treat.

............//FAMILY//............

CARE BEARS 25th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION.
Family.
Care Bears.

MY FRIENDS TIGGER AND POOH: SUPER SLEUTH CHRISTMAS.
Family.
Tigger/Pooh.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

DARK PASSAGE.
First DVD copy.

DEER HUNTER: SPECIAL EDITION.
Replacement copy.

FALLEN.
First DVD of this Denzel Washington film.

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.
Replacement DVD.

FIVE EASY PIECES.
First DVD copy of this early Jack Nicholson film.

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.
First DVD copy of this Hugh Grant romantic comedy.

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.
First DVD copy of this classic real estate hell tale starring everybody!

HOWARD’S END.
First DVD copy.
.
HUDSON HAWK.
First DVD of this Bruce Willis feature.

JANE EYRE.
Replacement copy.

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE.
2 new copies of this amazing Miyazaki film.

LISBON STORY.
Wim Wenders.

LIVING OUT LOUD.
First DVD copy another of my favorite films, starring Holly Hunter, Queen Latifah and Danny DeVito.

ME MYSELF I.
First copy of this French comedy from 1999.

MY FAIR LADY.
Maybe our first copy ever of this awesome musical.

MY FAVORITE SEASON.
First DVD copy.

MY FAVORITE YEAR.
I LOVE this 1982 Peter O’Toole flick. This is our first DVD copy.

ROME: SEASON ONE.
Replacement copy.

SLEEPOVER.
First DVD of this teen comedy not starring Lindsay Lohan.

STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO: SEASON ONE.
* Eight freaking discs of hard edged t.v. drama. This just came out on DVD, and is kind of a new release, but we are putting it on the recent acquisition shelf, cuz we are so inundated with other new releases!

TOY STORY: 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
Kind of a replacement copy, but first time buying the 10th Anniversary edition.


****

Monday, November 12, 2007

****new release list no. 141


As many of you have noticed, we are getting closer and closer to finalizing the changes we’re making to the layout and look of the store. Hopefully many of you are getting a fresh look at the AMAZING Criterion Collection wall, now in the back by the new releases. You can confidently pick anything that Criterion puts out, knowing you will be watching a quality film of serious integrity. Their boxes are so beautiful. Design matters.

Last week our fabulous staff stayed late and painted the sections throughout the middle of the store black. (THANKS!) Things will get even sparklier, we promise. As we painted and bonded and had a good time, we listened to great music, thanks to Jeff, Evan and Andrew, all talented mix-makers. Andrew’s mix contained the Jackson Browne song, “Lives in the Balance.” I can’t say that I haven’t poked much fun at Jackson Browne and his earnestness over the years, as I have, but when I listened to that song, in that meditative painting way, I was blown away. What a sharp and profound protest song. As usual, a few of the releases of the week speak to the themes of that song that have, as the result of my listening to it with new ears, been spinning in my head. Whenever this happens—that thematic convergence of art and culture and life events—my confidence in the power and importance of art is affirmed. It is crucial. So check out AMAZING GRACE, to be reminded of the power of song, or NO END IN SIGHT, to see reiterated, once again, the disconnect between those who lead us to war and those who pay the price for poor leadership. Just like Jackson Browne sings about.

And in this crazy world, as so much is appalling, some things just get better and better. People all over the world are making films about being young and queer (COFFEE DATE, CUT SLEEVE BOYS, GLUE). Hell yeah! We also have films full of great music and about great musicians (LA VIE EN ROSE, EL CANTANTE) – music and musicians that changed people and changed the way music was made. And we’ve obtained a DVD copy of MAN OF LA MANCHA, an amazing musical that was intensely political, as was the centuries old story by Miguel de Cervantes upon which it is based.

Much other fun film watching to be had this week, too – OCEAN’S THIRTEEN, PARIS JE T’AIME, and SHREK THE THIRD (based on the Jewish shtetl legend Schreck –psych!), as well as fresh copies of the first four HARRY POTTER flicks

To a life of joy and peace,

Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

AMAZING GRACE.
Drama/Biography.
Ioan Gruffud/Albert Finney/Romola Garai/Youssou N’Dour.
Directed by Michael Apted.
* The story of 19th Century member of British Parliament, William Wilberforce, and his mentor and minister, John Newton, who is credited with writing the hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Believing in the universal value of human life, Wilberforce sets out to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

COFFEE DATE.
Comedy/Questioning.
Jonathan Silverman/Jonathan Brey/Wilson Cruz.
Directed by Stewart Wade.
* If your friend is gay does that make you gay? If your friend is gay and everyone thinks you are gay ‘cause your friend is gay, does THAT make you gay?

CUT SLEEVE BOYS.
Comedy/Romance.
Chowee Leow/Steven Lim/.
Directed by Ray Yeung.
* Two Londoners, both gay men of Chinese descent, react differently to the death of a mutual friend. Self-discovery ensues, thank goodness! According to an IMDB commenter: “This film deserves wider recognition, but the portrayal of a hot 3 way kiss between 3 men may limit its crossover appeal.” Is this true for San Francisco? C’mon all you hetero couples, cross over and check out the HOT 3 way kiss between 3 men and prove the rest of the country wrong!!

FORECAST FOR TOMORROW.
Comedy/Foreign (Poland).
Jerzy Stuhr/Malgorzata Zajaczkowska/Maciej Stuhr.
Directed by Jerzy Stuhr.
* A member of the Solidarity movement abandons his wife and children to join a monastery. 17 years later he is found by his family and kicked out of the monastery as a result. The world is a different place and our protagonist sets out to cure the ills that have befallen his family—sex, drugs, politics, etc.

GLUE.
Drama/Foreign (Argentina).
Nahuel Perez Biscayart/Nahuel Viale/Ines Efron.
Directed by Alexis Dos Santos.
* Growing-up-gay-questioning-teen-rocker story set in the middle of nowhere, Patagonia. The title refers to the glue they sniff. Certain experiences are universal.

EL CANTANTE.
Drama/Biography/Salsa.
Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony.
Directed by Leon Ichaso.
* Depending upon who you talk to (or read), J. Lo either offers a stunningly good performance or has talent that is disproportionate to the fame of her booty. This is the story of Hector Lavoe, the Puerto Rican salsa singer who defined a style and brought it to US audiences.

LA VIE EN ROSE.
Drama/Biography.
Marion Cotillard/Pascal Greggory/Gerard Depardieu.
Directed by Olivier Dahan.
* The extraordinary story of the extraordinary life of extraordinary French singer, Edith Piaf. This is the second film starring Cotillard to hit our new release wall in as many weeks.

