Tuesday, December 8, 2009
****new release list no.246
I knew I was emotionally raw when I started crying while watching THE MUSIC MAN with my kids this weekend. My wife looked over at me with an expression of bemusement, and I looked away while furiously wiping my cheeks. I couldn’t help it though, you see, because Robert Preston and Shirley Jones were singing “Till There Was You” and it was just so beautiful and the words so sincere. Sincerity is attractive, I told myself, while choking back the next set of tears when they started singing a duet of “Goodnight My Someone” and “76 Trombones”.
Well anyway, it’s cold out and they say it might snow, so I am thankful that this happens to be a week where we have some of the bigger releases of the winter here. Such as HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. This one is probably not a tear-jerker, but I remember the end of the book as being rather profound, and perhaps the most memorable section of the entire series. V-Diddy is getting close here, but as most of you know, there is one more film before the climax gets…climaxed. In JULIE AND JULIA, Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a harried woman who happens to have been an early blogger and who cooked all of Julia Child’s 574 recipes from her first cookbook in one year and wrote about it. Wow, what a tripper! Obviously, this was pre-recession. Meanwhile, Meryl Streep logs another tremendous performance as Julia Child, creating a world for herself through food and passion. This movie combines their stories and intertwines their spirits. Which is funny, because in real life Childs didn’t like Powell. Ah, but that’s why we watch movies! PUBLIC ENEMIES is the story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum), three American gangsters in the 1930’s who wore their pants super low and pumped fat bass lines while blazing down the highways. WORLD’S GREATEST DAD is a dark comedy about a father (Robin Williams) who takes advantage of a personal tragedy in order to advance his dreams.
There are some great docs in this week, including CHOPS which chronicles a high school jazz competition with Wynton Marsalis. Also we have THE COVE about dolphin killers in Japan. There is also PAPERBACK DREAMS, about the independent book store industry, which features two San Francisco book stores.
In the television department, we have the fifth seasons of both LOST and RESCUE ME and also an animated series based on Ice Cube’s films called FRIDAY!
We’ve also got some cool new products down here at Four Star for your holiday consideration. First up, is a new card game created by Bernal Heights resident David Macarchick called POPCORN POKER. This game is a combination of movie knowledge and poker, and can be played with two or more people. You actually make up the questions and all the answers are either a movie title or an actor’s name. It can be as hard or easy as you make it. It comes with 30 playing cards and 30 poker chips and can be yours for only $20! We’ve also got these amazing new miniature living cactus key chains featuring 5 different kinds of succulents living in a little globe in a bit of dirt. I first came across them while traveling in Italy in September and I thought they were so cool! I hope you do, too. They are $9.99 and I think you’ll love them as I do.
Lastly, a reminder of our holiday deals -: KenFlix packages of 3 months of any service for 10% off – give it as a Gift Certificate, or buy it for yourself! Four Star T-Shirts and Previously Viewed DVDs for $25 total, tax included. This is an 18% discount. Come in for details! We finally got the brown shirts in men’s large and extra large sizes!
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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DOG EAT DOG.
Oscar Borda/Marlon Moreno.
Directed by Carlos Moreno.
* A lot of wins and nominations on the festival circuit for this Columbian thriller about two small-time crooks who endanger their lives tremendously by breaking the code of conduct.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Daniel Radcliffe/Rupert Glint/Emma Watson/Helena Bonham Carter/Jim Broadbent.
Directed by David Yates.
* Movie six in the seven film series sees Harry having a deeper education by Dumbledore into the world of Tom Riddle, otherwise known as V-Diddy. In the books, the last three or so got so wonderfully complicated and profound and dealt gently with adolescence and real life themes such as imperfection and hypocrisy. My personal experience was that the end of book six was the most amazing and heartfelt moment of the entire series. The story is filled with darkness, as the Death Eaters are both on trial and still running amok causing havoc and hurting people badly. Harry is finally reconciled to his fate, and he separates himself emotionally from the people he loves, knowing that any connection to him is dangerous. Meanwhile, the kids, once so young and cute and innocent seeming, are now big and old and verging on young adulthood. Freaky how that happens.
HOLLYWOOD JE T’AIME .
Eric Debets/Chad Allen.
Directed by Jason Bushman.
* Poor Jerome (Debets)! He is sad and broken-hearted and decides to leave Paris to spend the holiday season in Hollywood. Will he become a movie star? Will he find love? Or will he decide that the best croissants are actually made back home.
HUMBLE PIE .
Hubbel Palmer/William Baldwin.
Directed by Chris Bowman.
* Written by the star, Hubbel Palmer, about a dreamy clerk who dreams about being a star, even though everyone tells him a nearly 400 pound man is not destined to be a leading man in a film. Guess they were wrong! Produced by one of the producers of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE.
JULIE AND JULIA.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Amy Adams/Meryl Streep/Stanley Tucci/Chris Messina.
Directed by Nora Ephron.
