Monday, January 7, 2008
****new release list no148
Welcome to 2008. Hope you are surviving the water. I took a walk during the highpoint of the storm on Friday morning, not yet aware that it would be such a wild day that would see a bunch of Cortland businesses (depressingly, including ours) shut down. Being from the east coast gives me a sort of hubris that sometimes contends that I am tougher than a little measly weather and can “take it”. Ah, what foolhardiness I carry with me. By the time I got to Cortland, I was soaked, cold and defeated. And that was before I got to the store!
Ah, yes. Nature always wins. Not a bad lesson to learn. We were sorry we could not help everyone with a little entertainment on Friday night. We may invest in a generator so that never happens again.
This is our first posting in a couple weeks. It has been an awesome holiday season over here at Four Star Video, and we thank you all tremendously for supporting us. We know the many choices that are available these days, and we are grateful that you continue to decide to come to Four Star. We will continue to put all of our resources into making our library fantastic, and your experience in the store the same.
We have a lot of films to tell you about, including five that we put out on the shelves a week or so ago. I have put a star next to the titles that we put out last week, just so you know what’s truly new and what is new to this blog, but perhaps not to you if you’ve been in the store this last week. (That sentence is a bit hard to understand, but it’s 12:45am and I think you get the point).
I’ve seen a ton of movies lately, and I want to tell you about a few. My two favorites both have child stars and are both foreign films. The first, BLAME IT ON FIDEL, from France, is simply spectacular. It follows one family’s political upheaval as it affects their young 8 or 9 year old daughter. She goes from having everything to feeling angry and lost as the family give up their big house and servants for a communist lifestyle. She is so wonderful and mature, as she attempts to reconstruct her world and understand the larger world around her. The second is an older Spanish film, CRIA CUERVOS by the flamenco film master, Carlos Saura from 1976. This movie is also wonderful! It concerns a family of three daughters, who have just become orphans as the movie begins. The main character is Ana, the middle child (oh, the poor middle child) who blames her mothers death on her father, and who sees her mothers ghost regularly. We also have three of the flamenco movies of Saura on the new release wall, and although I have only seen one, I recommend them. The one I saw was CARMEN, and it was terrific. The music and dancing were superb and the storytelling through the dance was just wild. I was a little skeptical that I would like a flamenco movie, but I loved it. So there you go; some recommendations from me. Let me know how you like them.
Okay then, on to the movies.
Love and kisses,
3:10 TO YUMA.
Russell Crowe/Christian Bale/Peter Fonda/Gretchen Mol.
Directed by James Mangold.
* A remake of the 1957 film of the same name, the story is of the tense and treacherous transport of famed outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) to the train which will bring him to justice. Among those in the transport posse is rancher Dan Evans (Bale) who is desperate for the money to keep his ranch. Psychological warfare mixed with gun battles both from Indians (it’s a Western, guys, it would seem weird to type Native Americans in this context) and Wade’s gang keep things ultra tight right up until the bloody end.
AN ANGEL IN KRAKOW. *
Krzysztof Globisz/Ewa Kaim.
Directed by Artur Wiecek.
* Another freaky movie from Eastern Europe about an angel philosophizing with a human.
BIG BANG LOVE, JUVENILE A .
Directed by Takashi Miike.
* I read “Homosexual tension and explosive violence” on IMDB.com. It’s about two detectives trying to unravel the mystery of a murder at an all-boys juvenile detention center.
CATERINA IN THE BIG CITY.
Alice Teghil/Sergio Castellitto.
Directed by Paolo Virzi.
* Caterina’s family is from the sticks outside of Rome; when they move to the big city, her young teenage world is totally blown away. She is torn in two by painful friendships with the two uber-popular girls, Magherita – the daughter of writers and artists, and Daniela – a politician’s daughter. Caterina’s father is a failed teacher who is certain that the world if full of spite for him, and that the haves are conspiring to make sure he has not. The awkward solitude of puberty is strong in this film; it filled me with feelings of loneliness, regret and anger. The beauty and strength of Caterina make this film a wonderful testimony to life.
Quim Gutierrez/Marta Etura/Antonio de la Torre/Eva Pallares/Raul Arevalo.
Directed by Daniel Sanchez Arevalo.
* This beautiful little film is about a young man’s struggle to outrun his destiny; in this case, being the janitor of the building he lives in with his invalid father who he cares for. He has a stuttering romance with a young woman whose family also lives in the building and a wonderful friendship with a friend who is struggling to deal with the discovery of his father’s secret sexuality. He also has a brother in jail whose goal is to impregnate his also imprisoned girlfriend. Unfortunately, his sperm have flown south forever, and he wants our hero to do the impregnating. Ah, the complexities of life! You must see this wonderful film.
Kevin Bacon/Kelly Preston.
Directed by James Wan.
* Kevin Bacon schizes out in a major way after witnessing terrible brutality. He then exacts his very own, DEATH SENTENCE. Who doesn’t love a Kevin Bacon flick?
THE DR. JEKYL AND MR. HYDE ROCK AND ROLL MUSICAL.
