Monday, May 24, 2010

****new release list no.269

The weather: such a funny conversation, right? We use it to gloss over the uncomfortable moments, standing with an acquaintance, searching for something to say. We consider it, or don’t in the mornings as we’re preparing for our days. It has become a hot topic of conversation in the political arena, as we discuss globally the human affect on the atmosphere. Is it gonna be a nice day? Will it rain? Sweater or no? Hat? Are you an East Coaster? Still wear the shorts when it’s freezing? Lost all your chutzpah after an extended stay on the West Coast? Does your roof leak? Gutters clogged? Drain overflowing? Wind giving you a headache? Are you concerned about the water levels in the reservoirs? Are you hoping for sunshine on that camping trip? Do you have little kids? Are you old and creaky? Does the cold make your arthritis act up? Are you just into complaining and the weather is kind of your best topic? Looks like a beautiful day. Man, I’m freaking cold. It’s so hot. Kinda chilly today. Perfect beach weather. Great movie weather. Awesome hiking weather. Hot chocolate weather. Earthquake weather. Ah, the weather. Ah shit, the weather. Ho hum. Well…

THE ROAD starring Viggo Mortenson and Charlize Theron, is on, while I am typing this. Chris is watching it behind the counter. It appears to be a quiet movie with short periods of what sounds like large trees becoming uprooted, and lingering screams. Kinda creepy, but in a very serene way. It is an adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) novel, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. The quietness of the sound of this film is attracting my attention, but I haven’t watched it yet. DEAR JOHN is also out this week. It is a war romance starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. I would make silly jokes about it, but Channing is buddies with my brother-in-law, who reads this blog, and he’s a big guy (Channing), so I don’t want to get on his bad side. Besides, I hear he’s a pretty cool feller. DEAR JOHN was an adaptation also from a novel by Nicholas Sparks who has had some pretty good success with adaptations lately (NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, THE NOTEBOOK).

Probably the biggest rush this week will be for TRUE BLOOD: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON. We got this one on BD as well, for you hi-def fans (I know you’re def, even if you don’t have a hi-def tv. Word.).

We also have a couple new Criterion releases this week (STAGECOACH and BY BRAKHAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY) and a very interesting looking indie film called ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS by Tim Rutili, the frontman and guitar player of the band Califone (who simultaneously released an album of this same name). The film is about a fortune teller living in a house full of ghosts. Spooky!

I finally got around to seeing SHERLOCK HOLMES this weekend. I really liked it. The cinematography was interesting, very dark and cold. The violence was highly stylized, but mostly not very present. The relationship between Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr) and Watson (Jude Law) was probably the funnest part of the film, as you really got the feeling that they were frat brothers, for whom jobs and relationships would just get in the way of their boyish play. Of course Watson has found himself a lady friend, and this really saddens Holmes, who’d rather have Watson all to himself. As I suspect a lot of people feel, not the least of all Sienna Miller.

Do you like rock? Me, too! And I play it in a band called The Dont’s. We are just now releasing THOSE DELICATE CHEMICALS, our third full-length album, and we’re getting ready to play some shows in support of the new record. We’re actually heading out this week to Idaho to play at a very awesome looking outdoor festival called Ranchfest, which is organized by our good pals FINN RIGGINS. Then, we are having an official CD release party on Saturday, June 5th at The Bottom of the Hill. The album is for sale here at Four Star Video, and you can buy tix for the June 5th show here.

Continuing in the self-promotion vein, Succulence, our still relatively new plant, art and life inspirations store behind Four Star Video has been receiving some very exciting press this week. First, we were lucky enough to be featured on Daily Candy, an email list and website that highlights cool things going on. Then, as a result of that feature (thanks, Daily Candy!) we were written about on the ultra-hip design blog Apartment Therapy. Wow, we can’t thank both of them enough. A lot of people told us that they knew about us hiding back behind the video store for quite some time, but hadn’t ever checked us out until they read one of these reviews. We are hoping to shake the “Bernal’s best-kept secret” moniker soon! If you haven’t come by, now is a fine time. Here is a link to our facebook page, where you can see many photos of our store, and here is a link to our website. Thanks for the support!

Here is another reminder to get your film submissions in to the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival. If you are a film maker, editor, writer or are otherwise involved with a film, please enter it in the festival. Find information here.

