Volume CCIV: The Week That
Andy Took Over The VideoReport While Dennis Got Married!
For the week of 7/14/09
Videoport is a fashion statement, a way of life, a video rental store, a social hotspot, that place where you met the love of your life while you were spending that extra minute choosing your daily free movie…
Middle Aisle Monday. (Get one free rental from the Sci-Fi, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, Staff Picks sections with your paid rental.)
>>>Andy suggests Fido (in Incredibly Strange Films). It’s like Pleasantville, but with zombies! Fido takes place in an alternate reality 1950s. After the big zombie war, humanity learns how to tame the zombie to be his household servant. The Robinson family gets a zombie butler, names it “Fido,” and little Timmy forms a bond with it. It’s a sweet story with occasional scenes of blood-splattering violence. See? Just when you were getting sick of zombie movies, here’s one with a new twist.
Tough and Triassic Tuesday. (Get one free rental from the Action or Classics section with your paid rental.)
>>>Andy suggests you just pick something that looks fun from the Action section, like he did yesterday with The Rookie. Inspired perhaps by recently watching Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, Andy—I mean, I—watched the first half hour of this Eastwood/Charlie Sheen cop picture on my lunch break. And boy, was it entertaining! Eastwood, who also directed the movie, knows what his audience wants to see, and he gives it to them—I mean, to me. The Rookie begins with LAPD Detective Nick Pulovski closing in on some car-stealing bad guys when his about-to-retire partner is shot dead by bad guy leader Raul Julia. Pulovski, too badass to grieve, gets into a shootout, then a car chase, then a 40-car pileup, but the action scene ends with the bad guys escaping and Pulovski staggering out of the wreckage with a bloody gash on his head. He pulls a cigar from his coat as an astonished passer-by approaches him, asking “Do you need any help?” “Yeah,” Clint wheezes, “you got a light?” I literally slapped by knee with pleasure. That’s why I love Clint Eastwood!
Wacky and Worldly Wednesday. (Get one free rental from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with your paid rental.)
>>>Videoport customer Galen R. suggests responsible viewing of Weekend at Bernie’s (in Comedy): “You should probably put a note on that that says you shouldn’t watch it within twelve months after your last viewing, because it’s not fun like you thought it would be. It’s actually kind of a chore.”
>>>JackieO suggests: “That’s why they made Weekend at Bernie’s 2.”
Thrifty Thursday. (Get one free movie from any section with your paid rental.)
>>>Sam suggests The Pied Piper Of Hutzovina (in Non-Fiction). This is amazing. You must see this. Upon looking at the case, I wondered how one could make a movie about the Gogol Bordello dude and somehow only make it 65 minutes long. Answer: Because that’s not what it’s about. That is what it’s intended to be about (it’s actually supposed to be about his trip to see the clan of gypsies his family is from). What it actually is about is how the director is obsessed with him. It seems like they had a thing back a while, she kept calling him and offering to make a movie about him, and eventually he told her she could film him when he goes to Russia to check out some gypsies. She comes along and the entire thing is so incredibly awkward and transparent… I honestly don’t think there’s ever been a movie like this.
Free Kids Friday. (Get one free rental from the Children’s or Family sections, no other rental necessary.)
>>>Andy would like to share his three favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (in the Kids Animation section, duh).
1) “Read My Lips.” I hate to admit this, since it’s a kiddie show and all, but the “twist” in this episode had me fooled. Since I’m not a follower of comic books, I was totally unfamiliar with the villain Scarface, but he’s my favorite Batman adversary who was never portrayed by Heath Ledger.
2) “Heart Of Steel” Parts 1 and 2. This two-parter features great art deco production and character design, not to mention ROBOTS!
3) “Almost Got ‘Im.” This fun episode has several of Batman’s greatest villains sitting around a card table playing poker and bitching about how Batsy keeps foiling their evil schemes. Each villain has his own mini-story and the episode is capped with another “twist” ending.
As a cool bonus feature, all these episodes have commentaries with the producers. It’s nice to hear these geeky and articulate gents joke around, criticize the Korean animators, point out in-jokes, and obviously care a great deal about their show.
