VideoReport #363

Volume CCCLXIII-How to Make an American Quilt 2: Blood Vengeance

For the Week of 7/31/12

The Shat welcomes you…to Videoport!

 Videoport has all the movies you could ever want, all at your fingertips, all cheap as hell to rent, and all from the most helpful, knowledgeable movie geeks on the Eastern seaboard. Bring a friend. Watch good movies. Support local businesses. Make your life better.

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! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for seven bucks!

>>>Inspired by Entertainment Weekly’s list of the “50 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen” (which, of course, many of us have seen) and by Dennis’ companion list of 50 more movies (which, umm, maybe nine people have seen), Andy contributes his own list of 50 More Movies You Might Have Missed. Of course, you might not have missed them, you might have looked at the DVD case and said to yourself, “that looks stupid/unpleasant/foreign/like something only Andy would like.” But I’m willing to go on the record and say that each of these movies has something special to offer. Here goes:

1. The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (in Drama)

2. All About Lily Chou-Chou (in Made in Japan)

3. Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story (in Documentary Arts)

4. Brain Donors (in Comedy)

5. Cemetery Junction (in British Comedy)

6. The Cherry Orchard (in Made in Japan)

7. Chopper (in Action)

8. Dance With A Stranger (in Mystery/Thriller)

9. Death Note (in Made in Japan)

10. The Deep End (in Mystery/Thriller)

11. Die Mommie Die (in Incredibly Strange)

12. Emperor Of The North (in Action)

13. Enduring Love (in Drama)

14. Exorcist III (in Horror)

15. Forty Guns (in Classics)

16. The Front (in Comedy)

17. Goin’ South (in Action)

18. The Guard (in Comedy)

19. In A Glass Cage (in Foreign Language)

20. Innocent Blood (in Horror)

21. Junebug (in Drama)

22. The Libertine (in Drama)

23. Little Murders (in Mystery/Thriller)

24. Love Letter (in Foreign Language)

25. Martin (in Horror)

26. Mysterious Skin (in Drama)

27. Nightmare Alley (in Classics)

28. No Such Thing (in Incredibly Strange)

29. Observe & Report (in Comedy)

30. Purple Noon (in Foreign Language)

31. Ravenous (in Horror)

32. Red Rock West (in Mystery/Thriller)

33. Resurrection (in Drama)

34. The Rocketeer (in Kids/Family)

35. Running Time (in Mystery/Thriller)

36. Séance on A Wet Afternoon (in Mystery/Thriller)

37. Seconds (in Mystery/Thriller)

38. Separate Lies (in Mystery/Thriller)

39. Shiner (in Drama)

40. The Slammin’ Salmon (in Comedy)

41. Somersault (in Drama)

42. Talk Radio (in Drama)

43. Targets (in Mystery/Thriller)

44. The Taste of Tea (in Foreign Language)

45. The Ten (in Comedy)

46. The 3 Marias (in Foreign Language)

47. Tomie (in Made in Japan)

48. Vampire’s Kiss (in Comedy)

49. Wish You Were Here (in Drama)

50. Zerophilia (in Incredibly Strange)

Tough and Triassic Tuesday! Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for seven bucks!

>>>Dennis suggests you check out the Staff Picks section (in the Middle Aisle) for the shelf labeled “Andy’s Noir Cor-Noir’! for several reasons. 1. Andy went to the trouble of recommending his favorite films noir for your benefit, so it’s only polite to rent some of them. He worked so hard. And 2-these are great films, full of cynical antiheroes, femmes fatale, clouds of cigarette smoke wafting over moody interiors, cheap shots of hooch, and the ever-ironic finger of fate ensuring that things don’t turn out the way you think they should. Listen to Andy, wear your fedora aslant, and settle in for some noir goodness.

Wacky and Worldly Wednesday! You’ve got a free rental coming from the Comedy or Foreign Language sections with any other paid rental! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for seven bucks!

