VideoReport #371

Volume CCCLXXI- The Girl With the Winnie the Pooh Wearing an Arizona State T-Shirt Tattoo

For the Week of 9/25/12

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. We have given away approximately one kajillion free movies at this point. Does that make us heroes? That’s not for us to say…

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!

Archer. Sterling Archer.

Benjamin. Jon Benjamin.

>>> Dennis suggests ‘Archer’ (in Animation.) First,let’s all just agree that Jon Benjamin is the funniest guy that no one (except us cool kids) has ever heard of. Sure, you might recognize him from live action roles in things like ‘Parks and Recreation’, Martin & Orloff, or his own show (not yet on DVD) ‘Jon Benjamin Has a Van’, but mainly he’s known as a voice actor. Oh no wait- as the greatest voice actor ever. He played the two best characters on ‘Home Movies’ (Jason and the transcendent Coach John McGuirk), so you should definitely watch that. But he’s now starring in ‘Archer’ the hilarious, anarchic animated series where Banjamin gives voice to Sterling Archer, superspy and super-jerk. Over the first two seasons on DVD, the world of ‘Archer’ has grown to encompass its own loony, rude, crude, and hilarious world where the agents and staff of spy agency ISIS ply the spy trade with a deadly combination of incompetence, ultra-violence and the deadpan comic instincts of a ninja. Run by Archer’s alcoholic, libidinous mother (‘Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter, basically just importing Lucille Bluth and making her even more murderous), ISIS is the world’s second or third best spy agency, and Archer, codenamed, to his chagrin, Duchess, is the cock of the walk. Yup, cock. A boozing, womanizing, blusteringly overconfident jackass in designer turtlenecks (the action turtleneck), Archer takes every James Bond cliche and dials it up to eleven. And played by Benjamin, he is also the master of the snarky, deadpan putdown. In fact, everyone on the show engages in a brand of improv-heavy offhand comic banter that keeps you on your toes and creates a lively comic pace the just keeps the giggles coming. Contributing to the fun are Aisha Tyler as the hyper-competent, and hyper-hot, agent Lana Kane, Chris Parnell as ISIS comptroller and resident sad sack Cyril, Judy Greer bringing her signature loopy weirdness to possibly-insane secretary Cheryl Tunt, and Amber Nash as the definitely insance HR person Pam. At the center though is always Benjamin’s Archer, whose comic douche-ry and surgical catchphrase-deployment capabilities are for the ages.

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!

>>>We suggests checking out the haul of new/very, very old silent films in the Classics section/the New To Videoport shelf! Yup, thanks to the generosity of Videoport’s April, you can now rent The Circus, Piccadilly, Robin Hood, The Dragon Painter, and Queen Christina. Look at the New Arrivals at Videoport section on page 2 for the glorious, silent details.

>>>Dennis suggests The Avengers(in Action/Advenure.) Sure, it doesn’t need my help. I mean, yeah the

Whedon. Joss Whedon.

highest grossing movie of all time probably doesn’t need a recommendation from the likes of some video clerk with a little newsletter. I’ll just go. No, wait! I still want to tell you to rent The Avengers. It’s because of my enduring love for writer/director/geek god Joss Whedon who, in the course of one year, went from being the universally-underappreciated cult creator of great shows that no one watched and networks used for target practice to the king of the world. It’s like the universe just shifted unexpectedly into an smarter, wiser alternate universe where good work triumphs over soul-killing nonsense. The Avengers is a ton of fun, and now Joss can do literally anything he wants to. The world is now better than it was.

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 The Princess Bride (in Comedy.) It’s the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride! That’s how long we’ve been watching — and interminably, effusively quoting — this family-friendly cult favorite. Twenty… Five… Years. Inconceivable! (“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)The movie’s heady mixture of fable, fairy-tale romance (“Is this a kissing story?”), derring-do, and bright brisk humor makes it suitable for families to watch together: innocent littl’uns, surly tweens, and oh-so-serious grown-ups enjoy it equally, openly, and — this is amazing — unironically. Rarely has a movie been so beloved across generations, and for so many shared reasons. (“This is true love. You think this happens every day?”) So gather your loved ones — family, or friends, or a family of friends — around you, settle in with the phone turned off, the lights turned down, and plenty of snacks (“Anybody want a peanut?”), and enjoy The Princess Bride.(“Have fun storming the caaaaaaastle!”)

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 points out that you’re missing the point. Joseph Gordon Levitt [from a 20Q interview with Playboy] suggests you re-watch 500 Days of Summer. “The (500) Days of Summer attitude of ‘He wants you so bad’ seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones, but I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is. He develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies. He thinks she’ll give his life meaning because he doesn’t care about much else going on in his life. […] Making checklists of things you’re looking for in a person is the numero uno thing you can do to guarantee you’ll be alone forever. You can’t meet someone and think, Do they have everything I want in a person? You just have to pay attention, keep your eyes open, listen to people and be present.

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

>>> You get a free kids movie every Friday. It’s a free movie. You can get it for the kids. You can get it for yourself. It’s a free movie. Seriously. It’s free.

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

>>>For Saturday, Videoport customer Tristan sent in a review of Cabin in the Woods (in Horror) on a torn scrap of last week’s VideoReport. “This movie was brilliant… Smart people who enjoy watching awesome things will very more than likely find this movie to be so much better than almost every other kind of movie that is similar to this one.”

>>>For Sunday, Elsa S. Customer suggests The Planet of the Apes (in Sci Fi/Fantasy.) Get your stinking paws on it, you damned dirty ape! (But keep your stinking paws off the shiny side. C’mon, we might be apes, but we’re not animals.)

