Monday, May 4, 2009
****new release list no.217
Buenos tardes, amigos. Hola, my good friends. Cinco de Mayo’s on Tuesday. And I’d hoped we see each other…again.
Happy May, movie lovers! May means flowers, spring, the definitive end of Winter, long days and the promise of Summer. It also means that Kenflix has been around for one full year! Why do we keep mentioning Kenflix? Because we think it is the most awesomeest revolutionary idea that any Independent video store could have and that it is our ticket to longevity and continued business survival! Yes, it’s true. We really think that. Just so you know, if you are a customer of Four Star and you rent on or off the pre-paid block, and you are happy with your renting style, than we are psyched for you to rent just as you always have. And…if you are a Four Star Customer with the Netflix envelope sitting at home, we’d like you to consider bidding them adieu and signing up for your only independent subscription movie renting service in San Francisco, Kenflix! Any questions? Moving on…
Lots of interesting cinema here this week, highlighted by two films starring Michelle Williams and a very interesting Brad Pitt flick. Williams stars in WENDY AND LUCY, an indie road movie and a young woman and her dog who are sidetracked in Portland during the quest to get to Alaska where a hard working but lucrative summer job awaits. This film is the latest from the director of OLD JOY and also features Will Oldham, aka Bonnie Prince Billy in a supporting role. She also stars in INCENDIARY, a film about a woman coping with the loss of her husband and son by suicide bombing. Her character is complicated by many external and emotional situations, not the least of which involved cheating on her husband. Mr. Pitt plays a man born old and aging young in THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. Old Benjamin loves a young woman named Daisy played by the inimitable Cate Blanchett, but they must wait until their 40’s until they appear the same age to finally consummate their love. This pseudo biography is told while Daisy, way later in life, lies dying in a hospital bed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
Also of note this week are a batch of crime thrillers from around the world, LOOK (USA), ECOUTE LE TEMPS (French), and JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY (Danish).
There’s also some new Blu-ray titles (DONNIE DARKO, THE MATRIX) and much much more. Scroll down to read about everything.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
PS – Look for the California Supreme Court decision on the validity of Proposition 8 to come this week. No matter what happens, we can all rest assured that this issue is on the way out, and evolution will eventually prevail. In the meantime, I am crossing my fingers that the court will do the right thing and over through this idiotic proposition. Let’s not tell people who they can love and marry, okay? Word.
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
Links we are super hip on this week:
Pal’s Take Away – I had a sandwich last week from here – Holy Moly! Yum!
Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival.
Videofest 2009 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.
Do you have a link Four Star Customers should check out??? Email it to me.
CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA.
Akshay Kumar/Deepika Padukone.
Directed by Nikhil Advani.
* Sidhu (Kumar) is an orphan who has been adopted into restaurant family. He learns how to slice vegetables like a pro, but his destiny lies outside of his home town of Chandni Chowk. When his friend convinces him that he is the reincarnation of a Chinese revolutionary, Liu Sheung, he heads to China to take on the terrible criminal Hojo. Once there he is exposed as a pretender, and thus begins the training that combined with his heart will transform him into a true warrior.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.
Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchett/Taraji P. Henson/Tilda Swinton.
Directed by David Fincher.
* Oscar winning tale (Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Visual Effects) about a man (Pitt) who ages backwards. The story is an adaptation from an F. Scott Fitzgerald tale about Benjamin Button, a startling product of nature who is born looking like a man in his 80’s and moves slowly through his life becoming younger and younger until he lives out his final days as an infant. The tale is told through the reading of his diary by the daughter of his once lover, Daisy (Blanchett) who is now quite old and in her final days resting restlessly in a hospital while Hurricane Katrina rages outside.
ECOUTE LE TEMPS.
Emilie Dequenne/Mathieu Demy.
Directed by Alanta Kavaite.
* Slow moving French thriller about a young nurse on a train that is stopped by cultists who believe they can save the souls of the people onboard by killing them before the Armageddon arrives.
Miranda Richardson/Joan Plowright/Alfred Molina.
Directed by Mike Newell.
* This film from 1992 takes place in the 1920’s, where four English women rent a castle by the sea in picaresque Italy to spend a month contemplating their lives away from men and other distractions. Filmed gorgeously, and paced just right, this film will make you head straight to Travelocity to check out the rates on airfare to Italy.
INCENDIARY.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Michelle Williams/Ewan McGregor.
Directed by Sharon Maguire.
