For me (and I guess technically everybody) the summer starts NOW. School is out, the kids are at camp, it’s blockbuster season on the silver screen, it’s hot during the day and cold at night, Mitchell’s is beckoning, hope fills the air, and I can almost remember how it all feels to be a kid without responsibility with a seemingly endless amount of time.
My movie goals for the summer involve delving more deeply into the Criterion section, getting through all the HARRY POTTER movies, watching THE DESERT TRILOGY by Nacer Khemir, watching at least one big Hollywood film that normally I would snub my nose at (THE BLINDSIDE, perhaps?), taking a deep breath and finally watching PRECIOUS, reading about a zillion films I may never see, and maybe doing some rearranging around the store to create more room for new movies. I am thinking of getting rid of some of our 8000 VHS tapes. Want one? Let me know. I’d like to be watching the 6th Season of THE OFFICE, but, alas, that doesn’t come out until September! Someone call me a waambulance!
Among other releases, which I will tell you about in a second, my band, The Dont’s, new record THOSE DELICATE CHEMICALS comes out tomorrow! It should be available in downloadable format everywhere music is bought (and stolen) by then, and it is available in actual CD form right here at the store. Somehow, I imagine a lot of you out there would like it.
This week at Four Star, we have a few more Hollywood films than usual, and a bunch of great Criterion releases. In the Criterion world, from the director of THE THIRD MAN, we have THE NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH, starring Rex Harrison and Margaret Lockwood. Also RED DESERT, a Michaelangelo Antonionionioni film about the industrial breakdown of family life. CLOSE-UP is another release by Criterion. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami , it is an Iranian film that must be seen to be understood. At the core, it is a story about censorship, and the vast distances that we must go to break down society’s iron grip on “what’s okay”.
From Chile, comes THE MAID, a highly anticipated (by me, at least) film about a woman who has worked for a family for 23 years and is now facing a crisis regarding her place within herself.
HUNG: SEASON ONE, is a new one from HBO about a basketball coach with a broken down life and one tremendous, uh, resource that he is trying to put to work for himself. ENTOURAGE: SEASON SIX continues the tragic comic look at a successful young actor in Hollywood, and his posse of friends that hang out with him.
THE LAST STATION, with Oscar nominated performances by Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, and also starring James McAvoy, is about the latter portion of Leo Tolstoy’s life, as he balances his fame and celebrity with his desire to give away all the rights to his works.
GREEN ZONE is a new Matt Damon film directed by Paul Greengrass. Stunningly, it is NOT about a new marijuana dispensary, but is about the unsuccessful search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is they opened marijuana dispensaries all over Iraq? How would that affect society? It may just be me, but San Francisco seems pretty mellow these days…
REMEMBER ME is a love story starring TWILIGHT star Robert Pattinson, and is about two young lovers providing solace to each other as they try to deal with personal tragedies within their families.
SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE is a goofy comedy about a nerdy dude who scores a super hot babe. I’m sure this is a fine movie, but I think they need to start making films about nerdy girls who score super hot guys. Or nerdy girls who score super high SAT scores. Wait, never mind.
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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Directed by Charles Perrault.
* The classic tale of a young woman married to a psycho-wife-killer and trying to avoid her fate.
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami.
* This film, from 1990, has made it onto some of the lists of the finest films ever made. It is a fascinating film, which is basically a documentary, with some dramatic reenactments thrown into the mix. The story is about a man, who impersonates a famous Iranian filmmaker to gain access to…what exactly? To gain access to a philosophical acceptance, that would not be possible just as himself. He stays with a family, as he prepares to make his film, and then, after he is exposed as an imposter, he is prosecuted by the family, and ends up in court. Kiarostami films the court proceedings, although, it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction in this film.
Matt Damon/Greg Kinnear/Amy Ryan.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.