Alan Bernhoft/Michelle Monaghan.
Directed by Andre Champagne.
* If you love a rock opera, you’ll check this out (and tell me about it!).
Jason Behr/Amanda Brooks.
Directed by Hyung-rae Shim..
* Monsters battling it out in Los Angeles.
EAGLE VS SHARK.
Comedy/Stilted/Foreign (New Zealand – is New Zealand foreign?).
Jermaine Clement/Loren Horsley.
Directed by Taika Cohen.
* Almost like a New Zealand NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE meets LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, but not quite as good as either. She (Horsley) is a loser waitress (albeit a beautiful loser) and he (Clement - of FLIGHTS OF THE CONCHORD fame) is a true loser, freak, pathetic vengeful liar. But that is not enough to keep this woman away!!!
FORGET ABOUT IT.
Burt Reynolds/Robert Loggia/Raquel Welch.
Directed by BJ Davis.
* Three old war veteran trailer chumps in trouble with the mafia.
Charlotte Gainsbourg/Vincenzo Amato.
Directed by Emanuele Crialese.
* Gritty realistic portrayal of a poor family immigrating to America in the early 20th century.
John Malkovich/Saffron Burrows.
Directed by Raul Ruiz.
* Malkovich plays the decadent Austrian artist Gustav Klimt in this period piece.
THE LADY VANISHES.
Dame May Whitty/Margaret Lockwood.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
* Criterion release of the 1938 classic. Where’d she go?
MIRACLE DOGS, TOO. *
Janine Turner/Patrick Muldoon.
Directed by Richard Gabai.
* Two dogs have magical powers that cure problems in a small town.
Directed by Irving Schwartz.
* I always get Piper Perabo mixed up with Pikabo Street. You know, the skier who got to pick her own name? Anyway, I don’t know much about her skiing, and I don’t know much about this movie. But Piperboo plays some chick in NY who has dysfunctional parents, druggie friends and I think gets hit by a truck. That sounds funny!
RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION. *
Milla Jovovitch/Ali Larter/Oded Fehr/Ashanti.
Directed by Russell Mulcahy.
* The third in the trilogy following the outrageously beautiful Jovovitch strapped full of weapons shooting zombies and other assorted bad guys.
SEPTEMBER DAWN. *
Jon Voigt/Trent Ford/Tamara Hope.
Directed by Christopher Cain.
* A western romance set behind the historical tale of a group of settlers from Arkansas getting massacred by some seriously angry Mormons. Why can’t we all just get along?
Ellie Araiza/Brad Greenquist.
Directed by Adrian Fulle.
* Good versus evil in the wild wild West. Actually, I think it’s good and evil versus really really evil.
SHOOT EM UP. *
Clive Owen/Paul Giamatti/Monica Bellucci.
Directed by Michael Davis.
* Dude, look at this cast! I’m not sure exactly what this is about, but it involves a baby being protected from a bunch of gunmen by a vigilante (Owen). Sounds like the dark, evil but goofy sibling of CHILDREN OF MEN. But probably not.
Michelle Yeoh/Cillian Murphy/Cliff Curtis/Chris Evans.
Directed by Danny Boyle.
* The sun is dying, astronauts, scientific mission, reigniting the sun, failure, bombs and uh…You oughta see me try to reignite a dying fire; I’m told it’s pretty funny.
ULTIMATE ANIMATION: ETERNAL GAZE AND F8.
Jet Li/Jason Statham.
Directed by Philip G. Atwell.
* An FBI agent (Statham) seeks revenge on the mysterious killer (Li) of his partner.
Tripped Out/Psychedelic/Fairy Tale/Foreign (Japanese).
Kyoko Kishida/Kazuko Yoshiyuki.
Directed by Mai Tominaga.
* Whoa, this film is weird. It is the story of two old ladies living in a crazy old mansion just completely filled with stuff. Along comes a bunch of balls of red yarn, and kind of attached to them a young woman who may or may not be their mother. She knits a dress, and must knit it again, and AGAIN, AND AGAIN! The sound design is sublime, with long periods of silence, and great horn-based tunes. Animated scenes move the story along, and a dollhouse helps ground the narrative. I haven’t taken acid for many years, but I sure thought I was tripping while watching this flick.
THE BEST OF JOHNNY CARSON: VOLUME 1.
* Funny stuff from the original late night master.
Mi-5: VOLUME 5.
Season five in the tales of the UK intelligence organization.
AMERICAN CARNY: TRUE TALES FROM THE CIRCUS SIDESHOW.
Directed by Nick Basile.
A look at the great American tradition.
INDIE SEX. *
Directed by Lesli Klainberg.
* An in-depth look at sex and nudity in cinema.
GROWING UP ARCTIC.
* Another awesome study by the Animal Planet people. This has four segments about animals being rescued in Alaska and elsewhere, and a ton of great footage and information about these animals: Seals, Polar Bears, Walruses and Penguins.
MIGHTY MACHINES: BOATS TO THE RESCUE.