Monday, March 31, 2008
TOMORROW NIGHT! The first ever Four Star Video Movie Screening!
Outdoors, in our delightful backyard patio, we will have 40 chairs, our new projector, a lovely projection screen, FREE popcorn, $1 Candy/Sodas, all for the low low price of whatever you want to pay! That’s right; our first screening is being shown for your choice of donation. We will be collecting at the door.
The details: the film: OLD SCHOOL, Rated NR – we will be checking ID’s, so bring a parent if you are under 17. It is the Unrated Version – which really doesn’t mean much. If you are not sure, please give me a buzz and I will give you my opinion about this cinema marketing tool (non-rated versions of rated movies).
Doors open at 8pm – the movie will start by 8:30pm.
We hope that this is the beginning of our foray into what seems to be a wonderful Bernal trend of both indoor and outdoor cinema. We are so excited by what Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema has brought into our lives over these last years. And we are equally excited by the Red Hill Books screenings that have been happening. These types of community events are to be saluted – along with the new Fruit of the Hill free fruit cart in front of Heartfelt (is that what it’s called, Darcy?), the Soapbox Lectures at Bernal Bubbles, the local art constantly up at Good Life Grocery and so many other wonderful microcivic events that happen all over this fabulous tiny metropolis.
I feel like there may be other things I wanted to mention, but I have spent the last few hours cutting carpet out of the floor at the store due to some clogged pipes upstairs in the building. We had some water flowing into the store last night. Yikes! Thank you everyone who dropped by and offered your help and support. It was a bummer, but I am sure it will force us to make some changes to the floor that really had to be made…so there you go. Hey, as we say laughingly at my house all the time: these are our working years! Whoopee.
Movies this week? ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, SWEENEY TODD and a bunch of foreign films that look really good.
A reminder of another local event that will help you clean out your garage/bedroom/storage space: April 13th, between 9am and 2pm, Fairmount Elementary School (65 Chenery Street at Randall) is hosting a free E-Waste drop off to raise money for the school. You can drop off: computers, printers, monitors, etc. Ask me for more details.
Hope to see you tomorrow night at the screening.
Love and kisses,
PS My dad has suggested we put a list here of films that are currently on our USED DVDS FOR SALE shelf. These DVD’s are $8 + tax each and have been run through our DVD repair machine upon removal from our library. There are probably about 200 titles up there right now. Here are 10 of them:
AMERICAN GANGSTER, APOCALYPTO, BLADES OF GLORY, DÉJÀ VU, KNOCKED UP, MICHAEL CLAYTON, THE QUEEN, ROVING MARS, VENUS, and WE ARE MARSHALL.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS.
Jason Lee/David Cross/Alvin/Simon/Theodore.
Directed by Tim Hill.
* He’s a struggling songwriter, they are three chipmunks from the hood, together they form on the world’s most successful production teams of all time.
BEWARE OF MY LOVE.
Nathalie Baye/Daniel Duval.
Directed by Jeanne Labrune.
* Intense relationship movie taking place in France.
Olivier Gourmet/Paul Ahrmarani.
Directed by Philippe Falardeau.
* Film about a Belgian man who is confronting himself, his past and his future and he searches for an ethnic and sociological culture to connect with.
THE GOOD NIGHT.
Penelope Cruz/Simon Pegg/Danny DeVito/Gwyneth Paltrow/Martin Freeman.
Directed by Jake Paltrow.
* A has-been pop star going through a pathetic mid-life crisis luxuriously in his mid-thirties commits adultery in his dreams with the same chick over and over again.
Claudio Bigagli/Galatea Ranzi/Michael Vartan.
Directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani.
* Tale of a cursed Italian family..
Margarita Lozano/Franco Franchi.
Directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani.
* Five stories together tell a story of Sicilian life in all its glory and struggle.
A LITTLE BIT OF FREEDOM.
Directed by Yuksel Yavuz.
* An assimilation tale of a Kurdish teen from Turkey trying to make it on the sly in Germany.
Sandrine Bonnaire/Jacquis Gamblin.
Directed by Philippe Lioret
* French flick about a chance encounter and its ramifications.
Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter/Alan Rickman.
Directed by Tim Burton.
* The classic revenge tale of a barber who seeks vengeance on all of London for his personal pain and loss, and the partnership he forms with a baker who’s pies improve dramatically upon the formation of said partnership.
