Friday, December 21, 2007
Its cold, and its late December, which kinda means, it’s movie time. It turns out that we have 8 new releases for you this Friday, December 21st, for some unknown reason probably having something to do with Christmas They are on the shelves, even as I type.
Before I get to them, however, I want to re-cap a few of the newer movies I have seen in the last couple weeks. So, scroll down if you are not interested in some cinematic rambling. First off, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. It’s a one emotion film (anxiety), but it has that emotion down real well. There’s a lot of fast cut, MTV-style editing, meant to mimic the action of the characters. Some of that is a little nauseating, but all in all, I thought this film was a total joyride. It’s funny thinking about this edition of Matt Damon hanging out with Ben Affleck. I wonder what they talk about? Who knows, maybe Matt and Ben aren’t pals anymore. Somehow, that seems sad. Next, SAINT CLARA. This is the little Israeli film that we mentioned is about a Junior High School love story with a girl who has telekinetic powers. Yeah, that’s true, but it’s so much more. It’s like HEATHERS meets GUMMO meets REPO MAN directed by John Hughes’s very strange European cousin. It is a fascinating kids vs. The Man type story, with the kids being self-possessed and not afraid of the man at all. Especially lingering with me is the image of a hanging and burning full size sculpture of Golda Meir. These kids are punk rock. This movie is not for the traditional lot. Another recent one I saw was ONCE, the rock and roll musical tale of a couple of musical artists sharing their love for music during a mutually lonely moment. Oh, I can’t say enough about this film. You must watch it. It is such a nice movie with power and strength and longing and MUSIC! It really is great. Four stars!!!! Lastly, THE NAMESAKE, a film based on the book of the same name. First off, I loved the book. It is amazing. Don’t bother with the film, just go right now down to Red Hill Books and buy yourself a nice little holiday gift of this incredible tale of a family from India living in the Northeast in America from the 1970’s to the present time. It will leave you feeling full of life and joyful, even in the presence of sorrow and dysfunction.
Okay, so what’s on tap? Well, we’ve got THE KINGDOM, RUSH HOUR 3, PARDISE TEXAS, EASTERN PROMISES, INTIMATE AFFAIRS, THE HEARTBREAK KID, THE BROTHERS SOLOMON and MEN IN THE NUDE. Everything you could want for Christmas. We also have a slew of new television acquisitions, including INSPECTOR LYNLEY SET 4, THE FORSYTE SERIES 1, and more. Capping this moments new DVD’s to the store are about ten separate titles of the children’s movies series featuring KIPPER. This is something we heard about and wanted to stock up on, so we hope your kids dig it. Give us feedback!
A couple other pieces of store news: We are having a used DVD sale from Friday, Dec 21 through Monday, Dec 24th. Buy one for $8 (plus tax) and get one free! We have about 60-80 titles and about 200 total movies to sell. So get your inexpensive holiday gifts here.
Also, we had another slight shift in the movie arrangement. Back in the New Release area, we pulled all the New Release Television out of the New Release Movies and split them up. They are all still in the back room, and there are some handy-dandy signs that should point everything out to you, but as always, please ask anyone for help if you can’t find what you are looking for.
Ken and Amy
THE BROTHERS SOLOMON.
Will Arnett/Will Forte.
Directed by Bob Odenkirk.
* I am not sure what this is about, but I think it is the kind of comedy that compares itself to DUMB AND DUMBER (which was humorously hard for me to type). The tagline to this flick is “They want to put a baby in you.”
Viggo Mortensen/Naomi Watts.
Directed by David Cronenberg.
* Did you catch this film in the theatres? All summer, it seemed, I heard about a very intense scene in a Turkish bath. It is in this film, where a pair of Chechen heavies do their best to take Nikolai (Mortensen) out. I have not seen this film, but I have seen my share of Cronenberg’s creations. His hard eye and penchant for unhappy endings (figuratively, not literally – though maybe literally, too) pack a punch that is usually felt everywhere. This film follows Mortensen’s character plod methodically through the painfully dark underworld of London.
THE HEARTBREAK KID.
Ben Stiller/Michelle Monaghan.
Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly..
* It was Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd in the original. Different times. Original screenplay by Neil Simon.
Dermot Mulroney/Julie Delpy/Robin Tunney/Neve Campbell/Nick Nolte/Terrence Howard/Tuesday Weld.
Directed by Alan Rudolph.
