Volume CCCXXIX- Raise the Green Lantern
For the Week of 12/6/11
Videoport reminds you to Buy Local this holiday season. Hey wait- we’re local! That means you can buy from us! Man, that worked out great!
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 ‘Archer’(in Animation.) Jon Benjamin is the funniest guy you’ve never seen. Sure, he
pops up in small roles in live action shows from time to time (like ‘Parks and Recreation’ or ‘Human Giant’) and he’s even got a sketch show (‘Jon Benjamin Has a Van’) which means that people may actually start to recognize him on the street every once in a while, but anyone who’s been watching the so-called ‘alternative animation’ scene (typified by the Adult Swim channel) knows the man’s voice well. He was the title character’s touchingly-childlike adult slacker son Ben on “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” and voiced two of the greatest characters in tv history (yeah, I said it) in the brilliant ‘Home Movies,’ Jason Penopolis and Coach John McGuirk. He was a weirdly-likeable Satan in the otherwise lame ‘Lucy, Daughter of the Devil’ and pops up in everything from the execrable ‘Family Guy’ to the talking can of mixed vegetables in the hilarious Wet Hot American Summer. But his greatest showcase to date is ‘Archer,’ the new animated comedy from Adam Reed, creator of ‘Sealab 2021’ and ‘Frisky Dingo,’ (which are both very funny as well.) Reed’s comedy is built on a very specific brand of verbal humor; his characters, while ostensibly engaged in life-or-death endeavors, invariably get bogged down in petty digressions, to generally hilarious effect. Everyone from the deep sea scientists in ‘Sealab’ to “Dingo’‘s comically-patrician supervillain antihero Killface lose their focus as personal issues take hilarious precedence over, say taking over the world, or preventing their underwater base from blowing up (again.) In ‘Archer,’ Benjamin is Sterling Archer, the impeccably-handsome, womanizing super-spy whose occasional acumen is perpetually-undermined by the fact that he’s an egomaniacal, self-centered douche. Sure, he’s got it tough, working under his overbearing mother (‘Arrested Development”s Jessica Walter, gamely-filthy), the head of the spy agency ISIS, and alongside his super-efficient ex-lover co-agen Lana (the funny and formidable Aisha Tyler), but really, Archer brings most of his troubles on himself. You know, from his douchiness. Throw into the mix a spy agency full of weirdos, eccentrics, and assorted pervs (including comedy utility all-stars Chris Parnell and Judy Greer) and some occasionally extreme comic violence to go along with Reed’s signature snarky, catchphrase-happy dialogue, (and, of course, star Benjamin’s unique brand of verbal brilliance), and ‘Archer’ is genuinely hilarious.
Tough and Triassic Tuesday. (Get one free rental from the Action or Classics sections with your paid rental.)
>>>Andy suggest Mr. Majestyk (in the Action/Adventure section). The trailer for the 1974 movie Mr. Majestyk calls it “a movie that touches the hero in all of us.” It’s trying to be another Billy Jack or Walking Tall. I say, why bother? This is Mr. Majestyk! As regular VideoReport readers may have noticed, I’ve been watching Charles Bronson movies lately, and enjoying them hugely. I watched Death Wish, it’s sequels, and some other stuff, but Mr. Majestyk is better than any of those movies. Bronson is, as always, a total pro*. This time he plays a shaggy-haired, ass-kicking melon farmer named Vincent Majestyk, who just wants to get his melons in. He doesn’t want to be a badass or an action star, he just wants to get those melons in. But he keeps getting mixed up with local thugs, the police, and, somehow, a fugitive hitman called Frank Renda. Renda, played by Al Lettieri, is a cruel and vindictive killer, and once he sets his sights on the poor melon farmer, the movie really gets nasty. The hip and funny script by Elmore Leonard provides lots of situations for Renda and company to get nasty. There are lots of great fistfights, gunfights, and exciting car chases. These are real** car chases and fights; I have to say I was glad to see some movie stuntwork that was realistic and convincing compared to the flashy CGI we’re all accustomed to. The car chase near the end actually looked dangerous. I was concerned for the drivers! This is an action movie about real people doing real damage to real people (and their belongings). If that isn’t a novel enough idea for you, then, well, there’s a new Pirates of the Carribbean movie you might like…
*Charles Bronson has been in movies good, bad, and really bad, and he never seems to half-ass it. He’s a pro, and I respect that.
