Monday, August 10, 2009
****new release list no.231
What is this thing, life? So strange to be living an adult existence, running through your schedules, occasionally slapped around by life in some way that reminds you not to get too comfortable in your skin. What is it to be an adult? As a person with the Y chromosome (I know, I know, that’s not the WHOLE deal) , I ask myself what does it mean to be a man? How do you find the right combination of confident yet gracious, macho but not asshole (pardon my language), self-contained yet still in need of companionship. These are some of the questions that Peter Klaven (as played by the versatile Paul Rudd) is asking himself as the day of his heterosexual wedding approaches and he realizes that he has no real male friends. Is there a bromance in his future? Can he find a significant brother? Can he even score a man date? What should he talk about? How will he knick name his new bro? Will he shake hands properly? How long does he wait after the first hang session before he calls? Luckily his new dude friend, Sydney (Jason Segel from FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL) is willing to show him the ropes, easing him slowly and gently into dudehood. But does Peter really want to be a dude? Will his fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones) become jealous? All these issues are front and center (shwing) in the new comedy I LOVE YOU, MAN. Funny and poignant, cuttingly satirical, and somewhat serious, this comedy is a winner, and further cements Rudd and Segel’s status (along with Seth Rogen) as some of comedy’s leading men.
There are three events in Bernal Heights that you should know about this week. Number one is this Wednesday, August 12th here at SUCCULENCE (located in Four Star Video’s back patio) at 402 Cortland Ave at 4:30pm. Mark Bunnell will be performing as The Juggling Tornado. This is a part of a series of events co-sponsored by the Bernal Branch Library and Four Star Video and supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It will be a great event for the little ones, so please come on by! I also want to tell you that the library is targeting January for its reopening, and I recently was lucky enough to take a short tour inside the building. It is looking fabulous, and I think everyone is going to be really psyched! I have heard it is the absolute best of all the libraries being remodeled. The second event is number three in the series of Bernal Film Nights co-sponsored by the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and Four Star Video, and organized and coordinated by Sabrina Davis who is doing so much great community work at the BHNC right now. This week, on Thursday, August 13th at 7pm at the BHNC at 515 Cortland Ave, they will be showing FAST FOOD NATION. As usual, admission is free and some refreshments will be provided. Lastly, this Saturday, Aug 15th is the 16th Annual Hillwide Garage Sale from 9am-4pm. Maps will be provided at the neighborhood center, and we will be selling hundreds of excellent used DVD’s outside the store for $5. Enjoy, neighbors, enjoy.
John Hughes died last Thursday, at the much-too-young age of 59. For many of us, his passing was a shocking reminder of both our mortality and our teen years. Starting with SIXTEEN CANDLES in 1984 (1984!), Hughes directed 9 films all but one of them being released in the 80’s. His films nearly defined the generation. Movies about outcasts, nerds and truants that had excellent adventures and found love. BREAKFAST CLUB and WEIRD SCIENCE both came out in 1985 and Ferris Bueller took his day off just one year later. His films made great use of pop music, and made isolation look cool. In 1987, I graduated High School, and I guess Hughes did too. He only directed three more films from that point forward, and finished his directorial career with 1991’s CURLY SUE. He continued writing films all the way until last year when he wrote DRILLBIT TAYLOR, but he wrote under a pseudonym (Edmond Dantes, from the main character of The Count of Monte Cristo), and many people didn’t know it was the same guy. I am not sure what his take was on his career, but I can tell you my life was better off as a result of his existence. Thanks, John, you will be missed. In the meantime, we just bought the last two of his films we didn’t have yet on DVD, UNCLE BUCK and PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILE’S, so now his collection is complete. Happy viewing.
