VideoReport #413

Volume CDXIII- Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery Of Why The Aliens’ Ships In Independence Day Were Mac-Compatible

For the Week of 7/16/13

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Who doesn’t want a free movie every day? No one—that’s who.

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!

>>> Dennis suggests Sealab 2021 (in Animation.) Now that everyone loves Archer (which they most definitely should), I suggest going back in time to check out creator Adam Reed’s earlier series, an even more bananas cartoon which repurposes a terminally bland 1972 series about the stalwart scientists protecting the oceans from their undersea base. In Reed’s hands, those brave oceanographers are transformed into a gaggle of sex-crazed, sociopathic, and downright dumb loonies who turn their sub-sea base into a den of sin, dada-ist humor, and all-out psychotic weirdness. (See the similar Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law for another very funny example of insane cultural repurposing.) Of course, the whole enterprise is basically an excuse for Reed and his talented voice cast to riff loopily on anything they feel like. What’s the most representatively insane example? The fact that Sealab’s pod 6 (“pod 6 are jerks!”) explodes almost every episode? Or that Sealab itself implodes nearly every third? Or that at least one of the crew seems to be some sort of world-dominating mastermind? Or the one where Sealab’s Captain Murphy (the estimable Harry Goz) spends the whole time trapped under a soda machine? Or the one that’s essentially one, episode-long riff on the phrase “un-oh”? Or the one where the crew is kidnapped by their alternative universe counterparts The Bizzarros? I’d choose that one because I nearly laughed myself into a coma, and because it nearly broke my brain. The perfect show—for certain people.

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 becoming Videoport’s resident expert on various things! The beauty of Videoport’s weekly special (3 movies for a week for 7 bucks) is the opportunity it affords the aspiring film geek to delve deep into the filmographies of a myriad actors or directors. Want to know what the big deal about Humphrey Bogart is? I’d say take home The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, and In A Lonely Place. Or Bette Davis? Howsabout All About Eve, Now Voyager, and The Petrified Forest? Underrated action director Walter Hill (director of this week’s Bullet To The Head)? I’d suggest The Warriors, Southern Comfort, and The Long Riders. Or cult horror/weirdo director Don Coscarelli? Take home Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep, and John Dies At The End and sit with those for a week. Or if you want to become Portland’s foremost authority on Serbian wildman director Dusan Makevejev? If you dare, I’d steer you towards Sweet Movie, WR: Mysteries Of The Organism, and The Coca Cola Kid. Films based on the novels of cult mystery writer Jim Thompson? Look for After Dark My Sweet, The Killer Inside Me, and The Grifters. American maverick indie pioneer John Sayles? My call (out of many) is for Matewan, Eight Men Out, and Lone Star. I could go on, and I will in the future, but you get the point by now. Videoport’s got all the movies, and we make it unreasonably affordable to simply delve into the movies that you love and enjoy the unique rewards and pleasures movies have to offer.

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 Hannah And Her Sisters (in Comedy.) Oof, family is complicated. (But, um, this complicated? Really? … I guess if you’re Woody Allen, your family life just might be this complicated, OH SNAP. Let’s move on.) What a cast! At the opening of every scene, I found myself restraining a cry of “OH MY GOSH, that’s ___ ______!” Because OH MY GOSH, that’s Max von Sydow! And John Turturro! And Julia Louis-Dreyfuss! And Lewis Black! And Maureen O’Sullivan! And Richard Jenkins! And Julie Kavner! And Fred Melamed! And Daniel Stern! And Joanna Gleason! And Carrie Fisher! And Sam Waterston! It’s a great indication of Woody Allen’s pull and prestige, that in addition to a stable of his usuals like Mia Farrow and Eric Roberts, he could assemble such a remarkable cast of past, current, and future stars, some of whom appear for only a few lines. This is the stuff that great ensembles are made of, and great it is. Hannah’s husband muses “She gives me a very deep feeling of being part of something.” That sums up the film’s structure and explains its title: Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) act as a single pivot point around which various men whirl in a muddle of love, passion, angst, and life crises. Elliot (Michael Caine) believes he’s fallen in love with Lee; Lee’s older partner (Max von Sydow) is a reclusive artist who relies upon her for human contact; Hannah sets up her ex-neurotic husband Mickey (Woody Allen) a disastrous date with ditzy Holly; Mickey still circles around her extended family rather than forging new connections of his own. In an homage to Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander, he action plays out over two years, bookended by big, bustling holiday dinners (Christmas in F&A; Thanksgiving in HahS) where Hannah hosts her whole circle of family and friends, allowing us to see these shifting, swinging dynamics as part of a larger whole. The convoluted liaisons within the film are complicated by our awareness of Allen & Farrow’s own family history, but despite the perhaps-unrealistically scandalous details, Hannah and her Sisters examines in depth their love and confidences and rivalries, revealing sisterly relationships as they are rarely seen on the big screen.

