Monday, June 29, 2009

****new release list no.225


We have a new period of Highlighted New Additions starting now! The focus on these new additions is Bollywood. We have nine new titles in, located in the New Release room on the middle racks. They range from comedy to drama, with some superhero and sports and family mixed in. Most of these films are in English and Hindi and feature amazing song and dance. Please check them out and tell us what you think. Scroll down to read about them as written by Valerie Soe, a local film educator whose blog BEYOND ASIAPHILIA we have been linking this last month. Thanks for all your help, Valerie!

It was Pride Weekend in the Bay Area last weekend, and the weather was hot. I watched for the first time, THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK and was blown away. Milk was such an amazing activist, and so full of love and energy. It is mind-boggling to imagine what he might have gotten done had not Dan White took his life just 11 months into his tenure as SF Supervisor. Thirty years later, so much evolution has taken place, but Prop 8 shows us how much more things can still change. I am always so full of admiration for people who take a stand to improve their rights and the way they are perceived.

There is a wide array of films of interest this week, nothing blockbustery, or earth shattering, but there is some good TV (ENTOURAGE SEASON FIVE, EASTBOUND & DOWN, SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL SEASON TWO, THE IT CROWD SEASON TWO) some good docs (KAMP KATRINA, RIP: A REMIX MANIFESTO) lots of great new Bollywood films as mentioned above, a gaggle of foreign films (TOKYO!, TWISTED SOULS, LOS BASTARDOS, SONG OF INNOCENCE, KAIDAN, PARTES USTADAS) and a bit of Americana (TWO LOVERS, WHOLPHIN NO.8).

We had a great first week of SUCCULENCE! Thank you all who stopped by. As the summer gets in full swing, you may find yourself spending more time outdoors…Fill some of that garden spot with a nice succulent that will “take so little and give so much” in the words of one of our customers. We’ve got lots of variety of these plants, and a bunch of great planters as well. Tell your friends about us. So far we are all word of mouth. Also, we would love your feedback about the space.

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

Love and Kisses,
Ken

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Links we are super hip on this week:
Become a fan of SUCCULENCE on Facebook.
Beyond Asiaphilia -Local filmmaker Valerie Soe's excellent blog focusing on Asian/American arts, culture and other related topics.
Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival.
A strange, beautiful and interactive video by Labuat.
Pal’s Takeaway – Yummy yummy.

Do you have a link Four Star Customers should check out??? Email it to me.

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

THE HUMAN CONTRACT.
Drama.
Jason Clarke/Paz Vega/Ted Danson.
Directed by Jada Pinkett Smith.
* Pinkett Smith wrote and directed this thriller about a straight laced office man who meets a hottie stranger who encourages him to throw up his corporate trappings and live la vida loca.

JONAS BROTHERS: THE CONCERT EXPERIENCE.
Music.
Kevin/Joe/Nick.
Directed by Bruce Hendricks
* Ohmygod, the Jonas Brothers!!!!!!

KAIDAN.
Horror/Drama/Romance/Foreign (Japanese).
Kumiko Aso/Takaaki Enoki.
Directed by Hideo Nakata.
* From the IMDB: “The film is a fairly close retelling of Encho Sanyutei's 19th century ghost story entitled "Shinkei Kasane-ga-fuchi" about the cursed fate of two families and the karma passed on from parent to child”.

LOS BASTARDOS.
Action/Crime/Drama/Thriller/Foreign (English and Spanish).
Jesus Moises Rodriguez/Ruben Sosa/Nina Zavarin.
Directed by Amat Escalante.
* A day-in-the-life tale about two undocumented Mexican day-laborers living in L.A. who get a much better paying job than usual, involving weapons.

PARTES USADAS.
Drama /Foreign (Spanish).
Carlos Ceja/Emery Eduardo Granados.
Directed by Aaron Fernandez Lesur.
* A teenager and his best friend get involved in a plot to steal car parts in order to help his uncle finance their illegal emigration to Chicago from Mexico.