Yoshino Kimura/Houka Kinoshita/Akira Tanaka.
Directed by Masahiko Makino.
* Pretty funny and kooky looking Japanese comedy.
GROWING UP WILD CATS.
* Another in the awesome and educational Animal Planet series.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Howza! Another lovely week in paradise. Bernal Heights just rules! What a great weekend we had. Too bad the community pool behind the library doesn’t exist. Maybe we should pool our resources???
Some feedback I heard from customers in January was that whenever they came in to the store the movie they were looking for was out! Drat that! Anyway, you spoke and I heard. I have been buying significantly more copies of everything lately. I probably bought sixteen copies of only one or two titles in 2007. In 2008 so far, I have between 20 and 30 copies each of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, INTO THE WILD, MICHAEL CLAYTON, AMERICAN GANGSTER and I AM LEGEND. And around 16 copies of titles like DARJEELING LIMITED, THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, BEE MOVIE, ATONEMENT, and as of this week WRISTCUTTERS. There is also a pretty big batch of movies with 8-12 copies. Just to let you know that your feedback is well taken!
The new releases did not show up on Friday like they usually do, so we had no chance to preview anything, and all I have to write about is what I’m reading about. So bear with me. The big ones of this week are WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY, which is a jaunt through the suiciders afterlife, and THE KITE RUNNER, a story about an Afghani expatriate (who lives in Bernal Heights in the book –not sure about the film) who goes back to Kabul on a dangerous mission to help an old friend. To see what else we have, just scroll on down.
Some local events of note:
This Saturday, Mar 29th local filmmaker Danny Plotnick is having a DVD Release party at Red Hill Books (at 7pm) celebrating the release of WARTS & ALL: THE FILMS OF DANNY PLOTNICK. Chuck Prophet will be performing music as well. We also have this movie as of this week, so if you can’t make it to the screening, please check it out here.
Also, on April 13th, between 9am and 2pm, Fairmount Elementary School (65 Chenery Street at Randall) is hosting a free E-Waste drop off to raise money for the school. You can drop off: computers, printers, monitors, etc. Here is a link to the information: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/com/615704463.html
Love and kisses,
THE KITE RUNNER.
Wali Razaqi/Said Taghmaoui.
Directed by Marc Forster.
* Developed from the phenomenal book by Khaled Hosseini, which partially takes place right here in Bernal Heights! The story is about an Afghani family who moves under serious duress to the Bay Area. Some years later, the now-grown up son goes back to Kabul to try to help his friend and repair the pain of the betrayal that occurred around the time his family left. The book was so beautiful and full of such incredible imagery, I was lost in thoughts about it for months afterwards.
Marcia Gay Harden/Thomas Jane.
Directed by Frank Darabont.
* Stephen King’s horror tale about a storm that releases a lot of really nasty critters on a small town. I read this back in the 80’s. I remember something about a quite large spider being bothersome. No, not the spider from the end of IT, another spider! There do seem to be a lot of creepy critters in Mr. King’s books, don’t there?
Paddy Considine/Radha Mitchell/Oscar Isaac.
Directed by Scott Burns.
* Tweaked out sounding tale of a nuclear (nucular?) poisoned man trying to sell some stolen plutonium to help his family after he dies.
THE SASQUATCH GANG.
Justin Long/Joey Kern/Jeremy Sumpter.
Directed by Tim Skousen.
* Silly tale of some fantasy geeks who find big tracks in the woods and wonder if it could be the Sasquatch!
THE SECOND TRACK.
Directed by Joachim Kunert.
* Dark post WWII Nazi noir classic about secrets unearthed years later in East Germany.
TRIPPING THE RIFT: THE MOVIE.
* South Park on Viagra in Space?
WARTS & ALL: THE FILMS OF DANNY PLOTNICK.
Directed by Danny Plotnick.
* Danny is a local filmmaker who hopefully is still at the beginning of a fabulous career as an underground and independent filmmaker. He has screened his wonderful, strange and beautiful films all of the country and will be having a DVD release screening across the street at Red Hill Book this very Saturday night, March 29th at 7pm. I highly encourage you all to check it out. Also of note, his talented wife Alison Faith Levy is the keyboard player/singer in The Sippy Cups, local kid-rock superstars and also is in some of Danny’s films. Incidentally, my favorite of Danny’s collection is I, SOCKY, which is the tale of a Sock Monkey gone wild. Dude knows how to partay.
WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY.
Shea Whigham/Shannyn Sossamon/Tom Waits.
Directed by Goran Dukic.
* I was going to make this the release of the week, but the films didn’t come in time for me to preview this film. I have been hearing great things about it for months. It is the tale of a young man’s travels not just through the afterlife, but through that specific afterlife reserved for suicides. My sources say though it is about a sensitive and terrible subject, it is somehow a hopeful and even funny flick. I’m psyched to check it out.
MIDSOMER MURDERS: SET 10.
* More bad stuff happens in the fictional county of Midsomer.
SHAMELESS: COMPLETE SEASON ONE.
* Funny show about a group of siblings struggling to make it without their parents. The action is seen through the eyes of the 15 year old brother.
SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT: THE HOUSEWIVES ARE LOCKED AND LOADED.
* Cuz they’re women with guns. G-g-g-g-g-guns. That was a line my mom wrote back when I was a kid. She wrote some punk lyrics, huh? Somehow seems appropriate.
JIMMY CARTER: MAN FROM PLAINS. ****WILL BE HERE ON THURSDAY****
Directed by Jonathan Demme.
* From IMDB: A chronicle of the former president's tour recent for his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."
ROBYN HITCHCOCK: SEX FOOD DEATH & INSECTS.
Directed by John Edginton.
* Inside the freaky mind of Robyn Hitchcock, former front man of THE SOFT BOYS, and solo artist supreme.
WHO IS HENRY JAGLOM.
Directed by Alex Rubin and Jeremy Workman.
* A look at Henry Jaglom, an independent director of feature films for 35+ years.
DARKWING DUCK: VOLUME 1.
* Very kooky looking kids series.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
* “The Snow White Story Continues”!
THE BONE COLLECTOR.
* Replacement DVD of this Denzel suspense tale.
* First DVD of this Glenn Close film. Have you been in the store while we’ve been looking for the VHS copy this week? It’s been pretty funny, in a sad kind of way.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.
* Replacement DVD of this disaster film starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.
ENCHANTED. BLU-RAY COPIES
* New release from last week now available on Blu-ray.
LOST HIGHWAY: SPECIAL EDITION.
* The David Lynch classic.
HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE.
* In anticipation of our soon to be announced April 20th screening of this stoner classic.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
* Replacement DVD’s of the Franco Zeffirelli version starring, among others, Olivia Hussey.
* Replacement DVD from one time once highlighting the UNBELIEVABLE DJ stylings of DJ QBERT. This is a must watch for music lovers.
WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S.
* First DVD of this 80’s comedy starring Andrew McCarthy.
WHAT’S UP, DOC?
* First DVD of this Streisand classic also starring Ryan O’Neil and Madeline Kahn and directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
Monday, March 17, 2008
About taste: there is just no accounting for it. I have some very significant differences of opinion about what is “good” and what “stinks” with many of my good friends and family. There is just no way around it. Some people loved FORREST GUMP and some would never watch it except on a plane without sound. Some people are so psyched to hear about the American remake of FUNNY GAMES and some people would never watch a movie like that even if paid. Some think KNOCKED UP is one of the funniest movies they saw in 2007 and some feel like it was insensitive and borderline sexist. Some people thought NAPOLEON DYNAMITE was a brilliant indie comedy, and some think it was a sophomoric fluff piece. My point is that art is polarizing. Not everything is for everybody. And that is good. Gives us something to argue about, and helps us define ourselves.
Full disclosure: I never watched FORREST GUMP, would never watch FUNNY GAMES, loved KNOCKED UP and didn't like NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. Doh!
This weekend, I watched three movies that really didn’t do it for me so well, but I could see how others may love them. SOUTHLAND TALES, the latest from the guy who brought us DONNIE DARKO is a super complicated, comedy-ish, tweaky freakathon starring of all people, The Rock and Buffy. Visually, it is somewhat spectacular, and somewhat hard to comprehend. At times, the sets and design were amazing, and looked quite incredible. Other times, the costuming was laughable, and strange. I am not sure what this film is trying to be; maybe a cult film for this generation in the vein of REPO MAN? It also sports the strangest cast of B-Movie actors I have ever seen, including John Larroquette (NIGHT COURT) and the guy who said “What the fuck, Joel, what the fuck – if you can’t say it, you can’t do it” in that first Tom Cruise film RISKY BUSINESS. There is also a large contingent of SNL actors in this flick, which is certainly an indicator of some sort; I won’t speculate further.
