VideoReport #431

Volume CDXXXI- We Told Blockbuster Not To Mess With Us…

 For the Week of 11/19/13

 Videoport give you a free movie every single day. Sorry about that, everyone—oh, wait, we mean “you’re welcome…”

 Middle Aisle Monday! Take a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Popular Music, 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 Scandal (in Mystery/Thriller.) The lovely Ms. Emily S. Customer keeps telling me that this series about a DC crisis management firm is over-the-top fun. (And that star Kerry Washington is awesome.) Look, I’ll tell you what I tell her—I’ll get to it tomorrow… 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!

>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Rocky (in Action/Adventure.) I understand the overwhelming number of people out there who have seen this! But the more time passes the fewer that number is and the greater the number of people like me. People who know of this movie almost exclusively by parodies and references. It’s weird to finally be exposed to a movie that you feel like you know really well and yet have never experienced. It’s just the main themes of boxing, being a “bum”, boxing, yelling unintelligibly, and boxing are really driven home. It seems impossible that the movie would have encompassed so much more and yet utterly ridiculous that I ever thought that in the first place. Rocky is a beautiful story and boxing isn’t as relevant as I always believed. Rocky is a soulful endearing character and the love story between he and Adrian warms your heart. It’s definitely an older movie with older elements to it. By that I mean some of the relationship between Rocky and Adrian you have to accept for the time it was. It starts out a bit, aggressively, and a similar film released today would have a whole different undertone to it. If you are very sensitive to such things you might have trouble throwing yourself into it. If you can do that though it unfolds as a truly touching and moving romance. And Sylvester Stallone makes so much more sense now. He’s surprisingly subtle in his performance. I never knew he had that in him and I certainly had no clue that he wrote it. You can tell the passion for this story he had. He really works in it as well; that face and that Stalloney vocalization are perfect for this character. This loving, sweetheart of a brute. It actually takes place around Thanksgiving and Christmas so I think it’s a perfect season for you to give it a try or maybe you’d just like to relive the magic! Find some poor ignorant sap like me and say “no, really.”

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!

>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests 17 Again (in Comedy.) Videoport’s own Andy was once gentlemanly enough to support my claim that In Good Company was a quality film well worth your time. I hadn’t been sure at the time because watching a movie on a bus is like entering a vortex of undetermined movie quality. Do you really like it? Or is it just because almost anything is worth watching when you’re stuck on a bus? Andy says it wasn’t the bus that made In Good Company good it was just good to begin with. Now here I am to pay my debt, Tyrion Lannister would be so proud! Andy, the bus wasn’t magic, the magic was in you all along! 17 Again really was awesome! I’m hoping the combined power of Andy and I will make it so that the daring amongst you will discover this movie by choice instead of by bus. This movie has a surprising number of components I feel like I can find a trigger for at least a fair number of viewers. See if any of these intrigue you: Zac Efron with his sexy abs, good nature, and yes, dare I say, quality acting. Tom Lennon from everything funny ever but most notably from Reno 911!, The State, and you should really read his phenomenal book Writing Movies for Fun and Profit because it’s amazing. Tom Lennon’s character woos a principal with the erotic power of being a nerd. Bill Murray’s brother plays the janitor, I bet you loved that guy in Groundhog Day! The words “bedazzled” and “douche” are used within two minutes of each other. Andy liked it. You like Andy don’t you?

