Monday, January 12, 2009

****new release list no.202


Wow, the whole world is falling apart! I hear the porn industry is seeking government relief!

Iconic retail businesses are closing daily.

Gas; is it expensive or cheap? Do I buy everything organic? Local? Even if it means paying premium bucks?

How to negotiate the decisions of modern life?

Well, you don’t really need to worry too much. Worry makes you age faster. Gives your heartburn. Swells your feet. Enduces headaches. Makes it hard to eat. I know these things are true, because I worried a lot in December. It was a fun month to worry. Ask anyone who owned a retail establishment.

However, I am over it now. Done worrying. I have decided just this week that I will begin to worry again in March. So I’ve bought myself some time you see. I am uncertain as to whether or not this can be considered procrastination, but check in with me in March and I’ll let you know what I’ve learned. In the meantime, may as well take a walk. Have a jog. Take a bath. Go to the beach. Read a book. Or watch a movie.

This week we have an enormous batch of movies and series for you. In the television department we have a gigantic batch of BBC (SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL: SEASON ONE, SAXONDALE: COMPLETE SEASONS ONE AND TWO, SKINS: VOL. 1, TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES) goofy sketch comedy shows (HUMAN GIANT: SEASON ONE, LITTLE BRITAIN USA) tense drama (DAMAGES: SEASON ONE) and more.

Documentaries aplenty as well this week (ORGASMIC BIRTH, BLINDSIGHT, BUSTIN’ DOWN THE DOOR, THE ORDER OF MYTHS, IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST).

There is also an abundance of Independent releases, both sweet and savory (BRICK LANE, CHOOSE CONNOR, ENTRY LEVEL, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, RUNNING FUNNY, INTERCEPTION). Batches of foreign films (I DO, FATHER OF THE KAMIKAZE, TAXI BLUES), big budget Hollywood (MIRRORS, SWING VOTE, APPALOOSA) and much much more.

This is one of those weeks where the full value of Four Star Video is on display. You can probably get all these films on Netflix or online…but how would you even hear about some of the stranger docs and foreign films and indie flix? We do that work for you. We are your external search engine, bringing you quality cinema and television from around the world.

Particularly fantastic is our release of the week, the ultra indulgent MURNAU BORZAGE AND FOX BOX SET. Filled with 12 features, 1 documentary and several beautiful books, this is an incredible addition to our library. Please do enjoy these amazing silent and less silent films made between the late 1920’s and the early 1930’s by F.W. Murnau and Frank Borzage, two of the more influential filmmakers of all time.

Love and Kisses,
Ken
............//RELEASE OF THE WEEK//............

MURNAU, BORZAGE AND FOX BOX SET.
Drama/Expressionist/Silent/Early Sound/Black and White.
Spencer Tracy/Will Rogers/Maureen O’Sullivan/Janet Gaynor/Charles Farrell.
Directed by F.W. Murnau and Frank Borzage.
* This incredible set has twelve feature films and a documentary on the men who made them from 1927 - 1933.

F.W. Murnau was a very influential German Expressionist director whose career was tragically cut short when he died in a traffic accident at the age of 42. Some of his films from the silent era have been lost, and others have not been previously available on DVD. When he died, only a handful of people showed up for his funeral, but among them were Greta Garbo and Fritz Lang. His films represented in this set are:

SUNRISE, a 1927 release about a farmer who is ready to throw away his wife and life for a woman who is vacationing in his town. This film won an Oscar for Best Artistic film.

CITY GIRL, a 1930 film about the harsh realities of a farmer’s life starring Charles Farrell.

Frank Borzage was an Academy Award winning director who was known for his mystical romanticism style. He and Murnau worked for William Fox and he was heavily influenced by Murnau’s films. He made a bunch of films and eventually was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died in 1962 at the age of 68. His films in this set are:

LAZYBONES, a 1925 silent film about a man who takes in and raises a homeless girl, only to fall in love with her when she becomes a woman.