Then Saturday night, after an all day family wedding, I tried LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA. What did I learn? I learned that Javier Bardem can be super sexy as well as psychotically frightening. I also learned the lesson I always seem to have to learn: if I loved the book, the movie won’t do me right. That was true with NAMESAKE as well. This book, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is one of my favorite of all time. It is funny and longing with both sexuality and repression in abundance. Garcia Marquez writes in the style of magic-realism which means we mostly hang out in the world we know, but occasionally take jaunts into slightly a more mystical dimension. Amy suggested this morning that any truly great film of this book would need to be at least four hours long. Logging in at two hours and twenty minutes, this one was missing a lot of the magic of the book. And the makeup was weird.
So last night we watched I AM LEGEND, thinking a fun sci-fi action flick with Will Smith would be a good way to end the weekend. What we didn’t anticipate were the zombies. This movie is a pretty thrilling jaunt through a post-apocalyptic world filled with incredible shots of a mostly uninhabited New York City. However, it is also a bit of a horror movie with angry, somewhat alive, virally infected mutants ruling the night. Not really what we generally watch over at Chez Shelf. However, I did enjoy it, even if Amy did not (sorry, Amy).
Hey, it’s all a matter of taste! Maybe I don’t have any…
Also this week, we have ATONEMENT, which looks to be a nice epic romance starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, the new season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, the new Guy Ritchie flick REVOLVER the polarizing doc about the abortion debate LAKE OF FIRE, the fairy musical ENCHANTED and a host of other films (ROCKAWAY, ALPHA MALE, BLACK AUGUST, THE SEEKER). Hope to see you at the store.
Love and kisses,
Jennifer Ehle/Danny Huston.
Directed by Dan Wilde.
* A story of a family rocked by the passing of its patriarch.
James McAvoy/Keira Knightley.
Directed by Dan Wilde.
* The lies of a jealous younger sister, in pre-WWII England, change the lives of a pair of young lovers. Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, ATONEMENT was nominated for 7 Oscars and won for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures.
Gary Dourdan/Don Williams/Darren Bridgett.
* Gary Dourdan (of CSI fame) plays George Jackson, a young man who’s jailing for a robbery at a gas station at the age of 18 in 1960 would lead to 11 years in prison. This is a very important story and an even more important chapter in American history.
Amy Adams/Patrick Dempsey.
Directed by Kevin Lima.
* So, like, when the evil queen tosses this fairy princess out of fairytown, she ends up in the big bad world of New York City. It is very trying there (as the Yankees haven’t won the World Series in 8 years) but somehow, the fairy princess finds a happily ever after that works for her.
I AM LEGEND. ****ALSO AVAILABLE IN BLU-RAY****
Will Smith/Alice Braga/.
Directed by Francis Lawrence.
* Attn! Will Smith’s blood is immune to disease! As scientist Robert Neville (the lost Neville brother), he is perhaps the last man on planet earth after a human-made virus wipes everyone else out. He is kind of alone in NYC (ostensibly this is before that fairy princess from ENCHANTED has shown up); working hard at finding other people, and a cure to this vicious virus to which he is immune.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA.
Javier Bardem/Giovanni Mezzogiomo/Liev Schreiber.
Directed by Mike Newell.
* Based on one of my favorite novels (of the same name) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (100 Years of Solitude), and starring Academy Award winning actor Javier Bardem, it’s the story of the longest act of waiting for unrequited love you have ever heard of. Florentino (Bardem) loves Fermina (Mezzogiomo), but unfortunately, she spurns his love. He spends the rest of his life staying true to her (in a very special kind of way, like 622 times) and waiting for his opportunity to show her his love.
Jason Statham/Ray Liotta.
Directed by Guy Ritchie.
* Dude, is Jason Statham happening or what? How many movies has he been in that we’ve gotten in 2008 alone? I feel like I am always typing or reading his name. Actually this movie was made a few years ago, but for some reason it is just getting to DVD. Why? Maybe because it is nearly incomprehensible! You wouldn’t believe the plot line if I told you. In short, it is an existential, metaphysical, action flick with crosses, and double-crosses, and maybe imaginary characters. Maybe not!
