Monday, April 6, 2009

****new release list no.213


It’s THE END OF THE WORLD! ARE WE THERE YET?

Man, I refuse to be pessimistic. Even during tax week when the tax relief for small business ownership did not arrive. Even when our governator raises the state sales tax but we still don’t have universal health care. Even when the same organizations whose greedy investments brought the world to its financial knees are now buying up the assets that their actions rendered worthless for a pittance of their past value. No way. I refuse to be pessimistic. How could I be? Were you outdoors on Sunday? Holy cow! How do you complain on a day like that? You don’t. You think about the positives while pulling off whatever you’ve put on the BBQ and kicking back with your peeps and digesting some beautiful San Francisco reality.

It is April 2009, and we’ve gotta keep those lovin good vibrations a-happening.

In DOUBT, an amazing cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Viola Davis were all nominated for Academy Awards. That’s pretty incredible. Their story is somewhat familiar, a priest is suspected of having feelings for a young boy at the parish. However the plot is more complicated than that and the battle between the suspecting nun (Streep) and the Pries (Hoffman) threatens to destroy the community.

In YES MAN, Jim Carrey tries to yes himself out of a miserable no life. I’m so with you, brother! Yes! Yes!

Chris continues adding to his Highlight New Additions this week with three more of the short and rare film WHOLPHIN series, as well as FULL METAL JACKET and THE BRUCE LEE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, featuring five Lee titles.

We’ve also got some new Blu-Ray Criterion releases (LAST METRO and THE 400 BLOWS) which I have been ordering a bit sporadically not quite knowing who is renting those things. Are you? Let me know!

Parents and caregivers: don’t forget! On Thursday, April 23 @ 4:30. Eddie Madril will tell stories of the United States Plains Indian tribes from Southern Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Eddie has performed throughout the western United States and teaches residency programs in schools in the San Francisco Bay area. This event will happen here at Four Star Video in our backyard screening patio.

Are you a local filmmaker? Have you ever shown your work at the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival? Please consider submitting this year to this terrific community event. This year the festival will feature music and a 24-hour filmmaking challenge as well as all the usual terrific shorts, and feature length films. Info can be found online here.

Also, don’t forget about Videofest 2009 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. To read more about the festival and submit for entry, please go to their website which is linked here. One of the prizes is a year subscription to Kenflix!

Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

Things you get by using KenFlix that you cannot get with Netflix.

1) Good karma.
2) Positive vibrations from the universe.
3) One Million dollars!
4) A hug from Ken.

KenFlix - the only Independent Monthly Subscription Film Renting Service in SF
If you are going to make a monthly commitment, make it a local one.
No due dates. No late fees.

ESUB -One Movie at a time – Two Exchanges a month (3 movies total) – $9.99 + Tax/Month
1SUB - One Movie at a time – Unlimited exchange – $18.99 + Tax/Month
3SUB - Three Movies at a time – Unlimited exchange – $24.99 + Tax/Month
4SUB - Four Movies at a time – Unlimited exchange – $32.99 + Tax/Month

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

BEDTIME STORIES.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Comedy/Family/Fantasy.
Adam Sandler/Keri Russell/Guy Pearce/Russell Brand/Richard Griffiths/Courtney Cox.
Directed by Adam Shankman.
* Sandler plays Skeeter Bronson, the handyman at a hotel owned by Barry Nottingham (Griffiths) and successful and unscrupulous businessman. Nottingham bought the original motel that used to exist on the site from Skeeter’s dad with the promise that S-Diddy would be the manager someday. But he has since reneged on the deal. Skeeter discovers a talent for telling bedtime tales to his niece and nephew and also discovers the stories he tells has a way of turning our real. Can he turn this magical skill to his advantage? Probably.

CLEOPATRA (75TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)..
Drama/History/Romance.
Claudette Colbert.
Directed by Cecil B DeMille.
* I really like this direct quote from the IMDB: The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor. This film won Victor Milner a Best Cinematography Oscar in 1935.

