Cold and wet, can you hear what I’m saying to you; cold and wet, that’s the message I’m conveying to you, how many times do I has to tell you that I’m cold and wet? Well stated by Gene and Dean Ween and so true this week! Cold and wet. Right even as I type. Cold. Wet.
Still and all, the winter helps us, the water is crucial and the weather diversity keeps us fresh and cold and wet! And cold. Oh, god, quick, call me a waaambulance.
Steven Soderbergh’s CHE (Parts one and two) chronicling the life of Argentinean Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and starring Benicio Del Toro is finally here and it merited a Criterion release. There are a bunch of films here this week, including the family favorite CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, and please scroll on down to read about them. One note is that I bought WEEDS: SEASON FIVE on Blu-ray (and DVD) as a bit of an experiment – this is our first series title on BD. Let me know if this is a trend that should continue.
I realized the other day that it is almost three years since Amy and I bought Four Star Video (Mar 2007). We must have some sort of anniversary celebration/sale event. Not sure yet what we’ll do, but I’m taking suggestions…
Speaking of celebration/sale, SUCCULENCE is going to have a big Grand Opening party on Saturday, Feb 13th. Much more info to follow.
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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ACCORDING TO GRETA.
Hillary Duff/Ellen Burstyn/Melissa Leo/Evan Ross/Michael Murphy.
Directed by Nancy Bardawil.
* Duff plays a young woman dealing with depression who gets sent to live with her grandparents for the summer. Once there, she falls for a guy she works with, only to have her grandparents try to veto the romance. Duff is actually a pretty talented actor who has potential if she can shake the teenybopper castings of her youth.
Drama /Foreign (English and Arabic).
Nisreen Faour/Melkar Muallem/Hiam Abbas.
Directed by Cherien Dabis.
*Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last year (and winner of many other festival awards) this film is about a single mother from Palestine who immigrates with her teenage son to a small town in Illinois.
CHE: PART ONE AND TWO.****ALSO ON BD****
Benicio Del Toro/Benjamin Bratt/Franka Potente/Julia Ormond.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
* From Amazon.com: Far from a conventional biopic, Steven Soderberghs film about Che Guevara is a fascinating exploration of the revolutionary as icon. Daring in its refusal to make the socialist leader into an easy martyr or hero, Che paints a vivid, naturalistic portrait of the man himself (with a stunning, Cannes-award-winning performance by Benicio del Toro), from his overthrow of the Batista dictatorship, to his 1964 United Nations trip, to the end of his short life. [The film was] Originally released in two parts, the first a kaleido-scopic view of the Cuban revolution and the second an all-action dramatization of Che's failed campaign in Bolivia.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS.
Bill Hader/Anna Faris/James Caan/Andy Samberg.
Directed by Chris Miller.
* Did you read this kids book at home? Well, throw what you remember out the window (and watch out below), because significant liberties were taken with this story, so much that it really should be thought of as a separate piece of art (I used the word art in this film description – oookay). What they kept is the spectacular imagery of food falling to earth each day and feeding the people of the land. Eventually greed gets in the way of technology, and the dropping food becomes more and more dangerous.
ECLIPSE SERIES 19: CHANTAL AKERMAN IN THE 70’s.
Aurore Clément/Chantal Akerman.
Directed by Chantal Akerman.
* The five films in this collection were made between 1972 and 1978 and feature intimate and quiet portrayals of isolation and loneliness. There are a couple shorts films, 1972’s LA CHAMBRE (11 min) and 1972’s HOTEL MONTEREY (62 min), both silent films. Then the three features are 1974’s JE, TU, IL, ELLE an erotic film about a woman (Akerman) on a road trip, 1976’s NEWS FROM HOME featuring letters written by Akerman’s mother being read over beautifully composed shots of New York City, and 1978’s LES RENDEZ-VOUS D’ANNA about a filmmaker traveling through Europe promoting her latest film.
THE INVENTION OF LYING.****ALSO ON BD****
Ricky Gervais/Jennifer Garner/Rob Lowe/Jonah Hill/Tina Fey/Jason Bateman/Christopher Guest.
Directed by Ricky Gervais and Matt Robinson
* This comedy focuses on a world where NO ONE LIES. How incomprehensible is that? Maybe John Lennon could imagine it, I’m not sure. In a world where no one lies, one man learns to lie, and benefit from his lies.
GAMER.****ALSO ON BD****
Gerard Butler/Michael C. Hall/Kyra Sedgwick/John Leguizamo.