>>>Elsa S. Customer suggests Heathers (in Comedy.) Veronica (Winona Ryder) runs in a pack with the three most popular and privileged girls at Westerburg High, Heather (Kim Walker), Heather (Shannen Doherty), and Heather (Lisanne Falk), but their sadistic pranks have started to grate on her. When inscrutable outsider J.D. (Christian Slater) catches Veronica’s eye, she starts to learn how very, very vicious high school “pranks” can get. As a proper grown-up, I feel kinda weird recommending this to impressionable young persons. It’s dated; the shoulder pads alone can really pull your focus. It’s gleefully, maliciously dark. It’s crass, with that unmistakably adolescent ostentation that masquerades as sophistication. The satire is sloppily broad and the content is downright cruel. For me, it was a welcome antidote to the John Hughes fantasies popular in my youth, a bitter counterpoint to the glurgy-sweet sentimentality and stealthy reiteration of social stratification offered by Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. But there’s something about Heathers that — I think — transcends teen angst nostalgia. It perfectly, viciously captures the petty high-school politicking that makes sociopathy seem like pure survival mechanism. TRIGGERS GALORE: suicide, homicide, spree killing, high school slayings, bulimia, rape, drug use, bullying, homophobia, self-mutilation, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, invisibility of the non-rich, and generalized self-loathing.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for seven bucks!

>>>Elsa S. Customer suggests ‘Mad Men’ (in Feature Drama.) I’ve written before about “Mad Men,” but this time I’m not going to extol its characters, its narrative arcs, and themes. This time, I’m going to talk about one simple piece of wisdom that this show gave me — and maybe you, too. In S3, ep1, perpetually unsatisfied account exec Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) is eager to share some good news with his stiff, withholding mother. His wife Trudy (Alison Brie) gently implores him, “Oh, Peter, don’t go to the well. There’s no water there.” It’s such a tiny moment, but powerful: so insightful, so absent of cruelty or criticism, such a compassionate and nonjudgmental assessment of that family’s dynamic: a son endlessly seeking approval, a parent incapable of bestowing it, and the constant vacuum that creates. As much as I appreciate the show’s larger drama — the compelling stories of the characters, the slow chipping away of one society’s norms and the building of another’s — it’s these perfectly observed little moments that will keep me coming back.

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

>>> Dennis suggests planning for your kids future by investing in one of Videoport’s saving plans! Every time you pay ahead $20 on your Videoport account, Videoport gives you an extra five dollars in renal credit completely free. Plus, put down $30 and get $40 worth of rental credit completely free. Take that extra five or ten bucks you save off of Videoport’s already excellent prices and start that college fund! Oh, plus you get a free kids movie every Friday, so that’s another dollar for the fund each week.

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

>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests screwing cable! (Figuratively. I mean, how would that even work, literally? Yeah, don’t think about that too much.) Anyway, after five or so year’s of not having (and genuinely not missing) broadcast TV of any time (and filling my viewing needs quite amply from Videoport’s nigh-infinite selection), I recently had to sign up for cable tv. Seriously, I had a good reason- it was pretty much against my will. So after the initial blush of joy at having an unending supply of infomercials, commercials, and Wings reruns turned into a glassy-eyed death march of sluglike, brain-buzzing immobility, I realized something; cable sucks. First of all, I did not realize how much of a jerk you feel like when you have to sit through commercials. Not just the commercials themselves, although repeatedly having to watch Peggy’s sister from Mad Men debate the terminology of butt-cleaning in a comedic playlet is the low point of my life unto this point, or even the constant interruption so corporations can try to sell me stuff/insult me personally. Nope, the real evil of cable was only brought home to me when I actually found some shows I liked. My suspicions were raised when I was watching some reruns of 30 Rock (which I’ve already seen on DVD from Videoport, but still- that’s what cable does to you- you just watch the same things over and over in a numbed out haze of IQ-sapping druggy nothing.) I started anticipating jokes that just didn’t come. WTF!? And then, watching the Doctor Who episode ‘Turn Left’ where (SPOLIERS) there’s an alternate timeline where Donna Noble never met the Doctor and the Doctor dies and Earth is totally and increasingly screwed. Donna (after never meeting the Doctor and being therefore even more shrill and offputting) keeps witnessing England, in the face of incessant alien invasions, disasters, and the occasional smog monster, turning into a refugee state with its desperate citizens turning on each other and the government becoming more and more oppressive and police state-y, eventually rounding up all immigrants for deportation, including, in a heartbreaking twist, the cheerful indian family that had taken Donna’s family into their already crowded home. it’s a moving, upsetting scene that really brings the horror of the situation home…AND IT’S NOT IN THE EPISODE ANYMORE!!! Yeah-to make room for all of those sweet, sweet commercials about fast food and bottom wipery, syndicated shows simply have stuff chopped out that the [irony alert!] sophisticated, artistic geniuses at tv networks think aren’t necessary. And the stuff that gets chopped out is invariably stuff that doesn’t necessarily advance the plot, meaning stuff like character moments, quiet, contemplative bits, or anything else that provides shades of meaning to the episode. So even really good shows get thinned out, dumbed down, and made more like the worst shows, all to make room for the shrill, cynical advertizing which combines to microwave your soul into a frazzled, white noise of nothingness. Screw cable. Rent all your favorite shows on DVD from Videoport; you’ll not only get every second of every episode you were intended to see, but more. DVD extras, commentaries, outtakes, adn NO COMMERCIALS. Game, set, and match: Videoport.