OCEAN’S THIRTEEN.
Thriller/Comedy/Cute Men.
Brad Pitt/George Clooney/Matt Damon/Elliot Gould/Bernie Mack/Don Cheadle/Al Pacino.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
* More satisfying casino drama from this group of fabulous male actors.

PARIS JE T’AIME.
Romance.
Natalie Portman/Maggie Gyllenhaal/Fanny Ardant/Elijah Wood/Nick Nolte/Bob Hoskins/Juliette Binoche/Rufus Sewell/Gena Rowlands/Miranda Richardson/Steve Buscemi/Willem Dafoe//Gerard Depardieu/Wes Craven.
Directed by Olivier Assayas/Frederic Auburtin/Emmanuel Benbihy/Gurinder Chadha/Sylvain Chomet/Ethan Coen/Joel Coen/Isabel Coixet/Wes Craven/Alfonso Cuaron/Gerard Depardieu/Christopher Doyle/Richard LaGravene.
* Twenty filmmakers show you Paris through their eyes. I must say, Bob Hoskin’s presence on the above list of featured actors whets my appetite. He is such a fabulous actor. We should put together a Bob Hoskins film fest. What a career! One of my early favorites of his was the Dennis Potter TV series, Pennies From Heaven—check it out.

SHREK THE THIRD.
Comedy/Forrest Dwelling.
(voices of) Mike Meyers/Eddie Murphy/Cameron Diaz/Julie Andrews/Antonio Banderas.
Directed by Chris Miller and Raman Hui.
*Third time’s a charm. There’s a girl-gang in this one . . .

THINGS THAT HANG FROM TREES.
Drama.
Deborah Kara Unger/Ray McKinnon.
Directed by Ido Mizrahy.
* 1969 in St. Augustine, Florida. A young boy’s determined wish to see fireworks from atop the city’s lighthouse is the vehicle for a bigger quest in this Southern-Gothic tale.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

NO END IN SIGHT.
Directed by Charles Ferguson.
* A look at how the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war, and the US occupation of that country, led to the guerilla war and anarchy that dominate the lives of the people in Iraq. An ‘insider’ retelling of the history of the war, this documentary features interviews with high-ranking administration officials (or former officials), as well as Iraqi citizens, US troops and others. Unbelievable.

THE WAR.
Directed by Ken Burns.
* A seven-part series looking at the many ways in which World War II impacted the lives of Americans.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

GOLDEN BOY.
Drama/Classic.
William Holden/Barbara Stanwyck/Lee Cobb.
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
* William Holden plays Joe Bonaparte, the musical talent who wants a career in boxing. This is the film that is credited with making Holden famous, but Barbara Stanwyck, as Lorna, Joe’s influential love interest, steals the show. This is the first time this 1939 film is hitting DVD.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE.
Adventure/Mystery/Fantasy.
Daniel Radcliffe.
Directed by Chris Columbus.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.
Adventure/Mystery/Fantasy.
Daniel Radcliffe.
Directed by Chris Columbus.

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN.
Adventure/Mystery/Fantasy.
Daniel Radcliffe.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.
Adventure/Mystery/Fantasy.
Daniel Radcliffe.
Directed by Mike Newell.

* Bulking up our collection of this amazingly popular series with extra copies. If you want it, we’ve got it for more of you.

MAN OF LA MANCHA.
Drama/Musical.
Peter O’Toole/Sophia Lauren.
Directed by Arthur Hiller.
* Now we have this on DVD. We just saw our niece, Alix Feinsod, perform in an ambitious production of this Broadway musical telling of the story of Don Quixote. The story is framed by a supposed incident in the life of the author, Miguel de Cervantes, who was arrested during the Spanish Inquisition. Man of La Mancha, originally staged in the mid 1960’s, has much to say about society and its perceptions of sanity, and of the experience of perception itself. The music is so amazing. I really wish I had gotten to see the 1992 Broadway revival which starred Raul Julia and Sheena Easton. Seriously, just clear your mind and read these beautiful words sung by Quixote as he is explaining why he does the ridiculous things he does:

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;
To right the unrightable wrong.

To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

-That’s just beautiful.

PERSUASION.
Drama.
Amanda Root/Ciaran Hines.
Directed by Roger Michell.
* 1995 version of the Jane Austen novel. By request.

SNATCH.
Comedy/Thriller.
Brad Pitt/Donald Sutherland/Alan Ford.
Directed by Guy Ritchie.
* Two more DVD copies of this hit..


****

Sunday, November 4, 2007

****new release list no.140



We have more great films out this week, including the new Pixar feature, RATATOUILLE, as well as Michael Moore’s latest feature, SICKO. I took Huck to see RATATOUILLE in the theatres a few months back. It was his first movie theatre experience. We had a blast. My opinion is that Pixar is really making the most multi-leveled family animation out there. The movies look good, are well written, and have a broad appeal. Personally, I have always preferred the old-school hand-drawn animation of such films like SPIRITED AWAY, however I thoroughly enjoyed Ratatouille, and I imagine you will, too.

In store organizational news, the new kids section is finished being built (though still being cleaned/organized/painted/stylized) and we are getting lots of feedback, most of it great. Please let us know what you think.

Other library moves…The Animation section is over near the kids section where Criterion used to be, and it has been flipped on its heels with the Fantasy/Creature Feature sections up higher and the Animation and Ghibli Studio stuff at the bottom. We are hoping some of the older kids start tapping this section, as there are some great films here that we think would have a broad appeal. Over where the Animation section used to be is now all the Music/Hip-Hop DVD’s with the Musicals, which we thought made sense. Especially considering I didn’t even know there was a difference between these two sections (the tags are both marked with an “M”) the first couple months I was here, until I noticed I couldn’t find any of the Beatles movies in the Musicals section and was finally set straight (or something). Now, if it is music related, it is in one place. Moving the Musicals gave us space to move ALL of the Director’s sections (Cult/Independent/Horror/Other things which I don’t understand what category they were, but were Director’s sections of some variety) onto the Director’s wall. If there is a famous Director you are looking for, chances are they will have a section there. As usual, ask us if you can’t find something.

Is that it? No, not really. We moved the bookshelf that used to hold some Classics and the Noir section around the corner to the Foreign section, but we haven’t populated it yet (as of writing on Sunday morning), however the plan is to add much more to the Foreign section and parse out the categorization. Also, the more long term plan is to empty out the section where the Martial Arts stuff is on one side, and the Nature Docs, etc is on the other side (not get rid of anything, just move it) and create a browsing counter, complete with computers, in order to let you search for stuff on the internet. That’s not too far off, but we don’t have a date for that implementation yet.

