Volume CCXXXIII- Rodan Who Knew Too Much
For the Week of 2/2/10
Videoport gives you a free movie every, single day. Just try and leave without a free movie…you can’t do it, can ya’?
Middle Aisle Monday. (Get one free rental from the Sci-Fi, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Mystery/Thriller, Animation or Staff Picks sections with your paid rental.)
>>>Dennis suggests The Holy Mountain (in Incredibly Strange). One of Videoport’s most beloved and distinctive features, apart from our Andy, is our Incredibly Strange section, where all the unclassifiable, twisted, and outright bananas movies in the store go to be admired, and
feared. Still, as we bustle busily through the aisles, occasionally we Videoport minions will hear a complaint, like “I don’t see whats so weird about these”, or “The Mexican? Why is THAT in here?!” First of all, don’t do that. It’s really boring. We put things in the Incredibly Strange section because we want to and because we know better than you. Second, to quiet any nay sayers (we hear you saying ‘nay’) who doubt the weirdness, strangeness, or absolute bug-nuts craziness of our Incredibly Strange section I’d like to trot out this legendary 1973 psychedelically-out-of-its-tiny-little-mind film from equally-loopy director Alejandro Jodorowsky. Now some people (everyone) thought that his previous film El Topo was impenetrably-insane. They were right, but his follow-up makes El Topo look like Baby’s Day Out. Jodorowsky thought, ‘Hey, why don’t I take LSD before I write it! And I’ll give my cast magic mushrooms before some scenes!’ What does this get us? Well, according to the IMDb, The Holy Mountain is a tale where “A Christlike figure wanders through bizarre, grotesque scenarios filled with religious and sacrilegious imagery. He meets a mystical guide who introduces him to seven wealthy and powerful individuals, each representing a planet in the solar system. These seven, along with the protagonist, the guide and the guide’s assistant, divest themselves of their worldly goods and form a group of nine who will seek out the Holy Mountain, in order to displace the gods who live there and become immortal.” Upon seeing the film, I shrugged and said, “well, if you say so…” What I can assure you is that you’ll see: a dwarf with no hands or feet, a guy eating the face off of a wax statue of Christ, a guy pooping in a box, the poop turning to gold, burning money, a hooker, an ape, and some trapeze artists. Fade to white. Enjoy the Incredibly Strange section. Stop your whining.
Tough and Triassic Tuesday. (Get one free rental from the Action or Classics sections with your paid rental.)
>>> April suggests Sunrise- A Story of Two Humans (in Classics). Yes, this is a silent film, but it’s an AWESOME silent film, directed by F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) and starring Janet Gaynor (who won the best actress Oscar for her performance), George O’Brien (who should have won an Oscar for his performance) and Margaret Livingstone as the ‘woman from the city’ who O’Brien falls for. Livingstone tries to convince O’Brien to kill his wife and run away to the city with her, but when he can’t go through with it, he and his wife travel to the city and rediscover their love. Beautifully photographed by Charles Rosher and Karl Strauss (winners of an Oscar for their cinematography!), Sunrise- A Story of Two Humans should be on everyone’s list of films they need to see before they die.
Wacky and Worldly Wednesday. (Get one free rental from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with your paid rental.)
>>> The Office suggests Dying of Laughter (in Foreign Language). An assault of absurdity from director Alex de la Iglesia. Comic duo Nino and Bruno take the concept of live slapstick from performances at dive bars and discos into the modern age of casual handgun violence on live TV! …and the more they hate each other the more the audience loves them…naturally success goes to their heads and they split up, one becoming a snotty preening big spending aging “star” whilst the other blows his money on booze and coke until they both need that requisite rock star reunion to pay the mortgage. The hilarious results should be required viewing by anyone who is not an original member of the cast/band on any reunion tour, or by anyone who likes their comedy on the dark side.
Thrifty Thursday. (Get one free movie from any section with your paid rental.)
>>> Elsa S. Customer suggests you make your own Lost season premier, Videoport Style! Take a few of Rod Serling’s classic sci-fi morality tales from The Twilight Zone, add the entire series of loopy island adventure The Prisoner, the boys-school castaway tragedy Lord of the Flies (either version is fine), and mix in a soupçon of Ken Russell — ideally, the existential body horror of Altered States. Remove all characters’ curiosity about their predicament and — bingo! — you’ve got Lost: infuriatingly compelling, narratively confusing, and with a big dose of ambiguity to keep you hooked!
