Sunday, April 15, 2007
**** new release list no. 111
This week we have just four new releases. Rest assured, new acquisitions, both from customer requests and library replenishment are on their way.
This last week was our first without the benefit of Jeremy and Jamie in the store on a daily basis and it was very exhilarating. It was scary and exciting and much like walking a tightrope without a net below. I only had to call them by 10am on the first morning they were gone (and almost every other day, since).
Amy and I cannot say enough about how much the J's have helped our transition. Obviously you all know how wonderful these guys are. We have decided on a date for a goodbye party for them, which will double as a hello party from us.
Please mark your calendars: May 5th at 3pm.
We'll have the party in the back patio at Four Star. A sign will be posted soon in the store. Some of you have requested we make it a pot-luck so that there is an opportunity to bring an offering to Jeremy and Jamie, so a pot-luck it shall be. However, please do not feel like you need to bring something to attend. We will provide some snacks and refreshments and good spirits and a place for everyone to gather. You can bring something or just yourself!
The films we are releasing this week feature some tremendous performances, Forest Whitaker's Best Actor portray of Idi Amin (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND), Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett duking it out on the school grounds (NOTES ON A SCANDAL), as well as an inspired performance by Hilary Swank as a tough LA teacher (FREEDOM WRITERS) and a shoot-em-up/knock-em-down/take no prisoners mafia bad-bad-bad guy tale (SMOKIN' ACES).
............**//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//**............
NOTES ON A SCANDAL.
Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett.
Directed by Richard Eyre.
* Notes on a Scandal is a deliciously insightful and almost Shakespearean tale of misery and evil and just plain bad judgment. The two powerhouse actors, Dench and Blanchett, are Barbara Covett and Sheba Hart a fine pair of school teachers who become tangled in a vicious web of secrets and lies. Barbara is near retirement living a lonely and bitter existence when she meets Sheba, a newly hired young attractive art teacher. Her cutting criticism for Sheba takes a few quick turns - first toward the competitive when she meets her family and decides they are less worthy of Sheba's attentions than herself - then toward the manipulative when she discovers Sheba sleeping with a young teenage student. Soon, Barbara's own intimate desires on Sheba arise, and from here the film spirals into a tense battle of drama and revenge. The true beauty of this film is watching Dench and Blanchett work their magic on the silver screen.
NOTES ON A SCANDAL.
see above: "release of the week"
Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey.
Directed by Richard LaGravenese.
* Inspired by a true story, FREEDOM WRITERS is the tale of renegade teacher (played by the highly skilled Swank) in the LA school system who inspires her at-risk students to grow emotionally and pursue higher education.
see also: Coach Carter
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND.
Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, James McAvoy.
Directed by Kevin Macdonald.
* Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Told through the eyes of his personal physician, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND follows the deterioration into depravity and psychosis of Idi Amin and the complicity of the protagonist. Critics decried this film as an African story told from the eyes of a Westerner without a tremendous amount of factual background. Still, even critics agree that Forest Whitaker climbs deep into the skin of Idi Amin and delivers a chilling and visceral performance.
Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Alicia Keys.
Directed by Joe Carnahan.
* Hmmm. What to say about this film. Is it "A Viagra suppository for compulsive action fetishists" as the NY Times says? Or as Entertainment Weekly put it a "cheerfully disposable gangland freak-show thrill ride"? Which one a dese? Either way, it seems like the kind of entertainment that might kill a couple dozen character or a couple hours, whichever comes first.