Halloween is this weekend. Is everyone ready? I’m not. Then again, I really never am. Truth be told, in the past, I always treated every day like Halloween and then I usually stayed home with the lights out on Oct 31st. Now with kids, it’s a whole new ballgame. Each year we philosophize about costuming, litigate about candy consumption, hypothesize about store giveaways, and hyperbolize about the insanity that Cortland Ave becomes on All Hallows Eve. Last year, I kicked it with the kids as Amy sat and handed out Four Star Video temporary tattoos. Instead of being relaxed and “off-duty”, I was stressed and irritable all night! Fun!
I have always felt there was something slightly pervasive in a not wonderful way about the major holidays.
However, we march on! Halloween is this weekend – and we are psyched! We have our scary movies out in the Four Star Favorites section. New kids Halloween films are in, and all in all, it should be a very fun night! Not to mention a chocolate party (ain’t no party like my gramma’s chocolate party!).
Woody Allen has a new movie out on DVD. WHATEVER WORKS is a treatise on bad behavior leading to good things starring Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood. David plays Boris, a brilliant angry man who lives to disrespect others. His philosophy is only slightly tempered by the beautiful southern runaway who slinks into his life and becomes his wife. In MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, two hipsters struggle to define themselves during the course of a 36-hour one night stand. San Francisco is like the third wheel hanging out with the couple in this excellent debut by director Barry Jenkins. In BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA: THE PLAN, the origins of the Cylons are explored as this feature opens the doors to a new Battlestar series. IL DIVO is the famous Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s treatise on politician Giulio Andreotti’s life. This film won the Jury prize at Cannes Film Festival. In the kids animation department, ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS is out, and in the adult animation department, the French scary film FEARS OF THE DARK is in. Other films of note include MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH and THE ORPHAN and Z released on Criterion.
We also have a bunch of new additions this week headlined by BEVERLY HILLS COP. Scroll down for the full list!
One of our customers (Good luck Elgy!) is writing film reviews over at Culture Vulture! Do you read this site? It is pretty awesome. You can check it out here.
She also just informed me about the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. I have never heard about this great sounding place out in Fremont, but it seems like a great place for any cinephile to visit. Here is some info about it:
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located out in tiny Niles, a community at the end of Highway 84, at 37417 Niles Boulevard in Fremont, CA (phone is 510.494.1411).
In 1915, Charlie Chaplin came to this out-of-the-way East Bay community to make 15 movies, including The Tramp. Niles is where Essanay Studios churned out silent movies back in the 19-teens. Film nights feature local pianists like Frederick Hodges. There’s also the tiny excursion train that goes around Niles Canyon on Sundays to Sunol. Mary Pickford apparently started a copycat studio at nearby Pleasanton back in the day too!
Well, there's our history lesson of the week. If you head on down there, let us know what you think.
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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FEARS OF THE DARK.
Directed by Blutch and Charles Burns and Marie Caillou and more.
* Very super creepy short animations dealing with your fears of the dark.
Courtney Davis/John Merriman.
Directed by Steve Collins.
* Heartfelt indie film about a high school girl dealing with, well, high school! If her parents and her fashion sense aren’t bad enough, her obsessed focus on the schools “bad boy” brings on unwanted change. Also featuring 3 short films by the director.
ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Bill Hader/Queen Latifah/Denis Leary/John Leguizamo.
Directed by Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier.
* Movie three in the series about pre-historic friends trying to survive troubling times…don’t forget your 3D glasses.
Fictobiopic/Drama/History/Foreign (Italian and English).
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino.
* This film won 14 awards worldwide, including the coveted Jury prize at Cannes Film festival last year. It is the story of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, who has held office of one sort or another in Italy since 1946 and was Prime Minister seven times from 1972 to 1992.
MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY.
Wyatt Cenac/Tracey Heggins/San Francisco.
Directed by Barry Jenkins.
* It’s a one night stand that lasts one day and two nights and covers nearly every neighborhood in San Francisco. This true indie film is about two young hipsters trying to define themselves in a city where they feel exceedingly alienated. Quiet and unobtrusive, the film is washed out and grey in a purposeful way. And it features a scene of dancing and drinking at Bernal Heights own THE KNOCKOUT. http://www.theknockoutsf.com/
Vera Farmiga/Peter Sarsgaard.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.
* This seriously frightening and warped horror flick is about a couple dealing with the loss of a baby who adopt a 9-year old who is hiding some significant secrets. If you like horror films, this one seems pretty great. It scared the hell out of Shila! Happy Halloween!