SEVENTH HEAVEN, a 1928 silent film about a romance during wartime of a couple dealing with life’s seriously hard knocks. Starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell.

STREET ANGEL, a 1928 silent film about a young woman (Gaynor) hiding from the police by joining a traveling circus. There she meets and falls in love with a vagabond (Farrell).

LUCKY STAR, a 1929 silent film about a man dealing with being in a wheelchair post WWI starring Farrell and Gaynor.

THEY HAD TO SEE PARIS, a 1929 film starring Will Rogers in his first talkie film about a newly rich couple who heads to Europe to get some culture.

LILIOM, a 1930 film which was the first completed film version of the play which eventually was made super famous by the musical version called CAROUSEL.

SONG O’ MY HEART, a 1930 film of love and pain told through the story of an Irish singer (John McCormack) coming out of retirement for a tour of America.

BAD GIRL, a 1931 film that won 2 Oscars about a couple struggling with life.

AFTER TOMORROW, a 1932 tearjerker drama based in New York.

YOUNG AMERICA, a 1932 film starring Spencer Tracy as a pharmacist who is contemplating adopting a troubled kid who has stolen from his pharmacy.

In this set is a feature documentary called MURNAU BORZAGE AND FOX by the directors John Cork and Lisa Van Eyysen exploring the relationships between these men and the gigantic cinematic legacy they left behind. Also, there are two amazing coffee table books of photos and art that are available for free rent in our book section. Check them out as well. Enjoy!

............//NEW RELEASES//............

ALPHABET KILLER.
Drama/Thriller.
Eliza Dushku/Timothy Hutton.
Directed by Rob Schmidt.
* Megan Paige (Dushku) is a young police officer whose life comes apart during the investigation of a terrible murder. After she gets her life back together, another murder investigation gives her the opportunity to redeem her career. Based on true events.

APPALOOSA.
Drama/Western.
Ed Harris/Viggo Mortenson/Renee Zellweger/Jeremy Irons.
Directed by Ed Harris.
* Ah, the Wilde West! It was a simpler time, disputes resolved quicker and more completely. In this adaptation of a 2005 novel by Robert B. Parker, a town hires a couple of lawmen, Virgil Cole (Harris) and his duh-duh-deputy Everett (Mortenson) to protect its residents from an evil rancher (Irons). A beautiful young widow (Zellweger)’s arrival complicates the fragile relationships.

BALLS OUT: GARY THE TENNIS COACH.
Comedy.
Seann William Scott/Randy Quaid.
Directed by Danny Leiner.
* Goofy sophomoric comedy.

BRICK LANE.
Drama/Indie.
Tannishtha Chatterjee/Christopher Simpson.
Directed by Sarah Gavron.
* Based on the novel this tale follows a young woman from Bangladesh who moves to London in the 1980’s for an arranged marriage and follows her struggles to find herself, her freedom and her happiness.

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.
Drama.
Emma Thompson/Michael Gambon/Greta Scacchi/Matthew Goode.
Directed by Julian Jarrold.
* Based on the terrific novel by Evelyn Waugh, this remake of the 1980’s miniseries tells the story of Captain Charles Ryder (Goode) and his memories of wartime spent at the Brideshead estate.

CHOOSE CONNOR.
Drama/Indie.
Steven Weber/Alex D. Linz.
Directed by Luke Eberl.
* A view into the vicious world of politics and elections as experienced through Owen (Linz) a 15-year-old who becomes a youth spokesman for a US Senate candidate named Lawrence Connor (Weber). This creepy flick takes several strange turns and ends up looking into a far murkier and yuckier world than just politics.

ENTRY LEVEL.
Comedy/Drama.
D.B. Sweeney.
Directed by Douglas Horn.
* A sweet tale about the desperate reality of a job search. Characters in this film are overqualified for the jobs they are looking for, but for one reason or another they are beginning their careers over at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

FATHER OF THE KAMIKAZE.
War/Foreign (Japanese).
Koji Tsuruta.
Directed by Kosaku Yamashita.
* Tragic tale of the end of WWII with the Americans preparing to invade Japan and the Japanese creating new ways to fight back.