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….this. After countless “fahkin’ frecks,” a butloada “coo-ack suckahz,” a few “cahhhhhnts,” a couple “quee-ahhs,: a gaggle of “fay-guts,” plus 2 Afflecks (1 Ben, 1 Casey), 2 Wahlbergs (both Marky!), and 2 roles (her only roles) played by the horrifying* actress Jill Quigg** (“I remebah you from high school. I can see yo’ah still a little conceited, huh?”—Jill Quigg as Dottie in Gone Baby Gone), I bring you the Boston Marathon! Kinda. Kinda, cuz we start out with Killing Them Softly , which has some nice accents, but seems to take place outside of Boston. And this is a solid, goofy-ish crime movie with a stellar performance by my new, most-favoritist actor Ben Mendelsohn. Check him out in some better fare like Animal Kingdom and A Place Beyond The Pines. But the heavy-handed soundtrack (the song “Herion” by the Velvet Underground plays while a guy’s doing heroin—come on! Amateur hour!) So we move on to…Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, and it’s a winner. A girl goes missing in South Boston and a private investigating couple finds the hard-headed community a bit difficult. No sh*t. I highly recommend this one. There are some plot holes, but it’s a highly enjoyable thriller with super-dooper performances by Amy Ryan and Titus Welliver. Aaaand—on to Good Will Hunting. We’ve all seen it, we mostly all liked it. I think it’s pretty perfect, a bit schmaltzy at times. The look, the soundtrack, and some quotable quotables! Like….”I swallowed a bug!” and “Hook hook, dunk dunk” and “ya’ suspect!” And the marathon continues with a much-needed nap, so let’s pop in…The Friends Of Eddie Coyle, and this is a classic and you should watch it and it has really great masks , but it’s lacking the ridiculous donkey Boston accents. So after naptime, we move onto The Departed. What can I say? That Scorcese loves some Rolling Stones, hand to Gawd! It’s great, watch it. Whatever. Okay! The Fighter! Crack-smokin’ and the scariest women ever! “I’ll hit you in the c*cksucker!” And we near the finish line with…The Town. Boooo. Watch Michael Mann’s Heat instead. The Town has the opposite of chemistry is. And so that’s it. Mostly winnahs. Only a couple fahkin’ frecks in thay-yah. No bad, not bad. Not-bad, not-bad, not-bad, not-bad, not-bad.

*And straight from Southie.

**She’s also in The Fighter as one of Marky Mark’s delightful sisters. He has, like, 8 of them and I pray to never run into them in a dark alley. Because they’re real, right?

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

>>> A free movie! For kids! Only a monster would complain about that!

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

>>>For Saturday, Andy suggests South of the Border (in Documentary). Hey, who wants to see Oliver Stone cozy up to dictators? I do! I do! That’s what initially drew me to Stone’s documentary South of the Border. Also, I admit I was curious to see a filmmaker who has so often been accused of playing fast and loose with facts (in narrative films like Nixon, W., JFK, and so many more) make a supposedly straight documentary. The result is kind of an odd, surprisingly breezy, and sometimes dull film that serves as a very brief introduction to some of the recent leaders of the South American continent (all elected presidents, not “dictators,” as I facetiously remarked earlier). The longest, and most fascinating segment of the film focuses on dynamic, recently deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Stone digs into the man’s history and spends a good chunk of Border’s running time conducting reverent on-screen interviews with Chavez about his rise to power, Venezuela’s economy, and his relationship with the Bush administration. Almost as an afterthought, Stone also interviews presidents of Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and other nations*. But this is really a movie about Chavez, intended by Stone to contradict the common American perception of him as a heartless dictator and enemy of America. And for that reason, South of the Border is essential viewing.

*My theory is that Stone interviewed all these presidents with the purpose of giving them all equal time, but when his footage of Hugo Chavez proved the most compelling, he edited down the other interviews. In my opinion, Border should have been exclusively about Chavez. But then, I wouldn’t have the heart to bump the president of Bolivia for time.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests The World’s End (in Comedy.) I’m not gonna say much about this movie—the commercials have already done a bang-up job spoiling the hell out of most of the plot twists and other delightful surprises. I will say that you should watch it, for the following reasons: 1. It’s from director Edgar Wright and cowriter/star Simon Pegg who’ve only done things like Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead, and Hot Fuzz (Wright also directed the brilliant Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World). All of those things will make you giddily happy. 2. It reteams Pegg and best pal/costar Nick Frost, the greatest modern comedy team in the world. 3. It’s a delightfully daffy genre mash-up, just like (but really nothing like) Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. And, no—I’m not telling you which genres get mashed up this time. Don’t even read the back of the box. Just trust me. One of the best comedies of the year. Just rent it and we’ll talk about it later…

