Monday, May 26, 2008

****new release list. no.168

If you have been dying to watch RAMBO, this is your week. Call us immediately, and we will put the latest homicidal episode in John Rambo’s life on hold for you.

There is also a large batch of films with big stars (THE AIR I BREATHE, THE WALKER, CLEANER, CASSANDRA’S DREAM, GRACE IS GONE) like John Cusack, Kevin Bacon, Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Woody Harrelson among others. There is a big batch of horror from Dario Argento (THE CARDPLAYER, PHENOMENA, TENEBRE, TRAUMA, DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK?). Some comedies (ALL HAT, THE LATHER EFFECT), some old films new to DVD (THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD). A couple of hot-button documentaries (DARFUR NOW, WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY?). There is also some TV, both new and old (LIPSTICK JUNGLE, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, SAVED BY THE BELL). And our usual batch of new additions (BASQUIAT, CHEECH AND CHONG: STILL SMOKIN, CHEECH AND CHONG: UP IN SMOKE, SPEED).

And there you have the movie report.

Starting June 1st, we are having our first price increase here in many years (at least 5). The increase is ONLY affecting library films which are current $3 for 3 nights. We are raising the price of library movies to the same as New Releases ($3.75 after tax) and we are also extending the time you can rent them. Instead of three day rentals, they will now be five day rentals. Until now, if you had a library film out for two renewal periods (six days), it cost you $6. Now, you can have that same movie for $3.75 for five nights.

We are NOT raising the New Release price, and we are not changing Dollar Wednesdays. Just for perspective, this is a .75 cent raise for a rental that you can have for five days…I hope everyone understands. We are still among the least expensive video stores in town with some of the best policies and one of the finest collections in the entire Bay Area.

Don’t forget, KenFlix is here! Four Star Video is now selling subscription memberships. We are not pushing this service, just offering it as an awesome alternative either to corporate America, or to regular renewal fees. If you are trying to analyze whether this service is for you, ask us to look up your rental history. Grab a pamphlet at the store which has all the 411 you need.

Best regards,

Ken

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

THE AIR I BREATHE.
Drama.
Kevin Bacon/Forest Whitaker/Sarah Michelle Gellar/Andy Garcia/Brendan Fraser/Julie Delpy/Emile Hirsch/.
Directed by Jieho Lee.
* One of those many-stories-wove-together type films based on an ancient Chinese proverb focusing on four elements of life - happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. Kevin Bacon is a genius, wouldn’t you say? He’s like the human energizer bunny. Nothing can stop him.

ALL HAT.
Comedy/Western.
Rachael Leigh Cook/Keith Carradine/Michelle Morgan.
Directed by Leonard Farlinger.
* Not many Western Comedies out there these days. The score is done by excellent jazzy guitar wizard Bill Frisell.

THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA.
Comedy/Drama.
Naveen Andrews.
Directed by Roger Michell.
* For the first time on DVD comes the 1993 story of Karim Amir (Andrews), the child of an English mother and an Indian father, and his struggles with British society. From the writer of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE and SAMMY AND ROSIE GET LAID.

THE CARD PLAYER.
Horror/Thriller/Foreign (Italian).
Stefania Rocca/Liam Cunningham.
Directed by Dario Argento.
* One of a set of five new Argento films that we just got in. This one concerns a serial killer not playing nice with some officers of the law who are trying to catch him. Look on the wall under D for Dario Argento for this quintet.

CASSANDRA’S DREAM.
Crime/Drama/Thriller.
Ewan McGregor/Colin Farrell/Tom Wilkinson.
Directed by Woody Allen.
* Here Woody takes on a couple of down on their luck brothers (McGregor, Farrell) in London who are offered a way out of there financial problems if they’ll take care of “a little problem” for their Uncle Howard (The fabulous Wilkinson).

CLEANER.
Action/Suspense.
Samuel L. Jackson/Ed Harris/Eva Mendes.
Directed by Renny Harlin.
* Jackson plays a former cop turned crime scene clean-up dude.

DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK?
Horror/Thriller/Foreign (Italian).
Elio germano.
Directed by Dario Argento.
* Kind of a tribute film to Alfred, this concerns a student obsessed with Hitchcock’s work who is investigating a murder at the building next to his.

GRACE IS GONE.
Drama.
John Cusack.
Directed by James C. Strouse.
* A father takes his daughters on a road trip while trying to find the right moment to tell them their mother has died in Iraq.

THE LATHER EFFECT.
Comedy.
Peter Facinelli/Connie Britton/Eric Stoltz/Ione Skye.
Directed by Sarah Kelly.
* Some former high school peeps get together and party some years later and don’t like what they see quite as much in the morning. Whoop whoop, right?

PHENOMENA.
Horror/Thriller.
Jennifer Connelly.
Directed by Dario Argento.
* Her special ability? To communicate with insects. Her mission? To solve a string of murders at the elite Swiss boarding school she has been sent to. This was Jennifer Connelly second movie, a year before LABYRINTH.

RAMBO.****BLU-RAY, TOO****
War/Adventure/Action/Massacre.
Sylvester Stallone/Julie Benz/Paul Schulze.
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
* Missionaries taken captive by the Burmese government rely on Rambo to shoot MASSIVE amounts of people to save them.

TENEBRE.
Horror/Thriller.
Anthony Franciosa.
Directed by Dario Argento.
* In this one, a serial killer is stalking an American writer in Rome and killing everyone involved with his latest book.

THIEF OF BAGDAD.
Adventure/Family/Fantasy/Criterion.
John Justin/Conrad Veidt.
Directed by Ludwig Berger and Tim Whelan and Michael Powell.
* Criterion release of the 1940 multiple Oscar winning film about the adventures of Prince Ahmad who should be the king of Bagdad but has been cast out and blinded.

TRAUMA.
Horror/Thriller.
Asia Argento.
Directed by Dario Argento.
* I think this is Argento’s only film made in English and it is starring his daughter Asia who has done a ton of weird indie flicks. In this she is paired with a young man trying to help her avoid or expose a serial killer who has killer her parents.

THE WALKER.
Drama.
Woody Harrelson/Kristin Scott Thomas/Lauren Bacall/Willem Dafoe/Lily Tomlin/Ned Beatty.
Directed by Paul Schrader.
* Harrelson plays an escort catering to the society ladies of Washington D.C. Then murder ensues, and everything gets sketchy.

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

DARFUR, NOW!
Documentary.
Don Cheadle/Hejewa Adam.
Directed by Ted Braun.
* A doc that is a call for help for the tremendous genocidal crisis going on in Darfur, this film examines six peoples stories and begs for awareness and action from its viewers.

WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY?
Documentary/Comedy.
Directed by Rob VanAlkemade.
* This doc attempts to answer the question I’m asking myself every day. Beware the Shopacolypse!

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

LIPSTICK JUNGLE: SEASON ONE.
Television/Comedy.
Brook Shields/Kim Raver/Lindsay Price.
* A show exploring the lives of three uber-successful women in New York City.

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

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.
Television/Comedy.
* Absolutely Fabulous was a British comedy from the 1990’s that we have had at the store on VHS. This new release is a complete DVD set of the entire series with extras and it is truly absolutely fabulous. Check out the incredible packaging…one word: fabu!

BASQUIAT.
Drama/Biopic.
Jeffrey Wright/David Bowie/Benicio Del Toro.
Directed by Julian Schnabel.
* Schabel (THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY)’s first work as a director tackled the true story of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and his rise to fame from a street artist to an internationally celebrated painter. The cast is amazing featuring Gary Oldman, Parker Posey, Christopher Walken, Claire Forlani, Willem Dafoe, Dennis Hopper, Tatum O’Neal, Courtney Love (she’s got bit parts in all the tweaked out famous drug addict movies, see: SID AND NANCY). This is our first copy on DVD.

