Monday, April 20, 2009

****new release list no.215

Over at the blog, I have been wondering how to enhance our web presence. Four Star has so many wonderful things going for it that a Google search may not quickly establish, such as our huge Blu-Ray library for the same price as DVD’s, KenFlix, Block Rentals, early return credit, epic friendliness, etc. I would love to barter with someone to make my website a little better. Is anyone interested in free movies for a 5 or 6 page website??? Let me know. I think we could make a nice deal.

I am so obsessed with SIX FEET UNDER! It is all I watch, to the detriment of my new release movie watching. I just don’t care about anything else. If I am watching the tube, it is the Fisher family that I am concerned with…do you know how I feel? It is an amazing thing to be so entranced with a series that you are willing to watch TV far past your bedtime just to get to the next disc. To hear the theme song playing in your head as you start your day, knowing you will be watching your show at nightfall (or earlier if you have that kind of schedule!). It is as though we know these characters; after all we spend more hours with them then we do with many of our dearest friends. We started watching SIX FEET UNDER in early February, and have spent nearly 65 hours with those crazy Fishers in the three months since. Who else have I spent 65 hours with during that time? Aaaargh! Still and all, I so highly recommend this show, it is one of the most amazing and introspective pieces of television art that I have ever seen, causing Amy and I to have conversation after conversation of the nature of existence and community and family. Wow. I used to think THE SOPRANOS was the best show ever, but now I think I have switched teams. It is actually quite nice not waiting stressfully for someone to get whacked, or badly beaten every episode, and then lying in bed at night worrying! If you haven’t watched SIX FEET UNDER, it is the story of a family who owns and operates a funeral home. It follows them through five years of life and death as they cope with and process the loss of life and the reality of death that surrounds them. It is amazing! I recommend it! No emails about THE WIRE please. I have not seen it yet, I am sure it is the very best thing since sliced bread – I can tell by the way it has rented! I’ll watch it soon, I promise.

Mickey Rourke damn near won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in THE WRESTLER, the tale of a down and out professional coping with pain, both physical and emotional. Marisa Tomei co-stars. Every single person I talked to about this film LOVED it. I would say I loved it too, but I haven’t watched it yet, because of the above paragraph.

That irascible Richard Nixon rears his head again in FROST/NIXON the dramatization of the real life interviews between Tricky Dick and David Frost, a British journalist. The film was nominated for a nice stack of Oscars, and presumable is wonderful, but until SIX FEET UNDER is complete, I won’t be able to recommend anything else.

Also notable NOTORIOUS (the story of The Notorious B.I.G., a fallen rap star), THE LAST WORD (critically lauded Indie film starring Winona and Wes Bentley, who was the neighbor kid in AMERICAN BEAUTY), and GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS (Ira’s cousin, Philip is a tripped out minimalist composer). There’s more! Scroll down.

In our backyard screening patio this 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 is a Library sponsored event, and we hope to see you down here.

Film Festivals we plug dogmatically:
Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival.
Videofest 2009 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

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

Love and Kisses,

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

1) Spiritual Bliss
2) $3 off used movies and Four Star Video T-Shirts
3) VHS tapes
4) Double Disc Rentals

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.
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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//............

Gerard Depardieu.
Directed by Andrzej Wajda.
* The French Revolution was a bloody one, with the guillotine removing the heads of many. Danton (Depardieu) who has been in forced exile returns to Paris as the revolution is getting started and he speaks out against the bloodshed. He would have kept his head, had he kept his countenance.

Ray Moore/Derrick Briggs.
Directed by Roger S. Omeus, Jr.
* Hipster love story about a man trying to get out from under his demons so that he can be free to be with the one he’s with.

Frank Langella/Michael Sheen/Sam Rockwell/Kevin Bacon.
Directed by Ron Howard.
* Nominated for 5 Oscars, this is a fictionalized story of the interviews between British journalist David Frost and down but not out ex-President Richard Nixon.

Hayley Atwell/Joss Ackland/Vanessa Redgrave.
Directed by Anthony Byrne.
* From Ireland comes this hilarious comedy about a young woman who is covering for her sister over the Christmas holiday as the person in charge at a Residential home that is basically run by four hooligan seniors led by Georgia Platts (Redgrave).

LAST WORD.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****for some reason
Winona Ryder/Wes Bentley/Ray Romano.
Directed by Geoffrey Haley.
* Quirky comedy that was nominated for a Jury Award at Sundance about Evan (Bentley) who makes a strange living penning suicide notes for people (I guess he never gets any 1099’s). Charlotte (Ryder) is a young woman who has just had the unfortunate reality of having her sister employ Evan, who she is now falling in love with.

Jamal Woolard/Derek Luke/Angele Bassett.
Directed by George Tillman, Jr.
* The rise and fall of Notorious B.I.G (I love it when you call me Big Popp-A…) is examined in this film which was executively produced by Sean ‘P-Diddy’ Combs.

Robert Taylor/Deborah Kerr/Peter Ustinov.
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
* Nominated for 8 Oscars in 1951 this is a tale of Rome during Nero’s rule, there is love and there is war, and eventually there are lions. Chomp chomp.

Drama/Black and White/Foreign (French).
Robert Lynen/Harry Baur.
Directed by Julien Duvivier.
* This uber painful French film from 1932 is a treatise on the unloved and oppressed children of the world.


Mickey Rourke/Marisa Tomei/Evan Rachel Wood/Paz Vega/Eva Mendes/Jaime King.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
* Aronofsky has made a career directing gritty character studies that were hard to watch and harder to look away from (PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE FOUNTAIN). This film evidently is no different. Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a once famous professional wrestler who is now battling health issues and alienation as he attempts to reconcile himself to a life out of the ring. With Marisa Tomei as the stripper he is hot for and Evan Rachel Wood as his daughter who he abandoned as a youngster. Both Tomei and Rourke were nominated for Oscars.


Philip Glass/Woody Allen/Errol Morris.
Directed by Scott Hicks.
* Made to celebrate Glass’ 70th Birthday in 2007, this portrait by the director of SHINE plays like a mosaic of information, image and tone and will leave the viewer deeply satisfied about who Philip Glass is and how he has contributed to the musical world.


Christian Slater/Madchen Amick/Alfre Woodard.
Directed by Jason Smilovic.
*Slater plays a man with two separate personalities, one a family man working a somewhat normal job and the other a dangerous government agent.

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

Directed by Clive Barker.
* The original demon from hell romance horror fantasy.

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

Nicole Kidman/Matt Dillon/Joaquin Phoenix/Casey Affleck.
Directed by Gus Van Sant.
* First DVD of this slightly comedic thriller!

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

* Why can’t we hang on to this film? Will the sun come out?




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