VideoReport #487

Volume CDLXXXVII- Meet Me In Portland

For the Week of 12/16/14

 Videoport gives you a free rental every day. Oh, and we give you a free rental every time you buy a movie from us. Wait—when do we actually charge for rentals? We should probably do that sometimes.

 Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Popular Music, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

.>>> Emily S. Customer suggests The Simpsons (in Animation). Because your fearless editor has a gig reviewing the current-day Simpsons, I end up watching every episode with him. And it’s… fine. They’re rarely actively offensive, they occasionally harken back to their heyday for a split second of genuine joy and laughter. Mostly, it’s like bumping into the old friend who seemed so vital, so bright, so vibrant that they were sure to achieve greatness and finding that they’ve lost their fire and power, that they’ve eased into cheap mediocrity. But at its best The Simpsons was the funniest, smartest, most emotionally resonant show of a generation. If you’re only seeing it in syndication, you’re not seeing it. To meet the ever-increasing ad-break times of broadcast TV, re-runs get trimmed everywhere possible, tossing out moments of character development and the quiet beats that let jokes land — and sometimes entire jokes get tossed out wholesale! I strongly encourage you to pick up a DVD of The Simpsons today. Every day, you can take home three, count em, THREE DVDs* for a whole week for just $7.99. If you make those three DVDs The Simpsons, you’ll get as many as 18 episodes to luxuriate in for a week.

*Restrictions apply, brand-new one-night rentals not included, don’t be ridiculous, and other disclaimers — but Simpsons DVDs suit this deal down to the ground.

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                                            >>> Emily S. Customer helps you keep it local. Videoport knows that it can be a challenge even for the most devoted BUY LOCAL advocates to put their money where their mouths are, especially during the hustle-bustle of the busy holiday season. Sure, you want to support independent businesses and keep our local economy robust, but how do you fit your ideals into your budget and imagination? We’re here to help with some BUY LOCAL gift ideas, and a little something extra just for you.

The regular renter: For the Portland-area film aficionado on your list, there’s no better gift than The Spirit of Videoport Future! Choose a gift certificate (three rentals for $10, six rentals for $20, or 10 rentals for $30) or take advantage of Videoport’s great savings plan when you add credit directly to their account ($20 buys $25 in rental credits, $30 buys $40). Either way, these rentals qualify for Videoport’s great daily specials, so your recipient can get 2-for-1 rentals every weekday or 3-for-2 rental weekends! Throw in a FREE copy of the VideoReport to give them great ideas for future rentals and great free movies every day.

The movie-night basket: Pick up a new or previously-viewed DVD movie or TV season at Videoport, pack it up with a bag of Little Lad’s herbal popcorn, and a box of concession candy (try Snowcaps, Junior Mints, or Twizzlers!) and you’ve got a great gift basket for folks who want to stay in on a cold Maine night. You’ll also get a little something extra for yourself: with every DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, Videoport gives you a free rental on your own account!

The connoisseur: Can’t find just the right gift for the fancy, fussy, or hard-to-satisfy cinophile on your list? Videoport is here to help! Videoport can special-order any film in print for a gift that’s sure to please. (And you get that free rental on your account, just for buying from Videoport!)

—Some themed ideas to get you started, whether you pick them up off the shelf or special-order to get just the right title. And remember, with each DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, you get a free rental!

Arrested Development: Give a whole season of the legendary dysfunctional-family sitcom along with “a whole thing of candy beans” from Jelly Belly! If you haven’t seen the series, this doesn’t make much sense, but if you have, this idea raises an eyebrow… at least.

Finding Nemo: Pixar’s heartwarming classic will please young and old alike, and so will the Swedish Fish and chocolate-caramel turtles you pick up to go along with it!

E.T.: The Extraterrestrial: Spielberg’s modern classic doesn’t need any sweetening, but how can you not pick up some packets of Reese’s Pieces to go with it?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka and candy go together like Gene Wilder and a terrifying smile, so take your pick. I especially recommend the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled collection, where you spin the wheel and take your chances. Will you taste a Tutti Frutti or Stinky Socks? Lime or Lawn Clippings? Licorice or Skunk Spray?

Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate: For a delicious double-feature, pick these two romantic dramas, wrap them up with a few bars of Lake Champlain’s exquisite fair-trade, small-batch chocolate, and expect the winter to warm up fast.

*fine print and so on: offer subject to change, like everything else in life.

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Arrested Development (in Comedy). The strange fourth season of this brilliant comedy series finally comes out on DVD next Tuesday. It’s a bold failure of a season from all accounts, trying out a completely new format from its first three seasons. I can’t wait, frankly, especially as those first three seasons were one of the most adventurous, clever sitcoms in recent memory. The story of one of the loopiest, most larcenous and screwed up families in TV history, the Bluths, crooked land developers and eccentrically silly people. Jason Bateman is a revelation—before this show he was something of a laughingstock has-been, after it, he’s someone I would watch in almost anything. He’s a master of deadpan as Michael, the one sensible Bluth sibling, desperately trying to keep the family business afloat after father and CEO Jeffrey Tambor (also hilarious) is sent to prison for his various malfeasances. Everyone in the cast is brilliant, creating indelibly weird characters, all the while the show spins intricately woven half hour stories where plot, character, and dazzlingly clever editing leave you giddy. Honestly, a fourth season, no matter how offbeat, is a gift—the show was ever underwatched, quickly cancelled, and a cult pleasure. Coming back in the face of ridiculous odds is a present.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Intimacy (in Drama.) Watching Game Of Thrones (finally) has me thinking about the actors’ other movies, so here’s a great, sad little indie British drama starring Stephen Dillane (aka the icy, unlikable Stannis Baratheon on GOT), Kerry Fox, and the great, pudding-y character actor Timothy Spall [Topsy Turvy]. It’s the story of unhappy people Dillane and Fox who embark on a desperately passionate affair. Spall, as he was born to be, is the decent, boring husband. The film got some small infamy when it came out due to some fairly explicit sex—there is, rather shockingly for two respected actors, some brief and very unsimulated coupling at times. But it’s all of a piece with the remarkably affecting sadness of the two leads, whose one day a week liaisons are less about fleeting pleasure than a longing for escape they know they’ll never have. And Dillane, so cold and unsympathetic on Game Of Thrones, is deeply heartbreaking here. Along with Fox (An Angel At My Table), they bring the commonplace tragedy of their individual loneliness into stark relief.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!          

