VideoReport #402

Volume CCCCII- Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Colonel’s Recipe

For the Week of 4/30/13

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. And is awesome.

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 Repo Man (in Incredibly Strange/the Criterion Collection.) Whoa. Did you ever notice that all of Otto’s repo co-workers are named after beers? All those teenaged afternoons and midnights watching and rewatching, and I never. Ever. Noticed. A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s, like, this lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, “plate” or “shrimp” or “plate of shrimp” out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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 not use Netflix (reason 3,986 or one million). The N-word announced that it is purging some 1,800 movies from its service because…um, I’m trying to think of some other explanation than “because they suck” but I’m coming up empty here. Anyway, among the titles that this faceless, crap corporation thinks you shouldn’t be allowed to see (and which Videoport has on its shelves at all times because we do NOT suck) includes the likes of: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Adaptation, Attack!, Audrey Rose, Bad Timing: A Sexual Obsession, Beach Red, The Belly of an Architect, Big Daddy, The Big Knife, The Black Stallion, Bucktown, Burn!, Cleopatra, The Comedy of Terrors, Comic Book Confidential, Countryman, Count Yorga Vampire, Cutter’s Way, Cul De Sac, Deep Impact, ‘Downton Abbey’- season 1, Fellini Satyricon, Fritz the Cat, Gandhi, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (yeah- we have it), Goldfinger (and most of the James Bond flicks), Gregory’s Girl, High Anxiety, Hour of the Wolf, Interiors, Joe Dirt, Killer’s Kiss, Kiss Me Stupid, The Knack…and How to Get It, La Cage aux Folles,

This is one of my favorite movies. Netflix doesn't think you need to see it.

This is one of my favorite movies. Netflix doesn’t think you need to see it.

Longtime Companion, Look Back In Anger, The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Moderns, Mulholland Drive, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Naked Truth, Never On Sunday, Platoon, Sleepless in Seattle, Snatch, ‘Sports Night’, Stardust Memories, Thieves Like Us, War Games, Without You I’m Nothing, and, oh, almost 2000 more. Why? Um, see the whole “sucking” theory. You see, once we have a movie at Videoport, we have it. We’ve bought it because we think you guys want to watch it, and we don’t arbitrarily ditch it because we don’t care about you. Screw Netflix for a variety of reasons, but most recently because of this one. Come to Videoport- we want you to see all the movies, and we don’t snatch them away from you because of the sucking. Videoport- we don’t suck!

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 the films of Catherine Breillat (in Foreign- and if you never want to have sex again.) Admittedly, I’ve only seen a few of this French auteur’s movies, namely The Anatomy of Hell, Fat Girl, and Romance (Videoport’s also got Perfect Love, Sex Is Comedy, A Real Young Girl, 36 Fillette, Brief Crossing, The Last Mistress, Bluebeard, and Sleeping Beauty), but I am hesitant to dip my toes back into the murky psychosexual waters of her oeuvre. Specializing in tales of sexual degradation, humiliation, and almost inevitable violence, Breillat relentlessly hammers home one major theme: men and women cannot, ever, engage in any sort of sexual relationship without it turning into a twisted, exploitative hellscape of exploitation, psychological torture, self-loathing, plain old loathing, and, again, almost inevitable acts of depravity and violence. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. Breillat (also a novelist) is a talented filmmaker, assured with her camera and capable of creating some interesting characters, even if those characters are always defined by their sexual hangups, deep wells of self-hatred, and, in her women’s case in the films I’ve seen, an utter assurance that their bodies are the locus of all horror and grossness in the universe. Obviously, Brielllat is working through some themes in her work, and it’s interesting to see a talented filmmaker return, again and again, to those themes to examine them from different perspectives. It’s also undeniable that hers is an artistic reaction against the very real position of women in a world where their bodies are often in a state of all-too-vulnerable peril from men and a male-dominated society. But it’s also true that I started getting the giggles (assuredly not her intent) at about the ¾ mark of The Anatomy of Hell. The premise therein: a damaged woman is convinced that her body (and by extension those of all women) is the most disgusting thing in the world. She hires a gay male prostitute, takes him to her isolated, cliffside home, and has him spend the night explaining, and demonstrating, why men find women’s bodies so disgusting. Said night involves voyeurism, disturbing games with a certain female product and a cup of water, a garden implement, and lots and lots of poetic/florid dialogue. Look, I get that I’m a guy and all, but Breillat’s relentless, obsessive circling back to her one overriding theme, despite her undeniable filmmaking skill, becomes first a puzzle, then a drag, and then the marginalized mutterings of someone whose obsessions suffocate under the weight of their own isolation. That being said, I do intend to watch the rest of Breillat’s films- I like talented, obsessives. I might take home a copy of Say Anything with the next one, just to remind myself that every human relationship doesn’t end in a pit of howling madness with everyone bleeding from various orifices.

