Volume CCCXXII- George A. Romero’s Podcast of the Dead
For the Week of 10/18/11
Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Plus, we give you free store credit when you buy some store credit (see your favorite clerk for details.) Plus, we have all the movies in the world. Plus, we are locally-owned and run by knowledgeable movie geeks. Plus, we are very nice and pretty. Rent Videoport!
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.
>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests ‘Kyle XY’ (in Sci Fi/Fantasy.) Behold the awesome power that is the local video store! Sure, my local video store (Boston) is much crappier than the magic and wonder that is Videoport! I don’t get sweet money saving deals or a free movie every day! I have to survive ridiculously long stints for new releases, like that sh***y new Karate Kid movie released to DVD October 5th of LAST year…yep, that’s still a new release! BUT, I do get to experience recommendations. Bless you recommendations done by people with creative brains and not computers who recommend things based on dry calculations! Really Pandora radio, you think I might be interested in listening to the Beatles? Oh wow…thanks, yeah…I never would have thought of that one… So thank goodness we still have local video stores with real savvy local people to recommend things that we nor our friends and family would ever think to watch! Because, I watch my fair share of shitty ABC Family shows, and I’ve seen many a preview for Kyle XY and it looks really stupid. Like insanely stupid. And I would have continued on my ignorant way but for the grace of my local video store! Kyle XY is in fact awesome, it is so much more than I ever expected! The show is darker than you expect, each quintessential character has more depth than you expect, and the gimmick of the show as a whole has more finesse than you expect. The gimmick being the mystery of Kyle, a 16 year old boy who awakens naked covered in goo in the middle of the forest as a blank slate. He’s able to function in terms of movement. Though he doesn’t talk at first, you know he’s able to function by thought as we have his hypnotically detailed analytical voice overs to help guide us. Other than those he’s learning everything as he goes. And he pulls the whole thing seamlessly together by being his hypnotic, analytical, cute as a button self. I don’t mean cute as in dreamy cute, though certainly his sleepy eyed adorability turns many a heart, he’s cute as in the character is so kind, honest, and clueless (but not stupid) you can’t help but love him. Normally kind, honest, clueless and family drama equal painful cheesy camp (which I shamelessly admit to also loving, it’s why I’ve watched many a sh***y ABC Family show). This show certainly has some camp, it’s a sci-fi teen series…it doesn’t know how not to be campy, but it’s all well tempered in an intelligent forge. Give the first episode a shot, if you’re not as intrigued by this show as Kyle is intrigued by the nuances of human behavior then you are free to go. Though if, like me, you find yourself falling into the almost anthropological bizarreness of the show I should warn you it did get cancelled without warning thus leaving the show unfinished at the end of the third season. I’ll never understand why ABC Family treats me with such cruelty when I showed them nothing but love!
Tough and Triassic Tuesday. (Get one free rental from the Action or Classics sections with your paid rental.)
>>>Elsa S. Customer clears it up, Kubrick noir style! The Killing(1956) is a Stanley Kubrick heist story:
a ragtag team of nogoodniks plan a big take from a racetrack. Killer’s Kiss (1955) is Kubrick’s big debut, a noir-by-flashback: a boxer waits in a train station, telling the tale of his taxi-dancer girlfriend and his flight from the law.
Wacky and Worldly Wednesday. (Get one free rental from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with your paid rental…OR…get 4 movies for 7 days for 7 bucks!)
>>> Regan suggests you use the Wednesday super-specil (4 movies for a week for 7 bucks!) to rent off my shelf before Christmas and the holidayness of it all comes around and wipes it out. A total pile of splendid radness on this here shelf, like:
Dogfight. You love romance and River Phoenix before he died!
Frankenhooker. Bill Murray says you should rent this! SO do it!
Gloria. Gena Rowlands kicks some ass and looks good doin’ it!
Jesus’ Son. Billy the Crudup before he became boring! Samantha Morton doing a great booby dance. Jack Black before he surgically unfunnied himself.
Show Me Love. Swedish girls in love. Come one guys- you don’t have to go into the porn office to rent this one!
Hey now! There’s these titles and so much more on Regan’s amazing, happy-happy funtime shelf. Just look for the picture of Pauly D with my name tattooed on his lower back! Yessir!
Thrifty Thursday. (Get one free movie from any section with your paid rental.)
