VideoReport #466

Volume CDLXI- The Videoport Movie Massacre

For the Week of 7/22/14

(Click the pics for more reviews!)

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Repeat: every…single…day. As you were.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests Home Movies (in Animation.) There’s nothing else quite like Home Movies. Co-created by Brendon Small (Metalocalypse) and Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers), the improvisational animated series centers around eight-year-old filmmaker Brendan Small, his best friends Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky: Dr. KatzBob’s Burgers) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin: ArcherBob’s BurgersWet Hot American SummerJon Benjamin Has A Van) as they hang out in Brendan’s basement filming, play desultory games of soccer under the slack tutelage of dissipated blockhead Coach McGurk (also Benjamin), and go through day after day of school with their weird classmates (several of whom are voiced — you guessed it — by H. Jon Benjamin). It doesn’t sound like much until you watch it, at which point the quiet brilliance of the show starts to creep up on you. After an ignominious beginning at UPN, which cancelled it after just five episodes, Home Movies was picked up by the just-established Cartoon Network where it became one of the founding series on which its successful Adult Swim programming block was built, and with good reason. Home Movies is a playhouse for great comedic talent. Home Movies leaves plotlines loose and improvisational, making the most of its cast’s easy comedy and chemistry and of its stellar guest performers: in addition to its regular cast, the series features recurring or guest performances from Louis C.K., Laura Silverman, Jonathan Katz, Jen Kirkman, Andy Kindler, Emo Philips, Maria Bamford, Eugene Mirman, Mitch Hedberg, and Patton Oswalt, and they all seem to be having a blast.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests Comanche Station (in Classics.) My catchup on all of the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott westerns continues! (How’s your catchup of obscure westerns going, by the way? Thought so…) In this one, the perpetually laconic and leathery Scott plays Jefferson Cody, a signature Scott lone rider who we first see in a tense negotiation with a group of Native Americans. (Sure, these westerns all have something of a simplistic view of the “injuns”—it’s the times, just go with it.) Cody has followed a rumor that the Indians are holding a captive white woman. They are—but Cody registers disappointment when he sees that the woman is Nancy Gates’ Nancy Lowe, but he completes the deal and gets them the hell out of there, especially since he had to throw his rifle into the deal. Hitting the trail, they don’t talk much (see Randolph Scott, taciturnity of), but when they come upon Burly Claude Akins and his henchmen, the plot fills in each of their backstories. She was captured by the Comanches and her husband has offered a $5000 reward for her return—but hasn’t come looking for her himself. And he—he’s been bargaining for the return of kidnapped white women for years. Each story pays off affectingly (her reveal is the less predictable), and Scott has another showdown with a violent man like himself, but one who hasn’t made the same moral choices (a Boetticher theme). All of these seven “B” westerns had low budgets, but Boetticher had a unique eye for settings, and for casting—like previous entries The Tall T and Ride Lonesome there’s an offbeat, thoughtful tone to the usual western proceedings, and, as ever, Scott provides an authoritative, magnetic center. In addition, the fact of what happened to Gates during her captivity is handled in an unusually mature and touching exchange between herself and Scott—it’s only a few lines, but it speaks volumes for both characters, and for the story. I continue to be impressed. Up next week: The decidedly darker Decision At Sundown.

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 seven bucks!                                                        

>>> How about getting some free money at Videoport! Pre-pay $20, we give you $25 in rental credit. Pre-pay $30 and you get $40 in rental credit. Yes, it’s just that easy, people.

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 seven bucks!                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Inside Llewyn Davis (in Feature Drama.) First off, it’s LLEWYN, not Llewellyn. Blame the Coen Brothers for making your brain mispronounce the title every single time. Second, it’s a Coen Brothers film—see it. The Coens are among the best American filmmakers of all time. Their vision is singular, their films unique—and difficult. And never less than fascinating. In this one, a character study of the titular LLEWYN Davis, a struggling folk singer in the Greenwich Village of the early 1960s, the Coens seem to be doing something simple. The folkie gigs, scams money and places to stay from threadbare friends and worn-out acquaintances, and dreams of making it big. Being the Coens, though, things aren’t quite so simple as another story of a musician chasing his dreams. Llewyn (a should-be star making performance from Oscar Isaac, who does his own playing and singing), is talented, but the film is cagey about whether his lack of success is his fault, or the cold, unfeeling world’s. He’s dedicated to his art, but is that artistic feeling justification for his often lousy behavior? And what’s the deal with that cat? Like most Coen Brothers movies, there are more questions than answers, but there’s also the assured, guiding sensibility behind every single moment that makes you think that your final confusion is worthwhile. (And entirely your fault.) As Coen Brothers movies go, ILD is on the minor side, which means it’s only about the third best movie I’ve seen this year. Yes, the Coens are that good.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

>>> It’s a free movie and it’s for kids. Save your grinchy grinching for someone who’s not giving a free movie to a kid.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                    

