Monday, December 27, 2010

****new release list no.300

I hear it was beautiful in SF this weekend – me, I just got feeling in my face again after doing two full face dives into a huge pile of snow in the middle of the road outside my father-in-law’s apartment in Brooklyn! Oh. My. God! It is the Great Blizzard of 2010! There are cars just stopped in the middle of roads and completely snowed in. Huck and Trudy sank into snow nearly up to their waists. It is a true Winter Wonderland here. Super fun!

We just missed all the snow cancellations, and we know many people who got stuck on their holiday travels all over the country (and the world). We got super lucky and eked our way in just before the storm came. We had many travel plans ourselves all around the East Coast, but as of now, because the roads are completely closed where we are, it is hot meals, Scrabble, books and more Scrabble – in between snowball fights for us Shelves. A truly epic vacation.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch – hey, thanks for all the responses from last week’s outpouring of honesty from me. I figure I owe you all for the therapy session, and I thank those of you who gave me all sorts of good advice and ideas. Interestingly, the blog got picked up by Bernalwood, a new blog about the BH, which I have enjoyed reading this week. Hey people, If you read my blog, or chat with me at the store (or anywhere else you encounter me) you know I’m committed to the store and to you, my friends and neighbors (and you know I probably should be committed). No matter what the future holds, I am gung-ho for life in 2011, and I look forward to whatever will be!

I was sad not to get to watch THE AMERICAN this weekend. Starring my good pal, Clooney, it is the tale of an assassin who kicks it in the Italian countryside for a wee bit after his last job has an unpredictable ending (I hear the opening scene is a doozy). While there, he gets another job building a weapon for someone, and meets a beautiful woman to pass the glorious time there with. And who can blame him? He’s Cloons!

Also out this Tuesday is RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, the next in the Milla Jovovich series about evil corporations, robotic assassins and hot models kicking ass. I haven’t seen any of these films, but I love Milla.

Finally making it to the shop last week was EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP. Ostensibly a documentary about the art world by the secret artist Banksy, many suggest it is more like the Joaquin Phoenix doc I’M STILL HERE in that it is a hoax wrapped in a parable wrapped in a poignant message. I didn’t see it yet, so I can’t comment. I am also not sure if there is any truth to the rumor that Banksy is going to be the guest speaker at a Four Star Video event in early February (or late January) about street art and viral group art experiences. Be sure to keep checking in the space for a chance to attend this very special event.

TWELVE is an indie film starring millions of actors (Chase Crawford/Emma Roberts/50 Cent/Rory Culkin/Ellen Barkin/Kiefer Sutherland), about a young drug deal getting over his head with his dealer and a new substance just hitting the streets.

Did you dig the new television show THE UNITED STATES OF TARA about a woman with multiple personalities trying to make it work with her husband and kids? Season two is here this week, too.

I’m out, yo’s. In the NYC for a couple weeks. I’ll send another New Release list next week if I am near a computer. I’d keep writing now, but the snow drifts blowing by the window of the room I am in are boggling my mind with their beauty.

Love and Kisses,

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

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

Directed by Anton Corbijn.
* Slow moving thriller about a hitman in the Italian countryside waiting for the heat to blow over and getting involved in a new mysterious job.

Aiden Quinn/Steve Buscemi/Scott Campbell.
Directed by Bette Gordon.
* An old Vietnam vet revisits a horrible crime he committed with some old comrades.

Action/Martial Arts/Foreign (Cantonese).

Milla Jovovich/Ali Larter/Wentworth Miller/Sienna Gillory.
Directed by Paul Anderson.
* I think this is number 4 in the tale of Alice Abernathy (Jovovich), freedom fighter against the evil Umbrella Corporation in this sci-fi, horror zombie film series.

Chase Crawford/Emma Roberts/50 Cent/Rory Culkin/Ellen Barkin/Kiefer Sutherland.
Directed by Oliver Stone.
* A young privileged weed dealer gets in heavy with his dealer when he starts selling a new powerful drug.


Directed by Banksy.
* I’m really not sure what to say about this film, maybe just that is about someone making a film about art who then has the camera turned on him, to hilarious results. There has been a lot of talk about this film. Maybe, maybe too much talk. This film, is not a rebel film, this film is EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP.


Toni Collette/Brie Larson/John Corbett.
* Tara is dealing with multiple personalities while also trying to maintain a household with two kids and a husband. It seems to me having some multiple personalities might help with that management.





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

* This is a 2006 documentary about the slasher films of the 80’s and 90’s.

* A comedy about a band struggling to make it who gets bit by a vampire who helps change their fortunes.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

****new release list no.299

People of the planet, it is winter. Our constructs are disintegrating. Our financial systems are degrading. It is becoming more and more obvious that we are insects clamoring on top of each other for food. It is possible that the jig is up. Like the fate of the honeybees, our hives are corrupt and the buzz of activity is falling silent. Yet we rise to the occasion with positivity again and again! I admire that about us so much! Yet, alas, I am a bit pessimistic about Four Star Video, as I know so many of you are.

I read that even though Blockbuster has the same 28 day wait for Warner Brothers titles that Netflix has, they are still closing 182 stores in 2011 with a full bankruptcy and emergence from bankruptcy plan. Strangely, I don’t feel elation or anything about this. Just a somewhat distant numbness. What will happen with this industry?

Who likes a video store? Raise your hands. I know Four Star Video rules. I know we get crazy cool movies from all over the planet that you probably wouldn’t know about unless you saw them on our shelves. I know we have the only no-late-fee service in San Francisco. I know we spend more on movies than we probably should b/c we want to have as many copies as possible for new release Tuesday every week. I know we have the biggest Blu-ray section in SF with probably 6 or 700 titles. I know we are the only video/plant store on planet earth. Yet…I don’t sense we are what people want.

I hear every day people discussing Netflix with each other at the counter. I know many of my good friends who use the service. I have great friends who only steal their movies online, with their own funny justifications – or no justification at all. And I don’t blame them. Who knows what I would be doing if I didn’t own a video store.

I put out that survey a few months ago, and I got 300ish results. They were fascinating! And almost exclusively positive. Yet, we are down 12% this year, after going down 8% the year before. So I think that though you love yourselves a video store, you also love free movies (bit torrent, the library), easy access movies, money be damned movies(on demand, cable), internet services (streaming) and the gentle tushy-growing ease of sitting on the couch.

Am I grousing, riffing? Just babbling in a semi-stoned haze after a long day at the store? Yeah, yeah and, actually no. I know this kind of talk isn’t great for the store, and I know that you don’t really want my negativity, but I have trouble censuring my honesty in this situation, and so I must discuss it with you every few months, to remind myself that we are in this together. I like to talk to you people.

You are out there in the interverse, at the end of a long kite string that I am holding on to. I love you, actually. I want you to know that.

Also, I want you to know that we got a bunch of new movies at Four Star this week, including some big titles that will be sure to warm your Christmas vacation. WALL STREET 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO is Oliver Stone’s attempt to catch lightning in a bottle. It’s been 20 years since Gordon Gekko got sent up the river for crimes against economy. Now, he’s out, and has the world changed? You betcha! We’ve had not one, but two awesome economical disasters, in this decade alone, and the entire world’s economy is teetering on the edge of disaster and now– cue the music – Gekko is ready to make a comeback. Problem is, he’s got no money…so what’s an ex-con trade-junky to do? Steal from his family? You betcha!

In SALT, Angelina Jolie is a CIA agent who is excused of being a Russian spy (really? In 2010?) and must go deeply uncover using all her crazy training to avoid being captured while she tries to exonerate herself.

DEVIL creates a claustrophobic and terrifying situation where a group of people are trapped in an elevator with a supernatural force that is killing them one by one. Chris Messina plays a detective outside the elevator trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

SOUL KITCHEN is a comedy from Fatih Akin (THE EDGE OF HEAVEN) about a restaurateur in Hamburg struggling to keep his dive afloat in the face of numerous personal catastrophes.

EASY A is American cheese food filled with great young actors about a high school girl who starts a bit of a business getting paid to confirm that she has had sex with other students at her school. With Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Haden Church and Malcolm McDowell.

There are also a couple really awesome looking foreign films out this week, ANGEL by Francois Ozon (SWIMMING POOL), LET IT RAIN by Agnes Jaoui, and MAP THE SOUNDS OF TOKYO by Isabel Coixet.

One last film related note: I am so sorry that EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is still not here! It is supposed to be delivered by Friday. Aarrrgh! Rest assured, it is coming.

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

Love and Kisses,

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

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

Romola Garai/Sam Neill/Charlotte Rampling.
Directed by Francois Ozon.
* This period piece, from the maker of SWIMMING POOL and 8 WOMEN, follows a young writer who lives in a bit of a self-created fantasyland while trying to be a professional writer.

