Monday, October 27, 2008
THIS FRIDAY, Oct 31th: we are having one final movie screening of our season. It will be a kiddy Halloween special night, so if you are up on Cortland and want to take a 30 minute break from the Trick or Treating crush, bring your kiddo over to Four Star Video and watch CHARLIE BROWN: IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN with a special short video from the SIPPY CUPS to start the show and assorted other specials if people are digging it. The movie will be shown at the early time of 7pm and the doors will be open at 6:45pm. Come on by!
Now that our outdoor screening season is coming to an end, I am going to spend a little time reflecting on what was fun, what worked, what didn’t work so well and what we can do better next year. If anyone has any input, please send it my way. All in all, my initial thought is that I had a great time doing it, and watching fantastic films bundled up outside with a group of people is really awesome.
The latest season of THE L WORD is here this week, as is Brendan Fraser’s new action film JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE WORLD: 3D. There is also an amazing looking pair of documentary’s about the indigenous people of New Guinea called THEM AND ME and THE SKY IN THE GARDEN. We’ve also got a bunch of Halloween new additions this week, thanks to Shila, also a nice little stack of new Blu-Ray titles, including A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
Me? I’ve been totally bingeing on books and movies this week. I have become totally addicted to the American version of THE OFFICE. It hurts, it is painful, it’s crass, it’s so wrong. I love it! Wow, it will definitely affect your interactions at work. I highly recommend this show. I’ve also been reading for the first time the Harry Potter books. I am a huge reader, but not generally into magic tales, but after getting sucked into HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE at the store recently, decided to take the plunge. I am hooked. It is a total soap-opera, but I have to know what happens! I have only watched the first movie in totality, but I am very much looking forward to the rest. Wow, those actors were so young in that first one.
Alrighty, then. See you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
Directed by David Winkler.
* A thief (Doherty) goes back to her home in Connecticut to lay for the holidays after a con goes badly. Freaking Connecticut! Get a baseball team!
Wagner Moura/Caio Junqueira.
Directed by Jose Padilha.
* Cops and bad guys on the streets of Rio de Janeiro before an important visit by the Pope.
HANK AND MIKE.
Thomas Michael/Paolo Mancini/Chris Klein/Joe Mantegna.
Directed by Matthiew Klinck.
* Strange and potentially beautiful tale of Hank and Mike, two corporate Easter Bunnies dealing with downsizing and loss of employment. Kind of fitting in today’s world.
I LOVE BEIJING.
Directed by Ying Ning.
* Well respected Chinese film about urbanization and construction and migration to Beijing told through the eyes of a taxi driver.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH: 3D.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Directed by Eric Brevig.
* A scientist goes missing and his brother and his nephew go questing for him. While in Iceland, they discover a deep cave. A really deeeeeeep cave. That goes. To the center. Of the earth. There, they discover the world is in 3D, much like it is back up on earth. Also they discover many strange and phantasmagorical creatures, which isn’t surprising considering Bjork is from Iceland and she is kinda phantasmagorical as well, right?
KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL.
Directed by Patricia Rozema.
* Based on a popular doll collection, this is the tale of Kit (Breslin – remember her from LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and DEFINITELY, MAYBE and NIM’S ISLAND) a young girl living in Cincinnati during the depression and dreaming big dreams of being famous someday.
THE STONE ANGEL.
Ellen Burstyn/Christine Horne/Ellen Page.
Directed by Kari Skogland.
* A story in the vein of AWAY FROM HER and THE BUCKET LIST about an aging woman fighting a battle to remember her life and to put her memories in order. Based on a book by Margaret Laurence.
BODY OF WAR.
Directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro.
* An anti-war documentary following the parallel stories of Tomas Young, an Iraqi war vet, home from the Gulf with a paralyzed body and new thoughts on the conflict, and the American Congress, struggling to come to consensus on what to do with the conflict that we are so deeply involved with.
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.
Fred Fred Lebow.
Directed by Judd Ehrlich.
* A tribute to Fred Lebow, whose determination and love for running helped create the New York City Marathon.
THEM AND ME w/ THE SKY IN THE GARDEN.
Directed by Stephane Breton.
* From IMDB: Anthropologist and filmmaker Stephane Breton lived among the Wodoni of Papua, New Guinea, and produced two unique documentaries based on his remarkable adventures. Unlike other ethnographic filmmakers, Breton is more interested in how the Wodoni see him than he is in documenting their way of life, which provides the premise for THEM AND ME. Eventually, he builds a close bond with his neighbors, illustrating that certain parts of life are universal whether you are a French filmmaker or a Wodoni villager. In THE SKY IN THE GARDEN, Breton returns to the village after several years, knowing that future trips will be impossible and that this is his last visit. In this nostalgic account, he explores the poetry and beauty of the little things, sharing his perspective on a people he has grown to admire
AFFAIRS OF THE HEART: SERIES 1.
