VideoReport #497

Volume CDXCVII- The Abominable Snowman Says “Screw It” And Hops A Plane To Hawaii: The Movie

For the Week of 2/24/15

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Who else can see that? Not you, Netfl*x—sit right the hell down. You give the world exactly nothing. We’ll take care of the free movies, thanks.

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! MPW-38372

>>> Dennis suggests Raw Meat (in Horror.) Sometimes, you should really watch something gross and weird. This 1973 British horror flick has a lot going for it—genre icons Donald Pleasance and Christopher Lee, a grubby, distinctly British setting (the London underground), and some seriously 1970s visceral horror. People have been disappearing from the London subway. When the lovely girlfriend of a guy is taken on her way home, her fella delves into the tunnels under London and discovers a horrifying truth that has a lot to do with some long-forgotten corporate malfeasance and the will of the proletariat to survive, no matter what. So, you know, there’s some social commentary in there, but it’s still full of grisly shocks, strange dark humor (or humour, I guess), and that specifically 70s brand of upsetting, visceral horror where blood and guts look unsettlingly real. See, here’s the thing, Videoport is the place where such things live. Weirdness. Strangeness. Cult movies. Forgotten movies. Things that make you think. Things that make you squirm. Videoport is the sort of place where such things live, where you can explore and find something odd you’d never see otherwise.

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 Black Death (in Action/Adventure). I’m watching the Oscars as I write this, and since Eddie Redmayne just won Best Actor for The Theory Of Everything (also available at Videoport, of course), here’s my pick for your Eddie Redmayne catchup. A medieval action thriller about some knights sent to examine a remote English village where the eddie-black-deathravages of the bubonic plague have seemingly been held at bay. Sean Bean (The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones) is the knight in charge of the investigation, while fellow Game Of Thrones star Carice van Houten (the witch-woman Melisandre) as the bright-clad priestess of the suspiciously healthy town. Redmayne is the arguable main character, an unworldly monk sent along to assess the purported miraculous nature of the town’s immunity. It’s a solid, realistically grubby sword-and-armor drama, with a good performances and a decent twist ending. Redmayne’s affect in the film, as you’ll see as you catch up on the newly-minted Oscar winner’s filmography (see list), is decidedly odd and slightly offputting. He has a waxy, bug-eyed face, and seems ideally suited to be a creepy supporting player. (Or equally creepy villain, as seen in the recent sci-fi spectacular Jupiter Ascending—coming soon!) He’s a good actor, but a strange presence. It’s going to be interesting to see how his career pans out from this—it’s like if Steve Buscemi won a Best Actor Oscar when he was in his early 30s and Hollywood had to figure out what to do with him now. If you want some sweet, sweet Redmayne, here’s the list: The Good Shepherd (2006) Savage Grace (2007: alongside fellow 2015 Oscar winner Julianne Moore) Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) The Yellow Handkerchief (2008) The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) Powder Blue (2009) Glorious 39 (2009) The Pillars Of The Earth (2010) Black Death (2010) Hick (2011) My Week With Marilyn (2011) Birdsong (2012) Les Miserables (2012) The Theory Of Everything (2014)

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.) Sure, there are lots of movies and TV shows starring character actor all-star J.K. Simmons (Oz, the original Spider Man movies, Burn After Reading, Juno, I Love You Man), but I’ll suggest checking out his two guest performances in this all-time great (oft overlooked) sitcom about the disaffected employees of a Hollywood 46bdc3f2c1b6405ec0f8042adb202561catering company. An all-star cast (Adam Scott, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen, Megan Mullally , Ken Marino, Ken Jeong) finds the right mix of comedy and wry desperation as the wannabe actors and writers schlepping drinks and hors d’oeuvres to the people they want to be, but none of their clients is more representative of the ugly, philistine heart of the movie biz than Simmons’ hilariously and creatively profane movie producer Leonard Stiltskin. In both his appearances at his kids’ ridiculously tony preschool’s auction, or his spoiled daughter’s insanely lavish sweet sixteen party (on a yacht), Simmons is never less than filthily genius, berating the caterers, his family, and literally anyone else in shouting range with some of the most inventively insulting profanity since R. Lee Ermey’s drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket. The world is a better place when someone like Simmons wins an Oscar.

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!                                        

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Go ahead—make fun of Aquaman. I dare you.

>>> Dennis suggests Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis (in Animation.) Okay, let’s just settle a few things here. 1. This animated movie, another in DC Comics’ ongoing roster of middling superhero cartoons, is—fine. Some good voice talent (Nathan Fillion’s in there as Green Lantern, always a good thing), some above-average animation, and some slightly more adult storytelling—it’s fine. (Although it takes place in the cynical “New 52” universe, which means I don’t care about it since DC decided to sh*tcan everything I cared about in 40 years of comics reading in pursuit of a younger demographic.) 2. While I do not care for director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300, Man Of Steel), who’s been entrusted with DC’s cinematic presence for some inexplicable reason, the prospect of a huge Justice League live action movie fills me with joy—the comic nerd in me just can’t help it. 3. The recently released promo photo of Game Of Thrones’ Khal Drogo Jason Momoa as a kickass Aquaman has engendered a lot of derision online, so I’ll just say, quit it. Aquaman’s cool. 4. I had an Aquaman birthday cake when I was six. 5. Aquaman jokes are lame and hacky, and you should, again, quit it. 6. Aquaman has way less dumber powers than some of your more popular superheroes. (I mean, spider powers? C’mon.) 7. Do you know how freaking terrifying the ocean is? If you’re gonna rule that mess, you’d better belive you’re badass. 8. Aquaman’s cool, you guys.

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 kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                

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 The People Under The Stairs (in Horror). Well, sort of. This 1991 horror flick from director Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm St.) is pretty silly, admittedly. But, for what it is and when it was made, it’s also uniquely political. Set in an unnamed city’s ghetto, it’s about a desperately poor African American family facing eviction from people-under-the-stairs-2their slum apartment. The rapscallion young son (Brandon Quintin Adams—The Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot) goes along with his sister’s boyfriend’s scheme to rob the reclusive rich couple who are gentrifying their neighborhood and evicting everyone and finds himself trapped in their insidiously booby-trapped murder mansion and menaced by the titular people under the stairs, the zombielike husks of others who’ve crossed the evil due in the past. As part of this year’s Valentine’s Day horror movie marathon for Ms. Emily S. Customer and myself (other, better choices: VHS2, Enemy, Under The Skin, You’re Next), it brought up the rear, but wasn’t without its charms. The boyfriend is a pre-Pulp Fiction Ving Rhames, who stands above the silliness with some serious presence. The kid is energetic and solid as far as child actors go. There’s an interracial love story between the kid and the couple’s captive, abused teen daughter, which is sort of sweet (and bold as far as things go for the time). The economic, Reaganomics satire is not something that mainstream movies were doing a lot at the time. (Or, you know, since.) But for cult film freaks, the main attraction is that the cartoonishly evil, incestuous couple is played by Everett McGill and Wendy Robie, who every lover of bananas television knows as married weirdoes Big Ed and Nadine on the still-insane and awesome TV show Twin Peaks. Neither actor ever needed much encouragement to go big, and they’re doing their thing here, their characters playing 1%-er evil to the hilt, decades before the 1% had a name. Big-Hero-6_Textless_Poster

