Monday, April 12, 2010

****new release list no.263

Hey, Happy Colette Day! What’s that you say? Colette Day? What’s that? Oh it’s just a little choose your own reality holiday my family celebrates. We’ve been celebrating it each April 12th for 14 years now! The holiday is about assessing your surroundings, and being happy for what you have. It is celebrated any way you want to, but basically it is a sort of metaphysical Thanksgiving. And so I give thanks!

I give thanks for the great luck of having a brilliant wife who still likes me 17 years later, and for having two gifted and loving kids. I give thanks to my parents and sisters for their friendship and love and bravery in the face of life. I give thanks for friends that have helped support me through the more challenging times. I give thanks for the members of my band who help me express myself without the cumbersome weight of spoken language. I give thanks for my neighborhood, and the nearly indescribable beauty of living the small town dream in one of the most cultural cities in the world. I give thanks for my health, for the ability to continue walking (limping) and seeing (squinting) and smelling and tasting and hearing the world around me. I give thanks to the blades of grass that push their way through the concrete, to tadpoles that become frogs. I give thanks to the countless who died trying to eat artichokes before someone finally steamed it and pulled off the yucky leaves and dipped the bottoms of the yummy leaves in melted butter. I give thanks to poets, and story tellers and dreamers of dreams! I give thanks to the improbable, the insignificant, the lonely, obscure, the feeble, the meek, the quiet and unrecognized. I give thanks to the ripe mango, the stinky cheese, the cows, chickens and pigs that don’t make the decision to become my food. I thank my 5th grade teacher, the 8th grade bully, and my 3rd grade self. I thank the store staff, the customers, the blog readers, the grateful, the ungrateful, those full of love and joy and the willingness to share them both. And lastly, I thank my friend Colette, for without her amazing, delicate and decisive will to live I might not have lasted through my teens. Thank you Colette, wherever you are.

Shucks, the Wild Flower walk was rained out on Sunday. However, we have rescheduled it for this Saturday, April 17th at 11am. Again, meet at the Southern Gate up on top of Bernal Hill. Rachel Kesel will walk us around and point out the pretty flowers up there. Afterward, we’ll serve refreshments at Succulence. More details can be seen here or here.

PIRATE RADIO is one of a small batch of new release DVD’s this week. It is a comedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman about a group of DJ’s living on a boat off the UK and broadcasting rock illegally in 1966. Rock! Also, some beautiful nature docs out this week are DISCOVER PLANET OCEAN featuring 13 hours of underwater photography, and AFRICA’S LOST EDEN about the restoration being done on Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park. Scroll down to read more about the movies.

Last week one day I started chatting with Jennifer Joseph, a Bernal Heights resident and local business owner. She told me a bit about her publishing company that she has been running for 26 years, Manic D Press. I was pretty fascinated about her experience, being a huge book person myself, and when she left I was curious to hear more. Imagine, then, my surprise in stumbling into this article about her on SF Gate on Saturday. Congratulations Jennifer, and thanks for exposing the world to some great poets and storytellers.

Alrighty then, see you down at the store.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

PS.

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

CRAZY ON THE OUTSIDE.
Comedy.
Tim Allen/Ray Liotta/Carrie-Anne Moss/Sigourney Weaver/Kelsey Grammer/Jeanne Trippelhorn/J.K. Simmons.
Directed by Tim Allen.
* Goofy comedy about an ex-con (Allen, in his feature film directorial debut) dealing with life out of jail, and the challenges it presents.

DEFENDOR.
Comedy/Action.
Woody Harrelson/Sandra Oh/Kat Dennings/Elias Koteas.
Directed by Peter Stebbings.
* This tragicomedy is about a normal guy (Harrelson) who comes to believe he is a superhero (such a challenging distinction). Man, this reminds me of that character on Hill Street Blues in the 80’s who thinks he is a superhero. Remember that guy? I think he came to an unhappy end. Anyway, Harrelson is supposed to be terrific in this film.

KAPO.
Drama/History/War/Criterion/Foreign (Italian and German).
Susan Strasberg/Laurent Terzieff.
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.
* This is part of the Essential Art House collection from Criterion. It is a 1959 film about a young girl in a concentration camp who becomes a “kapo” a prisoner in the camp who gets a job to basically spy on the other prisoners in their section in return for food and clothing and a slightly better chance of survival. The film is harsh and realistic and was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars in 1961.

PIRATE RADIO.****BD****
Comedy.
Philip Seymour Hoffman/Tom Sturridge/Bill Nighy.
Directed by Richard Curtis.
* This fictitious tale has some roots buried in truth, but is best taken as just a rollicking good time. It is the story of a ship in 1966 fighting the union broadcast rules against playing rock and roll on the radio by anchoring in international waters and broadcasting rock 24/7 to the adoring British public. This movie kind of proved to me that some movies, even if they are formulaic, somewhat trite, and utilize over-used plot devices are still fun! This film is a pretty fluffy comedy, but made me laugh quite hard for much of the tale. And the music is right on.

THE SLAMMIN’ SALMON.
Comedy.
Michael Clarke Duncan/Kevin Heffernan/Jay Chandrasekhar/Steve Lemme.
Directed by Kevin Heffernan.
* This movie is from the acting troupe Broken Lizard (SUPERTROOPERS, BEERFEST). This one is about a restaurant owner who is a retired boxing champ who is now deep in trouble with the mob (the Japanese Yakuza). He challenges the wait staff to sell as much food as possible in one night with the winner promised 10,000 cash and the loser a beating at the hands of the boss.

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

THE LOVERS AND FRIENDS SHOW: SEASONS ONE AND TWO.
Drama/LGBT.
* This show is like a cross between NOAH’S ARC and THE L WORD, basically following the lives and loves of six African-American lesbians and has become a bit of a cult sensation.

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

AFRICA’S LOST EDEN.****BD****
Nature.
Produced by National Geographic.
* Have you noticed that the National Geographic documentaries have really been strong lately? Nature is awesome. This doc is about Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park and the restoration that has been done there after a long civil war decimated much of the area.

DISCOVER PLANET OCEAN: THE WORLD BENEATH.
Nature.
* This four disc set is filled with 780 minutes of underwater footage.

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

BAKUGAN: BATTLE BRAWLERS CHAPTER ONE.
* My 8-year-old LOVES this…

THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE: MYSTERY IN THE MIST EDITION.
* This reminds me of my friend, the well-known superhero Mister Mystery.

THE MADELINE MOVIE: LOST IN PARIS.
* As opposed to my friend Joe, who’s “lost in autumn.”

SESAME STREET: LOVE THE EARTH.

TOM & JERRY TALES: SEASON ONE.

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

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
* I never saw this. I think it is about a street ordinance involving parking in a business district and a very angry store owner who takes on the city.

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