VideoReport #380

Volume CCCLXXX- The Shopocalypse Begins

For the Week of 11/27/12

Videoport will give you a free movie every day. More than one, if you’re not careful*

*(See below for details!)

Here’re those details (as this is below!)

Buy local- you know it’s the right thing to do.

Look, we don’t want to be the one’s to bring this up, but, well, it’s holiday nonsense time again. Yeah, we know. But don’t despair- Videoport is here to make your annual mandatory shopping ordeal as painless as possible. How? By rewarding you for buying things for other people, that’s how. Of course, we all know that Videoport’s got tons of new and used DVDs for sale, and that we can special order anything that’s in print, but some people still don’t know that you, yes you, get a free movie rental with every movie you buy from Videoport. That’s right, we’re gonna reward you for buying presents for those greedy relatives and friends of yours. Plus, we don’t charge you any of that shipping nonsense on special orders and, by buying from us and not some soulless mega-corporation, you’re supporting local businesses while you shop. So it’s a free rental for you and some serious karma points for your soul!

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!

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Rosemary’s Baby (in Mystery/Thriller.) Y’all, I’m brewing up a contemplative examination of religious identity and indoctrination in Rosemary’s Baby… but that’s for another week, a week when I’m not lying limply on the couch with Kleenex and cough syrup. For this week, I’ll just tell you: watching Rosemary’s Baby when you’re sick is surprisingly comfortable, if only because you can be sure that Rosemary feels worse than you do. And her neighbors are WAAAAAY louder.

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 gives you his picks for the hashtag (I just started on Twitter) #bestepisodeofthebestshows, meaning these are , um, the best episodes of great TV shows. (And, since these episodes won’t be of any use to you unless you watch each show from the beginning, then Videoport hooks you in to rent the entire run of each! Bango! We win!)

Firefly (in Sci Fi.) “Out of Gas” (Season 1 [the only season, because people are stupid] episode 5)

Sports Night (in Comedy.) “Cliff Gardner” (season 2, episode 3)

The West Wing (in Drama.) “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet” (season 1, episode 19)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (in Horror). “Fool For Love” (season 5, episode 7)

Parks and Recreation (in Comedy). “The Debate” (season 4, episode 20)

Angel (in Horror). “A Hole in the World” (season 5, episode 15)

Party Down (in Comedy). “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday” (season 2, episode 5)

Scrubs (in Comedy). “My Last Words” (season 8, episode 2)

How I Met Your Mother (in Comedy). “Slapsgiving” (season 3, episode 9)

30 Rock (in Comedy). “Fireworks” (season 1, episode 18)

Community (in Comedy). “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” (season 2, episode 14)

Freaks and Geeks (in Comedy). “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers” (season 1 [the only season because people are really, really awful], episode 14)

Mad Men (in Drama). “The Wheel” (season 1, episode 13)

Cracker (in Mystery/Thriller). “To Be a Somebody” (season 2, episode 1)

Prime Suspect (in Mystery/Thriller). “Errors of Judgement” (season 5)

Archer (in Animation). “Placebo Effect” (season 2, episode 9)

Home Movies (in Animation). “Dad” (season 2, episode 7)

Spaced (in British Comedy) “Gone” (season 2, episode 5)

Slings and Arrows (in Comedy). “Steeped in Blood” (season 2, episode 5)

The Wire (in Mystery/Thriller). Yeah, just watch all of it.

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!

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Community (in Comedy), starting with S1 d1. I was involved in three different conversations this week (one in person, two online) in which we tried to pinpoint our favorite “Community” episodes. (Yes, I live a very glamorous, sophisticated life filled with urgent talks of great import.) And here’s the thing: I was completely unable to pinpoint a favorite episode, or a top ten favorite shows, or even a least favorite. That’s one of the great wonders of “Community”: every episode is so packed with nutty goodness, so effortlessly funny but magically delicious, so darned good, that whatever episode I’m watching at the moment is my favorite. First-season paintball finale? FAVORITE EPISODE. Abed’s uncontrollable Christmas? FAVORITE EPISODE. Foozball? FAVORITE EPISODE. If I had to pick a least favorite, I guess it would be the pilot. For a pilot, it’s surprisingly strong. The chemistry between these characters is already brewing, and the writing is sharp and clever. If this were any old show, the pilot would be excellent — but this isn’t any old show, and “Community” will get exponentially more clever and touching and loveable and zany. If you’re just getting to know the show, you want to walk along every step of this winding path.