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests making up for all the Selma snubbing with a rental of Boycott (in Feature Drama.) Selma hasn’t come out on DVD yet, but, hey, howsabout the fact that this biopic of Martin Luther King, Jr. was nominated for Best Picture (it lost), but that lead actor David Oyelowo wasn’t nominated for Best Actor. (I mean, it’s not like MLK was central to the narrative or anything.) Well, in the absence of one awards-show-ignored MLK performance (it did win an AFI award, but, still…) in this TV movie about King’s leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott the great Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat, Angels In America, Syriana) plays King with his signature chameleonic virtuosity. Restrained and convincing, Wright makes King’s internal struggle to determine the best course in this pivotal moment in the civil rights movement a bracingly human manner. Directed by the great character actor and director Clark Johnson (The Wire), Boycott should tide you over until the great Selma comes out at some point later this Spring.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Big Hero 6 (Hey, the “Marvel movie about

sons-spoilers-kurt-sutter-reveals-sons-of-anarchy-season-7-deathssuperheroes nobody’s ever heard about” thing worked to undeniably entertaining effect in Guardians Of The Galaxy, so why not check out this animated Marvel movie about a team of science-based heroes led by a teen and his inflatable robot Baymax [voiced by 30 Rock’s Pete, Scott Adsit]? And, by the way, I think the world is a better place for having Pete be the subject of the Disney PR machine. Plus, I’m watching the Oscars right now and it just won Best Animated Film! whiplash-movie-poster-2014-1010770812You should rent it twice! ), Sons Of Anarchy- season 7 (Videoport’s good friend Zack Handlen spent seven long years Addicted_(2014)_HD_posterreviewing every episode of this second-tier cable drama about a scruffy band of outlaw biker antiheroes, so the least you can do is rent all of the final season. Seriously—this man gave his life to this show, people.), Whiplash (I’m watching the Oscars as I type this, and the great character actor J.K. Simmons just won for Best Supporting Actor for this intense drama about an even more intense drumming teacher who browbeats and otherwise terrifies his gifted young student [Miles Teller]), Addicted (A talented African American cast [Boris Kodjoe, Sharon Leal] tell you what a bummer it is to have a sex addiction while having lots of hot, naked sex in this drama that seriously wants it both ways), Horrible Bosses 2 (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day [It’s Always Sunny In 10572006_745888965477457_8209248258951362414_oPhiladelphia], and Jason Sudekis are back [alongside the likes of Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Christof Waltz, and Chris Pine] in this comedy sequel where some downtrodden employees look to get even, and possibly rich, by getting revenge against their, well, you read the title. Sequels are the enemy of joy, but those are some seriously funny people, so give it a chance? I guess?), Beyond The Lights (A young superstar The-Game-BBC-poster-season-1-2014beyond-the-light-gugu-mbatha-raw-nate-parker1singer [the ever-talented and awesomely named Gugu Mbatha-Raw] is cracking under the pressures of that sort of thing, but a hunky young cop teaches her about life…beyond the lights! From the director of the still-cool Love & Basketball), The Game (Cool-looking BBC miniseries about the Cold War-era spies in the MI-5, trying to keep one step ahead of those pesky Russkies. Costarring the great Brian Cox), The Whale (British made-for-TV high seas adventure sees a young sailor aboard a whaling ship run seriously afoul of some seemingly vengeful whales. Martin Sheen costars in this true tale said to be an inspiration for Moby Dick), Vanish (Gritty thriller sees some thugs make a seriously boneheaded move when they kidnap the daughter of a drug lord Genre cool guys Danny Trejo and Tony Todd 51NBI1M0SkL._SY300_[Candyman] costar), Traitors (The leader of an all-woman punk band in Morocco findsvanish-trejo-poster herself in over her head when she agrees to smuggle some drugs to raise the cash necessary to save her family and her band)   New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: WhiplashMV5BMTQzMzIwMTQwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk0MTQ2MzE@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_

Published in: on February 24, 2015 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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VideoReport #496

Volume CDXCVI- The Rent All The Movies At Videoport And Then Don’t Go Out Again Until Spring Gang: The Movie

For the Week of 2/17/15

Videoport gives you a free movie every, single day! Every, single, mercilessly-snowing 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 $7.99!

outland-01>>> Former Videoporter Christian suggests Outland (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). Yes, it’s “High Noon” in space. Yes, it has James Bond holding a shotgun on the cover. But did you know it opens with Cliff Claven’s head exploding? Or that the badguy is best known for his role in a Mel Brooks comedy? I love this film as a sort of unintentional prequel to ALIEN. It shares some production DNA as a number of designers worked on both films. It also shares the working-class-in-space “used future” aesthetic that ALIEN pioneered in ’79. Outland‘s legacy continues to be felt. Look for references in unlikely places like Terminator 2 and the recent video game Alien: Isolation, while the film’s iconic space suits pop up in everything from Aliens to the opening credits of Red Dwarf.

*Editor’s note: Thanks, Christian! And, if I may, seeing all these former Videoporters still involved with Videoport years after they stopped working here is part of what makes Videoport special. You should be like Christian even if you never worked here—send in your reviews to us at denmn@hotmail.com or our Facebook page “Videoport Jones.” Also, check out Christian’s cool moviemaking skills in Videoport’s horror section (Nyarlathotep, Dunwich, and in the H.P. Lovecraft Collection!)

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 Gaslight (in Classics.) Poor Ingrid Bergman’s never had a harder time than in this 1944 thriller about a waifish young bride being driven mad by scheming husband Charles Boyer. I mean, sure, she got burned at the stake in Joan Of Arc, but at least then she had armor to protect her. She’s almost painfully delicate here, her innocent bride finding things moving, things disappearing, and those gaslamps in her new home mysteriously dimming at odd intervals. Boyer makes a truly slimy villain, his purring, supercilious accent worming its way into poor Ingrid’s mind with every seemingly reasonable reassurance. (The way he keeps saying her name—Paula—in a patronizing way is truly memorable. Throw in ol’ Joseph Cotton as the nice copper who tries to decide if Paula’s actually losing her mind, and you’ve got a great, oft-forgotten classic thriller. Oh, and look for an 18-year-old Angela Lansbury as a saucy Cockney maid.

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!  

>>> Videoporter Sam, perhaps taking stock of John Cusack’s recent action titles you haven’t heard of (evidence: The Factory, The Contract, Drive Hard, The Prince, The Numbers Station, Reclaim, The Bag Man), innocently posted the following on Facebook: From 1985-2010 there was never even one hint that Steven Segal and John Cusack could ever have such similar careers. Ouch for Big John. But the Internet, being the Internet, decided to revive the old VideoReport game “Premise!” You’ll get the idea:

Better Off Marked For Death

Say Anything, Motherf***er! Say it!