CHEECH AND CHONG: STILL SMOKIN.
Comedy/Marijuana.
Cheech Marin/Tommy Chong.
Directed by Tommy Chong.
* Our heroes smoke massive reefer in Amsterdam and a slight story emerges. Did you know that Tommy Chong went to JAIL for selling bongs and pipes over the internet? That is just wrong…

CHEECH AND CHONG: UP IN SMOKE.
Comedy/Marijuana.
Cheech Marin/Thomas Chong.
Directed by Lou Adler.
* A more cohesive, but not necessarily coherent tale then STILL SMOKIN, in this movie the guys play a pair of potheads who get deported to Mexico. They agree to drive a van back to the states, without knowing the whole van is made out of marijuana! This film has some of the great lines of my youth and if I could remember any of them, I’d share them with you.

SAVED BY THE BELL: SEASONS ONE AND TWO.
Television/Comedy.
* This silly show was on from 1989 to 1993 and followed six kids through their hilarious and depressing high school existences. Shila assures me that this show has a massive following.

SPEED.
* First DVD copy of this Keanu film.

THE WIRE: COMPLETE THIRD SEASON.
Two new copies of this season of this outrageously popular show.

****

Monday, May 19, 2008

****new release list no. 167

We are rolling out subscription service! Available on June 1st, KenFlix is coming!

Here is a bunch of information about our very exciting new rental options…You can still rent the same way you always have at Four Star Video, but if you would like, you can sign up for our monthly subscription service. Sound interesting? Read on…Otherwise skip down to the movies.

KenFlix is Four Star Video’s new subscription rate membership. It is a multi-structured program that is optional for our customers and can be used with or without our current Block pricing structure. You simply decide what level subscription you want and then pay one monthly fee for unlimited rentals and no renewal fees.

• Is this a good service for me?
• There are a few reasons that a subscription will work great for customers. First off, do you rent a lot of movies? If so, this will provide you with an immediate discount in your monthly expense. Secondly, do you have trouble getting movies back on time? That is the main comment we hear at Four Star Video which has really motivated us to set this up. We understand all the options that people have out there, and we believe that our store offers you the best option of fulfilling your cinematic needs.

• Is it like Netflix?
• Kind of. But unlike Netflix, you won’t have to wait for any movies to get sent to you. You have unlimited access to rent as many movies as you would like without additional cost. And you get the added bonus of interacting with live humans who will amuse you with their quirky characteristics and movie suggestions. Also, we believe there is something about browsing movie boxes that you can touch that is really…touching.

• Is there a “queue” like Netflix?
• Hell no! Unlike that service, you don’t get what is next on your list; you get whatever is in your hand!

• Can I keep the movies indefinitely?
• Yes, however after twenty-one (21) days you will be charged full price for the movie. There will be no renewal fees, and this won’t affect your subscription. We’re still a neighborhood video store, and we need to keep copies of the movies for our other customers to rent. So if we see one is not coming back, we will replace it immediately. If you bring your movie back within ten days of this charge. We will refund you the price of the film, minus a $5 re-stocking fee.

• Can KenFlix be used with the block?
• Yes, it can! You can still purchase blocks whether or not you use the subscription service. If you do subscribe, you can utilize the block if you want to rent movies above your subscription total. If you return movies that you have on your subscription, we will shift your block rentals onto the subscription upon request to help you avoid any renewals fees as long as you have the maximum or less movies out on your plan.

• Can I rent more movies on top of my subscription?
• Yes, you can! You can choose to rent movies at regular cost at any time. Again, if you return the films that have maximized your subscription, we will shift your other rentals to your subscription upon request to avoid renewal fees.

• Will this mean I will have to wait longer for films?
• Probably not. We have been purchasing films in significantly higher proportions over the last five months in anticipation of this program. If we start having reservation lists for a title that is out for an extended period we will purchase more and expedite delivery. Which is what we already do!

• How will this affect my Wednesday Dollar Rentals?
• If you come in only on Wednesdays and get 4 movies then this program is perfect for you. Now, every day is Wednesday and you can come in seven days a week if you want to.