>>>Dennis suggests Key & Peele (in Comedy.) I was prejudiced against these guys at first (“Because you’re racist!” says Videoport’s Sam. “Besides that.” I reply). See Jordan Peele (the not bald one) and Keegan Michael Key (the bald one) were both on the enduringly lame Mad TV for a while but on their own sketch show, it’s completely clear that they were being held back. Like, in a big way. The show first got its foot in the door with their signature recurring sketch “Obama’s Anger Translator” where Peele’s spot-on Obama addresses the nation accompanied by Key’s apoplectic, streetwise Luther who brings the President’s notoriously buried indignation to the forefront with its attendant profanity and over-the-top physicality. It’s a great bit, and (thankfully) it’ll be around for four more years, but what really sets the show apart is the astounding versatility of Key and Peele. These guys are great actors, and they bring a specificity to even their broadest characters. Their sketches run the gamut- they take on a lot of racial satire, but are equally adept at just being silly as hell. Whatever the subject, these guys imbue even the goofiest premise with such finely observed performances that it elevates the whole enterprise. The best sketch show in years.

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!

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests a double-feature of “Supernatural” and “The Gilmore Girls” for maximum teen heartthrob crossover confusion! Hey, you guys, Rory Gilmore is smoochin’ on Sam Winchester and calling him “Dean.” Aaaaaawkward.

>>>Videoport Customer Joshua B. recommends Men in Black III (in Comedy.) When I heard this was coming out, I had my doubts, but then I saw the trailer and thought it looked like it had some hope. I’d seen the first one lots of times (pretty classic), but only saw the second one at the drive-in and it was overall a disappointment. Since I’d only seen it the one time, I watched it again in preparation. I have to say, the third is an improvement over the preceding film. I thought the time travel thing might turn out to be a lame gimmick, but it was used to good effect and lead to some jokes that made me laugh. I really like a new character in this movie that the film focuses on but I’ll leave it at that. Will is funny and likeable again as he can so often be relied on to be, Tommy is pretty good in this one too. The villain was pretty impressive, and there are lots of nifty aliens. Also a surprise appearance by Andy Warhol. If you want some thrills, some spectacle, and some laughs, you could do a lot worse!

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

>>> A free movie for the kids! Because we love ‘em!

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

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer wants to clear up some confusion. 28 Days is a dramedy starring Sandra Bullock as an alcoholic reporter serving a court-assigned rehab session lasting — you guessed it — 28 days. 28 Days Later is a chilling, fast-moving fast-zombie* flick. (*They are NOT REALLY ZOMBIES DO NOT MAKE ME RAISE MY VOICE AT YOU.) A Bug’s Life mixes Aesop’s The Ant and the Grasshopper with The Seven Samurai, all with that inimitable Pixar wit. Bug shows us Michael Shannon (“Boardwalk Empire,” Take Shelter, Revolutionary Road) and Ashley Judd (Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy) spiraling terrifyingly down into folie a deux. Mulholland Dr. is David Lynch’s eerie unraveling of reality. Mulholland Falls is a noir-y period piece in which LAPD’s special task force (led by Nick Nolte) investigates a gruesome murder. Monsters, Inc. is a Pixar delight in which two working-class hero monsters have to take care of a little girl visiting from the human world without cluing in their superiors to her presence. Monsters is a haunting indie not-quite-horror movie in which two American tourists in a monster-populated Central America try to travel through the forbidden zones without getting arrested or, y’know, eaten. Monster stars Charlize Theron as notorious serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Monsters Ball is the harrowing tale of a brutal racist prison worker (Billy Bob Thornton) and the financially strapped wife (Halle Berry) of a death-row prisoner. The Monster (Il Monstro) is an Italian-language film featuring Roberto Benigni as an everyday goofball mistaken for a serial rapist and murderer. And as always: when you’re picking up the Disney flick for your kids, folks, it’s The Aristocats; when you want the adults-only documentary about the world’s longest, filthiest joke, it’s The Aristocrats.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests “Freaks and Geeks,” (in Comedy) disc 5 especially. When your faithful editor started the Twitter hashtag #bestepisodesofthebestshows, I didn’t even have to pause: “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers,” episode 15 of one-season wonder “Freaks and Geeks.” Was it that easy? EASIER. I’d even tap it for “best scene from the best episode”: the few wordless minutes of watching down-to-the-bone geek Bill Haverchuck come home to an empty house, make himself a grilled cheese sandwich, and watch Garry Shandling on the Dinah Shore show — improbably though this sounds — is one of the most riveting, evocative, moving moments of TV I’ve ever seen.