We have some stylistic conceptual changes coming soon, involving paint and perhaps even some rhinestones… We’d tell you all about, but we prefer for it to be a surprise.

Hope to see you soon at the shop,

Ken & the whole Four Star Gang

............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............

RATATOUILLE.
Animation/Family.
Directed by Brad Bird and Bob Peterson.
* Remy is a rat with unusual tastes; he loves to watch cooking shows, he loves yummy food, he dreams of being a chef in a fancy restaurant. Alas, he’s a rat. However, when his family is washed away from their country home (through the sewers of France – Je vais a la plage!), and he ends up in Paris, right near the famous restaurant of his hero (Ou est le bibliotheque?) his dreams are so near he can taste them (Ferme la bouche!). Once inside the dining establishment, whose owner has died and whose Michelin ranking is sinking, he meets a putzy new kitchen employee (Linguini) who can’t cook to save his life. Together, they form a very strange partnership involving a sort of puppetry and a fantastic rat palette. Ah, but Linguini dreams of being his own chef, and is taught a few things by the local restaurant hottie, Colette (Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? Ce soir?). This film really defines the new style of animated feature, brilliantly funny dialogue, with a nod to the adult audience watching with their children, gorgeous scenery and music, and lots of sharp digs at the competition, in this case Disney, as this is a Pixar feature. Particularly wonderful is the scene when Anton Ego, vicious restaurant critic extraordinaire (voiced by Peter O’Toole) first tastes Remy’s exquisite Ratatouille transporting him back into his country childhood when his Mommy would attend to a scraped knee with a plain and straightforward dish of her very own Ratatouille.

............//NEW TITLES//............

BLAME IT ON FIDEL.
Drama/Foreign (French).
Julie Depardieu/Nina Kervel-Bey/Stefano Accorsi.
Directed by Julie Gavras.
* When 9-year old Anna’s French bourgeois family is visited by the radical leftist agenda, Communism ensues, causing her to lose all her privileges.

DECK THE HALLS.
Comedy/Family.
Matthew Broderick/Danny DeVito.
Directed by John Whitesell.
* Ah, Christmas…bringing out the best in neighbors. In this case, one who wants his house to be so lit up with lights that it will be visible from space, and another who would rather have night occur with the usual darkness.

DENNIS THE MENACE CHRISTMAS.
Comedy.
Robert Wagner/Louise Fletcher/Maxwell Perry Cotton.
Directed by.
* Straight to DVD Dennis the Menace version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Mr. Wilson playing Scrooge. Wow, two Christmas movies in the week after Halloween. Ho Ho Ho!

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY.
Comedy.
Adam Sandler/Kevin James/Jessica Biel/Dan Akroyd.
Directed by Dennis Dugan.
* BACKDRAFT meets CHUCK AND BUCK? Well, maybe not quite. Larry and Chuck are New York firemen who are great friends. Chuck owes a favor to Larry and Larry calls in a doozy. It seems that for him to get benefits for his kids (he’s a widower), he needs Chuck to pretend to be his domestic partner. Chuck agrees and they are hopeful they can just file paperwork and be done with it… If only... Eventually some meddling city official becomes suspicious and the hilarity begins.

PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION: VOLUME ONE.
Family.
* 13 Short films by Pixar (mostly) made between the years 1984 and 2007. You may recognize some of these, such as LIFTED about a young alien being taught how to abduct a farmer, who needs to bailed out by his instructor.

PRETTY THINGS.
Drama/Foreign (French).
Marion Cotillard.
Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner.
* Cotillard plays twin sisters with major issues. Lucie the model has a big personality with a serious dark side and a fresh recording contract, even though she can’t sing. Marie is the opposite of Lucie in almost every respect, including the fact that she does have a nice singing voice. Things spiral terrible down the toilet for these sisters.

RATATOUILLE.
See Above – Release of the week.

TIME.
Drama/Romance/Foreign (Korean).
Jung-woo Ha/Ji-Yeon Park.
Directed by Ki-duk Kim.
* As far as I can tell, this film tells the story of a twisted and demoralized woman who undergoes extensive plastic surgery with the so-called hopes of saving her relationship. It did well on the festival circuit, picking up some awards along the way.

VIOLET PERFUME.
Drama/Foreign (Spanish).
Ximena Ayala/Nancy Gutierrez.
Directed by Marisa Sistach.
* A tale of painful urban tale of sexual assault and adolescent awakening set in Mexico City. Two girls Yessica and Miriam, from differing economic backgrounds, have their lives thrown in to turmoil by an attack on Yessica set up by her brother.

YOU KILL ME.
Comedy/Drama.
Ben Kingsley/Tea Leoni/Luke Wilson.
Directed by John Dahl.
* Fucking Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley) is a Polish hitman who loves making hits only slightly less than he loves hitting the drink. When his booze hound ways screw up an important job, he is sent to SF to dry out (that seems funny to me). There (or here as the case may be) he meets Laurel (Leoni) whose lack of boundaries makes her the perfect new partner for Frank as he prepares to go back to Buffalo and face new problems in the family.

............//STAND UP COMEDY//............

DANE COOK: VICIOUS CIRCLE.
Stand-Up Comedy.
Dane Cook.
* I don’t know a lot about Dane Cook, except that he’s from Boston, and that’s funny.

ELLEN DEGENERES: HERE AND NOW.
Stand-Up Comedy.
Ellen Degeneres.
Directed by Joel Gallen.
* This isn’t new, but we’ve never had it at the store. Same with the Dane Cook special. Ellen is her usual sassy but cute self. If you like her, you’ll love this.

............//TELEVISION//............

THE BEST OF THE COLBERT REPORT.
Seething Satire.
Stephen Colbert.
* I just think Stephen Colbert is a genius and actually an American hero. He never breaks character, and although he is lampooning the conservative Fox News style media machine, his questions and wit bring out an insight that is as enlightening as it is funny. If you’ve never seen him, google “colbert at the white house” to see his amazing speech at the White House correspondents dinner in 2006. This guy is totally balls out and completely fearless. Just imagine if real journalists did their job the way this guy does his.

DR. WHO: THE COMPLETE THIRD SERIES.
Television/Sci-Fi.
David Tennant.
* The third season in the adventures of the time traveling adventurer who is cruising around with his cockney friend Rose. This show is highly rated and wins many awards.

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Television/Complete Hysteria.
Bret McKenzie/Jermaine Clement/Rhys Darby/Kristen Schaal.
Directed by James Bobin.
* These two New Zealanders are funny funny! I have only seen them on YouTube, but their brilliant music videos for “Mother Ucker” and “Business Time” are amazing. They write songs of every style and their ability to poke gentle fun is terrific. If you are looking for a laugh, you must see this show.