HIT AND RUN.
Drama/Thriller.
Laura Breckenridge/Kevin Corrigan.
Directed by Enda McCallion.
* Don’t drive drunk! This is another version of the old “I thought I hit a cat but when I got home I discovered a nearly dead man attached to my car” story. Crazy how that keeps happening.

HUMBOLDT COUNTY.
Comedy/Drama.
Fairuza Balk/Peter Bogdanovich/Jeremy Strong.
Directed by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs.
* Peter (Strong) is a disillusioned med student who hooks up with this flighty chick, Bogart (Balk) and ends up hanging with her pot farming family in the lovely county of Humboldt. There, he is thrust into the tripped out world of people growing weed on the perimeter.

I DO.
Comedy/Foreign (French).
Alain Chabat/Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Directed by Eric Lartigau.
* A French comedy of errors about a talented perfume designer whose overbearing family is determined to get him married. He hatches a scheme where he will hire someone to jilt him at the altar to get him family off his back. Ah, but the best laid plans…

INTERCEPTION.
Action.
John Will Clay/Ashley Morgan.
Directed by John Will Clay and Turner Clay.
* Indie action flick about a prototype weapon stolen from the government and a renegade software engineer working with an FBI agent to save, well what the hell, to save the world…ostensibly.

MIRRORS.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Horror/Suspense.
Kiefer Sutherland/Amy Smart.
Directed by Alexandre Aja.
* There is an evil force in the mirror! Have you ever noticed that? Like after a hard night of partying you get home and everything’s cool until you get into the bathroom and accidently look into the mirror? It’s amazing what you see in there…in the mirror!

MR. MIKE’S MONDO VIDEO.
Weird.
Directed by.
*1979.

MURNAU, BORZAGE AND FOX BOX SET.
* See Release of the Week.

MY BEST FRIENDS’S GIRL.
Comedy.
Dane Cook/Kate Hudson/Jason Briggs/Alec Baldwin.
Directed by Howard Deutch.
* Never, I repeat, never hire your friend to do ANYTHING related to your partner or ex-partner! In this case Briggs character hires Cooks character to be a bad date the ex-girlfriend (Hudson) in order to make her see how good she had it before…Do you think that works out?

RUNNING FUNNY.
Comedy.
Gene Gallerano/Maximilian Osinski.
Directed by Anthony Grippa.
* A couple of recently graduated college kids move into an apartment rented out by a war veteran and discover that they have different desires as they are transitioning into adulthood.

SHUT UP AND SHOOT.
Comedy/Crime.
Joe Cortese/Tom Sizemore/Daniel Baldwin/Gary Busey/John Savage.
Directed by Silvio Pollio.
* Hollywood tale about the come-uppance of a crooked Producer who gets his after trying to kill off all his associates.

SUPERCOP: 2 DISC ULTIMATE EDITION.
Action/Thriller/Comedy/Foreign (Cantonese/Mandarin/English)
Jackie Chan/Michelle Yeoh.
Directed by Stanley Tong.
* Re-release of the 1996 heartstopper about a couple of cops trying to stop a Chinese drug lord.

SWING VOTE. ****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Comedy/Drama.
Kevin Kostner/Madeline Carroll/Kelsey Grammer/Dennis Hopper.
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern.
* In a strange, and barely believable turn of events, shmucky borderline loser Bud Johnson (Kostner) holds the single vote to determine the American Presidency and his life is turned upside down as the candidates vie for his support.

THE TAKING OF POWER BY LOUIS THE XIV.
Drama/Criterion/Foreign (French).
Jean-Marie Patte/Raymond Jourdan/Katharina Renn.
Directed by Roberto Rossellini.
* 1970 film about the rise to power of Louis the XIV who was actually on the throne without power until the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661. Eventually, Louis the XIV was King of France for over seventy years, the longest rule of any European monarch.