Beating John Malkovich

Eight Men Out Cold

Eight Men Out For Justice

One Crazy Bummer

Hard To Watch

M-16 Candles

The Journey Of Fatty Man

Must Shoot Dogs

Blood Roberts

The Raven And The Fat Man

Hot Tubby Time Machine Gun

High Fatality

Runaway Career

Serenkickity

Midnight In The Olive Garden Of Good And Evil

1408 (Dollars at the Box Office)

2012 (Dollars at the Box Office)

Tape Hands

Money For Sucking

Map Of The Human Pressure Points

Say Anything About My Hair Plugs And I’ll Kick Your Chin

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 customer Ryan M. suggests Walker (in the Criterion Collection.) William Walker. The man who, along with 60 other men, invaded Nicaragua during the 1850’s and elected himself as its president. Ed Harris in the title role, six million MV5BMTMzMTc3OTczMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTIyMjU1MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_dollar budget. Sounds like a pretty standard historical biopic, yes? It might be worth mentioning that Alex Cox is at the helm. Yes, the Alex Cox; that being, the guy responsible for Sid & Nancy as well as the wonderfully whacked-out Repo Man. It’s both delightful and tragic that anyone within Hollywood domain trusted Cox to deliver an accessible commercial offering with that kind of money, and predictably, he made about the farthest thing from a conventional biopic as you can get. Along with the similarly strange Western satire Straight to Hell, this was the one that severed just about all ties Cox had with any of the major studios. While this didn’t stop him from churning out a couple independent features throughout the following years, one thing is for sure, and that is that Cox will never make something of this caliber again. And maybe that’s why Walker is so special, for all its imperfections big and small. It’s about as messy and campy as can be and filled with intentional anachronisms (coke bottles, Time Magazine, zippo lighters! In the 1800’s!) that could be enough to throw off even the most jaded viewer. It is a modestly budgeted oddity, the likes of which is considerably rare, but not one that is deserving of the amount of scorn that it got during the time of its release. The anachronisms, for example, are not merely showy but are used as a device to draw some thought-provoking parallels between history and modern times. And then there’s Harris, who is in top form here, portraying a real-life madman with a penchant for the hysteric. In spite of appearances, it is a complex performance. As a criticism of manifest destiny, an endearingly excessive portrait of a destructive psyche, and even just a damn solid midnight movie, Walker excels. You can find historical accuracy, such as it is, in just about any other film. That Cox couldn’t care less about it speaks to his distinctively anarchistic spirit at the time. Consider this a historical film for movie buffs rather than a historical film for history buffs. Irreverent as that may seem, it’s all a part of the charm.

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 kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                

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 V/H/S 2 (in Horror). First, if “found footage” horror isn’t your thing (i.e.: if you like to whine about how shaky cameras make you all dizzy), then sit this one out. For the rest of us, then this sequel to the original handheld horror anthology is even better than the quite-solid first one. The wraparound segment (a private eye and his gal Friday find some creepy tapes in an abandoned house) is boilerplate, but the short films themselves are good, with one foray into greatness. There’s the guy with the implanted artificial eye that lets him see ghosts (eh), the zombie apocalypse seen through a bicyclist’s helmet GoPro camera (gross and sort of funny), the slumber party invaded by…somethings (super well-shot), and then there’s…the other one. Whoa,,,the other one. Called “Safe Haven,” it follows a documentary crew as they interview the leader of an isolated cult. Whoa. No one should spoil movies under pain of never being allowed to watch movies again, so I’ll just say that the film follows a logical progression which nonetheless draws deeper and deeper into something like nightmare, like madness. Gory and terrifying. Whoa.

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Maybe you’ve heard of it?

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests getting some free money at Videoport! You guys know about this, right? No? Well, it’s such a good deal that, well, you should do it. If you like free money, that is. Listen up: If you put $20 down on your Videoport birdman-iconic-posteraccount, you get $25 dollars worth of rental credit. And, even better, if you put $30 down, you get a whopping $40 worth of rental credit. It’s free money, it just sits on your account until you use it up (and, presumably, buy some more), and it’s good for all rentals and any pesky extra day rentals you rack up. Seriously, people—why wouldn’t you do this? I’m genuinely asking.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Game Of Thrones- season 4 (Hey—have you guys ever heard of this show? Some sort of fantasy, sword-and-sorcery deal? With, what, dragons and stuff, I guess? Huh—some people like that sort of thing, I suppose…), Birdman (Or: The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) (Oscar-nominated up 600full-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-posterthe wazoo, this one-take-looking, artsy character study about a former superhero movie star attempting to make a comeback on Broadway is Michael Keaton’s big comeback itself. From cool director Alejandro 2014-11-11-movieposterGonzalez Inarritu [Babel, Biutiful, Amores Perros]), To The Ends Of The Earth (You guys also love that British dude, what’s his name Bumbldy Bomberbatch? Oh, Benedict Cumberbath, right. Well here’s a big, epic British miniseries about a young aristocrat who sails to Australia in the 1800s and finds adventures and tribulations he’d never dreamed of. Also starring Jared Harris, Sam Neill, and some other people with non-silly names), dumb-and-dumber-to-bannerThe Theory Of Everything (Eddie Redmayne stars [and gets an Oscar nomination for his troubles] as Professor Stephen Hawking in this biopic about the famous scientist’s youth, romance with his future wife, and first troublesThe-World-Made-Straight-605x360 with ALS, the disease that’s rendered him immobile [but for his mind] for decades), Dumb And Dumber To (Jim Carrey an Jeff Daniels TermsConditionsMayApplyimprobably returned for this 20 years-later sequel to that movie where they acted like idiots and it was sorta funny 20 years ago. Will it work its marginal magic again? Are fart noises still hilarious? Rent it and see), The World Made Straight (Noah Wylie stars in this gritty backwoods thriller about a young man Heropage-980x560_19trying to escape his seemingly inescapable violent destiny in an isolated Appalachian community), Terms And Conditions May Apply (You know that innocuous-looking ”I Agree” button you unthinkingly click every time you use a website, or an app, or essentially anything online? Well—shocker—it turns out that the corporations that make you click those in order to use their shiny products hide a lot of pretty evil stuff in there. This documentary would like you to be angrier about that than you Life-Itself-Poster-goldposter-com-1apparently are.), Skating To New York (Coming-of-age story about a quintet of Canadian would-be-hockey stars who decide to skate their way across Lake The-Interview-PosterOntario to New York on the coldest day of the year in their quest to make it in the NHL), Life Itself (Moving, life-affirming documentary about the late, great film critic Roger Ebert, whose love of movies was perhaps a close second to his enthusiasm for, well, life itself), The Interview (Seth Rogen and James Franco almost made the world blow up or something when this typically rude and silly comedy about a pair of celebrity journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate real-world North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Barely released in fraidy-cat theaters, Videoport, of course, will have it for you), The Homesman (Written and directed by Tommy Lee 7439_poster_iphoneJones, this appropriately grimy Western sees Jones as a, yes, grimy cowboy recruited by hard-bitten pioneer woman Hilary Swank to help her escort a trio of women driven mad by how awful pioneer life was), Doctor Who: Last Christmas (Peter Capaldi’s Doctor gets his first Chrstmas special, reuniting 240375-doctor-who-last-christmas-0-230-0-341-cropwith companion Clara to save the world with the help of—Santa Claus? Nick Frost [Shaun Of The Dead, The world’s End, Hot Fuzz] stars as Father Christmas—or is he?—in this completely delightful adventure. Capaldi’s first year was a little up-and-down [it wasn’t the great Capaldi’s fault], but this one’s outstandingly fun), Dying Of The Light (Nicholas Cage stars in this thriller about a dying CIA operative who tries to complete one last mission with the help of the Soviet agent who once tortured him all those years ago), St. Vincent (Bill Murray brings his crusty late-career awesomeness to this darkly MV5BMTgxNTU4NTYyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUwODAwMzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_heartwarming comedy about a misanthropic loner who very reluctantly allows single mom Melissa McCarthy and her lonely son into his life. Anything with Bill Murray’s worth watching—but you knew that), The Tale Of Princess Kaguya St-Vincent-movie-poster(You want to see everything from Studio Ghibli [home of legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki—My Neighbor Totoro, The Wind Rises] brings out this typically gorgeous animated tale of a tiny girl found inside a stalk of bamboo and the adventures she encounters as she grows)