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests The Americanization Of Emily (in Classics.) Hats off to James Garner, who could play a rogue with just the right balance of conviction and compassion, making his characters as irresistible as they are irascible. In The Americanization of Emily, Garner stars as Lt. Commander Charlie Madison, a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve who spends the height of WWII stationed safely in London, where he flouts regulations, rationing, and propriety by rounding up delicacies, liquor, entertainment, and women for the pleasures of the officers. Madison’s enthusiastic aptitude for his role as dogsbody to the brass both impresses and offends Emily Barham (Julie Andrews), the crisply proper English recruit from the driving pool who shows up at one of the parties on a lark. It’s no surprise that a script by Paddy Chayefsky lays the foundation for a crisp, lively satire with a few unexpected turns… and it’s no surprise that James Garner breathes life into Charlie Madison that makes him an indelible portrait of masculinity and a deftly drawn character who burns with vitality and feeling.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests Rectify and Enlightened (both in Feature Drama.) You know how TV shows on DVD have made it far too easy to devour an entire series in just a few weeks, making you all cranky because the next season doesn’t come out for a freaking year?!? Well, take these bite-sized shows as a stopgap measure while you wait for HBO to put out the next season of G-D Game Of Thrones—in February?!q F-you HBO! Any way, I call these shows “bite-sized” because they follow the cable/BBC model of short seasons, and not because they’re less substantial than others. In fact, I’d say these series are two of the most resonant, mysteriously moving TV series I’ve ever seen. Challenging? Yup. Hard to describe in any way that’s going to make you want to rent them? You bet. So here’s the deal—I’m just going to say trust me on these. You won’t be sorry.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Transcendence (Johnny Depp stars as a scientist who uploads his consciousness into his new artificial intelligence gizmo which, shockingly, goes horribly awry. Maybe predictable considering he’s playing a scientist who thinks doing that is a good idea. Morgan Freeman costars, proving [as does this year’s Lucy] that he is ever eager to star in sci-fi movies with dumb-ass premises), Cesar Chavez (Michael Peña stars as legendary [and still so, so relevant] labor leader and civil rights activist Chavez. Costarring America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley, and John Malkovich who no doubt is playing some sort of big, rich, white jerk), The Suspect (good-looking Korean spy thriller about a decorated North Korean agent who finds himself abruptly cut off during a mission, leading to one of those roaring rampages of revenge that makes for all the best action movies), Heaven Is For Real (Greg Kinnear stars in this church-y drama about a professor who has to decide whether and how to reveal that his adorable son claims to have visited heaven during a near death experience and totally did not have an easily explainable, well documented physiological reaction to trauma), Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club (speaking of church-y, here’s the new inspirational dramedy from noted prolific borderline-incompetent Perry [the Madea movies], this time about a group of single mothers who bond together to solve each other problems and, presumably, find the Lord. Starring Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Amy Smart), Sabotage (Arnold Schwarzenegger is back from that whole pesky political career and making up for lost time by churning out a couple of action flicks every year. Here’s the new one, with Arnie and pals Sam Worthington, Terrance Howard, and that hunky werewolf guy from True Blood every likes playing undercover DEA agents targeting drug cartels. But have they been undercover for too long!?!), Dom Hemingway (Jude Law dirties himself up to play the titular character in this British gangster flick about a thuggish ex-con unable to keep himself from having rude, lewd violent misadventures. Costarring Richard E. Grant, and The Bridge’s Demian Bichir), The Angriest Man In Brooklyn (Robin Williams stars in this dark comedy as the titular meanine who, told he’s only got 90 minutes to live, decides to try to make up for a lifetime of meanness with his friends and loved ones. Costarring Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo, and everybody’s boyfriend Game Of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage), Blue Ruin (Great reviews come along with this indie thriller about a seemingly harmless guy whose unlikely obsession with vengeance throws his childhood hometown into bloody uproar), Bad Biology (From Frank Henlotter, director of the cult classic Basket Case [which you really should see if you like insane, awesome things], comes this self-described “god awful love story” about a pair of sexually obsessed lovers whose individual quests for unusual sexual fulfillment collide in a, well, orgy of carnal carnage), GMO OMG (You’re eating untested, genetically altered food every day. Some people—not the makers of this documentary—think that’s no big deal)

New Arrivals This Week At Videoport: An American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into The Spotlight (wow, American Girl series—way to give away the plot…)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Dom Hemingway, Transcendence, Sabotage, Ray, Heaven Is For Real

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 know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…

 

Buy your movies at Videoport!

(Instead of some stupid chain store or soulless, small-business-crippling website.) Yup, apart from the many previously viewed movies and TV shows on hand at Videoport, we can get you anything that’s currently in print. We don’t charge shipping (or that handling nonsense), and you can have it in your hands in a bout a week. Sure, said corporate behemoths might get it a bit cheaper (because of their concentrated, small-business-crippling evil), but Videoport gives you a free rental with every single movie you buy from us. Call that $3.50 off the price, call that a blow for the little guy—all it really means is you get your movie and make the world a liiiiiitle bit better at the same time.

VideoReport #465

Volume CDLXV- Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Videoport Rental DVD (AKA: Stop Touching The Shiny Side)

For the Week of 7/15/14

(Click the pics for more reviews!)

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. We just thought that was something you oughta know.

 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 seven bucks!

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests Sexy Beast (in Incredibly Strange.) Speaking of Jonathan Glazer (see Sunday’s review), his Sexy Beast (2000) is a fluid, vicious, vibrant nightmare of a thriller, a stylish, eerie riff on classic heist film tropes.  London gangland handler Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) visits former safecracker Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) in the Spanish countryside to which he’s retired, urging Gal to take on — you got it — one last job. Why? Because Don wants it, and Don gets what he wants. Kingley’s performance earned him an Oscar nomination, and rightly so; he animates Logan with ferocious energy and menace, giving every inch of his body to this intense performance.

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests It (in Horror). Okay, okay: Stephen King adaptations tend toward the hammy and the cheesy — and a King miniseries is like a six-foot ham and cheese sub. But whatever the deficiencies of 1990’s It, there’s one huge plus: Tim Curry as Pennywise, dolled up in full killer clown costume and obviously having a ball. He reels and roars his way through the 3 hours, chewing the scenery with those razor-sharp teeth and rolling his raspy voice around with relish.

>>>Dennis suggests Minotaur (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). Yes, I am suggesting that you watch this—if only to restore your hope that you can amount to something. The movie’s a horrible dum-dum mess of a thing, with a bunch of Brits and the ever-working Tony Todd (still improbably maintaining

There he is. Told you.

There he is. Told you.