Chris Messina.
Directed by John Dowdle and Drew Dowdle.
Produced by M. Night Shyamalan.
* That nasty devil is always playing tricks…but according to this fable by the Shyamanamanator, the horned fellow follows a strict code of ethics. Hmm. The tale involves an elevator, and some supposedly random people stuck in it, who may or may not be ready for a trip straight to hell. Ah, but first there must be mystery, fear, terror, confusion, guilt, confession and perhaps even redemption. Messina (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, HUMBOLDT COUNTY) plays an investigator who is trying to figure out what is happening to the people in the elevator and whether or not any earthly help can be had. In turns out yes, but not in the way you might imagine.

Emma Stone/Amanda Bynes/Lisa Kudrow/Thomas Haden Church/Stanley Tucci/Patricia Clarkson/Malcolm McDowell.
Directed by Will Gluck.
* This teen sex tale was on in the store about 12 times this weekend, so I kind of feel like I watched it. There actually isn‘t much sex that takes place. Emma Stone plays a young lady who basically takes cash from guys in exchange for saying that she had sex with them, but there is no actual contact, in fact she is a virgin! Somehow there is a bizarre parallel made in this film to Hester Prynne in "The Scarlet Letter”. Thus, the title. Getting an “easy A” had a different meaning when I was in school.

Seth MacFarlane/Alex Borstein/Mila Kunis/Seth Green.
Directed by Peter Shin.
* Supposedly the finale of their Star Wars related feature length spoofs! I was stunned this afternoon at the store, while I thought I was listening to this film, at just how much it was exactly like Star Wars, until I discovered that they weren’t watching this, they were actually watching Star Wars.

Comedy/Drama/Foreign (French).
Agnes Jaoui/Jean-Pierre Bacri.
Directed by Agnes Jaoui.
* An ambitious feminist politician returns to the family home in the French countryside and confronts all the familiar issues that you‘d expect her to find there. This movie is supposed to be relatively hilarious.

Thriller/Drama/Foreign (Japanese and English).
Rinko Kikuchi/Sergie Lopez .
Directed by Isabel Coixet.
* This Japanese thriller is about a fish-market employee who also works as a hit-man. This film won an award at Cannes last year, and was nominated for the Golden Palm as well.

Derrick L. Middleton.
Directed by John G. Young.
* A young teenager, whose mother has just died, leaves his home in New York and moves in with family in Alabama where he becomes awakened to his sexuality and forms a crush on his new friends‘ younger brother.

Angelina Jolie/Chiwetel Ejiofor/Liev Schreiber.
Directed by Phillip Noyce.
* A CIA agent with big puffy lips (Jolie) must go undercover to avoid being captured after she is accused of being a Russian double-agent.

Comedy/Drama/Foreign (German).
Directed by Fatih Akin.
* Akin (THE EDGE OF HEAVEN, HEAD-ON) has been known for emotional and intense films involving Turkish immigrants in Germany. In this comedic departure from his normal style, a restaurant owner, Zinos, is struggling to keep his dive afloat and his personal life in order. His journalist girlfriend has split for China, and his new chef is driving away the old clientele with his new-fangled gourmet food. His brother is using him for fake employment for his work-release program at the jail that he is currently housed, and his back has a crick in it that is making it terribly painful for him to even stand. Luckily, he’s super duper into funk music, and people who are super duper into funk generally figure shit out.

Sharni Vinson.
Directed by Jon Chu.
* Super high octant dance off!

Michael Douglas/Shia LaBeouf/Carey Mulligan/Charlie Sheen/Susan Sarandon/Josh Brolin/Frank Langella/Martin Sheen.
Directed by Oliver Stone.
* Gekko is out of jail and estranged from his daughter who has hooked up with an idealist who is saddened by corruption and trusting of Gekko. Big money gets tossed around, and eventually Gekko ends up with a lot of it. There is redemption involved. But no one gets there lost retirement money back.


Documentary//Foreign (Finnish).
Directed by Mika Ronkainen.
* This very funny movie enlightens us all about the Finnish Screaming Male Choir.


* They don’t share, they don’t recycle, they don’t consume; they hoard. And it’s funny! And not funny, too (don’t want to offend anyone!).(too much).


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

****new release list no.298

Man, it totally smells like updog here. What that you say? What is updog?

Nothing much, dog – what is up with you?

Nothing much, ha! Actually, so much is always up, down here at Sector 402 (Cortland, that is). This week, I cannot believe how many movies were released that I bought 8 or more copies of – and a few that I might eventually wish I had bought that many of.

First the big titles, the action section:

THE TOWN is a bank robber tale of theft, love and betrayal. It takes place in Massachusetts, and features a robbery at Fenway – which as a Yankee fan, I’m familiar with. Directed by and starring Ben Affleck with Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively.

THE A-TEAM is a remake of the 1980’s television show about a renegade team of mercenaries out to blow shit up for goodness sake. In this remake, the update has the group a bunch of American soldiers in Iraq, unfairly convicted of war crimes they didn’t commit and on a mission to set the record straight! Kaboom! Starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson.

The big titles, the comedy section:

CYRUS is the jealous son of a woman who wants to meet someone who she can have a relationship with. She meets a divorcee who is nice and who is elated to have met her, and is dying to take their relationship to the next level, if it weren’t for her psychotic son who makes things as difficult as he possibly can. Starring Jonah Hill as Cyrus, and Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly as his mom and her lover.

THE OTHER GUYS could be listed in both action and comedy. It is the story of two somewhat broken cops, played by Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, who get a break and have an opportunity to be heroes. Unfortunately, ineptitude is tough to overcome. Believe me. With Eva Mendes, The Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Craig Robinson and a Damon Wayans, Jr. sighting.

MICMACS is the newest movie by the director of AMELIE and DELICATESSEN. It is a fantastical comedy about a man and his new-found family (who live in a magic kingdom inside of what appears to be a dump) who go on a mission to destroy two arms manufacturers who have greatly affected his life. The family is filled with wild characters who make amazing stuff from salvaged goods. This film is a treat to the senses, as the landscape is rich, and the tone is playful. And, the main character is a video clerk at the beginning, so this film is a hopeful tome for us down here who sometimes wonder what we’ll do next.

The big titles, the kids/family section:

DESPICABLE ME is a laugh out loud animation about a dastardly villain out to steal the moon, who accidentally finds love enter his heart in the shape of three orphan girls who want him to become their father. This movie is extra funny!

LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS-OWLS OF GA'HOOLE is an adaptation from some popular kids novels about some owls who are fighting off some other owls in what appears to be a whole owl war! The animation looks gorgeous, and the stories were well-loved as books.

In the department of “lots of other great looking stuff” comes the new documentary JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, which looks funny and sad and enlightening. Also A COMPLETE HISTORY OF MY SEXUAL FAILURES, which shows the director interviewing his exes asking them questions about his own shortcomings. Then there is VALHALLA RISING, a mystical and mythical Viking tale, and THE TROTSKY, about a high school kid who thinks he is Leon Trotsky reincarnated.

In the “awesome collections” binder we find the incredible AMERICA LOST AND FOUND: THE BBS STORY filled with incredible films from 1968 to 1972, some of which you’ve heard of and some you have not. You must see these films. And GUY MADDIN-QUINTESSENTIAL - 5 FILMS FROM THE HEART OF WINNIPEG featuring some of the craziest, wildest, most visually stimulating underground cinematic art that you’ve ever seen. And then we mustn’t forget FRANZ KAFKA’S A COUNTRY DOCTOR & OTHER FANTASTIC FILMS by Koji Yamamura. This is a collection of animated films by a masterful Japanese animator who uses clay, paintings and still photography to create lush and rich textured landscapes in which to set his whimsical stories. Another must-see.

There is more, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS, FRENEMY, MOTHER AND CHILD and some television like the final season of 24 and DESPERATE ROMANTICS and THE IT CROWD: FOURTH SEASON.

Damn, its happening down here at Four Star Video!

In the local funding department, I am happy to say this is our third week in a row highlighting neighbors who are trying to fund their work. Are you working on a project that needs exposure? Let me know!

This week, it is Lisa Morehouse who we are focusing on. Lisa is an independent (the fancy way to say "freelance") public radio reporter and she’s doing a series for The California Report on the future of small town California. She’s looking at towns that grew up around certain industries (like logging, mining, agriculture) and how they adapt as those industries die or change. Two stories have run so far, one on Lindsay in the Central Valley, and one last Friday on Boonville and the Anderson Valley. More stories will follow. Her hope is to make a one-hour radio documentary eventually.