* Michelle Williams plays a woman whose son and husband are killed in a suicide bombing in England. Wiilliams is a stunning young talent and her skills are on full display in this tale as she goes through all the phases of grief. As the real-life mother of Heath Ledger’s child she has had some experience dealing with this sort of emotional turmoil.
JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY.
Nikolaj Lie Kaas/Charlotte Fich/Rebecka Hemse/Anders W. Berthelsen.
Directed by Ole Bornedal.
* Gripping, high-energy crime story about a guy way in over his head. Multiple festival awards.
LAST CHANCE HARVEY.
Dustin Hoffman/Emma Thompson/Liane Balaban/James Brolin.
Directed by Joel Hopkins.
* Harvey (Hoffman) is a man on the run. His marriage is crumbling, his job is in jeopardy, and his soon-to-be-married daughter would rather have her step-father give her away then Harvey. When he flies to London to put in a compulsory appearance at her wedding, everything collapses around him leaving him relatively empty and hopeless. Thompson plays the woman on a similar path of lonely aging that Harvey meets and forms a bond with.
Rhys Coiro/Guiseppe Andrews.
Directed by Adam Rifkin.
* A somewhat disturbing thriller about the notion that 30 million surveillance cameras are watching us moment to moment here in the US. What do they see YOU doing?
Matt Boren/Ken Jacobs.
Directed by Azazel Jacobs.
* Portrait of a man who avoids his life, his wife and child and all his problems by moving back in with his parents.
Dax Shepard/Diane Keaton/Liv Tyler/Mike White
Directed by Vince Di Meglio.
* Diane Keaton plays Marilyn, mother of Noah (Shepard) a young man who has just been fired from his job and is struggling to deal with his wife (Tyler) and her desire to procreate. Marilyn moves in with the couple and guess what happens?
WENDY AND LUCY.
Michelle Williams/Will Patton/Will Oldham.
Directed by Kelly Reichardt.
* From the director of the acclaimed indie film OLD JOY, comes this new road movie starring Michelle Williams as Wendy, a young woman on her way to Alaska to work a summer cannery job with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Portland, things go from bad to worse for Wendy, who has begun the movie not far from her personal breaking point. If you are a lover of slow moving character portraits this may be a film you love. If you need action and conclusion, possibly this is one to avoid. If you just love to watch Michelle Williams in anything she does (THE STATION AGENT, I’M NOT THERE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, PERFUME, BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER), then grab the tag and fly.
THE JACK QUARTET: XENAKIS STRING QUARTETS.
Directed by Tony Palmer
* A film about German composer Carl Orff and his guilt and torment regarding his experience during the rule of Nazi Germany.
O THOU TRANSENDCE: LIFE OF RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS.
Directed by Tony Palmer.
PETE SEEGER: LIVE IN AUSTRALIA 1963.
* Incredible concert movie filmed during a time when Seeger was blacklisted and barred from American television!
TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD.
Directed by Leonard Cohen.
* Two part series from 1994 about Buddhism and Himalayan culture.
GIGANTOR: THE COLLECTION VOL.1.
Directed and Created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama.
* From IMDB: “When terrorist groups, evil criminals and aliens become too strong even for Earth's over-stretched armed forces, the virtually-indestructible robot, Gigantor, is built to combat them”. This reminds me of a favorite tv show of mine from childhood, JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT. I did some research and it turns out it was made by the same guy! GIGANTOR is animation, but Johnny Sokko was real life, man! It looks like Yokoyama is making a new GIGANTOR scheduled to come out in 2011. Cool!
ELMOS WORLD BOX SET: BEST OF ELMOS WORLD 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.
IMAGINATION MOVERS: MUSIC FUN FOR YOUR BODY AND BRAIN.
MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MICKEY’S BIG SPLASH.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: FREEDOM FIGHTERS UNITE.
............// NEW BLU-RAY ADDITIONS//............
* Wow, what a tremendous film this is, it will keep you thinking for years. A sequel is coming soon about Donnie’s little sister, Samantha.
THE MATRIX: 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
* Keanu is one of his finest roles ever. I know that isn’t saying much, but he does rule in this film.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
* First DVD of this funny flick about early adulthood in the punk rock nest of Salt Lake City.
............// REPLACEMENT DISCS//............
DR. STRANGELOVE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB: .
* Walked away, shipped back.
* Criterion release.
MARIA FULL OF GRACE.
* And 62 packets of cocaine in her belly.
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND.
* Until the next stand, that is.