Monday, December 8, 2008
****new release list no.196
It’s cold! Must be winter, I guess. Good time to curl up with THE DARK KNIGHT, the latest installment of the Batman series. This was Heath Ledger’s last completed role and he plays the uber-creepy Joker. Christian Bale reprises the Batman role and Michael Caine is excellent as the cockney-accented butler.
Truly stunning is MAN ON WIRE about high-wire walker Phillipe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. This movie just pushes so many boundaries of human possibility. The visuals are startling and evocative and the interviews bring you along Petit’s journey as he goes from 17-year-old dreamer to 23-year-old poetic terrorist. He is such a beautiful maniac, I am grateful for his existence!
We have a big stack of Criterion this week including MISSING, EUROPA (Lars Von Trier), and KENJI MIZOGUCHIS FALLEN WOMEN: ECLIPSE SERIES 13, as well as some terrific pictures about fundamentalism and its effect on our personal lives (MY FATHER MY LORD and TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD).
There’s about a bazillion more, including some more of Shila’s highlighted new additions. Scroll down for the full scope.
Don’t forget this holiday season, we sell T-Shirts (Adults $20, Kids $15) Wristbands ($5) and Gift-Certificates in all sizes. Thanks for shopping locally!
Love and Kisses,
Roy Scheider/Bill Sage.
Directed by Ben Cummings and Orson Cummings.
* One of the last three Scheider films, it was released last year as IF I DIDN’T CARE, but came to DVD with the new name BLUE BLOOD. It is a mystery about wealthy Hampton residents dabbling in infidelity and murder. Scheider plays a local cop named Linus trying to piece together the evidence.
CHANGE MY LIFE.
Fanny Ardant/Roschdy Zem.
Directed by Liria Begeja.
* Two people, very down on their luck, discover each other and though their desires are quite different are motivated to help the other put their broken pieces back together.
THE DARK KNIGHT****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Christian Bale/Heath Ledger/Aaron Eckhart/Maggie Gyllenhaal/Michael Caine/Morgan Freeman/Gary Oldman/Anthony Michael Hall.
Directed by Christopher Nolan.
* The second in the latest Batman series (which are much darker and creepier than the first batch), this one follows the Dark Knight (Bale) in his quest to pass the baton to Harvey Dent (Eckhart) the new DA of Gotham City. Batman’s hope? That he can one day be done with the leather suit and gadgetry, and that he can make a life with Rachel (Gyllenhaal) his old flame, who is currently sparking it up with Harvey. Although Harvey is a very promising DA, certainly strong with words and personality, Gotham is under attack by a new villain, the twisted and demented Joker (Ledger, in his final completed role) who’s plans for destabilizing and petrifying the entire city put Harvey quite literally on the hot seat. The scarred and painted bad guy digs especially the demoralizing of, well, anything and anyone. He just gets off on bringing people to their lowest common denominator. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy menacing people himself, he truly does. But what really floats his boat is turning normal people into cold-blooded killers. The Batdude is heavily armed with stuff that 007 wishes he had…especially fancy is the “sky-hook” that he employs to depart an extra tight situation. He suit is also pretty stylish, with just the slightest cut eye-holes that give you very little insight into this flying night critters motivation. In this installment, Batman truly is a “Dark Knight” and perhaps one you may not want to come across in the dead of night. The cinematography is filled with gigantic breath-taking tableaus and the soundtrack is creepy and edgy and will keep your heart beating fast. Ledger, of course, is fascinating. It is hard to not flash on his somewhat accidental death while watching this film; and it is not hard to imagine the demons that he may have been trying to drive away with the medications he eventually OD’d on.
Shane West/Leelee Sobieski/Eric Balfour.
Directed by Marius Balchunas.
* A young scammer who has just been involved in a failed car heist passes himself off as the son of a Russian clarinet player living in Los Angeles.
Directed by Mario Andreacchio.
* A couple of elephants brothers dealing with adverse jungle situations.
Jean-Marc Barr/Barbara Sukowa/Udo Kier.
Directed by Lars Von Trier.
* Very heavy-hitting film about an American who takes a job on the railroad in post WWII Germany and gets involved in various political plots. The film is a must see for any true student of film, as it uses various techniques and styles masterfully and takes you on a journey that is both terrifying and spellbinding. I highly recommend this film!
HORTON HEARS A WHO.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Jim Carrey/Steve Carell.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino.
* Horton, the kind-hearted (and somewhat dimwitted) Elephant finds himself in such a predicament. You see, he hears an entire culture or beings that are living in turmoil and desperately need help, but are so small that they live on a speck of dust and are really not visible to the naked eye. The other animals in the jungle are not quite as sympathetic as Horton, and in fact think perhaps Horton is completely crazy for talking to dust. But Horton stays the course, yo.
IRMA VEP: ESSENTIAL EDITION.
Maggie Cheung/Jean-Pierre Leaud.
Directed by Olivier Assayas.
* A director whose best work is behind him, decides to remake a famous silent vampire movie, and casts a famous actress from Hong Kong (Maggie Cheung, playing herself) in the main role, even though she doesn’t speak a word of French in this 1996 classic.