She is funding her project using a website called Spot, which is a community-supported journalism venture that is a nonprofit project for the Center for Media Change. Here is her funding page, which also has lots more info about her project.

Lastly: wow, last Thursday night (the so-called Bernal Shopping Night) was so awesome! So many people were wandering Bernal Heights, snacking, shopping, chatting… Nights like these are what a neighborhood is all about. I love it!

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

Love and Kisses,

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

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

Directed by many.
* I couldn’t say it better than the product description:
Like the rest of America, Hollywood was ripe for revolution in the late sixties. Cinema attendance was down; what had once worked seemed broken. Enter Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Steve Blauner, who knew that what Hollywood needed was new audiences—namely, young people—and that meant cultivating new talent and new ideas. Fueled by money made from their invention of the superstar TV pop group the Monkees, they set off on a film-industry journey that would lead them to form BBS Productions, a company that was also a community.

The innovative films produced by this team between 1968 and 1972 are collected in this box set—works created within the studio system but lifted right out of the countercultural id, and that now range from the iconic (Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show) to the acclaimed (The King of Marvin Gardens) to the obscure (Head; Drive, He Said; A Safe Place).

Head (1968)
Hey, hey, it’s the Monkees . . . being catapulted through one of American cinema’s most surreal '60s odysseys. In it, Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork become trapped in a kaleidoscopic satire that’s movie homage, media send-up, concert movie, and antiwar cry all at once. Head escaped commercial success on its release but has since been reclaimed as one of the great cult objects of its era.
(85 minutes, color, monaural/surround, 1.78:1 aspect ratio)

Easy Rider (1969)
This is the definitive counterculture blockbuster. The former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper’s down-and-dirty directorial debut, Easy Rider heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one planted firmly, angrily against the mainstream. After Easy Rider’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave-style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same.
(96 minutes, color, surround, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Jack Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of romantic or familial responsibility, who returns to his childhood home to see his ailing estranged father, his blue-collar girlfriend (Karen Black, like Nicholson nominated for an Oscar) in tow. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation.
(98 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

Drive, He Said (1971)
Based on the best-selling novel by Jeremy Larner, Drive, He Said is free-spirited and sobering by turns, a sketch of the exploits of a disaffected college basketball player and his increasingly radical roommate, a feverishly shot and edited snapshot of the early '70s (some of it was filmed during an actual campus protest). Jack Nicholson’s audacious comedy (starring Bruce Dern and Karen Black) is a startling howl direct from the zeitgeist.
(90 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

A Safe Place (1971)
In this delicate, introspective drama, laced with fantasy elements, Tuesday Weld stars as a fragile young woman in New York unable to reconcile her ambiguous past with her unmoored present; Orson Welles as an enchanting Central Park magician and Jack Nicholson as a mysterious ex-lover round out the cast. A Safe Place was directed by independent cinema icon Henry Jaglom.
(92 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

The Last Picture Show (1971)
The Last Picture Show is one of the key films of the American cinema renaissance of the '70s. Set during the early '50s in the loneliest Texas nowheresville to ever dust up a movie screen, this aching portrait of a dying West, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, focuses on the daily shuffles of three futureless teens—enigmatic Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), (Jeff Bridges), and desperate-to-be-adored rich girl Jacy (Cybil Shepherd)—and the aging lost souls who bump up against them in the night like drifting tumbleweeds. This hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich.
(126 minutes, black and white, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
For his electrifying follow-up to the smash success of Five Easy Pieces, Bob Rafelson dug even deeper into the crushed dreams of wayward America. Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern play estranged siblings David and Jason, the former a depressive late-night radio talk show host, the latter an extroverted con man; when Jason drags his younger brother to a dreary Atlantic City and into a real-estate scam, events spiral into tragedy.
(104 minutes, color, monaural, 1.85:1 aspect ratio)

THE A-TEAM.****BD****
Liam Neeson/Bradley Cooper/Jessica Biel/Patrick Wilson.
Directed by Joe Carnahan.
* In this updated version of the popular 80’s television show that helped turn Mr. T’s into a household name, the new setting is Iraq, where similarly to the original, four soldiers have been framed for a crime they didn’t commit, and now must create carnage and mayhem to clear their names.

Jonah Hill/Marisa Tomei/John C. Reilly.
Directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.
* The Duplass brothers (THE PUFFY CHAIR, BAGHEAD) go big-time in this bigger budget comedy about a divorcee who meets a woman that he thinks is the woman of his dreams until he meets her psychotic, jealous, psychically-breast feeding son, Cyrus, who will do anything to break them up. This is a dark comedy, with some good professional acting.

Steve Carell/Jason Segal/Kristen Wiig/Julie Andrews/Danny McBride/Russell Brand/Jermaine Clement.
Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin.
* Ah, the villain who is completely unrepentant, a knave with only himself in his heart, the diabolical planner of evil who cares about NOTHING. That is Gru (Carell) who is planning the biggest theft of all time, one that will change the lullaby’s that are sung to babies, one that will affect the tides, one that will alter our evenings forever: he is going to steal the moon. However, a funny thing happens on the way to the bank, he meets three cute little orphan girls who decide to love him. Will he stay as unrepentant and evil as ever? Or will his cold little heart melt? Guess! This film was nominated for a Golden Globe and has been generally recognized as very funny and fun. Its been on in the store a bunch over the last couple days, and I gotta take it home and watch it!

Animation/Foreign (Japanese).
Directed by Koji Yamamura.
* Yamamura’s wildly inventive animations are gorgeous and lush made with clays, still photography, paintings and more. He was nominated for an Oscar for his 2002 short Mt. Head. This is his first collection of films to come to the United States.

Zach Galifianakis/Matthew Modine/Adam Baldwin.
Directed by Gregory Dark.
* According to Wikipedia, a Frenum is a small fold of tissue that secures or restricts the motion of a mobile organ in the body…wait, what? It’s not about that? Oh, sorry! Frenemy is an amalgamation between friend and enemy, and a lesson that Mr. Jack (Modine) attempts to teach Sweet Stephen (Callum Blue) about the universe and its integral relationship between good and evil as played out daily in human existence.

Directed by Guy Maddin.
* Guy Maddin is a crazy and brilliant Canadian director who makes collagist films that look they were made 50-80 years ago (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD). Here are a group of his films that mostly we have not had yet at the store. This set includes:
Disc One: Careful (1992, 100 min, Remastered and Repressed Edition)
Disc Two: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997, 90 min) + Archangel (1990, 83 min)
Disc Three: Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2003, 75 min)
Disc Four: Cowards Bend the Knee (2004, 64 min).

Jim Sturgess/Hugo Weaving/Abbie Cornish.
Directed by Zack Snyder.
* Adapted from the popular Kathryn Lasky novels, this is the story of Soren, a young Barn Owl, who is abducted by a fake orphanage to become a child soldier in some great Owl war. However, he and his friends escape the evil clutches of this army and go off to the island of Ga'Hoole, where they join the rebellion and attempt to fight off the bad owls. The visual effects of this film are outstanding!

Comedy/Crime/Foreign (French).
Dany Boon.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
* Jeunet (AMELIE, DELICATESSEN, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN) has always created lush, wonderful landscapes in his movies that seem to belong in multiple time periods at once. MICMACS is no different in that way. It takes place in our world, but simultaneously in a phantasmagorical society where a somewhat “homeless” family lives in a magical fairyland where they create gorgeous things of out recycled garbage. When Bazil (Boon) is rendered homeless and unemployed after he is hit accidentally hit with a bullet, he joins this family and soon drags them along on his revenge scheme after the weapons makers that made both the bullet that hit him, and the mine that killed his father when he was a child. Mostly flighty and fantastical, this movie doesn’t have quite the punch of his earlier films, but it is sweet and funny and delightful and features many of the cinematic moments of beauty that brought Jeunet fame.

Annette Bening/Naomi Watts/Samuel L. Jackson/Kerry Washington.
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia.
* Focusing on three women, this film explores the bonds between mothers and their children, through adoption, loss and life. The main characters feature a woman who gave up a child when she was a pregnant 15-year-old; the child herself, who is now a 35-year-old woman; and another woman who is now contemplating adopting a child herself. It is a story about parenting, both from near and afar, and a story about loss, and the toll it takes on us far into the future.

Nicole Laliberte/Ty Jones.
Directed by Irving Schwartz.
* Natalie is a young woman who is giving much attention to two careers, one as an aspiring filmmaker, and the other as a dominatrix. She has a hot new girlfriend and snags a job on a film set, but just as her dream is becoming a reality, things spin a bit out of control. Can she use her skills to dominate the situation?

