Sunday, July 15, 2007
**** new release list no.124
Nice days lately…warm and sunny. What happened to summer? Oh well, it will be back; in the meantime we'll enjoy this strange beautiful interlude.
When Amy and I took over Four Star Video in March, our immediate thought was to update the kids section. As parents, it always seems hard to find anything you want to show your kids. This week we watched CHARLIE AND LOLA for the first time. It is fantastic. It follows the antics of Charlie and his funny little sister Lola as they trip-trop through the world. It is in parts beautiful, psychedelic, humorous and always entertaining. I sat through almost the entire 7 episode disc 1 over three nights and thoroughly enjoyed myself. There were no skeptically raised eyelids or tweaked frowns on our faces as we watched (always a good litmus test with the kids stuff). I highly recommend this show.
On to this weeks FOURPLAY (written weekly by John Lucas)!
Sometimes I look at the headlines and wish I could time travel. You know, to a time when things were a bit more... you know. But was it ever really how we remember it? The thing with history in general and personal history specifically, is that hindsight is... you know. So this week, for your viewing pleasure, a few flicks that reflect the 20/20 of, well, you know...
Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) has a problem. And an even bigger problem: he can't remember what the problem is all about. Brain damaged from a violent attack that left his wife dead, he tries to find the killer with the help of his new friends Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss). But are they really his friends, or are they looking to fulfill their own sick needs at the expense of his amnesia? An expert cast and nonlinear story is directed masterfully by Christopher Nolan (Insomnia, The Prestige, Batman Begins).
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
Follow the rebirth (and redeath) of Manchester's music scene through the eyes of Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan), the TV host turned impresario, owner of Manchester's soon-to-be hottest club, the Factory. His recollections of this historic era turn upon themselves, making it hard to distinguish what really happened. This joyride puts you right there, from the early days of Joy Division to the decadent implosion of Happy Mondays. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland, The Road to Guantanamo, A Mighty Heart...)
Loser file clerk Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti) has only one passion in life: comics. He meets Robert Crumb (James Urbaniak) who inspires him to make a comic about his own life. The problem is, all he can draw is stick figures. So the two loners begin an unlikely collaboration that leads Harvey into the awkward arms of comic book clerk Joyce (Hope Davis). Told with clever flashbacks by the real Harvey Pekar, this movie blurs the distinction between memoir and fantasy. Co-directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (co-directors on The Young & the Dead, Hello He Lied, Wanderlust...)
Six young men -- played by Kevin Bacon, Mickey Roarke, Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Steve Guttenberg and Timothy Daly -- try to cross the bumpy road to manhood in Baltimore in 1959. Their meeting place: the quintessential American diner. And they're finally beginning to realize that they can't stay there forever. All-star performances and childish antics set a stage that inspires the Tarrantino Generation. This definitive first feature was written and directed by Barry Levinson (Bugsy, Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam...)
Next week: get ready for some shameless entertainment, a selection from the "Big Dumb Fun" pile...
See you at the shop,
A BULLET FOR JOEY.
Edward G. Robinson.
Directed by Lewis Allen.
* A cold-war era espionage noir thriller complete with gangsters, communists, the FBI and nuclear scientists.
ACE IN THE HOLE.
Kirk Douglas/Jan Sterling.
Directed by Billy Wilder.
* One of the original films about the concept of a "media-circus" a reporter delays the rescue of a miner trapped in a cave for his own personal gain.
Cecil De France/Valerie Lemercier.
Directed by Daniele Thompon.
* This French flick converges of the lives of a television star, a classical pianist, an art connoisseur, at a café where the very real and non-famous Jessica is waiting tables.
BUT FOREVER IN MY MIND.
Directed by Gabriele Muccino.
* Described as an Italian John Hughes film, this film concerns the lives of teenagers in 1968 Italy. Full of contempt for the adults around them the kids strive to make their own way in a world of hypocrisy. Sound familiar? How'd it work out for you?
HANA & ALICE.
Anne Suzuki/Yu Aoi.
Directed by Shunji Iwai.
* Hana and Alice are two high school girls struggling with the things high school kids struggle with. They complicate things a bit by making up tales to a cute boy they both have a crush on. This is Andrew's girlfriend's favorite movie! Ask him about it.
HILLS HAVE EYES 2.
Jessica Stroup/Reshad Strik.
Directed by Martin Weisz.
* Part duh, I mean deux of this cannibalistic mutant tale of HORROR!
KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL.
John Payne/Colleen Gray.
Directed by Phil Karlson.
* Dirty cops frame an ex-con for a bank robbery they commit.
Directed by Mennan Yapo.
* Linda Hanson (Bullock) is facing the unfortunate reality of slipping in and out of time. The plot centers on her husbands tragic car-accident death and then bucks the trend by flip-flopping Hanson's reality before and after the accident. What would you do if you could go back in time and prevent something from happening?
Denis Lavant/Isild Le Besco.
Directed by Christophe Ali and Nicolas Bonilauri.
* An updated version of the Lolita story, she is a sulky teenager and he is a married ex-con working at the camp. He doesn't stand a chance.
Directed by Mark Becker.
* A locally made doc about the life of a Mexican troubadour who eventually returns to Mexico after years of trying to scratch out a decent living here in San Francisco.
Directed by Tomer Heymann.
* This documentary covers so much ground. It is about a group of Filipino transvestites (hear that JJ?) who emigrate to Israel where they spend their days taking care of elderly religious men and their nights performing as the drag troupe The Paper Dolls.
FOYLE'S WAR: SET 4.
* Season Four of the popular UK television show about a cop at home in England during WWII.
GRAFTERS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Robson Green/Stephen Tompkinson.
* UK series about brothers who are forced to work together for economic reasons and the bonds that are forged and damaged by that happenstance.
MOST HAUNTED: THE COLLECTION.
Derek Acorah/Yvette Fielding.
* "Paranormal investigations into haunted locations, using psychic mediums and scientific equipment". -IMDB
Clint Eastwood/Burt Reynolds/Madeline Kahn.
Directed by Richard Benjamin.
* Eastwood and Reynolds as ex-partner cops who team up one more time to solve a crime even though they now hate each other.
LIFE AND TIMES OF ALLEN GINSBERG.
Directed by Jerry Aronson.
* First DVD copy of this awesome profile of one of the more controversial, influential and profound poets of the 20th century.
Patrick Swayze/C.Thomas Howell/Charlie Sheen/Jennifer Grey/Harry Dean Stanton!
Directed by John Milius.
* 80's tale of teenagers fighting back against the Soviets takeover of mid-Western America. Wonderful period piece.
SEX AND THE CITY: THE COMPLETE 2nd SEASON.
WOMAN IN THE WINDOW.
Edward G. Robinson.
Directed by Fritz Lang.
* Tripped out thriller about a murder, and blackmail. Just recently released on DVD from a restored 35mm print.