• What is not going to change?
• Oh just about everything. We’ll still have the same awesome releases. We’ll still have the same awesome staff. We’ll still have the same awesome red carpet. All this really does is add a great new service for those who would like to take part in it.

Here are the Pricing Options:

• $19.99/month – One movie out on your account of any type at any time. No fees. Unlimited exchange.

• $29.99/month – Two movies out on your account of any type at any time. No fees. Unlimited exchange.

• $39.99/month – Three movies out on your account of any type at any time. No fees. Unlimited exchange.

• $49.99/month – Four movies out on your account of any type at any time. No fees. Unlimited exchange.


This program will start on June 1st, but we may let you start buying it later this week. Ask us at the store!

Love and kisses,

Ken

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

DIARY OF THE DEAD.
Fantasy/Horror/Thriller.
Joshua Close/Scott Wentworth/Michelle Morgan.
Directed by George A. Romero.
* From the maker of classic zombie movies like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD comes this new zombie thriller following a group of film students as they witness the undead coming to life through their cameras and cellphones.

THE FLOCK.
Crime/Thriller.
Richard Gere/Claire Danes.
Directed by Wai-keung Lau.
* A vigilant (and perhaps over-zealous) federal agent (Gere) is training his young, hot replacement (Danes) while tracking down a missing girl into the seedy world of porn.

NATIONAL TREASURE 2: BOOK OF SECRETS. **** BLU-RAY,TOO****
Adventure.
Nicholas Cage/Diane Kruger/Jon Voight/Helen Mirren/Ed Harris.
Directed by John Turtletaub.
* His name is Benjamin Franklin Gates! That is so brilliant. Yes, Cage is back as the fabled treasure hunter seeking to discover the truth behind Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

STRANGE WILDERNESS.
Comedy.
Steve Zahn/Allen Covert/Jonah Hill.
Directed by Fred Wolf.
* Zahn plays a guy who takes over the animal show his dead father used to hosts. I read that this is a “good stupid dry-humor movie”. Well, I need that every now and again.

WHO’S YOUR MONKEY.
Comedy.
Jason London/Kevin Durand.
Directed by Todd Breau.
* In this low-budg comedy, some friends try to help their buddy (who is an out of work doctor making crystal meth to pay the bills) out of his funk.

THE WILLOW TREE.
Drama/Foreign (Persian).
Parviz Parastui.
Directed by Majid Majidi.
* Visually stunning Iranian film about a blind professor who is startled by what he sees when he regains his sight.

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

OUR HOUSE.
Documentary.
Directed by Meema Spadola.
* From the director of BREASTS: A DOCUMENTARY comes this exploration of life as the children of gay and lesbian parents. This fascinating story documents the children of five families of multiple ethnicities around the United States.

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

CRANFORD (2007).
BBC/Television.
Judi Dench.
* Victorian-era soap opera.

EXES & OHS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Television/Comedy/Lesbian.
Directed by Leah Friedlander.
* A sort of more realistic and less glamorous THE L WORD.

THE MUPPET SHOW: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON.
Television/Muppet.
Kermie/Miss Piggy.
Created by Jim Henson.
* Seriously, this is just pure brilliant genius (Can you use those two words back to back? Don’t ask me, I’m neither one of them…). Just look at the back of the box to see the incredible list of guest stars.

THE RICHES.
Television/Comedy/Drama.
Eddie Izzard/Minnie Driver.
* The Malloy’s are a family of gypsies who have conned their way through their lives. Now as they are getting older and sick of life on the move, they have assumed the identity of a upper middle class family in the Deep South and they intend to milk it for all it’s worth.

SQUARE PEGS: THE COMPLETE SERIES.
Television.
Sarah Jessica Parker/Amy Linker/Jami Gertz
* Do you remember this series? It is from 1982 and it is like a pre-cursor to all John Hughes films and so much other 1980’s existential life. It follows the lives in high school of two misfits as they try to fit in…to “click with the right clique” as they put it and become “popular”. If you ever spent idle time wondering why the popular crowd was popular, this show will remind you of the somewhat randomness of that designation. The music, the accents, the situations, this show is awesome, and I highly recommend it.