New Releases this week at Videoport: The World’s End (from the comedy geniuses behind Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz comes another slice of fried gold—Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reteam in another genre-bending comedy masterpiece, this time about a group of former friends whose plan to relive their legendary pub crawl is interrupted by…something I’m not going to tell you because spoiling a cool movie would make me a terrible, worthless person’ Just watch it…), Planes (You, or at least your kids, liked Cars! You didn’t like Cars 2 so much! Now Disney spins off from the far-superior Pixar with some talking planes! Kids’ll probably still like it though—they’re pretty undemanding), We’re The Millers (Jason Sudekis and Jennifer Aniston star in this weed-y comedy about a pot dealer who recruits a fake family in order to smuggle some of that sweet, sweet ganja across the border; hijinx presumably ensue!), 2 Guns (Denzel Washington teams up with Mark Wahlberg in an action movie about some cop-types, presumably armed with some sort of weaponry, who proceed to shoot other guys with said weaponry; I wish I knew what sort of weaponry they had…), Treme- season 3 (the current example of the “great, critically acclaimed show everyone means to watch but never quite gets to” is back for a third season of folks just tryin’ to get by in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans; created by the guy who made The Wire, people—if that’s not enough of a recommendation to get you to actually take this show home, then you haven’t seen The Wire…), Paranoia (the littlest Hemsworth [the one from The Hunger Games] stars in this corporate thriller about a young exec expected to spy on his boss’ rival; costarring Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman, so that’s something…), The To-Do List (Parks & Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza stars alongside some very cool actors in this saucy sex comedy about a young woman who decides she needs to check sex acts off of the titular list before she heads off to college; costars/possible partners include Donald Glover, DC Pierson, Bill Hader, McLovin, Adam Pally, Maeby, Andy Samberg, Connie Britton, and Clark Gregg), Hannah Arendt (screen legend Barbara Sukowa stars as political philosopher and writer Arendt, who reported on the war crimes trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann), Drew: The Man Behind The Poster (cool-looking documentary about Drew Struzan, the guy who did the hand-drawn posters for Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and many more), All Is Bright (Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti star in this indie dramedy about a guy out on parole who reluctantly takes a job with his friend selling Christmas trees in order to buy his daughter a piano for Xmas), Violet & Daisy (action comedy about a pair of teenaged assassins whose latest job is complicated when their latest target [the late James Gandolfini] simply isn’t afraid of dying), Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus (Michael Cera continues his mission to subvert his squeaky-clean image, this time playing an obnoxious, druggie American tourist on a quest for the titular legendary hallucinogen in South America), Therese (everybody’s foreign language sweetheart Audrey Tatou stars in this French drama about an unhappily married woman trying to break free from her stultifying life; based on the novel by Francois Mauriac), Congorama (An eccentric Belgian inventor travels to Québec to search for his family, which uncovers a secret history between two seemingly unrelated people.), Barbara (German thriller about a doctor whose petition to leave Cold War East Germany gets her exiled to a small country hospital where she must weigh her growing attachment to her patients with her desire to escape to the West)

New Arrivals at Videoport: Othello (hoo-boy—I love me some Shakespeare, but this 1965 version of Othello features the least-well-advised casting of all time, with legendary Laurence Olivier donning an embarrassing accent and the greasiest coat of skin-paint of all time; seriously, they must have had to swap out his costume every ten minutes; some roles just weren’t meant for you, Larry…)

New Releases on Blu Ray This Week At Videoport: The World’s End, Dexter- season 8, Paranoia, 2 Guns

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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