Having a Wild Weekend. (Rent two, get your third movie for free from any section on Saturday and Sunday.
>>>For Saturday, Videoport welcomes you to Baby Jane Snodgrass’ Porno Corner. Baby Jane Snodgrass recommends This Ain’t Star Trek XXX. Steven Soderbergh’s new film The Girlfriend Experience stars Sasha Grey who, before this film, appeared in 164 adult movies! WHA-WHA-Wee-WA! Including titles like Not Bewitched XXX, Pirates 2: Stagnetti’s Revenge, Throat, and This Ain’t Star Trek XXX! She has 18 movies in the works for 2009! Beat that, Meryl Streep! Seriously, beat it. Maybe she’ll let you be in one of her special movies. So, yeah, Star Trek, they have neato tights with “fun” holes. And the Spock guy really stays in character. Give that man an AVN Award right quick!
>>>For Sunday, a Videoport customer who’s name I forgot suggests The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) (in Drama) because: “These are the best g*ddamn swashbuckler movies ever made. And I’m a fencer!”
This week’s New Releases: The Haunting In Connecticut (or, the movie that finally reunited Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas from The Prophecy), Grey Gardens (Regan and Jackie assure me that Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore are “amazing” in this TV movie dramatization of the ever-popular 1975 documentary), 12 (a Russian remake of the American classic 12 Angry Men, previously made into movies by such directors as Sidney Lumet, Franklin Schaffner, and William Friedkin. There must be something about the material that attracts awesomely talented artists. I’m in!), Explicit Ills (Jim Jarmusch executive produced this multi-character drama about troubled artistic people in Philadelphia), Break (soap opera actor Frank Krueger stars in this direct-to-DVD hitman action movie. Also starring a very exhausted looking Michael Madsen), Rec (you might have seen the American remake Quarantine; this is the Spanish original. Let’s hope the lead actress is less annoying than Jennifer Carpenter. Co-director Jaume Balaguero also helmed the extremely creepy 2002 Anna Paquin film Darkness), Van Wilder Freshman Year (it features not Ryan Reynolds, nor Kal Penn, not even frickin’ Tara Reid! But it does exist, I’m pretty sure of that at least), Horsemen (this Seven-inspired serial killer thriller stars the unbelievably gorgeous Ziyi Zhang [formerly Zhang Ziyi] along with believably tough and surprisingly good actor Dennis Quaid), ‘The State’—Seasons 1 & 2 (be prepared for several weeks worth of solid raves from Dennis when he comes back from vacation; he’s been excited about the much-delayed DVD release of this set for, like, a decade. My point is, Dennis knows comedy, and Dennis loves this show), ‘Mad Men’—Season 2 (the early ‘60s haven’t been this “in” since… the early ‘60s)
New Arrivals at Videoport: ‘Wire In The Blood’—Season 6 (don’t confuse this with The Wire, which you’ll find directly next to Wire In The Blood in the Mystery/Thriller section. They’ll totally different! For one thing, this show is… British), ‘Anthony Bourdain’ Collection 4 (every episode of this show leaves me annoyed with Bourdain’s Joisey manner, yet surprisingly eager to eat something that would usually disgust me, like Testicle-Of-Endangered-Mammal Stew or pickled seafood), Fugazi: Instrument (watch Fugazi “perform,” possibly with “instruments” ), The Edge Of Love (this historical drama is about two friends who both were in love Dylan Thomas. I’m sure they have lots to talk about), Firelight (Do you know about Firelight? It’s a kind of magic), Eldorado (new to our popular Film Movement shelf! It’s from Belgium!), The Transition Of Minor Skies (from local filmmaker Jeff Griecci, this movie “is about the clashing of the subtle bliss of comfort with the unruly longing for change”), The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish (a new addition to the Kids section), and For All Mankind (the Criterion Collection just released this awesome-looking 1989 documentary about the men who went to the moon. The DVD is on my table right now, literally three inches from my arm. I will start watching it as soon as I finish this sentence. So… bye).