Emma Thompson/Maggie Gyllenhaal/Ralph Fiennes/Ewan McGregor.
Directed by Susanna White.
* I guess after you watch this movie, you’ll believe that pigs can fly, cuz guess what? It made 29 million dollars in sixty days in the theatres! What could we do with 29 million dollars? Fix that wart on Nanny’s face for one thing – I kid, of course. Actually, this movie is a continuation of the feel-good magic of the first one, with an all-star cast adding to the fun…When the chips are down, Nanny rolls in and teaches everyone a couple lessons about teamwork, and other important activities. Nanny McPhee; she split, and then she came back.

Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg/Eva Mendes/The Rock/Samuel L. Jackson/Michael Keaton/Steve Coogan/Craig Robinson/Damon Wayans, Jr.
Directed by Adam McKay.
* Who are these guys? Are they the city’s top cops? Balls out, and fearless, who stop crime where it starts? Uh, no, that’s Highsmith and Danson (Jackson and The Rock – great band name!). No these, guys are the other guys, the kind of shmucky cops who have made mistakes in the past (that’s a character flaw here) and who are tentative and afraid to take action (they have a word for this in the macho world). Yes they are Hoitz and Gamble (Wahlberg and Ferrell), a mismatched crew if there ever was one, and now they have a big opportunity to be like the other other guys (you still with me) and solve the big crime and be heroes…Look, the main thing is Derek Jeter is in this film, and I think he might even get shot (joy for you haters out there), so that is why I’m seeing it.

THE TOWN .****
Ben Affleck/Jeremy Renner/Rebecca Hall/Jon Hamm/Blake Lively.
Directed by Ben Affleck.
* Doug (Affleck) is born into a family of bank robbers, in a town full of bank robbers, and is unable to shake that reality…While there is a moment early in his life to get out and do something different, that is ultimately not what he chooses. Later, as he gets deep into his career, he gets caught up in a confusing love affair with someone who was a hostage in one of his robberies…This relationship causes him to have a renewed desire to get out, only at this point, it may be too late. Features a robbery in Fenway Park…much like the ones that Yankees have leveled on the Red Sox for the last 100 years. Wow, two baseball movies in a row!

Jay Baruchel/Domini Blythe.
Directed by Jacob Tierney.
* Leon Bronstein (Baruchel) is like many kids in that he thinks he is the reincarnation of Red Army hero Leon Trotsky. After he encourages his father’s employees to stage a hunger strike to get better conditions at the family factory, he gets shipped off to the most prison-like non-prison thing our free society has to offer: public high school. There he follows his communistic dreams as he attempts to unionize the student body.

Action/Adventure/Historical Fiction (psyche, just kidding).
Mads Mikkelsen.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
* It’s an old-school story, nay, pre-school – it’s 1000 AD, yo! And there’s this dude, who has been imprisoned for hella long. Dude’s name is One-Eye, see, but we don’t know if it’s the right or the left eye, cuz that ain’t a part of his nickname, like it was for Lisa Lopes. Where was I? One-Eye, he’s crazy tough, right, but he’s imprisoned anyway! But then he busts loose with a young mute boy! Maybe he’s not mute; whatever. Anyway, eventually, these guys end up on a Viking ship that’s basically like a Mormon mission, but with swords and bloodshed, and, perhaps not unsurprisingly, things go bad bad bad. Eventually, Mr. Eye (which I’m not sure that’s his actually name, maybe it is Mr. One-Eye, or maybe he has an altogether different last name that isn’t referenced in the film) becomes like a bad-luck charm for everyone around him* and takes care of the situation. Did you see this movie? Am I right, here?

* Except the boy, mute or not.


Directed by Chris Waitt.
* In this very funny movie, Chris Waitt interviews his own ex-girlfriends to find out why they dumped him, and where he went wrong, in what appears to be many ways. This is a deeply personal film that sees its director go way out on a limb. Self-deprecating humor can be pretty hysterical.

Directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg.
* A year in the life with Joan Rivers turns out to be quite a ride…This poignant and funny film shows Joan to be a kind, thoughtful and heartfelt person, who has ridden the celebrity wagon for all it was worth, with some incredibly terrible costs, and some giant peaks. No subject is off limits in this honest movie; everything is touched on, including her insane use of plastic surgery and her husband’s suicide. This won the Documentary Editing award and was nominated for the Grand Jury award at Sundance this year.


* They were desperate! And they were romantic! They were a brotherhood of painters in the 19th century, painting beautiful women and falling in love with them. It’s an un-costumed drama.

Television/Information Technology.
* More hysteria about the guys who plug your printer back in.

Kiefer Sutherland.





............// NEW ON BLU //............

TRUE GRIT (1969).
* Well, next week (on the 22nd) the remake of this film (by The Coen Brothers) comes out with Jeff Bridges in the John Wayne role (as Rooster Cogburn). In the remake, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin play supporting roles. In this, the original, it is Dennis Hopper, Glen Campbell and Robert Duvall as the co-stars. You like a hard western? This one won John Wayne the Best Oscar in 1970.

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

* Bing Cosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney? What more can you say? Thanks, Rachel.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mid-week Secret Post! John Lennon Edition.

People say I’m crazy…doing what I’m doing.

(A video store? In 2010?).

And get this! - They give me all kinds of warnings…to save me from ruin.

And, truthfully, the advice, and warnings and suggestions are usually good ones…Hey, I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall (not really, but it sounds good!).

Can you believe John Lennon has been dead for 30 years today? Did you know the song I quoted and linked above was actually released posthumously in 1981? How many times have you just randomly heard one of his tunes and just been stopped in your thoughts, vacantly staring into nothingness while your heart was just filled with something thick and juicy and as of yet, still immeasurable? Watching the Wheels, Starting Over, Beautiful Boy, Jealous Guy, Mind Games, Instant Karma, the list of his solo hits goes on and on…plus an entire catalog of amazing Beatles songs that is almost too large to fully grasp.

Hey, there’s been a lot of rock stars, but not too many like John Lennon. I still remember the morning I found out he died, the strange adult tears been shed around me, the feeling of confusion and loss. 1980 was 30 years ago, but it may as well have been 300 years ago.

To memorialize Mr. Lennon, a new batch of docs, dramatizations and fictobiopics have been made. LENNON NAKED focuses on the later portion of his career with The Beatles, and his failed relationship with his father. In January (25th, 2011), NOWHERE BOY will come out on DVD, and that film focuses more on his early life, his relationship with his mother and aunt, and his formative years. The latter film has won many awards, and will probably be a big hit here at Four Star. I’ll tell you more about it when it arrives.

People tend to ask me at the store what I’ve seen and like recently. Usually, at that point, we stand in the New Release room and talk about the movies...I’ll take this mid-week opportunity to give you a little list of films I’ve enjoyed recently.

OSS 117: LOST IN RIO – This is a farcical spy movie about a French agent, double one seven, on a mission in Brazil. It is actually a sequel, but it doesn’t matter what order you see these films. They are quite funny, somewhat in the AUSTIN POWERS vein, but less American, whatever that means. Thumbs up!

YOUTH IN REVOLT – One of my favorite Michael Cera films, even though I think he needs to shift gears or his career will end soon (how long can he play a teenager?). Gave me a fond memory of the powerless high school years driven by hormones.

UNDECLARED: THE COMPLETE SERIES – This was the next show from the Judd Apatow production company after FREAKS & GEEKS. It follows some awkward freshmen at college and there stumbling attempts at acting like adults. I think it was the first television/movie experience that I ever saw that made me wish I had gone to college. Starring Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, among others.

STOP MAKING SENSE - The Jonathan Demme Talking Heads movie from the 1980’s. Watched it with the kids – blew our minds! Could not stop ourselves from having multiple dance parties during the movie! Brilliant film, brilliant band.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT – Believe the hype, it is a great film about life in a family.

I’M STILL HERE – Joaquin plays Joaquin, to maximum delight. This pseudo documentary is really a feature film about a celebrity’s spiraling descent into irrelevance. Or is it a documentary, using dramatization about the nature of celebrity and its demands? Or is it just a funny movie about super stoner trying to be a rap star but actually being terrible? What is it? Who cares? I loved it.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPHIA: THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL – I used to write very demented Christmas plays (HO HO HOLY SHIT!, the santavirus, SANTA IN LIGHTS, THE SATAN CLAUS), so I am somewhat used to irreverent comedy. This show ratcheted up the “demented” volume to 11. I loved it, but when it was over, I sat in stunned silence trying to reconcile what I had seen with the knowledge that millions of people watch this show. God bless America!

