VideoReport #393

Volume CCCXCIII- Star Wars: Episode 7- The Girl With the Dragon Tatooine

For the Week of 2/26/13

Videoport give you a free movie every day. And since we have all the movies, that means you’ll run out of free movies to watch in approximately…never. Never o’clock.

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!

>>> Elsa S. Customer suggests Gosford Park (in Mystery/Thriller.) Oh, bother! The scandalous doings at Downton Abbey have concluded for the season (my dear, you know nobody who is anybody spends the off-season on the estate) and left us bereft of diverting amusements. In its lieu, may I suggest you setle in with a cup of tea (or even a spot of sherry if you’re feeling saucy) and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park? It proffers all the upstairs-downstairs intrigue one desires when deprived of one’s wont.

>>>Dennis suggests The Holy Mountain (in Incredibly Strange.) You should see this utterly berserk Alejandro Jodorowsky insanity-fest for many reasons. But I’ll let the IMDb “plot keywords” search do my work for me. Where else will you see a film that contains all of the following: camel, buddha, striptease, transvestite, nun, pelican, laxative, fan dancer, hippopotamus, midget, hermaphrodite, Santa Claus suit, eunuch, mohawk haircut, balloon fight, lederhosen, teleportation, and Jesus Christ? I mean, except for Downton Abbey, of course. But other than that…

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!

>>>Check out the Classics section (and/or the New Arrivals section in the middle aisle) for two new additions of those movie obscurities that Videoport loves to get for you so you can pick them up and say, “Huh- that’s weird” and then move on to rent Argo! First up is the 1972 British crime drama The Offence [that’s how the Brits spell it, spellcheck…] starring a still relatively young and definitely still trying Sean Connery breaking out of his Bond tuxedo straitjacket to play a much more conflicted, down-low sort of copper, a detective gradually unhinged by his interrogation of a suspected child molester. And then there’s The Landlord, a 1970 counterculture comedy about a rebellious rich boy [Beau Bridges] whose decision to buy a Brooklyn tenement and transform it into chi-chi condos comes apart when he decides he likes his worldly new neighbors. So come on and support Videoport’s unending mission to stock the joint with shelf upon shelf of stuff that only 3% of you will ever want to see!

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!

>>>Dennis suggests watching the first three seasons of Community (in Comedy) and forgetting the present ever happened/is happening.

(A brief playlet.)

(Scene: A TV executive office. Two TV execs are doing a mountain of cocaine off of a very bored-looking stripper.)

Exec #1: “Man, that Community is getting all sorts of love from critics, smart people, internet bloggers, and generally the best minds watching TV today.

Exec #2: Yeah I know- what I like to call “the worthless demographic.”

#1: But no one apart from those nerds are watching it. All the real people out there love great f***ing shows like Two and a Half Men and that reality show where those really tanned idiots have sex with each other.

#2: Man, I wish we’d thought of that one!

#1: Seriously. Anyway, so we cancel Community, right? And finally get that smarty pants creator Dan Harmon out of our receding hair, crunchy with product?

#2: I guess… (Snorting a cereal scoop’s worth of cocaine.) No wait! I have a better idea! Let’s get rid of that jerk Harmon…but keep the show on the air!!

#1: (Checking his hairline in a cocaine-streaked mirror.) Wait, what? That makes no sense- no one’s watching the show now. If we remove the one guy who’s making it (according to those nerds we hate and really don’t understand because of all the big words they use) “the best, smartest, funniest, and most inventively-goofy sitcom in recent memory” then won’t the few viewers it does have just get furious, confused and sad?

#2: And?

#1: Oh, my God- that’s brilliant! We’ll take away the driving force behind Community and let it dribble out as a pale shadow of its former self so that the nerds get punished for liking it in the first place and pestering us with internet petitions full of words we have to look up and any new viewers will go around saying they don’t see what the big deal is about Community in the first place!

#2: Exactly! We’ll get revenge on those braniacs for their good taste and burn down the legacy of the show at the same time like a flash fire at a cocaine factory. All for the low, low cost of a day’s worth of stripper cocaine- and of making TV that much more soul-suckingly awful!

