Monday, May 17, 2010

****new release list no.268

National Small Business Week is coming up next week, and in related news, I am still waiting for the results of my IRS audit. Well, when they say that small business is the building block of society, I think they actually mean that, all in all we’re just another brick in the wall. Snap!

THE MESSENGER, starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster and Samantha Morton is out this week. Beautifully acted and poignantly written, it is the story of a Casualty Notification unit, and a relationship that develops with an injured war hero and the widow of an officer. This film was nominated for two Academy Awards. Also nominated for a couple Oscars is INVICTUS, the story of an unlikely partnership between Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar, the captain of the mostly-white National Rugby team. Starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell star in EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES about a couple with two very sick children who turn to a researcher to help them find a cure for their kid’s rare disease. In THE NEW DAUGHTER, Kevin Costner continues his descent into irrelevance.

Do you like Judd Apatow? He has become super famous writing and producing films like KNOCKED UP, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, FUNNY PEOPLE and being involved with many other big hitters over the last 5 years. His career began years ago in television, where he produced THE BEN STILLER SHOW and THE LARRY SANDERS show in the 90’s. In 1999, he was part of a team that produced/wrote/directed one of the most amazing TV shows of all time, FREAKS AND GEEKS. Have you seen this show? Wow, I cannot recommend it high enough. It is amazing. On my list of things to watch for many years, I finally took it home a week or two ago, and Amy and I have plowed through 16 of its 18 episodes thus far, and I am so sad that it is ending. Yes, it only lasted one season, like so many other brilliant, realistic, funny and painful shows about High School students (SQUARE PEGS, MY SO-CALLED LIFE). FREAKS AND GEEKS is well-named, and is somewhat centered on a brother and sister, one of which is a geek (the brother), and the other a former “mathlete” who finds herself a new-fangled freak. Watching these kids try to locate themselves in the vicious social reality of High School is funny and sad and very realistic. The scene in the first episode when Sam (the young brother) convinces himself to ask his crush, Cindy, to the dance is just amazing, as you know just as well as he does that she is gonna say no, but his gutsy invitation is so applaudable, and you can’t help but root for the guy. Launching the careers of James Franco, Jason Segal and Seth Rogen (Freaks), the show is a brilliant combination of disaffected, lonely ruminations on popularity, and heartfelt, passionate struggles for clarity and finding one’s place in the brutal, unapologetic world of high school. We sat preparing to watch the 16th episode last night, looking at a static picture of the eight or so main characters and discussing our favorites, and we realized we loved them all. It is odd on mainstream network television that you can learn so much about this many characters in just one season; I guess the thoroughness of the character development, combined with the show’s emotional honesty were just ahead of its time in 1999 when the show aired. It takes place in 1980, though, and the soundtrack, filled with classic rock of the period, is almost always perfect. If you’ve watched this show, then I’m preaching to the choir, but if you have not, give it a shot, it will be worth it.

Hey, we are deep into the entry period for the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival. Have you attended in the past? This festival embodies so much of what is wonderful about our neighborhood. If you are a film maker, editor, writer or are otherwise involved with a film, please enter it in the festival. Find information here.

Once again, here is a reminder about our change of hours:

Our new operation hours are: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 9pm and Monday 2pm-9pm.

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

Ashleigh Summer/Jill Bennett.
Directed by Megan Seidler and Megan Siler.
* This is kind of (or exactly) a lesbian remake of RUN LOLA RUN.

Spencer Rice.
Directed by Duncan Christie.
* This dark comedy follows Mark Tobias (Rice) a porn addict who is trying to recover by facing his, ahem, demons.

Harrison Ford/Brendan Fraser/Keri Russell/Courtney Vance.
Directed by Tom Vaughan.
* Based on a true story, Fraser and Russell play John and Aileen Crowley, parents of two young children with a rare medical disorder , who seek help from an anti-establishment researcher (Harrison Ford) who may be able to save their children.

Drama/Foreign (French).
Emilie Duquenne/Michel Blanc/Catherine Deneuve/Mathieu Demy.
Directed by Andre Techine.
* The girl in question claims to have been the object of an anti-Semetic and becomes the center of a media expose into the truth. With the brilliant Deneuve as the girl’s mother.

