Monday, August 6, 2007
**** new release list no. 127
We’ve talked before to all of you in cyberspace about the subjectivity of comedy. What is funny? This week’s releases really turn that question on its head—what isn’t funny? Moving to the suburbs (ARE WE DONE YET); monsters in urban waterways (THE HOST); coming out, falling in love and visiting San Francisco ( MANGO KISS), dreams of infidelity (I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE), unaccompanied minors (UNACCOMPANIED MINORS), single parent hairstylists (THE SALON), adolescent vigilantes (TMNT)? All funny! House arrest (DISTURBIA), crack addicts (LIFE SUPPORT), unrequited love in Paris (PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC SPACES)? Not funny, apparently. Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. If all this gets too confusing, rest assured, some things in life are reliable: THE MUPPET SHOW. THE SIMPSONS. Very, very funny. THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE. Very . . . well . . .
Anyway, we’ve also got some other TV releases that many of you will enjoy (SIMPLE RULES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, ROME: THE SECOND SEASON). Plus another music documentary to add to our fabulous collection (FOLLOW MY VOICE: WITH THE MUSIC FROM HEDWIG).
Just remember, the saving grace of humor is that if you fail, no one is laughing at you.
In a world where right and wrong become increasingly indistinguishable -- where good is bad and bad is good, where you've got to be cruel to be kind, and all that Orwellian jazz -- we have to remember that one person's sin is another person's virtue. So this week's Fourplay is a meditation on the life of crime as lead by some master criminals -- well, maybe not exactly, but they're trying!
BOB LE FLAMBEUR
This film noir predates Godard's "Breathless" by four years, and is an oft-overlooked precursor to the French New Wave. Bob is a flashy loser who can't say no to anything especially his young protege and a teenage prostitute friend.When Bob gambles away all his money, he plans a daring robbery of the local casino. But is it really the right caper for a compulsive gambler? Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melvill (who also did a bunch of relatively obscure films in the 50's and 60's).
A crazy kick-drop into the world of meth addiction. In this twitchy dark comedy, Jason Schwartzman plays a speed freak turned personal driver for meth cook cowboy Mickey Rourke. John Leguizamo, Brittany Murphy and Patrick Fugit round out an all-star cast of m-m-movers and tweakers whose humblest ambitions are far beyond them. First feature directed by Jonas Akerlund (videos for The Prodigy, U2, Madonna, Moby, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica...).
THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO
This documentary sounds like a farce: three young Brits go to a friend's wedding in Pakistan, but end up being sent to Gitmo on charges of terrorism. Needless to say, the charges are false, and the misapplication of what some call "jushtish" takes three years to sort through. Archival footage, interviews, and re-enactments paint a harrowing tale of the state-sponsored paranoia we've been handed. Co-directed by Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story...) and Mat Whitecross.
Talk about crime not paying! A wannabe gigolo (Jon Voight) leaves Texas to share his down-home charms with the fine women of New Yawk City. But the hustler becomes the hustled when he runs into a downtrodden gimp (Dustin Hoffman). The gimp turns pimp and together they take on The Big Apple's highs and lows, from the uptown parties to the downtown squats. But can they survive "the life"? Directed by John Schlesinger (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Darling, Pacific Heights...)
Each of the four films of Fourplay is featured on a shelf by the register.
See you at the shop,
Amy and Ken
ARE WE DONE YET?
Ice Cube//Nia Long.
Directed by Steve Carr.
* Sequel to ARE WE THERE YET? this kiddie comedy shows the folly of moving to the burbs for a so-called better life.
Shia LaBeouf/Sarah Roemer/Carrie-Anne Moss/David Morse.
Directed by D.J. Caruso.
* Thriller about a kid whose father dies leaving him in a tailspin that finds him under house arrest. With nothing to do but obsess over his neighbors, he becomes more and more convinced that one of them is a killer.
Gabriela Hegedus/Kellie Jaxson/Birgit Minichmayr.
Directed by Barbara Albert.
* Five old friends meet at a funeral and relieve some memories in trying to understand where they are now in their lives.
FILM CREW: KILLERS FROM SPACE.
Mike Nelson/ Kevin Murphy/ Bill Corbett/Peter Graves (in original film).
* The second release by "The Film Crew", as the trio of Mystery Science Theater alums have dubbed themselves, is the 1954 Sci-Fi film Killers from Space.
Kang-ho Song/Hie-bong Byeon/Hae-il Park/David Joseph Anselmo.
Directed by Joon-ho Bong.
*One day, an unidentified monster rises from the depths of the Han River in Seoul, and panic and death ensue. The story follows a family who attempt to save one of their own who was carried off by the monster.
I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE.
Chris Rock/Kerry Washington.
Directed by Chris Rock.
* A comedic exploration of the tribulations of marriage seen through the eyes of a married man who fantasizes about others.
Queen Latifah/Wendell Pierce.
Directed by Nelson George.
* Personally, I think it is only a matter of time before Queen Latifah wins an Academy Award. Is this her award winning performance? Probably not. But this film allows Latifah to show her depth as an actor. An HBO produced film, LIFE SUPPORT portrays the real-life turn around of a crack-addicted mother into an AIDS activist. Featuring the debut of Rachel Nicks as Latifah’s estranged daughter.
Daniele Ferarro/Michelle Wolff/Sally Kirkland.
Directed by Sascha Rice
*What do you get when ‘wholesome’ lesbians journey to the devil’s playground-aka San Francisco-and “stumble into the wild world of role-playing and non-monogamous S/M dykes?” Comedy, apparently. While the stars of this movie might not be the most well-known, one of the producers—Erin O’Malley—has had her hand in such greats as Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Da Ali G Show.
PRIVATE FEARS IN PUBLIC PLACES.
Sabine Azéma/Lambert Wilson/Andre Dussollier.
Directed by Alain Resnais.
* A bittersweet tale of six whose hopes of love are dashed and smashed in Paris. Won four Cesare Awards in France.
Vivica A. Fox/ Terrance Howard.
Directed by Mark Brown.
* Another comedy in the BARBERSHOP series featuring hijinks centered around a neighborhood center that in disguise as a beauty salon (kinda like we are in disguise as a video store).
Chris Evans/Sarah Michelle Gellar/Kevin Smith/Laurence Fishbourne.
Directed by Kevin Munroe.
*Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles.
Tyler James Williams/Dyllan Christopher/ Gina Mantegna/Teri Garr.
Directed by Paul Feig.
* A holiday tale of a posse of unaccompanied minors (um’s) stuck in a snowed in airport evading airport security while bonding on their differences. I say family-ish cuz it’s rated PG for “mild rude humor and language”. I think the ratings people are really not on track at all…
8 SIMPLE RULES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
John Ritter/Katey Sagal.
Directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack and Reto Caduff.
* This was the show that John Ritter was starring in when he died suddenly in 2003 just shy of his 55th birthday. It aired for 3 (2 after Ritter’s death) seasons, and we will keep picking it up if people are into it. It follows a family coping first with their children hitting dating age, and eventually with the passing of the family patriarch.
**** I am not sure if anyone noticed BENSON on the new release wall…seems to not be what anyone desires (though it’s AWESOME!), but I know we all dig the 30-60 minute time commitment of the television stuff, so I am just trying all sorts of things. Let me know if there is something great that is available that we don’t have.
MUPPET SHOW: SEASON TWO.
Kids and Adults Brilliant Weirdo Television.
Created by Jim Henson.
* A short list of guests from this season: Don Knotts, Zero Mostel, Madeline Kahn, Judy Collins, George Burns, Bernadette Peters, Bob Hope, John Cleese, Elton John!!!!
ROME: 2nd SEASON.
* Season two in the historical epic series from HBO.
THE SIMPSONS: THE COMPLETE 10TH SEASON.
Created by Matt Groening.
* You have probably heard about this show by now.
FOLLOW MY VOICE: WITH THE MUSIC FROM HEDWIG.
Directed by Katherine Linton.
* A doc following the making of a tribute album of music from the stupendous rock opera HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH whose proceeds go to a school for kids at risk. The film follows four teens on their quest for maturity and understanding…And they say those were the best years of our lives…
THOMAS AND FRIENDS: CARNIVAL CAPERS.
Directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack and Reto Caduff.
* Thomas and his buddies will baby-sit your kids for 56 minutes.