Monday, April 21, 2008

****new release list no.163


What’s up, what’s up? Lots of new flicks at Four Star Video this week. And lots of stuff on the agenda at the store, as well.

First up, did anyone have a better year of acting in 2007 than Philip Seymour Hoffman? The guy is fantastic. Last week we had BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD, in which he played a reckless brother leading his sibling into a deadly robbery. This week he stars in two of our releases. In CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR, Hoffman plays CIA agent Gust L. Avrakotos, who helps Charlie bring down the Soviet Union. In THE SAVAGES, Hoffman plays Jon Savage, a member of the walking wounded, who is forced by his fathers’ dementia to come to terms with his sister (LAURA LINNEY) and their challenging upbringing. Hoffman is the kind of actor who usually plays the character bits, as he did early in his career in films like MAGNOLIA and BOOGIE NIGHTS. You always wonder with some of these guys (like William H. Macy) what they could do with the real meaty roles, the ones they usually reserve for the thin, tall handsome fellas like Hanks, Cruise, and Crowe (who also had a terrific, albeit un-acclaimed 2007 – 3:10 TO YUMA, AMERICAN GANGSTER). Well, Hoffman is showing us that he can do just about anything; he is adept at creating compassion, empathy and interest, even in unlikable characters.

We also have a bunch of Criterion releases this week, including three from Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu. These silent films are of the social realism style and tell stories of families in and out of turmoil. We also have some comedy (THE TRAILER PARK BOYS: THE MOVIE), some foreign films (ADAM’S APPLES, NINA’S HEAVENLY DELIGHTS, ROMULUS MY FATHER) a bunch of horror/suspense films including the new one by Guillermo del Toro (THE ORPHANAGE) as well as others (CLOVERFIELD, ONE MISSED CALL). There is indie fare (HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS) (as opposed to me, I ride the elevator), and drama (STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING). There is comedy TV (TIM AND ERIC: AWESOME JOB, GOOD SHOW), documentary (THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK), we’ve got some environmentalism (BIG IDEAS FOR A SMALL PLANET) and loads of new kids stuff and new acquisitions to our library including a 1971 Werner Herzog film called EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL.

In store news, we are having our carpet installed in a couple weeks, and in the meantime, we will be painting some of the wood shelving. Since the old carpet will be gone, we probably won’t be SUPER careful about the floor, so hopefully some paint spotted (and smelly) old carpet will only be an eyesore for about 2 more weeks. We are so psyched about our new carpet, it brings tears to our eyes (and we’re not talking about the expense either!).

Lastly, thanks to those of you who attended our 2nd outdoor film screening SUPER HIGH ME, which I have been told was very funny and well attended. If you haven’t yet checked out our screenings, they are in the back patio, and we’ll be doing them every few weeks. Look in the front window for information about the next one.

Love and kisses,
Ken

p.s. Email me if you’d like a list of the movies we have on sale right now. And then I can stress about putting that list together!

............//NEW TITLES//............

ADAMS APPLES.
Comedy/Drama/Foreign (Danish).
Ulrich Thomsen/Mads Mikkelsen/Paprika Steen.
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen.
* From the director who also wrote AFTER THE WEDDING comes this story of a neo-nazi who is sentenced to community service at a church where he struggles with the priest.

CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR.
Drama.
Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts/Philip Seymour Hoffman/Amy Adams/Emily Blunt.
Directed by Mike Nichols.
* In the 1970’s and 80’s, the behemoth that was the Soviet Union loomed like the dark side of the moon on the so-called free world. This is the very unusual story of a couple of renegade Americans in power who get involved in covert operations that help change and shape the world.

CLOVERFIELD.
Action/Suspense/The Monster That Ate New York.
Michael Stahl-David/Lizzy Caplan.
Directed by Matt Reeves.
* POV monster movie filmed from a camera about some young people trying to get out of NY while some sort of monster thing is causing a terrific nuisance.

DEATH OF A CYCLIST.
Drama/Criterion.
Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem
* Javier’s uncle made this 1955 film about a couple having an affair who strike and kill a cyclist accidentally, who offer no help for fear of being exposed.

HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS.
Drama/Indie.
Greta Gerwig/Mark Duplass.
Directed by Joe Swanberg.
* Little film about a young post-grad interning at a company where she is digging on a couple young men.

I WAS BORN, BUT…
Comedy/Criterion/Foreign (Japanese).
Tatsuo Saito /Tomio Aoki.
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
* The first (alphabetically, the 2nd in time sequence) of a trilogy of family based silent films from Japan in the 1930’s. This concerns parallel stories about a young gang of children and their fathers.

NINA’S HEAVENLY DELIGHTS.
Comedy/Queer/Foreign-esque (British).
Shelley Conn/Laura Fraser.
Directed by Pratibha Parmar.
* A young woman heads back to Glascow to take over the family curry house after her father’s death.

ONE MISSED CALL.
Horror/Remake.
Shannon Sossamon/Edward Burns.
Directed by Eric Valette.
* It’s like the video for that John Waite song from the 1980’s, MISSING YOU, where he’s at home, and his ex-girlfriend is knocking on his door, but he’s got his HEADPHONES on, and he can’t hear it, and he’s just trying to convince his friends that he’s not missing her, but he is, and he knows it and we know it and it’s just such a big snafu …. Well, no, it’s really not like that at all.