UNTITLED – This was an arty indie film about a brief love affair between a gallery owner that displays envelope pushing art (like PUSH PIN IN WHITE WALL), and a composer who writes grating experimental music. The movie wasn’t brilliant, but it really electrified my mind for some reason (maybe it was the pot), and got me thinking about the nature of art itself. For that, I give it a: thumbs up.

Here is another list of movies I haven’t seen, but I keep hearing I should.


I AM LOVE – Tilda Swinton in an Italian film that I have heard some people call their favorite of the year.

THE INFIDEL – Brilliant religious satire about a British Palestinian who discovers he is really Jewish.

THE RED RIDING TRILOGY – Heavy and heady three movie set about a killer in England and the press and police chasing him.

THE SECRET OF KELLS – Incredible looking animation.

AGORA and CENTURION – Roman historical battle films that I cannot distinguish between, but I really must sit down and watch.

WINTER’S BONE – expect Academy nominations from this one.

ANTICHRIST – Lars Von Trier, super freaky and gory film.

CHLOE – Sexy thriller.

THE EYES OF ME – Doc about blind teenagers.

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

Love and Kisses,

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Monday, December 6, 2010

****new release list no.297

This Thursday night, Four Star Video and Succulence will be participating in the first Bernal Holiday Shopping night. Over 30 businesses throughout Bernal Heights (click the poster here to see a map with a list of the businesses) will be open a bit later than usual, offering discounts, holiday cheer and in some cases, snacks and drinks. There will also be some roving musical acts singing and playing around the neighborhood.

It should be a rocking fun night, rain or shine. At Four Star Video, we have 500+ titles of refurbished previously viewed DVD’s for sale. Usually they are $8/each plus tax, but for the Bernal Shopping night, we will have a 2 for the price of 1 sale on all titles. Come early, and grab all our extra UP IN THE AIR’s, they will make great stocking stuffers!

At Succulence (our life and garden sister store) we will have 10% off the entire inventory all day on Thursday! If you have been eyeing one of those amazing PlantsOnWalls Plant Habits, or a giant terrarium jar, or some of that gorgeous 3-D metallic art from Roma, this will be the perfect time to purchase.

As a retail store owner, I am grateful for your support. Come flex some of your consumer muscle on Thursday, I think it will be fun.

A couple big winter titles hit the store this week starting with INCEPTION starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard and many more. DiCaprio is the leader of a team of “extractors” who get hired to steal information from sleeping people. His latest job is a bit of a departure, though, as he is hired to implant an idea in someone’s head. His crack team of architects, anesthesiologists, and impersonators dive into their work, which is done while sleeping (its good work if you can get it!). The dream inside a dream inside a dream scene is simply terrific. It’s a Hollywood blockbuster, make no mistake, but it is everything you could wish for in this type of movie. Definitely the “Release of the Week”!

Also out this week is SHREK FOREVER. The fourth in the series, and supposedly the last, this one sees the big green fella banished to an alternative reality where the love of his life is nowhere to be found, and he is the object of hunters and other dangerous creatures.

RESTREPO was this year’s Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance. It is a very powerful documentary about a platoon in Afghanistan, fighting on a daily basis for survival in a very unfriendly landscape.

Hey guess what? Beth Custer’s project was fully funded, and her band headed off to the far-off country of Georgia (not the American version) to perform this week! Way cool. Gail Mallimson is still fund-raising for her film, THE EDGE OF THE WILD about urban sprawl and its damage to endangered species. Check out her kickstarter page here!

Do you have a project you are fund-raising for? I can help spread the work if you’d like – drop me a line.

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

Love and Kisses,

p.s. Oh snap! I forgot to mention, we accept Bernal Gift Certificates! Read about them here. They are basically $20 bills, and when they are cashed in, 10% goes to benefit local schools, the neighborhood center and the library! How cool is that? You can get them at the neighborhood center, or from the PTA's at Fairmount Elementary School and Paul Revere School.

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

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

Jeff Bridges/Lauren Ambrose.
Directed by George LaVoo.
* A man (Bridges) and a dog, both who’ve seen better days, try to find a common ground. With Lauren Ambrose of SIX FEET UNDER fame.

Patrick Wilson/Mae Whitman/Colin Hanks.
Directed by Chris D’Arienzo.
* First dude (Wilson) gets attacked, badly beaten so much so that when he awakens in the hospital, it appears he has lost his balls, literally. To make matters worse, he is hit with a paternity suit by someone he has no recollection ever sleeping with. dirty dog.

Short films/LGBT.
* The seventh in this series of short film releases about young gay men striving for love and affection.

Leonardo DiCaprio/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Ellen Page/Tom Hardy/Cillian Murphy/Marion Cotillard/Michael Caine.
Directed by Christopher Nolan.
* Cobb (Leo) is a thief at the core; but his specialty is quite unusual…he steals information from people’s minds by invading their dreams. He considers himself an extractor, and the best one on the planet. However, after a botched attempt at extraction, the subject of the attempt makes Cobb an offer he can’t refuse. Cobb and his now-deceased wife made many studies of the dream world, and one of their studies eventually resulted in her death and made him a fugitive not only from the law, but from his young children, who is in unable to ever visit. The new job offer is a major challenge, it is not an extraction but an “inception”, that is, the secret planting of an idea into someone’s mind, and the job’s main benefit is that his new employer promises him that he can fix his situation at home, and make it possible for Cobb to no longer be a fugitive from the law. Never mind the details, in a way those are unimportant. What is important is that the main action of the film takes place in a dream, and not just in a dream, but in a dream inside a dream inside yet another dream (and again, inside one more dream layer). The action is going on somewhat simultaneously, but time is moving slower in each deeper level of dream action. Meanwhile, though Cobb has told his “dream team” (the dream architect, the anesthesiologist, other skilled labor) most of the issues that they will face inside the dream, what he has not told them is that his wife, or at least his subconscious projection of his wife (based on his own unresolved feelings surrounding their research and her death) is haunting his dreams and before he is able to complete any job, he must face his own inner demons, as animated by her image. Yikes! Jeff (here at Four Star) said it best when he told me he thought this movie was exactly what all blockbusters should be. It is certainly a joy ride, full of action, both cerebral and locked&loaded.

Comedy/Drama/Foreign (Swedish).
Gustaf Skarsgard/Torkel Petersson.
Directed by Ella Lemhagen.
* Thought provoking comedy about a gay couple, Goran and Sven, who think they are becoming the proud adoptive parents of a 15 month old baby boy, Patrik. Only, sorry guys, Patrik is not only 15 years old, but he is also a homophobic delinquent who want nothing to do with his new parents. Swedish movies have hit it big lately (LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), and although this one doesn’t feature the same kind of dramatic intensity of some of those other films, it is handled with delicate aplomb and a classiness that is not often found in Hollywood.

Mike Myers/Cameron Diaz/Eddie Murphy/Antonio Banderas/Julie Andrews/Paul McCartney/Eric Idle/Justin Timberlake/Megan Fox/Jon Hamm/Maya Rudolph/Amy Sedaris.
Directed by Mike Mitchell.
* Poor Shrek, he just can’t find a happy medium…He just doesn’t feel like a true ogre, and that is why he decides to make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, who promises that he can help. Yeah, help is right, but unfortunately for the big green guy, Rumpel is just wanting to help himself. So he banishes the jolly green giant to an alternative universe, where life is miserable for a large green fellow with a tender heart. Now, Shrek must use all his wits to make his way back to the life he used to live, back to Far Far Away, where his green bride awaits, where his gentle lifestyle sits and waits, silently for him.

Drama/Crime/Fictobiopic/Foreign (Italian).
Veronica D’Agostino.
Directed by Marco Amenta.
* This Italian film (based on true events) is about a 17-year-old girl, born into a mafia family, who betrays her family to give states evidence against organized crime after watching her father and brother get gunned down.

Jimmy Fallon/Lucy Liu/Sharon Stone/Tom Arnold.
Directed by Patrick Sisam.
* Christopher Rocket is kind of a mess, afraid of commitment, estranged from his folks, and mostly muddling along. Then his dad has a stroke, and he heads home, to help out and to try to come to terms with his childhood.


RESTREPO. ****BD****
Directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger.
* This film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year. It is a doc about a year the director’s spent living with a platoon of American soldiers in a terribly deadly valley in Afghanistan. It is an emotional, claustrophobic and illuminating journey, that is less about judgment and more about transparency. And the heartbreaking sorrow of a country torn apart by war.


Television/Mystery/Foreign (Italian).
* Our first Italian-language series is an adaptation of the phenomenal novels written by Andrea Camilleri. Dry and humorous, Commissario Salvo Montalbano is a very successful detective. The mysteries are sometimes quite grim, and generally topical, and at times, Montalbano is pensive and affected deeply by the situations. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’ve read the books, which were awesome. Judging from the comments I have heard around the store in the week since we got this in, the show has maintained the high level of standards that the books achieved.