some dignity in spite of a midriff-baring leather outfit and nose ring) running desultorily around a very cramped looking cavern set and occasionally being gored through the thorax by the GCI or puppety bull man of the title. (Some dude is hoisted up by some not-even-remotely hidden wires.) But, emoting his heart out in the midst of all this ill-lit nonsense is none other than Tom Hardy! Yes, Tom Hardy from Inception, The Dark Night Rises, Bronson, Warrior, and lots of other movies that don’t have anything resembling a poorly-designed mythological bull-person in them. So what, I hear you saying—every young actor has some gigs they’re not especially proud of. Shut up and listen, I say—this movie was made in 2006! Dude was 29 years old at that point! That’s only 8 years ago! See what you can accomplish in 8 short years! You could be one of the biggest stars in the world in 8 short years! Just star in Minotaur now and get it out of the way.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests Ride Lonesome (in Classics.) I’ve always meant to catch up with the low budget western series team up from director Budd Boetticher and legendary rawhide hero Randolph Scott. So, no time better than the present, I’ve been checking them out on my lunch hours and I’ve gotta say I agree with film critic hero Danny Peary (Cult Movies)—these are super. I recommended The Tall T last week, so here’s my cheerleading for Ride Lonesome, where Scott plays another soft-spoken loner riding the Old West with a code of honor and a secret. This time, he plays the awesomely named Ben Brigade, taciturn bounty hunter who captures dipsh*t outlaw killer James Best (later The Dukes Of Hazzard’s Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane) and sets of across country to turn Best in for the reward. Along the way, he meets up with recently widowed Karen Steele, who’s kinda purty, and a pair of outlaws played by Bonanza’s Pernell Roberts and James Coburn (in his first film). Also, they pick up a tail in the form of evil Lee Van Cleef, who’s Best’s brother, and whom Brigade seems to be allowing to follow the party’s trail. In nearly all these Boetticher films, Scott is a moral man with a violent past, and each time he’s paired with his opposite number, a violent man who hasn’t chosen the moral path. Here, it’s Roberts, a man Brigade knows is of shaky character, but who respects Brigade—but does he respect him enough to do the right thing when the time comes? All of these Westerns make exquisite use of their meager budgets (they were actual ‘B’ pictures), with unique Western settings, crisp, interestingly composed shots, and the stalwart, eminently formidable Scott, in whose rangy, soft-spoken men of action the very soul of the Western resides always. Coming up next week: Boetticher/Scott film #3 Comanche Station.

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 seven bucks!                                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests brushing up your pronouns (Get all three for the Monday-Thursday three movies for a week for seven bucks deal). It (1990), recommended above for Tim Curry’s rollicking performance, features a group of childhood friends reunited to fight unspeakable interdimensional evil in the shape of a creepy clown, why not? Them (1954) stars James Whitmore as a New Mexico state trooper tracking the mysterious cause of a rash of weird deaths and disappearances. In Ils (2006) follows young teacher Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy) and Lucas (Michaël Cohen) just want to spend a quiet weekend at their isolated country home. Spoiler alert: they don’t.

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 seven bucks!                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests you pair up a new release with a freebie! Broadway legend Elaine Stritch, known for her brassy renditions of Sondheim and Coward and for her wry, dry wit, is the subject of a documentary newly released on DVD: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me follows the octogenarian around New York as she rehearses her one-woman show, pads around her hotel room in her signature tights-and-dress-shirt, knocks back cocktails with show-biz cronies, and advises her director on the best place to put the camera. She’s mercurial, affecting, sharp, sweet, and often infuriating. Knock back this new release back like a good draught of bourbon, then revisit the formidable Stritch in her heyday by checking out Tales of the Unexpected episode “My Lady Love, My Dove.” Based on the Roald Dahl short story of the same name, this episode features Stritch at her swaggering, rasp-throated roughest, embodying a host of Dahl’s fears of powerful women with giddy, conniving viciousness.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

>>> It’s a free movie and it’s for kids. Save your grinchy grinching for someone who’s not giving a free movie to a kid.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                    

>>>For Saturday, Former Videoporter Stockman suggests About Time (in Feature Drama.) In Richard Curtis I trust. The man who wrote and directed Love Actually should always be given the benefit of the doubt. Richard Curtis has certainly been associated with some pretty meh movies, but I’ll always give him the benefit of the doubt.  So, despite the premise of About Time seeming like it would be better called Time Rufi (Ruphy? Roofy?  Rufie? I have no idea and I’m really not sure googling that word is in my best interest) I was interested in checking it out. Also I love Rachel McAdams. Ginger haired adorable British boy lives life with the ability to travel back in time, but only backward and forward within his own timeline. I walked away from this movie with the same sweeping feeling that Love Actually gave me. An elative feeling of hope and community. I’d say don’t bother watching this only if you hate love and togetherness, but even soulless people who hate love and togetherness loved Love Actually! Loved it almost because of its flaws and not in spite of them which everyone knows is proof of true love. I think you should give this movie a try because you might just, like me, find yourself falling in love again and we all know that love actually is all around.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests you pair up a new release with a freebie! Long-awaited otherworldly meditation Under The Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as a nameless woman driving the streets of Scotland in search of companions — and finding them in abundance — is director Jonathan Glazer’s first feature film in nearly a decade. Grab it tonight, and pair up the new release with Glazer’s 2004 Birth, an odd urban fable. Anna (Nicole Kidman), a stylish young widow of ten years, is preparing to remarry when a young boy arrives as drops a bombshell into the life she’s carefully — so carefully, cautiously, guardedly — rebuilt.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Under The Skin (Scarlett Johansson is a mostly-mute alien seductress! In this movie, I mean. Of course, she could be one in real life—I don’t know about people’s personal lives. Anyway, this Scottish sci-fi/thriller/mind-screw is getting some serious buzz as one of the most original, weird, and disturbing movies of 2014, with Johansson wandering around the streets of Glasgow and seducing unwary men for purposes I’m not going to tell you about. See Sunday’s review for a double feature recommendation from the lovely Emily S. Customer!), Le Weekend (old pros Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star in this heartwarmer about an aging couple who head back to Paris, the site of their long-ago honeymoon, to rejuvenate their marriage; costarring Jeff Goldblum), Bad Grandpa .5 (did you like Bad Gandpa, where Jackass jackass Johnny Knoxville dressed up in very convincing old age makeup and teamed up with an annoying little brat to freak out the squares? Well today’s your lucky day, as Videoport brings in this extended, all new version with 40 minutes more of scatological uncomfortableness! You’re welcome!), Black Dynamite- season 1 (cartoon series based on the very, very funny live action blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite; You just don’t mess with Black Dynamite…), Hell On Wheels- season 3 (more Old West grittiness about an outlaw turned maybe not quite an outlaw any more, fighting for his piece of the dusty American dream amidst the backdrop of the building of the transcontinental railroad), Open Grave (District 9’s Sharlto Copley stars in this thriller about a guy who wakes up in the bottom of a pit full of bodies. Is he next? Did he kill them? He can’t remember, dammit!), Orphan Black- season 2 (The star of this show, Tatiana Maslany, was robbed like a poorly-guarded bank in last week’s Emmy nominations, there’s no doubt about that. But you can check out this very exciting thriller series [with a premise you might not want to know about if it hasn’t been spoiled for you already] and get all riled up over her snubbing. She really is giving one[?] of the best performances on television right now), Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (fascinating documentary about 88 year old Broadway legend Stritch, the epitome of “brassy old broad” as she struggles to prepare for one last cabaret tour and interacts with the likes of Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, John Turturro, James Gandolfini, and Tracy Morgan), The Face Of Love (Annette Bening and Ed Harris star in this romantic drama about a woman who strikes up a relationship with a man who bears a striking resemblance to her late husband)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Nymphomaniac Part 1, Nymphomaniac Part 2, The Raid 2, The Raid: Redemption, Under The Skin

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 know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…

 

Buy your movies at Videoport!