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests An American Tail. Happy Hanukkah! Not enough family favorites make mention of the Festival of Lights, but one child-friendly tail — uh, I mean, tale — opens during Hanukkah, with the Mousekewitz celebrating modestly in their tiny home as Papa Mousekewitz bestows upon young Fievel his very own hat, which has been in the family for generations. Collaboratively produced in part by Steven Spielberg and legendary Disney animator Don Bluth (who also directed), An American Tail melds an age-appropriate adventure with a story of fortitude and the immigrant experience, making a holiday classic for generations.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!                                            

>>> For Saturday, Dennis suggests writing for the VideoReport! Staff, customers, random internet weirdoes—all are welcome to send in a movie or TV review, best/worst-of list, or anything even tangentially movie-related! We’ll probably publish it, unless it’s patently insane! Send your reviews to denmn@hotmail.com or our Facebook page Videoort Jones. Insane, I say!

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests The Wire (in Mystery/Thriller). I’ve been rewatching this show lately, because why not? It’s the best show TV has ever produced. Yeah, I said it. This is the fourth time I’ve watched the series all the way through, all five seasons. Which might seem odd, as it’s also one of the most searing, insightful, and overall devastating TV shows of all time. But it’s so good that all the heavy drama—about the seemingly inevitable decay of Baltimore, Maryland—is paradoxically exhilarating to watch. There’s humor in there, too, but the pleasure truly comes from watching filmmakers, writers, and actors all doing the best work they’ve ever done (and may ever do.) The show’s so good that it also seems like some (white) people who watch it take an odd pride in doing so—like watching something so difficult and so thoughtful about the plight of the (mostly black) underclass in an American inner city actually amounts to doing something to help. Which it does not (we should all be volunteering at an underprivileged middle school), but I do maintain that anyone who

Do not mess with THIS Doctor.

Do not mess with THIS Doctor.

watches all five seasons of this series and comes out the other end unchanged has no soul. None at all.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Maze Runner (The latest young adult fantasy novel turned into a movie sees a young guy in a dystopian society thrown into an all-hunky Lord Of The Flies situation, where everyone has to run their way through a huge, bobby-trappy maze for some reason. It’s the new Hunger Games! [Screams the studio ad people, desperately]), Doctor Who- season 8 (The age of Peter Capaldi’s stern, glowery Doctor begins! Capaldi [as anyone who has ever seen the great BBC series The Thick Of It knows] a magnetic presence, and his Doctor’s an interesting change of pace from the cutie-pie Doctors we’ve had for a while), The Skeleton Twins (Former SNL pals Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig team up for indie drama goodness in this well-reviewed film about a pair of troubled estranged siblings who, after both escaping separate near-death experiences on the same day, try to mend their relationship), This Is Where I Leave You (When the patriarch of a scattered, estranged family dies, he leaves a stipulation that, in order to claim their inheritances, everyone has to hang out at the family home for one last time. Outstanding cast in this one includes the likes of: Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Connie Britton, Tiothy Olyphant, Jane Fonda, Dax Shepard, Kathryn Hahn, Ben Schwartz, Abigail Spencer, and on and on), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (What happens when Hollywood explosion fetishist Michael Bay gets his money-grubby producer’s mitts on your childhood? Why, he makes a slick, explode-y GCI-laden version of the once-mighty Turtles! Everyone hated it, but you’ll be forced to watch it in a fugue state of nostalgia), Wrinkles (Martin Sheen, Matthew Modine, and George Coe lend their voices to the English-language version of this acclaimed Spanish animated film about a trio of cantankerous elderly dudes who decide to rebel against the dehumanizing rules of their retirement home. {And, yes, the original Spanish version is on here too—just push that “languages” button on your DVD remote. No, that one. That one.), Premature (Sort of a semen-centric Groundhog Day, this comedy sees a nerdy high schooler forced to relive the same day over and over as soon as he, well, ejaculates while on an improbable date with the school hot girl. The very funny Alan Tudyk [Firefly] is in there, so that’s…something. Rent it for you grandma!), Paris-Manhattan (Breezy French romantic comedy about a sweet Woody Allen-obsessed woman looking for a romance commensurate with her movie-informed ideals), Under The Dome- season 2 (The residents of a small Maine town are still trapped under a freaking dome! Like, a transparent, impenetrable dome! WTF?! Well, since Stephen King wrote this, you’re going to want to rent it, even if it’s not really very good at all! You, as a Mainer, are legally obligated to do that!), Magic In The Moonlight (Speaking of Woody Allen, here’s his newest [his 40th? 43rd?—There are a lot of ‘em, is what I’m saying]. This time, the Woody stand-in is Colin Firth, a 1920s stage magician who sets out to debunk the claims of a pretty mind-reader [Emma Stone]. They may fall in love—just a guess), Stonehearst Asylum (Director Brad Anderson has one outstanding horror film to his credit [2001’s Session 9], which was set in an asylum. So here’s hoping it’s a good sign that he’s gone back to the booby-hatch for this dark thriller about a young psychiatrist who falls in love with a fellow staff member once he goes to work at a 19th century hospital. Little does he know, things are not what they seem—hopefully in a really creepy way. Great cast, including: Ben Kingsley, David Thewlis, Michael Caine, Jim Sturgess, Brendan Gleason, Sinead Cusack, and Kate Beckinsale), The Hero Of Color City (Super cheap-looking animated kids movie featuring the presumably well-compensated voices of Christina Ricci, Craig Ferguson, Sean Astin, Wayne Brady, and the like; Oh, it’s about heroic crayons, by the way—should be noisy enough to kep your kids quiet for 77 minutes anyway)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: Bert Rigby, You’re A Fool (An obscure, cult musical from the 80s? You’re welcome! A one-man showcase for the multi-talented Robert Lindsay [G.B.H.], this film, directed by Carl Reiner of all people, follows coal miner Rigby as he, during a strike, decides to follow his dreams of show-biz stardom, heading to the stage and then all the way to Hollywood, all the while losing sight of his loving, pregnant wife).