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

*. This indie film is about a man who goes home to revisit the terrible events of his early adulthood, 17 years ago, that left his great friend dead, and his father implicated. One of the producers on this film is Four Star customer, Sara Gorr!


Monday, November 29, 2010

****new release list no.296

Black Friday came, then we had Small Business Saturday, then I have heard today called Cyber Monday. What will tomorrow bring? Cute little nicknamed shopping days make me feel weird. Even as a retail business(es) owner.

Shop local; that pretty much says everything I care about.

We don’t have a cute nickname for our Bernal-based "shop local" night yet, but December 9th will be a neighborhood-wide shopping night with businesses open late, roving music on the streets (do you play? Wanna join us?), at least one food tent set up in front of the Neighborhood Center, and many special sales, discounts and deals at all your favorite establishments. This night is being co-sponsored by the Bernal Business Alliance and Bernal Bucks, and here is a little map with all the businesses that are participating listed. Bookmark that BBA page, as we will start using it to promote neighborhood events regularly.

Mark it on your calendar.

It will be a good night to grab a bite at Vega’s, or The Liberty Café, or Progressive Grounds (to name just a few of the many awesome eateries we have here), and then head up and down Cortland, taking care of all your holiday needs, and probably running into friends and neighbors as well.

Geez, speaking of Holiday needs, suddenly this very week it is Hanukah!

Happy Hannuka, my Jewish brothers and sisters!

Chanukkah is an 8-day holiday, which means my little ones will be clamoring for 8 nights for something good from Mom and Dad. At my house, we give out a few gifts, and we are also heavy into Certificates.

For us, this means gifting out some power to the kiddos, such as “ONE TRIP TO THE ICE CREAM STORE OF YOUR CHOOSING ON SUDDEN NOTICE AS LONG AS YOU’VE EATEN A GOOD SUPPER THAT NIGHT AND THE FOUR OF US ARE HOME WITH NO VISITORS”. Usually, we head straight to Mitchell’s the night this certificate gets handed out.

I like Channnnukkkahhh, cuz the miracle of the story is that a small group of people can band together and make a difference, even with great odds against them. It is a “never give up” tale, and one that I personally take to heart.

Three or four big titles this week include ECLIPSE, the third in the TWILIGHT series about a girl who wants to hook up with a vampire who wants to wait until they are married. Yeah, that’s a simplification, but I think you know what this one is about by now… Also out is KNIGHT AND DAY, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz about a wayward spy who is trying to stay alive while somewhat courting an attractive new friend. In GOING THE DISTANCE, Justin Long and Drew Barrymore travel back and forth from NY to SF trying to keep their love affair intact. THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE is Jay Baruchel, and Nick Cage is the sorcerer. The film is pretty awesome fun for the young set, but I think Nick needs to put some magic back into his career.

Amy and I watched FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH last night…wow, what an incredibly iconic film. I thought it was interesting how much faster kids are supposedly today, yet how racy and sex-obsessed those 70’s and 80’s high school movies were! Some things change, some things not so much.

After posting the information about Beth Custer’s film-related fundraising page, I heard from another Bernal Heights filmmaker. Gail Mallimson is working on a movie about “the battle to protect endangered species from the onslaught of suburban sprawl” in California. One place that is focused on in the film is San Bruno Mountain. The trailer for this film, which is called THE EDGE OF THE WILD, played here at Four Star (or actually at Succulence) as part of the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival in September. I was so taken by it, that I brought my family on a hike up San Bruno mountain just a week or two later. I highly recommend getting acquainted with that glorious place, and there is no better place to start than Gail’s film. Here is the kickstarter fundraising page for her film. Check it out!

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

Love and Kisses,

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

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

Robert Pattinson/Kristen Stewart/Bryce Dallas Howard/Taylor Lautner.
Directed by David Slade.
* Chapter three in the TWILIGHT saga sees Bella struggling between her undying love for Edward Cullen, who ups the vamp ramp to the highest degree with his gentlevampirish ways of decency, consideration and restraint, and Jacob the Wolf, the passionate and nearly human changeling whose love for Bella shows no sign of ebbing, even in light of her clearly stated preference for E-Vamp. What’s a high school girl to do? Meanwhile, up in Seattle, it is raining hard! And someone is making an army of “newborne” vampires who are hungry for that yum yum yummy taste of human blood. What’s the deal, here? Well, whatever it is, Edwards peeps and Jacob’s peeps join together to fight off the threat and protect Bella, and somehow E-Vamp and J-Wolf form a bit of an understanding and damn near a bond in their mutual love for Bella.

Romantic Comedy/Youth Clutch.
Drew Barrymore/Justin Long/Christina Applegate/Charlie Day.
Directed by Nannette Burstein.
* Makes me think of that awesome song by Cake, “The Distance”…and I almost think the movie and song are about the same thing…In the movie, a couple (Barrymore, Long) live in separate sides of the US of A, in fact in the only two cities that matter (psyche, just kinda kidding!), San Francisco and New York. They both are engaged enough in their lives so that they don’t want to move to their lover’s city, but they are engaged enough with each other so that they are willing to travel regularly to see each other, and keep their love strong. Will that engagement be enough? Can a long distance relationship work?

Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz/Peter Sarsgaard/Viola Davis/Paul Dano.
Directed by James Mangold.
* Tom Cruise is such a rogue! A rakish rogue! A snaggle-toothed, rakish rogue, dapper and delicious in his fancy duds sporting automatic weaponry and a three day stubble that screams, “aren’t I the cutest Hollywood fellow ever!”. And Ms. Diaz, tremendously cute as well, and tall! So tall! I saw her once at a U2 concert in LA and I swear she was like 7 feet tall! Wearing a blue suede suit. Hot! Not sure what this film is about, actually. I think Tom plays a secret agent – a rogue Agent. And she plays a beautiful woman – a tall beauty. And there is comedy, and intrigue, and international travel, and shooting, and I think, eventually, love. Rakish love.

Comedy/Drama/Foreign (French).
Francis Perrin/Henri Guybet.
Directed by Serge Penard.
* This 1993 film was evidently a big hit at Cannes that year…It actually feels more like it was made in 1953. It is the story of two brothers who are in a Cain/Abel type relationship in a small town in France sometime long ago. It is told mostly from the perspective of their young nephew who likes them both, but admires and is the young apprentice to Andre, the poacher, who lives of his wits, and his ability to snag animals from the woods and fish from the ponds surrounding the town. Unfortunately for him, that brings upon him the wrath (and love) of the townspeople. I liked this film, it is a gentle and humorous tale.

Jay Baruchel/Nicholas Cage/Alfred Molina.
Directed by Jon Turtletaub.
* I took my 9-year-old son to see this in the theatre and we enjoyed it a lot. Why Nicholas Cage is in the film, though, is beyond me…The story is of a centuries old sorcerer (Cage) and his arch-nemesis (Molina) and their battle in modern day New York. The apprentice (Baruchel) is the kind of regular “everyday normal guy” that Baruchel usually plays. I am somewhat fascinated with Jay Baruchel and his strange career. Recently, we watched the television show UNDECLARED, which he stars in with Seth Rogen and others. I recommend it! It is the next show for Judd Apatow after FREAKS AND GEEKS and tells the story of a bunch of college freshmen, struggling with the bizarre purgatory of college, where you are no longer a child (and can stay up as late as you want, eat as much candy as you want, have sex whenever you want), but you are so clearly not yet an adult. It is funny and poignant. And here it is being reviewed in the SORCERER’S APPRENTICE spot…I am all over the place today.

Michael Sheen/Dennis Quaid.
Directed by Richard Loncraine.
* This pseudo historical drama tells of the relationship between UK Prime Minister Tony Blair (Sheen) and US President Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid – wow, did they miss an opportunity to have Quaid’s brother Randy play Bill’s brother Roger or what!) . Blair and Clinton shared an obvious admiration, but also had a love/hate relationship which soured in the later years of their empowerment.

Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
* In the lines of SCARY MOVIE, and all those other spoof flicks, this one lampoons the TWILIGHT series among many others.


* This doc focuses on the lives of 16 advertising industry workers who have lost their jobs during this recession/depression and are trying to rebuild their lives


Peter Krause/Elle Fanning.
* This 3-part miniseries exists in the HEROES meets LOST vein, full of complicated plot twists, confusing conspiracies, and other mystical malfusions. AND, it stars Peter Krause, of SIX FEET UNDER fame.