* Damon reunites with the director of the Bourne movies to make this action packed thriller. Set in Iraq in 2003, Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller who is in charge of an elite force charged with the impossible task of finding Weapons of Mass Destruction, you know, the weapons we went to war to find and destroy. What he does find is a deep conspiracy to mislead the United States people, their government, and governments around the world. Surprise!
THE LAST STATION.****BD****
Helen Mirren/Christopher Plummer/Paul Giamatti/Anne-Marie Duff/James McAvoy.
Directed by Michael Hoffman.
* Mirren and Plummer were nominated for Oscars for their performance in this powerful and playful examination of the later portion of Leo Tolstoy’s life as he is settling his affairs in a way that his work will be public domain, much to the dismay of his wife.
LE COMBAT DANS L’ILE.
Romy Schneider/Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Directed by Alain Cavalier.
* This Zeitgeist Films re-release of a 1962 film is about a well-off young man who cuts off all his ties with his family and the outer world and joins a radical Right-wing party.
Catalina Saavedra/Claudia Celedon.
Directed by Sebastian Silva.
* This is the story of Raquel, a Chilean maid who has worked for one family for 20+ years and now finds herself struggling to maintain her place within the family, and her place within herself. This film won more than 20 awards internationally in the year since it was made, including the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic World Cinema at Sundance in 2009.
NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH.
Margaret Lockwood/Rex Harrison.
Directed by Carol Reed.
* In this Oscar-nominated thriller by the director who brought us THE THIRD MAN, Rex Harrison (Professor Henry Higgins from MY FAIR LADY) is a British Intelligence officer, during the early outbreak of WWII, trying to rescue a Czech scientist and his daughter from the Nazis.
Monica Vitti/Richard Harris/Carlo Chionetti.
Directed by Michaelangelo Antonioni.
* This 1964 film stars Vitti as the lonely and mentally ill wife of a factory manager in a desolate area in Italy. She yearns for attention, for meaning, for love and doesn’t think she has it within her family. She meets an engineer passing through and pursues him, hoping to find something to grasp hold of, and hoping to find someone to grasp ahold of her.
Robert Pattinson/Pierce Brosnan/Chris Cooper/Emile de Ravin/Lena Olin.
Directed by Allen Coulter.
* Two young adults (Pattinson, de Ravin) find unexpected allies in each other while healing from terrible personal familial tragedies.
SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE.****BD****
Jay Baruchel/Alice Eve.
Directed by Jim Smith.
* The basic story is he’s a 5, she’s a 10, yet…she wants to be with him. I’m sure many of you can relate. Will there differences cause their relationship to disintegrate? Well, the odds say something will.
Directed by Andrew Krakower.
* Well-done, but brutal equation about the 21-year-old Ugandan civil war, and the stolen kids who fight, kill and die for both sides.
IT CAME FROM KUCHAR.
John Waters/Atom Egoyan/Wayne Wang/Guy Maddin/Buck Henry.
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot.
* This doc will inspire you, and entertain you as it tells you about the fabulous Kuchar brothers, George and Mike, and their no-budget, waaaay over-the-top films. Wanna make a movie? Watch this doc first.
ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON.
Kevin Connolly/Adrian Grenier/Kevin Dillon/Jeremy Priven/Jerry Ferrara.
* You want to be in my entourage, you gotta wear camouflage, and you gotta give a hard back massage.
HUNG: SEASON ONE.
Thomas Jane/Jane Adams/Anne Heche.
* Ray Drecker doesn’t have much going for him…yeah, he used to be a legend playing high school hoops, but those days are long gone…Now? He coaches high school basketball, and really hasn’t cashed in on his number one resource. What could that be? Did you see BOOGIE NIGHTS? Kinda the same deal…let’s just say he is rich in family jewels. Now it’s time for Ray to star using his resources to gain some self-esteem, and a little cash in his pockets…But is it that easy to just start a successful gigolo career?
FRANKLIN GOES TO CAMP.
TOM AND JERRY: DELUXE ANNIVERSARY EDITION.