(Instead of some stupid chain store or soulless, small-business-crippling website.) Yup, apart from the many previously viewed movies and TV shows on hand at Videoport, we can get you anything that’s currently in print. We don’t charge shipping (or that handling nonsense), and you can have it in your hands in a bout a week. Sure, said corporate behemoths might get it a bit cheaper (because of their concentrated, small-business-crippling evil), but Videoport gives you a free rental with every single movie you buy from us. Call that $3.50 off the price, call that a blow for the little guy—all it really means is you get your movie and make the world a liiiiiitle bit better at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #464

Volume CDLXIV- GOOOAAALLL!!!

(Click on the pics for more reviews!)

 For the Week of 7/8/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Repeat: Every…single…day.

 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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests Who’ll Stop The Rain (in Mystery/Thriller.) Remember when Nick Nolte was strikingly buff and handsome and not that crazy? Well, if you’re longing for a time when Nolte could have been cast as Thor without too much of a stretch, check out this surprisingly grim and violent thriller with Nolte playing a former Marine roped into smuggling heroin back from Vietnam for his shifty buddy Michael Moriarty. When things go to hell, Nolte grabs Moriarty’s clueless wife Tuesday Weld and goes on the lamb from a trio of particularly unpleasant and crazy bad guys (Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey, and evil cop Anthony Zerbe). Appearing only a few years after the Vietnam War ended, the film is a uniquely gritty and strangely sad action flick, with disillusioned, unhappy people trying to put their shattered lives back together in unwise ways. Nolte’s formidable and resourceful as he and perpetually underused Weld make an unusual reluctant couple, and Moriarty does his Moriarty thing, bringing an eccentric energy to yet another perpetual loser screwup character, a former idealist whose faith has been shattered by the lunacy of the war. Full of odd touches, interesting dialogue, and sudden outbursts of violence, this is an overlooked, mean little gem. Based on Robert Stone’s novel Dog Soldiers.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests The Tall T (in Classics.) A great, seminal Western from genre stalwart Budd Boetticher (Decision At Sundown, 7 Men From Now, Ride Lonesome), starring his favorite leading man, Western legend Randolph Scott. Cult Movies author Danny Peary (the best film critic you’ve never heard of) called it a battle of wills between “a moral man with violent tendencies and a violent man with moral tendencies,” and that’s a good approximation of the surprisingly complex morality of the film. Scott plays an expert, upright cowboy who’s trying to start up his own homestead on the frontier of a slowly-civilizing West. Taken hostage by a trio of bandits led by the courtly but dangerous Richard Boone, Scott finds himself trying to keep himself and fellow captive, spinster Maureen O’Sullivan alive while the gang waits for her rich father to come up with ransom. Scott and former Tarzan’s Jane O’Sullivan make a good couple, his rangy ranch hand coming to respect the woman whose louse of a new husband betrayed her to save her own skin. But the film’s heart is the relationship between Scott and Boone, another of Boetticher’s mirror image antagonists. Tight-lipped Scott bides his time and minds his words in his predicament but Boone, a similarly older old Western hand comes to respect and like Scott, his taciturn wisdom a sharp contrast to Boone’s crude, violent henchmen (including go-to “ethnic” sidekick Henry Silva as the unfortunately named, quick-triggered “Chink”). In their conversations, the film’s theme comes into focus, with two capable denizens of the frontier subtly arguing the paths they’ve chosen. In the end, it’s the moral but violent Scott who must make his case against his opposite number. One of the best lesser-known Westerns out there.

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 seven bucks!                                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Moscow On The Hudson (in Comedy). In honor of the late Paul Mazursky, take home his 1984 comedy. As much as certain people/political parties would like to claim otherwise, the immigrant experience is integral to what America truly is, and Paul Mazursky’s comedy is an especially clear-eyed yet warm-hearted exploration of that fact. Robin Williams (of all people) delivers a lovely, understated performance as Vladimir, a Russian circus clown who impulsively defects in the middle of Bloomingdale’s. Treated like a feel-good story for a day, Vladimir journeys from his initial, naïve dreams of life in the land of the free, to the disillusionment of the disenfranchised, and finally to genuine citizenship, with all its attendant compromises.

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 seven bucks!                                         

>>>Dennis suggests Veronica Mars (in Feature Drama.) The movie, that is (although I can’t imagine anyone watching the movie without having seen the show first). Veronica Mars is back (thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign where TV fans tossed their dollars in to see Neptune, California’s foremost high school sleuth return). Kristen Bell is great as always as Veronica, who reluctantly comes back to her hometown to advise her onetime boyfriend, the perpetual “good looking bad boy who plays by his own rules” Logan (Jason Dohring) when he’s accused (not for the first time) of murder. Of course, she gets sucked back in to the class war hellscape that is Neptune, home of the meanest, most corrupt rich folks in America—Veronica Mars has always been one of the few US shows that made class a major theme. And if the mystery isn’t especially clever, it’s not bad—the show was always more interested in Veronica and her relationship with her peers and her excellent private dick dad Enrico Colantoni than in crafting brilliant twists. And the film brings back all your favorite characters (some for mere cameos), with the relationship between Veronica and dad Keith remaining one of the most realistic and supportive in TV history. All in all, those VM fans who helped get this film made were no doubt satisfied. For the rest of you, the show really is worth a look, as Veronica remains a great, strong female protagonist. Fun.