PEDRO: THE TRUE STORY OF PEDRO ZAMORA.
Drama/Fictobiopic/LGBT.
Alex Loynaz/Justina Machado.
Directed by Nick Oceano.
* Co-Written by Academy-Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, this film tells the story of Pedro Zamora, a Cuban-American AIDS activist and television personality who died in 1994.

SONG OF INNOCENCE.
Drama/Foreign (French).
Isild Le Besco/Frederic Pierrot.
Directed by Antoine Santana.
* A period piece about a young peasant employed as a live in wet nurse for a wealthy family and the emotional drama that plays out as the husband feels alienated from the relationships that grow.

TOKYO!
Drama/Foreign (French and Japanese).
Yu Aoi/Ayako Fujitani/Julie Dreyfus.
Directed by Joon-ho Bong and Michel Gondry and Leos Carax.
* Three vignettes about Tokyo from three different directors.

TWISTED SOULS.
Crime/Thriller/Foreign (French).
Vincent Martinez/Melanie Thierry.
Directed by Cheyenne Carron.
* A thriller about a young couple in a country house getting jiggy with their reality.

TWO LOVERS.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Drama/Romance.
Gwyneth Paltrow/Joaquin Phoenix.
Directed by James Gray.
* Will this be Phoenix’s final movie? Supposedly he is retired now and he has been sighted “performing” as a rap artist. You can Youtube he performance and see why I put the word performing in quotes! In this, he plays a young self-destructive man struggling with depression and living back with his parents. He is torn between desire for two different women and the difference between the women is somehow emblematic of his hesitant desire for life.

WHOLPHIN ISSUE NO. 8.
Shorts/Weirds/Experimentals/Such.
Directed by Many.
* Just check it out, it is a collection of many things gathered by McSweeney's, the literary Quarterly brainchild of Dave Eggers.

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

KAMP KATRINA.
Documentary.
Directed by Ashley Sabin and David Redmon.
* Strange social experiment involving 14 people signing up and living for six months in tents in someone’s backyard dubbed Kamp Katrina. Somehow it becomes somewhat of a combat platoon experiment with the residents being removed one and two at a time until some sort of poetic comment is made. The comment? Not sure....

RiP: A REMIX MANIFESTO.
Documentary.
Directed by Brett Gaylor.
* This doc examines copyright law in the information age, and the way these laws affect the art and media that is produced.

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

EASTBOUND & DOWN.
Television/HBO/Comedy/Drama.
Danny McBride/John Hawkes.
* Everyone but Kenny Powers (McBride) knows that he is a washed up, arrogant, jerk, has-been baseball player. Unfortunately, Kenny still thinks he deserves the accolades and privileges of the stars. When he moves back to his hometown to be the new phys ed teacher, reality starts to let its somewhat smelly presence be known to him. Will Ferrell is involved in this well-acted series.

ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON.
Television/HBO/Comedy/Drama.
Kevin Connolly/Kevin Dillon/Adrian Grenier/Jeremy Priven.
* Season five in the series following film star Vince Chase (Grenier) and his pack of buddies traversing the spicy and dangerous peaks and valleys of Hollywood.

THE IT CROWD: COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
Television/Comedy.
Chris O’Dowd/Katherine Parkinson.
* Season two following the hijinks of the IT department at a busy business.

THE SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL: SEASON TWO.
Television/Drama.
Billy Piper.
* Season two following the hijinks of a high class ho in London.

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

ALL REVIEW BLURBS WRITTEN BY GUEST REVIEWER, VALERIE S – THANKS VALERIE! ****EXCEPT DEV D

BLACK.
Drama/Bollywood (English and Hindi).
Amitabh Bachchan/Rani Mukherjee.
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
* Here’s an unusual Bollywood movie—no singing or dancing, runs a tidy 2 hours, and is a serious drama about a serious subject. Black is a Hindi version of the Helen Keller story, starring the awesome Rani Mukherjee as the deaf-blind protagonist and the legendary Amitabh Bachchan as her mentor who leads her out of darkness and silence by teaching her language. Excellent performances by the two leads. 2006 Filmfare Awards Best Film of the Year..

