Monday, March 8, 2010

****new release list no.258


The Academy Awards were last night, and a couple of big titles nominated are coming out this week. UP IN THE AIR with Clooney (that dude!) and PRECIOUS starring Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique are in the house. I was super duper happy to see that THE HURT LOCKER took home so many awards and that AVATAR was muchly shut out. The former deserves every accolade it can pick up, as it is a great American film that will be talked about for generations, and I actually find myself more appreciative of the latter now that it didn’t win a bunch of art prizes for what amounts mostly to eye candy. And what amazing eye candy it is.

Speaking of eye candy, have you seen HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 yet? Just amazing, I tell you. What? You didn’t think so? Yeah, well I see your point; just about any point you could make regarding not liking the film. But hear me out. Maybe you’ll see my point as well.

My kids are 5 and almost 9 and I have been struggling lately to find the perfect movies to watch with them. Movies that Huck (the 8 year old) will tolerate, and movies that Trudy (5 going on I don’t know what) will not be scared by. And, if possible, movies that will not decrease the precious few brain cells I have left. So, it’s a struggle. You can relate.

We watched HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL recently, after much internal debate, and we all enjoyed it. Yes, it was pretty much marinating in cheese sauce, and American cheese sauce at that, but it was somewhat clever, and it had heart, and it had a nice message, and it included full school musical song and dance numbers in the cafeteria! Word up!

So, I took home number two, thinking my kids would watch, and maybe I would stare at the computer screen for an hour or two while they were so entertained. Ah, the ignorant ideas of the uneducated… We turned it on, and the kids were intrigued. Trudy wanted to watch on my lap, so I curled up with them and we snuggled. Huck kept a running count of the songs he liked (very very few) and Trudy kept us current with the story, which basically involved the uber popular and rich Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale, brilliant) trying to separate Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) so that he, Troy, the Alpha Male at High School, can be with she, Sharpay (isn’t that a type of dog?), the self-perceived Alpha Female. Rather trite, and of course, as any sophisticated movie watcher would guess, ultimately unsuccessful.

But my kids are not yet sophisticated movie watchers. As Troy began blowing off Gabriella b/c of Sharpay’s cockamamie schemes, my kids became upset. And then as Gabs sang her breakup song to Troy, Huck became agitated and then emotional. Soon, my boy was somewhat moaning “this is sad, this is really sad”, then he began to cry, and soon all three of us began to cry, albeit for different reasons. My beautiful boy got up and walked away from us as he wept hard and intensely for Gabriella, for Troy, for separation, for the terribleness of it all. Trudy cried because her brother cried, and this upsets her more than anything (bless her little heart). Me? I cried because I felt like I could foresee the future! My sensitive boy dealing with heartbreak, with loss, with unrequited love and feeling pain. Ah, my tears, they were almost accompanied with a smile, for I am a sophisticated movie watcher, and, without seeing the movie before, I knew Troy and Gabs would be fine. And now I am becoming a sophisticated parent, so I know the future is unforeseeable. Ah, the pains, the joys, the unknowns! Que Cera Cera! Whatever will be…will be.

Good luck, my sweet and sensitive flower! We will always be here for you, if you happen to still want us.

Ah, the beautiful complexity of life, as experienced through cinema.

You know what? Us Shelves, have owned Four Star Video for 3 years on Tuesday, March 9th, and we shall celebrate with you anytime and anyplace! Just make a suggestion… If you choose to celebrate at the store, we’ll offer you a “buy 1 get one free” sale on any and all of our used DVD’s, ranging from the biggest blockbuster to the littlest Taiwanese indie film on the wall. Please take advantage of this sale. We need the space.

We all thank you, Bernal Heights and beyond, for supporting this great little store, and our family as proprietors. From Trudy, Huck, Amy and I come huge thanks! We love our community so much, and it means a ton to us to play our role in it. And as long as we’re in the thanking mode, we’ll extend a special thank you to Shila, Chris, Jeff, Andrew, Rachel and Kaiya, for all their help making Four Star Video the greatest video store in the bay area.

Alrighty then, see you down at the store.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

PS. UP IN THE AIR, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL”PUSH” BY SAPPHIRE, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, THE STONING OF SORAYA M., and PLANET 51 highlight this week’s New releases. xoxoK

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

BABY FORMULA.
Drama/Comedy/Mockumentary/LGBT.
Angela Vint/Megan Fahlenbock.
Directed by Alison Reid.
* This comedy plays like a doc as two women who want a baby together want to use their own genetic matter to make said baby. They use an experimental technology to create sperm from their own stem cells and both get pregnant!

THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINT’S DAY.****BD****
Action/Crime.
Sean Patrick Flanery/Billy Connelly/Norman Reedus/Julie Benz/Judd Nelson/Peter Fonda.
Directed by Troy Duffy .
* When the mob kills the McManus brothers favorite priest in Boston, they fly in from Ireland to exact revenge.

FIX.
Drama/Suspense.
Shawn Andrews/Olivia Wilde.
Directed by Tao Ruspoli.
* This film has a film within the film. It is about these two documentary filmmakers trying to get one of their brothers into rehab by 8pm in one day in order to save him from doing 3 years in the slammer.

FLAME AND CITRON.
Crime/Drama/History/Thriller/War/Foreign (Danish/German).
Thure Lindhardt/Mads Mikkelson.
Directed by Ole Christian Madsen.
* My friend says this is like an intellectual version of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. It is about two fighters in the Danish resistance during World War II.