* This story takes two memoirs, by Julie Childs (Streep) and Julia Powell (Adams), and turns it into one film about food and passion and the recreating of one’s life. Powell was a harried blogger struggling to make ends meet when she took the challenge of making all the recipes in Julia Child’s first cookbook in one year. The blog resulted in a novel, which resulted in this film. Julia herself wasn’t fond of the blog, but you are sure to be fond of Streep’s performance, which is said to be spot on. Could she be in for another Oscar nomination? Wouldn’t be surprising…
Martina Gusman/Elli Medeiros.
Directed by Pablo Trapero.
* Argentina’s official entry into the Foreign Language category of the Academy Awards, this film won ten awards across the globe, and was nominated for the Golden Palm (I keep wanting to call it the Golden Frond) at Cannes in 2008. It is the tragic story of a young pregnant woman named Julia, imprisoned on the charge of murder. While in jail awaiting trial, her baby is born and she struggles to try to raise him in jail.
Amy Adams/Alec Newman.
Directed by Giancarlo Tallarico.
* Adams, in her second release this week, stars as Chloe, a chanteuse with a fantastic jazz singing voice who teams up with Nate, a financial manager who longs to be a musician to form a club act that takes off.
NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS.
Alfred Molina/John Leguizamo/Debra Messing/Freddie Rodriguez.
Directed by Alfredo De Villa.
* A Puerto Rican family living in Chicago is together for Christmas in this tale of family, love and war.
PUBLIC ENEMIES.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Johnny Depp/Christian Bale/Marion Cotillard.
Directed by Michael Mann.
* The story of the last years of John Dillinger’s life is told in this gangster movie depicting life in the 1930’s. Of course any film starring Academy Award nominee (three times) Depp, award winner Cotillard, and Christian Bale is worth seeing just for the skills of its stars. Depp rarely disappoints.
REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA.
Alexa Vega/Paris Hilton.
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
* In a future world (2056) our organs will fail at a fantastic rate! However, thanks to GeneCo, a wonderful new biotech company, we can all have new organs and reasonable rates, payable monthly with low interest! Just one catch, if you miss a payment, your organ may get repossessed, know what I mean? Seriously, I hear Paris is PHENOMENAL in this one. Maybe her best performance since THE CAT IN THE HAT, or perhaps that first internet-only film she starred in.
Thomas Turgoose/Piotr Jagiello.
Directed by Shane Meadows.
* From the director of THIS IS ENGLAND, comes another story of London and the young alienated kids that call it home. In this, a couple of boys form a friendship that mostly consists of arguing about which of them likes the same girl more. Eventually one of the boys becomes homeless and secretly moves in with his friend.
WORLD’S GREATEST DAD.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Robin Williams/Daryl Sabara/Alexie Gilmore.
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.
* Black comedy about a father (Williams) who capitalizes on a family tragedy to try to fulfill his personal dreams. I liked this film, but I don’t think I ever laughed, and a few times I cried. Williams seems to be at his best in quiet films like this, where he doesn’t tap into his madcap energy and instead relies on his stillness in order to obtain our empathy. Kind of amazing to feel any empathy for him here, yet somehow he does get a little.
Directed by Bruce Broder.
Edited by Jake Pushinsky.
* This film is about a high school jazz group competing at Lincoln Center in the Wynton Marsalis hosted Essentially Ellington Festival. This fascinating doc features amazing young musicians and a terrific drive to create music.
Directed by Louie Psihoyos.
* Have you heard of this film? It got a ton of press when it was in the theaters…the back of the box actually says “The Bourne Identity meets Flipper” – wow! That’s a pretty serious declaration. All in all, it is a tale of terrible atrocities happening in Japan where dolphins are being illegally hunted and killed for meat. Former “Flipper” dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry seeks redemption on this top-secret mission to expose the crime.
Directed by Alex Beckstead.
* Must-see doc about independent bookstores struggling for survival featuring San Francisco institutions Cody’s and Kepler’s. Do you want bookstores to still exist? Click off Amazon and get Red Hill to order some holiday gifts for you instead.
FRIDAY: THE COMPLETE ANIMATED SERIES.
* Did you watch any of those Ice Cube films? This is an animated series based on the adventures of Craig and Smokey. Many of the same characters from the films are in the series, and the same urban survival theme is prevalent. Most likely many of the same laughs are here, too.
LOST: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON.
* My friends tell me this show is awesome! I’ve never seen it, but sometimes I feel like I am lost on an island, too. And there are all these crazy characters all over, talking to me, saying weird coded messages to me. And I can’t get off the island, but…life there is perfect, so I think I’ll stay.
RESCUE ME: SEASON FIVE: VOLUME TWO.
* Denis Leary stars in season five of the dramedy about firefighters and the very scary lives they lead. I love firefighters, don’t you? When your house is burning, they come IN to it, and rescue you and your dog! That’s so awesome. Thank you, firefighters!
AVATAR BOOK 1: VOLUME ONE.
AVATAR BOOK 1: VOLUME THREE.
AVATAR BOOK 4.
TOM & THOMAS.
............//NEW ON BLU/............
HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE.
* Near the top of many people’s top stoner movies.
LIFE ON MARS (UK): SEASON ONE.
* Dang, this one is more popular than I expected.
POLLOCK (SPECIAL EDITION).