TAXI BLUES.
Comedy/Drama/Foreign (Russian).
Pyotr Mamonov/Pyotr Zaychenko.
Directed by Pavel Lungin.
* Two Russians, one a taxi driver and the other an aspiring Jazz musician, encounter each other in a post-Communism Russia where everything feels as though it is spinning out of control.

TYLER PERRY’S: THE FAMILY THAT PREYS.
Drama.
Tyler Perry/Sanaa Lathan/Kathy Bates/Alfre Woodward.
Directed by uh, Tyler Perry?
* Two families, torn apart by scandal, seek balance and harmony in a crazy world.

WITHOUT A PADDLE: NATURE’S CALLING.
Comedy.
Kristopher Turner.
Directed by Ellory Elkayem.
* Two old friends who’ve had a bit of a falling out reunite to search the woods for a woman one of them used to have a crush on.

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

BLINDSIGHT.
Documentary/Adventure.
Directed by Lucy Walker.
* The true mind-boggling tale of six blind teenagers ascent of Lhakpa Ri, a 23,000 foot Himalayan mountain on the north side of Mount Everest.

BUSTIN’ DOWN THE DOOR.
Documentary/Sports.
Directed by Jeremy Gosch.
Narrated by Ed Norton.
* The story of a group of Australian and South African surfers who revolutionized surfing in the mid-1970’s.

IMAGINERY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST.
Documentary/History.
Directed by Daniel Anker.
Narrated by Gene Hackman.
* Though this film deals heavily in the Holocaust and its repercussions, it also is a tale about Hollywood and the way it handles current politics and the effect it can have on how things are portrayed, discussed and dealt with.

THE ORDER OF MYTHS.
Documentary.
Directed by Margaret Brown.
* A history lesson of Mobile, Alabama, this film tracks the lives of former slave families and slave owners and the evolution of their interactions and complicated current relationships with the focus also on the celebration of Mardi Gras. Mobile actually has the oldest celebration of this holiday, with a traceable history back to 1703.

ORGASMIC BIRTH.
Documentary.
Directed by Debra Pascali-Bonaro.
* A beautiful exploration of birth from a unique and empowering perspective.

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

CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS.
Television/Mini-Series.
Directed by Douglas Heyes and Allen Reisner.
* 1970’s mini-series about a young Irish immigrant (Richard Jordan) who comes to America in the 19th century and works his way up the ladder to become one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the country.

DAMAGES: SEASON ONE.
Television/Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller.
Glenn Close/Rose Bynre/Ted Danson.
* Riveting legal drama that many customers requested! Hope you dig it.

HUMAN GIANT: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Sketch Comedy.
Paul Scheer/Aziz Ansari.
* Edgy short film style sketch comedy in the vein of THE KIDS IN THE HALL.

LITTLE BRITAIN USA.
Television/Comedy/HBO.
* Slightly watered down version of the British sketch comedy show.

LOONEY TUNES: GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME SIX.
* Over sixty re-mastered and restored cartoons featuring Bugs, Daffy and so many more. FANTASTIC for the kids and the adults.

SAXONDALE: COMPLETE SEASONS ONE AND TWO.
Television/Comedy/BBC.
Steve Coogan.
* Much loved British comedy about Tommy Saxondale, a once wild man, now seeking calm (i.e. anger management) while making his living as a pest exterminator.

SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL: SEASON ONE.
Television/BBC/Drama.
Billy Piper.
* Based on the novel, this show claims to be a real-to-life portrayal of a young British woman who makes her living as an high-end escort in London.

SKINS: VOLUME ONE.
Television/Drama/Comedy/BBC.
* A depiction of the lives of a group of British teens dealing with the things teens deal with, love, sex, drugs, betrayal and growing up.

TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES.
Drama/BBC/Mini-series.
Gemma Arterton.
* Originally written by Thomas Hardy by in 1913, this is the story of a young country girl whose family discovers they have connections to a much wealthier family.

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

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE CHIPETTES.

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: A CHIPMUNK VALENTINE.

DORA AND THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.

****

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