Directed by Jeff Crook and Josh Crook.
* Brutal revenge tale about a US veteran coming back to Queens to track down his family’s killers.
THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING.
Alexander Ludwig/Ian McShane/Gregory Smith.
Directed by John Hodge.
* Based on a popular fantasy novel, this is the story of a kid who discovers he is the last of a line of warriors whose job it is to fight “the dark”, which is, ahem, once again rising.
Jason Lee/Michael Mann/Dwayne Johnson/Sarah Michelle Gellar/Mandy Moore/Seann William Scott/Justin Timberlake.
Directed by Richard Kelly.
* From the complicated mind of the guy who brought us DONNIE DARKO comes this very crazily complex and bizarre tale centering on three characters in a post apocalyptic USA set in the super duper sci-fi time of 2008. One of the characters (The Rock) is an action movie star who is currently dealing with a little amnesia situation, the second is a former porn-star (Gellar) who is now moving into media as a tv pundit, and the third is a cop (Scott) who may hold the key to the conspiracy. As usual, Justin Timberlake is great. I think the music video scene is the best part of the movie.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: SEASON 3.
* Hotties in space with tight uniforms. The third season of this much loved series.
LAKE OF FIRE.
Directed by Tony Kaye.
* Super graphic and intense doc about the abortion debate.
GO DIEGO GO: MOONLIGHT RESCUE.
A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
............//FEATURED NEW ADDITIONS//............
GHOST IN THE SHELL SAC: COMPLETE 1st SEASON.
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama.
* Terrorist cells, secret agents, internal security. Another in our new re-vamped anime section. Tell me if you love these shows!
* Replacement DVD of the Woody Allen classic.
EVER AFTER: A CINDERELLA STORY.
* A new addition to what I have been thinking of as the Shila genre.
* Replacement DVD’s of this much requested Sci-Fi flick.
HAROLD AND MAUDE.
* Replacement DVD – dig the amazing Cat Stevens soundtrack.
KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.
* Replacement DVD.
LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (EXT VER) .
* Replacement DVD.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Beautiful days in San Francisco. Not exactly wonderful movie weather, but pretty fantastic life weather.
The movie of the year is here! NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN has finally hit DVD, and it is pretty amazing. You gotta have respect for the Coen brothers, who just keep making their weirdo, quirky renegade movies and have been rewarded in a major way for their most recent. Also big names out this week are DAN IN REAL LIFE, AUGUST RUSH, BEE MOVIE, and HITMAN. There is a small flock of other things to check out, including SLEUTH, OUTLAW, LIL BUSH, THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, and more. We also are continuing to add to our Japanese Anime section, adding this week both a title (NEON GENESIS EVANGELION) and a section (under the Blu-Rays and the Film Books in the New Release room). Tell us what you think!
See you at the store,
............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
Javier Bardem/Josh Brolin/Tommy Lee Jones.
Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen.
* This is a truly creepy movie filled with fantastic performances, tremendous camera work and a soundtrack that is subtle and sublime. The tale is based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy exploring themes of greed, desire and temptation while staying true to a special code of morals unique to the form of evil which this film exposes. Anton Chigurh (Bardem, in an Academy Award winning performance) is one of the more truly evil characters that you will meet on screen. He has not one but two relatively horrific killing devices, one of being a cattle-killing compressed air gun, and the other a silenced shotgun. Just about everyone who sees this guy sees the beyond soon afterwards. Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) is out antelope hunting one night when he stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad. Dead guys, dead dogs, a huge bunch of heroin and guns strewn all over the place would generally disturb most folks, but not Moss. He calmly assesses the situation, tracks down the “last man standing” and pockets the big cash left behind. The trouble starts for him when he decides to go back and give some water to the one guy who wasn’t fully dead. Although he is tracked by some of the guys looking for the cash at that point, even had he not come back, the transponder hidden in the cash would have brought him into Chigurh’s horrific headlights anyway. A few terrible situations later and the chase is on. Moss is in way over his head, but he never seems to mind, badly misunderstanding the situation. Meanwhile, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones, in yet another of his amazing performances this year), in the twilight of his Sheriff career, is tracking the situation for the most part from afar, never failing to put the basic facts together, but somewhat disinclined to get too involved in the action. Paced slowly, considering the considerable action, the tension of this film never breaks as it’s stretched out over the two hours of screen time. This film won 4 Oscars, and really could have taken home a few more.
