Monday, May 2, 2011

****new release list no.317

خوش آمدید برادران و خواهران ا ز ایران! با تشکر از شما برای خواندن.

Check one. Check two. Is this thing on? Déjà vu, right?

Wow, last week I had big plans for the blog. Tim Hetherington, one of the directors of the Academy Award-nominated documentary RESTREPO had just been killed in Libya, and that, combined with so much else going on in that region, had my head just totally spinning. Then, last Sunday night, I got the brutal stomach virus going around and was fully down for the count for five solid days. In the scheme of things, not much of a big deal, but wow, being sidelined for a week really sets you back. Since then, so much else has happened in the world, beginning with the gigantic news out of Pakistan last night that US forces have killed Usama Bin Laden and now I don’t even know where to begin!

Although, truthfully, though the world is spinning and loaded and popping left and right, there wouldn’t really be a proper beginning to this entry (especially considering Mother’s Day this weekend) without extending a huge and loving happy birthday to my very own special mother person, Leslee Feinsod! Mom, I wish you the best; I am so grateful for your presence in my life. Much love and thanks for not overtly obsessing about the environment when you decided to procreate. I appreciate it, as I can only analyze this life through my actual, living mind. Thanks for life, Mom.

I don’t want to come off as uneducated or trite or shallow, so I will not try to verbalize my personal experience of September 11th, 2001. Suffice to say it was one of my worst days. Watching the news last night however, conflicted me tremendously. I am not sorry to see Bin Laden dead, not in the least. But I found the images of chanting, dancing joy to be disturbing to my eyes and my heart. I wanted to grab and hug those dancing kids in Washington, D.C. and say, please go home, don’t look into the camera, don’t smile and chant U.S.A, U.S.A! Finally, this afternoon, I stumbled upon this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr which I think fully speaks to my feelings:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Forty-plus years later, MLK’s words remain poignant and apt. I am grateful today for them to help me find perspective in this big event, and in this big world.

I think we are having a bit of a watershed moment on the planet right now. In Libya, Syria, in Egypt, in Jordan and Yemen, people of many Islamic countries are fighting and dying for personal freedom. Everyone wants freedom. Many people may have different definitions for freedom. Right here in San Francisco we may argue about the nature of freedom. But the basic fact is that freedom transcends religion, ethnicity, nationality and culture. People. Want. Freedom.

I can live in a world where that is a truth.

If you need some diversions from the emotionally paralyzing realities of life, we’ve got you covered. Here’s an idea. Close your computer, and walk on up to Cortland. There’s a lot of people around. There’s a lot of nice businesses in your neighborhood. The trees look pretty. The air is delicious. While you’re up here, stop in to Four Star Video and rent a movie. We’ll say hi.

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

Love and Kisses,
Ken

P.S. In honor of Mother’s Day, Succulence has some cool stuff happening this weekend. On Friday, Jessica Vidican-Neisius Holguin, the founder of Morning Glory Chai, will be pouring her special spicy sweet blend in-house from 4-6pm. All weekend, Fri – Sunday, from 11am – 7pm, the Succulence Planting Bar will be in effect. You can come and pick a planter, pick plants and toppings (sands/pebbles), and then we’ll shepherd you through the process of planting it up. The end result is that you have a lovely gift for Mom made with your own two hands! We’ve got lots of other great stuff for Mom. If you haven’t perused our offerings lately, make it point to check us out this week. Mom will thank you. So will I!

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

A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN.
Comedy/Drama/Crime/Foreign (Norweigan).
Stellan Skarsgard.
Directed by Hans Moland.
* A man is dealing with his life after being released from a 12-year sentence in jail. Yes, he’s a gangster, but…he’s a tender man of sorts. Sure, sure, he’ll shoot you in the face if he must, it’s just that…he’d rather just maybe get out of the shooting industry and live out his twilight years in relative peace. Is that likely for a “made” man? Not very.

BLOOMINGTON.
Romance/LGBT.
Directed by Fernanda Cadosa.
* It’s a bit of a coming of age tale with a student falling for her college professor.

THE DILEMMA.****BD****
Drama.
Vince Vaughn/Kevin James/Jennifer Connelly/Winona Ryder/Channing Tatum/Queen Latifah.
Directed by Ron Howard.
* A couple of great buddies, now business partners, have their relationship thrown into turmoil when one discovers that the other’s wife is maybe seeing another guy. Should he tell his buddy? And potentially ruin the guys’ marriage? Oh, it’s a tough one…A moral conundrum!