>>>Dennis suggests Wetherby (in Feature Drama.) This is one of those movies I try to recommend but that no one ever takes me up on. So here goes nothing-feel free to ignore me again. See if I care. Anyway, try this on for size: it stars British acting legends Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, and Redgrave’s daughter Joely Richardson (as the young Vanessa.) Redgrave plays Jean Travers, a dedicated high school teacher who lives alone in a cozy little bungalow, nursing her loneliness from a past trauma. One night she has her friends over for a dinner party. An odd young man appears alongside them at the door and, although nobody recognizes him, they’re all too British too bring it up, assuming he’s a friend of one of the others. During the usual dinner chat, the man suddenly pipes up, making a strange speech about pain and loss that strikes a deep chord with Jean. The party ends, everyone goes home. And then the next day the man comes back and blows his head off in Jean’s kitchen. Wetherby is a lot of things: a chance for the cream of the British acting elite to strut their stuff, a haunting examination of love lost and what it does to people, a muted, moving mystery, but mostly a showcase for the legendary Redgrave, who has never been more luminous in her grief.

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Avengers (two weeks, two outstanding Joss Whedon films? [Last week’s Cabin in the Woods was the other.] We must have shifted into some sort of much, much better and smarter alternate universe! Hulk SMASH!!!), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns-part 1 (Peter Weller voices the Bat in this animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s future tale of a fascist America where an aging Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement; written before Miller turned into a right-wing ding-dong!), ‘American Horror Story’- season 1 (Emmy winner Jessica Lange stars in this twisted horror series about a family who moves into a seriously haunted mansion), Resident Evil: Damnation (if you love the Resident Evil movies but hate looking at real people, then check out this computer-animated version of the zombie-riffic video game series), ‘Portlandia’- season 2 (the wacky denizens of the other Portland continue their sketch-based shenanigans in this very funny comedy series from Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein), Damsels in Distress (from indie auteur Whit Stillman [Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco, Barcelona] comes this dramedy about a group of Ivy college female friends whose iron clad rules about dealing with men get tested by some guys who presumably stammer adorably), Soldiers of Fortune (Christian Slater, Ving Rhames, and Sean Bean star in this questionably-realistic action flick about a disgraced special forces guy who escorts a group of thrill-seeking tourists on a gunrunning mission that, inexplicably, goes wrong), Gerhard Richter Painting (acclaimed art documentary about the 79 year old German painting legend), The Samaritan (Samuel L. Jackson brings his finely-aging badassery to this thriller about an ex-con, released after 25 years in prison, who’s just looking to go straight…until someone comes to him with a job he just can’t refuse!!!), Klown (go insane with the Danes in this outrageous comedy from Denmark about a couple of wildly-inappropriate pals running amok through the countryside in pursuit of sex, and other various debauches), Delicacy (Audrey Tatou stars in this French drama about a grieving widow whose search for a way to cope leads her to what maybe the right man for the job), The Man From Beijing (based on a novel by the creator of Wallander, this German thriller’s about a female judge who discovers that a madman may be stalking every member of her extended family), Shut Up! (French super-team Jean Reno and Gerard Depardieu star in this crime comedy about a crook on the lam who gets saddled with a simpleminded giant who won’t stop trying to help him; from the director of Le Chevre]), Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story (the troubled life of Sandman, the late, lamented frontman of the band Morphine; this documentary rocked the worlds of everyone who saw it earlier this year at SPACE Gallery), Splinters (surfing documentary about the growth of the sport amongst the impoverished indigenous people of Papua New Guinea), Snowman’s Land (icy German thriller about a hit man protecting a crime boss’ house in the frigid Carpathian mountains; things don’t go to well…), Sleepless Nights (French thriller about a dirty cop whose underworld connections end up getting his son kidnapped), Goodbye First Love (French romance about the eight year romance of two young lovers), ‘Episodes’- season 1 (Matt LeBlanc stars as himself, a spoiled Hollywood TV star attempting a comeback with the reluctant help of a pair of British TV writers), ‘Wallander’- season 3 (Kenneth Branagh returns as the most depressed detective in Sweden in the third season of this excellent BBC mystery series), ‘Family Guy’- season 10 (this animated comedy…still exists; enjoy.), ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’ (BBC miniseries about an ambitious prostitute who finds herself climbing the steps of power when she becomes the mistress of a powerful politician), The Revenant (when a guy unexpectedly returns from the dead with a thirst for human blood, he and his slacker friend decide to become vigilantes in order to fight crime, and get him some lunch), Fixing the Future (documentary about the rise of local business opportunities in the wake of the global financial crisis; BUY LOCAL!)

New Arrivals on DVD at Videoport this week: Robin Hood (the 1922 silent version, starring Douglas Fairbanks at the height of his swashbuckling powers!), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Peter Brook’s experimental film version of the Shakespeare play stars British thespian all-stars Helen Mirren, Diana Rigg, Ian Holm, Judi Dench, Ian Richardson, and David Warner), The Dragon Painter (this classic 1919 silent film is about a hermit painter and his disciple, whose powers diminish when he finds love; starring the legendary Sessui Hayakawa), Piccadilly (silent melodrama about a Chinese dancehall girl in England stars the luminous Anna May Wong), The Circus (more silent greatness [thanks to Videoport’s April] with Charlie Chaplin wreaking madcap mayhem under the big top), Queen Christina (April strikes again, bringing us this Greta Garbo classic about the Swedish queen), Don’t Need You (musical documentary about the birth of the 1990s riot grrrl rock subculture), House On Haunted Hill (Vincent Price invites five people to his huge, spooky mansion for the night; I probably wouldn’t go…)

New Arrivals on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: The Avengers, The Game, Eating Raoul, Delicatessen, Bound, Ed Wood, Damsels in Distress

Get free money at Videoport! $20 buys you $25 in rental credit, and $30 buys you $40 in rental credit. That’s what you call free money.

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 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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