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

* Koji Yakusho stars in this 1997 Masayuki Suo film.

............// THE REPLACEMENTS //............

* He’s sexy! Oh so sexy…But a beast! A guttural beast!


Monday, November 22, 2010

****new release list no.295

I must admit that when it comes to the holidays, I’m a bit of a downer with a well-deserved reputation as a bah-humbugger type. My friend John says that’s cuz I’m Jewish, but he’s from North Cackalacky (Carolina) so what does he know!

Yet, when the chill hits this time of year, and I’m walking through the leaves that have randomly decided to follow a seasonal change, I often find my heart soaring with a confusing elation. What is that?

Does the external cold ignite some internal warmth that sparks a chemical reaction sending happiness to my brain? Does the fire within react with the crisp air to form some sort of emotional condensation that nourishes and protects?

Not sure! I’m mostly a question-asker, not a question answerer.

Either way, I found myself right now relishing this time of year…preparing for some sort of familial gut check that will be parsed with yummy food, some laughs, probably a few tears and a lot of cleaning up.

This year Hanukah rapidly follows Thanksgiving and then Christmas is not far behind and pretty soon, we will hear ourselves say out loud: Twenty Eleven. Try it right now – no, out loud.

It’s crazy to hear, right? Total science fiction.

Well, I guess this time of year we get continuous “welcome to your life” moments, ushered in by “The Holiday Season”, and, this year, sponsored by the numbers “Twenty Eleven.”

Guess I’m saying Happy Holidays to you.

Yes, it’s that “eat, pray, love” time of the year, and that’s probably why the DVD release of EAT PRAY LOVE starring Javier Bardem, Julia Roberts, James Franco (also Billy Crudup, Richard Jenkins and Viola Davis) is coming out on Tuesday. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s the story of a woman who tears her life apart to rebuild it with a new, stronger foundation. Just like autumn!

Hey look, if you are more into blowing stuff up than kissy kissy, than you may be interested in THE EXPENDABLES starring (deep breath here) Sylvester Stallon, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Danny Trejo, Eric Roberts and some very beautiful women, it is the story of some mercenary dudes who get hired to go kill some not nice folks down South America way. Boom!

If I were to suggest watching one film this week, it would be I’M STILL HERE, the para-documentary by Casey Affleck about Joaquin Phoenix’s retirement from film. The documentary aspect of this film is a parody, but not a joke. The film is funny as hell! It stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joaquin Phoenix, I think in a parallel universe. Well, maybe not. But it is a brilliant film, and I highly recommend it.

Do you know about It is a fabulous new website that is used to fund projects. Someone has something they want to fund, and people make pledges on the website and if (and only if) they reach their stated financial goal, they get the money. Pretty awesome… Anyhow, local music hero Beth Custer is currently fundraising to send her ensemble to the Republic of Georgia to perform her score to a rare silent film called MY GRANDMOTHER made in 1929. Read about the project here, and donate if you can. While you are there, take a look around, this is a website that should have some staying power.

Who misses Chris? Everyone, I imagine. I certainly do. I had some email exchange with him recently and he told me he has started to write a blog called BACK OF YOUR FRONT. You, too, can read his blog and stay in touch with him. We miss you, Chris!

Mark your calendar people, Thursday night, December 9th, will be the first ever Bernal Shopping Night! As an encouragement to spend your holiday dollars in the neighborhood, many stores (including both of mine) will be open late for a night of discounts, treats, music and fun. Soon you will see flyers around and individual stores will have sales and deals posted in their windows for that night only. We are all in it together people, let’s keep Bernal businesses afloat.

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

Love and Kisses,

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

Martin Compston/Gemma Arterton/Eddie Marsan.
Directed by J. Blakeson.
* Alice is kidnapped and bound to a bed in this taut thriller by debut filmmaker J. Blakeson.

Julia Roberts/Javier Bardem/James Franco/Billy Crudup/Richard Jenkins/Viola Davis.
Directed by Ryan Murphy.
* Adapted from the best selling novel, this film follows a woman’s quest to change her life, at the cost of a marriage, but for the sake of growth, passion and love. Julia Roberts gives her usual powerful performance in this tear-jerking celebration of life.

Sylvester Stallone/Jet Li/Jason Statham/Mickey Rourke/Dolph Lundren/Bruce Willis/Steve Austin/Arnold/Not Jean-Claude/Eric Roberts.
Directed by Sylvester Stallone.
* A band of mercenaries, filled with weapons-experts of every shape and size, get hired to depose a South American dictator. No really, that’s what it’s about! This film features just about anyone who has ever starred in an action film, except Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Madeline Carroll/Anthony Edwards/Rebecca De Mornay/Callan McAuliffe/Aidan Quinn.
Directed by Rob Reiner.
* This heart-warming tale adapted from the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen, is about a couple 8th graders who are dealing with some big-kid feelings they are having. The girl has had a crush on the boy since they were seven years old, but he has never shown interest. Now, he is feeling it, but she thinks perhaps he is pretty (oh so pretty), but vacant.

Joaquin Phoenix/Casey Affleck/P-Diddy/Ben Stiller.
Directed by Casey Affleck.
* Technically, this film is billed as a documentary, and should be listed in that section…yet, I am personally unable to see this as an actual documentary. Not in the traditional sense. Something is certainly being documented here, but what? The story ostensibly being told is that Joaquin Phoenix is retiring from film to pursue a career as a rap artist. You may remember hearing about this last year, while he was supposedly “retired”. You may even have seen this clip on YouTube of him falling off stage after one of his “performances”. When I saw these rap clips, I sensed a hoax immediately, simply because he was so BAD! Not just “not so good”, but simply awful. So, in this way, the film is simply a fraud, pretending to be something that it is not. Watching the movie, however, you get an idea that Affleck is telling an honest story, just not the one you think you’re watching. No, this film is not about JP, the pathetic rapper seeking personal freedom, this film is about the very nature of celebrity, about what it is like to have your every move watched and judged. I don’t generally have any sympathy for celebrities; they get compensated quite well and so too bad for them if they are constantly hounded. But Affleck is not looking for sympathy, as much as he is fully enjoying the stage which he gets to play on. And for that I totally applaud these guys! This was one of the best films I have seen all year. I laughed a ton, huge lung bursting laughs, and eventually, it almost made me cry. See it as a comedy. One where Joaquin Phoenix plays an actor named Joaquin Phoenix, sick of acting, feeling like a fake, longing for passionate release, desperate to find himself, drinking, smoking and eventually spiraling, like a mobile, to its collision. Could there be an Oscar-winning performance here? Maybe, maybe.

Christopher Eccleston/Andrew Scott/Naoko Mori.
Directed by Edmund Coulthard.
* This John Lennon biography is focused on his dealings with his father and his first wife Cynthia and the struggles he has to not repeat his father’s failures.

Comedy/Drama/Performing Arts.
Tyler Perry/Bow wow/Loretta Devine.
Directed by Charles Laughton.
* Perry continues his glorious cross-dressing ways in this theatrically staged story following the continuing saga of Madea and her big crazy family!

Directed by Christopher Burke.
* Charles Pavolsk, a burgeoning film director, throws away what appears to be a promising career (in reality television) in order to track down his film mentor on the streets of New York.

Sam Rockwell/Emma Roberts.
Directed by James C. Strouse.
* This redemption story first debuted to much success at the 2009 Sundance festival. It is the story of a down-and-out coach (Rockwell) who is given his final shot to put his life back together when he is asked to coach the local high school girl’s basketball team. Co-starring Emma Roberts as one of the players.


Documentary/Nuclear Arms Race.
Lucy Walker.
* Alarming. Exhilarating. Gripping. Engrossing. At least according to the box!

Documentary/Propaganda/Foreign (German/French/Italian).
Directed by Felix Moeller.
* Veit Harlan was a filmmaker in Nazi Germany who made vicious anti-Semitic propaganda films. His most famous was film Jud Süß made in 1940. This film tells a bit of his story while examining WWII from a film history point of view.


Ian McShane/Rufus Sewell/Hayley Atwell.
Based on the novel by Ken Follett.
Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan.
* Follett’s novel of political and cultural turmoil in 12th century England is made into an 8-part epic saga.




Monday, November 15, 2010

****new release list no.294

For those of you of a certain age, or with children of a certain age, I am sure you are aware that the first chapter in the 7th Harry Potter film comes out this Thursday night at midnight! I probably will miss it that night, but I am definitely looking forward to these last two chapters of this pop phenomenon. Huck pointed out that Harry has a little scruff on his face in the billboard photo for the film, and he was properly impressed by how they aged the kids during the making of these films. Ah, youth.