F. Murray Abraham/Sam Robards/Ally Sheedy.
Directed by Slave Tsukerman.
* A Russian astrophysicist (which is what I used to be, before I bought the video store) who has been living in the US for 17 years, goes back to his native land in 1992 during the time of perestroika (restructuring) following the fall of the iron curtain (wow, that was a long time ago now!) .
Directed by Bo Zenga.
* Another in the long line of parody films like SCARY MOVIE and DISASTER MOVIE…Chris walked up to me with the box saying “I thought you said you weren’t buying movies like this anymore”. I did say that, but I…Then, on imdb.com, one reviewer cautions “watch this movie high – trust me”. Okay, I trust you.
WHATEVER WORKS.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Larry David/Evan Rachel Wood/Patricia Clarkson/Ed Begley, Jr.
Directed by Woody Allen.
* Woody pops out a movie just about every year. They don’t always win Oscars! This one will definitely not win any awards, but it is still moderately entertaining. David plays a self-proclaimed genius (“I was once considered for a Nobel prize”) who is now old and miserable and saddled with a limp gained from surviving a suicide attempt that was foiled by his landing on an awning after leaping from a high window. Now he basically lives to ridicule and humiliate anyone and everyone who comes in his path, most notably the small children he teaches chess. Into his life comes Melody (Wood) a southern belle runaway who latches on to him and becomes his quite unlikely wife. The film meanders along, never quite hitting with its dialogue or grasping with its philosophy until Melody’s parents come into the picture. Clarkson, as her mother, discovers an aptitude for photography and an appetite for multiple sexual partners, and Begley, Jr., as her father, discovers the real reason that passion was missing from his marriage.
Yves Montand/Irene Papas.
Directed by Costa-Gavras.
* Winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 1970 (and Best Editing as well), this political thriller tracks the overthrow of a government in Greece and follows the intricate ins and outs of the right and left wings battling each other through the intrigue of murder and chaos.
ART 21: SEASON FOUR.
* From Amazon: Contemporary artists work in globally influenced, culturally diverse and technologically dynamic milieus. In the US artists reflect a varied and changing landscape of identity, values and beliefs. The artists featured in this series demonstrate the breadth of artistic practice across the country and reveal a wealth of multicultural talent. Each episode is organized around a theme to help audiences compare and contrast the artists profiled.
MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH: THE LAWYER’S CUT.
John Cleese/Eric Idle/Michael Palin/Terry Jones/Terry Gilliam.
Directed by Alan Parker.
* Three discs and 360 full minutes of Monty Python history revisited.
BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA: THE PLAN.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Tricia Helfer/Grace Park/Edward James Olmos.
Directed by Edward James Olmos.
* THE PLAN is a pilot for a new Battlestar show about the origins of the Cylons, and their catastrophic plan to wipe out their human creators. Freaking toasters…
THE WAY WE LIVE NOW.
* From the imdb: At the centre of the story is Augustus Melmotte (David Suchet), a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city', but the "something" part is not always clear. Within weeks of arriving in London, he announces a new company and promises instant fortune to those who join him in this scheme. Melmotte is surrounded by a circle of decadent aristos, scheming widows and nouveau riche businessmen, all trying to get a piece of the financial pie. His disobedient daughter, Marie, is played by Shirley Henderson, while Cheryl Campbell, Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza bring to life the aristocratic but impoverished Carbury family.
IRON MAN ARMORED ADVENTURES: VOLUME ONE.
TINKER BELL AND THE LOST TREASURE.
BEVERLY HILLS COP: 1, 2 AND 3.
* Who even knew there was a three? But in all seriousness, number one was an awesome movie, and now we got it on DVD.
DANTE’S COVE: THE FIRST TWO SEASONS.
* Gay culture delivered in the sex and camp variety made this show a cult sensation.
THE FISHER KING.
* Robin Williams’ zany lunacy mixed with Jeff Bridges ponytail? Amazing! This Terry Gilliam film was nominated for five Oscars in 1992 and won one, too.
MY NAME IS BILL W.
* James Woods, James Garner and JoBeth Williams star in this fictobiopic about the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
* Uh, yeah, this Kevin Costner/Renee Russo golfing love story was critical to our collection.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.
* Doesn’t it seem like I buy this movie every other month? I think that’s because I do!
IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN.
STAR WARS TRILOGY: EPISODES 4-6.
STAR WARS TRILOGY: EPISODES 1-3.