Lastly, one last reminder about our new store hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 9pm and Monday 2pm-9pm.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

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

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS.
Comedy/Indie/Experimental/Drama.
Angela Bettis.
Directed by Tim Rutili.
* This is the feature film debut of Rutili, who is better known as the frontman for the band Califone. This film features his band’s music, and was an official entry to the Sundance film festival this year. The story is about a fortune teller (Bettis) who lives in a house filled with ghosts.

BY BRAKHAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY (VOL 1 AND 2) .****BD****
Criterion/Experimental/Art.
Directed by Stan Brakhage.
* FROM CRITERION: “In Criterion's first volume of the anthology By Brakhage, we brought twenty-six astonishing works by the avant-garde film pioneer Stan Brakhage to home video for the first time. Now, in this second installment, we are proud to present thirty more of Brakhage's innovative creations, from 1950s films to his final work, from 2003. Highlights of this collection include the antiwar film 23rd Psalm Branch; hand-painted films from the Persian Series; The Wonder Ring, made for a commission by Joseph Cornell; the autobiographical Scenes from Under Childhood, Section One; his only found-footage film, Murder Psalm; and much more. (Films date from 1954-2003)”.

DEAR JOHN.****BD****
Drama/Romance.
Channing Tatum/Amanda Seyfried/Richard Jenkins/Henry Thomas.
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
* John (Tatum) and Savannah (Seyfried, MAMMA MIA, BIG LOVE) are youngsters in love whose commitment is tested by his military serving during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

GOTH.
Horror/Foreign (Japanese).
Directed by Gen Takahashi.
* It says it is one of the most intriguing and original horror movies in years on the cover.

THE ROAD.****BD****
Drama/Suspense/Sci-Fi/Apocalypse.
Viggo Mortenson/Kodi Smit-McPhee/Charlize Theron/Robert Duvall/Guy Pearce/Molly Parker.
Directed by John Hillcoat.
* The man (Mortenson) is on the road with his young son, trying to avoid getting eaten by cannibals and trying to teach his son about humanity, while struggling to maintain his own sense of it, in this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. The basic story tells of a future where something has killed most all of the animals (including humans) on earth and all that is left are small groups of wanderers, and some very uncivilized groups of cannibals also trying to survive.

STAGECOACH.
Criterion/Western.
John Wayne/Claire Trevor/John Carradine.
Directed by John Ford.
* This hard 1939 Western was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two of them. It is the story of a group of people on a stagecoach journey in tense fear of the dangers that lie along the path.

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

AMERICAN SERENGETI.****BD****
Documentary/Nature/Series.
Directed by National Geographic.
* From Amazon: America’s Great Plains were once a vibrant grassland ecosystem, akin to the great savannahs of Africa. Here, a mere 200 years ago, Lewis and Clark stepped onto this fertile landscape and were awestruck by what they saw herds of bison, packs of wolves, grizzly bears, prairie dogs and more. Since Lewis and Clark s time, many of these iconic prairie creatures have all but disappeared. Now, one of the most ambitious conservation projects in American history is underway to create a thriving three million acre wildlife reserve that will restore America s Serengeti. Filmed over 2 years in stunning high-definition, American Serengeti chronicles the massive restoration project and through CGI, will fast forward to the future when vast herds of American wildlife will roam the plains once again.

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

TRUE BLOOD: THE COMPLETE 2nd SEASON.****BD****
Vampire/TV.
Anna Paquin/Stephen Moyer.
Directed by.
* The Sookie Stackhouse saga continues! Sookie (Paquin) is a barmaid in Louisiana who has the challenging power of being able to read people’s minds. How frustrating that must be! Some peeps, yeah, I’d like to know what they are thinking (you know who you are), but most people, I’d rather be in the dark! Alas, Sookie reads the minds, like it or not. You know, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, right? Anyway, Sookie is involved with Vampire Bill, who drinks synthetic blood so he doesn’t have to eat people to survive. He’s kind of like a methadone addict in this way. In Season two, the two of them are caught up in the mysterious disappearance of a very old vampire from Dallas…I am not sure if it is Jerry Jones or not.

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

WALKABOUT.
* Gorgeous Australian film from 1971 about two children trying to survive in the Outback after their father has a breakdown.

............//REPLACEMENT DVD’S/............

FREAKS AND GEEKS: THE COMPLETE SERIES.
* Just another copy, cuz I loved it so much. And the ending? My god, the ending is just superb.

****

1 comment:

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