#1: And the only remnant of Community’s former glory will be lonely DVDs gathering dust on the shelf of some independent video store in the middle of nowhere. Maine, maybe.

#2: And what could a place like that ever do to us? BWAH-HA-HA-HAAAA

(Annnnnnnd- scene.)

Rent the first three seasons of Community. They’ll make you happier than TV executives doing cocaine off of a bored-looking stripper right before they both get arrested for possession of cocaine by an undercover policewoman posing as a stripper.

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 The Accused (in Feature Drama.) How I see Jodie Foster’s performance as an outspoken real-life gang-rape survivor in The Accused: an epic, fearless, Oscar-winning performance that gave a voice to too many voiceless women at a time when our nation’s long silence about the pervasive reality of rape had finally started to erupt into a cry for justice. How Seth MacFarlane saw it: hee hee, boobies.

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

>>>It’s free. It’s for kids. There’s some stuff that will awaken the kid in all of you, so stop yer complainin’…

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

>>>For Saturday, Elsa S. Customer suggests Silkwood (in Feature Drama.) What I think Silkwood is about: one marginalized worker’s struggle to expose a corrupt and dangerous institution despite the personal cost to herself — her job, her peace of mind, her safety, her comfortable home, her loving relationship, and maybe her very life. What Seth MacFarlane thinks it’s about: Nipples.

>>>For Sunday, Elsa S. Customer suggests Boys Don’t Cry (in Feature Drama.) What I took away from Boys Don’t Cry: a powerful statement about the power of love and of self-determination under horrific pressure from a hostile world; the pain of being terrorized by a dominant culture that tries to define you by its own narrow parameters and that cruelly punishes any perceived infraction against those narrow social strictures; the fear that fuels homophobia and transphobia and powers the brutality that they can harbor. What Seth MacFarlane took away from it: Hey, knockers!

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Master (here are the films of Paul Thomas Anderson up to this point: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood. He is really, really good is what I’m saying, and this is his new movie, which means it’s really good too. Plus, it probably made Tom Cruise really mad, so there’s that…), Chasing Mavericks (Gerard Butler brings his rumpled unlikability to this tale of an aging surfer having a midlife crisis…about surfing), The Awakening (a young woman set on the-awakening-posterdebunking paranormal phenomena in WWI England runs up against a possible real ghost at a spooky boarding school; costarring The Wire’s McNulty, Dominic West), Holy Motors (this bananacakes French flick from director Leos Carak [Mauvais Sang, Pola X, 1/3 of Tokyo, The Lovers on the Bridge] about an eccentric billionaire riding around in his limo and messing with people appeared on the top 10 lists of 2012 from every cool movie critic), Fun Size (Nickelodeon gets into the PG-13 business with this teen comedy about a perhaps less-than-responsible sister who loses her toddler brother while babysitting on Halloween night), Absentia (indie horror film about a bereaved woman who, after her husband has been missing, is urged to have him declared dead; but do those creepy tales about the tunnels under their apartment building have some secrets?), Freaky Deaky (based on a novel by Elmore Leonard [Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown], this crime comedy stars the likes of Christian Slater, Michael Jai White, Crispin Glover, Bill Duke, and Andy Dick in a tale of two sixties radicals whose desire to make money in the seventies involves selling their bomb-making abilities to the highest bidder), Chicken With Plums (French drama about a renowned violinist [Quantum of Solace plague_posterand A Christmas Tale’s Mathieu Amalric] whose decision to give up on life when his beloved violin in broken leads to a series of flashbacks revealing the reasons for his drastic decision), How to Survive a Plague (the stirring, tragic true story of the early AIDS activists who challenged the bigotry of the public and the ignorance of the medical establishment at the start of the crisis), The Loneliest Planet (another 2012 top pick of all the coolest film critics, this gripping drama details a young couple’s hiking trip where one pivotal moment fairly explodes everything the seemingly loving couple thought they knew about their life together; starring Gael Garcia Bernal), Silent Souls (Russian heartwarmer about a man and his fried on an odd pilgrimage to scatter his wife’s ashes on the riverbank where they spent their honeymoon), A Simple Life (a successful actor [Infernal Affairs’ Andy Lau] returns home to help deal with his family’s beloved childhood maid when she has a stroke and must move into a nursing home), Stolen Seas: Tales of Somali Pirates (documentary about those modern-day ship-nappers who, for some reason, people seem to like less than Johnny Depp; Yaaaarrrrrr!), Creep Van (my pick for the Videoport title of the year so far, this horror thriller is about a guy who buys the titular vehicle, somehow not realizing it is the notorious…CREEP VAN!!!), Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (some hunters attempt to defend a 19th century village against some sort of…I don’t know…I had it written down somewhere; costarring the long-suffering and quite talented Stephen Rea), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns- part 2 (the conclusion of this estimable animated adaptation of the classic Frank Miller [before he turned racist hack] alternate future Batman story where the Dark Knight comes out of retirement to save Gotham City one more time in a creepy fascist future where Superman has become a government pawn), and then there’s some movie called Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 about vampires and werewolves and such which comes out, for some reason, on SATURDAY, MARCH 2nd. No, we don’t know why they’re making you wait until then. Please don’t twinkle at us- it’s not our fault.

