Monday, October 6, 2008
****new release list no.187
THIS FRIDAY, Oct 10th: come watch the classic bicycling coming-of-age film BREAKING AWAY at 8pm in our backyard screening patio. Yet another great family date flick! I saw this movie with a group of kids in 1979 for my 10th birthday – a banner memory. Doors open at 7:45pm. Soda/Candy $1. Suggested donation $5. Popcorn is free! One note about the screenings, when the weather looks yucky, we cancel, so give us a buzz down here around 7pm if you aren’t sure but are hoping to come.
Each week as I contemplate writing this blog I keep a little mental list of things I want to touch on. Usually the list is intermingled with a million other tasks of the week and generally, as my “mental” strength has weakened considerably since I became a parent, I forget at least a few of the details I wanted to impart. Sometimes, such as this week, I type them into my template during the week so as not to forget. This week, as I am overwhelmed by the 62 films that I am writing a bit about, I was tempted to just post this preamble as is:
Retail movies for KenFlix subscription members.
Jeff’s new additions.
Chela’s friend’s movie.
Lots of new fucking movies.
But, perhaps a bit of blahblahblahing will be justified and even enjoyed by you the tremendous and supportive movie renting customers of Four Star Video.
So…Paul Newman died! And can you believe he was 83? Wow, that guy looked amazing! He was really an incredible looking guy. And a pretty terrific actor. And a hard worker - he made so many movies. The ones that pop into my mind as stand-outs are HUD, where he plays a no-good low-down greedy fellow so irascible and unapologetic. Then there is THE HUSTER, again in an unsympathetic role, he woos us into his crappy world so that we are rooting for him even as we cringe at his behavior. Then there is the incredible performance as Brick in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, one of the best films of a Tennessee Williams play (of which there are a bunch of great ones). He seems to have thrived in those emotionally crippled roles that we can all relate to in some private secret place (perhaps where we relate to the idiocy of Palin, too). You will see in this week’s New Additions section seven new Paul Newman DVD’s. (HUD, THE HUSTER, THE VERDICT, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, SLAP SHOT, EMPIRE FALLS, and THE COLOR OF MONEY).
What is a WSUB? This is the newest and fifth type of KenFlix subscription. As you know, we offer subscription service where you can pay one flat monthly fee and have out movies on your account with no renewal fees or additional rental fees! Yeah! The four services we rolled out were the 1SUB – 1 movie checked out at any one time, unlimited exchanges for $19.99/month, the 2SUB – 2 movies checked out at any one time, unlimited exchanges for $29.99/month, the 3SUB – 3 movies checked out at any one time, unlimited exchanges for $39.99/month, and the 4SUB – 4 movies checked out at any one time, unlimited exchanges for $49.99/month. Now we are rolling out the WSUB, which stands for Weekly Subscription. Here is how it works:
With the WSUB, you get 3 (three) movies out on your account at any one time, with an exchange of the movies each week for a maximum of the 12 movies rented a month. As with the other subscriptions, there are no renewal fees at all. This subscription is available today and costs $24.99/month.
My note about movies available for KenFlix subscription members goes like this: If you are a KenFlix subscriber, you get a $2 discount on all our used movies. So they are $6 dollars instead of $8. There are about 300 titles available right now. That discount starts today and will continue through the Winter Holiday season. Get your stocking stuffers now!
Next we get to Jeff’s new additions. It is October, and therefore time for a new Highlighted New Additions. In the past we have changed these each month, but starting now they will be every two months. Jeff’s new additions are tremendous. There are a ton of great stuff, including docs ( HELVETICA, I LIKE KILLING FLIES, BURN TO SHINE, VOL.3) television (THE PRISONER: COMPLETE SERIES), experimental (LA JETEE/SANS SOLEIL, MAYA DEREN EXPERIMENTAL FILMS) and much more! Scroll way down to see.
Big new movies this week are YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (Adam Sandler, Middle-eastern fare), THE HAPPENING (new spooky M. Night Shamalamadingdong movie) and THE VISITOR (from the guy who made THE STATION AGENT). There are also about a billion on films, but the blahblahblahing stops here, so scroll on down to the movies for the details.
One final somber note, please find time to come to the fundraiser for Valentina Picasso at Valentina’s Some of you may know that last month she was suddenly stricken with serious illness. The fundraiser will be on October 19th between 2 and 6pm. There will be an auction with all sorts of stuff, including a gift certificate from Four Star Video. There is information about it here.
p.s. If you are a KenFlix subscriber, email me if you would like to be on an email list alerting you to special discounts available to you.
Directed by Jonathan King.
* “Violence of the Lambs.”
Maggy Bashaw/Kenda Benward.
Directed by Mark Stouffer.
* Goofy funny kids flick about some diamond thieves and their doggy.
Monica Bleibtreu/Hannah Herzsprung.
Directed by Chris Kraus.
* An 80-year old piano teacher sees the musical talent in a young convicted murderer and helps her to learn to play.