THE GREEN HORNET.****BD****
Action/Comedy/Superhero.
Seth Rogen/Jay Chou/Cameron Diaz/Christopher Waltz/Tom Wilkinson.
Directed by Michel Gondry.
* There’s really no plot to speak of, not much in the way of character development or motivation. There isn’t a ton of pumping music (some), eye candy (sorry Cameron), and even the explosions are meh. So why watch? Well, for one, Seth Rogen remains funny. Especially when he tries to explain things, or talk his way out of things, or understand things, and even occasionally when he wakes up. The guy is just funny. I laughed with this movie a nice bunch of times. It was co-written by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg (together they scripted SUPERBAD), which makes me think much of the actual “story” must have ended up edited out of the picture. Watch this movie as a spoof of the genre. In that respect, it should hold your attention.

MY OWN LOVE SONG.
Drama.
Renee Zellwegger/Forest Whitaker/Nick Nolte.
Directed Olivier Dahan.
* A group of lost souls head on a road trip looking for redemption.

NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES.
Comedy/Spoof/Horror/Action.
Directed by Justin Timpane.

UNA SEMANA SOLOS.
Comedy/Drama/Foreign (Spanish and Italian).
Directed by Celine Murga.
* This indie from Argentina tells the story of a group of kids left alone in a gated community after the adults go on vacation.

WAITING FOR FOREVER.
Drama/Romance.
Rachel Bilson/Tom Sturridge/Richard Jenkins.
Directed by James Keach.

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

HUMAN PLANET: THE COMPLETE SERIES.****BD****
Documentary/BBC/Naturish.
* The BBC Earth team brings us another audio and visual treat as they examine human life in all the elements around the planet, ranging from cities to jungles, mountains, grasslands, deserts, and more. As usual, incredible dedication and camera work go into making this a must see for any and all amateur (and professional) sociologists. Probably should be watched in schools as well.

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

BEING HUMAN: SEASON THREE.
Television/BBC/Drama/Fantasy.
* Season three in the out-there BBC series about three roommates, a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost making a go of it in the big scary world.

DROP DEAD DIVA: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON.
Television/Comedy.
Brooke Elliot/Margaret Cho.

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

FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS.
Criterion/Comedy/Drama.
* Epic Terry Gilliam movie adaptation of the famous Hunter S. Thompson book starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. This is a must-see for serious fans of film, Thompson and/or psychedelia. Featuring many amazing performances topped by Depp’s Hunter S.

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME.
Drama.
* Robin Williams stars in this fantastical examination of the afterlife.

............//FAMILY/KIDS/............

THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROS: V01.

THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROS: V02.

BEN 10: THE ULTIMATE ALIEN POWER STRUGGLE.

CURIOUS GEORGE PLAYS BALL.

DORA THE EXPLORER: IT’S HAIRCUT DAY.

ELLE: A MODERN CINDERELLA TALE.

REDWALL: THE NEXT ADVENTURE.
* Both my six-year-old daughter and my nearly ten-year-old (!) son really like this adventure series.

SESAME STREET: ELMO’S TRAVEL SONGS AND GAMES.

SPOT: SPOT’S BIRTHDAY PARTY.

SUPER HERO SQUAD: V04.

TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO & MORE STORIES TO CELEBRATE ASIAN HERITAGE.

WOW WOW WUBBZY SAVES THE DAY.

............//THE REPLACEMENTS/............

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES.
* How did we become such a bastion of Doctor Who down here at Four Star? Will we remain this way when Tanya goes off to college in August? Tanya! We miss you already!

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SERIES.

PETER PAN.

*******HERE IS THE LIST OF LAST WEEKS MOVIES*******

3 IDIOTS.
* Looks super funny.

BLOW OUT.
* Criterion release.

BOB DYLAN: DON’T LOOK BACK.****ON BLU RAY****

BUNNY AND THE BULL.
* Rachel says this comedy is great.

CHAWZ.
* Korean comedy/horror about a wild pig causing much destruction.

FLY AWAY.

JOLENE.

LOOKING FOR FIDEL.
* Great looking doc.

LUCKY.

OPA.

SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE 14th SEASON.

TESTEES: THE COMPLETE SERIES.

****

1 comment:

jimmm said...

Thanks Ken for the MLK quote. Sums up my uneasiness perfectly