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Maze Runner, This Is Where I Leave You, Magic In The Moonlight

Published in: on December 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Independent Video Stores & You—Sending Some Love To A Fellow Movie Store

From Dennis’ recent article in the Portland Press Herald about the challenges facing a Bath indie video store:

As for River Bottom Video, Goad said, well, all the things I’ve always wanted to say in this column. “Heartwarming is not a strong enough word,” said Goad. “It’s humbling. And I like to think that people get something out of the video store experience that they don’t get from Netflix or cable or Redbox. You’re not just a number here, you’re a person. We video stores are like the dodo, but we have a lot to offer. That’s the appeal of our shop – it’s not just a dispensary of movies, it’s an experience. And these days, even one person choosing to spend their money with us can make a huge difference.”  (Read the whole article here: As for River Bottom, Goad said, well, all the things I’ve always wanted to say in this column. “Heartwarming is not a strong enough word,” said Goad. “It’s humbling. And I like to think that people get something out of the video store experience that they don’t get from Netflix or cable or Redbox. You’re not just a number here, you’re a person. We video stores are like the dodo, but we have a lot to offer. That’s the appeal of our shop – it’s not just a dispensary of movies, it’s an experience. And these days, even one person choosing to spend their money with us can make a huge difference.” (Red the whole article HERE.) (Dontae to River Bottom HERE.)

We’re still out here, people. And indie video stores all need your support. The best thing about that, is that it’s easy for an individual to make a difference—just by choosing to spend a few bucks a week with us rather than some big corporation, you can help stores like Videoport and River Bottom stay alive.

Published in: on December 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

VideoReport #486

Volume CDLXXXVI- Portland Plays Itself

For the Week of 12/9/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Plus, we give you a free movie every movie you buy from us (and not from some soulless corporation). It’s a lot of free movies, is what I’m saying.

 Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Popular Music, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

.>>>Dennis suggests that Netfl*x is the Devil (once again). Yay—it’s the beginning of a new month! That means that everyone’s least favorite Internet conglomerate is stealing movies away from you. That’s right—every month, Netfl*x simply decides that you don’t need to see a whole bunch of movies any more. Why? Well, the Devil. Look, Videoport has all these movies and we’re not going to take them away from you. Not ever. Tent local. Rent Videoport. Here’s the list:

“No one needs this indie classic!”—Netfl*x

1941 (1979)
The Apostle (1997)
Audrey Rose (1977)
The Believers (1987)
Better than Chocolate (1999)
Blood & Chocolate (2007)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
Chaplin (1992)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
The Cold Light of Day (1996)
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
Cry-Baby (1990)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Double Indemnity (1944)
En la Cama (2005)
Event Horizon (1997)
Eye for an Eye (1996)
Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
First Knight (1995)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Funny Lady (1975)
The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947)
I’m Not Rappaport (1996)
Ishtar (1987)

"Pffft—no one cares about this Jack Nicholson guy anyway..."—Netfl*x

“Pffft—no one cares about this Jack Nicholson guy anyway…”—Netfl*x

Joe Gould’s Secret (2000)
Joe Kidd (1972)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
King of the Hill (1993)
Lonely Hearts (2006)
Magic Trip (2011)
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
Monkey Shines (1988)
Mr. Mom (1983)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Opal Dream (2006)
The Paper Chase (1973)
The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
The Presidio (1988)
The Proposition (1998)
Reds (1981)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
School Ties (1992)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Spice World (1998)
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Swashbuckler (1976)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
They Might Be Giants (1971)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Walker (1987)
Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live (1997)
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

>>> Emily S. Customer helps you keep it local. Videoport knows that it can be a challenge even for the most devoted BUY LOCAL advocates to put their money where their mouths are, especially during the hustle-bustle of the busy holiday season. Sure, you want to support independent businesses and keep our local economy robust, but how do you fit your ideals into your budget and imagination? We’re here to help with some BUY LOCAL gift ideas, and a little something extra just for you.

The regular renter: For the Portland-area film aficionado on your list, there’s no better gift than The Spirit of Videoport Future! Choose a gift certificate (three rentals for $10, six rentals for $20, or 10 rentals for $30) or take advantage of Videoport’s great savings plan when you add credit directly to their account ($20 buys $25 in rental credits, $30 buys $40). Either way, these rentals qualify for Videoport’s great daily specials, so your recipient can get 2-for-1 rentals every weekday or 3-for-2 rental weekends! Throw in a FREE copy of the VideoReport to give them great ideas for future rentals and great free movies every day.

The movie-night basket: Pick up a new or previously-viewed DVD movie or TV season at Videoport, pack it up with a bag of Little Lad’s herbal popcorn, and a box of concession candy (try Snowcaps, Junior Mints, or Twizzlers!) and you’ve got a great gift basket for folks who want to stay in on a cold Maine night. You’ll also get a little something extra for yourself: with every DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, Videoport gives you a free rental on your own account!

The connoisseur: Can’t find just the right gift for the fancy, fussy, or hard-to-satisfy cinophile on your list? Videoport is here to help! Videoport can special-order any film in print for a gift that’s sure to please. (And you get that free rental on your account, just for buying from Videoport!)

—Some themed ideas to get you started, whether you pick them up off the shelf or special-order to get just the right title. And remember, with each DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, you get a free rental!

Arrested Development: Give a whole season of the legendary dysfunctional-family sitcom along with “a whole thing of candy beans” from Jelly Belly! If you haven’t seen the series, this doesn’t make much sense, but if you have, this idea raises an eyebrow… at least.

Finding Nemo: Pixar’s heartwarming classic will please young and old alike, and so will the Swedish Fish and chocolate-caramel turtles you pick up to go along with it!

E.T.: The Extraterrestrial: Spielberg’s modern classic doesn’t need any sweetening, but how can you not pick up some packets of Reese’s Pieces to go with it?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka and candy go together like Gene Wilder and a terrifying smile, so take your pick. I especially recommend the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled collection, where you spin the wheel and take your chances. Will you taste a Tutti Frutti or Stinky Socks? Lime or Lawn Clippings? Licorice or Skunk Spray?

Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate: For a delicious double-feature, pick these two romantic dramas, wrap them up with a few bars of Lake Champlain’s exquisite fair-trade, small-batch chocolate, and expect the winter to warm up fast.

*fine print and so on: offer subject to change, like everything else in life.