THE ORPHANAGE. ****AVAILABLE IN BLU-RAY AND DVD****
Horror/Suspense/Foreign (Spanish).
Belen Rueda/Fernado Cayo/Geraldine Chaplin.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro.
* The highly anticipated new film from the guy who brought us PAN’S LABRYNTH. When Laura (Rueda) decides to bring her family to live at her childhood home and open an orphanage for differently abled children, she doesn’t anticipate the supernatural forces that are already habitating the mansion. With one of my faves, Geraldine Chaplin as a psychic.

PASSING FANCY.
Drama/Criterion/Foreign (Japanese).
Takeshi Sakamoto/Tokan Kozzo.
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
* Another of the three silent film releases from Ozu, this tale is also from the 1930’s and concerns a newly widowed father struggling to raise his young son.

ROMULUS, MY FATHER.
Drama.
Eric Bana/Franka Potente/Martin Csokas.
Directed by Richard Roxburgh.
* A story of mental illness and a family struggling to raise a young son. Terrific acting make this film quite intriguing.

THE SAVAGES.
Comedy/Drama.
Philip Seymour Hoffman/Laura Linney/Philip Bosco.
Directed by Tamara Jenkins.
* A pair of very dysfunctional siblings are forced to confront their childhood when their father develops dementia and needs them to come together and make decisions about what to do. This is a dark comedy, full of difficult and painful human issues. The three main actors all give critically lauded performances, and this film is a must-see.

STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING.
Drama.
Lauren Ambrose/Frank Langella/Lili Taylor/Adrian Lester.
Directed by Andrew Wagner.
* An aging writer (Langella) is convinced by a young student that his career can be revived and vitalized. Ah, youth…

TOKYO CHORUS.
Criterion/Foreign (Japanese).
Tokihiko Okada/Emiko Yagumo/Tatsuo Saito.
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
* This is a silent film like the other two releases from Ozu. Again, the family and it’s relationship to economic status is explored.

THE TRAILER PARK BOYS: THE MOVIE.
Comedy.
Jean Tremblay/Rob Wells/Mike Smith/John Dunsworth.
Directed by Mike Clattenburg.
* I hear this is very funny, if you know the television series of the same name, then you know the humor.

............//TELEVISION//............

BIG IDEAS FOR A SMALL PLANET: 1st SEASON.
Tele-doc-series.
* A show about the planet, and ways we can create solutions to the environmental problems that some very smart scientists claim that we have. But we know they are just kidding and that global warming doesn’t exist. Besides, if we have global warming, then how come it is so cold all the time? Huh? Answer me that! (****SPOILERS: JUST KIDDING).

TIM AND ERIC: AWESOME SHOW, GOOD JOB: SEASON ONE.
Teevee/Comedy.
Tim Heidecker/Eric Wareheim/John C. Reilly/Bob Odenkirk/Richard Dunn/”Weird” Al Yankovic/David Cross.
* Star studded cast for this demented sketch comedy show. Did you like MR. SHOW? Then you’ll dig this…

............//DOCUMENTARY//............

THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK.
Documentary.
Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern.
* A film about the genocide being wrought in Darfur as exposed by a former US Marine named Brian Steidle whose photographs and first-person testimony condemn the government there.

............//KIDS//............

BIGFOOT PRESENTS METEOR AND MIGHT MONSTER TRUCKS: V3.
Kids.

POKEMON 4EVER.
Kids.
* Follow Ash Misty and Brock on the adventure of a lifetime. Did somebody say “Battle”?

TODD WORLD: MAKING NEW FRIENDS.
Kids.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE & OTHER MAURICE SENDAK STORIES.
Kids.
* Brilliant and strange, Sendaks’ tales will turn darkness and light upside and expose them to be one and the same.

............//NEW ADDITIONS//............

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.
* First DVD copy of this Errol Flynn masterpiece.

BIG WEDNESDAY.
Surfing.
Jan-Michael Vincent/William Kat/Gary Busey.
Directed by John Milius.
* Epic wave riding by a posse of surfers from the 1960’s.

BLUME IN LOVE.
Surfing.
George Segal/Susan Anspach/Kris Kristofferson.
Directed by Paul Mazursky.
* Customer request about a lawyer in California trying to win back his ex-wife.

THE CELL.
Horror/Suspense.
* First DVD copy of this evidently must-have-on-DVD film.

EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL.
Comedy.
Directed by the brilliant Werner Herzog.
* Freaky allegorical tale of rebellion from 1971.

GUMBY: THE MOVIE.vhs
Comedy.
* Too bad you won’t hear Eddie Murphy say “I am Gumby, dammit!” in this lovely rendition of the cartoon classic.

JEFF DUNHAM: ARGUING WITH MYSELF.
Stand-up Comedy.
Jeff Dunham.
* More from the puppet master.

THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN.
Drama.
Walter Matthau/Bruce Dern.
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg.
* Two SF detectives dealing with a mass murder of bus passengers.

SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT.
* Yeah, that film. Burt Reynolds, Sally Field…Jackie Gleason!

SNAKE PEOPLE.
Horror.
Boris Karloff/Charles East
Directed by Juan Ibanez and Jack Hill.
* First copy of any sort of this classic horror film about scientist presiding over an island cult of voodoo worshipers and other assorted freaks.

****

2 comments:

Jack said...

Isle of the Snake People with Boris Karloff has been available for many years, first on VHS, then later on DVD.
==Jack Hill

4starsf said...

Ah yes, I just meant first copy of any sort for Four Star Video. -Ken