*1974 series about romance and pain based on the work of Henry James.
THE L WORD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON.
Jennifer Beals/Mia Kirschner/Leisha Hailey/Pam Grier
* Same-Sex and The City, in Los Angeles.
PUCCA: SECRET SAMARAI SANTA.
* Oh Nelly, the little girls are going CRAZY for this one. My daughter cried when I brought it back to the store this morning…
TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE.
* Customer request to get this one on DVD. Got it!
............//BLU-RAY NEW ADDITIONS//............
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
* Classic Stanley Kubrick at his most creepiest.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD.
* Terrific work by Casey Affleck here in this Brad Pitt flick.
* Will Ferrell lights it up in this Jon Favreau comedy also starring Ed Asner, James Kaan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.
* Another 007 on Blu-Ray, this time starring Roger Moore.
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS.
* They march and they march.
............// HALLOWEEN NEW ADDITIONS//............
ADDAMS FAMILY/ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES.
* A comic double feature about America’s favorite family of weirdoes.
* Our first DVD of the Jamie Lee Curtis spookfest.
HALLOWEENTOWN AND HALLOWEENTOWN.
* For the kids out there, it is a double-feature Disney Halloween tale.
* And another story about this place.
* First DVD of this film starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker as resurrected witches wreaking havoc on Salem 300 years after they were hung.
RETURN TO HALLOWEENTOWN.
* Just when you thought you couldn’t get any more Halloweened out.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: ULTIMATE EDITION.
* First DVD of the 1974 iconic horror slasher flick.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
* First DVD of this Sydney Pollack film starring Tom Cruise about a sinister law firm.
Monday, October 20, 2008
THIS FRIDAY, Oct 24th: come watch THE KARATE KID in our backyard screening patio. We are going to show this earlier than usual as it is getting darker earlier now. The movie will start at 7pm and doors will open at 6:45. As usual: Soda/Candy $1, suggested donation $5 and 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. P.S. We have canceled the late night show this week which was going to be MEET THE FEEBLES. If you haven’t watched it, rent it, it is hysterical.
As you may know, we now have two T-Shirt designs and some amazing wristbands! The photo you see here is of my gorgeous son Huck modeling the brown shirt. There is also a yellow shirt that has a cool swirly starry design. Both shirts come in adult sizes for $20 and kids sizes for $15. Right now the sizes we have are Adult Women’s (XL, L, M and S) and Kids (L, M and S). The Adult Male shirts will be here in 2 weeks. We also have amazing wrist-bands with our cool starry design. We have White on Black and Black on White. They are $5/each. Our very own Jeff designed both the shirts and the bands, and for that we are grateful! Thanks, Jeff!
Wow, Fiesta on the Hill was cold! But it was also a blast. Sadly, I missed Shila in the dunk tank because she was there for a shorter time than was expected. However I heard she spent most of her time getting repeatedly dunked in the water to the ecstatic joy of the chanting audience. Good times. All in all, the Fiesta was well attended and we had a great time. Thanks everyone, for making this neighborhood such a special place to be! I feel so lucky to have a business here.
I was thinking this week about the things that make Four Star Video so special, and a nice little list popped into my mind that I thought I would share with you:
* Attentive and friendly staff (who have almost all worked here over a year)
* Large amounts of copies of newly purchased movies
* Three night rental on new releases (Thanks J&J)
* Renewal charge for the same price and same rental period as the original rental (ask around at the competitors – this is a major bonus) (Thanks again J&J)
* Large and growing library of Blu-Ray titles available for the SAME price as regular DVD’s!
* Pre-purchased blocks make rentals only $2.50 a pop with renewals the same price (meaning a library film that was rented and kept out for 15 days would only cost $7.50 on the block – I believe it would be about $50 at Le Competition)
* KenFlix – the only independent monthly subscription service in town
* Hi-def TV and Blu-ray player on site so you can check out the fuss for yourself
* Used DVD’s for only $8 plus tax and regular sales for even less
* A Disc-Go-Tech hi-end DVD repair machine onsite
* Movie screenings and other events in our outdoor patio
* A community based newsletter
* Pretty red carpet??!!!?
Alright, so I am stretching it with the carpet, but you get the point. Four Star Video rocks and will continue rocking for the foreseeable future. We will never leave you, so please continue to patronize us.
Please let me know how we can improve and we will earnestly consider all suggestions.
Love and Kisses,
THE INCREDIBLE HULK.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Edward Norton/Liv Tyler/William Hurt/Tim Roth/Robert “Iron Man” Downey, Jr.
Directed by Louis Leterrier.