* This flick was originally called INVESTIGATING SEX when it came out in 2002. An all-star cast play some men and women scientifically (just like you) studying sex.
Jamie Foxx/Chris Cooper;/Jason Bateman/Jennifer Garner.
Directed by Peter Berg.
* Super action flick about agents investigating a massacre of Americans living on a compound in Saudi Arabia. Shila saw it, she said it was awesome.
MEN IN THE NUDE.
Laszlo Galffi/David Szabo/Eva Kerekes.
Directed by Karoly Esztergalyos.
* Twisting plots involving thieving and prostituting street kids mark this love tale of a Hungarian writer who falls for a young androgynous teenage boy.
Timothy Bottoms/Meredith Baxter/Ben Estus/Sheryl Lee.
Directed by Lorraine Senna.
* Indie film about a middle aged actor struggling to reconnect with his wife, his kids and himself.
RUSH HOUR 3.
Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan.
Directed by Brett Ratner.
* Part 3 in the action series starring Chan and Tucker.
INSPECTOR LYNLEY SERIES 4.
Sharon Small/Nathaniel Parker.
* Series 4 of this very popular mystery series. We missed this one and season 5 as well, but now we are all caught up. Season 6 will be coming soon.
INSPECTOR LYNLEY SERIES 5.
Sharon Small/Nathaniel Parker.
KIPPER HELPS OUT.
KIPPER – AMAZING DISCOVERIES.
KIPPER – FRIENDSHIP TALES.
KIPPER – FUN IN THE SUN.
KIPPER – IMAGINE THAT.
KIPPER – LET IT SNOW.
KIPPER – PLAYTIME IN THE SUN.
KIPPER - POOLS PARKS AND PICNICS.
KIPPER - PUPPY LOVE.
KIPPER - TIGER TALES.
ALLEGRO NON TROPPO.
X FILES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
SNL: SEASON TWO.
Another copy, I guess it was on backorder.
THE FORSYTE SAGA: SEASON ONE.
Monday, December 17, 2007
We received a really wonderful email from a customer recently. The customer emailed to give us feedback on certain aspects of the store and how we run it. The particulars of what this person had to say were good for us to hear and know, for sure, but it wasn’t someone ranting and venting, it was good, solid, caring, constructive criticism. It meant a lot to us to have someone care about the store and trust that their customer input would make a difference. It did and it does. We are so happy and grateful when you tell us what you think – how else will we know?
Also, just as people, it means so much to us—all of us—when each of us take it upon ourselves to speak. Speak out, speak up. I think, in many ways, that it doesn’t matter on what we are voicing our opinions, but that we are taking responsibility for the world around us, owning it and owning up to it in our own ways, and saying “Yes, that is OK,” or saying, “No, that is not working for me.” That is what creates and sustains community, that sense of ownership and responsibility that connect us to others’ business (in every sense of the word).
Now, on to the movies . . .
Rock the house,
Ken and Amy
BALLS OF FURY.
Dan Fogler/Christopher Walken/George Lopez.
Directed by Robert Ben Garant.
* The world of extreme Ping-Pong is the background of this intrigue-filled CIA-fueled revenge flick about a washed-up former Ping-Pong budding star (Fogler) who is recruited to whip some table tennis ass in the secret jungle compound of super nemesis Feng (Walken). You can be sure the balls will be flying.
BOY EATS GIRL.
Samantha Mumba/David Leon.
Directed by Stephen Bradley.
* In the FIDO theme of Zombie tales, a boy dies after declaring his eternal love for his special one. Once he’s a zombie, his desire grows to new heights. Hey, who hasn’t wanted to take a big bite out of the one you love most?
Takashi Shimura/Toshiro Mifune/
Directed by Akira Kurosawa..
* The relationship between a small-time hood and the alcoholic doctor treating him for tuberculosis is at the center of this 1948 film that marked the first completely uncensored Kurosawa film, after battling the powers that be. Won multiple international cinematic awards in 1949.
Directed by Franc Reyes.
* Don’t mess with a mom intent on protecting her son. When a killer from her past catches up with a mom and her young adult son, they decide to stop running, and prepare for a battle to put their ghosts to rest.
Glen Hansard/Marketa Inglova.
Directed by John Carney.
* Fairy-tale about two nameless people who meet on the streets of Dublin and slowly whisk each other away into a week of tenderness and emotion. Hansard is the frontman for the Irish band, The Frames, and Inglova is a young Czech musician who became his partner in music and love in real life—either during or after the filming of the movie (there are conflicting accounts.)