>>>Elsa S. Customer clears it up, Australia vs. North America edition! Proof (1991) is a gripping drama starring Hugo Weaving as a blind photographer charmed — and maybe a bit disarmed — by a new friend (Russell Crowe). Proof (2005) follows a mathematician’s daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) who tries to protect her father’s legacy even as she fears inheriting his illness. Bliss (1985; it’s VCRiffic!) is the darkly absurdist
story of Harry Joy (Geoffrey Rush) whose life goes all to hell after a devastating heart attack. Bliss (1997) is the earnestly intent story of an anorgasmic woman (Sheryl Lee of “Twin Peaks” fame) seeking help first from her therapist (Spalding Gray) and later from a Tantric sex guru (Terence Stamp).
Free Kids Friday. (Get one free rental from the Children’s or Family sections, no other rental necessary).
>>>April suggests some Free Kids Friday Halloween movies!! (Check the Halloween Family Favorites shelf in the ‘staff picks’ section in the middle aisle!) While everyone else is watching ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ and The Halloween Tree, you should take home The Worst Witch with Tim Curry and Fairuza Balk. It’s not as good as the other two, but it is sorta awesome in its own horrible way. It’d be okay if they remade this one. In fact, they really should get on that. The ‘special effects’ in The Worst Witch are the worst ever! Yay!! If you’d rather take home a scary kids one that’s fun and good, try Mad Monster Party from the folks who made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rankin and Bass!
Having a Wild Weekend. (Rent two, get your third movie for free from any section on Saturday and Sunday.)
>>>For Saturday, Ms. Elsa S. Customer suggests ‘Prime Suspect’ (in Mystery/Thriller.) I’ve seen a few episodes of the new U.S. series “Prime Suspect,”and I’m not complainin’ — it’s fine to spend an hour
watching Maria Bello (A History of Violence, Thank you for Smoking) muscling her marvelous way through homicide cases as the tough and all-but-infallible Detective Timoney. But it’s unfair to compare anything to the original Prime Suspect, where Helen Mirren showed her mettle as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. Partly it’s a question of pacing. The remake is a standard network procedural, wrapping up each new case in 40 minutes. The original allows the story (and the tension) to unfold over the course of several episodes. By the time our Jane has nicked the baddie, we know the case, the evidence, and the squad working it; we’re invested in all the dramas that play out before us. And partly it’s a question of character. Like her pale imitator, Tennison is a tough-as-nails, instinctively gifted, extraordinarily diligent homicide investigator struggling to be accepted in an overwhelmingly male field. But unlike the remake’s heroic, gruff-but-slick female lead, Tennison is otherwise a complete mess — disastrously, devastatingly so. Her devotion to duty, which borders on the obsessive, outranks every other priority, especially her private life, and even when she’s present for her family or partner, her earnest attempts to please dissolve in the face of her exhaustion and the pressing demands of responsibility and well-deserved ambition. DCI Jane Tennison is a searingly honest portrait of human power and failure melded together, a staggeringly real and touching character with real strengths and real flaws.
>>>For Sunday, Elsa S. Customer clears it up, postman style! The Postman (1997) [in Sci-Fi and free on Monday!] is a post-apocalyptic tale in which a drifter/grifter (Kevin Costner, who also directed — not a good sign, y’know) dons the uniform left over from a now-defunct government and wanders the
wastelands, enlisting the trust of the unwary. Il Postino (The Postman) (1994) tells a fictional tale in which (actual) poet Pablo Neruda helps a shy rural worker charm the girl of his dreams. (Writer and star Massimo Troisi was so devoted to this story that he postponed much-needed heart surgery to complete the film; tragically, he died just one day after filming completed.)