SEINFELD: SEASON 9.
Television.
Jerry Seinfeld/Jason Alexander/Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Michael Richards.
* Season 9 in the show about nothing.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

AMAZING JOURNEY: THE STORY OF THE WHO.
Rock-Doc.
John/Pete/Roger/Keith.
* New doc about the band featuring footage and interviews with the surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend.

SICKO.
Documentary.
Michael Moore/George W. Bush.
Directed by Michael Moore.
* Another brilliant film by the documaster himself. This time it is the American healthcare system that he takes on.

............//FAMILY//............

DIGIMON: THE MOVIE.
Kids.
* My son, Huck, is Digimanaical…actually he is a Pokemonstrosity. It all started with Yugiy-oh-god. Anyway, the kids dig it.

PETER PAN.
Family/Musical.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.
Sci-Fi.
Richard Dreyfuss/Terr Garr/Francois Truffaut.
Directed by Steven Spielberg.
* Can you believe it has been 30 years since this came out? This is our first DVD copy.

DANCING AT LUGHNASA.
First DVD copy.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.
Kids.
Replacement copy.

ORDINARY PEOPLE.
First DVD copy.


****

Monday, October 29, 2007

**** new release list no. 139


More in-store news: We have taken another step in the re-organization of the library. The Independent film section is now in the back room with the new releases, as is the Criterion section. Do you ever peruse the Criterion section? It is simply amazing, filled with stupendous films of every genre from ever corner of the earth. Where the Indie section used to be is now the New Classics section on one side and the Classics and Noir section on the other. We are building a low, semi-enclosed Kids section in the window at the front of the store, which is not yet in place. If you are looking for kids movies this week, there are a bunch available in the front of the store where the Criterion section used to be, and the Kids new release section is still in the back for now. There will be more changes over the next week, and we will keep you informed here, but also, please ask us to help you find anything if you are at the store and it seems chaotic. We hope as the plan continues to emerge that you will be as excited about the changes as we are.

In other non-film news, did you notice our new monitors? Very sleek, huh? (I wrote this on Friday, before two of them broke…ah, Craigslist...).

Meanwhile back at the ranch, good stuff from TV land: the final chapter of the SOPRANOS series, which actually came out last week, but took us a few extra days to stock. I think this was the best show to ever play on television, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a feature film come our way in the not too far off future. Until then, it may be time to start at episode one of season one and start the whole bloody mess again. When you are finished watching this second part of season 6, tell us what you think. The end was a polarizing experience for the faithful. Count me as one of the totally satisfied viewers.

Lots of other good stuff here, scroll down to read about it.

Until then,

Ken

Ps .Do you read the Onion? Not only is it free, a brilliantly funny, it is also a fantastic source of film knowledge. They have insightful reviews about great new films each issue. I highly recommend it.

............//NEW TITLES//............

IN THE LAND OF WOMEN.
Comedy/Romance.
Adam Brody/Kristen Stewart/Meg Ryan.
Directed by John Kasdan.
* Brody plays a writer who is devastated by the break-up with his actress girlfriend in Los Angeles. He head to Michigan to care for his grandmother and meets the Hardwickes (I love the names Hollywood comes up with!), mother Sarah (Ryan) and sisters Paige (Makenzie Vega) and Lucy (Stewart). As he gets drawn into their lives, the love bonds that form create a place of healing for them all.

KRZYZACY.
Adventure/War/Foreign (Polish).
Urszula Modrzynska.
Directed by Aleksander Ford.
* War film from 1960 just getting to DVD. This film features scenes with up to 35,000 extras and evidently a couple people died during the making of the film.

LICENSE TO WED.
Comedy/Romance.
Robin Williams/Mandy Moore/John Krasinski.
Directed by.
* The only way to say it? Reverend Frank (Williams) is a psycho! He forces Ben (Krasinski) and Sadie (Moore) through demented classes and coursework before he will bless their union. Yikes! Hey Ben and Sadie, for five bucks you could get a friend to be sanctified by the state of California to marry you through the Universal Life Church.

ROSES SONGS.
Foreign (Hungarian).
Directed by Andor Szilagyi.
* 2003 Hungarian film about the ghettos of Budapest during 1944. It is the story of a people in hiding, a secretive opera star and a boy who is making the transition to manhood during this terrible and frightening time.

SPIDERMAN 3.
Action/Superhero/Sequel.
Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst/James Franco/Topher Grace.
Directed by Sam Raimi.
* Spiderdude has a whole array of enemies in this one…including himself! When his suit turns black, his inner demons come out to play. The critics panned this third movie in the popular series, but lovers of Spidey and superhero comic films in general will have to see this film. Maybe by the fourth Spiderman we’ll have an actually black Spiderman, and a black president!

TALK TO ME.
Drama
Chiweteil Ejiofor/Don Cheadle/Mike Epps/Martin Sheen.
Directed by Kasi Lemmons.
* Ejiofor and Cheadle are awesome as Dewey Hughes and Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, radio celebrities in the late 60’s and 70’s in Washington DC. Petey is an ex-con who is a tell-it-like-it-is prison DJ looking to get a radio gig on the outside. Hughes is a programming director at WOL, trying to keep his station on the top of the ratings, and feeling like they are losing touch with the people. Convincing the owner of the station (Sheen) to put Petey on the air is not easy, even as Petey explains “I am the people”. However, once on the air, his honesty and passion connects him to his audience and his career flourishes. Eventually, his inner demons begin to surface, complicating things for Hughes, who dreams of making him a national media success. Although slightly sentimental and schmaltzy, TALK TO ME is a terrific film; funny, touching and poignant, taking perfect aim on the time and place it represents.

THINK TANK.
Comedy.
Eric Artell/Steve Fogel.
Directed by Brian Peterson.
* From the production team of NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE comes this comedy about a group of slackers who are trying to save town from an evil “pool celebrity”. What the hells a pool celebrity? The movies tagline is something about a fine line between genius and stupid, which really pissed me off, because it is almost a direct theft of the brilliant line in SPINAL TAP when the band is defending the cover of their new album on which they chained and greased a mostly nude woman who is being forced by a leather bound hand to smell a glove. Their record company is nixing the cover as sexist (“what’s wrong with being sexy”) and in response they ask about another band’s record cover which features the whole band in chains being whipped. It is pointed out that in that cover, it is the band that is the victim, which is truly a revelation to TAP and out pops the wonderful line “there’s such a fine line between clever and stupid.” Now that I have rambled about that for a while, I will also mention that I hear this film is “better than it sounds” and “not so bad”, so it you are looking for something “not totally sucky” to “watch” than “this one might be for you!”