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Wanda (in Feature Drama.) There are miserable people, and then there’s Wanda, the heroine of this once-groundbreaking 1970 indie drama. Written and directed by star Barbara Loden (an actress married to director Elia Kazan, who never made another movie), it’s the almost unbearably grim story of a childish, incurious woman (Loden) who drifts into a cross-country crime spree with a completely worthless two-bit hood (Michael Higgins). Cited as a seminal feminist film, it’s one of the only films directed by a woman that was actually shown in theaters at the time of its release, and it’s still sought out by film students. As a viewing experience, it’s strangely numbing—Wanda, who has no self-esteem whatsoever, seems almost too dumb to sympathize with at first, reacting to the parade of misfortunes and abuse she suffers with an affectless tone and seemingly no regard for her own well-being. Improvisational in style, the movie stretches out in a series of grim, washed-out setpieces, with the poverty-stricken man’s Bonnie and Clyde driving across some of the most blighted-looking American landscape ever seen in movies (indeed, Wanda seems to start out and end her journey in a pit). Loden’s good in the role, although Wanda’s such a deliberate nothing that it’s hard to develop much feeling for her. Only at the end, after [shocker] Higgins’ big schemes leave her alone and adrift again, does Wanda seem to gather anything like self-awareness—even if the only glimmers of enlightenment she seems to have gleaned in the film’s haunting final shot have to do with how truly awful the world is for someone like her.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                        

>>>Dennis suggests Louie (in Comedy). This show is a sitcom, I guess. It’s like Seinfeld! Louis CK is a standup comic! And this show follows his romantic and other misadventures as he tries to make a living and, you know, live his life. Oh, except that Louie will make you gawk in awe at the spectacle of a standup comic pondering the perpetually ineffable and baffling nature of his (and our) existence. While Jerry calls a guy a Soup Nazi and has wacky neighbors. Look, not picking on Seinfeld here. Seinfeld’s hilarious. Louie‘s a revelation—the result of one of the most brilliant comic minds in the world turning his gaze inward, and putting everything he sees there (no matter what) on the screen. It’s got huge laughs, of course (Louie is one of the funniest people in the history of the world), but it’s also got some episodes that will stick in your head like_I’ll say it—great works of art do. It’s a difficult show, a challenging show. And an intensely personal show—CK told FX he’d do a show for a lot less money than what they were offering if they’d let him do it on his own, without any input from the network whatsoever. And they bought it. This is one of the best shows in TV history. Yeah, I said it.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!          

>>> It’s a free movie for kids! What, are you complaining about us giving kids a free movie? I pity you…

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!                                              

>>> For Saturday, Dennis suggests taking a chance, for cryin’ out loud. There’s a free movie every day at Videoport. Just take home something you haven’t seen or even—something you haven’t even heard of before. Maybe it’s got someone you sort of like. Maybe it’s got a weird/sexy cover. Maybe the title is a grabber. You know what you have to lose? Nothing. You know what you have to gain? A movie experience that might change your life. It’s free. You’re welcome.

>>>For Sunday, Emily suggests Attack The Block (in Sci Fi/Fantasy). By now, you’ve either seen the new Star Wars trailer or you’re not the kind of person who gives a dang about Star Wars. Or maybe you’re on the fence. Maybe, like me, you’re someone who used to give a dang about Star Wars and got burned too many times. But the new trailer has me excited despite its complete plotlessness, almost despite myself, and here’s one good reason why: John Boyega. He’s the first face we see in the trailer, and he’s also the face of Attack the Block, Joe Cornish’s 2011 horror comedy (executive produced in part by Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) in which creatures from outer space invade London on Guy Fawkes night. Moses (Boyega), the charismatic young leader of a ragged gang of street kids, has to gather all his wits and all his teenaged troops to battle the invading forces.The story and cinematography are strong, and Cornish (who also wrote the script) has an obvious affection for sci-fi and action that comes through in the rich, loving homages to the film’s genre predecessors. And he doesn’t shy away from allegory and social commentary that add a welcome level to the tale. But Boyega’s magnetism is the keystone of this film, giving Moses a charged mixture of authority, intelligence, and glimpses of tenderness that make everything we see — and everything we learn about him — not just plausible, but affecting.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Guardians Of The Galaxy (Sure, it’s a big blockbuster Marvel superhero movie and all that, but this completely-enjoyable sci-fi flick is nothing but fun, with Parks & Recreation’s Chris Pratt leading a rag-tag team of misfit weirdos. Written and directed by king weirdo James Gunn [Slither, Super], this is just as good as The Avengers—but weirder), Dolphin Tale 2 (The sequel to that adorable family film about some nice science fellows who make a robotic tail for a wounded dolphin! Just as adorable and nice and dolphin-y!), Frank (Michael Fassbender again proves his lack of ego, this time by playing the lead singer of an Dead Snow 2experimental indie rock band [alongside Maggie Gyllenhall]. Oh, and he wears a huge papier mache head through the entire movie), Dead Snow 2 (Everyone’s favorite Nazi zombie comedy gets a sequel, with some American Nazi zombie enthusiasts [including Martin Starr of Party Down] coming across the massive, snowy massacre from the first film. I wonder what happens?), I Origins (Squirrely scientist Michael Pitt [Hannibal] delves deeply into the secrets of the eyeball after a doomed love affair, and discovers all manner of things that might change the world in this trippy sci-fi romance), The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears (You should rent the first film by these directors [Amer] in order to see the sort of hyper-visual horror movie pastiche you’re in for here. Also, you should just rent Amer anyway, as it’s as awesomely weird and fascinating as I imagine this film—about a man seeking his missing wife through the hallucinogenic maze of his apartment building—will be), Calvary (The great Brendan Gleeson [In Bruges, The Guard] stars in this acclaimed Irish film about a dedicated priest trying to keep up the good work he typically does over a week where he keeps receiving mysterious, threatening letters), When The Game Stands Tall (Football fans rejoice! Here’s a true story about a coach [Jesus himself, Jim Caviezel] who took an obscure high school football team to a record 151-game winning streak. And who doesn’t love winners, right?), The Legend Of Korra-book 3 (This spinoff from the Avatar cartoon series is very good, by all accounts. You should rent it!), Drunk History- season 1 (This series seems like a dumb idea—comedian Derek Waters enlists his friends, plies them with booze, and has them drunkenly recite their favorite events from history, while some famous friends [like Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and more] act them out. It’s freaking hilarious. Trust me.)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Guardians Of The Galaxy, When The Game Stands Tall

Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

VideoReport #485

Volume CDLXXXV- Portland Alexanderplatz

For the Week of 12/2/14

 

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. I don’t know how that can be anything but a good thing.

 

Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Popular Music, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

>>> Emily S. Customer helps you keep it local. Videoport knows that it can be a challenge even for the most devoted BUY LOCAL advocates to put their money where their mouths are, especially during the hustle-bustle of the busy holiday season. Sure, you want to support independent businesses and keep our local economy robust, but how do you fit your ideals into your budget and imagination? We’re here to help with some BUY LOCAL gift ideas, and a little something extra just for you.

