Sunday, September 30, 2007
**** new release list no.135
Did anyone check out the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema this week and weekend? Wow, it was terrific. I am hoping this institution sticks around forever, because I was exposed to some terrific work. A few brief reviews:
LOOM by Scott Kravitz was an amazing animated tale of an old woman who weaves with life-force that she collects. The animation is lush, the sound design gorgeous and the story, though brief, has stuck with me.
OUTSIDER by Betsy Bayha was a stupendous documentary about the life of fiber-sculptor, Judith Scott, who spent 35 years institutionalized and was considered to have no purpose in society. Once Judith was released from the institution into the care of her twin sister, Joyce, and moved to the Bay Area, she began making amazing art with string and other materials, and her joyful personality emerged. Eventually, her art became internationally famous and is included in some very prestigious collections around the world. Judith’s life teaches us hope and understanding, and gives anyone without much experience with Down’s Syndrome, or any other major disabilities a new perspective of life.
Lastly, I’d like to mention BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS, made by Aaron Goldstein and Maxx Gavrich. BOC follows the psychotic and homicidal changes that can occur on humans faced with unexpected breakfast goldmines. The moral of this tale? Don’t call your friend, just eat the booty.
There were so many other great films whose imagery lingers with me. A great big thanks again to Leslie Lombre and Anne Batmale for this festival. I already can’t wait for next year.
Also, I want to thank everyone who made the Pride & Joy festival a great success. What a fun celebration we had. Great tacos, great ice cream (thanks Good Life!), great art table, great music. A great big thanks to Darcy Lee for spearheading the organization of this party. Dave’s daughters Kelly and Julie were also on hand to join in the fun. I hope we do it again!
OK, then, on to the movies.
See you at the shop,
FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER.
Jessica Alba/Chris Evans.
Directed by Tim Story.
* The Fan-4 is back! However, just when things are peachy, the world is chill, and love is flourishing, the Silver Surfer shows up to shake things up plenty. And if that isn’t a bummer enough, Dr. Doom decides retirement isn’t for him, and joins the deconstruction party. Then there’s Jessica Alba’s outfit.
Gabriel Byrne/Laura Linney.
Directed by Ray Lawrence.
* Did you see SHORT CUTS? That was a collection of vignettes based on short stories by Raymond Carver. One of those stories (which featured a great Huey Lewis moment) was about a group of fishermen who discover a dead body on their trip, but continue fishing anyway. This is a feature film based on that story and set in the Australian village of Jindabyne. In this movie, much more than the fishing is explored, as the marriage of one of the fisherdudes is severely challenged by the discovery and the subsequent decision making.
JUNGLE BOOK: 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
Phil Harris/Sebastian Cabot/Louis Prima.
Directed by Wolfgang Rietherman.
* Mowgli trips out with the hipster jazzy animals while avoiding getting chomped on or eaten by some other animals.
Adrain Pasdar/Cecilia Peck.
Directed by Jack Fisher.
* First time on DVD, this 1990 film explores the pain of the Israeli/Arab conflict from the perspective of two young people who’s love is driven into the ground by the surrounding horror.
THE BRONX IS BURNING.
Oliver Platt/Kevin Conway/John Turturro.
Based on a book by Jonathan Mahler.
* An episodic look at the Yankees drive for the 1977 World Series. Heavy with the crazy personalities of the team (Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, The Boss, Mickey Rivers, Thurman Munson), will the team win or implode?
THE CLOSER: COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Created by James Duff.
* Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson (Sedgwick) is a tough cop in the Priority Homicide division of the LAPD.
ENTOURAGE: SEASON THREE PART 2.
Kevin Connolly/Kevin Dillon/Adrian Grenier.
Created by Doug Ellin.
* Part two in the third season about a group of friends struggling to make it in the painful back-stabbing world of Hollywood. One of them is making it, and the others are riding his coattails. By the way, go to Youtube and search “King Solomon Camouflage” now that is a funny video.
METALOCALYPSE: SEASON ONE.
Dylan Walsh/Julian McMahon.
* This hilarious show concerns that struggles of the world most famous metal band, Dethklok, as they attempt to navigate the world while fighting of the glitterati, as well as a shadowy government organization that is out to destroy them.
THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM: SEASON ONE.
* Silverman is a polarizing comic; some love her, some hate her. She makes very irreverent jokes. She pushes buttons, she talks religion, sex, politics...
SOUTH PARK: 10th SEASON.
Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
* Have you heard of this show? I think it is supposed to be very funny. Nothing is off limits for these guys. Can you believe it has been 10 years this show has been running?
Directed by Andrea Stewart.
* This is the story of the Jamaican dogsled team and their triumphant (though not necessarily victorious) entry into the UK championships in Scotland in 2006 .
* More wonderful early footage of the Beatles, documenting some of the early years leading up to their decision to stop touring. Originally aired on BBC.
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA: COLLECTOR’S EDITION.
Gary Oldman/Winona Ryder/Keanu Reeves/Tom Waits/Anthony Hopkins.
Directed by Jay Robinson.
* Keanu could not destroy this awesome vampire tale with wonderful cameos by Tom Waits among others.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN.
First DVD copy.
Directed by Slava Tsukerman.
* Crazy 1982 alien abduction film involving heroin addicted aliens who give up the H for the wonderful drugs the brain emits during orgasm. Hmmm, how will they extract them?
ON THE SILVER GLOBE.
Another copy of that super kooky sounding Polish sci-fi flick that we just got in a couple months ago.