THE WENDELL BAKER STORY.
Comedy/Drama.
Luke Wilson/Owen Wilson/Eva Mendes/Kris Kristofferson/Seymour Cassel/Other Wilsons.
Directed by Andrew Wilson and Luke Wilson.
* How many Wilsons does it take to make a feature film? As many as are available I guess. In this one, I think there are four, but I may be wrong. Either way, Baker (Wilson)(that’s kind of a joke)(Luke Wilson), is a good-hearted con man, who’s scamming ways finally catch up to him and eventually land him, post-jail, in a retirement community where he joins together with some funny old farts to form a rebellion and right his ship.

............//TELEVISION//............

MY SO-CALLED LIFE: THE COMPLETE SERIES.
Television.
Claire Danes/Jared Leto.
* This was a very realistic mid-nineties show about the painful and beautiful life of a 15-year old trying to keep it real. Although it didn’t last long (19 episodes), it has lived on in the memory of it’s viewers for the last decade.

THE SOPRANOS: SEASON 6 PART 2.
Television.
James Gandolfini/.
Directed by.
* Somehow it took us a couple extra days to get this last week, but it has been on the floor since Wednesday. This is the last 10 episodes of what I consider the best television series to ever have been made. At this point, the world of Tony Soprano is crumbling. He is bumbling through his life, unsure of whom his enemies are, and unsure of whom his friends are. The showdown with NY aka Phil Leotardo is eminent, and the cards are pretty open. Christopher’s series long struggle with substance abuse is revisited. Anthony Junior is heading down some dark paths, and Pauly Walnuts is like an outsider in his own family. The whole season is pretty much leading up to the big questions of who’s gonna get capped and who’s gonna survive. And the explosive last two episodes will deliver the answers you’ve been waiting for. Personally, I see a feature film in this franchise’s future, and frankly, it couldn’t come soon enough.

VERONICA MARS: COMPLETE 3rd SEASON.
Television.
Kristen Bell.
Created by Rob Thomas.
* I don’t know if this show is spacey, but her name is Mars and she lives in Neptune. She fights crimes Scooby-style and she even has a dog. This is the 3rd season, and although I’ve never seen it, I hear it’s pretty fun.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

O AMOR NATURAL.
Documentary/Foreign (Portugese).
Directed by Heddy Honigman.
* Very absorbing doc about the erotic poetry of Brazilian, Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Interviews are conducted with Brazilians who read his poems and talk about their sexuality. This film was made by a Dutch director.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

BREATHLESS.
New Criterion release.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.
Gearing up copies for the next release.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE.
Gearing up copies for the next release.

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN.
Gearing up copies for the next release.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.
Gearing up copies for the next release.

****

Monday, October 22, 2007

**** new release list no. 138


Today was a superb movie day for me. I started out the day with the DARK CRYSTAL, moved on to MURDER BY DEATH and eventually landed on BREAKING AWAY, ALL of which were rented out from under me. I love that. BREAKING AWAY was so awesome, I almost put on THE KARATE KID afterwards, but I was afraid I’d be too devastated if that was rented before I got to the climactic scene.

This week we have another huge stack of stuff. The two trends I see? A bunch of older movies first making their appearance on DVD (BRUTE, BLACK SUNDAY, UNDER THE VOLCANO, FANTASTIC PLANET), and a myriad of documentaries starting with the letter C (CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT, THE CASE OF HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT, CLASS ACT, COMMUNE). We’ve also got some horror of sorts (FIDO, HOSTEL PART II) some Kevin Costner (MR. BROOKS), Walt (MEET THE ROBINSONS), Iraq (HOME OF THE BRAVE) and superfreak (INTERKOSMOS). But wait there’s more (BEST OF CHAPPELLE’S SHOW, THE COMPANY, THE L WORD: 4th SEASON, AIR GUITAR NATION (!!!)), as well as a large batch of new acquisitions including BEETLEJUICE, GLORIA, MEET THE FEEBLES, GRAPES OF DEATH, GREMLINS and more.

I very much recommend MEET THE FEEBLES for the adventurous cult freak movie lovers.

I heard the Fiesta on the Hill was great this year. I was sorry not to have the opportunity to get dunked, which I heard came with this job. Maybe next year.

Until then,

Ken


............//NEW TITLES//............

BRUTE.
Drama/Foreign (Spanish).
Pedro Armendariz/Katy Jurado/Andres Soler.
Directed by Luis Bunuel.
* Brilliant Bunuel 1953 masterpiece finally finding its way to DVD about a muscle-y servant who is hired to help an evil landlord have his way with the poor tenants of his building.

BLACK SUNDAY.
Horror/Foreign (Italian).
Barbara Steele/John Richardson/Ivo Garrani.
Directed by Mario Bava.
* Another older film just finding its way to DVD, this film was called La Maschera del Demonio when it was released in Italy in 1961. It concerns a witch who returns from the grave to wreak havoc on the world.

FANTASTIC PLANET.
Sci-Fi/Animation.
Directed by Rene Laloux.
* Tripped out 1973 surrealistic story about a planet of giants where tiny humanoids are fighting against domestication for their lives. Based on the Soviet Union’s occupation of Czechoslovakia.

FIDO.
Horror/Comedy.
Carrie Moss/Billy Connolly.
Directed by Andrew Currie.
* This zombie satire involves a young boys relationship with his servant zombie who he calls Fido. The tagline? “Good Dead Are Hard To Find.” Really this reminds me of my bands tour in NYC last week. Our last show was in Tribeca, and we were really concerned that we would be playing to an empty house. However, unbeknownst to us, ZOMBIECON was having their afterparty at the very club we were playing. We rocked the undead and were saved by the zombies. Life was good.

HOME OF THE BRAVE.
Drama/War.
Jessica Biel/Curtis Jackson/Christina Ricci.
Directed by Irwin Winkler.
* It seems the Iraqi war movies are starting to roll in, earlier than I usually expect in a war. In this one, a group of soldiers who are about to go home, have one final tragic interlude with insurgents which flavors their lives terribly back stateside.

HOSTEL PART II.
Horror.
Lauren German/Heather Matarazzo/Bijou Phillips.
Directed by Eli Roth.
* Three young American chicks get chopped up by psychos from around the world.