THE HAPPENING.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Mark Wahlberg/Zooey Deschanel/John Leguizamo.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
* The bad news for Elliot, is that besides Colony Collapse Disorder (the tragic reality of honey bees dying in historic proportion) the entire world seems to be going to hell with somewhat reasonable people killing themselves in great numbers. The good news for Elliot is that he is married to Alma, and Alma is played by Zooey Deschanel. So what’s he complaining about?
Carrie-Anne Moss/Kevin Zegers.
Directed by Carl Bessai.
* Kind of an indie film about a group of unrelated people tied together by a deadly car accident.
REAR WINDOW: SPECIAL EDITION.
James Stewart/Grace Kelly.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
* One of a group of special edition Hitchcock movies this week, in this a photographer, who is stuck in a wheelchair, spies on his neighbors and becomes increasingly convinced one is a murdered.
Maria de Medeiros/Antonia Liskova.
Directed by Marco S. Puccioni.
* Sex and life in a factory town in Northern Italy.
SPELLBOUND: SPECIAL EDITION.
Ingrid Bergman/Gregory Peck.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
* She (Bergman) is a psychiatrist; he (Peck) is an amnesiac accused of murder. Did he do it?
TOUCH OF EVIL: 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
Charleton Heston/Orson Welles/Janet Leigh.
Directed by Orson Welles.
* Special release of this intense murder/kidnapping/corruption tale based in a border town between the US and Mexico.
VERTIGO: SPECIAL EDITION.
James Stewart/Kim Novak.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
* Another brilliant Hitchcock, based in San Francisco with amazing cinematography and an intense script and cast. Must see!
Richard Jenkins/Haaz Sleiman/Hiam Abbass.
Directed by Thomas McCarthy.
* From the writer/director of THE STATION AGENT, comes this new film about loss, identity and independence. Jenkins plays a college professor who is not engaged in his life anymore. When he discovers a couple living in his NY apartment, it opens him to a world of illegal immigrants that he has never been exposed to. When one of them is unexpectedly incarcerated, he finds a purpose which helps his true character to develop. And on top of all that, there are hand drums! This is a sweet tale of longing with a moral fortitude and an awesome soundtrack of African jazz.
YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN.
Adam Sandler/John Turturro/Rob Schneider.
Directed by Dennis Dugan.
* Judging by the way the guy moves his groin, maybe you should mess with the Zohan? Sandler (Zohan) or Zohan (Sandler) (not sure which is more appropriate) is a counter-terrorist agent in Israel who smothers everything in hummus (no baba ganoush?) while exposing truisms about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that you may not find elsewhere. However he no longer wants to fight terrorism, he wants to be a hairdresser in the NYC. Let the games begin.
BROTHERHOOD: THE SECOND SEASON.
Jason Isaacs/Jason Clarke.
* Long-awaited follow up to the first season of the tale of two brothers on the opposite sides of the law in Providence, Rhode Island.
LUCKY LOUIE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Louis C.K./Pamela Adlon/Mike Hagerty.
* Totally obscene family sitcom that one customer has challenged couples to watch together!
MIDSOMER MURDERS: SET 11.
* They’re still getting killed in Midsomer County. Property values are plummeting.
THE SIMPSONS: SEASON 11.
* Have you heard of this show? It is about a little nuclear family of five and their struggles to survive in the modern world.
SOUTH PARK: CULT OF CARTMAN.
Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
* I think Eric Cartman is one of the five most psychologically complex characters ever to exist on television. This is a paean to his brilliance/idiocy.
30 ROCK: SEASON 2.
Tina Fey/Alec Baldwin/Tracy Morgan
Created by Tina Fey.
* Tina Fey (you may know her as Sarah Palin?) is really funny in this behind the scenes glimpse at a fictional Saturday Night Live style comedy sketch program. And Alec Baldwin is good, too.
THE BACKYARDIGANS: ESCAPE FROM FAIRYTALE VILLAGE.
THE CARE BEARS: FLURRIES OF FUN.
MAX AND RUBY: A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.
SLEEPING BEAUTY: PLATINUM EDITION.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: HOLIDAY DREAMS COLLECTION.
WONDER PETS: SAVE THE NUTCRACKER.
............// HIGHLIGHTED NEW ADDITIONS//............
Reviews for the most part in Jeff’s words:
BURN TO SHINE, VOL 3.
* The third in a series of one-off concerts around the country featuring notable indie bands. What makes these concerts unique? They were all shot in houses that were soon slated to be demolished. Not only is the film a document of all these great musicians coming together for this one night, it also becomes a testament to the house itself. Highlights from Portland include QUASI, MIRAH, THE SHINS and THE GOSSIP.
* Ennui, irony and the undead collide in this film by Argento protégé Michele Soavi. This darkly comic tale is not your average zombie flick. Sure, its chock-full of the requisite sex and gore, but the film has an existentialist bent that will hopefully leave you thinking.
THE COMPANY OF WOLVES.
* A GRIMMer version of Little Red Riding Hood, and one of Neil Jordan’s (CRYING GAME, BUTCHER BOY) earliest films.
Directed by Gary Hustwit.
* What do American Apparel, American Airlines and the US Postal Service all have in common? They all use the typeface Helvetica. I was surprised at how entertaining a documentary about a font could be! A who’s who of designers frankly discuss their love/hate relationships with the ubiquitous type.
