VideoReport #256

Volume CCLVI- The Good, the Bad Lieutenant, and the Ugly

For the Week of 7/14/10

Videoport gives you a free movie every day, has the lowest prices anywhere (and discount deals to make them even cheaper), employs only certified film geeks (who also, somehow, have social skills), and has the best, deepest, (and ever-expanding) catalog of films anywhere. We like to brag…

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.)

>>>Videoport Customer Danny S’ Top 10 Movies That Freaked Her Right the Freak Out

(Inspired by her viewing of Martyrs)

This movie was one of the most f’ed-up movies I have ever seen. It inspired me to make a list of the top ten movies that freaked me out the most. I’m talking “can’t clean my apartment hard enough, can’t take a shower cold enough, my brain feels all gross and slimy, staring tragically off into space, hours after the movie ended” freaked out. (Some of these I simply watched when I was way too young to see them, and some of them are just straight up f’ed up.)

"Wheeeeeaaaaauuuugggghhhhhhhh!!"- Danny S.

1. Martyrs

2. Irreversible

3. Requiem for a Dream

4. Kids

5. Christiane F.

6. Alive

7. A Clockwork Orange

8. Silence of the Lambs

9. Seven

10. The Human Centipede (terrible movie, but a very high ‘ewww’ factor)

Thanks Danny. Sorry we skeeved you out. If anyone else out there in Videoportland have a best of/worst of/freakiest of list you’d like to appear in the VideoReport, then send them to us at, our Facebook page (“Videoport Jones”), or here at the store.

Tough and Triassic Tuesday. (Get one free rental from the Action or Classics sections with your paid rental.)

>>> Dennis suggests Videoport’s new crop of super-sleazy films noir (in Mystery/Thriller, but we’ll count ’em as Classics so you can get ’em for free ’cause we’re so nice). Videoport has just brought in a quintet of low-budget, extra-sleazy films noir packed full o’ dames, mugs, gats, broads, skirts, and more fedoras than, perhaps, you can handle. First up: City of Fear– Ex-con punk Vince Edwards has just gotten out in possession of what he thinks is a big bag o’ heroin, but it’s actually some bewilderingly-misplaced radioactive powder! Holy crap! How does that even happen? Nightfall– Directed by the ever-intriguing Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie), this one has two hoods running off the road, kidnapping some campers and fighting over $350 grand. Starring Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft. The Brothers Rico– Richard Conte is one of those ‘former mobsters trying to go straight but pulled in for one last job’ characters that make for a good film noir. Bonus- with the

Niiice & sleazy...

cheapest-looking cover art ever! Human Desire– Remake of the excellent French proto-noir La Bete Humaine stars Glenn Ford as a Korean War vet who gets all seduced (by deliciously-kitteny Gloria Grahame) into bumping off her brutish husband (Broderick Crawford). Directed by the legendary Fritz Lang (M). PushoverDouble Indemnity‘s Fred MacMurray falls for another untrustworthily-sexy blonde dame (this time it’s Kim Novak) and, well, I’m guessing things don’t go well for the poor sap.

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday. (Get one free rental from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with your paid rental.)

>>> Dennis suggests Stella: Live in Boston (in Comedy). Stella is (are?) the comedy entity formed by

Just laugh, already.

former members of sketch comedy troupe/gods ‘The State’ Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, and David Wain. They are geniuses. Weird, borderline nuts, oddball, freaky geniuses, but still. Dressed in natty suits and armed with microphones, the occasional sound effect, and a uniquely bananas sensibility, the three are like an intellectually absurd Marx Brothers. Their dynamic is a brilliant and bewildering mix of Groucho and Chico wordplay, mixed with a healthy dose of silliness, juvenilia, and comic digressions. I realize that this review is not, in itself, funny (or likely to make anyone rent it), but you may just have to trust that Stella is just too singular to succumb to easy (or halfassed) description. It’s just hilarious…and I have failed…

(For other projects from these and other members of ‘The State’ [which I also won’t be able to describe adequately], try: The Baxter, Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten, ‘Reno:911’, ‘Stella’ [the TV series]).

Thrifty Thursday. (Get one free movie from any section with your paid rental.)