New Arrivals at Videoport this week: The Offence (Sidney Lumet directed this 1972 cult film about a harbitten British detective [Seas Connery] whose interrogation of a suspected child molester pushes him to the edge), The Landlord (the first movie from director Hal Ashby [Harold and Maude, Coming Home, The Last Detail] was this 1970 comedy about a rich kid [a startlingly young Beau Bridges] who runs away from home, buys a

Seth MacFarlane thinks this poster is hilarious.

Seth MacFarlane thinks this poster is hilarious.

tenement in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and decides he likes living amongst the ghetto’s soulful residents, including Louis Gossett, Jr. and Pearl Bailey), ), Triangle (spooky, Twilight Zone-y thriller about the passengers on a pleasure yacht whose sudden disaster at sea is saved by the appearance of one of those creepy abandoned cruise ships you read about…in the Bermuda Triangle!!!), Patty Hearst (the late Natasha Richardson starred in this biopic of the life and seriously messed-up ordeal of the titular heiress whose kidnapping by a bunch of self-styled revolutionaries led to her becoming a bank robber and eventually a costar in John Waters movies; directed by Paul Schrader), The Ballad of Narayama (the Criterion Collection comes through again! Those enigmatic arbiters of all cinematic taste have bestowed their blessing on this Japanese cult classic, a mesmerizing, disturbing tale of the denizens of a tiny, primitive 19th century village where, among other upsetting traditions, the village’s elders are packed of to the titular isolated mountaintop to die once they’ve hit 70. The one decent man in the town balk at the prospect of carrying his still-vital mum off to die in the wilderness, and thus begins a journey of horrors and madness.)

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: The Master, Chasing Mavericks, Brick, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance, Oldboy, Headhunters, Life Is Beautiful.

                              VideoReport #1,000,000 is coming!

Yup, in just seven more issues (#400, duh) the VideoReport will hit its one millionth word written about movies, TV shows, how Blockbuster, then Movie Gallery, then Redbox, then Netflix all suck, and all subjects relating to how Videoport is still, after 25 freaking years, then best damned movie store anywhere in the world. (400 issues X and average of 2,500 words per issue = close enough, dammit). So keep thinking all of you out there in VideoReport-land: we’re gonna be looking for your reviews, your thoughts on movies, TV and Videoport, and your thoughts on what that 1,000,000th word should be. There may be a contest. There may be prizes. Dennis’ computer may finally just disassemble itself like the car at the end of The Blues Brothers- we don’t know. Just keep reading, keep watching, and keep writing- and of course keep renting at Videoport.

                                  Get free money at Videoport!

Look, we know you love us. And you’re gonna keep spending your hard-earned rental dollars here (and not on some scratched DVDs plunked out from a plastic vending machine in a scabby 7-11 parking lot), so why not get yourself some free money. Yup- prepay $20 on your Videoport account, and we give you $25 worth of rental credit. And if you prepay $30, we give you $40 worth of rental credit. That’s just free money you’re leaving on the table, people.

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