Lucy Dubinchik/Halil Elohey.
Directed by Ari Folman and Ori Sivan.
* Junior High school love story about a 7th grader Russian immigrant who has telekinetic powers (yeah, I know, don’t we all) and who can see the future. Based on a story by Czech novelists.
Jordi Vilches/Inma del Moral.
Directed by Javier Rebollo.
* And I quote: “Sex Crazy is ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST meets THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS in Spanish.”
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.
Directed by David Silverman.
* Spiderpig, spiderpig, does whatever a spiderpig does. You’ve prolly heard of this film. Some critics said it didn’t translate quite as well as a feature film, but I think the diehards wanna watch anyway.
Sienna Miller/Peter O’Toole/Ian McKellen/Charlie Cox.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
* Kings, witches, quests, maybe goblins (I may be stretching here) all compliment a boy, a promise and a fallen star.
Drama /Foreign (Mexico).
Fernando Soler/Rosita Quintana/Victor Manuel Mendoza.
Directed by Luis Bunuel.
* Bunuel potboiler. The story of a wayward girl who is bad to the bone, but somehow god is on her side.
TWO LANE BLACKTOP.
James Taylor/Dennis Wilson/Harry Dean Stanton.
Directed by Monte Hellman.
* Epic drag racing film from the early 70’s just hitting DVD.
UNDEAD OR ALIVE.
James Denton/Chris Kattan.
Directed by Glasgow Phillips.
* Man, the zombie thing is HAPPENING! A sorrowful cowboy, and an AWOL soldier find solace robbing a corrupt sheriff just as the curse of Geronimo (that’s right, THE Geronimo) has turned the people in the surrounding area into zombies.
Jason Lee/James Belushi/Others.
Directed by Frederik Du Chau.
* A lab accident provides a dawg with some swagger to go with his bark. This film is targeted for the very young.
BROTHERHOOD: 1ST SEASON.
Jason Isaacs/Jason Clarke.
Created by Blake Masters.
* Cops and robbers New England style with two brothers on opposite sides of the law, one a gangster and one a police officer.
............//NEW TO DVD//............
HEARTS OF DARKNESS.
Created by Fax Bahr and George Hinckenlooper.
* Inside story about how the challenges in making APOCALYPSE NOW nearly destroyed the film, Francis Ford Coppola, and Coppola’s career. Some footage covertly filmed by Eleanor Coppola.
* Classic tale of society’s transformation from an agrarian monarchy to an industrialized oligarchy.
Replacement copy of this William Hurt flick.
Fred Savage and Howie Mandel…why did we get this? Not sure.
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
Replacement copy of this Coen Brothers gem.
OZ: THE 5TH SEASON.
SNL: SEASON ONE.
We missed this the first time around, and since we bought season two, we thought we’d pick up the first season, also.
THE WEST WING: COMPLETE SERIES.
Replacement discs of all seasons 1 through 7.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Rock on Four Star Customers!
Poor Daniel Radcliffe is going to spend his career either playing Harry Potter or playing a character that is NOT Harry Potter. While his latest performance as Mr. P is sure to be as good as the others, check him out also in DECEMBER BOYS, where he also plays an orphan but one living a much different life. As Harry Potter may have defined Daniel Radcliffe’s career, so have the Harry Potter movies forever doomed young boys who wear glasses to being told they look like Harry Potter.
And what about Matt Damon? Can he ever make another movie in which we don’t think of him as Jason Bourne? Who knows? Not sure it really matters if you are curled up watching him all buffed out, dodge governmental assassins.
SO . . . do you start the week with some serious action-adventure (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) or with suspense and wizardry with the character who is defining this decade more than almost any other (HARRY POTTER: THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX)? Drama (DANZON, DECEMBER BOYS, INTERVIEW) or comedy (BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2, THE NANNY DIARIES)? Reality? You want some of that? It isn’t pretty but it is important and we’ve got that, too (BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE, COLCALERO, EVERYTHING’S COOL, ROSES IN DECEMBER).
Enjoy! We love you!
Ken and Amy
BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR: THE MOVIE.
Larry the Cable Guy/Ron White/Bill Engval/Jeff Foxworthy
Directed by C. B. Harding.
* Stand up!.
Matt Damon/Joan Allen/Albert Finney.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.