Free Kids Friday!  One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

 >>> Emily S. Customer suggests The Parent Trap. Let’s take a trip to summer camp! The Parent Trap (1961) stars Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills as two squabbling summer campers whose cabinmates keep remarking upon their resemblance. Finally figuring out why they share that uncanny resemblance, Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick work out a scheme to play the biggest switcheroo on their parents (Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith).

Having a Wild Weekend!  Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                     

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests Wet Hot American Summer (in Comedy.) It’s hard to predict who’ll love Wet Hot American Summer. Written by David Wain and Michael Showalter of MTV’s legendary (and long unavailable) sketch-comedy show The StateWet Hot American Summer is a glorious muddle, an incredibly silly trifle with some real sensitivity and some dark, dark background stories at its heart. The film stars a stable of State-ers alongside a scattering of now wildly successful actors (Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks), all obviously well into their twenties or thirties and all cast as goofy teenaged camp counselors feeling the heady swell of freedom from their parents’ homes and rules. The film veers between parody of the summer camp genre and flat-out farce. If you watched a few minutes and dismissed it as stupid, I’d have to nod a little… reluctantly. If you called it a hilarious romp that makes you think you might hurl laughing, I’d prob’ly invite you over to watch it together and see Chris Meloni do his thing. (For a The State double date, head over to the Incredibly Strange aisle and grab a disc of The State, which was finally released in DVD after a long wrangling over musical rights.)

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests Meatballs (in Comedy). Directed by Ivan Reitman (who would later direct Murray in Ghostbusters and Stripes), Meatballs is a snapshot of a different time, a time of tiny gym short-shorts worn with gym socks up to the knee, a time of feathered hair back-pocket combs on prominent display, a time of lax seatbelt laws and no notion of “safe sex.” A time before Bill Murray was a massive star. A time when a goofy summer-camp movie could focus as easily on Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) as on Murray’s effortless antics, but still let the charm and magnetism that would make him an legend shine through.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Nymphomaniac—Part 1 (director Lars von Trier [Antichrist, Dogville, Breaking The Waves, Dancer In The Dark] returns with another excruciating tale of a woman’s lifetime of sexual degradation; Four-plus hours of it! Starring the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slate, Uma Thurman, Connie Nielson, and Udo Kier), Nymphomaniac—Part 2 (The rest of those four hours I was talking about), Visitors (from Godfrey Regio, director of the likes of Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi comes this similarly trancelike visual meditation of man’s relation to nature and technology and all manner of things), Bad Words (Jason Bateman directs himself in this rude comedy about a grown man who, for reasons that only gradually become clear, enters a series of children’s spelling bees and is generally crude and mean and awful to everyone—it’s a comedy!), Hinterland- season 1 (described, in an understandably desperate blurb, as “like a Welsh The Killing,” this BBC mystery series follows the requisite beleaguered copper dealing with the requisite murders and hate crimes in the middle of the Welsh countryside), Maidentrip (seafaring documentary about a 14 year old girl looking to become the youngest person to sail around the world all alone; possibly also a documentary about a pair of parents looking to avoid the child protective services for allowing their 14 year old daughter to do suicidally dangerous things), Vicious—season 1 (Sirs Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi sink their hammiest choppers into this acclaimed and hilarious sitcom about a bickering gay couple whose 50 year relationship mostly involves making catty one-liners at each other), Helix—season 1 (from the SyFy network, here comes a sci-fi horror series about a group of scientists at the North Pole who suspect that they might have uncovered something suspiciously similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing), Like Father, Like Son (acclaimed Japanese heart-tugger about a dad who discovers that his son was in fact someone else’s son, thanks to a long-ago hospital mixup), The Raid 2 (you know how the film The Raid: Redemption is the most insane, over-the-top awesome action flick of all time? Well here’s a sequel which claims it goes even further into brain-melting action movie nirvana), Don Peyote (a stoner gets heavily into hallucinogens and starts making a film about the supposedly apocalyptic conspiracies he sees going on all around him; starring the likes of Dan Fogler, Josh Duhamel, Anne Hathaway, Dean Winters, Wallace Shawn, and Topher Grace, you can find it appropriately enough in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section), Jodorowsky’s Dune (all film fans should check this one out, a documentary about the abortive attempt of all-time lunatic/visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky [The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre, El Topo] to adaprt Frank Herbert’s epic sci fi novel into a film that would have most likely driven the moviegoing public bananas), Kid Cannabis (another drug-fueled romp you can find in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section, this time a real-life tale of a nerdy college dude who became an unlikely drug lord when he masterminded smuggling weed over the Canadian border; costarring character actor all stars John C. McGinley and Ron Perlman), Mind Of A Chef (cooking show shenanigans with Anthony Bourdain and David Chang)

New Arrivals This Week at Videoport: Brian’s Song (the most surefire manly cry movie of all time, with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams portraying real life football players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers who battled racist attitudes and a deadly disease, and…sniff…excuse me, there’s something in my eye…), Highway 61 (acclaimed Canadian indie comedy about a mild mannered barber [Don McKellar of Last Night and Slings & Arrows] swept up in a scheme by free spirited roadie Valerie Buhagiar to smuggle a drug-filled corpse over the American border)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Bad Words, Visitors, Jodorowsky’s Dune

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 know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…

VideoReport #463

Volume CDLXIII- Videoport: The Revenge

For the Week of 7/1/14

 

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. We just thought that was worth mentioning…

 

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 seven bucks!

"Who needs this piece of crap?"—Netfl*x

“Who needs this piece of crap?”—Netfl*x

>>> Dennis suggests that, perhaps, a certain internet movie streaming service doesn’t give a damn about what you want. I know, it’s a shocking claim to make about one of the worst companies in the world, but hear me out. See, said internet conglomerate has, once again, decided that there are a lot of great movies you just don’t need to see any more. They do this all the time. I know—that’s BS, right? I might point out at this point that Videoport never does that—we have lovingly collected our library of great films for decades. They’re here, they’re never going away, and, frankly, we here at Videoport think it’s something akin to a crime against movies and people who love movies. Maybe against humanity—I’m not a lawyer. So, just so you know how evil said heartless internet corporation is and how little they care about what you want, here are just some of the movies they’re like, “Eh, those chumps don’t need to watch these—plus we hate our customers anyway.”

