Monday, January 21, 2008
****new release list no.150
Friends and countrymen: what is updog?
I have just heard about (and then read about) the very strangest thing; the end of analog television is coming February 17th, 2009.
How strange is that?
Why would they stop broadcasting air waves? I am having trouble figuring it out. Do they need the space for something else? What could that be? What a very interesting reality this will be for families like mine who don’t have cable and watch what flows naturally onto our television set from the air. Yes, it has its drawbacks. Occasionally there needs to be a bit of antennae adjustment (every occasional 5 minutes) and NBC doesn’t really ever come in clearly. But we get what we pay for (nothing for nothing) and we don’t complain. However, now we will be unable to watch anything without a set-top box, which will decode the digital broadcast. Somehow, this seems so strange.
Ah, well, they give it to us coming and going I suppose.
This week we have a bunch of stuff, but as always, I want to tell you about what I’ve been watching lately, and that is: DAE JANG GEUM. You may have seen this on the new series release wall, and wondered what it was. You may have read about it on this blog in the past and not been turned on. In fact, though we’ve had it for 4 or 5 months, and though we only even got it because I read about it in a Gourmet magazine or something, until this week I had not watched it myself. Now, however, I am completely hooked. The basics are that it is a show about 15th century Korea and the royal court and specifically the women who cook in the royal court. But it is about so much more. In the first episode alone, Jang Geum’s mother, a young royal court woman was kidnapped and poisoned by a group of the kitchen court women who were covering up a poisoning plot against the king’s grandmother, and Jang Geum’s father, who as a young officer was present at the queen’s execution (again by forced poisoning – ahh, it was brutal!) has had his future spelled out to him quite esoterically by a spiritual master. By the second episode, young Jang Geum is alone, having lost her parents to the crazy paranoid royal machine, and she is left at 10 to fend for herself. I’m telling you, this is a crazy series. The food preparation, which I thought originally central to the plot, appears to be more secondary, but delicious looking! So, there you go, watch it or not.
Another thing I watched this weekend, with the whole family, was a new release from Animal Planet called THE JEFF CORWIN EXPERIENCE. It is essentially a kid’s show about this kook Jeff Corwin going all over the planet and showing us all sorts of wild animals, but at the core of this show is Jeff himself and his very strange and ambiguous humor that left Amy and I staring at each other over the kids heads over and over again. If you or your kid is a nature freak, check out this show.
I know, I know, I am long-winded and type to, uh…hear myself type, but one last thing. I have just bought about 100 of these funky DVD skin protectors that Four Star will be trying out over the next week or two. They are snap on protection and hopefully they will scratch without the disc scratching. I am very hopeful that this will be a boon for all of us who watch DVD’s, as everyone knows what a drag it is when the movie stops mid-plot. Please ask us about them at the store. We will give you information when we start using them. Also, we may make them available for you to buy as well, for your personal collections. I have also bought (not delivered yet) some DVD machine repair discs that will also be for sale.
Okay, okay, on to the movies.
ADRIFT IN MANHATTAN.
Heather Graham/William Baldwin/Dominic Chianese.
Directed by Alfredo Villa.
* Isolation and loneliness in New York City, with three intersecting lives offering comfort and a chance to grow. Is Heather Graham anything more than Rollergirl from BOOGIE NIGHTS? I don’t know, but it seems like she mostly exists in the B movies with a sex scene in each contract. In this, she plays a mom stricken with grief after the death of her infant.
Jessica Simpson/Luke Wilson/Penelope Ann Miller.
Directed by Scott Marshall.
* The description of this film describes Simpson’s character as a “young professional woman.” Wow! I only know the Jessica Simpson jokes; can she act? I know Luke Wilson can, and he’s always charming to watch. This film follows a power struggle in corporate America.
Jean-Claude Drouot/Claire Drouot/Marie-France Boyer.
Directed by Agnes Varda.
* One of a group of four movies by Varda released this week, we already had two, so I am just highlighting this and La Pointe Courte. This film is about the painfulness of the introduction of a mistress into a solid married couples (with children) life. Varda was one of the creator’s of cinema’s New Wave, and this film remains provocative and raw.
THE GAME PLAN.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson/Madison Pettis.
Directed by Andy Fickman.
* The Rock! Dwayne stars as Joe Kingman (dude, come on, who comes up with these names??) the QB of the Boston Rebels, who are vying for a championship. Kingman is mister bachelor, star-athlete, stud, and living the full lifestyle, until his 8-year old daughter (Pettis) comes to live with him. The kid throws his life upside down, but somehow, against all odds, he is able to get in touch with his inner-dad and win the big game.
HENRY ROLLINS: LIVE IN THE CONVERSATION PIT.
* Henry, doing what Henry does best; gabbing.
Sam Rockwell/Jacob Kogan.
Directed by George Ratliff.
* Uber-creepy movie about a kid who gets really pissed when his parents have a baby and start showering her with the attention that he craves and feels is rightfully his.
Ludivine Sagnier/Romain Duris/Fabrice Luchini.
Directed by Laurent Tirard.
* Sexual and theatrical hijinks in 1650’s Paris.
LA POINTE COURTE.
Silvia Monfort/Philippe Noiret.
Directed by Agnes Varda.
* Varda’s 1956 classic is considered by many to be her best. It is the tale of two lovers and their relationship which they are both tiring of.
Tobin Bell/Betsy Russell/Scott Patterson/.
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
* People get cut up and sewn up in really horrifyingly gnarly ways. If you’re into it, I hear this one is great.
SEX & BREAKFAST.
Macaulay Culkin/Kuno Becker/Eliza Dushku.
Directed by Miles Brandman.
* Two couples who are falling a bit out of love with each other get connected through a therapist Dr. Wellbridge (she should meet Joe Kingman, they could discuss their amazing names together). Dr. Wellbridge has a fabu idea! Partner swapping! Thus, the four embark on a path of self-discovery. I’m just psyched to see Culkin acting again.
Amanda Bynes/Sara Paxton/Matt Long.
Directed by Joe Nussbaum.
* It’s a retelling of Snow White, with Sydney taking on the evil sorority leader (Paxton, in the role of Rachel Witchburn ).
THIS SPORTING LIFE.
Richard Harris/Rachel Roberts..
Directed by Lindsay Anderson.
* Frank Machin (Harris) is a mean thug Rugby player who is unable to connect with society.
THE JEFF CORWIN EXPERIENCE: 1st SEASON.
* Humor, action, education in the animal world by the one and only Jeff Corwin. If you have an animal obsessed child (like I do) or are animal obsessed yourself, then you should check out this entertaining show that features borderline inappropriate humor from Jeff.
THE KINGDOM: SERIES 1 AND 2.
Directed by Lars Von Trier.
* The entire series about the super duper advanced hospital in Denmark, and the supernatural energy that lurks within.
KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD: TEN DAYS OUT.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd/Friends.
* Hmmm, I hope someone likes Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
First DVD of this film. Another quintessential 1980’s movie about kids fucking up.
SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT.
First DVD of this film. I think it actually just came out on DVD, but it ended up on our recent acquisition shelf anyway…
ST. ELMO’S FIRE.
First DVD or VHS of this classic 1980’s film starring Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, and so many more.