CHOCOLATE.
Martial Arts/Drama/Foreign (Thai/English/Japanese).
JeeJa Yanin.
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew.
* A young woman with some serious issues, who has learned how to fight watching TV goes on a violent vision quest to collect money owed to her family so that she can pay her mother’s medical bills.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Drama/Sci-Fi/Thriller/Remake.
Keanu/Jennifer Connelly/Kathy Bates/John Cleese/Jaden Smith.
Directed by Scott Derrickson.
* Dude, Keanu is like an ambassador of an alliance of alien races to Earth and its people! And Connelly is the hot chick he befriends. Kudos to the makers of this film for deciding to make the robot Gort look just like the original, and also for a very creative use of sound which also mimics some of the 1950’s era sci-fi films. Other than that, this somewhat schlocky shell of the quiet and brilliant original is kind of eco-preachy,

DOUBT.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Drama/Mystery.
Meryl Streep/Philip Seymour Hoffman/Amy Adams/Viola Davis.
Directed by John Patrick Shanley.
* Why do I keep hearing Bob Marley in my head as I think about this movie? Bob singing: “Guiltiness. Pressed on their conscience. Oh yeah.
And they live their lives (they live their lives)
On false pretence everyday - Each and everyday”.
You know what I mean? This movie follows a nun’s quest to force a priest out of her parish because he represents change and even a sort of evolution that she cannot abide. Also, it’s possible that he has an interest in a young African-American kid that has just been admitted to the parochial school attached to their church. In a way, his guiltiness (guiltiness!) or innocence is beside the point for Sister Aloysius Beauvier (whoa, that’s a mouthful!). As played by Streep, she is strict to the point of brutal and mean to the point of not Christian. She does not like Father Flynn (Hoffman), a compassionate Priest who takes very personal interest in the lives of the young boys at his school. In some ways, the news that he may have something special for this kid is just the ammunition that Sister Beauvier will use to force him out. Nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Actress for Streep, Best Supporting Actor for Hoffman, and Best Supporting Actress for both Amy Adams and Viola Davis who plays the boys mother.

FUN IN GIRLS SHORTS 2.
Romance/Comedy/LGBT.
Directed by Many.
* The second in the series of short films featuring stories of love loss and adventure in and out of girls shorts.

MIKE EPPS: FUNNY BIDNESS.
Stand-up Comedy.
Mike Epps.

PLAYBACK: DIRECTOR’S SERIES: THE MUSIC VIDEOS OF MAUREEN EGAN AND MATTHEW BARRY.
Music Videos.
Dashboard Confessional/Alkaline Trio.
Directed by Maureen Egan and Matthew Barry.
* A collection of videos made by the directors over about five years spanning a bunch of different bands works.

PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD COLLECTION.
Drama.
Cary Grant/Claudette Colbert/Fredric March
* A collection of Universal films made from 1929-1934 during a period of freedom in Hollywood where many subjects were tackled and the writers were relatively uncensored. This collection includes THE CHEAT, MERRILY WE GO TO HELL, HOT SATURDAY, TORCH SINGER, MURDER AT THE VANITIES, and SEARCH FOR BEAUTY.

THE SECRETS.
Drama/LGBT/Foreign (English/French/Hebrew).
Fanny Ardant/Ania Bukstein/Michel Shtamler.
Directed by Avi Nesher.
* A couple of yentas from the schtetl discover they don’t have to listen to the meshugenah rabbis who want to suppress their chutzpah. Nominated for a lot of Israeli Film Awards. Sadly, didn’t win any.

TALES OF DESPEREAUX.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Adventure/Animation/Comedy.
Matthew Broderick/Emma Watson/Dustin Hoffman/Tracey Ullman/Kevin Kline/William H. Macy/Stanley Tucci/Christopher Lloyd and my man, Richard Jenkins.
Directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen.
* Hmmm, yes. A lot of stars in ziss film. Many many stars. Also a mouse, a rat, perhaps someone with cauliflower ears and a princess…Which is really all my daughter needs to enjoy a movie. Not sure if this is a RATATOUILLE rip-off or a beautiful new animated hit. But, I know there’s a princess. That, I know.