 

New Arrivals This Week At Videoport: Gaslight (In this classic 1944 thriller, newly-married Ingrid Bergman starts thinking her new husband Chales Boyer is trying to drive her mad. James Cotton’s avuncular detective tries to help out_but is he too late? By the way, this one’s totally out of print. How did Videoport get one? kaguya-620x350Don’t worry your pretty little head about it)

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: The Interview

Published in: on February 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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VideoReport #495

Volume CDXCV- That Time It Never Stopped Snowing, Ever, And Everyone Stayed Home And Rented All The Movies And Stayed Safe And Warm: The Movie

For the Week of 2/10/15

Videoport will give you a free movie every, single day if you’re not careful. Whoops—see? We just gave you a free movie. Sorry.

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!

>>>Videoport customer Ryan M. suggests Southland Tales (in Incredibly Strange). Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sarah southlandtales2dMichelle Gellar, and Sean William Scott (and Justin Timberlake, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Lambert, Amy Poehler, Cheri Oteri, Nora Dunn, John Larroquette, Bai Ling, Jon Lovitz, Wood Harris, Mandy Moore, Holmes Osborne, Zelda Rubinstein, Lou Taylor Pucci, Will Sasso, Miranda Richardson, and even Kevin Smith done up as an old, wheelchair bound scientist) star in this sprawling Los Angeles epic in which 2008 is still the future and World War III has kicked off with a twin nuclear strike on El Paso and Abilene, Texas. The whole world is in hysterics, censorship and security are at an all-time low, an alternate fuel source from the ocean dubbed “Fluid Karma” might be messing with the Earth’s rotation, soldiers come home from the war and quote Revelations, and an amnesiac celebrity with heavy political ties pens a science fiction script with his porn-star mistress that prophesizes the end of days. Also, it’s a comedy. This is me merely touching the surface of Richard Kelly’s sophomore feature Southland Tales, although I’m neither interested in spoiling any more of it nor confident in my ability to do so in the first place. It is perhaps the only way that Kelly could have possibly followed up Donnie Darko – that is, by expanding the scope of his artistic vision to the point where it threatens to lose itself in a sea of its own ambition. To many, this is precisely what it does, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t absolutely loathe it the first time I saw it, which was a couple years ago. But I revisited it (a few times) recently and had a complete change of heart. It’s better viewed as a collage of sorts that reflects upon the crazy, ridiculous present world than a conventional narrative film, and while that may be a lot for certain viewers to adjust to in order to properly embrace the journey down the road not taken, it’s what makes it all so seductively bonkers to me. It’s frequently amusing – and to give the reader a taste of what I mean, I think a certain fake car commercial in which two vehicles engage in sexual intercourse is worth mentioning – and in spite of the near-consistent references to classic sci-fi literature and noir cinema, it doesn’t seem all that interested in whether it’s being taken seriously or not. In fact, Southland Tales doesn’t care much at all what you think of it on a whole; but not in a way that feels careless. I think it’s incredibly smart and visionary in spite of its silliness; there are tonal shifts that at first appear jarring but start to feel more naturalistic upon repeated visits to the Southland. It’s bitingly satirical throughout, although by the end it has blossomed into a tragedy in which the final moments consist of characters being emotionally honest to one-other, for once, in a world united in lies. I personally find that kind of beautiful. There’s something charming about a film that takes such pride in its own schizophrenic ambience, which is something that we just don’t see often enough in movies of the modern age. For that reason, I feel that Kelly’s film is worth getting lost in. I find it easier to roll with now that I’ve given it a few more chances to win me over, and one must simply remember to keep an open heart and an open mind. Oh, and don’t forget. Pimps. Don’t. Commit. Suicide.

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!

>>> Hey! You know how Netfl*x sucks? I know, right? Well, here’s the monthly list of movies this soulless corporate entity thinks you don’t need to see anymore and are therefore being sh*tcanned from their horrible, glitch internet service. Oh, and all of them are available at Videoport and will be forever, of course.

  • A View to a Kill
  • Airheads
  • Ali
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Apocalypse Now Redux
  • Arbitrage
  • Batman & Robin
  • Batman Forever
  • Batman Returns
  • B00005OCTIblackaddBlackadder: Seasons 1­-4
  • Cocoon: The Return
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Dredd
  • Fawlty Towers: Seasons 1­-2
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • From Russia with Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Jane Eyre
  • Live and Let Die
  • Mad Max
  • MASH
  • MI­5: Seasons 1­-10
  • Nacho Libre
  • Never Say Never Again
  • Panic Room
  • Red Dwarf
  • Revenge
  • School Daze
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
  • The Juror
  • Wishmaster
  • Zodiac

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!  

>>> 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!                                        

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Mad Men, “A Day’s Work,” S7 ep2. It’s Valentine’s Day, 1969, and the offices of SC&P are GetAttachmentabuzz with excitement and expectation… but “A Day’s Work” is less about romance and more about the tension (sociologists call it “role conflict”) that professional women face when their romantic lives become a matter of public consumption and entertainment, and even more about the indignities SC&P’s working women of color encounter with ignorant colleagues for whom racism is rarely a conscious thought, but a never-ending parade of rudeness, assumptions, and small hostilities. [Expect SPOILERS to follow.] Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) arrives at her office already primed for bitterness; on their shared elevator ride, her subordinates tease her about her spinsterhood. Gloomily ruminating on her own romantic life, she assumes the lavish bouquet of roses on her secretary’s desk are for her and not for Shirley (Sola Bamis), leading to a comedy of errors as funny and as mortifying as anything in the series’ history. But the most eloquent conversation in the episode is a simple hello between Shirley and Dawn (Teyonah Parris). Dawn is a buttoned-down conservative given to mild prints, long hems, blazers, and a succession of little collared dresses reminiscent of Peggy’s wardrobe during her early years at Sterling Cooper. Shirley is more fashion-forward and more casual, wearing her bright, short, colorful modern dresses with chunky jewelry that’s looking ahead to the ‘70s, and capping it all with a natural that contrasts with Dawn’s sleek relaxed ‘do. But apparently their co-workers don’t notice their differences, only their supposed similarity: crossing paths in the kitchen, Dawn greets Shirley with a meaningful “Hello, Dawn”; Shirley answers, “Hello, Shirley.” They follow up with a long, detailed exposition mixed with their emotional and practical realities, but that greeting is the most revealing exchange in the episode.