* It’s Norton’s turn to play the big green angry alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner. Kudos to the makers for cameos by the Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr) and Lou Ferrigno, television’s original Hulk.
THE LAZARUS PROJECT.
Paul Walker/Piper Perabo.
Directed by John Glenn.
* He is an ex-criminal who turns again to crime when things aren’t working out on the straight road. Unfortunately, he is totally busted and sentenced to die. What happens then is the crux of the story in this tale of redemption and government manipulation.
Liv Tyler/Scott Speedman.
Directed by Bryan Bertino.
* Wow! What a career shift! The Olympic gold-medalist ice skater, Bryan Bertino, (elevated to even higher status in the hysterical SOUTH PARK movie) made a horror movie about a couple terrorized at an isolated home and…hold it…what? Brian Boitano?, Not Bertino? Oh…uh. Nevermind.
Michael Madsen/Daryl Hannah.
Directed by Raul Inglis.
* I’m not sure which is more interesting, contemplating the mystery in this low-budget crime tale of a heroin deal gone bad and the cops dying a result, or contemplating the long slow dive of the careers of Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen.
WITNESS TO THE MOB.
Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
* 1998 film about Sammy the Bull Gravano, a successful Mafioso who went to the other side and was instrumental in convicting John Gotti. Tom Sizemore plays Gotti, and you know, when he gets angry – look out!
BLOOD +: VOLUME 3.
Created by Junichi Fujisaku.
* The continual adventures of the demon-fighting child, Saya.
FAMILY GUY: VOLUME 6.
Seth MacFarlane/Mila Kunis/Seth Green.
Created by Seth MacFarlane.
* Animated dysfunction.
UNIVERSE: SEASON 2.
GO DIEGO GO: IT’S A BUG’S WORLD.
THE LEGEND OF SASQUATCH.
William Hurt/John Rhys-Davies.
MY LITTLE PONY: A VERY MINTY CHRISTMAS.
............//BLU-RAY NEW ADDITIONS//............
DIE ANOTHER DAY.
*A nice stack of 007 films on Blu-ray have just arrived. This one stars Pierce Brosnan.
* Ah…this one however stars most peeps favorite 007: Sean Connery.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.
* So does this one.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
THIS FRIDAY, Oct 18th: come watch LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE at 8pm in our backyard screening patio. Doors open at 7:45pm. Soda/Candy $1. Suggested donation $5. Popcorn is free!
Some great films this week include MONGOL, an Oscar-nominated look at the early life of Ghengis Khan, 4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, about 2 young women in Romania in the 80's trying to get one of them an illegal abortion, WAR, INC - featuring John Cusack as an assassin and a fictional Vice-President basically running a war-torn country for profit (woohoo) and then there is INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, featuring Harrison Ford and the very popular Shia LaBeouf. There is also a good batch of other stuff, including some early Christmas kids stuff. Let the holidays begin!
Hey, guess what? We have shirts! Two different kinds of Four Star Video shirts are now available in adult and kids sizes. They are hanging over the cash register. Tell us what you think!
A couple neighborhood announcements. First, FIESTA ON THE HILL is happening this Sunday, October 19th between 11AM and 6pm. There will be music, games, prizes, locally made arts and crafts, food and much more. This is a great community event that I look forward to each year. This year, a couple added bonuses are that Shila, the wonderful manager of Four Star Video, will be in the dunk tank, so bring cash and knock her in the water; also we will be selling used DVD's for $6/each outside the store. So you can start gathering your stocking stuffers early this year.
Also on Sunday, are two other events of note. The first is a free electronic waste drop off at Fairmount Elementary School at 65 Chenery St. They will take computers, tv's, monitors, hubs, routers, microwaves, stereo equipment etc. Please bring your unwanted electronic waste to Fairmount and help them raise funds for the school. This event is happening between 9AM and 2PM. The second event will be happening right here on Cortland during the Fiesta On The Hill. It is the fundraiser for Valentina Picasso, the owner of Valentina's who has been very ill. There will be an auction with good local prizes. You can read information about it here.
Okay, have a great week, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN.
Nurgul Yesilcay/Baki Davrak/Tuncel Kurtiz.
Directed by Fatih Akin.
* A tragic tale about the Turkish-German community involving three families loosely connected and the pain and triumphs they must deal with to obtain a sense of peace and happiness in the world.
4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS.
Anamaria Marinca/Laura Vasiliu/Vlad Ivanov.
Directed by Cristian Mungiu.
* Highly decorated festival circuit film about a couple of college roommates in 1980’s Romania seeking an illegal abortion for one of them. We should watch this with extra careful concern considering our current political situation, and the stated and unstated agenda of one of the sides.
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.