Free Kids Friday. (Get one free rental from the Children’s or Family sections, no other rental necessary).
>>> Dennis suggests that we are all happy that Videoport has brought in new kids movies to the Children’s section like Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland, Yo Gabba Gabba, and new
Spongebob Squarepants and Go Diego Go! And we also suggest that, with brand new shiny DVDs, it’s real easy to determine who is allowing their children to treat our DVDs like their second-least favorite toy. Enjoy!
Having a Wild Weekend. (Rent two, get your third movie for free from any section on Saturday and Sunday.)
>>>For Saturday, Elsa S. Customer suggests Sid and Nancy (in Feature Drama). Sid and Nancy is a modern tragedy, but one with deep comedic undertones. It chronicles the short, tempestuous relationship between Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious and his brash girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Together, the two of them sank deeply into herion addiction, anger, and self-amusement. Gary Oldman delivers a soulful, deep performance as Vicious, and Chloe Webb’s performance will make you wonder why she’s not an enormous star. It’s a sad, sordid story, and a tricky one to tell, but director
Alex Cox (Repo Man, Straight to Hell) makes it work. (If, in doing so, he takes some liberties with history, well, all storytelling does that to some extent.) This is not a post-punk history lesson, it’s a story about to outcasts scrabbling for love and acceptance even as they destroy and reject the world around them. Unlike most drug-abuse parables, this one neither glamorized not preaches — it simply tells a gripping, awful story, and tells it with verve and humor and passion, never trading the terrible human drama for trite moralizing. If you’ve never seen it before, rent it now. If you have seen it before, watch it again this week. Think of it as a commemoration of sorts; Sid Vicious’ brief life ended on February 2nd, 1979.
>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests Groundhog Day (in Comedy). Oh, what the hell- I suppose somebody had to do it, since this issue of the VideoReport comes out on, well, you know. Utter predictability of this review aside, Groundhog Day is still a damned great movie, isn’t it? Here are an as-yet-undetermined number of reasons why I love it: 1. Bill-freaking-Murray. He does a funny and worshipful cameo in one of this week’s new releases (no, I’m not telling which one), and, while said movie is only okay, the utter devotion it lavishes on Murray speaks for me, and the entire thinking world. There is no one, and I mean no one in this world, whose presence guarantees I will seek out and watch a movie more than him. I even watched most of the first Garfield movie. 2. “Ned! Ned Ryerson! Needlenose Ned, Ned the
Head, c’mon buddy, Case Western high!”- I hear this in my head anytime someone has trapped me in an unwanted conversation. 3. The scene where Murray sits on a low wall and dreamily recites everything that’s going to happen next (“A gust of wind. A dog barks.”) is worthy of Beckett. 4. Similarly, the scene in the diner when he convinces Rita that he knows everything by reciting the life histories of everyone there, and doing it with such compassion in his voice…Bill Murray, ladies and gentlemen. 5. Even Andie MacDowell isn’t too bad. 6. Director Harold Ramis’ cameo; I just like seeing Ramis. 7. “I’ll see you tomorrow…maybe!” 8. The stuff with the old homeless guy, culminating with Murray’s “Not today.” 9. No one in the history of earth can turn a one-liner like Bill Murray. Too many to name, but I was always partial to, “Chance of departure today, one hundred percent.” 10. It works for the all important, “Do you have a really funny movie the whole family can enjoy?” recommendation. Seriously, it’s like a safety blanket for Videoport employees. There, that’s ten…
New Releases this week at Videoport: Zombieland (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Little Miss Sunshine fight the undead in this pretty funny, and definitely gross, zombie comedy [or ‘zombedy’]; I’d rate it higher except that it falls prey to the stupidest godd*mned idea in the horror genre, fast zombies!! Fast zombies are for stupid people.), ‘Bonekickers’- season 1 (new BBC mystery series about some unexpectedly spy archaeologists getting their Indy on stars the cool Adrien Lester from ‘Hustle’ and Primary Colors), The Secret of the Grain (French film about an old man who wants to open a restaurant), Love Happens (Romantic comedy. Jennifer Anniston. Aaron Eckhart. What more do you need to know?), The House of the Devil (deliberately, unashamedly retro-sleazy horror movie about the requisite innocent babysitter who discovers that the people she babysits for are the requisite human-sacrificing Satan worshippers; starring genre kooks Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov), More That a Game (documentary about a young high school basketballer named, what was it?…Oh yeah, Lebron James! I hope he makes it okay…), Cold Souls (Paul Giamatti stars as himself, sort of, in this very Being John Malkovich-esque film about a famous actor who finds out about a service that can remove your pesky soul for ya’; you can find it, unsurprisingly, in the Incredibly Strange section), Amelia (Hilary Swank stars as legendarily-missing aviatrix Amelia Earhart in this biopic), Universal Soldier: Regeneration (Jean Claude and Dolph are back! Running home to the sci-fi action series they abandoned decades ago when they thought their careers were going to take them on to bigger and better things), New York, I Love You (remember that film Paris, I Love You, where all the famous directors made short films about Paris? Well this one is just the same…except in New York!).