The regular renter: For the Portland-area film aficionado on your list, there’s no better gift than The Spirit of Videoport Future! Choose a gift certificate (three rentals for $10, six rentals for $20, or 10 rentals for $30) or take advantage of Videoport’s great savings plan when you add credit directly to their account ($20 buys $25 in rental credits, $30 buys $40). Either way, these rentals qualify for Videoport’s great daily specials, so your recipient can get 2-for-1 rentals every weekday or 3-for-2 rental weekends! Throw in a FREE copy of the VideoReport to give them great ideas for future rentals and great free movies every day.

The movie-night basket: Pick up a new or previously-viewed DVD movie or TV season at Videoport, pack it up with a bag of Little Lad’s herbal popcorn, and a box of concession candy (try Snowcaps, Junior Mints, or Twizzlers!) and you’ve got a great gift basket for folks who want to stay in on a cold Maine night. You’ll also get a little something extra for yourself: with every DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, Videoport gives you a free rental on your own account!

The connoisseur: Can’t find just the right gift for the fancy, fussy, or hard-to-satisfy cinophile on your list? Videoport is here to help! Videoport can special-order any film in print for a gift that’s sure to please. (And you get that free rental on your account, just for buying from Videoport!)

—Some themed ideas to get you started, whether you pick them up off the shelf or special-order to get just the right title. And remember, with each DVD purchase of $3.99* and up, you get a free rental!

Arrested Development: Give a whole season of the legendary dysfunctional-family sitcom along with “a whole thing of candy beans” from Jelly Belly! If you haven’t seen the series, this doesn’t make much sense, but if you have, this idea raises an eyebrow… at least.

Finding Nemo: Pixar’s heartwarming classic will please young and old alike, and so will the Swedish Fish and chocolate-caramel turtles you pick up to go along with it!

E.T.: The Extraterrestrial: Spielberg’s modern classic doesn’t need any sweetening, but how can you not pick up some packets of Reese’s Pieces to go with it?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka and candy go together like Gene Wilder and a terrifying smile, so take your pick. I especially recommend the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled collection, where you spin the wheel and take your chances. Will you taste a Tutti Frutti or Stinky Socks? Lime or Lawn Clippings? Licorice or Skunk Spray?

Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate: For a delicious double-feature, pick these two romantic dramas, wrap them up with a few bars of Lake Champlain’s exquisite fair-trade, small-batch chocolate, and expect the winter to warm up fast.

*fine print and so on: offer subject to change, like everything else in life.

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

>>> Dennis suggests Vikings (in Action). I wrote some stuff about Vikings once. (Actually, I write about it a lot for one of my 35 other jobs).

“It took a while, but I finally came to the understanding that Ragnar’s caginess in his leadership is partly born of something like sheepishness and caution. He’s like the star quarterback who’s discovers the joys of poetry and tries to find the least obtrusive way to bring his hidden appreciation for higher culture into greater acceptance—without getting the Viking equivalent of a locker-room wedgie, which would probably involve a lot more cleaving. In retrospect, it’s a brilliant way to create a Viking hero for modern sensibilities without turning him into an anachronistically modern hero. (It’s also a smart way to deliver the expected Viking thrills in a reduced-guilt form.) As Ragnar’s ambitions are revealed, they are decidedly homey—land to farm, greater prosperity for his people, and an end to the constant violence that marks every aspect of Viking life. Ragnar’s desire to sail west into the unknown flies in the face of stolid Earl Haraldson’s (Gabriel Byrne) determination to simply keep raiding the doormat lands to the east, which is standard rebellious hero stuff. But when Ragnar discovers the rich and fertile England, what he sees is farmland (the Scandinavia of the period had precious little arable land)—and with it, the chance to fundamentally transform the Vikings’ pillage-based way of life. And while it’s never clear how fully articulated Ragnar’s plans to essentially colonize England are, even to himself (Vikings is at its weakest when it gives Ragnar too much to say on the subject), it is clear that what he’s longing for is an end to the necessity of constant warfare in favor of what we see him enjoying from the first episode: family and farm and security.”

This is a good show, is what I’m saying.

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Party Down (in Comedy.) For one of those 35 other jobs, I have to come up with suggestions for the best sitcom episodes of the last 25 years. Still formulating, but I’ll definitely be including one episode from this short-lived sitcom about the very resentful staff of a Hollywood catering company. The cast is stellar, and the show traffics in character work in tandem with big physical gags to produce one of the best workplace comedies ever. If I had to pick one episode to represent the show, though, I’d say it’s be season two’s “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday Party,” where Party Down Catering shows up to, yes, Steve Guttenberg’s house to staff his birthday party, only to find that the Gute has forgotten all about booking the gig. Faced with having to eat the deposit and waste all the food, the Gute, instead, tells the gang to come in and party with him, and to invite some friends. It’s a great setup (the Gute does some great self-parody, and seems like a great guy), and the episode offers the cast the chance to play out their ongoing stories as they hang around, with varying degrees of comfort, with a big (if faded) movie star. Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan are simply amazing in this one, as their will-they-or-won’t they coworkers (he a failed actor, she a wannabe one) try to impress each other by acting out parts in coworker Martin Starr’s terrible sci-fi script. Meanwhile, Ken Marino’s perpetually bumbling and pathetic sort-of boss breaks the Gute’s priceless aquarium/work of art, Megan Mullaly’s social climber tries to get in good with the host, and dim actor Ryan Hansen fails to impress his much smarter actress date. Even McLovin’ shows up. The whole thing just works, coming together in a way that is simply perfect. Huge laughs, some unexpected heart, and the Gute. What more could you want?

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                        

>>> Andy suggests The Tee Vee Show, Episode 8 (in the Incredibly Strange section). The Tee Vee Show is a locally produced collaboration between developmentally disabled adults and local artists. A joint venture between the creative teams at The Art Department and Bomb Diggity Arts*, Episode 8 is a culmination of their 2014 short films, edited together into one cohesive program with clever transitions and some genuine enthusiasm for extended title sequences. But why should you watch this right now, you ask? Because it’s super fun (and thanks for asking)! Some of the short films are straight-up spoofs, like the MTV Cribs episode (“This is my stool I use to sit.”) and the Survivor parody. There are also well-produced genre exercises (Marc vs. Marc, Love Is In The Air), a cooking show (“I want my carrots sliced and diced!”), and a summery music video for a damn catchy song. But my favorite segments are the harder to categorize, stop motion animated flights of fancy that seem to tie The Tee Vee Show together. All About The Common Loon is a lovely and heartfelt ode to nature, and others are more difficult to describe. A brief description of the original fairy tale video couldn’t possibly do it justice! I’m just sayin’, you should check it out, adventurous Videoport renter**! After the ending title sequence that incorporates a generous helping of bloopers and behind the scenes footage, an Episode 9 is promised for 2015. Stay tuned!