INTERKOSMOS.
Cult/Freak/Weird/Wow/Not-Foreign but in(German).
Dean DeMatteis/Jim Finn/Nandini Khaund.
Directed by Jim Finn.
* Here is what I read on IMDB: “Interkosmos is a musical documentary-style film about the East German space program-a program with the energy and creativity of the Soviet arts scene of the 1920s and a bit of the hippie sensibility from West Germany of the early 1970s. The story is about a failed space colonization mission called "wundertüte" and is told through narration, dialogue, letters, and period songs.”

MEET THE ROBINSONS.
Family/Adventure/Animation.
Angela Bassett/Paul Butcher.
Directed by Steve Anderson.
* Disney joy fest about an inventor and some trips back and forth to and from the future.

MR. BROOKS.
Suspense.
Kevin Costner/William Hurt/Demi Moore.
Directed by Bruce Evans.
* Mr. Brooks (Costner) is a sweetheart community father/husband/businessman/philanthropist/serial killer. Oops, that last thing is a secret. Usually he is so slick that his alter-ego is able to help him keep careful control over his double life, however control is slipping away. I admit, usually I just don’t like Costner, but this film looks really interesting to me.

UNDER THE VOLCANO.
Drama.
Albert Finney/Jacqueline Bisset.
Directed by John Huston.
* Yet another older film hitting DVD (this is a bit of a trend this week). This is a 1984 film about Geoffrey Firmin (Finney), a drunk British consul living in wrecked despair in 1939 Mexico.

............//TELEVISION//............

THE COMPANY.
Television.
Chris O’Donnell/Alfred Molina/Michael Keaton.
Directed by Mikael Salomon.
* TV miniseries tracking the CIA over a 40 year span culminating post-Cold War.

THE L WORD: 4th SEASON.
Television.
Jennifer Beals/Mia Kirshner/Pam Grier.
* Next season in the popular series about a group of L’s.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

AIR GUITAR NATION.
Documentary.
Directed by Alexandra Lipsitz.
* I really really really wish I could have competed at the US Air Guitar Championships. Damn, these dudes SHRED!

CARNIVAL IN THE NIGHT.
Music/Documentary/Foreign (Japanese).
Kumiko Ota/Akemi Edo.
Directed by Masashi Yamamoto.
* Tweaky music doc following a woman who throws it all away to explore the underground punk scene in Japan in the early 1980’s.

THE CASE OF HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT.
Documentary/Foreign (French).
Directed by Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic.
* A “highly unorthodox” study of the life of author H.P. Lovecraft.

CLASS ACT.
Documentary.
Andy Garcia/among others.
Directed by Sara Sackner.
* This doc focuses on the lack of funding for arts in public schools. The main subject is Jay W. Jensen, a veteran Florida drama teacher with over 40 years of experience. We got this film in last week, but I think we missed it on the blog

COMMUNE.
Documentary.
Directed by Jonathan Berman.
* Black Bear Ranch Commune, founded in Northern California in the late 1960’s is the subject of this documentary.

............//COMEDY//............

BEST OF CHAPPELLE’S SHOW.
Comedy.
Dave Chappelle.
* 25 Greatest Skits.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

BEETLEJUICE.
Our first DVD copy.

BEST OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.
Replacement DVD.

BOB DYLAN: DON’T LOOK BACK.
Replacement DVD.

ELLING.
Replacement DVD.

ERASERHEAD.
The classic! Our first DVD copy.

GLORIA.
Our first DVD copy.

GRAPES OF DEATH.
First time we are owning this classic, one of the many requested by Jeff, our resident cult film connoisseur.

GREMLINS.
Our first DVD copy. Don’t give them water, suckah.

HIGHER LEARNING.
Replacement DVD.

MEET THE FEEBLES.
Our first copy of any sort of this as well, this is pure cinematic mastery. If you love Muppets, but always wondered what it would be like if Kermy was on sex, drugs and rock n roll, then please check out this outrageous early Peter Jackson flick.

****

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

**** new release list no. 137


Thanks all, for bearing with our mostly all day closing last Saturday. It was an amazing time we had, and we hope that you weren’t too badly inconvenienced.

You may have notice we have started some library re-structuring this last week (where are all the newest of the new??). We have expanded the new release section and moved the new acquisitions to the middle of the room. Eventually, we will be moving many more sections in the hopes of creating some space for a browsing area with some computers in the middle of the store, as well as just creating a better flow. Any ideas would be heard, and if you would like to hear our overarching plan just ask.

This week we have SO many movies. A ton of foreign films (CELLULOS, CARLOS SAURA'S FLAMENCO TRILOGY, CROWN WITNESS, GOOD-BYE MOMO, PARTY, PIECE OF SKY, SUCH IS LIFE, YOUR LIFE IN 65)!! I am really psyched to be adding more and more cinema from around the world. Personally, those tweaky Eastern European movies really blow my mind. There are also some scary films (ICE SPIDERS, THE INVISIBLE, THE REAPING), some action flicks (KINGS OF SOUTH BEACH, TRANSFORMERS 07) as well as a new food show (JULIA CHILD: FRENCH CHEF). For you families out there, we are really psyched to tell you that the newest CHARLIE AND LOLA: 6 has come in. Wehoo! And for you western lovers, the original 3:10 TO YUMA is here as well…

Ken is going to New York on tour with his band this week (whoop-whoop) and he will be no-doubt watching more strange late night hotel movies which he will share with you upon his return. He hopes to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK next Sunday, he will be back at the store on Monday, October 22.

Yours,

Ken and Amy


............//NEW TITLES//............

CARLOS SAURA'S FLAMENCO TRILOGY.
Flamenco.
Criterion Collection Release
Directed by Carlos Saura.
* The Trilogy includes three films: Carmen, Blood Wedding, El Amor Brujo. Dramatic and powerful flamenco interpretations of the classic opera by Bizet, the play by Federico Garcia Lorca, and the Antonio Gades ballet, respectively. Reality, rehearsal, and performance blend together into an utterly unprecedented storytelling voice.

CELLULOSE.
Social Drama/Foreign (Poland).
Jozef Nowak/Stanislaw Milski.
Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.
* A young man’s journey from rural poverty to politicized member of the working class.

CROWN WITNESS.
Action/Adventure/Foreign (Poland).
Directed by Jacek Filipiak.
* A reporter must guard a deep secret from his past, and his subject is a Mafioso who is preparing to testify against his peeps. Sounds gripping.

5 GIRLS.
Documentary/Drama.
Directed by Maria Finitzo.
* This PBS production follows 5 Chicago area girls through the four years of high school and watches them transform into women.

GOOD-BYE MOMO.
Drama/Foreign (Uruguay).
Matthias Acuna.
Directed by Leonardo Ricagni.
* A magical and mystical world unfolds at the carnival at night as a boy learns about irreverent joy and learning to read.

