Tuesday, June 1, 2010

****new release list no.270

Hey peeps, what’s happening now? Me, I just got back from Ranchfest in Idaho, where my band played some rocking shows, and slept in a tent in 30 degree weather! We were prepared for naked spooning, if things got desperate, but sleep prevailed, and that experience never got had. Isn’t it amazing how many experiences you think about some times, that never happen? And then there’s those experiences that you’ve never thought about that won’t ever happen. And then there are those experiences that do happen that you never thought would! Whoa! I’m tripping!

Yeah, well, it’s true. I’m tripping. Drove for many hours yesterday, through the flat, beautiful and desolate countryside, and now I am back at Four Star Video, taking stock, writing the blog, breathing deeply, thinking about the positives, positively breathing in the positives. Yet, choking a bit.

Last month, I put out a survey about people’s movie renting habits. As you recall, I mentioned that Four Star Video is struggling. I was freaking out! Thus, the survey and a lot of internal changes…

My plan is to post all the results of the survey soon, but in the meantime, I will tell you I got nearly 300 responses, both electronically and here at the store, and it was pretty fascinating reading! Thank you all who responded! There was a multitude of suggestions, mostly worth exploring and a few that were extremely confusing (I don’t think it is feasible to stay in business if every day is dollar day, but I will continue to think about it). The vast overarching vibe of the response was “please don’t close, you are important to the community”, and “what can we do to make things better?” So I immediately felt much better about the situation. And that has mostly lasted for the last couple weeks. Yet…In May, we were down 15% in rentals…that’s 4 straight months like that, and each month the percentage grows.

Now, to allay the concerns of the loyalists, let me plainly state that I made enough to changes to weather the storm for several months, as we continue to analyze and see what we can do to keep on keeping on. So stay calm! And breathe deeply. But, man, I cannot lie to you; it’s disheartening to see the numbers…

In the meantime, the movies! This week, the new Tim Burton film, ALICE IN WONDERLAND hits DVD and BD. Starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and the super weird Crispin Glover, this is more of a sequel to the original story, and not really a remake of the famous tale. Lush and colorful, the film is another gem in the Tim Burton canon. Also out this week is WOLFMAN, starring Anthony Hopkins and Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt.

LIFE, the new nature doc from BBC Earth, the peeps who brought us PLANET EARTH, is out this week, also on DVD and BD. I haven’t seen it yet, but I can only imagine that it is amazing, informative with majestically satisfying imagery, as so many of their documentaries have been. LIFE is narrated by the inimitable David Attenborough.

This week we have a ton of new TV here (FOYLE’S WAR SET 6, HOARDERS: SEASON ONE, BURN NOTICE SEASON 3, MIDSOMER MURDERS SET 15, HOPE SPRINGS, THREE STOOGES COLLECTIONI), and eight new kids releases – scroll down to get the details.

Love and Kisses,
Ken

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

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010).****BD****
Adventure/Fantasy.
Mia Wasikowska/Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter/Anne Hathaway/Crispin Glover/Alan Rickman/Michael Sheen.
Directed by Tim Burton.
* In the reimagining of the classic story, Alice is now 19, and contemplating marriage when she is lured back into the fairy tale landscape of her childhood. Now she is faced with new challenges that involve her fulfilling a destiny in Underland (not a typo), and, in doing so, help her right her own personal ship.

THE DRAWN TOGETHER MOVIE.
Animation/Weirdness/Comedy.
Directed by Greg Franklin.
* Crude, gross, crass, vile…all of these words have been used to describe this bottom feeder about a group of reality contestants whose show gets canceled.

HANNAH FREE.
Drama/Romance/LGBT.
Sharon Gless.
Directed by Wendy Joe Carlton.
* This film is about two women, who grew up together in the Midwest, and whose deep love for each other was challenged by their surroundings. One grows up to be a lesbian, and the other a housewife, and their love survives.

PEANUTS 1970’S COLLECTION: NO.2.
Animation/Comics.
* Includes Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown / You're a Good Sport / It's Arbor Day / What a Nightmare / It's Your First Kiss / You're the Greatest. I don’t know about you, but I find these Charlie Brown specials to be full of emotion, wonderful music, and terrific slapstick, as well as being surprisingly thought-provoking and timely. My kids love them.

THE RED BARON.****BD****
Drama/ Foreign (German/English/French).
Maxim Mehmet/Lena Headley/Joseph Fiennes.
Directed by Nikolai Mullerschon.
* This is the famous story of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s most feared World War I pilot.

TONY MANERO.
Crime/Drama/ Foreign (Spanish and English).
Alfredo Castro/Paola Lattus.
Directed by Pablo Larrain.
* This Chilean film, which won numerous film awards, takes place in 1978 Santiago, and follows a thief and killer who is obsessed with John Travolta’s character from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

WOLFMAN.****BD****
Comics/Fantasy.
Anthony Hopkins/Benicio del Toro/Emily Blunt/Simon Merrells.
Directed by Joe Johnston.
* The classic tale of a cursed family is remade with Hopkins in the role of Sir John Talbot, the patriarch of the family and del Toro as the estranged son coming back to the family to help them find the killer of his brother.

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

LIFE.****BD****
Documentary/Nature/Series.
Narrated by David Attenborough.
* From the IMDB: David Attenborough's legendary BBC crew explains and shows wildlife all over planet earth in 10 episodes. The first is an overview the challenges facing life, the others are dedicated to hunting, the deep sea and various major evolutionary groups of creatures: plants, primates and other large sections of other vertebrates and invertebrates.

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

BURN NOTICE: SEASON THREE.
Comedy/Spy.
Jeffrey Donovan/Gabrielle Anwar/Bruce Campbell/Sharon Gless.
* Season three about the spy who has been tossed aside by the US government and now uses his special skills for his own purposes.

FOYLE’S WAR: SET 6.
Crime/Drama/Mystery.
Michael Kitchen.
* Season six in the continuing saga of Christopher Foyle, a police chief in London during WWII.

HOARDERS: SEASON ONE.
* Have you caught anything about this show yet, or about hoarders in general? Recently, it appears our society has become fascinated about people who compulsively collect. I heard something about it on NPR, and I was fascinated as well.

HOPE SPRINGS.
Drama.
Alex Kingston.
* This recent television series was about four women who pull off an elaborate theft, only to lose most of the booty in a fire. Part of their cover was to take over a small hotel in the Scottish town of Hope Springs, and after the fire they are left with nothing, and must try to actually make the hotel profitable.

MIDSOMERS MURDERS: SET 15.
Crime/Drama.

THE THREE STOOGES COLLECTION: 1955-1959.
Comedy.

............//FAMILY/............

BEING IAN: HURRY FOR HOLLYWOOD.

BEING IAN: 5 O’CLOCK SNOOZE.

DIGIMON: WILD BOYS OF THE DIGITAL WORLD.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE: FUN IN THE SUN.

MY FRIEND RABBIT: SUMMER SPLASH.

RACE.

SHAUN THE SHEEP: ONE GIANT LEEP FOR LAMBKIND.

SESAME STREET: FIREFLY FUN AND BUGGY BUDDY.

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

WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005).
* Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins in the Steven Spielberg directed remake of the H.G. Wells classic.

****