Matt Damon/Morgan Freeman.
Directed by Clint Eastwood.
* When I first saw the posters of this film, and heard it was about Nelson Mandela, I thought -Damn, Clint Eastwood is a magic man, casting Matt Damon as Nelson Mandela? Wow! I mean Matt was awesome in GOOD WILL HUNTING, and totally believable in THE BOURNE HYPOCRISY (was that the name? anyway, you know what I mean) but to play the black President of South Africa? I mean seriously, I cannot believe he didn’t win the Academy Award. Then I saw that Morgan Freeman was nominated for an Academy for his work in this film, too. So, is he not the rugby guy? But, I am so confused, cuz I barely saw Freeman on the poster for this film. Anyway, one of them is Nelson, and one is a rugby guy, and they were both nominated for the Oscar, and neither won, and I haven’t yet seen the movie, but I heard it was really good. And Clint turns 80 in two weeks, and that’s crazy too, right?!

Drama/Foreign (Indonesian).
Iqbal S. Manurung/Didi Petet.
Directed by Ravi L. Bharwani and Rayya Makarim.and Orlow Seunke
* This beautiful Indonesian film is about a 12-year-old boy, Jaya, who is sent to live with his father after his mother’s death. The father works on a jermal, a fishing platform in the middle of the sea, and, not knowing he had a son, rejects the kid and is mean and brutal to him. The son, shocked into survivor mode, gets tough and learns how to survive on the jermal, and eventually wins his father’s respect, and acknowledgment.

Ben Foster/Woody Harrelson/Samantha Morton.
Directed by Oren Moverman.
* Although I am not a big fan of war movies, I recognized that HURT LOCKER was one I just had to see. And although this isn’t quite the same, in that most of the action takes place domestically, this film should be somewhat in that same category. Focusing on the devastation that takes place far away from the battleground, this film follows a recently injured war hero, Will Montgomery (Ben Foster, SIX FEET UNDER) who is finishing his enrollment period by joining a older Casualty Notification specialist (Harrelson, brilliant as usual, and nominated for an Academy Award for this role) ringing doorbells to notify families of their losses. When Montgomery breaks the unwritten rule by getting involved with the widow of a fallen officer, he faces a moral dilemma that his training is unable to help him with.

Kevin Costner/Samantha Mathis/Ivan Baquero.
Directed by Luiso Berdejo.
* A dad moves with his kids to rural South Carolina where thing get weirder than usual. There may be some sort of monsters involved.

Jackie Chan/George Lopez/Billy Ray Cyrus/Amber Valletta.
Directed by Brian Levant.
* Jackie and George, together at last! In this goofy family comedy, Chan plays a retired CIA agent, trying to keep his girlfriends kids safe from his Russian nemesis who is out to “neutralize” him.

Julia Roberts/Patrick Dempsey/Jessica Alba/Kathy Bates/Jamie Foxx/Anne Hathaway/Jennifer Garner/Jessica Biel/Ashton Kutcher/Queen Latifah/Shirley Maclaine/Taylor Swift/Emma Roberts.
Directed by Garry Marshall.
* Ah, the pain of Valentine’s Day; ah the love and passion of Valentine’s Day. Which is it? Are you single? The horror! Are you with someone? Are you filled with the pressure of making the day…just…perfect?! This film follows lots of people, couples and singles, as they plan and succumb to the perfect storm of the holiday named after a Christian marty, and consecrated by a pope, 1500 years ago. Chickabow!

Tye Olson/Kyle Clare/Greg Louganis/Karen Black.
Directed by David Oliveras.
* An artist’s current relationship is haunted by his high school era lover, who is long gone, but whose memory continues to be very present in his life.

Lisa Ray/Sheetal Sheth.
Directed by Shamim Sarif.
* This movie about forbidden love and breaking boundaries takes place in South Africa during the Apartheid period. Centered on two people who operate a café, the story follows both as they trepidatiously pursue relationships with people who are about as unavailable as can be, yet they are not stopped by the challenges the relationships present, but are willing to risk everything to satisfy their hearts.


Directed by Barry Levinson.
* This film crawls into the 2008 Democratic and Republican conventions during the presidential race, and gets up close with the Hollywood celebs that backed either side.





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