The African Queen

Angel Heart

As Good As It Gets

Bang the Drum Slowly

Chinatown

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The Death Wish movies

Desert Fox

Dragonslayer

Dr. Strangelove

Event Horizon

Evil Dead II

For Your Eyes Only

From Russia With Love

Gattaca

Goldfinger

Hotel Rwanda

Killing Zoe

Lars and the Real Girl

Less Than Zero

Look Who’s Talking

The Living Daylights

Monkeybone

Never Say Never Again

Night Of The Living Dead

The Odd Couple

Point Blank

Poolhall Junkies

Resident Evil

Robinson Crusoe On Mars

Rocky

Rocky II

Rocky III

Rocky IV

Roger Dodger

Rubber

The Running Man

Same Time, Next Year

Spaceballs

Taxi Driver

The Terminator

Tokyo Godfathers

If you’re like me, then your blood starting boiling about three movies in. Not to beat a dead, evil horse, but that list is one of the many reasons why you need an independent video store in your life. Videoport gets more movies for you to enjoy. Netfl*x takes movies away from you on a damned whim. Rent Videoport.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests The Ballad Of Cable Hogue (in Classics.) Noted tough guy director legend Sam Peckinpah claimed this elegiac Western as his all-time favorite (over the likes of The Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, Straw Dogs, or Cross Of Iron), so who am I to argue. It’s a gentler film for Peckinpah (sure, some guys get shot, but only a few), and is home to a truly lovely, funny performance from fellow screen legend Jason Robards. Playing Cable Hogue, a garrulous Western drifter, Robards’ Cable gets double crossed and left to die of thirst in the desert by his traveling companions. Making deals with God (Cable’s running commentary is sweet and weird), he discovers an undiscovered water hole right between two distant towns and scrapes together a tiny settlement to make a home (and semi-lucrative business) and falls in love with local prostitute Stella Stevens. The rambunctious courtship of the two is genuinely funny and sweet, with Stevens being warily smitten by the courtly Cable’s respectful treatment. Throw in the ever-welcome David Warner as a lecherous, self-ordained priest as Cable’s unlikely pal, and the film is almost pure entertainment. And, since we’re up on Independence Day and all, it’s also an eccentrically patriotic film, with Cable raising himself up from nothing and creating his own slice of the Old West dream; look at Cable’s face when he’s given a gift of an American flag to raise over his new homestead, and the way he appeals to the town’s banker, saying, “Well, I’m worth something, ain’t I?” with sadness in his eyes. The dialogue throughout has a strange, spiky rhythm, and Robards walks away with it.

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 seven bucks!                                                        

>>> Videoport customer Kevin H. suggests The Lifeguard (in Feature Drama). “This Summer Growing Up is Optional” states the cover box. That – and maybe the prominent placement of a swimsuit-clad Kristen Bell – might lead one to expect some sort of off-color comedy. Which is unfortunate. While there are some light touches of humor throughout the movie, the core story is about a young woman’s emotional response to falling apart. Bell’s character, Leigh, has always been a smart and driven high achiever. At 29, she’s a journalist in New York, by outward appearances a success. Inside, she’s unhappy, emotionally drained, and unsure of herself. In a moment of despairing inspiration, she decides to ditch it all and retreat – back to her parents’ house, her hometown, her old friends. Her attempt to reset the clock only provides a temporary comfort, though; she’s still someone who has gone from success story to being completely lost and adrift, and bad choice upon bad choice follows. Bell does a very good job of conveying, in little subtle ways, how frightening that must feel. Seeing her character struggle with the pressure of failed expectations (her own and those of others), with trying to recover a sense of herself – that’s where this movie really succeeds. I’m not going to claim that, on the whole, it’s a great movie, but it’s certainly better than the packaging might indicate, so…give it a try, maybe.

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 seven bucks!                                        

>>>Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (in Classics.) It is an absolute tragedy that this movie is showed in government classes in high school because high school students are a bunch of unappreciative tw*ts. I include myself in that! If it hadn’t been for a stellar older brother I would have harbored a wellspring of inaccurate distaste for this movie. Just to be spiteful. Allow me to be the stellar older brother to your Michelle. This movie rocks! It gets better every time I watch it! Fourth of July is always a swell time for some patriotism and this movie is patriotic in spades. Take a break from feeling desolate and jaded about our country. Let your heart skip a beat in joy as you watch corruption defeated. “I suppose when a fella bucks up against a big organization like that, one man by himself can’t get very far can he?” At least he can in the movies. And Frank Capra knows all the right beats to hit to make it the most satisfying experience it can be.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

>>> It’s free! It’s for kids! Awwww—we’re so nice!

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                    

>>>For Saturday, Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (in Classics.) Wait! There’s more! Did you know that Frank Capra actually did a sort of “common man” trilogy. Sort of. I mean the common man being awesome is a general theme for him, but in particular I’m talking about Meet John Doe, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Yes, the same Mr. Deeds that Adam Sandler did a revolting remake of, but that’s a whole other rant. I waffle as to which one is my favorite Mr. Smith or Mr. Deeds, but I really couldn’t bare life without both. Meet John Doe is fine, but I’m choosing not formally recommend it because it never made my heart sing like it was a princess in a Disney movie. I think Mr. Smith has more passion, but Mr. Deeds has more humor and quirk. If you want to feel the same tearful happiness of the greedy and terrible getting taken down good and proper, but you really don’t want to deal with all that government nonsense, this is definitely the winner. They both somehow manage to hit all the same points and emotions and yet be so satisfyingly different. You get a fabulous dose of Jean Arthur no matter what you watch. She’s worth falling in love with twice.