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 kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                

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, Videoport suggests taking a chance, people! The greatest thing about Videoport, is that we have all the best movies (and TV shows) you’ve never seen. (Sure, you’ve seen some, but we’ve got so many more.) Another great thing about Videoport is that you can have a free movie every single day you rent here. So here’s our idea—pick up something you’ve never seen before! Maybe something you’ve always meant to see. Maybe something with a cool cover you’ve never heard of. Maybe something you ask one of us about, or one we recommend to you. You’ll never run out of free movies, and we’ll never run out of things to recommend. Endless movies. All for you. Take a chance.

nurse-jackie-sixth-season.22958>>> For Sunday, Dennis suggests The Signal (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). Yay! It’s a movie I can’t tell you anything about (because, as ever, people who spoil twists for people are garbage people). Here’s what I can say: 1. It’s in the sci-fi section, and Laurence Fishburne is on the cover wearing some sort of hazmat suit. 2. It starts out with a trio of brainy college types tracing down the computer signals of a mysterious hacker. 3. Then something happens I can’t tell you about, but it’s signaled with a shocking little moment that made me go, “WHAAA???!” 4. Laurence Fishburne is awesome, as ever, doing a sly, little spooky scientist thing. 5. The twist is both silly and cool and very entertaining. 6. If you want to pair it with something similar, id go with: Banshee Chapter, and then some other movies I can’t tell you about because, spoilers. 7. It’s worth a look.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Nurse Jackie—season 6 (Edie Falco is backrosewater-trailer-poster in this darkly comic series about the toughest nurse you’ve ever met—partly because she’s a huge druggie, but still), Rosewater (The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart directs his first movie, a fact-based drama about Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was imprisoned and tortured by the Iranian government—after he did a satirical bit for The Daily Show. So really, it’s the least Stewart could do for the guy—starring Gael Garcia Bernal), Nightcrawler (Jake Gyllenhall slims down and creeps up to play the lead, a very creepy thief who starts filming crime scenes and selling the footage to the news. Gyllenhall—just to reiterate—super Nightcrawler_PayoffPostercreepy in this one), Kill The Messenger (The week’s second film about real-life government evil, but this time it’s about the US government! Jeremy Renner plays real life journalist Gary Webb, 2014-10-09-FIN09_KTM_1Sht_Trim1409248648who was driven nearly insane (and nearly to suicide) by the CIA after he exposed the illegal—and thoroughly evil—funding of the Nicaraguan Contras through, among other things, cocaine trafficking.), In Your Eyes (The great Joss Whedon [Buffy, Angel, The Avengers, Firefly, Cabin In The Woods, Dollhouse] wrote this mysterious romance about a young man and woman with an unexplained bond I can’t tell you 28404_275x407about because people who carelessly spoil the twists of movies are deeply wrong, and 2013_Kink-James-Francoevil, and should probably be locked up where their callous nonsense can’t hurt the rest of us. Anyway, it’s supposed to be very good.), Kink (James Franco produces this documentary about the surprisingly thoughtful and daring men and women behind the scenes of S&M website kink.com. Just in time for your 50 Shades Of Grey movie outing!), Poker Night (Twisted thriller about a young detective kidnapped by a serial killer who chains him up in a basement. 32d9bd181d51b1be26b4ded7c4dc8ebe975bc922.jpg__620x465_q85_crop_upscaleThe cop tries to save himself and a female hostage with the knowledge he’s gleaned Poker-Night-Greg-Francis-Movie-Posterfrom the weekly poker game he’s in with experienced cops like Ron Perlman, Titus Welliver, and Giancarlo Esposito.), Predestination (Ethan Hawke stars in this thoughtful, brain-twisting sci fi time travel thriller about a time cop sent back to the 1970s to prevent a bombing. It’s getting compared to movies like Looper—which is a good sign), Force Majeure (When an FORCE-MAJEURE-Movie-Posteravalanche strikes a ski resort in the French Alps, a Swedish family is changed forever when the father makes a tragic split-second decision), Alexander And The Terrible, alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day-poster-1Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Based on that cute, little picture book you read to your kids in about 12 minutes, this family comedy pads out the very bad, no-good stuff with comic hijinx from Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner), Olive Kitteridge (The great Frances McDormand stars in this acclaimed HBO miniseries about a perpetually crabby and miserable Maine women over the decades. It’s based on a novel by Maine author Elizabeth Strout and costars the likes of Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray, and Peter Mullan), Laggies (From cool director Lynn Shelton [Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister] comes this olive-kitteridge-postercomedy about a young woman [Keria Knightley] who ends up moving in with the 16 year old girl [ever-interesting Chloe Grace Moretz] she meets laggies-poster1after fleeing her fiancé. Single dad Sam Rockwell wonders, understandably, why his teenage daughter is hanging out with a grown woman)

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: Zero Theorem, Dracula Untold, Ouija

VideoReport #494

Volume CDXCIV- The Superb Owl

For the Week of 2/3/15

 Videoport gives you a free movie every day! If we don’t give you a free movie every day, then you are not at Videoport but somewhere else. Please leave that place and return to Videoport—where you will receive your free movie.

 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 Fruitvale Station (in Feature Drama). Winner of the 2013 Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize, the Cannes Prix de l’Avenir d’Un Certain Regard, the Humanitas Prize, New york Film Critics Circle Best First Film and Best First Director, and a slew of other awards, Fruitvale Station opens with actual cell phone footage captured when Oscar Grant III (played in the film by Michael B. Jordan of The WireChronicleFriday Night Lights, and soon to be The Fantastic Four‘s The Human Torch!) was stopped and ultimately fatally shot by a BART officer in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2009. Kenneth Turan calls Fruitvale Station an “unexpectedly devastating drama” that is “made with assurance and quiet emotion” by its first-time feature-film director. David Denby hailed it as “a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial début.” Claudia Puig praises Michael B. Jordan as “superbly multi-dimensional as Grant,” and Stephanie Zacharek says, “Fruitvale Station is intimate in the best way, thanks largely to Jordan’s deft, responsive performance,” while A.O. Scott says director Ryan Coogler allows “the intrinsic interest of the characters’ lives to keep overt sentimentality and messagemongering to a minimum.”

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 The Longest Yard (in Action). The original, obviously. While he’s never gonna win an Oscar (although I thought he was actually a legitimate nominee for Boogie Nights), there was a time when Burt Reynolds was not a much-parodied laughingstock, but a relatively respected actor. Especially before Hal Needham got a hold of him and he started to coast on smarm, cars, and countrified, corn-pone humor, Reynolds turned out some solid, macho character work in films like Deliverance and this grubby, profane prison flick. In it, Reynolds is Paul Crewe, a former hotshot NFL quarterback sentenced to hard time for drunk driving, among other things. Once incarcerated, Crewe finds himself being forced by the corrupt warden to helm the prison’s football team in a big game for big bucks, all the while becoming more sympathetic to his fellow prisoners’ plight. It’s a contrived set up, I suppose, but Reynolds is actually really good as the spoiled yet conflicted former star. (Plus, he’s genuinely convincing as a football player; he was as college star at FSU and was actually drafted by the Baltimore Colts.) You can see that it once was not such a laughable idea that Reynolds was considered for the same roles as Paul Newman, at least for a while; he’s got charisma, and, at least at this point in his career, he wasn’t always content to just coast on it. Plus, the climactic, absurdly-violent big game against a team made up of the guards, is as rudely-entertaining as the one the concludes MASH, and the film’s even got a great last line/scene. Forget the Sandler version (although Sandler also has proven himself a capable dramatic actor when he’s not being so damned lazy), and check out the real deal.

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!            

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests 30 Rock (in Comedy). Octavia Spencer received well-deserved acclaim for her role in Fruitvale Station and an Oscar for her performance in The Help, and all her accolades are well-deserved. But if you’ve only seen Octavia Spencer in serious, heavy-hitter roles, give yourself a treat and watch her perform as herself (sort of) in “Game Over,” S7 ep9 of 30 Rock, when Tracy Jordan casts her as Harriet Tubman in his Very Serious biopic. Spencer gets to unhinge every inch of the comedy packed into her wide eyes and wry smile as her flaky work habits, her entourage, and her outrageous ego show Tracy what it’s like to work… well, with Tracy.                                             

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‘Friday Night Lights’ (in Feature Drama.) Credit Videoport’s sports-loathing Regan’s incessant badgering for finally getting me to watch this universally-acclaimed football drama series. It really shouldn’t have been that hard a sell: the nonfiction book by Buzz Bissinger was good, and the Billy Bob Thornton feature film was pretty solid, too. Plus, I played the feet-ball when I was a younger fellow, and my dad was my feet-ball coach, so I know the high school football milieu from the inside (although one might suggest that my and my dad’s experience at a tiny Catholic high school in Massachusetts was not exactly representative of the insanely high-pressure, utterly-fanatical Texas football machine as depicted in the series.) Still, I just didn’t watch the damned thing. But, as I said, Regan was relentless, as only Regan can be—and Holy crap. What a great show. From the portrayal of the aforementioned nutty Texas football nonsense to the realistic high school dramas, to the on-field football heroics/heartbreaks,‘Friday Night Lights’ is a well-written, well-acted, an uniquely-compelling show. What really makes it, however, is the relationship between Eric and Tami Taylor. He’s the coach of the Dillon Panthers, and she’s his long-understanding wife (and Dillon guidance counselor), and, without exaggeration, they form one of the most realistic and healthy married couples in TV history. It’s a delicate balancing act- neither is a perfect person (although they are in the top 99% of parents I’ve ever seen), but they consistently address the obstacles and occasional heartbreaks of married life with understanding, honor, and great makeup sex. It’s a tribute to the show that Connie Britton’s Tami, despite being “the wife” to a football coach who, to be honest, is the reason we’re here, is strong, smart, and, more than occasionally, the voice of reason. And Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor is, simply, one of the most decent father figures on TV ever. A fundamentally good man, Taylor finds himself in the midst of parental pressures, fanatical Texas football a-holes, familial responsibilities, his own ambitions, and the myriad crises involved in shepherding a team-full of testosterone-ful teenage boys through life, all the while trying to deliver the state championship Dillon expects, and he takes on each challenge with taciturn, yet genuinely decent, aplomb. I could talk about all the other great performances in the show (like bad boy Tim Riggins, golden boy faced with unexpected obstacles Jason Street, flashy running back with a heart Smash Williams, coach’s daughter Julie, unexpectedly-strong cheerleader Lyla Garrity, football-hating geek Landry Clarke, and, especially, soulful underclassman thrust into the spotlight Matt Saracen), but it’s Chandler’s pragmatic but ever-honorable Coach Taylor that really gets to me. He reminds me of my dad. Even if you hate sports, you’ll love this show.

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 kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                  

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 North Dallas 40 (in Feature Drama). If you’re feeling some feetball withdrawal (or just hate football), I heartily suggest this surprisingly-resonant 1979 gridiron drama. A still young and shockingly-handsome and mustachioed Nick Nolte stars as the hardworking, pill-popping, but clear-eyed wide receiver of the titular professional team and his best friend, the drawling prettyboy star quarterback (played with surprising ease by Mac Davis) navigate the ups and downs of a hard-fought season, and deal with injuries, money and woman troubles and the pressures put on them by ownership to “do whatever it takes” to stay on the field. Along with the rambunctious partying, sex, and football action, North Dallas Forty gives equal time to the harsh realities involved in the daily grind of being a football player. Sure, players are millionaires (although at the time the movie was made, they were decidedly less pampered), but they’re in constant pain, have no real job security, and face shortened lives, chronic injuries, and diminished mental function from the incessant punishment the game entails. And, in the film’s most powerful scene, the team’s “madman” bruiser, played by real-life NFL-er John Matuszak, lets loose, after being manipulated by ownership’s conflicting manipulative messages, screaming “Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game.” Big John (who you might remember as Sloth in The Goonies) died at 38 after his playing career ended. He admitted before his death that he’d taken painkillers all through his playing days in order to keep going. (Oh now the owners’ desire is to extend the already-crippling 16 game season to 18 games. Seriously, somebody’s gonna die. I picture the last Super Bowl after the inaugural and inevitable 18 game season endingRollerball-style with the last living player standing (I’m thinking it’ll be Ray Lewis) skating around past the dead and mangled corpses of all the members of both teams like James Caan and screaming up defiantly to the luxury boxes, “ARE YOU NOT AMUSED?!?!?!?”) Football’s a great game, a heartless business, and a really, really hard job.

>>>Former Videoporter Dennis (aka Disco, aka Dutch Dennis) suggests Cast Away (in Drama). I guess it’s been fifteen years since I watched Cast Away at the movie theater. I cannot believe that I did not notice this is basically a two and half hour commercial for FedEx. I am sure you’re aware of the story, but just in case: Tom Hanks works for FedEx, is flying somewhere for work, crashes into the ocean, ends up on an island, survives for four year surrounded by FedEx boxes, gets picked up and goes home to Helen Hunt, who tells him that other people basically forced her to marry Big from Sex and the City and have his baby. Now, he leaves one box unopened and delivers it four years later. You know, FedEx-style. Why he does that is beyond me. I mean, what if this box contains matches, gasoline, fried chicken, knives, guns, fishing best_of_me_xxlg-500x500equipment, marmalade (all this is still allowed, remember, it was before 9/11). Anyway, I watched it again because I couldn’t find anything else to watch and there are definitely scenes that aren’t terrible! The crash? Not terrible. Him surviving on an island (my favorite thing to think about when walking around john_wick_posterMackworth Island)? Not terrible. Also, nice to watch a movie about a tropical island when there’s three feet of snow outside.

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Best Of Me (Decent actors Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden star in yet another adaptation of the “novels” of Nicholas Sparks. Like other such things [The Notebook, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights In Rodanthe, etc] it stars a pair of star-crossed lovers trying to DraculaUntoldovercome all the obstacles that traditionally stand in the way of such people. Or, as The AV Club’s film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky puts it, succinctly: “One of the quirks of Sparks adaptations—which can either be endearing or irritating—is that they’re incapable of treating romance on its own terms; as far as they’re concerned, it’s not true love unless it’s predestined and somebody gets cancer.”), John Wick (Keanu Reeves stars in this action thriller about anouija-movie-poster ex-hitman who comes out of retirement after some criminal types do something he does…not…like), Dracula Untold (Luke Evans stars as Transylvanian prince Vlad, who, desperate to protect his kingdom from an invasion, does the sorts of things that get you a set o’fangs), Ouija (Some of those foolish teens do that foolish thing where they mess around with one of those ouija boards and unleash some of those demons that live in there. Foolish teens—will they ever learn?), Dear White People (The coolest indie of the week, this Dear-White-People-Poster-597x884comedy from director Justin Simien follows the daily struggles of four black students at a traditionally white Ivy League college. Seriously—this one’s good), The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby (James McEvoy and Jessica Chastain star in this romantic drama about a once-married couple after they decide to go their separate ways), Hector And The Search For Happiness (The always-watchable Simon Pegg [Shaun Of The Dead, The World’s End] stars in this feel-good travelogue about a doctor who leaves his native England on a journey around the world to find out what happiness reallyo-ELEANOR-RIGBY-900 is), Starred Up (Super-intense British prison drama about a troubled, violent teen who gets sent to the adult prison where his even-more-brutal father is serving a life sentence), The Overnighters (Award-winning, Hector-And-The-Search-For-Happiness-Simon-Pegg-Rosamund-Pikecontroversial documentary about the desperate men who flee to find work in the North Dakota oil fields and the dedicated pastor who dedicates his life to helping them), Starry Eyes (Super-disturbing horror flick about a would-be actress who goes to a super-shady audition and makes a super-ill-advised deal for success), Coffee Town (Glenn Howerton [so good as Dennis on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia] stars in this indie comedy about a website designer who enlists his two friends [Ben Schwartz, Steve Little] to keep the coffee shop that doubles as his office from turning itself into a bar), Maison Close—MV5BMTg4NTE3Njg2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDU0MjQ2OQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_season 1 (Sexy French drama series about the women making a living in the titular 19th century brothel), Food Chains (Another of the spate of recent food-based documentaries that teach us that everything we eat harms ourselves or others, this one examines the starred-up-uk-posterexploitative conditions and institutions that employ the people who pick our food)

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: The Zero TheoremStarry-Eyes-Poster

TheOvernighters-poster

Published in: on February 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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VideoReport #493

Volume CDXCIII- Snownado 2015!

For the Week of 1/27/15

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Yes, even on days when we’re the only business open during a blizzard because we have never closed because of bad weather because we are very hardy and very foolish.

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!

snowpiercer-poster-640x360>>> Dennis suggests Snowpiercer (in Sci Fi/Fantasy.) Who’s up for an icy wasteland!? Well, dig yourself out and come get some frozen thrills with this utterly loopy and entertaining post-apocalyptic action flick from Korean master director Joon-ho Bong. The guy has made some eccentrically brilliant genre films like Mother, Memories Of Murder, and The Host (all available at Videoport, of course), and this, his English language debut is perhaps the strangest of all. Harvey Weinstein, as is his wont, messed with it some for American release (because he’s a philistine bully jerk) but what we got was weird enough indeed. The setup: we tried to stop global warming (which is a thing, no matter what 49 hayseed Republican senators just voted) with a quick fix which—shocker—went so, so wrong and froze the Earth. Good one, humanity. As the film opens, hurtling along its track like the titular train, all of remaining humanity is packed into a massive train which smashed through the frozen wasteland on a year-long circuit. Humanity being what it is, all is not equality and team spirit on the Snowpiercer—nope, the proletariat are crammed into the rear, stinking and starving and being exploited and occasionally hauled away into the unseen front, where the wealthy (probably including a bunch of senators who voted that global warming wasn’t a thing) live a life of luxury. There’s a revolutionary hero (Chris “Captain America” Evans) who’s planning to storm the front of the train and seize control, despite the iron, Margaret Thatcher-y rule of Tilda Swinton’s cartoonishly schoolmarm-like overseer. (She’s hilarious, lecturing the proles like a disappointed auntie.) If you’re getting a whiff of political allegory here, you’re not wrong, but the director never lets the politics get too preachy—or too predictable, filming the inevitable car-by-car revolt with flair, wit, and his signature precision. I won’t say what happens when the poor folks (after liberating a tech wizard played by the director’s favorite actor Kang-ho Song) finally busts out, but it’s never dull, and never predictable, with a complexity of thought and action that is exactly the kind of thing an American mogul dimwit would try to bleed out of it. Great fight scenes, good performances, and like nothing you’ve seen in a long, long time.

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 suggests The Muppet Show! BLIZZARDCANE 2015 is upon us, and in some homes, whole families will be hunkering down with cocoa and popcorn and blankets and the wind howling outside — and they’ll need something that will keep everyone, of every age, entertained. Jim Henson designed The Muppet Show to catch the imaginations of kids and of their parents, using a vaudeville-style variety show to showcase… oh, anything that caught the writers’ fancy that week, from the requisite musical numbers to comedy sketches to flat-out surrealist experiments, all of it suitable for children as well as adults. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorite episode, but you might start with Vincent Price or John Cleese and work your way through.

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 Happythankyoumoreplease (in Comedy) & Liberal Arts (in Feature Drama). This is not about how you feel or felt about How I Met Your Mother at any point. Nor is it about how you feel or felt about the main character Ted Mosby. This is about the actor who played Ted Mosby, Josh Radnor. I imagine many actors, like him, have fought to be differentiated from the character they played. I listened to him being interviewed by Aisha Tyler on her podcast Girl on Guy (which I highly recommend by the way she has a very entertaining conversational style way of interviewing) and discovered I was quite fond of the man himself. Did you know that Josh Radnor wrote and directed two movies? Did you know these movies are mediocre, but have a certain magical pizzazz? Did you know that Josh Radnor is endearingly understanding and aware of their pizzazzful mediocrity? I agree with Josh Radnor that we are not always encouraging of fledgling artists in the movie industry. Movie critics immediately pick them apart, cut them down, and leave nothing left. It makes sense though wouldn’t it? That initial efforts of someone to write and direct a movie wouldn’t be perfect? Doesn’t it also make sense though that if there is something special there, that something special should be nurtured? I certainly think so! And I think that’s what both of these movies are. These are the movies of someone who is doing this for the first time and because of that they are a little clunky. They have some of that artsy blandness to them. But they both have a certain special something that makes me want to support and nurture Josh Radnor’s future at movie making! They both are engaging and have stories with the power to resonate with the right audience. They both left me wanting to talk about them and watch them again. And the best part about them is that they both left me happy and hopeful and that’s a really nice feeling to be left with. So I dare say give them a try, but with your eyes wide open and a little bit forgiving. In my opinion the winter is cold and dreary, and a little bit of magical pizzazz sounds mighty nice right about now.

