Monday, February 8, 2010

****new release list no. 255



Oy gevalt, so many movies this week – I feel like a meshuggina, because I’ve seen so few, yet it is only because I wanted to be a mensch, and spend time with my family, what with Trudy’s 5th birthday and all – and also, how would I forget, the Schuper Bowl! Seems like a big schlep to Florida for a lot of chullabaloo, if you ask me. And all the kvetching about the penalties? Then again, my team? Not there, so there you go.

Ah, but the film I saw? A SERIOUS MAN, from the fabulous Coen Brothers, Ethan and that other one. A polarizing movie, I had heard. Might need to be Jewish to enjoy, I read. The most depressing movie of 2009, I had been informed. For me? Meh. Now, the truth it should be told, Jewish I am, and quite a serious man myself (as anyone who knows me knows with certainty). So perhaps my opinion cholds little water, (for this I spend so much time writing this blog?), but I don’t recall needing to be black to understand BOYZ N THE HOOD, I didn’t need to be German to be awestruck by THE LIVES OF OTHERS…did I need to be Canadian to get THE ADVENTURES OF BOB AND DOUG MCKENZIE? Okay, maybe I did. And maybe I wasn’t. And maybe I didn’t get it. Still and all, for all you serious people out there, trying to understand not that “shit happens” but more “why does this shit always happen to me?”, I think, perhaps, you will find that A SERIOUS MAN is quite a funny movie, similar in fact to the dark genius of BARTON FINK, but perhaps more like BARTON FINKELMAN, or some such like that. Is it depressing? Bissel, bissela… It’s not total bobbemyseh, but to call it that would perhaps be missing the artists fercockt point. Anyway, the talent of the Coen Brothers (ahf mir gezogt! Right?) is on full display in this serious film, with deep and nearly hidden comedic undertones.

Fershtay?

Last call on this blog to invite you to the Grand Opening party for Succulence. This coming Saturday, Feb 13th, from 4pm to 8pm, snacks (including some sneak previews of Succulence products coming soon), music (Ralph Carney, of course) and revelry into the evening. Please come. Also, all weekend, from Friday through Monday we will be having a Grand Opening sale with 10% off everything in the store. Would you like to be on the Succulence email list? Send an email to thesucculence@gmail.com.

Alrighty then, see you down at the store.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

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

BAD GIRLS OF FILM NOIR: VOLUMES 1 and 2.
Film Noir.
Lizabeth Scott/Gloria Grahame/ Evelyn Keyes/ Cleo Moore/Audrey Totter/Jan Sterling/Ida Lupino/Janis Carter.
* There are four film apiece in these collections…on Volume 1 are THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK, TWO OF A KIND, BAD FOR EACH OTHER and THE GLASS WALL. Number 2 features NIGHT EDITOR, ONE GIRL’S CONFESSION, WOMEN’S PRISON and OVER-EXPOSED.

BRONSON.****ALSO ON BD****
Action.
Tom Hardy/Matt King/Amanda Burton.
Directed by Nicolas Refn.
* This fascination independent film from Britain was nominated for the Grand Jury award at Sundance, among other accolades. It is the ultra-violent story of a young man whose desire to become the most violent criminal in Britain was only barely supplanted by his desire to become a real life Charles Bronson. This very strange story is based on the real life tale of this guy who has spent something like 34 years in jail at this point, with about 30 of them being in solitary confinement!

COUPLES RETREAT.****ALSO ON BD****
Comedy.
Vince Vaughn/Jason Bateman/Jon Favreau/Malik Akerman/Kristen Bell/Kristin Davis.
Directed by Peter Billingsley.
* Goofy box office hit about four couples who end up at a tropical paradise vacation which is actually a couple counseling retreat. Whoop whoop! Stir up the Pina Colada’s or would we rather get lost in Margaritaville? I know…it’s my own damn fault.

EMMA (2009).
Drama/Comedy/Romance.
Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller.
* Another Austen adaptation, and from the reviews online, it looks like they did a great job.

ENDGAME.
Drama /Suspense/History.
Chewitol Ejiofor/Jonny Lee Miller/William Hurt.
Directed by Pete Travis.
* Golden-Globe nominated film about the secret and tense negotiations that brought the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

FREESTYLE.
Drama/Family.
Corbin Bleu/Madison Pettis/Penelope Miller.
Directed by William Dear.
* The Disney star with the tasty name gets out from his HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL trappings and stars in a film! Yes, Mr Bleu plays Cale Bryant (mmm, Kale and blue cheese – where the hell did that come from?) an aspiring motorcycle racer who is hoping to win a spot on the national team.

HARDWARE WARS.
Sci-Fi/Comedy/Indie.
Directed by Ernie Fosselius.
* Brilliant 70’s era Star Wars parody. Did anyone see THUMB WARS?

I CAN’T THINK STRAIGHT.
Drama/Romance/LGBT.
Lisa Ray/Sheetal Sheth
Directed by Shamim Sarif.
* A young Muslim woman getting prepared to marry discovers she is gay.

I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY.
Comedy/Romance.
Nia Vadalos/John Corbett.
Directed by.
* A woman who is basically anti-relationship discovers she’s falling in love and doesn’t know what to do. So she kills him – psyche! Nah, she doesn't kill him, I think probably she marries him...but you'll have to watch to know for certain.