>>>For Sunday, Elsa S. Customer suggests a weekend triple-feature: Lenny, Chicago, and All That Jazz. Folks, did you know that the sorta-autobiographical existential fantasia of “All That Jazz” (winner of Cannes’ prestigious Palme D’Or) was inspired by director Bob Fosse’s frantic scramble to wrap up production on the Lenny Bruce bio-pic while opening production on massive Broadway musical “Chicago”? Unsurprisingly, “All That Jazz” is kinda a hot mess: self-indulgent and wacky and TOTALLY WORTH SEEING.

New Releases this week at Videoport: ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ (Bill Paxton and Kevin Costner get all crusty and crotchety and musket-y in this acclaimed miniseries about the legendarily-grudgey feuding frontier families), Le Havre (the Criterion Collection gives its signature deluxe release to this warmhearted comedy from legendary Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki [Leningrad Cowboys Go America, The Man Without a Past], about the friendship between a young African immigrant and an elderly bohemian French shoeshiner), Afinidades (from the same guys who made the excellent Strawberries & Chocolate, this Spanish language chamber drama is about a pair of unhappy, yet randy, couples who spend one desperately sexy weekend working out their various troubles in an isolated luxury resort, inn various erotic permutations), Brake (Stephen Dorff gets locked in a car trunk and tortured for 90 minutes or so in this thriller that’s a lot like a more gimmicky Buried, only with some sweet, sweet Dorff!), Last Days Here (Videoprt’s Andy recommends this bummer of a rockumentary about cult rock legend Bobby Liebling who, to be kind, has seen better days), ‘Misfits’- season 1 (BBC series about a quintet of juvenile delinquents whose community service, and a pesky electric event, cause them to develop superpowers; describes as ‘Heroes’ meets ‘Buffy’), Detention (self-described “hipster, teen horror-comedy” about high school students versus a horror movie slasher seemingly come to life; costarring Dane Cook…which may be an enticement to certain people), and four, count ‘em four, new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, with Mike, Joel and the ‘bots taking comedic pokes at the likes of movie stinkers Fugitive Alien, Star Force: Fugitive Alien 2, The Sword and the Dragon, and Samson vs. the Vampire Women! Yeah!!

New Arrivals on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: Detention, ‘Hatfields & McCoys’, Le Havre

You know you can park for free at Videoport, right? Seriously. The parking lot behind the building is free every weekday after 5pm and all weekend. Also, Videoport will validate you for a free hour of parking at any downtown garage (the courthouse garage is like a minute’s walk away.) And, of course, all parking meters are inert and foolish after 6pm Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday.

Get free money at Videoport! Pay ahead $20 on your Videoport account and we’ll give you $25 worth of rental credit. Pay $30 and we’ll give you a whopping $40 worth. Free money? Yup.

Get free rentals at Videoport! Any time you buy a movie from Videoport (and remember-we can special order anything you need), we’ll give you a free rental on your Videoport account. Think of it as $3.50 off the purchase price, think of it as a nice little reward for yourself when you buy someone else a gift, think of it as a way to support local business instead of some soulless corporation- any way you think of it, you’re getting yourself something for free…

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