Volume CDXXVI- DAMNATIONLAND!
(PS: Go see this year’s all-new, all-Maine horror anthology film at it’s State Theater premiere on Friday, October 18th!)
For the Week of 10/14/13
Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Wait, that can’t be right—lemme check on that. Huh, what do you know—Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Wow. Pretty cool deal…
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 It (in Horror.) In Derry, Maine, a terrible cycle operates just below the town’s consciousness. Every 27 years, an unknown evil rises in a tide of violence and bloodshed taken out on Derry’s children, then goes peacefully into hibernation again. In the present-day, a group of childhood best friends, now grown, return to their hometown to do battle once again, to face a danger they faced 27 years ago. Incidentally, the novel was first published in 1986. You can do the math.
>>>Dennis suggests some good-looking horror movies I haven’t seen yet! Yup, I haven’t seen every movie in the store. I’d like to say I have, but they keep making more movies all the time—If everyone just took about two years off from making movies, I think I could catch up. Anyway, here are some of the best-looking new horror movies that I swear, I’ll get around to seeing soon. Just get off my back, man!
Citadel. Irish horror about a guy who’s turned agoraphobic when some hooded figures attack his wife in the elevator of their decrepit government housing block. Which is a problem when, a year later, his daughter goes missing at the hands of those self-same creepy figures and he has to venture out to save her.
Resolution. When a guy kidnaps his meth-addicted friend and takes him to an isolated cabin to detox, what could possibly go wrong? Well, if there are spooky portents around and the cabin’s built on an Indian graveyard, then probably a lot. This genre-savvy flcik has been compared to a low-budget Cabin In The Woods—so that’s a good thing.
VHS and VHS 2. Speaking of Damnationland, howsabout checking out these bigger-budgeted horror anthologies about people finding some seriously warped stuff on found VHS tapes. I’ve heard they’re inventively nasty—and intend to watch them sometime soon. Just get off my back already, geez!
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!
>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Bunny Lake Is Missing (in Mystery/Thriller.) Please be on the alert for a missing child: blond hair, blue eyes, weight 32 pounds, dark blue pinafore, white collar, red tights, dark blue double-breasted coat with brass buttons, speaks with American accent, answers to the name Bunny, given name Felicia Lake. It’s like a nightmare. Ann Lake (Carol Lynley) is running late on her first
morning in London: she needs to drop Bunny at the new preschool before finding her way to their newly rented apartment to let in the moving men with all their belongings. When she returns to pick up Bunny for lunch, the child is simply… missing. The school staff members shrug (“I’ve never seen her” one teacher tells another), consult each other, and offer empty reassurances to Ann, who first grows angry, then scared. When her brother (Kier Dullea) finally calls in the police, confusing evidence piles in and suspicions mount on every front. Are the teachers and headmistress (Anna Massey) covering up a ghastly, and perhaps deadly, mistake? Did Ann ever bring Bunny to the school at all? Why are all of Bunny’s belongings — her clothes, her toys, even her toothbrush — missing from their new home? Why does the genteel detective (Laurence Olivier) keep asking Ann who else might have seen Bunny since they arrived in England? Bunny Lake is Missing really is like a nightmare, not just in its notes of everyday terror and inescapable confusion, but in the subtle framing of the scenes. The rooms are small and closed in with their angles just slightly off; staircases and hallways block off easy passage with tight corners and turns; blank, empty windows offer no view of a larger world. Even scenes set outdoors feel cramped and claustrophobic, closed in by traffic and crowds and unwanted attention. Even in the comparative privacy of her new home, Ann can’t escape the leers and innuendo of her lecherous landlord (Noel Coward), who thinks “carrying out my landlord’s right of inspection” entitles him to hound the new tenant with skin-creeping remarks about her “buttermilk skin” and offer to soothe her worries with his “extremely seductive” singing voice. The film is a quiet, piercing keen of mother’s anxiety and female subjugation, which perhaps accounts for its initial lukewarm reception — and certainly accounts for some of its later fame as a cult classic.
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 Scandal (in Mystery/Thriller.) Perhaps thanks to the show’s heightened visibility in the wake of Kerry Washington’s well-deserved Emmy win, “Scandal” is raising the bar in giving new viewers a crash course in the fast-paced D.C. drama’s ins and outs. (Understand that “fast-paced” is a euphemism for “bug-nuts wacky” and “ins and outs” is a euphemism for “THAT JUST HAPPENED!”) Thanks to a season-preview clip show narrated by cast member (and Videoport Jones household favorite) Joshua Malina outlining the plot so far (and now available online) and an aggressive re-running of previous weeks’ episodes complete with hashtag prompts, this is the perfect time to rent the two previous seasons to get caught up on this intoxicatingly sensationalistic White House drama, and to see Kerry Washington deftly earn every ounce of the gold and glamour of that gleaming statuette.
