VideoReport #347

Volume CCCXLVII- Kickpuncher 6: I Kick on Your Grave

For the Week of 4/10/12

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Anyone want a free movie? ‘Cause we have one for you…

VideoReport Special Report! We’ve got a whole new rental special at Videoport! Here’s the deal: On Monday through Thursday you get three movies for a week for 7 bucks! To answer your questions:

1. The regular daily specials are still in effect as well.

2. New releases aren’t included in the special.

3. Because we love you.

Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental!

>>> Dennis suggests Apollo 18(in Sci Fi.) But probably not for the reasons the filmmakers would

In space, no one can hear you suck...

like. Look, I’m a fan of the whole “found footage” horror movie thing in general. Unlike, say, the “show everything as graphically and as obviously as possible” horror genre, the found footage concept takes advantage of the immutable rules of scary stuff “what you don’t see is very, very scary” and “it is also very scary when you see something that shouldn’t be there!!!” I maintain that The Blair With Project is the scariest damned thing I’ve ever seen and I’ll throw some serious heebie jeebie points (to greater or lesser degree) to the likes of Rec/Quarantine, a couple of the Paranormal Activities, The Last Broadcast, The Last Exorcism, The Zombie Diaries, Diary of the Dead, Troll Hunter, and even Cloverfield. Limiting our vision of the spooky events to what the characters see, and hear, is an effective way to manipulate us, which is what we pay horror movies to do after all, and when it’s done well, the effect can be pants-dampeningly thrilling. And then there’s Apollo 18… Its premise is so promising I actually found myself getting ticked off as the movie unfolded to increasingly-diminishing results: there was a secret, Department of Defense-supervised final moon landing which no one knew about until the top secret mission footage was leaked (and, you know, edited to feature film length.) Solid stuff, well done. Unfortunately, Apollo 18 does so little with its premise that I watched the last half of the movie with an annoyed smirk on my face. As the terminally-interchangeable whitebread astronaut duo (is there any other kind?) gets the go signal, blasts off and lands on the moon, I was willing to forbear- all the setup was necessary, I suppose, and I looked forward to the point when the movie would spring the good stuff. And it does spring some stuff (WARNING: hereafter come the SPOILERS. Such as they are.) The spacemen find footprints! That aren’t theirs! On the moon! They discover another lunar lander! A Russian one! On the moon! Holy crap! On both counts! These are sure-fire goosebump horror moments! Or, you know, would be, if either lead actor seemed interested in registering anything like surprise. Even mild surprise would be nice. But their reactions to some seriously-monumental events is as flat and matter-of-fact as the way in which director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego shoots them. Plus, he cheats. I guess you can rationalize the constantly, and conveniently, changing camera angles and POV sources to the fiction that we’re watching something edited from multiple cameras (a lazy technique which robs the whole ‘found footage’ idea of its inherent power), but it’s sheer audience-pandering to zoom in (and even throwing one of those illuminated circles around one particular ‘terrifying’ incident, just to make sure we don’t miss how terrifying it is.) Lazy. As is the film’s reliance on jump scares in lieu of tension building or, you know, actual tension. And when the moon mystery is finally revealed, well, I’m not entirely certain that the director was going for ‘bemused giggles’ for his denouement. Plus, in space, no one should be able to hear you skitter…

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental!

>>> Action-oriented Blu Ray fans! Check out page 2 of this here newsletter for the massive haul of (mostly) action blu-ray movies Videoport brought in this week! You’re welcome!

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental!

>>>Dennis suggests ‘Community’ (in Comedy.) Now that Chevy Chase has gone Chevy Chaseand started badmouthing this uniformly-brilliant show (which plucked Chevy from obscurity/mockery

Clearly about to say something horrible.

and gave him the best role of his career), why not check it out (maybe using the 3 movies for a week for 7 bucks Monday-Thursday deal) to see what the big deal is about- and how wrong Chase is to complain. The increasingly-loopy, utterly-hilarious (and weirdly heartfelt) adventures of a mismatched study group at the world’s lowest-rent community college, ‘Community’‘s ensemble (Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, and Chase) is, simply, the best comedy ensemble on TV right now. And Chase is outstanding! As the group’s out-of-touch, vaguely racist, sexist, homophobic old goof, Chase’s Pierce Hawthorne creates a classic comic character, (and, to be fair, the show wisely deploys him judiciously; you don’t ever want too much Chevy.) I genuinely feel that Chase deserved an Emmy nomination, especially for season 2, where Pierce’s traditional cantankerousness gradually morphed into outright villainy at times. Seriously, I am using “Chevy Chase” and “Emmy” in the same sentence completely without irony. Check out the episode “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” and you’ll see what I’m talking about- and that Chase, as usual, is his own worst enemy in real life.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store!