HOAX.
Drama/Comedy.
Richard Gere/Julie Delpy/Alfred Molina.
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
* A dramatic retelling of the story of a young man catapulted to ignominious fame by selling a bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a prominent publishing house in the 70’s. Ah, the 70’s . . .

ICE SPIDERS.
Horror/Sci-Fi.
Patrick Muldoon/Vanessa L. Williams.
Directed by Tibor Takacs.
* From an IMDB comment: “2 hours of Spiderlicious action. I had nightmares of spiders on ski's chasing me down the slopes. My kids couldn't sleep for days. After watching this movie I often would wonder if ice spiders are real? and if so are there fire spiders? Since this movie I have moved to a dryer and warmer area. I have seen several spiders. Are these spiders iced spiders thawed??”

THE INVISIBLE.
Teen/Suspense.
Justin Chatwin/Margarita Levieva.
Directed by David Goyer.
* A remake of a Swedish supernatural thriller of the same name (but in Swedish). The story of solving one’s own murder. As a teenager no less. These teens exist but no one can see their real selves.

KINGS OF SOUTH BEACH.
Action.
Donnie Wahlberg/Jason Gedrick/Steven Bauer/Maria Bove.
Directed by Tim Hunter.
* Based, I hear, on a true story. Miami nightclub owner mentors a young employee while having to deal with the mob and impending financial ruin. Seems to be the M.O. for Miami nightclub owners.

A MIGHTY HEART.
Drama.
Angelina Jolie/Dan Futterman/Irfan Kahn.
Directed by Michael Winterbottom.
* The story, from Mariane Pearl’s perspective, of the horrific and unforgettable beheading of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Seems like a whole war ago that happened.

PARTY.
Drama/Foreign (Iran).
Hedieh Tehrani, Mehdi Khayyami.
Directed by Saman Moghaddam.
* A writer at a liberal newspaper is thrown in jail for publishing his brother’s wartime diary. Friends decide to raise money for his bail by renting out the house for parties.

PIECE OF SKY.
Drama/Foreign (Belgium).
Severine Caneele, Sophie Leboutte, Josiane Stoleru.
Directed by Bénédicte Liénard.
* Two women – a prisoner and a corporate executive, both looking for a piece of sky.

THE REAPING.
Suspense.
Hilary Swank/AnnaSophia Robb.
Directed by Stephen Hopkins.
* Dude! These plagues are biblical man!

ROBINSONS GARDEN.
Drama/Fantasy/Foreign (Japan).
Machizo Machida, Kumiko Ota, Shigeru Muroi.
Directed by Masashi Yamamoto.
* A girl is drawn into a rich fantasy world located in strange ruins outside of Tokyo in this retelling of the Robinson Crusoe adventure.

SUCH IS LIFE.
Drama/Tragedy/Foreign (Mexico).
Arcelia Ramirez, Patricia Reyes Spindola.
Directed by Arturo Ripstein.
* Present day Mexican version of the Greek tragedy, Medea.

TRANSFORMERS 07.
Action/Sci-Fi.
Shia LaBeouf/Jon Voigt/John Turturro.
Directed by Michael Bay.
* Transformational! Robot war! They’re not after us humans, but, rather, the talisman we unknowingly harbor. If only.

YOUR LIFE IN 65.
Comedy/Love/Foreign (Spain).
Javier Pereira, Marc Rodriguez, Oriol Vila, Tamara Arias.
Directed by Maria Ripoll.
* Mistaken identity leads these young adults on an adventure of love and redefinition.

............//TELEVISION//............

JULIA CHILD: FRENCH CHEF.
Food.
Julia Child.
* Classic! Watch this powerhouse of a woman, and media icon, make some delicious shit. I have vivid memories of watching this show when I was a kid—I still remember her baking a whole fish in pastry. Old school food porn.

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

CLASS ACT.
Documentary.
Directed by Sara Sackner.
* The story of Miami Beach, Florida teacher Jay Jensen, and of the importance of arts in education.

CRAZY LOVE.
Documentary.
Directed by Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens.
* The story of Burt and Linda Pagach and their bizarre and compelling love story. They married sixteen years after he threw acid in her face.

MICHAEL MOORE HATES AMERICA.
Documentary.
Directed by Michael Wilson.
* Who is more Michael Moore? Michael Moore or the Michael who Michael Moores Michael Moore? From the kind folks at BBC.

............//FAMILY//............

CHARLIE AND LOLA: SEASON 6.
Kids.
Charlie/Lola.
* These two just get better and better.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............


EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN.
Comedy/Romance/Drama
Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang
Directed by Ang Lee.
* A chef, his three grown daughters and family folly. Beautifully filmed

THE PROFESSIONAL.
Drama/Action.
Gary Oldman/Natalie Portman/Jean Russo/Danny Aiello.
Directed by Luc Besson.
Replacement copy.

3:10 TO YUMA.
Western.
Glenn Ford, Van Heflin.
Directed by Delmer Daves.
* 1957 Original.

THE WIRE: COMPLETE SEASON ONE.
Replacement copy of this fine series.

THE WIRE: COMPLETE SEASON TWO.
I said, "Replacement copy of this fine series."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

****new release list no.136


Well, Fleet Week has come and gone. It made me nostalgic for TOP GUN. Damn, that was when Tom Cruise could really fly! And Val Kilmer’s Iceman? Don’t even get me started. Probably “Goose” was Anthony Edwards’s greatest role. Course he didn’t hook up with Kelly McGillis though, did he? I guess the lesson here is we can’t all be Tom Cruise. This is what I thought about while spasmodically ducking all week as those angels in blue tore through good American money that we could have used on the war.

We have a lot of new flicks. Great movies, new and old. I am having a lot of fun replacing our VHS collection with DVD. And thanks to those of you who have tipped me off as to what I should buy. At this point we are planning on trying to buy a new stack every week, so please do tell us when you are trying to rent something we only have on videotape.

You may have noticed our sign up at the store regarding next Saturday, October 13th. We have special limited hours that day.

WE WILL ONLY BE OPEN 10:00AM – 12:30PM ON OCTOBER 13th, 2007.

We are opening one hour early and closing waaaaaaay early.

Why? Because Amy and I are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary with a vow-renewal ceremony and we wanted the entire staff to celebrate with our friends and family.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you. We will be open our normal hours Friday, Oct 12th, and Sunday Oct 14th as well as every other day.

OK, then, on to the movies.

See you at the shop,

Ken

............//NEW TITLES//............

ALLEGRO.
Drama/Foreign
Ulrich Thomsen/Helena Christensen.
Directed by Christoffer Boe.
* When a famous pianist (Thomsen) returns to his native land he confronts the decisions he has made that formulated his life.

EVAN ALMIGHTY.
Comedy.
Steve Carell/Morgan Freeman.
Directed by Tom Shadyac.
* Hmmm, Evan is asked by God to build a large ship, an ark if you will, because there is going to be rain…lots and lots of rain. I just read the most amazing arguments people were having on the message board about this movie at www.imdb.com. People love to argue anonymously.

GO FOR ZUCKER.
Comedy/Foreign (German).
Henry Hubshen.
Directed by Dani Levy.
* Another comedy about post-Berlin Wall Germany. Did you see Goodbye Lenin? That was awesome. In this, Zucker is a down-on-his-luck journalist who is a non-practicing Jew. When his mother dies leaving him an inheritance, he is psyched (clearly he’s not a mensch). However, in order to collect, he must reconcile his relationship with his religious brother and sit Shiva with him in respect for his dead mother. Can Zucker put aside his feelings long enough to cash in?

MAN PUSH CART.
Drama.
Ahmad Razvi/Leticia Dolera.
Directed by Rahmin Bahrani.
* Ahmad, a Pakistani immigrant, pushes his coffee cart through the mean streets of Manhattan (ah, Manhattan), never being recognized as the rock star he was back in his home country. This movie garnered fantastic reviews all over.

THE PROTECTOR.
Action/Martial Arts/Foreign (Thailand).
Tony Jaa.
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew.
* This looks great. It’s a martial arts film about a guy who must go to Australia to try to retrieve his two kidnapped ELEPHANTS!

REIGN OVER ME.
Drama.
Adam Sandler/Don Cheadle/Liv Tyler/Jada Pinkett Smith.
Directed by Mike Binder.
* Sandler plays a devastated guy who has lost his family, and pretty much his mind, in the September 11th attacks. Cheadle plays an old college roommate of his that is not having a terrific time himself. In the rekindling of their friendship, comes some comfort and healing for the both of them.

SHANGHAI KISS.
Comedy/Romance.
Hayden Paniettiere/Ken Leung.
Directed by Kern Konwiser and David Ren.
* When his grandma back in China dies and leaves him a house, down on his luck Asian-American Liam Liu (Leung) leaves behind Los Angeles and the high school girlfriend (Paniettiere) that he has accidentally gotten involved with to reconnect with his roots.

SHINOBI NO MONO.
Action/Ninja/Foreign (Japan).
Raizo Ichikawa.
Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto.
* First time on DVD, fast paced crazy ninja flick from the 1960’s.

SURF’S UP.
Surf/Family/Animation.
Shia LaBoeuf/Jon Heder/Zooey Deschanel/Jeff Bridges/James Woods.
Directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck.
* Who’s gonna win the annual Penguin Surfing Contest? Will it be young Cody Maverick (LaBoeuf)? Will he hook up with the hot penguin lifeguard (Deschanel) March on over with your happy feet and check out this flick.

TARA ROAD.
Drama.
Andie MacDowell/Brenda Fricker/Stephen Rea/Olivia Williams.
Directed by Gillies MacKinnon.
* In the face of a family tragedy, a American woman (MacDowell) switches homes with an Irish woman (Williams).

THREE DAYS OF RAIN.
Drama.
Peter Falk/Blythe Danner/Don Meredith/Lyle Lovett.
Directed by Michael Meredith.
* This movie follows its all-star cast through three rain filled days in Cleveland, Ohio. Their stories on based on short stories by Anton Chekhov.

28 WEEKS LATER.
Horror/Sci-Fi.
Catherine McCormack/Robert Carlyle.
Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
* The long awaited sequel to 28 Days Later has finally arrived. Now, it’s been six months since the Rage virus rampaged through the British Isles. Luckily for the Brits, the US army has secured the virus and it’s time to repopulate London. But Oh Nelly, the US Intelligence may be flawed; perhaps the virus is not secure? It only takes one poor sucker who still has the virus to really mess things up. This film is not funny or ironical; it is simply scary and tense.

............//TELEVISION//............

CREATURE COMFORTS AMERICA.
Animation.
* From the creators of Wallace and Gromit comes this freaky claymation take on America. This show was cancelled after just a short time, ostensibly because the public didn’t quite get it that although it is animation, it is NOT for the kiddos.

DEXTER: SEASON ONE.
Television/Serial.
Michael C. Hall.
* He’s your friendly neighborhood forensics expert. And, he’s a serial killer. Based on the popular novels by Jeff Lindsay.

HANNAH MONTANA: LIFE’S WHAT YOU MAKE IT.
Family.
Miley Cyrus/Emily Osment.
* This popular series is about the life of Miley Stewart, who is leading a double life, pretending to live life as a normal teen, but actually being Hannah Montana a teen pop star.
............//DOCUMENTARY//............

OPRAH UNAUTHORIZED.
Documentary.
Oprah Winfrey.
* A seriously in-depth look into the life of the iconic Oprah Winfrey.

............//FAMILY//............


WIGGLES: GETTING STRONG.
Family.
Murray/Sam/Jeff/Anthony.
* And don’t forget Captain Feathersword, the true comic genius in this outfit. Maybe it’s me, but I miss Greg. Sam’s okay, I guess. But it seemed like they were missing their leader, and just bumbling in the dark. Wags the Dog and Dorothy the Dinosaur were around, to keep things real, but Anthony just seems like he’s lost.

............//RECENT ACQUISITIONS//............

THE BROOD.
Horror/Sci-Fi.
Oliver Reed/Art Hindle/Samantha Eggar.
Directed by David Cronenberg.
* Super freaky 1979 film about a psychiatrist’s very strange and dangerous methodology. The plot involves a husband trying to find out about his wife’s therapy, and a brood of mutant kids out attacking the public. I think this film is being remade.

THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T.
First DVD copy of this amazing adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story.

HELLO DOLLY.
Musical.
Barbara Streisand/Walter Matthau.
Directed by Gene Kelly!!
* I heard they were re-making this, so we stocked up. I think this may be the first time this store has EVER carried this film.

L.A. STORY.
First DVD copy of this terrific Steve Martin feature.

QUICKSILVER.
80’s.
Kevin Bacon.
* Our first DVD of this classic 1985 film about Bacon as a NYC bike messenger…ask Ken about his experiences in the bike messenger world.

24: SEASON 4.
Replacement copy of this taut thriller series.

TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
First release on DVD.

WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
A couple more DVD copies of the brilliant Gene Wilder affair.

****