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

DORA THE EXPLORER: SUPER BABIES.
Dora.

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

BAND OF BROTHERS.
Replacement DVD’s.

CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD.
Adventure/Drama.
Henry Czerny.
Directed by Stephen Deutch.
* This is a customer request about a man’s journey from struggling to homeless to spiritual messenger and finally author. Tell me if you like it!

EPITAFIOS: SEASON ONE.
Replacement DVD’s.

****

Monday, May 12, 2008

****new release list no.166


The carpet is pretty sweet, huh?

Here is a pretty good breakdown of the movies coming out this summer. I am sure there are some hidden gems here, but at first read, I wasn’t super psyched on anything I read about it. Isn’t it amazing how Hollywood will just throw millions at just about anything in the hopes of paying for all the garbage with one monster success? Ah, to have millions to throw away…

This week we have some comedy (MAD MONEY, NUMB, WALK ALL OVER ME), some horror (THE COTTAGE), a batch of foreign films (LOST IN BEIJING, THE FIRE WITHIN, THE LOVERS, A MATTER OF TASTE, SHINOBI NO MONO 2: VENGEANCE), the latest Francis Ford Coppola film (YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH) and the latest Denzel Washington movie – which I heard was really good (THE GREAT DEBATERS). We also have another big batch of new additions, and some good kids stuff.

Have a nice week!

Ken


p.s. Fairmount Elementary is having its annual fund raiser this Saturday May 17th from 12pm - 5pm. There will be food and games for the kids and a silent auction with all sorts of great stuff (like a Four Star gift certificate). Fairmount is located at 65 Chenery and I will be there all day. Come on by for a fun day with your peeps.

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

THE COTTAGE.
Comedy/Horror.
Andy Serkis/Jennifer Ellison.
Directed by Paul Williams.
* A couple of siblings mess up a kidnapping, then have a nightmare to contend with while holed up with their hostage in a country cottage, and the nightmare wields and axe.

THE FIRE WITHIN.
Drama/Criterion/Foreign (French).
Maurice Ronet/Lena Skeria.
Directed by Louis Malle.
* Criterion release of this swirling descent into suicidal depression fueled by alcohol and failed dreams.

THE GREAT DEBATER.
Drama.
Denzel/Forest Whitaker.
Directed by Denzel Washington.
* Well-acted tale of a 1935 college debating team of African-Americans who challenged Harvard in the national championship.

LOST IN BEIJING.
Drama/Foreign (Mandarin).
Tony Leung Ka Fai/Bingbing Fan.
Directed by Yu Li.
* This film is freaking BANNED in China. Banned! That is so crazy. And the producer is banned from making another film for two years. The story follows a foursome exploring their relationship in Beijing. FREAKING BANNED! We must watch this movie.

THE LOVERS.
Drama/Criterion/Foreign (French).
Jeanne Moreau/Alain Cuny/Jean-Marc Bory.
Directed by Louis Malle.
* 1959 film about boredom, sex, and the bourgeoisie. This film helped the US Supreme court define pornography in 1964 (the defendant was acquitted from the charge of possessing and exhibiting an obscene film).

MAD MONEY.
Comedy/Crime.
Queen Latifah/Katie Holmes/Diane Keaton/Ted Danson.
Directed by Callie Khouri.
* Three bank robbing chicks get jiggy with stacks of cash.

A MATTER OF TASTE.
Crime/Thriller/Foreign (French).
Bernard Giraudeau/Jean-Pierre Lorit.
Directed by Bernard Rapp.
* Sexual thriller from France.

NUMB.
Comedy/Romance.
Matthew Perry/Mary Steenburgen/Lynn Collins/Kevin Pollack.
Directed by Harris Goldberg.
* I’m numb looking at this film about a young man who thinks he is going crazy.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN.
Drama.
Sean Combs/Phylicia Rashad/Audra McDonald.
Directed by Kenny Leon.
* P-Diddy stars in this adaptation of the famous Lorraine Hansberry play about an African-American family struggling to overcome racism and poverty.

SHINOBI NO MONO 2: VEGEANCE.
Drama/Foreign (Japanese).
Raizo Ichikawa.
* Action oriented ninja flick from the 60’s.

WALK ALL OVER ME.
Comedy?/ Crime/Thriller/Dominatrix.
Leelee Sobieski.
Directed by Robert Cuffley.
* I believe this is a comedy about a young woman who takes on her roommates identity as a dominatrix to pay the bills...

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH.
Drama.
Tim Roth/Alexandra Lara/Bruno Ganz.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
* Set in 1930’s Europe, this film follows a timid professor (Roth) whose life is changed dramatically and magically after he is hit by a bolt of lightning.

............//SERIES//............

BOONDOCKS: SEASON ONE.
Television/Animated.
Created by Aaron McGruder.
* Amazing social and politic commentary in this series based on the award winning comic-strip.

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

BOB THE BUILDER: THE THREE MUSKETRUCKS.
Kids.
Bob.
* Bob gets crazy with three sword wielding truck knights.

GARFIELD: A CAT AND HIS NERD.
Kids.
Garfield/His Nerd.
* Tremendous cinematography.

LAND BEFORE TIME: THROUGH THE EYES OF SPIKETAIL.
Kids/Dino.
* Four episodes of the cute little dino-critters.

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

LA CHINOISE.
Comedy/Drama/Foreign (French).
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
* First time available on DVD, this 1967 film follows a group of students who explore terrorism while studying Mao.

CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. BLU-RAY!
* Yo, it’s the Chronic (What?) Cles of Narnia.

EVIL DEAD.
Fantasy/Horror/Thriller.
Directed by Sam Raimi.
* First DVD of this classic.

EVIL DEAD 2.
Fantasy/Horror/Thriller.
Directed by Sam Raimi..
* First DVD of this classic.

PLANET EARTH. BLU-RAY!
Doc/Nature/Amazing.
* We just got this amazing 5 disc series on Blu-ray…time to buy that Blu-ray player!

THE MISSION.
Drama/War.
Robert De Niro/Jeremy Irons/Aidan Quinn.
Directed by Roland Joffe.
* Jesuits and slave hunters in this 1986 period piece.

THE WAY WE WERE.
Drama/Romance.
Robert Redford/Barbara Streisand.
Directed by Sydney Pollack.
* First DVD copy of this Oscar winner from the 1970’s.

Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN.
Comedy/Drama/Foreign (Spanish).
* Replacement DVD.

****

Monday, May 5, 2008

****new release list no.165

COME IN TO THE STORE FOR OUR GRAND RE-CARPETING!

We are rolling out the red carpet for y’alls’s. Today (May 5th) is the last day the old schwagalicious (that’s a technical term) carpet will be at Four Star Video. Then during the nights over the next few days the new carpet will be installed. It will be red, as we feel you all deserve the red carpet treatment. By Thursday, May 8th, the new carpet will be installed and we will be very happy. We hope you will, too.

Starting this month, one of the employees will choose a small stack of films that we currently don’t carry and these movies will be the Highlighted New Additions in the green room (new release room) for the entire month. Chris is the first of us to run the highlighted section (although thanks also go out to Andrew for picking last months new Anime films). Take a look at the stuff Chris has selected…you are bound to find something you like. They are listed below in the HIGHLIGHTED NEW ADDITIONS section.

This week is a week of fluffy comedy for the most part. Titles like ACE OF HEARTS, OVER HER DEAD BODY, FIRST SUNDAY, I REALLY HATE MY JOB, and others fill this niche. The long awaited Bob Dylan biofictopic I’M NOT THERE is also in this week, as is the faux horror flick TEETH about a young lady who discovers teeth where generally there are none. Yup, you get it… There are also a couple of documentaries that look good: HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE and THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN. Hopefully there is something in that will appeal to your particular sense of escapism.

One quick note about the crime wave that Bernal Heights is experiencing: please pay attention to your surroundings when you are walking around. You probably know that we have had a large amount of muggings already this year. Last week Martha Bros. was robbed in the early morning. Believe me, the leadership organizations in this neighborhood (Tom Ammiano’s office, the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, Police Captain Denis O'Leary’s office, the Merchants Association) are aware of this problem and everyone is doing what they can to protect us. However a problem like this doesn’t just disappear because of righteous anger and higher police presence. There is a lot we can do as a community to combat muggings. Do not put yourself in dangers way, but do not turn and walk the other direction if you see something suspicious. Be safe, but don’t be paranoid. Try not to be judgmental about this. As long as there is no money and our economy is tanking, people with less means are going to go to where they perceive there is money and harvest it. This is completely related to the housing markets, the gas prices, the unemployment rate and the war. I’m sure you already know that. Hopefully we can join together during this crisis and not splinter into factions. And hopefully this can encourage us to vote in the upcoming election and do what we can to insure that those who are intent on getting rich off of our fear get out of office.

Ken

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

ACE OF HEARTS.
Family/Comedy.
Dean Cain/Anne Loder/Mike Dopud.
Directed by David Mackay.
* A cop works hard to clear his partners’ good name and save him from death…the twist? The partner is a doggy.

BELLA.
Drama.
Eduardo Verastegui/Tammy Blanchard.
Directed by Alejandro Monteverde.
* A story within a story riding the theme of how one moment can change people’s lives forever.

DANS PARIS.
Drama/Foreign (French).
Romain Duris/Louis Garrel.
Directed by Christophe Honore.
* A story of love and depression as a young man struggles to get over the woman who left him (probably cuz he was a jerk). The ONION really dug it.

DELIRIOUS.
Drama/Comedy.
Steve Buscemi/Michael Pitt/Alison Lohman.
Directed by Tom DiCillo.
* As in INTERVIEW, Buscemi plays a borderline journalist, willing to do whatever to further his career. In this, he befriends a homeless kid (Pitt, maybe starting to break out??) who’s luck in hooking up with a hot young music star (Lohman) drives the tale to its dark conclusion.

FIRST SUNDAY.
Comedy/Crime.
Ice Cube/Katt WilliamsTracy Morgan.
Directed by David Talbert.
* When Durell (Ice Cube) and LeeJohn decide to rob a neighborhood church to come up with the cash to keep Durell from losing his son (huh?) they are forced to spend a night in the church and get more than they expected. Hmmm, okay.

I’M NOT THERE.
Drama/Biofictopic.
Christian Bale/Cate Blanchett/Marcus Carl Franklin/Richard Gere/Heath Ledger/Julianne Moore/Kris Kristofferson.
Directed by Todd Haynes.
* Very strange and complex tale of Bob Dylan told using six different characters playing different elements of his life. Tremendous soundtrack!!!

I REALLY HATE MY JOB.
Comedy.
Neve Campbell/Shirley Henderson.
Directed by Oliver Parker.
* Sounds kinda like THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets WAITRESS. The tale focuses on five women working in a café in London.

OVER HER DEAD BODY.
Comedy/Light-fare.
Eva Longoria/Paul Rudd.
Directed by Jeff Lowell.
* Uh-huh. Yep.

P.S. I LOVE YOU.
Comedy/Romance.
Hilary Swank/Gerard Butler/Lisa Kudrow.
Directed by Richard LaGravenese.
* In the schmaltzy tale, Swank plays a woman who finds the love of her life, only to lose him to tragedy soon after. However, he has prepared her some messages designed to help her find herself and rediscover her passion for life without him.

SAAWARIYA.
Drama/Musical/Bollywood (Hindi).
Ranbir Kapoor/Salman Khan/Rani Mukherjee/Sonam Kapoor.
Directed by Sanjay Bhansali.
* A Bollywood tale inspired by the Dostoevsky store “White Nights”.

SPIDER LILIES.
Drama/LGBT/Foreign (Mandarin).
Isabella Leong/Rainie Yang.
Directed by Zero Chou.
* Lesbian-themed romance between a web-cam girl and a tattoo artist.

TEETH.
Horror/Comedy.
Jess Weixler/John Hensley/Josh Pais.
Directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein.
* Campy, witty, toothy, future cult-classic about a high school girl who is working hard at being a model of abstinence who discovers that her vagina is toothed.

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

THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN.
Documentary.
Ricki Lake.
Directed by Abby Epstein..
* A film about birth and pregnancy that studies different methods families choose when preparing to bring a child into the world.

HOW TO COOK YOUR LIFE.
Documentary.
Edward Brown.
Directed by Doris Dorrie.
* A profile of Zen Master Edward Espe Brown and his slant on preparation of food as well as practicing the art of Zen Buddhism!

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

BLOOD FEAST.
Horror/Splatter.
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
* From 1963, this was to be one of the first splatter films made, as well as the first installment of the Blood Trilogy (all featured in this month’s new additions). This film focuses on an Egyptian caterer who is gathering some lovely young maiden’s body parts in order to bring Ishtar back to life. There is much blood shed in this classic.

COLOR ME BLOOD RED.
Horror/Splatter.
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
* Part three in the Blood Trilogy, this film follows the exploits of an artist who is struggling with his color sense. When he discovers that his own blood makes a fanciful color, he is pleased. However, soon he realizes the need to go outside his own veins for his paint supply.

DANCING OUTLAW.
Documentary.
Jesco White.
Directed by Jacob Young.
* Very wacky doc about Jesco White, a mountain dancer from rural West Virginia who briefly achieved fame in the 1990’s for his hard-living, hard-dancing ways.

DAVE CHAPPELLE: KILLIN’ THEM SOFTLY.
Stand-up Comedy.
* More stand-up from one of the kings of comedy in this decade.

HARLEM NIGHTS.
Comedy/Crime.
Eddie Murphy/Richard Pryor/Redd Foxx/Danny Aiello.
Directed by Eddie Murphy.
* Cops and vicious gangsters in this Oscar nominated film from 1989 (Best Costume Design) about an owner of an illegal casino who is struggling to stay in business against all odds.

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.
Fantasy/Action.
Dolph Lundren.
Directed by Gary Goddard.
* The follow up film to ROCKY IV for Dolph Lundren where he plays He-Man from the popular children’s show of the 80’s. BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL! Or something like that…

THE TICK: VS. SEASON ONE.
Animation/Comic Book Hero.
* Sophisticated and inventive series about The Tick, a less-than-bright yet very powerful superhero who protects the city from all manner of villains. This show was more spoof than not, and remains one of the more classic and loved tv shows of the 90’s. Alas, it was canceled after three seasons. Dude wears the blue tights of justice!

TWO THOUSAND MANIACS!
Horror/Splatter.
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
* The second installation in the Blood Trilogy, this tells the tale of a small southern town that is having a centennial celebration and lures some northerners in to take part in the celebration. Only catch is that this small town still hasn’t gotten over their loss in the Civil War and is planning to take revenge for the atrocities they were subject to back then. This is a total gore-fest that inspired a remake called 2001 MANIACS that starred Robert Englund of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET fame.

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

MADELINE: NEXT STOP, AMERICA.
Madeline.
* Whoop, whoop.

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

ABOUT LAST NIGHT.
Comedy/Drama.
* Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jim Belushi in this 1986 film based on the David Mamet play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”. Quotable line “At this point, we don’t know”.

ARMY OF SHADOWS.
Drama/War/Criterion/Foreign (French).
Lino Ventura/Jean-Pierre Cassel.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville.
* Intense war movie based on the book by Joseph Kassell about the occupation of France by the Nazi’s and the underground French R√©sistance movement who did what they could to overthrow them. This is the re-mastered Criterion release from April 2007.

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