MY ONE AND ONLY.
Comedy/Drama.
Renee Zellwegger/Chris Noth/Kevin Bacon.
Directed by Richard Loncraine.
* Unusually yet mainstream road film about a wealthy woman in the 30’s who walks out on her cheating husband and hits the highways with her two sons traveling across the country in search of another rich man capable of taking care of them.

PETER AND VANDY.
Romance.
Jess Weixler/Jason Ritter.
Directed by Jay DiPietro.
* This romantic film tries to show how a couple’s relationship has become tired and boring by flipping around through time and showing them during different times and challenges.

THE PLEASURE OF BEING ROBBED.
Comedy/Drama.
Eleonore Hendricks.
Directed by Joshua Safdie.
* Slow and awkward comedy about a petty thief and the relationships she gets into, and out of.

A SERIOUS MAN.****ALSO ON BD****
Drama/Perhaps Comedy (to some).
Michael Stuhlbarg/Richard Kind/Sari Lennick.
Directed by Ethan Coen and his brother.
* This dark Jobian comedy centers around Larry Gopnik, a Jewish professor in Minnesota in the late 1960’s whose life is falling apart, one page of the Torah at a time. This movie is pretty awesome, even if you're not Jewish.

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT.****ALSO ON BD****
Comedy/Crime.
Meg Ryan/Timothy Hutton/Kristen Bell/Justin Long.
Directed by Cheryl Hines.
* Actress Cheryl Hines makes her feature film directorial debut with this loving comedy about an attorney who, in a fit of rage, duct tapes her philandering husband to a toilet right before their house is invaded by crooks.

THE SONG OF SPARROWS.
Drama/Foreign (Persian).
Mohammad Amir Naji.
Directed by Magid Magidi.
* From the director of THE WILLOW TREE comes this story of an ostrich farmer who leaves his farm in rural Iran to go to the big city to find a replacement hearing aid for his daughter. In Tehran, he is a fish out of water, and must struggle to maintain his equilibrium.

THE STEPFATHER (2009.
Horror.
Penn Badgley/Dylan Walsh.
Directed by Nelson McCormick.
* A bit of a twist on the old “my stepfather is so mean” storyline – this guy is beyond mean, he’s a killer! The nightmarish tale this remake is based on actually happened in my hometown at a house that I later delivered newspapers to.

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE.****ALSO ON BD****
Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi.
Eric Bana/Rachel McAdams.
Directed by Robert Schwentke.
* It’s hard to be in a relationship. Making decisions together, scheduling events, getting along…it can be a challenge. And even more so when your partner’s rare genetic disorder sends him hurtling through time and space randomly and without warning. Based on the very popular novel by Audrey Niffenegger, this is a different kind of romance story than the standard fare.

XIII.****ALSO ON BD****
Action/Crime/Mystery/Thriller.
Val Kilmer/Stephen Dorff/Jessalyn Gilsig.
Directed by Duane Clark.
* Based on a graphic novel, this originally aired as a tv mini-series. The story follows a mysterious appearance of a wounded man in a tree who cannot remember who he is, or what he is doing there. He is marked with a tattoo that says “XIII” and that is his only clue. Unfortunately for him, secret security forces think he may be the person who assassinated the first female president several months earlier, and quite soon he must fight to escape and then try to discover the truth in his identity while on the run from seemingly everyone.

............//DOCUMENTARY/............

BIZARRE DINOSAURS.
Nature Documentary.
National Geographic.
Directed by Jenny Kubo.

CLIMBING REDWOOD GIANTS.
Nature Documentary.
National Geographic.
* Are you as fascinated by Redwoods as I am? They are so amazing, beautiful and enormous. The tops are said to be things of wonder, worlds unto themselves, and the articles I’ve read of the people who climb them have described something out of a fantasy movie.

............//TELEVISION/............

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS.
Food/Hilarity.
* Emmy-award winning food show about maverick Anthony Bourdain, traveling around the world and eating a bit here and there.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TIM: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Animation/Comedy.
Steve Dildarian/M.J. Otto.
* Droll and situational comedy series that we’ve been hearing about for over a year. Season two is just getting started and finally the first season comes to DVD – tell me if you like it!

THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM: VOLUME 2.
Comedy.
* Potty-mouthed comedy shtick.

SECOND SIGHT: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION.
Drama/Television.
Clive Owen/Claire Skinner.
* British detective series about an investigator who is losing his sight during a challenging murder case.

............//KIDS/............

CURIOUS GEORGE MAKES NEW FRIENDS.

LITTLE EINSTEINS: ANIMAL EXPEDITION.

MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MINNIE’S BOW-TIQUE.

THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR – OPERATION: DVD PREMIER.

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

PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL: 25th ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION.
Rock/Animation/Psychedlia.
Bob Geldof.
* I remember the first time I watched this, I was in a friend’s house, we were teenagers, and, ahem, experimenting with things, and as I watched I became quite worried that it was overwhelming obvious to his parents just how, ahem, experimental we had been. I think my mind expanded that day; later, it contracted.

****