I LIKE KILLING FLIES.
Directed by Mayy Mahurin.
* A documentary about the crazy genius-of-a-chef Kenny Shopsin, whose foul mouth and strict rules are offset by brilliant, unique food. You better think twice about visiting his New York restaurant if you have a party of five though...
Directed by Alison Maclean.
* Billy Crudup plays Fuckhead in a fucking great film. Watch this, PLEASE.
LA JETEE/SANS SOLEIL (1962/1983).
Directed by Chris Marker
* Most of you already know about Chris Marker’s time-travel short La Jetee, which inspired 12 MONKEYS. Finally out on DVD is Sans Soleil, a film essay Marker made in the 80s that documents the musings of a world traveler. Topics include East-West cultural differences, television and the issues of time and memory. It’s kinda slow and meandering at times, but strangely hypnotic.
Directed by Don McKellar.
* It’s the last night on Earth and Don McKellar just wants to be alone. Of course, there are family obligations – his delusional mom is intent on recreating memories of yore by staging a phoney Christmas dinner. Meanwhile, Sandra Oh with her mysterious box needs to get home before midnight. Also features the always-cute Sarah Polley and a cameo by director David Cronenberg as a gas man (WTF?!).
MAYA DEREN EXPERIMENTAL FILMS.
Directed by Maya Deren.
* A pioneering experimental filmmaker of the 40’s and 50’s. Her films are mysterious dream poems.
Directed by Ricky Lau.
* DUDE. Chinese vampires are freak central! They’re more like zombies…and they hop around!! I have fond memories of watching this on TV with my mother. A good mix of comedy, horror and plain ‘ol ass-kicking kung fu.
THE PRISONER: COMPLETE SERIES.
* I Am not a number – I am a free man! This show is a so great. Think 1984 meets Kafka in a swingin’ mod 60s environment. One of the all-time great cult shows. Recommended for fans of TWILIGHT ZONE and LOST.
Directed by John Carpenter.
* “I am here to chew bubblegum and kick some ass…and I’m ALL out of bubblegum!” This action adventure with a political sci-fi bent stars pro wrestling’s Rod Piper and is ROWDY fun.
ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS.
David Bowie/Spiders From Mars.
* Freak out…far out! Bowie is some kind of god, and so far the only living thing to successfully implement the mullet. This is the last show of the Ziggy Stardust tour and it features costume ch-ch-changes to the max and a blistering performance from Mick Ronson. Also has THE definitive version of Moonage Daydream.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
THE COLOR OF MONEY.
* First DVD of this sequel to THE HUSTLER starring Tom Cruise and Paul Newman.
* First any copy of this John Hughes flick from 1991 starring James Belushi and Kelly Lynch.
* First any copy of this Shaw Brothers 1970’s era Kung Fu flick.
ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ.
* First DVD of the Clint Eastwood movie about an, uh, escape…from...
* First DVD of this awesome Paul Newman film about a ruthless young man out in the west. Won 3 Oscars and nominated for a bunch more.
THE HUDSUCKER PROXY.
* First DVD of this Coen Brothers film starring Tim Robbins and Paul Newman.
* First DVD of another of Paul Newman’s masterpieces about a pool shark going for the big score. This is a Four Star movie!
* First any copy of this Adolpho Aristarain film from Spain about a teenager who goes to Madrid to live with his dad after surviving a near-fatal drug overdose.
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.
* In preparation of the holiday season, two copies.
MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.
* One of my favorite books growing up! This is the tale of Sam, a kid who runs away from his family to live alone in the Catskill Mountains.
THE SANTA CLAUSE.
* First DVD of this whoop-whoop.
SLAP SHOT: 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
* First DVD. Paul Newman stars in this hockey film about a sucky team that resorts to good old fashioned violence to entertain the crowd. Sound like regular hockey?
* First DVD of this classic Cary Grant comedy, and don’t forget, eventually he returns.
THE VERDICT: TWO DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION.
* Terrific lawyer film made by Sydney Lumet starring Paul Newman as a washed up drunk seeking to revive his legal career. Also starring a simmering Charlotte Rampling. First DVD.
............//BLU-RAY NEW ADDITIONS//............
BEETLEJUICE: DELUXE EDITION.
* The Tim Burton fairytale starring Michael Keaton that launched Winona Ryder’s career.
* Damn sexy thriller starring Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.
THE LORD OF WAR.
* Nicholas Cage as a international weapons salesman.
THE SIXTH SENSE.
* M. Night Shyamalan movie that propelled him to fame starring Bruce Willis.
* Can’t seem to keep this 1947 Noir in stock.
* Replacement of the last feature film that Paul Newman made (other than a few where he lent his voice). Also starring Ed Harris and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
THE HOT CHICK.
* Thank god we got a new copy of this.
THE KIDS IN THE HALL: COMPLETE 4th SEASON.
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS.
* Two more copies in anticipation of the traveling pantsuit.
THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER.
* I don’t think they were talking about his having to hang out with Sarah Palin last month; maybe they will make a new movie about that!
VINCE VAUGH’S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW.