Who has two thumbs, speaks French and loves a vacation? C’est moi!
We just spent a glorious sunny first half of July touring around our great state. We dabbled in the Central Valley, frolicked in the San Fernando Valley, chilled out in the Sonoma Valley, and gawked at the beauty we passed along the way (particularly some stunning lunar displays!). There is very little like spending time with your family outside of the normal constraints of schools, works, camps, and the ticking clock of the weekend. We wandered around a bit, saw some old friends, bonded with some newer friends, ate so much amazing food that I must ingest nothing but raw vegetable juice for a week or two to get back down to fighting strength (the homemade porchetta was the highlight – shazaam!).
We didn’t have much of a media related vacation, though we did finally see for the first time THE WEDDING CRASHERS, which was significantly funnier than I expected. Bradley Cooper was a revelation, and Vince Vaughn was definitely at the top of his game in this tale of two dudes who work a wedding season like few others. There style? Crash weddings, eat/drink/be merry, and then hook up with the lovely ladies they meet at the party. Rachel McAdams was excellent as the accidental love interest of Owen Wilson’s character, and after loving her in SLINGS & ARROWS (Season One), it was fun to see her star power translate to the big screen. I always worry that a comedy will just be stupid in the bright light its own buzz, but I can confidently say that this one had some true brilliance (the opening scene!) as well as a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that had me literally crying. Probably helped that I heavily employed the green ratings system, but no matter what your movie watching preferences are, I recommend this one.
You may have noticed there are some new people at Four Star Video. After 4 years of working here, Jeff is moving on. He has gotten into an amazing art school and flying away from the nest. We are going to miss him very much, but we wish him the very best! This Sunday (July 24th) is his last day. We will have a couple bottles of wine around during the evening, so come have a toast to Jeff and contribute to what is sure to be a very drunken work night for him. I hope he gives you your right movie.
Soon, there will be more changes. Andrew has been on and off the schedule lately and now is going off it again for a little while. It turns out he is a student, too! Go figure. Soon, Tanya will be flying off to college as well. My goodness! Such change! Well, as Amy says “change is a must”. True, true. We wish these guys well, and look forward to the new relationships that we will make.
In the meantime, we have movies here at Four Star Video. Lots and lots of them. This very week there is a big new stack, and I’ve written a bit about them below. I think you’ll find a couple things there that you might not have heard about, but that might tickle your fancy (whatever your fancy may be!).
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the stores.
Love and Kisses,
Oh, P.S. – Some artist words of note. My band Static People is playing in the East Bay this Friday, July 22nd at The Shattuck Down Low. This is sure to be a fun show, so come rock out with us. What? You don’t go to the East Bay except to visit your sister? Well, then, my band Static People is playing next Thursday, July 28th at The Red Devil Lounge. That show is the finals of a long competition that we have been involved in. If we win, we will get shipped to Quebec for a huge music festival in September. So come support, if ya like Rock and Roll. Also, my art that I make and sell at Succulence will be on display the month of August in the East Bay at The Rare Bird. There will be an art opening on August 16th, which I’ll tell you more about later. There will be lots of crazy things there, and I am very excited about it! What? You don’t go to the East Bay except to visit your Mother? Well, it seems that my art will also be on display at The Stray Bar here on Cortland in September. When that is all confirmed up, I will give you details. Okey-dokey then.
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* Indie horror film about a family visit at a secluded cabin by a lake in Minnesota who have a bad vacation. Take note, Andrew!
Bradley Cooper/Robert De Niro/Abbie Cornish/Anna Friel.
Directed by Neil Burger.
* I am pretty sure this film is about me, because it says it is about a writer (Cooper) who takes a drug which allows him to evolve into the perfect version of himself! They do appear to take liberties with my story, because then he becomes the target of many bad guys, including a mogul (De Niro) who imagines he can used to make lots of money. Sadly, side effects create bigger problems than just dealing with non-witty party conversation, and the writer’s amazing future starts looking sort of like Algernon’s.
THE MUSIC ROOM.
Criterion/Drama/Black and White/Foreign (Bengali).
Directed by Satyajit Ray.
* This 1959 film reminds me a tiny bit of THE COMPANY MEN. It is the tale of a landlord, whose money is drying up, yet cannot help himself from continuing to live a lavish life, even as the reality of his shrinking funds becomes more and more evident. Regardless of his families desire to curtail spending and get a handle on their vanishing empire, the landlord continues to spend money on his gorgeous music room and the wild parties he hosts there. Eventually, reality bears down heartily.
Michael C. Hall/Sarah Silverman/Rainn Wilson/Kate Mara/Ben Schwartz.
Directed by Barry Blaustein.
* Ah, family, the ultimate expose. Can we keep secrets from our friends and neighbors? Not when family is about. It’s like what Uncle Buddy said in the J.D. Salinger classic, “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters”, “I am a writer, and therefore not a nice man”. In this film, a family gathering for the patriarch’s 70th birthday must reconcile the fact that the youngest of his four children has just written a novel exposing all the darkest secrets of the family. Yikes!
Catherine Deneuve/Gerard Depardieu.
Directed by Francois Ozon.
* Potiche is the French term for trophy wife, and that is what Catherine Deneuve plays in this new comedy from Ozon. In this comedy of errors, she must take over the family business after her husband is kidnapped by his workers. She is doing quite a fine job, thank you very much, until her ex-lover and life-long unionizer (Depardieu) arrives on the scene.
SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS.
* Slow moving film about a murder in a small religious community that upsets the flow of things and disturbs a man who has been dealing with his own violent past.
* No, it’s not a mockumentary, it’s actually a story about some ventriloquists and features their live performances.
THE LIFE & WORK OF CLAUDE CHABROL. DOUBLE CHECK THIS!
* This 2002 doc examines the, ahem, life and (cough) work, of the prolific French director.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG: MASTERS OF AMERICAN MUSIC - SATCHMO.
* This 1992 film examines the wonderful music of Armstrong.
DOCTOR WHO: SERIES SIX, PART ONE.
GO DIEGO GO-FIERCEST ANIMAL RESCUES.
* For the kids people, for the kids.
I’M DIRTY AND I STINK.
PEANUTS: SNOOPY’S ADVENTURES.
PIPPY LONGSTOCKING: PIPPI GOES TO THE FAIR.
SMURFS: A MAGICAL SMURF ADVENTURE.
* Getting all smurfed up for the big smurfy smurf-a-thon.
YOUNG JUSTICE: SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE.
............//NEW ON BLU/............
BEAUTY & THE BEAST.****BD****
* The beautiful Jean Cocteau film from 1946 that all movies that share the name were based on.
The last two weeks of missing episodes…
13 ASSASSINS.****BD**** This one goes up to 13!
COMPASSION IN EMPTINESS-DALAI LAMA AT RADIO CITY 2011.
MAX’S MAGICAL JOURNAY.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.****BD****
OF GODS AND MEN.****BD**** You need to see this one.
SESAME STREET SPOOFS.
TOM & JERRY-FUR FLYING ADVENTURES-V02.
MAGRITTE-DAY & NIGHT. Documentary.
NORTH STAR AND MORE STORIES ABOUT FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.
PIPPI LONGSTOCKING-PIPPI & THE BALLOON.
SALT OF THE SEA. This Palestinian film looks really good.
ARTHUR.****BD**** Russell Brand in the remake of the Dudley Moore comedy.
DAVID BOWIE: THE ROAD TO THE RAILWAY. Love love love Monsieur Bowie.
DAMAGES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON. Ding ding ding!
DINOCROS VS SUPERGATOR Who will win?
ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON. Ode to Jake.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER.
MI-5: VOLUME 9.
MINTY THE ASSASSIN. I think if you like Roger Corman films this may be for you.
MIRAL. Looks awesome and heavy.
RANGO. ****BD**** Animation for the whole fam.
[ REC. ] 2. Horror!
ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS III.****BD**** I know my chicken…
THE THIRD WAVE. Sean Penn documentary. Not about him, mind you.
THE THUNDERCATS: SEASON ONE, PART ONE.
ULTIMATE AVENGERS: SEASON ONE.
UNCLE BOONMEE. You may have heard about this one, another you should not miss.
WHITE IRISH DRINKERS.****BD**** My movie will be called: WHITE JEWISH POTSMOKERS.