Freddie Highmore/Keri Russell/Jonathan Rhys-Meyers/Terrance Howard/Robin Williams.
Directed by Kristen Sheridan.
* A lot of bad luck goes into the basic premise that two musicians, Lyla (Russell of WAITRESS fame) and Louis (Rhys-Meyers from THE TUDORS) hook it up in a magical night of romance and love and then unhook it in a mess of confusion, leaving behind a zygote which develops into a blastocyst then into an Embryo, then a fetus, which eventually becomes a baby that gets secretly put up for adoption by Lyla’s dad and is now a super cute little musician himself who longs to find his long lost mom and dad. I heard Robin Williams is great in it, and the other big names are pretty talented too.
Jerry Seinfeld/Renee Zellweger/Uma Thurman/Kathy Bates/Alan Arkin/Robert Duvall/William H. Macy/Oprah Winfrey.
Directed by Steve Hickner and Simon Smith.
* Seinfeld’s pet project about Barry B Benson (Seinfeld) who really just wants more out of life than a career making honey. However, once he goes out into the world and discovers that humans eat honey, he decides (very humanly) that the only way to rectify the situation is…a class-action lawsuit. Hey Jerry! Thanks for teaching the kids about the law!
COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF FLAVOR FLAV.
Directed by Joel Gallen.
* Seriously, everyone gets hella roasted and then laughs through little squinted eyes.
DAN IN REAL LIFE. ALSO AVAILABLE IN BLU-RAY.
Steve Carell/Dane Cook/John Mahoney/Juliette Binoche/Emily Blunt.
Directed by Peter Hedges.
* Dan is a soon-to-be-syndicated writer, a “dear Abby” of sorts, who doles out advice in a very helpful sort of manner. He is also a widower with three charming daughters who hasn’t had a date in years, and is losing touch with the passions and vagrancies of love. Unfortunately for Dan, when lightning strikes it turns out to be his brother’s (Dane Cook) new girlfriend (Juliette Binoche) that he becomes smitten with. How to deal with this sensitive situation without giving in to the Threes Company mentality? Watch and learn. All the action happens during a yearly family getaway at the grandparent’s house surrounded by all the family members. There is an awesome group family aerobics session that really made aerobics look fun!
Timothy Olyphant/Dougray Scott/Olga Kurylenko.
Directed by Xavier Gens.
* Video game masquerading as a movie. Well loved by lovers of this genre.
NANCY DREW (07).
Emma Roberts/Josh Flitter.
Directed by Andrew Fleming.
* Complicated tale featuring Julia Robert’s niece Emma in the starring role. Or is it Eric’s daughter? I guess Julia is more famous. Maybe Emma will surpass them both someday; it’s hard to tell in this crime mystery tale involving movie stars in Los Angeles.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
See release of the week.
Sean Bean/Bob Hoskins/Danny Dyer.
Directed by Nick Love.
* Vigilantes in England.
Jude Law/Michael Caine.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
* Based on the play by Anthony Shaffer, SLEUTH explores a revenge tale played out with mind games on a man who has stolen the wife of another.
SOUTH PARK: IMAGINATIONLAND.
Directed by those funny boys.
* I am just cutting and pasting here from their own description: “The doors of a whole new dimension are thrown open, and the boys of South Park walk right in. It all begins with Cartman’s quest to find a leprechaun and in turn, win a bet with Kyle that would force him to suck Cartman’s balls.”
Lei Hao/Xiaodong Guo.
Directed by Ye Lou.
* Banned by the Chinese government for incorporating Tiananmen Square footage without permission, this film caused a stir at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. All in all, it is a story of love and sexuality blossoming against a background of political unrest.
TOMMY TIERNAN: SOMETHING MENTAL.
* Stand up comedy.
LIL BUSH: SEASON ONE.
* Man, this is really funny. Its political commentary (of a sort) looking at the players on the national stage as grammar school kids. They are mean-spirited, obnoxious, messy, snotty and very funny. Wait a minute, its pretty realistic! Cept the funny part. Gosh, they’re so mean to John Kerry.
PLAGUES & PLEASURE ON THE SALTON SEA.
Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer.