New Arrivals this week at Videoport: Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland (Sesame Street DVD starring one of those characters introduced after I stopped watching…about three years ago),‘Doc Martin’- season 3 (Videoport’s British Comedy section welcomes another season of this show about a country doctor), Black, White + Gray (artsy documentary about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, curator Sam Wagstaff, and the ever-cool Patti Smith), ‘Doctor Who’- Waters of Mars (is this the last go-round for David Tennant’s Doctor? Someone hipper/nerdier than I will have to tell you…), Yo Gabba Gabba: Birthday Boogie (seems to be some sort of thing for kids? Am I right?), Noam Chomsky: Gaza (another chunk of wisdom from the recently-deceased great man; find lots more of the man’s wisdom in DVD form in Videoport’s documentary section), Spongebob Squarepants Viking-Sized (more for the kids!), Go Diego Go! Lion Cub Rescue (man, Videoport must really like your kids or something…), Barefoot in the Park (the Neil Simon comedy of newlyweds in conflict starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford finally hits DVD), Mouth to Mouth (look at this Spanish comedy starring a very young Javier Bardem being all adorable and cute! Look at ‘im!).
New Arrivals on Blu-Ray this week at Videoport*: X Men, X Men 2, The Seventh Seal.
*speaking of the rise of Blu Ray, here comes the Videoport VHS Blowout Sale! Dang! I guess, since we’re officially two technologies past VHS now, Videoport’s owner Bill has decided to let go, sadly, regretfully, of some of the best of our once-mighty VHS collection at ridiculously low prices. Just check out the big wire bin heaped with some of the best movies of all time, now let loose dirt cheap because they’re tied to an obsolete gizmo. Check out some of the titles I saw in one quick glance in the bin tonight: Blue Velvet, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, The Opposite of Sex, JFK, Apocolypse Now, Days of Heaven, Koyaanisqatsi, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls…and that was only the top layer! Holy crap! And check out these prices already: $3.99 each or 3 for $10! Man, that’s a good deal…but…what? You get a free Videoport rental with every one you buy?!?! Double holy crap! That means if you buy three movies for ten bucks, you’re getting three rentals (worth more than ten bucks!) That means, if you follow the logic, that you’re getting the three VHS movies for free!! Yeah…Videoport*.
*Oh, and before you get all huffy and snotty and supercilious and say something like, “Well, Videoport is really going downhill… I can’t believe they’re getting rid of such good movies…I have a huge stick up my butt..”, just relax. Videoport knows what we’re doing; pretty much everything in the bin is duplicated on DVD. Calm down. (We did save movies like Come Back to the 5 and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Betrayal, and John Sayles’ great City of Hope, which have never been on DVD, and which you should really rent right about…now.)
Free Money at Videoport!
You think I’m kiddin’? Well, check this out, you. Videoport’s got these payment plans which give you more money than you started with. What?! I know! If you prepay $20 on your Videoport account, we’ll give you $25 worth of rental credit, and if you prepay $30 on your rental account, you magically get a whopping $40 worth of rental credit. And that credit lasts forever (until you use it up), works with all our (absurdly-already-generous) daily specials, and it also works for any pesky extra day charges you might rack up.
Park for free at Videoport!
1. Parking meters are turned off after 6pm, Monday-Saturday and all day on Sunday. 2. The parking lot behind the building is open for free one hour parking after 5pm on weekdays and all day on the weekends. 3. Videoport participates in the Park & Shop program, which means we can get you a free hour of parking at any downtown Portland parking garage (including the courthouse garage which is, literally, a two minute walk away). Just bring us your parking stub, and we’ll give you one of our magic stickers!