**Not real, obviously. It’s just a movie.
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!)
>>> Dennis suggests checking out the bizarre world of the late Ken Russell. When Russel died last week, the movie world was left approximately 7% less weird, which is a tragedy. Russel’s particular brand of screen lunacy was notorious, combining an outrageous visual flair with deliberately outlandish and often disturbing subject matter with a dash of good, old-fashioned loopiness thrown in. Sometimes relatively
seriously (Altered States, The Devils), but most often with a maniacally-gleeful sense of transgression, Ken Russel was a twisted cinematic prankster of the highest order. You will be missed, sir. Check out these Russell films …if you dare!
–Ken Russell at the BBC (in Feature Drama): includes The Debussey Film, Dante’s Inferno, Always on Sunday, Isadora: The Biggest Dancer in the World, Song of Summer, and Elgar.
–Women in Love (in Feature Drama.)
–The Devils (in Feature Drama.)
–The Boy Friend (in Musicals.)
–Tommy (in Popular Music.)
–Altered States (in Sci Fi.)
–Crimes of Passion (in Feature Drama.)
–The Lair of the White Worm (in Horror.)
–Gothic (in Horror.)
–Aria (segment: Nessun Dorma– in Feature Drama)
–Trapped Ashes (segment: The Girl with Golden Breasts– in Horror.)
Thrifty Thursday. (Get one free movie from any section with your paid rental.)
>>>Former Videoporter Stockman suggests ‘Veronica Mars’ (in Feature Drama.) “Maybe if Stockman recommends this show (in writing) a few more times, I’ll actually watch it…” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! As plucky as this show’s namesake I vow to recommend the shit out of this show until Videoport Jones realizes that he should have been recommending this for years! I think I might have a spy on the inside already. Elsa S. Customer is potentially as I write succumbing to the awe and wonder that is Veronica Mars. So without further ado here are some rapid random reasons that this show is fucking phenomenal! Ponies! Humor regarding the purchasing of ponies and the loving of unicorns at its magical best. “Nobody likes a blonde in a hamster ball”, which is also what Apple engraved on my cousin’s iPod because she gave me the power to make that decision! She’s never been happier. Enough blonde bombshell sassiness to buy and run your own island (this is of course assuming that sass is the currency of our post-apocalyptic future). The excitement and intrigue of multiple grand over-arching season long plots but with the instant gratification of solved episode long mysteries. Mysteries that are not insulting to ones intelligence and require absolutely no assistance from a drama filled crime scene investigation unit. Oh! And in my last review I totally forgot two additional Buffy connections, well hello there Allyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter doing a damn fine job playing sleaze “road hard meet put away wet”.
Free Kids Friday. (Get one free rental from the Children’s or Family sections, no other rental necessary).
>>>Dennis suggests going on a slightly-inappropriate kids section scavenger hunt! Yup, for those of you disappointed to find that, on Friday’s Videoport only (merely, shockingly) gives you one free kids section movie with absolutely no other rental necessary, well, perhaps this will make it up to you, you incredibly-grateful and understanding person, you. Seeded throughout the kids section, you’ll find some stuff that’s clearly not a kids movie. Maybe we put it in there because it wasn’t renting somewhere else, or maybe we did it just to be weird, or perhaps it’s all part of our plan to corrupt your children with sex, violence, and the occasional fart joke- whatever our reasoning, you’ll find some 80’s PG comedies (The Money Pit, Zorro: The Gay Blade, Mr. Mom, Twins), some sports flicks (Miracle, The Greatest Game Ever Played), some superheroic action (the Christopher Reeve Supermans, The Rocketeer), and more. So dry your eyes, super-reasonable person who never scoffs at our daily specials because you have to have everything you want exactly when and how you want it! Videoport’s eccentricities of movie categorization have got you covered!
Having a Wild Weekend. (Rent two, get your third movie for free from any section on Saturday and Sunday.)
>>>For Saturday, Regan suggests The Deep End (in Mystery/Thriller.) I believe this is the prequel to I Don’t
Know How She Does It. That’s a big lie. I do think this should be called I.D.K.H.S.D.I. because Tilda Swinton will bury Sarah Jessica Parker in an ultimate mother match! Tilda plays Maggie who is trying to protect her college-bound son from the fuzz after a lovers’ spat with his sleazy clubowner boyfriend turns lethal. She also has to pick up her kids from school and drop them off at water polo and pick up some groceries and deal with her doddering live-in father in law, but thankfully, she’s also being blackmailed by a hunky-hunkatron played by Goran Visnjic! Side-note- check out Goran in Beginners. Fan-f*cking-tastic! So go ahead and rent The Deep End. This is my second viewing and all I can say is meee-likey.