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!

>>> Dennis suggests Orphan Black- season 1 (in Mystery/Thriller.) Here’s the thing_I’m not gonna tell you a whole lot about this show, a Canadian import about, well, that’s the thing. I went into this show not knowing what was going on and I was the better for it, and since only the worst people in the world thoughtlessly blurt out details of a show or movie, thus ruining it for everyone within earshot, I’m gonna remain cagey about the show. I will say that lead actress Tatiana Maslany (Picture Day) should become much, much more famous come Emmy time, and that the show is reliably surprising throughout its first season. There’s drama, action, suspense, aaaand a bunch of stuff I can’t tell you about. I will say that it’s a good show, and that Maslany is gonna be a big star because of it. That I can tell you.

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

>>>Emily S. Customer says, name that Disney movie!

1. Abandoned at birth, you’re raised by a fiercely dedicated adoptive mother who always treats with with the same love and affection she shows her biological children, and who prepares you for both the rigors and joys of life. At the first sign of danger, you cast off your adoptive family forever without hesitation. You spend the next few days and weeks hanging around with various older bachelors, two of whom looooooove jazz. Eventually, you forget about them, too. You fall for the first girl you see and follow her home.

2. Born to privilege and power, you spend your happy childhood accumulating a rich collection of exotic artifacts. When an interloper from an alien culture injures himself in your territory, you spirit him to safety. In his absence, you become obsessed with him, finally persuading a shady sorceress to perform an extreme body-mod on you so you can pass unnoticed among his people. You forsake your family and your people to pursue a man to whom you’ve never even spoken.

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

>>>For Saturday, Regan suggests Maitresse (in the Criterion Collection.) I started this movie at Mother’s house while she was making a strawberry/rhubarb pie, and she walked in while a man was fellating a stiletto. And my Mom was all, “Gross!”, and then a man was peed on and I thought…perhaps I’ll watch this on my own. Gerard Depardieu, back when he was all hunky, falls in love with a dominatrix (Bulle Ogier—what a cool name) and finds it difficult to deal with her dick-hammering lifestyle. But daaaaaamn—she looks good doing it. I enjoyed every moment of this movie. But fair warning…Gerard eats some horse meat and you get to see exactly where it comes from. Bon appetite! PS: My mom let me put pie dough dicks and boobs on her pie. She’s the best!

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer asks you to play This Movie Or That Movie?

The Sitter stars Jonah Hill as a delinquent college student reluctantly babysitting the neighbors’ kids with little preparation; hijinks ensue. The Babysitter stars Alicia Silverstone as the precociously attractive girl who minds the neighbors’ kids while their skeevy older dads fantasize about her; skeevings ensue. Lars and the Real Girl stars Ryan Gosling as an introverted young man who begins an affectionate but chaste romance with an elaborate sex doll. All the Real Girls stars Paul Schneider as a young womanizer suddenly gripped by the desire to chance his ways, to the derision and disbelief of his friends. Angels & Insects depicts the Victorian romance between a penniless naturalist recently returned from a shipwreck and a young woman of titled birth whose most recent suitor died by his own hand, and much of the action focuses on the movements of ants. Angels & Demons follows up The DaVinci Code by portraying the actions of a shadowy cabal, and much of the action focuses on the movements of anti-matter.