FLICKS CHICKS.
Comedy/LGBT.
Evelyn Gaynor/Jackeline Olivier.
Directed by James Tucker.
* A woman invites five women who are all prospective lovers to stay with her and her 10-year-old daughter for a weekend as a methodology to meet the perfect mate.

HACHI: A DOG’S TALE.
Drama/Family.
Richard Gere/Joan Allen.
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
* Who better to make a movie about the bond between a college professor and a stray dog he takes in then the retired dog star of a bazillion movies, Lassie?

OLD DOGS.
Comedy/Family.
John Travolta/Robin Williams/Kelly Preston/Matt Dillon/Amy Sedaris.
Directed by Walt Becker.
* I believe this family movie attempts to answer the question, can you teach old dog’s new tricks? These dogs are two business partners who somehow find themselves in the care of 7-year-old twins.

PLANET 51
Animation/Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy/Family.
Dwayne Johnson/Jessica Biel/Justin Long/Gary Oldman/Seann William Scott/John Cleese.
Directed by Jorge Blanco and Javier Abad.
* Utilizing a nice flip on the usual alien invader story, this story is about an earthling astronaut who is so happy to have found a planet that he can claim and that will win him acclaim and superstardom back home. Unfortunately, it is a planet populated with its own people, who are eager to prevent the astronaut from ever returning home!

POSSESSION.
Drama/Suspense.
Sarah Michelle Gellar/Lee Pace
Directed by Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist.
* Remake of a Korean film from 2002 called JUNGDOK about two brothers who have a car accident and one wakes up thinking he is the other. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the wife of the brother who does not wake up.

PRECIOUS BASED ON THE NOVEL “PUSH” BY SAPPHIRE.
Drama.
Gabourey Sidibe/Mo’Nique/Paula Patton/Mariah Carey.
Directed by Lee Daniels.
* The winner of two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actress – Mo’Nique, Best Screenplay, based on Previously Published Material – Geoffrey Fletcher), and featuring powerful and emotive performances by everyone involved, this film is about a young, illiterate and pregnant teen living in Harlem who is struggling to make a life for herself. This is a painful, brutal story, yet ultimately uplifting and powerful.

THE SECOND BEST SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE EVER MADE.
Comedy/Sci-Fi.
Danny Pardo.
Directed by David M. Epstein.

THE STONING OF SORAYA M.****BD****
Crime/Drama/Foreign (English and Persian).
Shohreh Aghdashloo/Jim Caviezel/Mozhan Marno.
Directed by Cyrus Nowrashteh.
* The story of a woman in 1980’s Iran who is stoned by her village after being accused of adultery. The tale is told by an older woman of the village to a stranger whose car breaks down in the village. It is kind of shocking that this film garnered no Academy nominations; it is a hard film to watch, but a worse film to miss.

UP IN THE AIR.****BD****
Comedy/Drama.
Goerge Clooney/Anna Kendrick/Vera Farmiga/Danny McBride.
Directed by Jason Reitman.
* Cloons was telling this movie was gonna rock when we were shooting pool recently, he’s all, yo Kenflix, it’s your turn, and don’t forget to pump my movie in the Four Star Gazer…Then he ashed his cigarette in my beer, and when my back was turned he pinched my ass! He’s always doing stuff like that. Cloons is just so fun to hang out with. I love the guy, I mean, I really love the guy. Anyway, I feel bad he didn’t win anything last night, but did you see those funny looks he was giving to the camera? Didn’t it seem like he was looking right at you? Seriously, I think he was looking at me, cuz he made this funny gesture he always makes when we’re hanging out. Right before he makes some funny joke, or opens a rare bottle of hundred-year-old scotch or farts right as I am trying to putt for the victory out on the golf course. Guy is a card! Anyway, I’m not sure what this movies about, but it’s gotta be awesome, cuz it’s starring Cloons! Dude is hysterical!

THE WEDDING SONG.
Drama/War/Foreign (Arabic/French).
Lizzie Brochere/Olympe Borval.
Directed by Karin Albou.
* Two young girls, one Muslim and one Jewish, who are preparing for arranged marriages, have their friendships damaged by the Nazi occupation of their homeland, Tunisia.

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

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.****BD****
Documentary.
Directed by Michael Moore.
* From the production company: CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY examines the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). The film moves from Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan. With both humor and outrage, the film explores the question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? Families pay the price with their jobs, their homes and their savings. Moore goes into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down; and he goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC and elsewhere. What he finds are the all-too-familiar symptoms of a love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal...and 14,000 jobs being lost every day. CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY also presents what a more hopeful future could look like. Who are we and why do we behave the way that we do?

THE HEART IS A DRUM MACHINE.
Music.
Directed by Christopher Pomerenke.
* An intimate look at the nature of music and what it does for us humans.

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

DALZIEL AND PASCOE: SEASON ONE.
Crime/Mystery/Drama.
Warren Clark/Colin Buchanan.
* These guys are a bit of an “Odd Couple” of murder investigation detectives.

IN PLAIN SIGHT: SEASON TWO.
Drama.
* Season two in the series about a US Marshall who works in the Federal Witness protection program.

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

BARBIE IN A MERMAID TALE.

CHARLIE AND LOLA 10.

GEORGE SHRINKS: SUNKEN TREASURES.

............//REPLACEMENT DISCS/............

JOHN FROM CINCINATTI.

TALK TO HER.
* Awesome Almodovar flick.


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