* Bourne. Again. A London-based reporter inadvertently pulls Bourne out of hiding. This sets off a series of events leading Bourne to “ultimately, finally uncover his dark past.” WHAT?? Is this the last one??? Noooooooo!!!!! Action-adventure as it is meant to be in the third installment of the movies based upon the Robert Ludlum books.
BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE
Judi Dench (narrator).
Directed by Mike Slee.
* Set in the rainforests of Borneo. ”Larger-than-life story of a caterpillar and a praying mantis is dazzling, if you're not too grossed out.” See more than 40 insects, up close. Originally made for IMAX.
Maria Rojo/Carmen Salinas.
Directed by Maria Novaro.
* Maria Rojo plays Julia, an ordinary woman living in Mexico City who is devoted to the danzon, a Cuban dance. When her regular Wednesday dancing partner disappears without a trace, Julia is stunned and takes a life-changing trip to Veracruz where the man’s brother lives.
Drama/Coming of Age/Foreign (Australia).
Daniel Radcliffe/Teresa Palmer.
Directed by Ron Hardy.
* Four orphan boys, all with December birthdays and so known as the December Boys, are sent on a coastal holiday by a dying benefactor. The boys’ friendships are tested when word gets out that someone in the vacation town might adopt one of them. This is a charming tale and is set in an incredibly beautiful and magical landscape.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.
Daniel Radcliffe/Rupert Grint.
Directed by David Yates.
* Harry leads “Dumbledore’s Army” in a fight of resistance against an authoritarian pedagogue who takes over at Hogwarts and threatens free speech, progressive wizard education and the future of good as we know it.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2: SING IT ALL OR NOTHING.
Zac Efron/Ashley Tisdale.
Directed by Kenny Ortega.
* Oh I’ll sing it. Ever wonder how much more high school or how much more musical it can get? Well, the answer is none more high school, none more musical.
Steve Buscemi/Sienna Miller.
Directed by Steve Buscemi.
* Steve Buscemi plays a political journalist who is forced to interview a very popular soap opera actress, played by Sienna Miller. Poor, poor Steve Buscemi.
THE NANNY DIARIES.
Scarlet Johansson/Laura Linney.
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Pulcini.
* College graduate becomes a nanny for a wealthy New York family. Girl is just nannying in the wrong ‘hood. Come to Bernal Heights! BERNAL NANNIES ROCK.
BIG LOVE: SEASON 2.
* Everyone’s favorite polygamist and his three wives. This show always makes me think of Bob Foster, an ex-Mormon fundamentalist we met on our honeymoon who had obtained a long-term lease on a half-mile long rock from the BLM and bored various living spaces into its permanently temperate center, the largest of which he ultimately turned into a bed and breakfast called “Rockland.”
LOST: SEASON 3.
* Season 3 of this gripping adventure story.
Directed by Alejandro Landes.
* The story of Evo Morales and the Bolivian farmers who he came to represent, and the union formed to oppose governmental efforts to erradicate the coca crops. I hope this is not a spoiler, but the U.S. was in on this one.
Directed by Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand.
* What does it take for people to speak about climate change? What must they do to get through to us? The subjects of this documentary are the people—desperate, exasperated, determined—who are trying to get us all to listen.
ROSES IN DECEMBER.
Directed by Ana Carrigan and Bernard Stone.
* With this war still being waged in Iraq bearing so much resemblance to the Vietnam War, it is important to remember that destructive foreign policy has been a consistent practice of the U.S. government between the two debacles. That of the Reagan Administration in Central America is an outstanding example and, ultimately, is the subject of this documentary. The story unfolds as we learn about four American women were among those providing humanitarian aid in El Salvador and who were raped, tortured and murdered by the U.S.-backed military in its efforts to suppress the poor and the very threatening liberation theology.
HIP HOP HARRY: FUN WITH FRIENDS
* Its fun, and he is a bear. Hip. Hop.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Of course many good flicks this week, including the much-awaited release of the week, SUPERBAD. Things move quickly to DVD these days and it is a good thing! It is interesting how Judd Apatow has moved in reverse chronological order, the main characters of his big films getting younger and younger. Reminds me of that line in DAZED AND CONFUSED, “I keep getting older and the high school girls keep staying the same age.” Or something to that effect. Judd Apatow’s films are kind of the opposite. Kind of. Or something.
A must-see this week is SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: SEASON TWO. Go look it up on IMDB, each season gets broken down by episode and the line ups for this season are unbelievable. Have I mentioned how notsalgic I feel for 70’s TV?