New Releases this week at Videoport: 42 (while this baseball biopic about Jackie Robinson’s struggles as the first black player in modern baseball might suffer from a bit of flattened-out bio-pic-itis, Jackie Robinson is my hero and he should be yours, and Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford are very good in this), Evil Dead (sure it doesn’t have Sam Raimi or cult hero Bruce Campbell involved except in a “we’re gonna sign off on this and collect some serious residuals” way, but this remake of the still-shocking horror classic is still, by all reports, insanely violent and scary; rent it…IF YOU DARE!!!), Orphan Black- season 1 (here’s a name you should memorize come Emmy season—Tatiana Maslany; here’s something you should do right now—rent this very solid and surprising Canadian sci fi drama starring Tatiana Maslany), Erased (Aaron Eckhart stars as a suddenly disavowed CIA operative on the run with his teenage daughter in this thriller), Damages- season 5 (Glenn Close is back as the imperious head of a very, very morally conflicted law film), Hell On Wheels- season 2 (this AMC period series continues to follow the dusty adventures of the people involved in the construction of America’s first intercontinental railroad), Misfits- season 3 (the continuing, disreputable adventures of a group of British juvenile delinquents who’ve, rather inadvisedly, been given superpowers; check Videoport’s British Comedy section), The Fruit Hunters (attention foodies! Bill Pullman narrates this documentary about humanity’s long and delicious history with fruits of all kinds), London: The Modern Babylon (director Julien Temple [Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten] helms this documentary about the long and delicious history of immigrants and bohemians in London), Inescapable (Deep Space Nine’s Alexander Siddig stars in this thriller about a former Syrian government operative forced to return from his new home in Canada when the daughter he’d abandoned goes missing; costarring Fringe’s Joshua Jackson), Lucky (from the people at Film Movement luckycomes this heartwarmer about a 10 year old South African orphan take in by a crusty-yet-softhearted Indian woman; rent it and let your heart he warmed all up!), Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special (are Seth Green and company gonna make a whole lotta jokes at the expense of Aquaman? You know it!), Combat Girls (sort of a girl-centric German American History X, this German film’s about a pair of teenage girls drawn into the neo-Nazi movement), Bullet To The Head (Sylvester Stallone keeps trotting his HGH-ed, sexagenarian bod out there, this time as a world-weary New Orleans hitman who teams up with an Asian cop

It might actually get old...

It might actually get old…

when his last job goes bad; it’s directed by venerable action master Walter Hill [The Warriors] though, so that’s something…),

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: The Scapegoat (Alec Guiness does one of his multiple-roles gigs in this 1959 drama about a mild-mannered guy who has his identity stolen by an identical, and very unscrupulous, aristocrat; Bette Davis is in there, too), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enter Shredder (those kooky turtles; they still like kickin’…)

New Arrivals On Blu Ray This Week At Videoport: Spring Breakers, Admission, Dead Man Down, The Host, 42, Bullet To The Head, Evil Dead.

Get yourself some free money at Videoport! As if you needed another reason to rent here, Videoport has these deals which just plain give you free money. Check it out: pay 20 bucks up front on your rental account, and we turn that into 25 dollars worth of rental credit. Do the same thing but with 30 dollars, and we give you 40 dollars worth of store credit. That’s either five or ten free bucks, which you were going to spend here anyway eventually. So why wouldn’t you go for this deal? Um–you hate deals maybe? I’m not your psychiatrist…

Write for The VideoReport! The VideoReport (the thing you are reading right now) is the weekly newsletter of Videoport, the best, damned movie store left in the free world. It’s the place for the staff and customers of Videoport to share their reviews, views, and, um, shoes? screws? on their favorite, least favorite, and most reviled films and TV shows of all time. So if you want in on the action, send your reviews to us at, our Facebook page Videoport Jones, or just drop them off here at the store. We all love the movies, we all love to shoot our mouths off about what we love and don’t love about them, and the VideoReport is the place to bond with the rest of us film geeks and support, as I said, the best damned movie store left on the planet.


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. As always, a reminder: Guess That Disney! is a recurring game chez nous, but I owe my recent resurgence of interest in it to the hilarious article at The Hairpin. Check it out.

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