>>>For Sunday, Videoport customer Kevin H. suggests I Used To Be Darker (in Feature Drama.) “I Used to be Darker” likewise introduces a young woman looking for an escape. Taryn, an Irish teen, has decamped for the US and is working at a boardwalk arcade. In a bit of a bad situation and unable to cope, she takes further flight to Baltimore, showing up unannounced at the home of her uncle Bill, aunt Kim, and older cousin Abby. She wants the shelter of warm memories of these relatives and past times spent at their house. Instead, she finds Kim and Bill in the midst of a separation. Kim wants to pursue her musical career. Bill wants to hang onto the family for which he feels he sacrificed his musical interests. Abby is angry and frustrated, particularly with Kim. And, like Taryn, we have to pick our way through the anger and brittle sharp edges that made it difficult, initially, to even like these characters. The lashing out and sneering hurt feelings are easy to see; slowly, though, we start to see how they care for, and are careful with, each other. We sit with them in their private despair, in scenes that can feel deeply personal and raw. This is small scale, personal movie making. The actors are largely non-professionals (Kim and Bill are played, apparently, by real-life musicians). Perhaps not the easiest of viewings, but it rewards a little attention. Plus, it’s filled with interesting music (not in a “here’s the soundtrack!” kind of way), and it’s got a gorgeous, washed out, summer-y look that just makes you feel all kinds of hip.

New Releases this week at Videoport: A Young Doctor’s Notebook (everybody’s cool guy Jon Hamm and erstwhile Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe star in this odd British miniseries about a young Russian doctor who seeks the advice of his older self in dealing with the problems of working in a tiny rural Russian hospital during the Russian revolution; look for it in Videoport’s British Comedy section!), The Unknown Known (Errol Morris is the best documentarian in the history of the world, so you should probably rent this, his most recent film where he gets former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to open up, just as he did with former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in his earlier film The Fog Of War),The Lunchbox (crowd-pleasing Indian film for foodies! When a young woman’s carefully prepared meals start getting accidentally delivered to a widowed worker, they start exchanging anonymous letters to each other alongside the delicious curries), The Bridge (following hard on the heels of last week’s release of its American remake, here’s the Swedish/Danish original series, about a body found directly on the border of two countries, forcing two very different cops to work together; check Videoport’s Foreign section!)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: The Lunchbox

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 know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #462

Volume CDLXII- How To Succeed In The Video Rental Business Without Being a Huge, Soulless Corporate Jerk

For the Week of 6/23/14

 

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Oh, I’m sorry—make that every single day. Apologies.

 

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 seven bucks!

>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Starship Troopers (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). I’ve only seen this movie once and it was in 2000 in Scotland, but I remember it quite fondly! I love Summer. I love it with a hot passion as hot as the hottest days, but less muggy.  It’s challenging though because the depth of my love for Summer is equal in depth for my hate of insects. I just googled it and according to the Smithsonian at any given time it is estimated there are 10 quintillion bugs alive. Quintillion! That’s a real not made up number! The best thing to do for all of us is to watch a movie where bugs are evil and are mercilessly slaughtered. And laugh. Laugh at their destruction. Laugh until we cry salty cooling tears down our sunburned faces. Wow, this got dark. I think I might have some unresolved bug issues. If memory serves correctly, (which it may not because I was drinking a lot of mulled wine at the time and it was 13 years ago), this was really a not so bad movie. I’m going to watch it again and prove it to you. Or you could just test this out for yourselves instead of waiting for me.I’m pretty sure it’s good. Like 87% sure. It has NPH in it who is the bees knees these days! That could be worth it alone. I’m okay with bees of the bumble variety. They’re cute and they like flowers. Dennis once called me the wasp’s elbows and despite wasps in real life being total dicks it still makes me smile.

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 seven bucks!

>>> Emily S. Customer loves a good in-joke. Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday packs a two-fer: fast-talking, flim-flamming newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) rebuffs a politician’s vague threats with a snappy “Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach — just a week before he cut his throat!” Archie Leach, of course, was Grant’s own birth name. Earlier in the film, Walter describes his ex-wife’s solid, dependable new fiancé Bruce as looking ” like that fella in the movies… Ralph Bellamy,” suggesting the nice-enough guy might be a little bit of a dud, at least compared to Cary Grant. Who plays Bruce? Why, it’s that fella from the movies: Ralph Bellamy.

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 seven bucks!                                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer shares her favorite in-jokes and shout-outs. In 30 Rock episode “St. Valentine’s Day” (S3, ep11), Jack Donaghy finds himself confessing — and by “confessing,” I mean “boasting of” — his sometimes bawdy, sometimes loathsome sins to a clearly unworldly priest now suffering the twin agonies of alarm and temptation. Among those misdeeds: “I take the Lord’s name in vain often and with great relish. I hit my mother with a car, possibly by accident. I almost let [corporate rival Devon Banks] choke to death right there on the football field. I looked the other way when my wig-based parent company turned a bunch of children orange. I once claimed ‘I am God’ during a deposition.” Many of Jack’s sins occur on-screen over the course of the show; still more are off-screen events. But that last one — “I am God” — alludes to an earlier Baldwin role, that of cocksure surgeon Dr. Jed Hill in Harold Becker’s overstuffed thriller Malice, which features the Aaron Sorkin-penned deposition diatribe concluding with “You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.”

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 seven bucks!                                        

>>>Emily S. Customer tells you what’s what. Savages (2012) is Oliver Stone’s lurid, hammy tale of small-time drug dealers (Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who go into business with a Mexican cartel. The Savages (2007), Tamara Jenkins’ acclaimed domestic drama, centers on adult siblings (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney) returning home for a funeral only to discover that their estranged father (Philip Bosco) is descending into dementia.

>>>And just to be a smarty-pants, Dennis adds in Savages (in Incredibly Strange), a bizarre outlier in the usually staid Merchant/Ivory film repertoire. Written by infamous Saturday Night Live “prince of darkness” Michael O’Donoghue and New Yorker writer George Trow, this 1972 surrealist film centers on an isolated mansion where the civilized aristocrats within gradually transform into naked forest people…and sort of back. Weird and fascinating.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

>>>Emily S. Customer continues her favorite shout-outs with The Lion King. When young Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) giggles “You’re so weird!” at his scheming uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons), any astute viewer will see the wry truth in Scar’s purring “You have no idea” — but it’s doubly chilling for those of us who remember the line from Jeremy Irons’ ice-cool performance in Reversal of Fortune as Claus von Bulow, a one-time WWII collaborator accused (and convicted, though the verdict was overthrown) of murdering his socialite wife, Sunny (Glenn Close).