*You have likely walked by their storefronts on Congress Street, or possibly even bought some of the artwork sold inside. If not, you should give it a try!

**And if you’re reading this review, I assume you are exactly the kind of adventurous Videoport renter who would be interested in taking The Tee Vee Showhome***.

***Also, thanks for reading this far. You must share my love of asterisks!

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!          

>>> It’s a free movie! And you don’t have to rent anything else to get it! Plus, Videoport’s conception of an appropriate kids movie is wonderfully broad—you’ll find something.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!                                            

>>> For Saturday, Dennis suggests In A World (in Comedy). It’s nice when people I like do something I like. That’s pretty much my reaction to this unassuming, sweetly entertaining indie comedy drama from actress Lake Bell, who also writes and directs. You’ll recognize Bell, even if you don’t know her name—she’s very funny on the very funny Childrens Hospital and was good in the Maine-made horror thriller Black Rock (from Mainer-made-good Katie Aselton). But she’s usually stuck playing the funny pal to rom-com leads like Cameron Diaz or someone like that. So, in a role mirroring her own frustrations no doubt, Bell stars here as Carol, a sensibly shlubby vocal coach with aspirations to voiceover stardom like that possessed by her overbearing father (silky voiced Fred Melamed, the unlikely lover in A Serious Man). Everyone’s looking to fill the shoes of recently deceased, real-life movie trailer legend Don LaFontaine (famous for his “In a world…” opening catchphrase.) When Carol finds herself in the running for the gig voicing the trailers for a new Hunger Games-like franchise, she finds herself also in competition with her dad and the smarmy prettyboy up-and-comer played with his usual pitch-perfection by The State’s Ken Marino. Like all first features, everything’s sort of low-key and pleasant, but the cast is outstanding, including the likes of Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman, Demitri Martin, and Tig Notaro, all bringing their roles the spiky, lived-in colors only comic character actors can really bring. And Bell is really good, resolutely refusing to let Carol be either to self-indulgently perfect, or anybody’s victim. Just a good little movie.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests Broad City (in Comedy.) Look, there’s no doubt that the lovely Ms. Emily S. Customer will review this show—that she loves—very soon. In the meantime, I’ll just direct you to this show starring two of the funniest, weirdest, crudest women you don’t know about yet. Unless you’re one of the cool kids. (PS: Amy Poehler discovered them and produces this. That should be enough to convince anyone.)

New Releases this week at Videoport: Broad City- season 1 (Okay, this is the show you should be watching, a rude, crude, defiantly hilarious Comedy Central sitcom about two young women pursuing nothing in particular with unapologetic zeal. Serioulsy—all the cool kids love this one. And you want to be cool, don’t you? Don’t you?), The Hundred Foot Journey (Pretty much all I have to say is “Helen Mirren,” and you all are going to want to rent this one, but I’ll supply more details, because I’m a professional. In this one, HELEN MIRREN plays the snooty ruler of a five-star French restaurant who gets all snooty when an Indian restaurant opens up right down the street. Silly HELEN MIRREN—Indian food beats French food any day of the week.), Justified- season 5 (Timothy Olyphant is back as the ‘totally gona shoot you and say it was justified’-est marshal around in this still-pretty-good copper show, The Strain- season 1 (Guillermo del Toro [Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim] produced this horror series about the Center For Disease Control discovering that this new disease might have something decidedly unusual [read: fang-y] about it), Kite (Based on the cult anime film [which, of course, you can rent in Videoport’s Anime section], this action thriller sees a tough, gun-totin’ girl go after the thugs who murdered her parents with the help of her dad’s old cop partner [played by Samuel L. Jackson]), Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (Monkeys! All right, they’re apes, but still, it’s fun to yell Monkeys! In this sequel, the superintelligent ape Caesar and his rebellious brethren have pretty much taken over the world, leaving a band of human survivors [including Gary Oldman] to try and keep those damn dirty ape hands off of their throats), The Simpsons- season 17 (Look for Sideshow Bob on the cover this time!), The Jewish Cardinal (Long-awaited film, based on a true story, about a Catholic cardinal who discovers that he’s actually—well, you’ve read the title.), Stretch (Comic thriller from director Joe Carnahan [The Grey, Narc] about a down-on-his-luck limo driver who has one seriously bad day, ferrying around a series of increasingly crazy and violent characters), Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It (Those hard-drinking, doping, trailer park layabouts are back in another feature length adventure, this time realizing that legalized weed will deprive them of their only source of income.), Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays (Billy Crystal brings his one man Broadway smash show to DVD, as he reminisces about his childhood and—I’m just guessing here—tells a story or two about Mickey Mantle), The Congress (Robin Wright stars in this Being John Malkovich/Cold Souls-style reality bending film as herself, an aging actress who allows her essence to be captured by a movie studio’s computers in order that she can be inserted into any film they choose; Costarring Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, and Jon Hamm)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Kite, The Hundred Foot Journey, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

VideoReport #484

Volume CDLXXXIV- Once More With Feeling

For the Week of 11/25/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie (or TV show DVD) every single day. Might we suggest some Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Angel? Read on and let us show you why that’s a very good idea, indeed.

 Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Popular Music, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

>>> Dennis suggests Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel (in Horror). Fearless defenders of the world from the forces of darkness, both Buffy (former cheerleader destined to be the one, chosen vampire killer) and Angel (former evil vampire cursed with a soul and trying to save the world while atoning for his sins), have faced it all. Demons, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, snake men, snake monsters, really big snake-demon-monsters, even (in one regrettable instance) an alien, and they’ve always come out on top. But last week, the intrepid duo almost went down at the hands of their most insidious enemy of all—time. Occasionally, Videoport will run a list of things that haven’t rented in a long time. Years, even. And some of that stuff has to go—there’s only so much space in our little basement, and Videoport is, in a very real way, an embodiment of the cultural zeitgeist. Some things last, some things fade—and the measurement of our cultural memory is made through the actions of our customers. (Of course, the really important stuff we keep even if you guys never touch it—we have standards.) But some stuff simply…falls away. And last week, both the Buff and Angel were, shockingly, up for the big, pointy stake through the heart, most of the discs having not rented…in years! Years?! So after being granted a reprieve by our wise and benevolent leader, some pals and I are gonna remind the world all over again why exactly these outstanding and influential series should have a resurgence. Come, let us show you…

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!