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
* This movie might have been called AVATAR if that other one hadn’t been. It is basically a futuristic story of a society where people are controlling other people in an on-line game world (as opposed to people not being able to control themselves in an on-line game world). The story centers around a player in a game who wants to regain control of himself outside of the game and destroy the people who created it.
KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS.
William Shatner/Tiffany Bolling.
Directed by John Cardos.
* This 1977 film features brilliant cover art, and amazing acting. Shat plays Rack Hansen, a Texas veterinarian who is trying to figure out what is killing the local farm animals, and in such a strange seeming way. Aha! What we have here…gentlemen…appears to be, giant…arachnids, migrating right for us. All in all, I think this movie really could use a cameo from Spock.
PANDORUM.****ALSO ON BD****
Dennis Quaid/Ben Foster.
Directed by Christian Alvert.
* When Payton (Quaid) and Bower (Foster, SIX FEET UNDER) wake up in pods on a spaceship in the dark, they have no idea who they are or what they are doing or where everyone else is. Gradually they remember they were on a mission with 60,000 others to populate a new planet as Earth has been destroyed. Pandorum refers to a space disease that causes people to go crazy and kill each other. Payton and Bower are afraid they will succumb to this, but their fears become less important in the wake of the blood-thirsty zombies that they seem to be sharing the ship with. Even more disturbing is the news that they are not zombies, but actually mutated humans from the original mission.
SMOKIN’ ACES 2: ASSASSINS’ BALL.****ALSO ON BD****
Tom Berrenger/Autumn Reeser.
Directed by P.J. Pesce.
* Smokin crack is more like it.
Matthew Modine/Michael Wright.
Directed by Robert Altman.
* 1983 film just finally getting to DVD, STREAMERS is the story of four recruits getting ready to get sent to Vietnam and confronting their prejudices about each other.
WHITEOUT.****ALSO ON BD****
Kate Beckinsale/Columbus Short.
Directed by Dominic Sena.
* Beckinsale plays a US Marshall on Antarctica who is tracking a killer right on the heels of having resigned and preparing to get back to the mainland. Unfortunately, the killer is on the loose, and the sun is about to set leaving Antarctica dark for the next six months.
THE BUTCH FACTOR.
Directed by Christopher Hines.
* This doc examines masculinity and male-identity as it relates to gay men.
NO IMPACT MAN.
Directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein.
* This doc examines a couple in NY trying to abandon their high impact lifestyle and spend one year living in Manhattan with a zero level environmental impact.
Directed by Kirby Dick.
* This doc examines the absurd hypocrisy of closeted politicians who vote to enact anti-gay legislation.
DAMAGES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
Glenn Close/Rose Byrne/William Hurt/Ted Danson/Timothy Olyphant/Marcia Gay Harden.
* The second season in the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series about lawyers and the cut-throat world that lawyer Patricia Hewes (Close) inhabits.
THE PHILANTHROPIST: THE COMPLETE SERIES.
James Purefoy/Neve Campbell/Michael Williams.
* Adventure series about a wealthy man trying to help the world and traveling all across the planet in that quest.
WEEDS: SEASON FIVE.****ALSO ON BD****
Mary-Louise Parker/Elizabeth Perkins/Kevin Nealon.
* Season five in the show about everyone’s favorite hottie cougar drug dealer. As an experiment, we are trying a series on Blu-Ray as well as regular DVD…if the experiment is a success, perhaps many of the series will be carried this way. Please let us know what you think!
............//MORE NEW HIGHLIGHTED ADDITIONS/............
REVIEWS BY JEFF.
Directed by Stuart Cooper.
* One of the all-time great World War II movies, Overlord follows the life cycle of a British soldier from enlistment to warfare. We come to understand his hopes and his fears in between bouts of dead calm and frenzied action. Director Stuart Cooper mixes real documentary footage with the staged, and it's hard to tell the two apart. Also, the gorgeous black and white photography was shot by longtime Kubrick collaborator John Alcott and draws heavily from Robert Capa's war photos.
CHARLIE AND LOLA: VOLUME 9.
FRANKLIN: FRANKLIN’S VALENTINES.
SCOOBY’S ALL STAR LAFF-A-LYMPICS: VOLUME 1.
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDERMAN: VOLUME 5.
............//NEW ON BLU/............
THE BOURNE IDENTITY.
THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.
* Our first DVD of this Oliver Stone film comes on the heels of hearing they are making a sequel.
THE JERK: 26th ANNIVERSARY EDITION.
* Steve Martin and a cast of hilarity front this Carl Reiner comedy.