In the meantime, we have a couple at least one of the bigger titles of the year out this week. In THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a married couple (not sure in which state, but I enjoyed how little was made of this fact) with a pair of teenage kids that they had using the sperm of an anonymous donor. When the oldest turns eighteen, she has the right to contact the donor and ask if he’d like to meet them, and, after a bit of pushing from her younger brother, she exercises that right. Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo), a free-spirit bachelor who rides a motorcycle and owns a restaurant and a small organic farm. Paul is very excited to meet the kids and to get involved with the family; only his involvement gets a bit intrusive and causes turmoil in the family. I found myself laughing constantly as the two women talked about anything, mostly out of the sort of embarrassment you get when humor gets too close to home. It is good to know yourself, and I think this film does a nice gentle job holding up the mirror to our culture. The fact that they are a same-sex couple, and that this is inherently a sperm donor story is certainly central to the tale, but at the core, this film is about family, you know, people of different generations living together and caring for each other and raising each other the best they can.

Also out this week is 2009’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, starring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. Animated darkly and full of foreboding, this film was a smash hit last Christmas, and should be a fun holiday film this year – maybe for the older children though, there is some pretty scary imagery in this movie!

THE LAST AIRBENDER is the newest by M. Night Shyamalan, and is an adaptation of the popular cartoon about Four Kingdoms, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, battling each other for supremacy.

Also out this week is the new Extended Collector’s Edition of AVATAR. I hear it is bigger, longer and less cut.

There are lots of kid’s movies out this week, including CATS AND DOGS 2: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE, OPPOSITE DAY, and (joy!) a new Barbie movie – BARBIE AS RAPUNZEL!

There are also a bunch of interesting indie films led by THE EXTRA MAN, starring Kevin Kline and Paul Dano as mismatched housemates in Manhattan. Also METROPIA, a distorted animation sci-fi film about a Europe not far off the present day where underground tunnels are the main method of transportation.

Scroll down, there is more down there, including DR. WHO: COMPLETE SEASON FIVE, and PARENTHOOD: SEASON ONE. Read on, film viewer, read on.

We hope you are enjoying the changes we have made at the store. It has been gratifying to hear many of your comments, even the critical ones. We should be implementing a couple new innovations in the New Release Room which should make the lower films more accessible and give the whole space a bit more airiness. You will have to check it out to see what I’m talking about. Overall, thanks for all the positivity. It has helped.

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

Love and Kisses,

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

Sam Worthington/Zoe Saldana/Sigourney Weaver/Giovanni Ribisi/Michelle Rodriguez.
Directed by James Cameron.
* I think you’ve heard of this movie about the blue hippies in space and the rogue American energy company man who goes mutinous on the mother company in the hopes of saving Pandora, the peaceful living planet that the fine people of Earth are trying to rape for its fuel source? It’s no FORREST GUMP, but it did pretty good at the box office.

Chris O’Donnell/Alec Baldwin/Katt Williams/Bette Midler/Roger Moore.
Directed by Brad Peyton.
* This movie sets out to prove that evil is good, because it takes an evil rogue spy (like Kitty Galore) to make the rest of the cats and dogs put aside their differences and come together for the common good.

Charlie Chaplin/Paulette Goddard/Henry Bergman.
Directed by Charlie Chaplin.
* Chaplin’s last “silent” film (though filled with wild sound!) was made when many filmmakers were already making talking pictures. Maybe this is the best way to look at MODERN TIMES, as a comment on a society that had already passed it by. Chaplin’s character is struggling to understand society in this look at a technology obsessed world where you either adapt or get dumped like yesterdays VCR. So many of the things that get touched on in this 1936 masterpiece are as relevant today as they were then – issues like fear of communism, anger at the homeless, automatic mechanical production – it’s hard to believe they didn’t have smartphones and twitter back then! Through it all, Chaplin stays focused on the moment, and we follow him through one folly after the next, while remaining confident that if we just stay calm we might be able to make this thing work.

Rob Schneider/Steve Buscemi.
Directed by Rob Schneider.
* Schneider plays an average guy, whose faults are all too easy to catalog who discovers that he is indeed, The Chosen One.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009).****BD****
Jim Carrey/Gary Oldman/Colin Firth/Robin Wright/Bob Hoskins.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
* Disney’s animated version of the famous Dicken’s tale is dark and magical and was a monster hit during the Christmas season last year. Although it is marketed as a family film, many children will be haunted by some of the imagery in this phantasmagorical tale of self-redemption.

Kevin Kline/Paul Dano/John C. Reilly/Katie Holmes.
Directed by Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini.
* The Extra Man is the guy rich older women like to have around to keep them company and do things for them…or at least so says Henry Harrison (Kline – brilliant as usual), a playwright whose disastrous Manhattan apartment Louis Ives (Dano) moves into after getting fired from his teaching job in Connecticut. Louis is a troubled, cross-dressing, aspiring writer who seems to live in another decade altogether (like maybe the 1920’s) working at an Environmentalist magazine and trying to discover himself. The film combines a ton of different pieces and puts them together somewhat haphazardly, like a giant precariously perched Lego landscape. Henry has a saying he likes to say before he goes to bed, that kind of sums up this film, “Ah, here we are – where are we?”

Annette Bening/Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo/Josh Hutcherson/Mia Wasikowska.
Directed by Daniel Adams.
* When Mia (Wasikowska) turns 18, her Moms (Bening and Moore, both superb) can’t stop her from contacting the Sperm Bank to find out if her (and her younger brother’s) sperm donor wants to meet them, in fact, they can’t stop her from doing anything (a fact she keeps needing to remind them). When she does contact him, and he does want to meet them, the whole family is thrown into turmoil as they try to gain something from Paul (Ruffalo), their rakish, bachelor, entrepreneurial donor. Some of them don’t gain enough and at least one gains more than she bargained for. Eventually, though, things settle down, and life goes on. The kids, though shook up a bit, aren’t struggling so hard to process things (like their parents are) and so for them, it’s just another speed bump in today’s rapid journey to grown-upedness.

Noah Ringer/Dev Patel.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
* I remember when this movie first came out, it was still called AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, but that movie starring the Blue Men (no?) made it so they dropped the “Avatar” pretty quick…This fantasy tale from Shamalamadingdong is an adaptation of the popular kids cartoon series about Aang (Ringer) a young Avatar who must protect the three kingdoms of Air, Earth and Water from the evil and opportunistic Fire Kingdom who seeks to enslave them. I heard Zac Efron almost played the lead in this film, which I think would have been pretty cool.

Richard Dreyfuss/Blythe Danner/Julie Harris/Bruce Dern.
Directed by Daniel Adams.
* This period piece set in 1912 Cape Cod tells the story of Seth, a lighthouse keeper who has cut off all contact with women. His narrow world is thrown into turmoil with the arrival of two summering ladies who move into a cottage nearby. This movie reminded me of this great song by The Dukes of the Stratosphere.

Ice Cube/Mike Epps/Bow Wow/Woof!
Directed by Erik White.
* After a young man’s neighbors find out he’s got a winning lottery ticket worth 370 million, he must somehow survive the weekend before he can cash it in. Ice Cube continues his “Gansta meets After-School-Special” comedy style.

Vincent Gallo/Juliette Lewis/Stellan Skarsgard.
Directed by Tarik Saleh.
* Tripped out animation story about a futuristic Europe where everything is connected by underground tunnels and a young man feels as though his every move is predetermined.

Robert Mitchum/Shelley Winters.
Directed by Charles Laughton.
* This taut noir thiller tells the story of Harry Powell (Mitchum), a “preacher” who roams the countryside decrying evil, though he may be the most evil thing out there. When he meets a convicted thief about to get executed for his crime, he decides to woo his soon-to-be widow whose young children know the location of money their father stole. He will stop at nothing to get that money, and killing in the name of the lord is his favorite nothing.

Pauly Shore/Billy Unger.
Directed by R. Michael Givens.
* It’s like Freaky Friday, only freakier.

Performing Arts.
* The New York Philharmonic celebrates Stephen Sondheim with this concert of his songs performed (and filmed) March 15th and 16th, 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City with Stephen Sondheim’s longtime collaborator Paul Gemignani conducting.


Matt Smith.
* Season five of the modern adventures of the time traveling scientist sees Matt Smith taking over from David Tennant as the good Doctor.

* This new show is a portrait of an American family, with a mother and father and their three adult age children with children of their own. I hear this show is funny and poignant – so I bought it!


* Humorously, my daughter, Trudy, told me about this movie a couple nights ago. How would a five –year-old have already heard of this film before it came out on DVD? Gosh, advertising really works!







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

* This is from the “American Girl” series about girls during different parts of America’s history.