Rock the house,
Ken and Amy
............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............
Jonah Hill/Michael Cera
Directed by Greg Mottola.
* Latest super funny release from producer Judd Apatow, in which best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) set out to lose their virginity at a high school party with the girls of their dreams. They will be going to different colleges, so this they must do before they are forced to be apart. The smart young men know that the quickest way into a girl’s pants is by getting her drunk, so they get a friend to get a fake ID to buy beer to take to the party. Not surprisingly, in the end . . . oh, well, you’ll have to see for yourselves! Written by Seth Rogen (knocked her up in Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg (wrote for Da Ali G Show). Tell us what you think about the homoerotic element; this film was at one point titled, “Separation Anxiety.”
Directed by George Barbakadze/Daniel Falcone/Hong Khaou/Judd King/Sven J. Matten/Eric Rognard/David M. Young
* Seven gay-themed shorts from around the world.
Directed by Fung Fung.
* A 10-year-old Bruce Lee stars as Kid Cheung, an orphan boy who sells comics in a little stall in the slums to survive. A classic story of a good deed bringing wealth and friendship. Bruce Lee has one of the longest Wikipedia entries I’ve ever seen for an entertainer, describing a life much more amazing than the 70’s Hollywood films where I first met Bruce Lee (amazing unto themselves, too).
Directed by Vít Klusák/Filip Remunda.
* Documentary in the most Michael Moore sense of the word: Two Czech films students hire an advertising agency to put together an ad campaign for a supermarket, Czech Dream, which does not exist. Art or social experiment?
EAST SIDE STORY.
Comedy/Gay and Lesbian.
David Beron/Rene Alvarado.
Directed by Carlos Portugal.
* “Love thy neighbor. Just don’t get caught.”
Mark Webber/Laura Linney/Sonia Braga/Michelle Williams
Directed by Ethan Hawke.
* Not only did Ethan Hawke write and direct this baby, but he apparently wrote a novel upon which the screenplay is based. But don’t hate him ‘cause he’s beautiful. A young man’s coming of age as he tries to make it in New York as an actor, falls for an unavailable chanteuse and eventually goes to home Texas to make peace with his father (played by Ethan Hawke).
Norma Aleandro/Norma Argentina.
Directed by Jorge Gaggero.
* Set in Buenos Aires, a story of how things change between a wealthy woman and her live-in maid as the Argentinean economy collapses.
Stephen Baldwin/K Callan.
Directed by Dallas Jenkins.
* Unrelated characters, each full of his or her own despair, cross paths on Christmas Eve. Random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty ensue.
MIKOGAMI TRILOGY: THE TRAIL OF BLOOD; THE FEARLESS AVENGER; SLAUGHTER IN THE SNOW.
Directed by Kazuo Ikehiro.
* The central character of these classic 70’s samurai action flicks is Jokichi of Mikogami, a famed wandering yakuza soldier.
PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: AT WORLDS END.
Johnny Depp/Orlando Bloom/Keira Knightly/Chow Yun-Fat.
Directed by Gore Verbinski.
* A journey to World’s End to rescue Jack Sparrow. Jack, as luck would have it, is stuck in Davy Jones’ Locker. Remember that Brady Bunch episode? With Davy Jones? Well, this film is way more adventure-filled.
Jason Biggs/Natasha McElhone.
Directed by Saul Metzstein.
* A soldier mistakenly sent to an arctic army base in Greenland, only to be told he doesn’t exist. The soldier uncovers a secret and adjusts to the dark beauty and mystery of the great north. Set in 1979.
24: SEASON 6.
* Day. After Day.
CSI: SEASON 7.
Created by Anthony Zuicker
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
John Belushi/Gilda Radner/Dan Akroyd/Jane Curtain/Lorraine Newman. . .
Created by Lorne Michaels.
* Some of the funniest sketch comedy ever made. Like ever, ever, ever . . . in my life.
THE WIRE: SEASON 4.
Created by David Simon.
* Season 4 of one of the tightest and complex shows on television.
CURIOUS GEORGE: PLAYS IN THE SNOW & OTHER AWESOME ACTIVITIES.
* Far, far from his natural habitat.
Queen Latifah (narrator)
Directed by Sarah Robertson.
* A seal and a polar bear followed from birth into parenthood. Music by Aimee Man and Ben Harper. Glacier groove.