* Narrated by John Waters, this doc takes on the bizarre Salton Sea, a decrepit former resort area in Southern California.
THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.
Directed by Taggart Siegel.
* The tale of a man with a plan to save his family’s farm in Illinois.
THE WIGGLES: POP GOES THE WIGGLES
............//FEATURED NEW ADDITIONS//............
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION.
Directed by Many.
* From IMDB: “When the Angels start attacking the planet Earth in the year 2015, only a handful of 14-year-old EVA pilots are able to stop them. The weak-minded Shinji Ikari suddenly finds himself forced to pilot EVA-01, a giant organic mecha, designed and constructed by NERV, that is the only thing that can stop the Angels”.
AMNESIA: THE JAMES BRIGHTON ENIGMA.
Directed by Denis Langois.
* The strange tale of James Brighton, a young American found naked and amnesiac in a parking lot in Montreal in 1998. The only thing he knows is that he’s gay; he can’t remember how he got there, or where he’s from.
ATTRACTIVE MALE SEEKING WOMAN.
* Zany antics of a guy looking for a mate.
* Another DVD copy, this time “special edition” of the Ethan Hawke/Uma Thurman sci-fi thriller.
LORD LOVE A DUCK.
And love it hard. First DVD of this Roddy McDowell classic.
Have you talked baseball with me yet? I probably never mentioned this Tom Selleck movie, did I? Yet, now we have it!
First copy of any sort of this yummy cannibalistic horror tale starring Guy Pearce.
SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED.
A couple new DVD’s of this kids fave.
SHE’S HAVING A BABY.
First copy of any sort of this John Hughes film starring the true genius of Kevin Bacon.
First DVD of the Steve Buscemi favorite.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Ever hear of a D Skin? Yeah, me too. Well that chapter of Four Star Video is over. Sorry to anyone that was difficult for. Please let me know if you sustained any player damage. On the other hand, it was an attempt to better our movie watching community, so that was a positive. Hopefully this will be the last time I mention those things.
RIP D SKINS.
Hey, guess what? Amy and I have owned this store for one full year on Sunday, March 9th! And what a year it’s been. We have learned so much about community this year. And about running a small retail business! There have been some big ups and some big downs, but most of all, it has been really fun. I can’t believe how many people I know by name now. It is really astounding. We will be in the store during the day next Sunday (between 1-4pm) to celebrate with some snacks and drinks. Please stop by to say hi!
When we bought this place, a lot of people questioned our sanity. What about Netflix? Comcast Cable? Downloads? Well, we said…uh…
And it’s true, those things hang over our heads every day, the elephant in the room that we feed DVD’s and sometimes an old VHS. Just as long as we don’t dress like a peanut, like ol’ Chuckles the Clown (on the Mary Tyler Moore Show) and hopefully the elephant won’t eat us!
Like Sly sang, Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future is not ours to see, so until then, we will keep pushing the envelope at Four Star. Our energy is strong, and we are ready for year 2. We had lots of good ideas when we started, most of which have not yet been accomplished. Hopefully this year we get some new stuff going.
• A new computer system which will enable us to have “subscription” style memberships. (My friends call these “Kenflix”).
• A new floor of some sort or another (Astroturf anyone?).
• Monthly or bi-monthly screenings out back.
• Our library posted online (maybe even with the ability to see if things are in-stock or not).
• Customer of the month! Complete with your own recommendation shelf.
• Books on CD for rent!
• More books for our free filmbook library.
• More Blu-ray titles.
• Customer computers to browse and research films on.
• A new whiteboard with “coming soon” titles and dates on it.
So many ideas! You know I lie in bed at night and just obsess over this stuff. I told someone at the good-bye Jamie and Jeremy party last year that I fantasized that this would be my place in the world. A year later, it is my place! Maybe not forever; maybe not for a very long time. But for now. And for that, and for all of your support, I am very grateful.
Best regards to you, the customers, supporters, members, trumpeters, and champions of Four Star Video.
We have lots of movies this week, most notable INTO THE WILD directed by Sean Penn and THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE directed by Susanne Bier.
Love and Kisses
Hayden Christensen/Jessica Alba/Terrance Howard.
Directed by Joby Harold.
* A young man who’s intimate involvement with his mother’s personal assistant is causing social drama at home awakens during heart surgery (yeah, he’s clearly got “heart” problems) only to discover a murder plot against him and be somewhat powerless to do anything about it. It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Oooh.
