Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mid-week Secret Post! John Lennon Edition.

People say I’m crazy…doing what I’m doing.

(A video store? In 2010?).

And get this! - They give me all kinds of warnings…to save me from ruin.

And, truthfully, the advice, and warnings and suggestions are usually good ones…Hey, I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall (not really, but it sounds good!).

Can you believe John Lennon has been dead for 30 years today? Did you know the song I quoted and linked above was actually released posthumously in 1981? How many times have you just randomly heard one of his tunes and just been stopped in your thoughts, vacantly staring into nothingness while your heart was just filled with something thick and juicy and as of yet, still immeasurable? Watching the Wheels, Starting Over, Beautiful Boy, Jealous Guy, Mind Games, Instant Karma, the list of his solo hits goes on and on…plus an entire catalog of amazing Beatles songs that is almost too large to fully grasp.

Hey, there’s been a lot of rock stars, but not too many like John Lennon. I still remember the morning I found out he died, the strange adult tears been shed around me, the feeling of confusion and loss. 1980 was 30 years ago, but it may as well have been 300 years ago.

To memorialize Mr. Lennon, a new batch of docs, dramatizations and fictobiopics have been made. LENNON NAKED focuses on the later portion of his career with The Beatles, and his failed relationship with his father. In January (25th, 2011), NOWHERE BOY will come out on DVD, and that film focuses more on his early life, his relationship with his mother and aunt, and his formative years. The latter film has won many awards, and will probably be a big hit here at Four Star. I’ll tell you more about it when it arrives.

People tend to ask me at the store what I’ve seen and like recently. Usually, at that point, we stand in the New Release room and talk about the movies...I’ll take this mid-week opportunity to give you a little list of films I’ve enjoyed recently.

OSS 117: LOST IN RIO – This is a farcical spy movie about a French agent, double one seven, on a mission in Brazil. It is actually a sequel, but it doesn’t matter what order you see these films. They are quite funny, somewhat in the AUSTIN POWERS vein, but less American, whatever that means. Thumbs up!

YOUTH IN REVOLT – One of my favorite Michael Cera films, even though I think he needs to shift gears or his career will end soon (how long can he play a teenager?). Gave me a fond memory of the powerless high school years driven by hormones.

UNDECLARED: THE COMPLETE SERIES – This was the next show from the Judd Apatow production company after FREAKS & GEEKS. It follows some awkward freshmen at college and there stumbling attempts at acting like adults. I think it was the first television/movie experience that I ever saw that made me wish I had gone to college. Starring Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, among others.

STOP MAKING SENSE - The Jonathan Demme Talking Heads movie from the 1980’s. Watched it with the kids – blew our minds! Could not stop ourselves from having multiple dance parties during the movie! Brilliant film, brilliant band.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT – Believe the hype, it is a great film about life in a family.

I’M STILL HERE – Joaquin plays Joaquin, to maximum delight. This pseudo documentary is really a feature film about a celebrity’s spiraling descent into irrelevance. Or is it a documentary, using dramatization about the nature of celebrity and its demands? Or is it just a funny movie about super stoner trying to be a rap star but actually being terrible? What is it? Who cares? I loved it.

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPHIA: THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL – I used to write very demented Christmas plays (HO HO HOLY SHIT!, the santavirus, SANTA IN LIGHTS, THE SATAN CLAUS), so I am somewhat used to irreverent comedy. This show ratcheted up the “demented” volume to 11. I loved it, but when it was over, I sat in stunned silence trying to reconcile what I had seen with the knowledge that millions of people watch this show. God bless America!

UNTITLED – This was an arty indie film about a brief love affair between a gallery owner that displays envelope pushing art (like PUSH PIN IN WHITE WALL), and a composer who writes grating experimental music. The movie wasn’t brilliant, but it really electrified my mind for some reason (maybe it was the pot), and got me thinking about the nature of art itself. For that, I give it a: thumbs up.

Here is another list of movies I haven’t seen, but I keep hearing I should.


I AM LOVE – Tilda Swinton in an Italian film that I have heard some people call their favorite of the year.

THE INFIDEL – Brilliant religious satire about a British Palestinian who discovers he is really Jewish.

THE RED RIDING TRILOGY – Heavy and heady three movie set about a killer in England and the press and police chasing him.

THE SECRET OF KELLS – Incredible looking animation.

AGORA and CENTURION – Roman historical battle films that I cannot distinguish between, but I really must sit down and watch.

WINTER’S BONE – expect Academy nominations from this one.

ANTICHRIST – Lars Von Trier, super freaky and gory film.

CHLOE – Sexy thriller.

THE EYES OF ME – Doc about blind teenagers.

Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the stores.

Love and Kisses,

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