>>>Dennis suggests Buffy. You bet he does. Look, the premise sounds dippy—bubbly California blonde finds out she’s the latest in a centuries-old line of vampire slayers. Oh, and there are vampires. But remember a few things: 1. This predates all the vampire over-saturation we’re experiencing nowadays. In fact, Buffy probably caused it—it was the little cult show that could, and its devoted following was made up of a lot of creative types, many of whom went on to get seriously into

From the scariest episode ever, "Hush." (Lest you think these shows are too mushy.

From the scariest episode ever, “Hush.” (Lest you think these shows are too mushy.)

vampires. So don’t blame Buffy for Twilight or True Blood or The Vampire Diaries—but understand that they only exist because Buffy was so great. 2. Everyone is all about Joss Whedon now, but this is where he really found his voice. Once The Avengers made, oh, all the money in the world, and everyone was amazed at its mix of action, drama, comedy, and super-team dynamics, he could do anything he wanted. But, like with Lord Of The Rings’ Peter Jackson, Whedon was making grubby, low budget greatness before Hollywood came a’calling—he just was able to translate some of what made his little vampire shows so great into major studio magic once he got the chance. Everything you loved about The Avengers (or Cabin In The Woods, or Much Ado About Nothing, or Firefly, or Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog) is all right here—seven seasons’ worth—just waiting to be discovered (or re-discovered). 3. The lovely Ms. Emily S. Customer, four very learned professional friends, and big, dumb me held years-long weekly Buffy Nights, where we made dinner, got drunk, and watched three or more episodes of an evening. It’s one of the most fun times of my life. 4. It’s got a pre-fame Alyson Hannigan (of How I Met Your Mother and being delightful fame) as Willow, Buffy’s best friend, the most adorable, formidably geeky witch the world has even known. 5-100. Once you get through the (short, sometimes rocky) first season, this show will own you. You’re going to devour it. Like all great serialized dramas, you’ll get attached to the characters, to a very protective, possessive extent. Apart from all the cool supernatural stuff and arse-kicking, Buffy is very much a coming-of-age ensemble drama, with Buffy and her pals (self-nicknamed The Scooby Gang) dealing with parents, boys/girls, sex, college, jobs, money—all in insightful, touching, and funny as hell ways (Whedon is one hell of a writer). It can go operatic like a Shakespearean tragedy, it can go broad and silly, it can be almost unbearably painful (Whedon is also a monster when it comes to hurting or killing the people you love the most). This is great American television. Up next:

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                                        

>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests (under duress) Buffy! DENNIS IS FORCING ME TO WRITE THIS! Here are some things that make me think of Buffy: Dennis forcing me to think of Buffy is number one on the list. Second, there’s construction going on outside my office which makes it feel like a Hellmouth is sitting beneath me and it’s about to get all apocalypsey in this place. Third, using the word apocalyspey! Because Buffy was amazing at turning words into other words. I think it was Buffy that taught me grammatically that all words have the power to become verbs, adjectives, and/or adverbs. Fourth, there was a terrifying experience with a bug last night. I can’t get into it, but just know that it was horrifying and I’m still traumatized. There have been a lot of great bug monsters on Buffy! And the trauma they inflict continues unto other seasons. In general I think that’s awesome for shows to do and you’d think it would be obvious, but no. Quite a few sci-fi, horror, and/or fantasy shows have always been big fans of having something epic or interesting happen in one single episode and then never ever speaking of it again. Then TV started to get good! And I dare say Buffy was a frontrunner of our current heyday of shows being really good.  So you know, if you like things that are really good and you want Dennis to free me from this cage. Check out some Buffy! Or Angel…that works too. But Buffy first.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                        

>>>Videoport customers and staff vote for their favorite (and least favorite) episodes of Buffy and Angel! We threw a call out to the Videoport faithful on the Internet, and here are their picks:

Buffy favorites (with quotes):

—“Hush” (season 4, episode 10): “The silent episode with those weird, creepy spooks.” (Four votes)

—“Once More With Feeling” (season 6, episode 7— The musical episode! “My family still listens to the soundtrack in the car on a regular basis.”) (Four votes)

—“Restless” (season 4, episode 22—“Trumps the almighty Hush and OMwF for simply being so epic. Heck, even Simon Pegg tweeted about it a few weeks back.” (Three votes)

—“Smashed” (season 6, ep 9—“The one where Buffy and [redacted] get down and dirty”)

—“The Body” (season 5, ep 16—“A masterpiece of an experience.” “In a league of its own.”) (Four votes)

—“Seeing Red” (season 6, ep 19)

—“Graduation Day-Parts 1&2” (season 3, eps 21&22—“ I refuse to choose between part one and part two. They’re both parts of the same thing!”)

—“The Zeppo” (season 3, ep 13)

—“Bad Girls” (season 3, ep 14)

—“The original pilot with the other Willow” (?!?)

Buffy least favorites:

—“Chosen” (Series finale: “I hate it because they killed [redacted].” (Three votes)

—“The Pack” (season 1, ep 6)

—“Hell’s Bells” (season 6, episode 16)

—“I Robot, You Jane” (season 1, episode 8—“ Not only was it a stand-alone clunky episode, it felt like they were trying. First season kinks.”) (Two votes)

—“Beer Bad” (season 4, ep 5)

—“Um…every episode except the musical episode of season 6.”

—“Primeval” (season 4, ep 21—“That season finale with the original slayer; what the hell was that?”)

Angel favorites:

—“Smile Time” (season 5, ep 14—“You’re a wee puppet man!” Angel gets turned into a muppet. It is glorious.) (Two votes)

—“Spin The Bottle” (season 4, ep 6—”I love episodes where the established reality is intentionally broken and bent to explore character as much as plot.”)

The last scene of "Not Fade Away."

The last scene of “Not Fade Away.”

—“Not Fade Away” (series finale—“I mean, it was amazing.”) (Three votes)

—”A Hole In The World” (season 5, ep 15—”If you can make it to the end of this and not be devastated—nay destroyed—you have no soul.”)

Angel least favorites:

—“All of season 4.”

—“Expecting” (season 1, ep 12)

—“Origin” (season 5, ep 18—“The ep where [redacted] came back with his new family, it seemed kind of tacked on with no real purpose.”)

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!          

>>> Never too early to get your kids into Buffy and Angel Well, maybe it is, but do it anyway.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!                                            

>>> For Saturday, Emily S. Customer goes in-depth into two of her favorite episodes. First up, it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Restless,” S4 disc 6. In its fourth year, Buffy the Vampire Slayer broke with television tradition by slating the season’s climactic battle to end in its penultimate episode, “Primeval.” After the Scoobies overcome the infighting spurred by Spike’s sneaky sniping to band together and defeat the season’s Big Bad, they retire to Buffy’s home with a stack of movies and a big bowl of popcorn to ride out the post-battle buzz… and promptly doze off. The vignettes following Willow, Xander, Giles, and Buffy through the surreal landscapes of their dreams are just as eerie and absurd as you expect, but they’re also poignantly revealing and densely larded with foreshadowing. I always love watching dream sequences, which allow familiar characters to briefly step outside their mundane strictures and try on new roles — or fall into old traps — but this episode is all dream sequence, each weird, whimsical segment culminating in sudden violence. There’s something oddly restful about the rhythms of “Restless,” an uneasy lullaby rocking the viewer into quiet, wary watchfulness that’s miles away from rest.

>>>For Sunday, Emily heads over to Buffy’s sister show for Angel, “Spin the Bottle,” S4 disc 2. Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) has lost her memory, and her life story isn’t the kind of tale you’d swallow wholesale if someone told it to ya, even if anyone knew the whole truth, which they don’t. So Lorne (Andy Hallett) casts a memory spell intended to return Cordelia’s past to her present. But he doesn’t know secrets harbored in the heart of his fellows, or how heavily they’re weighing on them. And also, he doesn’t so much know how to cast a memory spell, turns out. The mystical spell comes on more like mushrooms and mescaline, sending Lorne, Cordie, Fred (Amy Acker), Gunn (J. August Richards), Wesley (Alexis Denisof), and Angel (David Boreanaz) into a loopy high that swiftly turns to regression. Not memory regression: straight-up age regression, taking each of them back to their teenaged persona, which is a considerably longer trip for the vampire with a soul — now an Irish boy named Liam — than it is for Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Head Boy of the South Hampshire Watcher’s Academy. “Spin the Bottle” also functions as a bottle episode (I see what you did there, writers), saving production costs and time by shooting on an existing set with a minimum of special effects. Shucking off their dark secrets and tortured dynamics, the character (and the actors) weave a whole new fabric together as they explore the now-mysterious Hyperion Hotel that’s so familiar to Angel viewers, developing theories of how they’ve been brought here and why, discovering secrets about themselves they have to hide from the others, and soon the emotionally fraught fabric of their complicated relationships gets woven back together again from new threads. It’s giddy and gleeful and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

So that’s our collective case, people. Rent you some Buffy and Angel. Their survival is up to you…

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Expendables 3 (Sylvester Stallone is back, collecting all the creaky, HGH-juiced former action stars loitering around Hollywood for yet another mega-action spectacle of leathery grunting and automatic weaponry. Joining Sly this time are: Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzennegger, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li [for team Metamucil] and younger generation Kellan Lutz, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Ronda Rousey), The Giver (Jeff Bridges stars as a wise old weirdo in this young adult adaptation trying to fill that Harry Potter/Hunger Games bloodlust. In this one, a young guy learns that his seemingly perfect society is built on a whole bunch o’ lies when he must venture out and fight some evil. Meryl Streep picks up a paycheck, too.), November Man (Pierce Brosnan continues his Liam Neeson-esque late career action hero career with this thriller about an ex CIA operative who’s just trying to retire in peace, dammit. Unfortunately the Russian president and the CIA and whole bunch of dudes with guns make him pick up his guns and his stylish suits again.), A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (One of this year’s obligatory Christmas movies, this one about a terrible father coming to spend the holiday, reluctantly, with his resentful adult son. Should be a pip! One of the last films of Robin Williams, who stars alongside Community’s Joel McHale), What If (The interesting cast of Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver should liven up this romantic comedy about a guy and a girl who fall in love, like you do.), Omar (Oscar-nominated drama about a young Palestinian freedom fighter forced to turn informant for the Israelis, and the probably understandable conflict that results), Housebound (Good-looking horror from New Zealand about a woman forced to move back in with her mother to serve out a house arrest. Awkward, but, to make things worse, the house turns out to be haunted!), Legends Of The Knight (Intriguing documentary about the disparate, often desperate, people around the world who have taken up the legend of Batman in surprising, often inspiring ways), A Letter To Momo (Delightful Japanese animated film about a young girl who finds a letter from her recently-deceased father—and a trio of strange creatures living in her attic), The Grand Seduction (In this remake of the French Canadian film Seducing Dr. Lewis, a small village sets up an elaborate scheme to convince a hunky young doctor to stay in order that they can keep their town alive. Starring Taylor Kitsch and Brendan Gleeson.), A Madea Christmas (Here we go again. Tyler Perry’s back in a dress! For Christmas churchiness this time!)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: Come Back To The 5 And Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Videoport brings in this just released on DVD Robert Altman obscurity, a play adaptation where Cher, Karen Black, and Sandy Dennis play a trio of women still obsessing over the time, long ago, when James Dean was filming Giant in their tiny Texas town. This was the first time people took Cher seriously—and she is pretty good.), Two Shadows (2012 indie dramedy about a young California hipster who takes off for Cambodia when she hears that she still has living family there), Festival! (1967 concert film about the best performances and personalities from the legendary Newport Folk Festival, featuring the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Donovan, and Judy Collins)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Miller’s Crossing, Letter To Momo, Expendables 3, The Giver

Free parking at Videoport! The parking lot behind the building is free for customers after 5PM on weekdays and all days on the weekends. Also, we can get you a free hour of parking at any downtown parking garage (including the courthouse garage which is, like, a one minute walk away). Just ask for one of our magic stickers!

Get your movies duplicated at Videoport! You guys know we can make copies of your DVDs and VHSes at Videoport, right? No, it can’t be anything copyrighted (that’s sort of what that word means), so you’ll just have to buy another copy of Weekend At Bernie’s to replace that VHS you’ve played so often it finally shredded itself. But home movies or anything not copyrighted? We can do it! $10 bucks a pop and little Susie’s dance recital can be copied and sent to every relative on your Christmas card list!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,707 other followers