EIGHTH COLOR OF THE RAINBOW.
Directed by Amauri Tangara.
* Lovely sounding tale of a boy who is being raised by his sick grandmother, who decides to sell the family goat to pay for her medicine and is enlightened on his journey to the city.
EN LA CAMA.
Blanca Lewin/Gonzalo Valenzuela.
Directed by Matias Bize.
* Sex and confessions in bed. Partay.
INTO THE WILD.
Emile Hirsch/Vince Vaughn/William Hurt/Marcia Gay Harden/Catherine Keener.
Directed by Sean Penn.
* The somewhat true-life tale of Chris McCandless, a young smart middle class kid who, in 1992, threw away all the trappings of his life (including cash, his car and his identity) and hit the road to Alaska. On his way, he meets many characters, who come to share wisdom and love with him, but nothing can stop him on his trek with his destiny. The movie is a bit loosey-goosey with the real details of Chris’ life, but the story that emerges about the spirit of life remains strong nonetheless. I hear there is another movie that is out and maybe coming to DVD called THE CALL OF THE WILD that is more of a documentary of Mr. McCandless’ actual life, but I cannot find any info about it online. If you like Eddie Vedder, you’ll be psyched to hear his voice all over the soundtrack. If you don’t, then you won’t.
Directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth.
* Well acted and received film about a nomad living in the seriously cold region of Mongolia. Maybe this is a sort of IN THE WILD for the Mongolian set.
MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM.
Natalie Portman/Dustin Hoffman/Jason Bateman.
Directed by Zach Helm.
* Seriously, I don’t know. It’s a pretty big tale for a kid’s movie. Is it a WILLY WONKA meets BIG kinda thing? In a way… It’s also a bit of ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL (maybe not, but it sounded good) Okay, plot. Mr. Magorium (Hoffman) has a toy store that he’s run for a hundred or two years and he is on his last pair of shoes (get it? Me, neither, I get the New York Times). So, he decides to give the store to Portman (and who wouldn’t, given the opportunity). Unfortunately, the store is essentially ALIVE and it is not happy to see the kind Mr. go, and so challenges arise, and are handled. Children grow and change and become more childrenly. Adults stop working so damn hard, and all in all, life ends on a pretty good note. So, there you go.
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE.
Halle Berry/Benicio Del Toro/Alison Lohman/David Duchovny.
Directed by Susanne Bier.
* After making numerous films in her native Denmark, including AFTER THE WEDDING which was very popular here at Four Star Video over the last 6 months, Bier makes her Hollywood debut with this sorrowful, yet hopeful tale about a young widow (Berry, giving a moving performance) who takes in her recently deceased husband’s best friend (Del Toro) to live with her and her kids as they are all confronting the grief of their loss. Del Toro gives a strong performance as an addict struggling to get his life back together.
Directed by Junichi Fujisaku.
* Kooky animation tale (good with all our other new Anime titles) about a girl named Saya fighting shape-shifting demons.
KILL POINT: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Donnie Wahlberg/John Leguizamo/Tobin Bell.
* Intense crime tv show about some ex-military chaps who pull of a serious bank robbery.
MY KID COULD PAINT THAT.
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev.
* Wow, so painful! This doc follows a kid who actually had INTERNATIONAL success as a painter for a while, being compared to the likes of Picasso, and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of art. Until it seems that maybe her parents were actually painting the pics. Ugh. And this poor kid’s picture is on the cover! Makes me feel better about my parenting skills that’s for sure.
Directed by Jim Brown. and Gary Burns.
* Kooky pseudo-doc about the nature of suburban existence and the existential pain it causes.
DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO!
............//FEATURED NEW ADDITIONS//............
SAMURAI CHAMPLOO: VOLUME 01.
Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe.
* More incredible anime from the guy who directed COWBOY BEBOP. Now, he brings us Mugen and Jin, two fierce and independent warriors who come together randomly and end up joining forces to search for a mysterious samurai “who smells of sunflowers.”
ALIAS: SEASON ONE.
Replacement DVD of the Orson Welles classic!
PROJECT RUNWAY: COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
THE SPITFIRE GRILL
First DVD of this film about a girl finding herself.
Not to be confused with TWITCHES, TOO. This is the epic tale that spawned the sequel. (I’m not kidding).