Guess what? We got a brand-spanking-new DVD repair machine. Same one we had before, but freshly manufactured with all the bells and whistles of a 2009 technological wonder. Our old one was acting up and bit, and thus the new one. While we were waiting for it to come in, I noticed that we had a little stack of movies awaiting repair. I want to make a suggestion to everyone out there that ever has problems with DVD’s. You may want to replace your machine if it is three years old or older. Forgetting for a moment how sad it is that our technology is so poor that our electronic appliances appear to be designed to stop working at three years, and also keeping in mind that my only investment in this discussion is to keep you all as customers, it is important to remember that DVD players are not very costly, and that newer ones basically just play right through any blemishes on the disc itself. Instead of locking in to a stubborn position about your player, why not just replace it with a new one for $89.99? Our main interest is in you seeing your movie all the way through, and if that is being a problem, then a player replacement is a possible solution. Just to reiterate our policy regarding problem discs, if we get a complaint about a disc we run it through our fancy machine which buffs and refinishes the disc. We make a note about it, including the date. If the disc is complained about again, we run it through the machine one more time, on a Medium or Heavy cycle. Again, the cycle and date are noted. If we have a third problem, the disc is disposed of and a replacement is bought. For the most part, this works. There are a few different shows that seem to have extra problems than usual. Personally, I think it is cheap manufacturing, but I don’t really know. I understand that a large amount of THE WIRE discs have problems. I am so sorry about that – believe me, I know how frustrating it is to not be able to get through a tense and terrific show like that. With shows like these, I buy replacement copies regularly. We’ve had 11 full copies of THE WIRE: SEASON THREE! If you are having a problem with a disc, please let us know. We cannot do anything about a problem disc if we do not know about it. The last thing I would like to mention is that we at the store almost never actually handle the discs. The only time we do is when we are checking it out to you and we give it a wipe. When discs are scratched (and smudged, or otherwise) that happens when another customer does not handle the disc with care. Please remember to always hold the disc by its edges with your fingertips. When you are done watching the movie, please put it back into its box. Please do not allow your children to put the movies into the player and out by themselves. As wonderful as it is that they can work a DVD player, they are almost guaranteed to damage our discs. Unfortunately, this goes for your teenagers as well. For some reason those large adult shaped teen people just don’t seem to have the respect for other people’s property that is required for proper disc management (I know, it is totally shocking!). So, please, if you see our discs being mishandled by your teen, set them straight. Lastly, when putting the disc back into its box, make sure it is sitting properly nestled in its little plastic home. It is always slightly amusing to me when someone brings in a disc that didn’t work for them and they hand it to me loose in its case, getting more scratched even as we transact.
I am grateful that in 2009 our community is renting videos from Four Star Video. We are loving the business, and going the extra distance to obtain the most interesting films we can find from around the globe. We are very proud of Kenflix as a way to wipe out late fees forever. We are happy to continue hearing your suggestions to make the store even better.
Thanks for shopping at Four Star Video.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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Links we are super hip on this week:
The Rock Make Festival. The excellent musical and crafts outdoor festival presented by The Bay Bridged, Tartufi, Whiz Bang Fabrics and Noise Pop that my band The Dont’s are honored to be playing this year.
KIDS DIGITAL DESIGN CONTEST–Local architect(dad/husband/racecar driver) Mason Kirby is sponsoring this cool contest.
Tetra Vaal -This short film was made by the very same people who are about to release DISTRICT 9 – a very cool looking sci-fi film.
Beyond Asiaphilia is local filmmaker Valerie Soe's excellent blog focusing on Asian/American arts, culture and other related topics.
Do you have a link Four Star Customers should check out??? Email it to me.
Catherine Deneuve/Guy Marchand.
Directed by Gael Morel.
* After her son dies in an accident, Camille (Deneuve) becomes unglued and slightly obsessed with his best friend.
BIG MAN JAPAN.
Directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto.
* Totally wild bizarre-fest about a man who occasionally grows about 100 feet tall and defends his nation against a smorgasbord of monsters and beasties. Chris says this is hysterical.
BORN IN 68.
Laetitia Casta/Yannick Renier/Christine Citti.
Directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau.
* A group of French revolutionaries struggle to maintain the ethics and values as they try to create a new society full of love and without possessions. Imagine that! As their commune becomes settled, their philosophies and their paths diverge.