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 Art And Craft (in Documentary Arts). Mark Landis’ story is such a perfect fit for an Errol Morris documentary, it’s strange that Morris’ name isn’t attached to it. Morris – America’s preeminent documentarian – specializes in finding people whose monomaniacal passions isolate them from the rest of society, and Landis, whose career as an art forger is depicted in “Art And Craft,” is one of the most eccentrically lonely criminals ever seen on film. Of course, “criminal” is a tricky label to apply to Landis, a stoop-shouldered late-middle-aged man who, over the course of 20 years, has duped dozens of museums and other reputable institutions into accepting over a hundred of his forged paintings into their collections. Except that Landis has never asked for a penny for any of his impeccably phony masterpieces (aping artists as diverse as Picasso, Holbein, Charles Schultz, and Dr. Seuss), instead crafting elaborate cover stories (involving fictional deceased family members, pseudonyms, and, occasionally, a priest’s collar) in order to simply give them away. As one FBI agent states in the film, “The art world’s a very strange place.” Art has value because people decide it does, and anyone like Landis who undermines both the perceived value of great works and the authority of those professionals whose job it is to authenticate them is going to make some enemies. In Landis’ case his mission creates a nemesis in the person of Matthew Leininger, a bluff, burly museum registrar who becomes obsessed with making every curator in the world aware of Landis’ career in deception. Directors Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker construct their movie with admirable restraint and care, springing unexpected twists that take the viewer deeper and deeper into Landis’ sad, enigmatic story. Especially once Leininger’s Inspector Javert-esque hounding tips off a British journalist (along with museum directors across the land), and Landis’ mysteriously fragile little world is threatened with exposure. The antagonistic relationship between the driven Leininger and the mumbly, hermetic Landis gradually reveals each to have more parallels than it seems at first sight. Landis lives in a cluttered little apartment overstuffed with the remnants of his dead mother’s possessions (it’s hinted that she died in Hurricane Katrina) and crafts his nearly flawless phonies with the same ritualistic motions with which he prepares endless frozen dinners and drives to a succession of barely-listening mental health caseworkers. Meanwhile, Leininger’s all-consuming campaign against Landis is gradually revealed to have had consequences of its own, his bravado manifesting itself in the increasingly desperate mantra that museums need to “do their due diligence,” even as we see how his life has been transformed by his need to spoil what Landis calls his “philanthropy.” The real reasons behind both Leininger and Landis’ obsessions remain suitably elusive – but, as seen in their eventual meeting (at a gallery show of Landis’ works), those obsessions have made them both outsiders. In the art world and elsewhere.

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 kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                

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 suggests Downton Abbey (in Feature Drama). I’ve been revisiting the first few seasons of Downton Abbey FOR IMPORTANT PROFESSIONAL REASONS, and it is both ridiculous and delicious. The ITV program airs in the US under the banner of PBS’ Masterpiece Theater, and coupled with its lavish period productions, that gives the show a veneer of sophistication and elegance. But under its sumptuous wardrobe and posh accents, Downton Abbey is a straight-up melodrama, complete with villains who barely stop short of twirling their moustaches and tying screaming women to the railroad track. It’s as sudsy a soap as ever there was… and I love it for that.

>>>Dennis suggests getting some free money! Any time you want, $20 gets you $25 in rental credit, or $30 buys you $40. That, my friends, is 879e0000c53291ed16f98b2d0dec1424d67dadf7some free money.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Downton Abbey- season 5 (You know it, you love it—the Upstairs Downstairs intrigues of the aristocrats and servants of the titular British mansion roll on in the new season of this BBC show which The-Judge-Robert-Downey-Jr.-and-Robert-Duvall-WallpaperVideoport will be stocking a lot of, as usual. Still—call 773-1999 to reserve for the near future), Fury (War is Hell…but with Brad Pitt, in this brutal WWII flick about the morally questionable American soldiers manning [he-manning] a Sherman tank in the waning days of the war), The Judge (Dramatic heavy lifters Robert Downey Jr. and poster-for-white-bird-in-a-blizzardRobert DuVall star in this courtroom thriller about a crusty old judge who reluctantly accepts the legal help of his slick lawyer son when he’s THE-BOOK-OF-LIFE-TEASER-QUADaccused of murder), White Bird In a Blizzard (Former punk, take-no-prisoners director Greg Araki [check the Pride section for his first film, entitled Totally F***ed Upfor proof] has toned it down with this literary adaptation about a young woman who goes on a search for her drug-addicted mom after she disappears; starring Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Chris Meloni, Thomas Jane, and Gabourey Sidibe), Book Of Life (A young man must face his fears across three fantastical worlds in this classy-looking Before-I-Go-To-Sleepanimated adventure featuring the voice talents of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, ), My Old Lady (Kevin Kline plays an Americanmyoldlady who finds his rented Paris apartment comes with a cantankerous Maggie Smith who won’t leave in this crowd-pleaser for the Downton Abbey set), Before I Go To Sleep (Twisty-turny [gimmicky] thriller starring Nicole Kidman as a housewife with a brain disorder that keeps her from remembering anything about her life every time she goes to sleep. Colin Firth is her husband who has to convince her that they’re days-and-nights-postermarried every morning. And Mark Strong is a psychiatrist who urges her to question some things—with the help of a secret video diary. Directed by The Killing Fields’ Rowan Joffe), Days And Nights ()Katie Holmes, Allison Janney, William Hurt, Jean Reno, and Ben Whishaw play a dysfunctional family dealing with their buried desires and resentments art-and-craft-movie-posterover one Memorial Day weekend in this adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull), Art And Craft (See Dennis’ Thursday review above for the rundown on this fascinating documentary about the strangest art forger you’ve ever heard of ), Open Windows (Elijah Wood and former porn star Sasha Grey star in this thriller about an obsessed fan drawn into some unsavory doings when he’s given the chance to cyber=spy on his favorite actress. Directed by the always interesting Nacho Vigalondo [Timecrimes, open-windows-posterExtraterrestrial]), The Color Of Time (Nine directors each direct part of this film chronicling the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning author CK Williams; starring the likes of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, and ultimate cool dude Bruce Campbell), Falcon Rising (Certifiable direct-to-DVD badass Michael Jai White [you should really watch Black Dynamite] stars in this —surprise!—the-color-of-timedirect-to-DVD action flick about an ex-Marine fighting the Yakuza—in the slums of Brazil!), Why Don’t You Play In Hell? (Super-crazy Japanese action thriller about a renegade movie crew who get in a violent rivalry…with the Yakuza?! Those guys are everywhere! ), The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness (You know how you [and everyone in the world] love Japanese animator 203Hayao Miyazaki? Well, here’s a great documentary about his and his legendary animation house, Studio Ghibli!), Miss Meadows (Violent dark comedy about goody=two-shoes elementary school teacher Katie Holmes, who moonlights as a gun-toting vigilante, taking out anyone who violates her version of niceness), Regular Show—Mordecai Pack (More cartoon goodness from this weird, funny animated series), whydontyouplayinhellJustice League—Throne Of Atlantis (The Justice League finally meets Aquaman in this animated DC Comics movie. PS: Aquaman jokes are sooo over)poster_124987

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: Justice League—Throne Of Atlantis, The Judge, The Drop, Lucy,Miss-Meadows-poster-katie-holmes1

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Published in: on January 27, 2015 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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