>>>For Sunday, Elsa S. Customer suggests getting your Steve Buscemi on! This weekend on “Saturday Night Live,” Steve Buscemi described some of his supporting roles: “the creepy bellhop, the creepy homeless guy, or the creepy creepy guy.” Those roles, respectively, are: Chet in Barton Fink, the hobo in Big Daddy, and, um, well, that one’s tough to narrow down. But Buscemi’s range is much broader than that! See him as the creepy criminal (Fargo), the creepy and stingy criminal (Reservoir Dogs), the creepy but I mean CREEPY serial killer (Con Air), the creepy cartoon rat (Charlotte’s Web), or the creepy chameleon-monster (Monsters, Inc).
New Releases This Week at Videoport: The Help (Emma Stone, in the great Hollywood tradition of filtering civil rights stories through pretty white people, plays a young woman who, upon returning to her Mississippi home town, discovers that racism is bad as she documents the life of her family’s African-American maid [Viola Davis]), The Hangover 2 (did you like The Hangover? Well enjoy the exact same movie all over again!!), Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Jim Carrey has a lot of penguins; comic hijinx purportedly ensue…), Cowboys & Aliens (Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford play a couple of understandably-bewildered Old West types who find their dusty town under attack by some serious UFOs; directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau), The Debt (Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds play three Israeli agents who discover that their one big legendary mission may have been something darker than they thought), ‘The Simpsons’- season 14 (doh!), ‘Big Love’- season 5(Bill Paxton is back as everybody’s
favorite bigamist in the final season of this HBO series), ‘Portlandia’- season 1 (Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s hilarious sketch comedy series about the other Portland features guest stars like Steve Buscemi, Kyle McLachlan, Heather Graham, and more; “put a bird on it!”), A Matter of Size (a big hit at the 2009 Portland Jewish Film Festival, this dramedy’s about a group of Israeli men who decide to embrace their plus-sizedness when they travel to Japan to become sumo wrestlers), Point Blank (French thriller about a guy who’s forced to due some criminals’ evil biddings when his pregnant wife is kidnapped), Life Above All (a mother and daughter’s relationship mirrors the realities of life in South Africa in this acclaimed African drama), Raging Boll (part of me wants to gawk at this biopic of Uwe Boll, the worst director currently living on the planet, the other half thinks he’s just getting off on the attention…), Helldriver (hot Japanese babes versus zombies? ‘kay!!), Chillerama (check the Incredibly Strange section for this quartet of deliberately-awful horror comedy spoofs entitled, Wadzilla, I Was a Teenage Werebear, Zom-B-movie, and, yes, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein), and four, count ’em four new episodes of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000!”– this time around we’ve got Mighty Jack, Time of the Apes, The Violent Years, and The Brute Man!
New Arrivals this week at Videoport: Altered Conclusions (check out the Incredibly Strange section for this new Maine-made horror thriller!)
New Arrivals on Blu-Ray this week at Videoport: Cowboys & Aliens, The African Queen, The Debt, The Hangover-part 2, Helldriver, Contact, Goldfinger, The World Is Not Enough, Boyz N the Hood.
Videoport’s Holiday Gift Guide
1. Videoport gift certificates. Just a great all-around gift for movie lovers on your list. Spring for any amount, including the quickie ten buck denomination for a secret Santa, or someone you just don’t like that much.
2. New and previously-viewed DVDs. There’s still time to order anything you need from us in time for the big wallet-emptying day, so get on that, quick-like. Plus, Videoport’s got plenty of stuff, new and used, in-store. And remember, you get a free rental on your (not their) Videoport account for every single movie you buy from us (and not some big jerk internet chain.) Plus, we don’t charge you shipping, and we’re not evil. Just an FYI…
3. Sno Caps. Always a good gift.
Get free money at Videoport!
Yup, just front-load your rental account with store credit and we’ll give you some extra credit for free. $20 gets you $25 in store credit. $30 buys you $40 in store credit. Not bad… deals at all. Just sayin’…