Sunday, July 1, 2007
**** new release list no.122
Today we are introducing a new element to the Star Gazer. It is called "Fourplay" and is designed to get you in the mood for some new releases by telling you about some movies that we have really loved in the past. Our Fourplay reviewer is John Lucas, a local film-maker and talented artist of many varieties…please email us with any feedback about Fourplay! Without further ado: Heeeeer'e Jonny!
I've been asked by my good friends Ken and Amy to participate in a regular film blurbage for Four Star. As they are truly freedom-loving citizens, they've left it up to me to interpret just what the heck they meant by this assignment. And in the spirit of that freedom -- as celebrated by our upcoming Independence Day -- I offer for your consideration these choice celluloid tidbits, to help celebrate the truly independent spirit of what some might call "America"...
Your Fourplayth of July recommendations:
If you've ever mowed the lawn, you know what a slippery slope you walk towards a life of crime. Owen Wilson stars as the unforgettable Dignan, an irrepressible optimist hellbent on a lifestyle of crime. James Caan plays the master thief and rotten apple of young Dignan's eye. This independent gem co-written by Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson offers perhaps the most poignant moment of amateur pyrotechnics ever seen on film. Directed by Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou)
ON THE WATERFRONT
Karl Malden's epic nose goes head-to-head with union mobsters as a punch-drunk Marlon Brando wrestles with his conscience. Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, and Eva Marie Saint round out a flawless cast that struggles with not-rocking-the-boat when they really know ship is going down. A little something for us all to chew on on this Independence Day. Directed by Elia Kazan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Streetcar Named Desire, Splendor in the Grass...)
OK, this one may be longer than an opening disclaimer to a senate committee, but it's worth it. One of James Dean's three feature films, this bad boy was released after his fatal last ride. Dean floors it through all the curves with Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, and the feature debut of Dennis Hopper, a legend of independence. Directed by George Stevens (The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Diary of Anne Frank, Shane...)
WITHNAIL & I
Lest we forget what all this independence hubbub is about, this English folktale plots two London dope fiends, played by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, against the end of the 60s. Much gnashing of teeth and paranoiac vacationing will have you raising Old Glory (or the likes) in a smoky toast to why we broke from Mother England. Directed by Bruce Robinson (How to Get Ahead in Advertising, Jennifer Eight, The Rum Diary)
So check 'em out and blow stuff up, you'll be one happy patriot. Next week's Fourplay will cover the unforgettable and no less patriotic works of to be continued...
See you at the store!
Nikki Reed/Julie Gonzalo/Jonathan Tucker.
Directed by Nicholas DiBella.
* He’s a rich-kid photographer struggling to toe his parent’s line; she’s a hottie psycho. What’s gonna happen? First; he takes hot photos of her. Second; he gets lured into her bad trip and becomes an accessory to murder.
Rupert Grint/Julie Walters/Laura Linney
Directed by Jeremy Brock.
* Sounds kind of like a modern-day Harold and Maude. Ben (Grint) is a shy teenager with an overbearing mom (Linney) in a conservative family who basically does what he is told to do. Until, that is, he gets employed by a freaky retired actress named Evie (Walters) whose life philosophy turns Ben’s world upside down. Ultimately, this film is a coming-of-age tale about taking control of your life.
Pascal Elbe/Simon Abkarian/Isaac Sharry.
Directed by Frederic Balekdjian.
* Hustling and gang violence in gay Paree!
GEORGE LOPEZ: AMERICA’S MEXICAN.
* George Lopez delivers his particular brand of hysterical stand up in this concert film.
Cecile De France/Malwenn Le Besco.
Directed by Alexandra Aja.
* This French film has been lauded by critics as a true horror film. It follows the very bad times of Alexa and Marie as they head on vacation to Alexa’s country home, but are terrorized by a masked killer. All is not as it seems. If horror is your genre, you must see this film.
JUST THE TWO OF US.
Elizabeth Plumb/Alisa Courtney.
Directed by Jacque Peerson/Barbara Peters..
* A Vintage Collection piece, the tagline of this film is “The Tragedy of Today’s Lonely Housewife”. It is a sexy look into a young woman’s hidden desires…
ONIBI: FIRE WITHIN.
Directed by Rokuro Mochizuki.
* The middle in a trilogy of unrelated Japanese gangster-culture films.
PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS.
Elizabeth Reaser/Gretchen Mol/Justin Kirk
Directed by Maria Maggenti.
* Entertainment Weekly called it: “Woody Allen meets The L Word”. It is a NY story about a writer entangled in a few different relationships.
SABAH: LOVE STORY.
Directed by Ruba Nadda.
* Sabah is a 40-year old woman living with her family in Toronto. When she meets Stephen at a city swimming pool, romantic feelings develop between them. The catch? She is a Muslim woman, and he is not a Muslim man. This simple difference becomes a culture clash that the family must confront.
THAT TENDER TOUCH.
Sue Bernard/Bee Tompkins.
* Another Vintage Collection lesbian from the same series as JUST THE TWO OF US.
OUR VERY OWN.
Jason Risser//Allison Janney/Cheryl Hines/Beth Grant/Hilarie Burton.
Directed by Cameron Watson.
* Indie-flick about five teenagers in 1970’s Tennessee looking for a life beyond their little world.
Suzy Aichtison/.Dawn French.
Directed by Mandy Fletcher.
* Super funny UK food series.
BLUE’S ROOM: LITTLE BLUE RIDING HOOD.
DORA THE EXPLORER: SUMMER EXPLORER.
GO DIEGO GO: READY, SET, GO!
Bill Murray/Ted Night/Chevy Chase/Rodney Dangerfield.
The golf classic.
* Replacement copy.
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED.
Directed by Live Schreiber.
* Replacement copy.
Hijinks of the old school variety.
* Replacement copy.
Minnie Driver/James Spader..
Directed by Christian Ford.
* We have this on VHS, just got it on DVD.
THIEVES LIKE US.
Keith Carradine/Shelley Duvall.
Directed by Robert Altman.
* 1974 film about fugitive gangsters in 1930’s Mississippi.
Directed by Ken Loach and others.
* Replacement copy.