VINYAN.
Drama/Horror/Thriller.
Emmanuelle Beart/Rufus Sewel/Julie Dreyfus.
Directed by Fabrice Du Welz.
* A couple (Beart and Sewel) go search the jungles of Burma for their child who was lost six months earlier in a Tsunami. The mother is convinced she saw him in a documentary about kids living on their own in the jungle. Their terror and isolation run deeper the farther they get on their quest. Somehow I was reminded of SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER as I read about this film.

YES MAN.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Comedy.
Jim Carrey/Zooey Deschanel/.
Directed by Peyton Reed.
* Will your life improve if you just say “yes” to every question asked to you? This guy tries it and discovers that it both does and it doesn’t. When my sister was in college someone had a shirt that was parodying the Reagan anti-drug campaign. It said “Don’t say: Yes. Say: Yes, please!” I think there is a lesson here somewhere. I would like every one of you to try saying yes to everyone and everything for a day and then email me with your funny stories. You must say “yes”.

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

DISNEY ANIMATION COLLECTION: VOL 1: MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK.

DISNEY ANIMATION COLLECTION: VOL 1: THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER.

SCOOBY DOO & THE SAMARAI SWORD.

TIGGER AND POOH: AND A MUSICAL TOO.

............// NEW BLU-RAY ADDITIONS//............

400 BLOWS.
Criterion/Drama/Crime/Foreign (French).
Jean-Pierre Leaud.
Directed by Francois Truffault.
* This brilliant 1959 film was nominated for Oscars and has been lauded as one of the first and most famous films of the French New Wave. The story follows a young boy who lives in cramped quarters with his asshole stepfather and his disconnected mother who gets busted for everything he and his friend does and eventually is sent away to a school for incorrigibles.

LAST METRO.
Criterion/Suspense/Foreign (French).
Catherine Deneuve/Gerard Depardieu/Jean Poiret.Directed by Francois Truffault.
* A story about Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942 centered around a theatre being run by the actress wife of the owner, who himself is hiding from the Nazi’s in the cellar. We just got this on DVD, and now on Blu-Ray as well…aw, hot dog.

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

ALL REVIEWS IN THIS SECTION WRITTEN BY CHRIS.

BRUCE LEE ULTIMATE COLLECTION.
Martial Arts.
Bruce Lee.
* It's about time we upgrade our severely anemic martial arts section with long over due DVDs. Some clarification about this box set - Big Boss is Fists of Fury, it's just the original Chinese title, Fist of Fury (Chinese Title) is what you would probably know as The Chinese Connection, and Way of the Dragon is known as Return of the Dragon in America. Confusing I know. What isn’t is Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris - mano y mano.

FULL METAL JACKET.
War.
Matthew Modine.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
* Not much needs to be said about this film except that it is the greatest war film. I don't care if it's "two halves" that make one whole film. Great performances all around but especially Vincent D'Onofrio as Pvt. Pyle and R. Lee Ermey playing pretty much what I imagine him to be in real life..

WHOLPHIN DVD MAGAZINE OF RARE AND UNSEEN SHORT FILMS 4, 6 and 7.
Directed by Many many.
* This is a DVD magazine started by Dave Eggers and Brent Hoff of McSweeney's that showcases short films and documentaries that would otherwise have limited exposure to the public. This batch features work from Gus Van Sant, Michael Cera, John Cleese, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Peter Sarsgaard. Also don't forget to let the DVD menus play because those are movies too.

Here are some specific recommendations:

No. 4
Heavy Metal Jr. - A group of preteen scottish kids start there own metal band called "Hatred"

SiteSpecific_LasVegas 05 - an interesting experimental film on landscapes that look like miniatures, but it's real

No. 6
Please Vote For Me - Chinese third graders elect a classroom monitor democratically, with hilarious results.

Bigfoot: A Beast on the Run - Herzog style doc about Big Foot and the men who love him

No. 7
Refugee All Stars - From Sierra Leone, a great band with a sad back story.

David Huggins: Experienced - I can't say much about this otherwise it will ruin the ending, but it's weird.

............// REPLACEMENT DISCS//............

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: COLLECTOR’S EDITION.
* Just an amazing movie adapted from one of the best books ever starring incredibly talented people.

****

1 comment:

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