>>>Dennis suggests Wish You Were Here (in Feature Drama). Poor Emily Lloyd. I always feel bad

Wish you were still famous...

for actors who peak early and never fulfill expectations. Back when this film came out in 1987, Lloyd’s performance as a sexually-precocious teenager in post WWII England was, rightly, hailed as ‘a stunning debut’, ‘the birth of a new star’, and all the rest of that hyperbole. Lloyd is great in this movie (based on the memoir of famous British prostitute and madame Cynthia Payne, (also the source for the film Personal Services), embodying a brave, iconoclastic, and heartbreakingly-vulnerable free spirit, flaunting the rigid social and sexual repression of her drab existence and refusing to be trodden on. It’s a really fresh and affecting performance, and knowing where her character is heading adds a level of poignancy to everything she does. As for Lloyd, she took a shot at America (In Country, A River Runs Through It), then slunk back to the England, TV, and the home for failed promise. Still a good movie, though.

Free Kids Friday. (Get one free rental from the Children’s or Family sections, no other rental necessary).

>>> Dennis suggests that teaching your children proper DVD handling now will prevent you from coming home ten years from now to find they have skipped school, crashed a parade, and trashed your beloved Ferrari. Trust me, that will happen…

Having a Wild Weekend. (Rent two, get your third movie for free from any section on Saturday and Sunday.)

>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests ‘The Best of ‘Friends” (in Comedy). Videoport’s Sam and I have this running argument about ‘Friends’. He maintains that the show, portraying ten years of life in New York City without having, you know, any people of color in any significant role, essentially ever, is inherently a little racist. I masterfully counter that the show is kinda funny. And that Joey and Ross were both in love with the same African American woman for a while in, I wanna say season nine. Yeah, that whole debate rages on, but I am gonna persevere and say that this semi-beloved megahit was

"Dennis is a racist."- Sam

actually really kinda funny. (And that Videoport should get the actual seasons of the show rather than these sad, little best-of DVDs). In rewatching the show, I’m actually always surprised at how good it is, and how freaking talented everybody is. It’s weird that the TV gods were so dead on in casting these six people; there really isn’t any one of the six who they missed on. That being said, it’s perhaps not in the TV gods credit that they originally planned it to be more like ‘the Courtney Cox and her pals’ show, as she is, easily, the least appealing and funny of the bunch (although the show eventually found the proper way to use her, and she’s not terrible or anything.) In fact, here’s my requisite ‘who’s the most talented Friend’ list:

1.Matthew Perry (easily)

2. Lisa Kudrow

3. Matt LeBlanc (totally underrated, by the way)

4. David Schwimmer

5. Jennifer Aniston

6. and then Cox.

Say what you want about it, but funny is funny, and you have to give funny its due, no matter where it comes from. And yes, I recognize that they are all very, very white, and that in praising the show I’m very square. And probably a little bit racist.

>>>For Sunday, Videoport customer B.S. Eliot brings you his Plot Treatment Corner! “Here is the treatment for a manuscript I’ve been working on for the past eight years. I emailed it to a guy who does lawncare for an Outback Steakhouse that’s across the street from where a guy who worked at Dreamworks used to live. No word back yet, but I think they’re just trying to work out the marketing angle before they give me a definite ‘yes.’ Anyhow, I present to you: Plunge. Nicky Palitano (David Schwimmer) is a promising opera singer who appears to be on the fast track to stardom. That is, until one fateful night whereupon, en route to perform the show of his life (in front of a legendary opera scout played by, I dunno, maybe like Bob Hoskins or something), he is kicked in the throat by someone for some reason, at once crushing his dreams and his larynx. He then plunges into a dark period of his life, where he must become a plumber to pay the bills as well as support his two-can-a-day chewing tobacco addiction. (Please note that the title, Plunge, is playing on more than one level at this point.) Then one day a mob boss (Kevin James) trips over Nicky, who is now homeless and sleeping outside of the opera house, his only concern being where he’s gonna get his next ‘pinch.’ Hoping to exploit Nicky’s desperation, the mob boss enlists him to do his bidding. Will Nicky do whatever the mob boss says, no matter how eveil and dehumanizing, for a second chance at his dream? YES. That is, unless the focus groups don’t understand how many levels the title is working on.

Editor’s note: It’s a better pitch than ‘Remember Me’, anyway. Have a movie treatment, movie review, movie list, movie recipe, movie haiku, or movie…thingy? Send them to us at or our Facebook page ‘Videoport Jones’. Or, you know, at the store, if you’re not on the inter-webs.