CHAK DE INDIA.
Family/Drama/Sport/Bollywood (Hindi).
Shah rukh Khan.
Directed by Shimit Amin.
* The best girljock movie ever made, starring Shah Rukh Khan and a cast of feisty unknowns, Chak de! India (Go, India!) will have you rooting for the underdog Indian Women’s Field Hockey Team and humming the theme song long after the film is over. Features great sports action and cogent commentary about racism, class divisions, gender roles, patriotism, sisterhood, and loyalty, all wrapped up in a highly entertaining package. Go India!.

DEV D.
Drama/Romance/Bollywood (Hindi and English and Punjabi).
Abhay Deol/Dibyendu Bhattacharya.
Directed by Anurag Kashyap.
* From the IMDB: “Dev who, after spurning Paro's love due to a misunderstanding, turns to drugs and vodka for solace. Paro moves on but Dev still is in remorse. He meets Chanda, a prostitute with problems of her own. Dev likes her but his penchant for self-destruction prevents him and Chanda from truly getting together. He also meets sleazy people like Chunni, Chanda's pimp who drags Dev further into self-destruction to further his own needs.”

JAANE TU…YA JAANE NA.
Comedy/Drama/Romance/Bollywood (Hindi).
Imran Khan/Genelia D’Souza.
Directed by Abbas Tyrewala.
* Best friends played by Imran Khan and Genelia d’Souza discover love and the meaning of life in this romantic comedy.

KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA.
Drama/Bollywood (English and Hindi).
Amitabh Bachchan/Shah rukh Khan.
Directed by Karan Johar.
* A romantic drama set in New York City about two friends who find themselves drawn to each other despite being married to other people. Strong performances from the ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan Abishek Bachchan (Amitabh’s son), Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and the Baadshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, who shows off his serious acting chops.

KRRISH.
Action/Adventure/Romance/Sci-Fi/Bollywood (English and Hindi and Cantonese).
Rekha/Hrithik Roshan.
Directed by Rakesh Roshan.
* The charming Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood’s current “it” boy, plays a reluctant superhero in this science fiction action mashup with action choreography by Hong Kong master Ching Sui-Tung (House of Flying Daggars) and Matrix-style special effects. Part ET, part Spiderman, and all fun..


RANG DE BASANTI.
Comedy/Drama/Bollywood (English and Hindi).
Aamir Khan/Siddharth.
Directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra.
* In the process of making a movie about India’s struggle for independence, a group of students learn the true meaning of standing up for one’s ideals. An interesting, layered drama that, in light of current events in Iran, is compelling, moving and relevant. Stars Aamir Khan (Lagaan). 2007 Filmfare Awards Best Film of the Year.

SINGH IS KING.
Action/Comedy/Crime/Romance/Bollywood (Hindi/Punjabi/Urdu).
Akshay Kumar/Katrina Kaif.
Directed by Anees Bazmee.
* A classic “masala” movie, with action, comedy, romance, and song and dance, this wacky movie is about a na├»ve villager who somehow becomes king of the underworld. Zany hijinks ensue.

SWADES.
Drama/Bollywood (English and Hindi).
Shah rukh Khan/Gayatri Joshi.
Directed by Ashutash Gowariker.
* A thoughtful, innovative drama about an successful ex-patriot scientist who returns from the U.S. to his village in India and discovers a great deal about himself, his country and real priorities in life. King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan turns in an intense, nuanced performance.

............//FAMILY/............

DINOSAUR KING: VOLCANIC PANIC.
* It’s what I wanna be, yeah (make your move, go on and make your move).

INSPECTOR GADGET.

INSPECTOR GADGET 2.

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

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE.
Crime/Drama/Thriller.
Walter Matthau/Robert Shaw/Hector Elizdono/Jerry Stiller.
Directed by Joseph Sargent.
* The original version of this movie about an NYC train hijacking.

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

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM.
* Three new copies, just cuz...

VERA DRAKE.
* A new copy.

****

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