KENJI MIZOGUCHIS FALLEN WOMEN: ECLIPSE SERIES 13.
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
* Four films by the Japanese master director (Osaka Elegy, Sisters of the Gion, Women of the Night and Street of Shame) about women, and the trials they face to survive in the social structure established between the years of 1930’s and 1950’s Japan.
THE MAN WHO CAME BACK.
Billy Zane/Sean Young/Armand Assante/Carol Alt.
Directed by Glen Pitre.
* Classic Western revenge film.
Jack Lemmon/Sissy Spacek.
Directed by Costa-Gavras.
* This amazing film traumatized me so bad when I saw it in the theatres back in 1982! It is about a conservative father (Lemmon) and his more liberal daughter-in-law (Spacek) searching for her husband (his son) an idealistic writer who has gone missing in a South American country in 1973. They are pushing through the bureaucratic nightmare of searching for one of thousands missing and presumed dead during a military coup. Won the Oscar for Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Film Oscars as well.
MY FATHER MY LORD.
Assi Dayan/Ilan Grif/Sharon Hacohen.
Directed by David Volach .
* Beautiful and sorrowful tale of an orthodox Rabbi in Israel who spends all his time praying and preparing his sermons and his wife and son, who both crave his attention. The story focuses on the young boy, who is growing up, and becoming aware of his surroundings, and is full of wonder and questions about life.
Robin Tunney/Joel Edgerton/Cybil Shepherd/Elliot Gould.
Directed by Mia Goldman.
* A young couples lives are shattered by a random act of violence that effects their entire respective families. Won awards on the festival circuit.
ROBERTO ROSSELLINI’S DIRECTOR SERIES.
Directed by Roberto Rossellini.
* Two films (ESCAPE BY NIGHT and WHERE IS FREEDOM?) from the Italian director.
TAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD.
Erkan Can/Guven Kirac.
Directed by Ozer Kiziltan.
* Muharrem (Can) is a devout Muslim, devoted to his religion and filled with pious fear of his god, until a promotion at his job changes his life dramatically and leads him to question everything he holds sacred. This film is almost a companion piece to MY FATHER MY LORD in that both films show a very dogmatic and religious life thrown into turmoil by the realities of life on earth and interpersonal relationships.
Drama /Foreign (German).
Franz Dinda/Niklas Kohrt.
Directed by Thomas Stuber.
* Four boys at an elite boarding school form play out their dissatisfactions with life in increasingly violent and demeaning games with each other.
THREE SHORT FILMS BY WERNER HERZOG: BALLAD OF THE LITTLE SOLDIER, THE DARK GLOW OF THE MOUNTAINS, PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FANATICS.
Short Weird Films.
Directed by Werner Herzog.
LOST: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON.
Matthew Fox/Naveen Andrews/Jorge Garcia/Josh Holloway.
* Season four of the exciting and mysterious tale of survivors of a plane crash on an island struggling to make sense of it all (don’t you feel like that sometimes?).
MAN ON WIRE.
Directed by James Marsh.
* This mind-boggling documentary will take you deeply into the mind of Phillipe, a multitalented artist whose many talents include tightrope walking. In the early 1970’s, he walked several of the world’s large constructions such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Then, in 1974, with a small group of cohorts and supporters, he pulled off the biggest coup of all when he stretched a wire between the tops of the two World Trade Centers and spent 45 minutes walking back and forth between the two mega-structures. If you ever wondered about human limitations as far as fear, concentration, bravery, scope of vision and pure elation, watching this film will stretch your concepts of what is possible. I feel as though I will be filled with the imagery of this film for the rest of my life.
UP THE YANGTZE.
Cindy Shui Yu/Jerry Bo Yu Chen.
Directed by Yung Chang.
* An amazing documentary about the Yangtze river in China and the incredible transformation many towns and regions went through as a result of the building of the Three Gorges Dam.
ADVENTURES OF SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: VOL. 2
JANE AND THE DRAGON
KAYLAS: CHANUKAH CONCERT.
MY LITTLE PONY: LIVE! THE WORLD’S BIGGEST TEA PARTY.
............//NEW BLU-RAY ADDITIONS//............
DAY OF THE DEAD.
* George A. Romero’s classic zombie tale.
* First copy took a walk and never came back.
* Just got another, cuz, dang, everyone wants to see it on blu-ray!
THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE.
* I neglected to buy this last week, so I picked it up.
............//HIGHLIGHTED NEW ADDITIONS//............
HERCULES: DISNEY GOLD CLASSIC EDITION.
* Animated classic.
RALPHIE MAY: GIRTH OF A NATION.
* May delivers his Southern Fried comedy.
Michael J. Fox.
* Goofy comedy sendup of I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF.
TEEN WOLF, TOO.
* Bateman replaces Fox in the sequel.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
CLASH OF THE TITANS..
* First DVD of the 1980’s big budget Greek mythological classic.
* First DVD of the John Hughes classic starring Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and the elusive Michael Schoeffling, who left Hollywood in the early 1990’s for the normal life.
* Three disc set of the 1960’s Japanese monster television extravaganza.
............// REPLACEMENT DISCS//............
POOH’S GRAND ADVENTURE..