Sunday, November 4, 2007
****new release list no.140
We have more great films out this week, including the new Pixar feature, RATATOUILLE, as well as Michael Moore’s latest feature, SICKO. I took Huck to see RATATOUILLE in the theatres a few months back. It was his first movie theatre experience. We had a blast. My opinion is that Pixar is really making the most multi-leveled family animation out there. The movies look good, are well written, and have a broad appeal. Personally, I have always preferred the old-school hand-drawn animation of such films like SPIRITED AWAY, however I thoroughly enjoyed Ratatouille, and I imagine you will, too.
In store organizational news, the new kids section is finished being built (though still being cleaned/organized/painted/stylized) and we are getting lots of feedback, most of it great. Please let us know what you think.
Other library moves…The Animation section is over near the kids section where Criterion used to be, and it has been flipped on its heels with the Fantasy/Creature Feature sections up higher and the Animation and Ghibli Studio stuff at the bottom. We are hoping some of the older kids start tapping this section, as there are some great films here that we think would have a broad appeal. Over where the Animation section used to be is now all the Music/Hip-Hop DVD’s with the Musicals, which we thought made sense. Especially considering I didn’t even know there was a difference between these two sections (the tags are both marked with an “M”) the first couple months I was here, until I noticed I couldn’t find any of the Beatles movies in the Musicals section and was finally set straight (or something). Now, if it is music related, it is in one place. Moving the Musicals gave us space to move ALL of the Director’s sections (Cult/Independent/Horror/Other things which I don’t understand what category they were, but were Director’s sections of some variety) onto the Director’s wall. If there is a famous Director you are looking for, chances are they will have a section there. As usual, ask us if you can’t find something.
Is that it? No, not really. We moved the bookshelf that used to hold some Classics and the Noir section around the corner to the Foreign section, but we haven’t populated it yet (as of writing on Sunday morning), however the plan is to add much more to the Foreign section and parse out the categorization. Also, the more long term plan is to empty out the section where the Martial Arts stuff is on one side, and the Nature Docs, etc is on the other side (not get rid of anything, just move it) and create a browsing counter, complete with computers, in order to let you search for stuff on the internet. That’s not too far off, but we don’t have a date for that implementation yet.
We have some stylistic conceptual changes coming soon, involving paint and perhaps even some rhinestones… We’d tell you all about, but we prefer for it to be a surprise.
Hope to see you soon at the shop,
Ken & the whole Four Star Gang
............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............
Directed by Brad Bird and Bob Peterson.
* Remy is a rat with unusual tastes; he loves to watch cooking shows, he loves yummy food, he dreams of being a chef in a fancy restaurant. Alas, he’s a rat. However, when his family is washed away from their country home (through the sewers of France – Je vais a la plage!), and he ends up in Paris, right near the famous restaurant of his hero (Ou est le bibliotheque?) his dreams are so near he can taste them (Ferme la bouche!). Once inside the dining establishment, whose owner has died and whose Michelin ranking is sinking, he meets a putzy new kitchen employee (Linguini) who can’t cook to save his life. Together, they form a very strange partnership involving a sort of puppetry and a fantastic rat palette. Ah, but Linguini dreams of being his own chef, and is taught a few things by the local restaurant hottie, Colette (Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? Ce soir?). This film really defines the new style of animated feature, brilliantly funny dialogue, with a nod to the adult audience watching with their children, gorgeous scenery and music, and lots of sharp digs at the competition, in this case Disney, as this is a Pixar feature. Particularly wonderful is the scene when Anton Ego, vicious restaurant critic extraordinaire (voiced by Peter O’Toole) first tastes Remy’s exquisite Ratatouille transporting him back into his country childhood when his Mommy would attend to a scraped knee with a plain and straightforward dish of her very own Ratatouille.
BLAME IT ON FIDEL.
Julie Depardieu/Nina Kervel-Bey/Stefano Accorsi.
Directed by Julie Gavras.
* When 9-year old Anna’s French bourgeois family is visited by the radical leftist agenda, Communism ensues, causing her to lose all her privileges.
DECK THE HALLS.
Matthew Broderick/Danny DeVito.
Directed by John Whitesell.
* Ah, Christmas…bringing out the best in neighbors. In this case, one who wants his house to be so lit up with lights that it will be visible from space, and another who would rather have night occur with the usual darkness.
DENNIS THE MENACE CHRISTMAS.
Robert Wagner/Louise Fletcher/Maxwell Perry Cotton.
* Straight to DVD Dennis the Menace version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Mr. Wilson playing Scrooge. Wow, two Christmas movies in the week after Halloween. Ho Ho Ho!
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY.
Adam Sandler/Kevin James/Jessica Biel/Dan Akroyd.
Directed by Dennis Dugan.
* BACKDRAFT meets CHUCK AND BUCK? Well, maybe not quite. Larry and Chuck are New York firemen who are great friends. Chuck owes a favor to Larry and Larry calls in a doozy. It seems that for him to get benefits for his kids (he’s a widower), he needs Chuck to pretend to be his domestic partner. Chuck agrees and they are hopeful they can just file paperwork and be done with it… If only... Eventually some meddling city official becomes suspicious and the hilarity begins.
PIXAR SHORT FILMS COLLECTION: VOLUME ONE.
* 13 Short films by Pixar (mostly) made between the years 1984 and 2007. You may recognize some of these, such as LIFTED about a young alien being taught how to abduct a farmer, who needs to bailed out by his instructor.
Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner.
* Cotillard plays twin sisters with major issues. Lucie the model has a big personality with a serious dark side and a fresh recording contract, even though she can’t sing. Marie is the opposite of Lucie in almost every respect, including the fact that she does have a nice singing voice. Things spiral terrible down the toilet for these sisters.
See Above – Release of the week.
Jung-woo Ha/Ji-Yeon Park.
Directed by Ki-duk Kim.
* As far as I can tell, this film tells the story of a twisted and demoralized woman who undergoes extensive plastic surgery with the so-called hopes of saving her relationship. It did well on the festival circuit, picking up some awards along the way.
Ximena Ayala/Nancy Gutierrez.
Directed by Marisa Sistach.
* A tale of painful urban tale of sexual assault and adolescent awakening set in Mexico City. Two girls Yessica and Miriam, from differing economic backgrounds, have their lives thrown in to turmoil by an attack on Yessica set up by her brother.
YOU KILL ME.
Ben Kingsley/Tea Leoni/Luke Wilson.
Directed by John Dahl.
* Fucking Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley) is a Polish hitman who loves making hits only slightly less than he loves hitting the drink. When his booze hound ways screw up an important job, he is sent to SF to dry out (that seems funny to me). There (or here as the case may be) he meets Laurel (Leoni) whose lack of boundaries makes her the perfect new partner for Frank as he prepares to go back to Buffalo and face new problems in the family.
............//STAND UP COMEDY//............
DANE COOK: VICIOUS CIRCLE.
* I don’t know a lot about Dane Cook, except that he’s from Boston, and that’s funny.
ELLEN DEGENERES: HERE AND NOW.
Directed by Joel Gallen.
* This isn’t new, but we’ve never had it at the store. Same with the Dane Cook special. Ellen is her usual sassy but cute self. If you like her, you’ll love this.
THE BEST OF THE COLBERT REPORT.
* I just think Stephen Colbert is a genius and actually an American hero. He never breaks character, and although he is lampooning the conservative Fox News style media machine, his questions and wit bring out an insight that is as enlightening as it is funny. If you’ve never seen him, google “colbert at the white house” to see his amazing speech at the White House correspondents dinner in 2006. This guy is totally balls out and completely fearless. Just imagine if real journalists did their job the way this guy does his.
DR. WHO: THE COMPLETE THIRD SERIES.
* The third season in the adventures of the time traveling adventurer who is cruising around with his cockney friend Rose. This show is highly rated and wins many awards.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Bret McKenzie/Jermaine Clement/Rhys Darby/Kristen Schaal.
Directed by James Bobin.
* These two New Zealanders are funny funny! I have only seen them on YouTube, but their brilliant music videos for “Mother Ucker” and “Business Time” are amazing. They write songs of every style and their ability to poke gentle fun is terrific. If you are looking for a laugh, you must see this show.
SEINFELD: SEASON 9.
Jerry Seinfeld/Jason Alexander/Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Michael Richards.
* Season 9 in the show about nothing.
AMAZING JOURNEY: THE STORY OF THE WHO.
* New doc about the band featuring footage and interviews with the surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend.
Michael Moore/George W. Bush.
Directed by Michael Moore.
* Another brilliant film by the documaster himself. This time it is the American healthcare system that he takes on.
DIGIMON: THE MOVIE.
* My son, Huck, is Digimanaical…actually he is a Pokemonstrosity. It all started with Yugiy-oh-god. Anyway, the kids dig it.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.
Richard Dreyfuss/Terr Garr/Francois Truffaut.
Directed by Steven Spielberg.
* Can you believe it has been 30 years since this came out? This is our first DVD copy.
DANCING AT LUGHNASA.
First DVD copy.
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.
First DVD copy.