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!

>>> Regan suggests Lucas (in Comdy.) The cicadas are coming, so maybe you might like to take home Lucas. Waht doesn’t Lucas have? It doesn’t have Corey Feldman! No Feld-dog, thank God. He makes a fine Frog Brother, but that’s it. It does have a young Corey Haim in what might the his best acting effort in his brief career. And the fire-crotch from Goonies! And Charlie Sheen! And Jeremy Piven who looks like he’s 40 because he’s already balding! Oh, and a young Winona Ryder! She’s so goddamned cute in this. Seriously, Leukoplakia, date Rina- Maggie’s just turning into a twatty cheerleader. So celebrate this weird-ass sh*t that happens every 17 years with a viewing of the Roger Ebert-approved Lucas! It even has slow clapping. You love slow clapping!

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

>>>Former Videoporter Stockman suggests The Emperor’s New Groove. My shoes are squeaky! Actually just the left shoe. What’s your deal leftie? Why you gotta be that way? On the plus side every time my shoe squeaks it reminds me of Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. He speaks chipmunk. Technically he is versed in all the woodland creatures. “Squeak, squeakin’, squeak, squeakity.” “Did you eat the acorn?” Being reminded of Kronk is a very pleasant pastime as opposed to say listening to ones shoes squeak; so I guess these sort of cancel each other out. This movie is one of the many that’s on my “Kid’s Movie Crusade” list which is made up of all the movies that I love, that are awesome, and that do not deserve the burdensome and pointless stigma of being shrugged off as a “Kid’s Movie”. This movie is awesome! And free on Fridays! The exposition of what the Emperor’s New Groove even means is delivered by an elderly man who was thrown out a window! How does that not sound brilliant? Sure, said elderly man is animated, but that’s the joy of animation! You can throw people out windows easily!

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

>>>For Saturday, Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (in Animation.) Oh well hello there current Videoporter Andy and, as I’ve mentioned previously based on our mutual love of Brain Donors, the future Mr. Former Videoporter Stockman. You just keep giving me more reasons to insist we run away together! Other than Brain Donors I now know that we’ll both be great at running due to our gym attendance and we both love the first 45 minutes of Fellowship of the Ring. It’s one of my favorite nap movies because I think a whole section in the middle is really boring and not worth watching. I fall asleep after they leave the dwarf caves and wake up just in time to see some more goblin butt kicking, perfect. I encourage everyone to give the trilogy a try again – with naps! I love the whole trilogy like Gollum loves his precious, obsessively, and with an uncomfortable level of creepiness. But I understand that sometimes a good nap (or it’s opposite a good workout) is just the ticket to refreshing movie enjoyment. I also love Heavenly Creatures! That is an excellent choice for favorite movie indeed. Fancy you mention favorite movies though because you happened to mention one of mine and I’m delighted to recommend it! Who Framed Roger Rabbit never ceases to boggle my mind. That someone sat around watching cartoons and noted that you couldn’t kill one is genius alone. To then take it one step forward and say this makes a brilliant premise for a noir feature? Mind, go find some cubes with letters on them and string words together from adjacent cubes because you just got boggled! I know it’s based on a book, but I’ve chosen to ignore that fact because I don’t like it. Though the movie is at this pointed dated it does not show. Part of that is the chosen setting, but the most important part of that is as Andy referenced the workmanship that went into this film. The level of detail, similar to LOTR, is worth watching alone. It creates such a cohesive well-structured movie. It takes a dedication and respect for the script, the development, and production of a film that more often than not is thrown out the window. This film is a paragon of quality, go watch it. NOW can we run away together Andy? How many more reasons must I come up with?