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                    

>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests The Gong Show Movie (in Incredibly Strange.) First off, this movie may have never been released, on any format, since it was run out of theaters like freaking Frankenstein chased by the villagers. Videoport has a copy—don’t ask questions—so I thought I’d watch it on a recent lunch hour simply because it seemed like the worst possible idea ever. And was it? Umm, no, not really. For those of you not old and fond of terrible things, The Gong Show was invented by this guy named Chuck Barris and on it people performed unusual (meaning batsh*t insane) tricks and half-celebrities made fun of them. It’s like reality TV but 40 years ago. Barris himself was the subject of the quiet good (and batsh*t insane) Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, where he was played by the great Sam Rockwell and where, according to Barris’ autobiography, Barris was secretly a hitman for the CIA while simultaneously introducing acts like Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine. Well, The Gong Show movie, which seemed like an idea born of the 70s cocaine explosion, follows the beleaguered Barris on a few typical days where he interviews potential acts, hosts his awful show, and fights with the network about how smutty everything was. Throughout, Barris seems like a decent enough guy, bemused and exhausted by the pressing needs of fame and the would-be famous, and actually being sort of endearing. Warning: you have to see a lot of Gong Show acts along the way, including some not good enough to get on The Gong Show. Barris actually reminds me of comedian and podcast host Marc Maron (see his standup Thinky Pain in the Comedy section), a world-weary, reasonably funny guy making jokes to save his sanity. (He even sounds like Maron.) Watching The Gong Show Movie: Not the worst idea I’ve ever had!

>>>For Sunday, Andy suggests The Wolf of Wall Street (in Feature/Drama). How does a 70-something-year-old have the energy to make a movie like this one? I’m exhausted just watching this three-hour dynamo! This more than makes up for the last Scorsese/DiCaprio joint, Shutter Island… (excuse me, I’m yawning as I remember that one). The Wolf of Wall Street is the story of Jordan Belfort, the real life stockbroker/criminal/despicable human being. More than that, it’s the story of Belfort’s excess, corruption, and profound lack of character. And somehow that lack of character, that black hole of any redeeming characteristics, is the best performance Leonardo DiCaprio has given since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Yup. We, the audience, despise Belfort’s complete absence of morality and basic goodness, and yet are made to admire his talent as a salesman, his ingenuity as a businessman, and his success as a horny, greedy, drug-loving son of a bitch! Belfort is a talented, whip-smart, but f**king awful guy, and Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio made a

Warblood causes clownface. See your doctor.

Warblood causes clownface. See your doctor.

thrilling and hilarious movie about him, and I think it’s as good as anything either of them have ever made, either together or separately. Talking with people about The Wolf of Wall Street is fun. There’s usually no discussion or critique; it’s just sharing enthusiasm and agreeing on its awesomeness (as long as there’s no undue idolization of the criminal characters). In that way, it’s kind of like talking about GoodFellas.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: 300: Rise Of An Empire (remember 300, the bare-chested, kilted, teeth-gritted action flick about those wacky Spartans? Well it’s back! You know, not by the same director or really any of the same stars or anything, but hey—still insanely buff guys in leather whacking each other with swords! ), Winter’s Tale (this year’s magical, improbable, super-dreamy epic love story stars Colin Farrell as a burglar who falls in love with a sickly heiress—yay! But then she dies—no! But he find out she can reincarnate herself so he goes to find her—yay! But evil Russell Crowe is some sort of mystical evil guy out to spoil everything—boo! Rent it and swoon, if that’s you’re thing), Masters Of Sex- season 1 (super-sexy and smart cable series [pay cable, so you know they leave the naughty bits in

There's something about that 'E'...just can't put my finger on it...

There’s something about that ‘E’…just can’t put my finger on it…

there] about the famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, played by the excellent Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, respectively), The

I know Chris Christie's involved in this somehow.

I know Chris Christie’s involved in this somehow.

Bridge- season 1 (intense FX crime thriller about a dead body found on the exact border of the United States and Mexico, which causes dogged Mexican cop Demian Bechir and brilliant, slightly crazy American cop Diane Kruger to team up and uncover a whole lot of truly unsavory stuff), Enemy (like sexy, scruffy Jake Gyllenhall? Well now there’s two of him! In this erotic thriller, Jake plays a history professor in Canada who spots his lookalike in a live sex show, and then starts seeing him in small parts in movies; he becomes obsessed with finding the guy and then, well, I’ll let your imagination take over; from the director of Incendies and Prisoners), Blood Ties (Guillaume Canet, who directed the intense French thriller Tell No One heads to 1970s Brooklyn for this crime drama about two brothers [Clive Owen, Billy Crudup] involved on both sides of the law with the mob; the ever-lovely Marion Cotillard co-stars), Comedy Bang! Bang!- season 2 (you should really watch this show. You know, if you like hip comedy. Or all the funny celebrities. Or fake talk shows. Or surrealist, conceptual comedy. Or Reggie Watts. Or like to laugh in general. Oh, or weirdness.), Wallander- season 3 (EVERYONE LOVES THIS SHOW! Sorry to yell, but it’s true—everyone just plain loves dour Scandinavian detective Kurt Wallander as he world-wearily works his way through all the most depressingly violent crimes ever; check Videoport’s Foreign Language section for all the dour thrills!),Two Lives (German drama about a young woman who refuses to testify about her status as a “war child” [the product of a Norwegian woman and an occupying German soldier] once the Berlin Wall comes down, causing all manner of twisty-turny upset-people drama; costarring the ever-

Don't ask. Just watch.

Don’t ask. Just watch.

luminous screen legend Liv Ullman), Sons Of Perdition (insightful, upsetting HBO documentary about several teens trying to adjust to the world after leaving a cult-like fundamentalist Mormon splinter group), Some Velvet Morning (it may have the drippiest title of all time, but don’t be fooled—this is yet another act of sexy, nasty cinematic provocation from master of same Neil LaBute (In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbors, The Shape Of Things) about a man [Stanley Tucci] returning to his former mistress [Alice Eve], claiming to have left his wife for her; when she’s not all that overjoyed at the news, things take a dark, let’s call it Neil LaBute-ian turn)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: 300: Rise Of An Empire, Masters Of Sex- season 1

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 know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home

This one has a much smuttier alternate poster. Google it.

This one has a much smuttier alternate poster. Google it.

movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,704 other followers