Except, you know, horse safety…

New Releases this week at Videoport: Men in Black 3 (coming our on Friday, 11/30, for some reason) (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin [as the young Tommy Lee Jones] continue to battle alien invaders, this time in the form of Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement]), Step Up Revolution (young pretty people continue to right the world’s wrongs…through dance!!!), Paranorman (from the makers of Coraline comes this animated spooky family comedy about the titular lad whose ability to see dead people comes in handy when his hometown is overrun…by zombies!!), Lawless (from the director of The Proposition comes this Prohibition-era fact-based crime thriller about three bootlegger brothers [led by super cool Tom Hardy] trying to stay one step ahead of the over-the-top bananas G-Man on their tail [Guy Pearce]), Sparkle (starring vehicle for the American Idol contestant Jordan Sparks [hence the title] who stars as a plucky songstress who forms a band with her sisters and takes advice from her mom [the late Whitney Huston]), The Apparition (a young, perhaps not entirely bright couple [Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan] find out that a perhaps ill-thought-out college experiment has unleashed an ancient evil and that only that evil little creep from the Harry Potter movies can save them), The Day (former hobbit Dominic Monaghan stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller about some hot survivors fighting off some significantly less-hot cannibal survivors), ‘Luck’- the complete series (Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte’s plans to star in another long-running HBO drama series hit a slight speedbump when the series’ racetrack setting was, um, riddled with a suspicious amount of horse-death), Burning Man (heavy drama about a hunky chef whose strategy after a tragedy of banging every woman in sight has, shockingly, a negative effect on his marriage), A Christmas Carol (Kelsey Grammer stars as Scrooge in this musical version of the venerable Dickens tale), Dragonslayer (acclaimed documentary about an aging skateboarding legend coping with the pressures of aging and fatherhood)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: ‘The X Files’- season 7 (Videoport brings in some of those post-Mulder X Files episodes that everyone remembers so fondly)

New Arrivals on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: Men in Black 3

Videoport= Free Stuff!

1. Free rentals! You get one every day with our daily specials. Also, you get one any time you purchase a movie from Videoport (and not some hideous corporate website that charges you shipping- seriously, keep this in mind for the holiday gift-buying onslaught right around the corner).

2. Free money! Videoport payment deals give you free money just for spending money at Videoport. Look, you’re gonna rent movies here anyway, so why not do this: pre-pay for $20 in rentals, and Videoport gives you $25 worth of rental credit. Or pre-pay $30 and Videoport gives you $40 worth of rental credit. The money just sits on your account all safe and snuggly until you decide to use it. That’s five or ten free bucks just for doing what you were going to do in the first place. If there’s a flaw in this plan, I have yet to discover it.

3. Free parking! Just pull into any downtown parking garage (the courthouse garage is literally a two minute walk away) and ask for a Park&Shop sticker at Videoport. Viola-a free hour of parking! (And, of course, the lot behind the building is open after 5pm weekdays and all weekend!)

4. Littlelad’s Popcorn and Capt’n Eli’s Soda. Seriously-have you tried this stuff? Buy Local!


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