****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****.
Harrison Ford/Sean Connery/Shia LaBeouf/Karen Allen/Cate Blanchett/Ray Winstone/John Hurt/Kate Capshaw/John Rhys-Davies/Jim Broadbent.
Directed by Steven Spielberg.
* He’s back! And still swinging from vines and fighting on moving vehicles. In the latest installment, it is 1957 and the Cold War is in full swing. When Indy is wrongfully placed under government suspicion of being devastatingly handsome he leaves the college he works and heads to Peru with Mutt (LaBeouf) a young turk he’s met who has a secret agenda in their search for the dreaded and spectacular Crystal Skull of Akator! Along the way, they must compete and battle with the evil Russian beauty, Irina Spalko (Blanchett) who’s team is also looking for the Skull. I know it sounds simplistic, but maybe instead of fighting of the Crystal, they should get a room, and some Cristal and just have a lovely evening drinking and listening to Louis Armstrong? We’d pay to watch that film, right?
Directed by Luchino Visconti.
* 1972 film about the King of Bavaria and his descent into madness.
MONGOL. ****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Asano Tadanobu/Sun Lei/Khulan Chuluun.
Directed by Sergie Bodrov.
* The story of the early days of Ghengis Khan is turned upside down and examined in this Oscar-nominated fictobiopic of the man who eventually conquered half the world back in the 13th century.
THE NIGHT OF THE WHITE PANTS.
Tom Wilkinson/Selma Blair/Nick Stahl.
Directed by Amy Talkington.
* He (Wilkinson) is a business guy who’s been booted out of the house by his angry wife and ends up spending ONE UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT WITH HIS DAUGHTER’S PUNK-ROCK BOYFRIEND (played by me) (just kidding, by Nick Stahl). It’s a really wacky night! And he has white pants!
POLTERGEIST: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
Craig T. Nelson/JoBeth Williams.
Directed by Tobe Hooper.
Story and Production by Mr. Spielberg.
* “They’re here”. Creepy! Did you know the little girl who delivered that line died in 1988 from Crohn’s disease? Sad!
Laurence Olivier/Joan Fontaine.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
* Premiere Collection release of this Hitchcock classic that won the BEST PICTURE Oscar in 1941.
SALT: A FATAL ATTRACTION.
Stacy Haiduk/Alexandra Wilson.
Directed by Bradford Tatum.
* It’s a tale of revenge involving table salt and a woman doing her abusive husband’s sister. And salt. Table salt.
Mena Suvari/Stephen Rea.
Directed by Stuart Gordon.
* Based on a real story (remember when this happened a couple years ago??!!) about a young woman who hits a pedestrian leaving him stuck in her car’s windshield dying and, instead of seeking help for him, drives home and leaves him bleeding in her garage. Some press on this film suggests it is darkly comedic. Ha ha ha!
TEN NIGHTS OF DREAMS.
Directed by Many.
* Very strange and trippy bunch of short films based on stories written by a Japanese author named Natsume Sōseki back in 1908.
John Cusack/Joan Cusack/Hilary Duff/Marisa Tomei/Ben Kingsley.
Directed by Joshua Seftel.
* Well, it says it’s a political satire about an imaginary country occupied by a US Corporation and run by a ruthless (former) Vice-President who hires Cusack’s hitman character to kill a Middle East oil minister…I cannot confirm that this is not a documentary, but I can say that Tomei’s appearance suggests that the film is rated R.
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE.
Directed by Errol Morris.
* From the guy who made FOG OF WAR comes this disturbing expose of the Abu Ghraib photos of military occupation run amuck. This film examines the questions these pictures brought up about whether this was aberrant behavior by a few criminals or par for the course set by the high command.
CSI: 8th SEASON.
William Peterson/Marg Helgenberger.
* Season 8 of the popular investigative show.
THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM: SEASON 2.
* She’s hot, she’s crude, she’s outrageous and she’s pretty funny. Take “The Great Schlep” over to the video store and check her out.
ELMO’S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN.
* Clearly, the countdown has begun.
LITTLE EINSTEIN’S CHRISTMAS WISH.
SPONGEBOB: WHO BOB WHAT PANTS?
VEGGIE TALES: THE PIRATES WHO DON’T DO ANYTHING.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: ALL I WANT.
Directed by George Scott.
* A frank portrait of the singer detailing his drug-use, family background, friendships with Elton John and Sting (to name a few) and his delicious blend of terrific song-writing and piano playing.
............//BLU-RAY NEW ADDITIONS//............
IMAX SPACE STATION/MISSION TO MIR.
Directed by Toni Myers.
* Narrated for some reason by Tom Cruise, these two docs are filled with unbelievable space shots and should be watched by anyone with a fascination of space and a curiosity of the unknown.
Monday, October 6, 2008
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.