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests ‘The Good Wife’ (in Mystery/Thriller.) Okay, true fact: Videoport’s Regan told me I should be watching this show and I was all “aaaaaargh, really? No thanks!” because I am a fool. I was less than charmed by the idea of yet another snoringly boring legal procedural with glossy high-polish offices and posh suits and outrageous clients. And Julianna Margulies put me off with a few lackluster performances ove the years (notably her guest arc on “Scrubs,” in which her flat affect reduced a promisingly vicious character to a juiceless cardboard cut-out), so I was not keen. And then there’s the name, which predisposed me to think of it as “Law and Order: Gender-roles Reinforcing Unit.” And then I gave up. This is what 12-step programs call “contempt prior to investigation,” or what the proverb calls “judging a book by its cover,” or what Regan calls “NOT LISTENING TO ME, YOU FOOL.” Man, what a fun show this is. It’s snappily written with fresh, interesting characters who engage in unexpected ways. The secondary and tertiary characters are always fully drawn: believably idiosyncratic enough to give the show some interesting texture but never wacky for the sake of being wacky. The conflicts — professional and personal — are honest and well-communicated and always seem logical in retrospect but not totally predictable or telegraphed. It manages to feel crisp and fresh and surprising but always makes sense, which is the highest praise I can give a drama. I’m going to have to back up to S1 and watch every episode in order. Thanks, Regan.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Silver Linings Playbook (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrnece, along with the film itself, got nominated for all the Oscars; sure, maybe suggesting that love and a victory at a dance contest are all you need to overcome crippling depression and mental illness is a little Hollywood/irresponsible, but in the hands of ever-interesting director David O. Russell [Three Kings, The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees] we’ll allow it), The Guilt Trip (Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand play the week’s most unlikely comedy team in this road trip movie about a 30-something inventor who travels across country with his doting mom for reasons that only high-concept comedy can explain), Broken City (Mark Wahlberg, Russel Crowe and Catherine Zeta Jones star in this thriller about a private eye hired by a big city mayor to spy on his own wife for reasons which, shockingly, might not be on the up-and-up), The Details (dark comedy about a dissatisfied suburban family man whose inner turmoil turns to psychotic vendetta against the racoons invading his backyard; starring the likes of Tobey Maguire, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Elizabeth Banks, Kerry Washington, and Dennis Haysbert), MANBORG (sorry about the caps, but didn’t you see? It’s called MANBORG! It’s about a half man, half cyborg! Or, as you might say- MANBORG!), Not Fade Away (Sopranos creator David Chase writes and directs this New Jersey-set coming of age tale about a teenager forming a rock band in response to the Rolling Stones’ 1964 appearance in America; costarring Chase’s Sopranos pal James Gandolfini), The Revisionaries (did you know that most of the country’s textbooks are edited by a collection of reactionary Texans whose Tea Party sensibilities rewrite history to exclude such kooky theories as, um, evolution? Yeah- watch this documentary and get very sad and very mad), Young and Wild (born into an evangelical Chilean family, a 17 year old girl is forced to act out with the titular crowd in order to explore her burgeoning sexual urges), El Bulli: Cooking In Progress (foodie alert: documentary about the workings at the titular restaurant, one of the most acclaimed eateries in the world), Save The Date (my two girlfriends Alison Brie [Community, Mad Men] and Lizzy Kaplan [Party Down] star in this indie rom-com about two sisters coping with their particular romantic doubts while preparing for one of their weddings; costarring cool indie guys Martin Starr [Freaks and Geeks, Party Down], Greoffrey Arend [Super Troopers] and Mark Webber [Scott Pilgrim vs. the World]), ‘Eden of the East’ (check Videoport’s anime section for this Japanese fantasy about the aftermath of a missile attack which leaves a young girl in possession of magic powers…and a ton of cash), Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (documentary about the titular spiritual leader who brought Tibetan Buddhism to the west, and lived a very un-monk-like life of debauchery at the same time), The Endless Possibility of Sky (the newest gay-themed drama from Bangor native director Todd Verow)

New Arrivals at Videoport: The Sinister Urge (from legendarily abysmal director Ed Wood comes this smutty melodrama about a psycho who watches smut and then goes after the stars of said smut- darn that smut!)

New Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, King of California, The Details, Silver Linings Playbook, Broken City

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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