THE CLASS.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Francois Begaudeau/Franck Keita.
Directed by Laurent Cantet.
* This much anticipated film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language film Academy award, and won a bunch of other awards including the GOLDEN PALM at Cannes. It is the story of a teacher, and a school in an inner city neighborhood in Paris struggling to maintain, to motivate, to thrive and just to get through to the next day.
I LOVE YOU, MAN.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Paul Rudd/Jason Segel/Rashida Jones/Jaime Pressley/Jon Favreau/Jane Curtin.
Directed by John Hamburg.
* Rudd is Peter Klaven, newly engaged to Zooey (Jones) and lovely woman with a nice group of friends who is concerned that her man doesn’t have a good manfriend. Thus, Klaven embarks on a mission to get a brofriend. The mission is tough (desperation is such a turn-off), but eventually Peter meets Sydney who teaches him what being a man is really about. Featuring a ton of great cameo’s including Curtin as Peter’s loving mom.
Directed by Andrzej Wajda.
* Another film Nomintated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, KATYN is the tragic story of the slaughter of thousands of Polish officers and citizens by the Soviet army in the Katyn forest in 1939. Wajda has been directing movies since 1950 and is considered to be one of Poland’s greatest living directors.
Tam Mei/Chung Hwa.
Directed by Cheh Chang.
* The Monks of kung-fu Doom.
PAVEE LACKEEN – TRAVELLER GIRL.
Directed by Perry Ogden.
* I am having trouble deciding if this is a documentary or fiction. And, I am afraid I don’t know what a Traveller is. Help me! Here, I got this from Amazon: PAVEE LACKEEN: THE TRAVELLER GIRL is an intimate portrait of Winnie, a resilient and spirited young girl, and her family who are part of Dublin’s traveller community, living in a dilapidated trailer on the side of the road in a desolate industrialized area. The film presents an unflinching portrait of a marginalized community often living in third world poverty in a modern, prosperous Ireland. It follows Winnie through several weeks of her life, as she struggles with her identity as a young traveller girl in contemporary Ireland.
NIGHTS & WEEKENDS.
Joe Swanberg/Greta Gerwig.
Directed by Greta Gerwig and Joe Swanberg.
* Written, directed by and starring Joe and Greta as a long-distance couple being stretched by the tension such an arrangement can cause.
NO MATTER WHAT.
Drama/Foreign (Mandarin and English).
Directed by Oscar Petersson.
* A young girl from the sticks heads to Shanghai to become a pop star, but loses herself along the way.
ONE DAY YOU’LL UNDERSTAND.
Hippolyte Giradot/Jeanne Moreau.
Directed by Amos Gitai.
* This film set in Paris is about a Jewish man trying to collect information and memories about his grandparents who died in the holocaust.
Gerard Jugnot/Clovis Cornillac/Kad Merad.
Directed by Christophe Barratier.
* This film takes place in 1936 Paris and features the conflict between the left and the ultra conservative right as they pertain to a theatre troupe struggling to survive.
Directed by Connie Littlefield.
* This doc is about researching trying to determine medical benefits of lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD. Cue up the Pink Floyd.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF VIVIENNE VYLE.
Jennifer Sanders/Miranda Richardson.
* A sharp, witty comedy about Vivienne Vyle (Saunders) a television personality with a ton of chaos going on around her. Richardson co-stars as the show within the show’s producer.
SUPERFRIENDS: THE LOST EPISODES.
* Wonder twin powers activate!
* An anonymous donkey forces the mules in his community to treat him and other donkeys with respect. Or at least that’s what it should be about…
GOOBY – BECAUSE EVERYONE NEEDS A FRIEND.
* New series based on the books – pretty fun!
PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES.
* 1987 John Hughes films pairs Steve Martin with John Candy as two strangers trying to get home for the holidays. Funny!
* This 2006 adaptation of a Virginia C. Andrews book is about a young musical prodigy with a secret past. Co-starring Faye Dunaway.
* Hughes second-to-last film features John Candy as the slovenly, lovable Uncle Buck.