New Releases this week at Videoport: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (If there’s a better third sequel to a movie franchise based on a corporate theme park ride out this week, I’m going to shoot myself in the face…), Batman: Year One (can this animated DC Comics film measure up to the greatness of Frank Miller’s legendary Batman graphic novel; well, no, of course not- but I’ll probably watch it anyway), ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars’- season 3 (the general consensus is that these animated Star Wars series are better than the three prequel movies; but then, of course, they’d have to be), Attack on Leningrad(for WWII fans, here comes this epic Russian film about the Nazi siege of
Leningrad, costarring Mira Sorvino and Gabriel Byrne, for some reason…), Bad Teacher (Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, and Justin Timberlake all star in this dark comedy about the sexy, morally-flexible high school teacher of every teenage boy’s dreams), Attack the Block (Shaun of the Dead‘s ever-hilarious Nick Frost costars in this British action sci fi comedy about a gang of London street toughs banding together to defend their turf from an alien invasion), Baaria (from the director of Cinema Paradiso, The Legend of 1900, Malena, and The Unknown Woman comes this autobiographical epic about three generations of a family in a remote Sicilian village), Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (character actor Michael Rappaport [Copland, Small Time Crooks] directs this documentary about co-Queens residents, and influential hip hop artists A Tribe Called Quest), A Better Life (director Chris Weitz [About a Boy] brings us this tale of a Mexican gardener in East L.A. trying to give his son the titular existence), The Last Circus (you should really get into weirdo Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia [The Perfect Crime, 800 Bullets, Six Films to Keep You Awake: The Baby’s Room, The Oxford Murders, Dance with the Devil]- the guy’s weird, and has mad skills; this is his new one, a bizarre generational saga/love story/weird circus movie about a weird Spanish circus), R(brutal Danish prison drama about a pair of young men, both of whose names begin with a particular letter, banding together to
survive the country’s most notorious maximum security wing), Red State (you know good old roly-poly Kevin Smith? The nice Jersey boy who makes the raunchy/sweet comedies about weed and motormouthed profanity? Well, forget that guy- KS makes a major change-of-direction with this intense, weird horror movie about a small town beset with Michael Parks’ ultra-conservative Christian church, a government siege, and some very, very unpleasant things going on. One of the most unexpected movies of the year- and look for Michael Parks’ name come Oscar time…yeah, I said it), Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 (coinciding with Red State, Smith brings us a fourth concert DVD of him, this time in front of his home town crowd on his birthday, telling tales, swearing a lot, and being surprisingly charming and normal…and filthy), The Smodimations (more Kevin Smith! This one’s very similar to ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’, with animated versions of the tales told by Smith and longtime producer pal Scott Mosier on their podcast, ‘The Smodcast’), The Shock Doctrine (just in time to stoke some more anti-capitalist ire comes this documentary positing that the rise and dominance of capitalism and the consolidation of wealth goes hand-in-greedy-hand with times of crisis which allow the 1% to grab all the loot while we’re all distracted), Turkey Bowl (unusual, very likeable American indie about the titular touch football game, a yearly tradition where a group of friends, and a few strangers, play a game; that’s it…), IP Man 3 (another sequel to the stunningly-popular martial arts biography about the man who introduced Wing Chun to China), ‘Workaholics’- season 1 (Comedy Central sitcom about slacker-type fellas [the title’s ironic] getting by in their office jobs by being as humorously-immature as possible), ‘Chuck’- season 4 (the computer-geek-turned-reluctant-super-spy comedy returns), The Captains (no less than William Shatner himself wrote and directed this documentary where the Shat travels all over the place to talk to all the actors who’ve played a post-Kirk captain in the ‘Star Trek’ universe.)
New Arrivals This Week at Videoport: The Member of the Wedding (based on the book by Carson McCullers [The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe], this coming of age tale stars the then-27 year old Julie Harris playing 12 a year old tomboy), The New Christmas Classics (animated compilation of four heretofore-unheralded kids show xmas episodes from the likes of Fat Albert, George of the Jungle, Casper, and Gumby; anyone questioning the legitimacy of the ‘classics’ part of the title is just not in the xmas spirit…), ‘Catdog’- season 1, part 1 (weirdo animated series with voice actor all-stars Tom Kenny and Billy West lending their talents to this show about a conjoined dog and cat.)
New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week at Videoport: Pirates of the Carbbean: On Stranger Tides, Attack the Block, Bad Teacher.
Halloween Night, you and your undead beloved can catch a double feature of two of the best zombie flicks of all time at the State Theatre! Co-sponsored by us here at Videoport, the State is showing the original Dawn of the Dead and the neo-classic rom-zom-com Shaun of the Dead back-to-zombified back, with local horror short ‘Last Call’ in between! Tickets are $8 at the State, but only $6 if you come in and buy them from us at Videoport ahead of time. Plus, come in costume and the best zombie finery (chick and dude divisions) will win Videoport Gift Certificates! Time’s a wastin’ away like a zombie’s soft tissue, so get your tickets today!