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Bounty Hunter (Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler star as a pair of exes, and he’s a bounty hunter, and he has to track her down…hijinks…handcuffs…by the director of Fool’s Gold…I’m just gonna stop here), ‘Psych’-season 4 (I finally checked this comedy detective show out, and I gotta say I’m mildly hooked; Dule Hill and James Roday do the buddy thing well as the sensible one and the kooky fake psychic, respectively), ‘Saving Grace’- the Final Season (I’ve always thought that Holly Hunter was too good for this supernatural cop show…but then again, I think Holly Hunter is too good for this earth, so…), Chloe (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, and that girl from Mama Mia! star in this remake of the French film Nathalie about a woman who hires a hooker to try to seduce her husband whom she suspects of cheating; well, I can see how that makes sense…um…), Our Family Wedding (a black family and an hispanic family clash in would-be humorous ways when their kids decide to get married; I feel bad for Forest Whitaker…), The Greatest (Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan star in this Sundance favorite about a happy couple who, shattered when their beloved son is killed, take in his pregnant girlfriend), Greenberg (Ben Stiller proves he can still act in this indie dramedy about an aimless fortysomething ex-musician tentatively forging a relationship with a younger woman [mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig]; directed by Noah Baumback [Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale]), Formosa Betrayed (former Dawson James Van Der Beek tries on some big boy clothes in this fact-based political thriller about the murder of a Taiwanese professor), Terribly Happy (acclaimed Danish thriller about a burnt-out big city cop who finds himself running afoul of the laconic locals and embroiled in unexpected peril when he’s transferred to a tiny town), The Girl by the Lake (this Italian thriller, about the murder of the titular lass in an Italian village, won essentially every Italian Oscar available), Hey Hey, It’s Esther Blueberger (coming of age comedy starring Toni Colette and that girl from Whale Rider), Here and There (comedy about Americans, Serbians, and the wacky immigration schemes they come up with), ‘White Collar’- season 1 (TV series about a white collar criminal who agrees to help set up other white collar criminals for their white collar crimes!)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: FOUR NEW MST3k EPISODES!: The Beast of Yucca Flats, Crash of the Moons, Lost Continent, and Jack Frost! You’re welcome!, America the Beautiful (documentary delves into the way women are turned into body-image-obsessed nervous wrecks by popular culture), 2:37 (a mismatched gaggle of disparate high schoolers head towards some sort of crisis occurring at the titular time; publicity trumpets that fact that this was directed by a 20-year-old…is that a good thing?), ‘Off-Air: The Pilot Episode’ (from local filmmaker Eric Bailey, this Portland-set workplace comedy follows the newsy misadventures of the staff of a bottom-rated Portland news station; it’s currently airing on Portland public access and everyone should check it out, send letters, and help it succeed!), Meeting Venus (forgotten indie film from the 90s with Glenn Close as a high-strung opera diva), Urgh! A Music War (Yay! A punk music documentary!), Surviving Picasso (Anthony Hopkins as the noted rascal and scribbler in a Merchant-Ivory biopic), Artois the Goat (new meat for the Incredibly Strange section, this film, I recall, was described as appropriately odd on the cover art and…my internet is down, so that’s all you get on that one…), God’s Offices (foreign language film about various women trying to deal with the trials and tribulations of…things…did I mention my internet is not working?), Zift (foreign crime comedy about…a criminal…I mean, the internet has been down for two whole days and I know it’s just a matter of some guy coming over and flipping a switch…it’s not like anybody needs their computer or anything…geez!), The Rage in Placid Lake (I understand this film…has some positive qualities…damn this internet!), THREE NEW POIROT EPISODES (David Suchet is back, solving crimes and being all natty and Belgian), Mist (three DVDs worth of the adventures of the titular sheepdog puppy hit Videoport’s kids section; kids love puppies, right?).

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray this week at Videoport: M, Showgirls, Greenberg, Darkman.

Get all the skinny on Videoport on our Facebook page “Videoport Jones”!

Free money at Videoport! Videoport’s Savings Plans, kids- $20 buys you $25 worth of rental credit, while $30 buys you $40 worth! It’s free money. Just take it already…


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