>>>Andy, April, and Regan present the minutes of Human Centipede 2 Night! This past Thursday, Videoport’s April and Regan gathered at Andy’s apartment to watch The Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence]. April brought vanilla and chocolate pudding cups, Regan brought red wine and potato chips, and Andy baked lemon squares and provided the cheese log and vodka. After an hour and a half of talking and procrastinating, we were ready to begin. Here are Andy’s notes (in the hope that you, the reader, can get a sense of the experience of watching the movie):

8:30 – Movie begins. Pudding time! Regan and April agree that the main guy looks like Dwight in thirty years. “This is what happens when you watch movies on your laptop.” –Regan (as the main character watches the first H.C. movie on his computer).

8:37 – We agree that this movie isn’t very realistic.

8:50 – Bloody p*ss. “That’s not good.” –April.

8:51 – “I’m never going to draw an a**hole the same way again.” –Regan.

8:55 – We again agree that this movie isn’t very realistic.

8:56 – Main guy licks his fingers. “C’mon Jabba, touch it.” –Regan. Sandpaper j*rk-off. “Stop it! Stop it Stop it!” –All of us.

9:01 – “This movie is so bad!” –Regan. “I thought it would be

grosser.” –April. “I want Pruitt Taylor Vince and Helen Mirren.” –Regan. “It’s trying to be Eraserhead meets Human Centipede.” –Regan.

9:03 – April freaks out at the extreme head injury stuff. “It’s like an old pumpkin. Rotten from the inside out!” –Regan.

9:07 – “Again with the head bashing!” –April, grossed out but intrigued. We all agree that this is getting interesting. “I’d rather f*ck that retarded boy!” –Character in the movie. “I love it!” –April. “Nobody wants that beard tapping against their taint.” –Regan.

9:16 – More pudding.

Mmmmm, puddin'.

9:20 – “Some of these people were shot multiple times, they would seriously be dead by now.” –April. We agree that this is a lot like Schindler’s List.

9:22 – The Teeth Knocking Out Scene. “That’s a bit much.” –April. Regan doubts that this is 100% medically accurate.

9:26 – “He’s doing the anus thing now.” –April. “If I have to watch a movie about sad ugly people, it should be a Mike Leigh movie.” –Regan.

9:30 – “I think I’m gonna have to watch Grandma’s Boy after this… for the better acting!” –Regan.

9:35 – “Just because I want to walk around my house in underwear and a lab coat doesn’t mean I get to walk around my house in underwear and a lab coat!” –Regan.

9:37 – A tongue gets ripped out. “Good job.” –April.

9:38 – “C’mon! Whose mom doesn’t wake them up every morning by stabbing them?” –Regan.

9:40 – “They did a good job on the noises. I had to put down my pudding.” –April. Regan says something like “Poop-a-barf-a-brown.”

9:43 – “It’s sandpaper time!” –April. “F*ckin’ weirdo!” –Regan.

9:44 – The Barbed-Wire Centipede Rape Scene is greeted by stunned silence.

9:46 – “Pull out! Don’t get her pregnant!” –Regan.

9:50 – April gasps and Regan screams, for real. Regan is stressed out.

9:55 – “I miss the first Human Centipede.” –April. “So much fun.” – Regan. The credits roll. “Eh. Whatever.” –April. “I still think that Vincent Gallo movie is grosser (Trouble Every Day).” –Regan. “This movie did make me put down my pudding.” –April.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!

>>>Dennis suggests that not being taught proper DVD handling now (Rule 1: Don’t touch the shiny side. Rule 2: there is no rule 2) will keep you kids out of the very best schools.

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!

>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests Diggers(in Feature Drama.) A shaggy little drama/comedy, Diggers benefits from the fact that it stars essentially the most likeable bunch of actors anywhere.

Scruffy, likeable.

