Friday, May 18, 2007
**** new release list no. 116
This week has seen a couple very exciting changes internally at Four Star Video, as well as a very big announcement. The first is that we have promoted long time staff members Shila Evanchak and Rhodes Yepsen to Co-Managers. They are both terrific and we are very lucky to have them. Big thanks go to them for making the store such a great place to be!
The second is that our long-awaited DVD repair machine has arrived! We are very excited about this as we will be using this machine to continue to provide you with the best possible viewing experience available. Soon we will also be offering the possibility of cleaning your personal CD’s, DVD’s and game discs at our store. We are currently working on that program and will let you know when it is ready.
Our announcement is that we were selected as BEST VIDEO STORE IN SAN FRANCISCO by the SF WEEKLY. Holy smokes! We are so honored by this selection. We promise to continue the great tradition that has been established here. Thank you very much for patronizing Four Star Video.
Now, on to the movies.
This week we have a great selection of foreign films (THE CONSUL, THE ITALIAN, VASKA EASOFF, VENUS) as well as some domestic films that take place in other countries (LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, THE GOOD GERMAN, APOCALYPTO); we have a farce (EPIC MOVIE) a doc about the world (WHERE IS THE WORLD GOING, MR. STIGLISTZ), and we are rounded out by four new kids titles (two HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON’s and two (IT’S A BIG BIG WORLD’s)
Hope you enjoy them.
One final note: Rhodes is growing a mustache as a part of a mustache-a-thon to raise money for 826 Valencia to support writing programs for kids ages 6 to 18. You can read about it and sponsor him here.
............**//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//**............
Peter O'Toole/Leslie Phillips/Jodie Whittaker/Vanessa Redgrave/ Richard Griffiths.
Directed by Roger Michell.
* Two elderly actors (in script and reality) share sharp rapport, comparing notes on their medications and failing bodies as they drift through the dog days of their 70’s. When Ian’s (Leslie Phillips) grandniece comes to London to care for him, his life is turned upside down by her surly, self-centered and willful personality. While Ian is completely undone by Jessie (Whittaker – who delivers a mature performance just one year out of acting school), Maurice (the terrific O’Toole) is fascinated and intrigued, and eventually in love with her. Vanessa Redgrave is the latest British actress to act her age without apology. Why is it that American actresses are shunned after 50 but British women seem to come into their own? I, for one, am enjoying tremendously the thriving careers of Helen Mirren, Judy Dench and Vanessa Redgrave. With the amazing Richard Griffiths.
Rudy Youngblood/ Dalia Hernández.
Directed by Mel Gibson.
* It is quite hard to wrap my brain around Mel Gibson. His American accent is so good. That’s impressive. Did he play Crocodile Dundee? I digress. Apocalypto is a visually stunning piece about the desperate, violent end days of the Mayan kingdom. It follows a young man who initially seeks to avoid his horrific, sacrificial fate, who instead decides to attempt to change the system from within (hmmm). As Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat says “Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but that sadomasochistic anti-Semite knows how to shoot a movie”. Word.
Piotr Fronczewski, Maria Pakulnis.
Directed by Miroslaw Bork.
* A late 80’s Polish film just making it’s way to DVD, this is a tale of a con-man just released from jail and ready to get back into his old game of trickery and deception.
Kal Penn/Adam Campbell/Jennifer Coolidge/Jayma Mays/Faune A. Chambers/Crispin Glover/Carmen Electra.
Directed by Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer.
* If you’re bothered by the 17 out of 100 this film got from Metacritic then you just don’t understand. Carmen Electra and Crispin Glover in the same film. Need I say more about this spoof of current cinema?
Parker Posey, Jeff Goldblum.
Directed by Hal Hartley.
* A ten-years later sequel of sorts to the indie-fave Henry Fool, Fay Grim follows the title-named character in what becomes an international madcap adventure somehow relating to national security. Hal has taken a leap. Parker looks great as always.
THE GOOD GERMAN.
George Clooney/Cate Blanchett/Tobey Maguire/Beau Bridges
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Based on the novel by Joseph Kanon, The Good German takes place in the ruins of post-World War II Berlin, where U.S. Army was correspondent Jake Geismar (Clooney) becomes embroiled with Lena Brandt (Blanchett), a former lover whose missing husband is the object of a manhunt by both the American and Russian armies. – WB
Directed by Andrei Kravchuk.
* A 5 year old Russian boy is living in a run-down orphanage in Russia and is being adopted by a well-off family from Italy; however he longs to find his real mother at any cost.
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA.
Ken Watanabe/Kazunari Ninomiya/Shido Nakamura.
Directed by Clint Eastwood.
* Made at the same time as Flags Of Our Fathers, this film focuses on the Japanese soldiers defending the island of Iwo Jima against the attacking Americans.
See also: Flags Of Our Fathers
Directed by Péter Gothár.
* Two robbers (the town robber and the village robber) form a robber alliance and engage in phantasmagorical escapades that quite possibly include one of them storing the other’s no longer attached head in a large pot of strawberry jam only to re-attach it soon after. Yes!
See also: Black Cat, White Cat
See Above: Release of the Week
WHERE IS THE WORLD GOING, MR. STIGLITZ.
Directed by Jacques Sarasin.
* By golly, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, a former chief economist for the World Bank, will sit and tell you for six hours worth on two DVD’s. Mr. Stiglitz will lecture on a wide range of topics.
HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON: LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR.
Harold/The Purple Crayon.
HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON: NEW WORLD’S TO EXPLORE.
Harold/The Purple Crayon.
IT’S A BIG BIG WORLD: THE EARTH NEEDS YOU.
IT’S A BIG BIG WORLD: SAFE AND SOUND.