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 some of Robert Forster’s best appearances. He’s been getting a lot of press lately in the wake of his appearances in the final season of “Breaking Bad,” and rightly so. When Robert Forster appeared as the often-referenced but never before seen “guy” (as in “I gotta guy who can do that for ya”) who will disappear a wanted person for a cool mill cash, I just nodded in appreciation. Yes, Robert Forster is the guy. Robert Forster should always be the guy — the calmly assured,
workmanlike guy who gets the impossible done without fanfare or flourish, who just puts his shoulder to the wheel and does it. I suppose that’s why he’s not a bigger star: his competence and confidence are so quiet they almost — but not quite! — vanish into the background. He was a little flashier as a young actor, but even in Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool (1969), where he plays a polished-up on-air reporter who’s more interested in chasing broads than pursuing social justice, Forster comes off less like a blow-dried talking head and more like a pavement-pounding joe. After that, he seemed poised for stardom, supporting superstars Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in Reflections on a Golden Eye and headlining in Disney’s big-budget sci-fi thriller The Black Hole. In 1997, Forster played opposite Pam Grier in Jackie Brown as Max Cherry, matter-of-fact bail bondsman, a pensive and measured performance that earned him an Oscar nomination. A few years later, his small role in Mulholland Dr. as a veteran detective (cut down from a larger role in the originally-intended TV series) set the tone for the film’s postmodern-noir mystery. At the time, I thought the one-two punch of Jackie Brown and Mulholland Dr. with their combination of commercial appeal and cult following, might catapult him into a second-act stardom. But maybe I’m wrong about all this. Maybe stardom has no appeal to the true yeoman. Maybe Robert Forster is happy keeping his shoulder to the wheel, turning in exquisitely measured, understated, affecting performances here and there and then looking for more opportunities to do his quiet, perfect work.
Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!
>>>Hey! C’mon in and get yourself a free movie from the kids section—no other rental necessary! You can just take one! For free! And hey—maybe as a thank you for Videoport’s generosity, you could keep said DVD out of the kids’ hands! That would be just oh-so-nice!
Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!
>>>For Saturday Emily S. Customer suggests a triple-feature of Damnationland 2012, 2011, and 2010. Portlanders, do you already have your tickets for the world premiere of Damnationland 2013 on Friday the 18th at The State Theater? While you’re counting down the hours, chill out with the three Damnationlands of seasons past, featuring roughly one jillion short films (live-action and animated) to send a shiver down your spine. My favorites? That’s a tough call, but there are a few real gems: Christian Matzke and Sarah Tarling Matzke’s “Last Call,” a well-constructed spin on the classic zombie-outbreak tale that tapped into the (then burgeoning, now shambling) zombie zeitgeist and gave it a darkly comic turn; Derek Kimball’s understated snowbound story, Are You The Walkers?, which I watch anytime I need a quick chill and which has me double-checking the locks and turning on lights even before the sun goes down; Ian Carlsen’s Bell in the Yard, an old-fashioned tale of a newly-hired graveyard attendant doing his terrified best to keep up his watch.
>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests checking out the work of Hollywood’s go-to spooky girl! With her long dark hair, fair skin, and wide melancholy eyes, Jodelle Ferland first carved out a niche playing haunting — or haunted — little girls, then gracefully graduated to playing terrifying young women. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’d probably recognize the face. Ferland starred as Mary Jensen in Kingdom Hospital; as Sharon (perhaps best remembered from her mother’s line, repeated roughly one jillion times throughout the film, “SHAAAAAAARRRRRON!”) [SPOILER] and Alessa in Silent Hill; as Sarah, the little girl who suffers night terrors, in Wes Craven’s They; as the self-sufficient and darkly imaginative Jeliza-Rose, in Terry Gilliam’s controversial Tideland; as Kirsti on the pilot episode of “Dead Like Me”; as Melanie Merchant in Supernatural episode “Provenance”; and, in what I hope is a fortune-making move, as newly-turned vampire Bree in the Twilight films.
New Releases this week at Videoport: Pacific Rim (GIANT ROBOTS! Directed by Guillermo del Toro [Pan’s Labyrinth], starring Idris Elba [The Wire], Charlie Day [It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia], and Charlie Hunnam [Sons of Anarchy], Plus—GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS!!), The Heat (comic treasure Melissa McCarthy [Bridesmaids, Identity Thief] costars alongside a surprisingly-game Sandra Bullock in this Boston-set buddy cop comedy with straight-laced FBI agent Bullock forced to team up with unstoppable comic dynamo McCarthy’s wacky Boston cop to take down some bad guys), Defiance- season 1 (premise— it’s 2046 and with the coming to Earth of a number of alien races, the planet has been altered almost beyond recognition; a man and a mysterious young woman enter the titular border town, which was formerly St. Louis, and threaten the fragile peace there with some heavy-duty secrets in this ambitious Sci Fi series), Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (insightful and affectionate
miniseries about the birth and development of the superhero comic over its 75 year American history; featuring interviews with some of the biggest creators in the genre), Drug War (from legendary action director Johnnie To [Running Out Of Time, Triad Election, Exile, Vengeance, Breaking News] comes another tale of gangsters and gunplay, this time about a drug lord forced to infiltrate his old haunts in order to avoid prison), The Fall- season 1 (the ever-fascinating Gillian Anderson [that’s the X Files’ Agent Scully to you] stars in this Irish thriller series about a brilliant female detective hunting an equally brilliant serial killer), The Colony (Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton star in this post-apocalyptic action thriller about a snowbound Earth and the heavily-bundled-up guys who may have found a way to save it), Maniac (Elijah Wood tries to shake off his adorable, Hobbit-y image by taking on the role of the titular knife-wielding, woman-dismembering psycho)
New Releases on Blu Ray This Week At Videoport: Pacific Rim, The Heat
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…
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