Written by indie comedy god Ken Marino (Party Down, The State, Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten), who clearly just called up his most amiable pals for our enjoyment to play a group of boozing, dope-smoking, womanizing clammers (or “diggers”, if you will) eking out a marginal living in their Long Island home town. Paul Rudd (the effortless master of effortlessly-charismatic nice guys) is our protagonist, the restless one, who harbors some vague artistic ambitions but who’s never ventured outside his decidedly-unambitious world. Marino play the boorish but devoted family man, scraping by despite his occasional inopportune hotheadedness, and continually knocking up forbearing wife Sarah Paulson. Ron Eldard is the inveterate womanizer whose friendship with Rudd is threatened by Eldard’s dalliance with Rudd’s sad-eyed, wiser sister (the ever-radiant and sensible Maura Tierney.) And Josh Hamilton is the resident stoner/drug dealer- spacy and guileless and funny. Throw in the always-interesting and sparkly Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under as the vacationing city girl looking for an uncomplicated summer fling with Rudd, and, like I mentioned, you’ve got as eminently watchable and likeable a cast as you’ll find anywhere. Diggers could be called a ‘coming of age’ story, if only its protagonists weren’t in their mid-thirties already- it’s one of those rambunctious, ‘boys will be boys’ dramedies which should be more than a little tiresome, but the authentic 70s milieu (everybody has sweet, sweet facial hair), some genuine chemistry among the friends (it’s clear they’ve been together forever), and the aforementioned effortless charisma of really everyone involved makes Diggers a pleasant, minor-key indie.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests writing for the VideoReport! Send your reviews in to us at denmn@ or our Facebook page, “Videoport Jones!”

She definitely has the creepy Thatcher stare down pat...

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher; if she needs more incentive to rent this than that, then I don’t know your mom…), Who Does She Think She Is? (documentary tackles the age-long challenges of women who refuse to choose between work and having a family; from acclaimed director Pamela Tanner-Boll), The Conquest(sort of a Gallic Primary Colors, this film chronicles the rise to power of French president Nicolas

You're getting veeeeery sleepy. And veeeeery sexy...

Sarkozy), Sleeping Beauty (a young woman makes a living as a very specific manner of prostitute who allows herself to be drugged before the deed in this unsurprisingly-controversial erotic drama), The Darkest Hour (annoying young American tourists get stranded in Russia when the inevitable alien invasion breaks out), Into the Abyss (director Werner Herzog turns out another typically-fascinating documentary, this time about capital punishment as he interviews the perpetrators, and victims’ families involved in a Texas murder case ), Miss Representation (another compelling feminist documentary this week; this time examining the lack of women in positions of power in American government), ‘Primeval’- season 3 (dinosaurs and other various time-displaced creatures keep popping up all over modern England in this BBC sci fi series), ‘MI-5’- season 10 (British spies continue to, well, spy on stuff I guess…), Corman’s World (fans of cult cinema should flock to this doc about legendary low budget filmmaker Roger Corman; actually, we only have one copy of it, so please flock to it in an orderly fashion…)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: The Donner Party (Crispin Glover stars in this period film about the titular legendary lost expedition where thinks got a little, um, bitey…), Neo Ned (Jeremy Renner and Gabrielle Union star in this, shall we say, unusual romance about a neo Nazi falling in love with a young black woman who believes Hitler was reincarnated in her), Series 7 (Brooke Smith is stunning in this reality TV satire about a mandatory near-future reality show where ordinary people are forced to hunt each other down to the death, all for the delight of the TV-viewing public), ‘Regular Show’ Slack Pack (a blue jay and raccoon have decidedly-weird adventures in this animated series), They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Jane Fonda leads a great ensemble in this devastating Depression-era drama about a variety of desperate types engaging in a grueling dance marathon for prize money), Sheba Baby (in time to join the blaxploitation tribute shelf in the Staff Picks section, Videoport brings in yet another 70’s classic starring the ever-stunning Pam Grier), The Making of Battle Royale (documentary showing how the proto-(and superior) Japanese Hunger Games was made)

New Arrivals on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: Abduction, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, Alien vs. Predator, Bangkok Dangerous, Capitaism: A Love Story, Chinatown, The Darkest Hour, The Day the Earth Stood Still, District B13: Ultimatum, Doubt, The Experiment, Flyboys, Gothika, Halloween 2, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Hills Have Eyes 2, The International, The Iron Lady, Knowing, The Marine, Max Payne, The Omen, One Missed Call, Scorpion King 3, Shutter, The Signal, A Single Man, The 6th Day, Sleep Dealer, Spiderman 3, Stargate: Continuum, Stolen, Stomp the Yard, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, Street Kings, Surveillance, The Switch, Sympathy for Delicious, Tell Tale, 30 Days of Night 2: Dark Days, Triage, Trick ‘r Treat, Ultraviolet, Unthinkable, Untraceable, Valkyrie, Vantage Point, Vertical Limit, Volver, What Just Happened?, Whiteout, The Wicker Man (Nicholas Cage version), Wild Hogs, Windtalkers, The Wrestler, X Files: I Want to Believe, Year One, Yes Man, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. human centipede? I’d rather see the taped meeting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: