VideoReport #450

Volume CDL- The Fool Of Some Unspecified Date

For the Week of 4/1/14

 

Videoport doesn’t give you a free movie every day, isn’t independent and awesome, and thinks Netflix is a great, not-evil corporation. (Check the date, people…)

 

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!

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (in Horror.) Only for the strong of stomach and of heart. It’s all there in the title: this rural collection of chainsaws just… gets … MASSACRED. Oh, those poor, poor chainsaws. [Be sure to see Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original, and not the remake which – SPOILER ALERT – rounds up the chainsaws moments before the titular massacre and delivers them to a fix-it shop.]

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 Taxi Driver (in Action/Adventure.) Taxi Driver. Straying from his gritty roots, Scorsese anticipated the 1980s indie anthologies like Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train and Night on Earth with this lyrical glimpse into the stories of New York as told in the back of a cab. Titular Taxi Driver and nominal star Travis (Robert DeNiro) is the strand that weaves together the disparate tales of love, loss, and harrowing pain that spill out in the back seat of his cab as he pilots it around the dark streets of the city. Travis’s vantage point allows him to see a cross-section of humanity, and as the film reels on, his interests expand into everything from child welfare to the national election. But his sociological and political pursuits don’t keep this Everyman from expounding on the simple questions of life, like chewing the fat about the weather. As for Travis, he likes New York City when it rains and the streets are washed clean.

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 The Silence Of The Lambs (in Mstery/Thriller.) A sort of Babette’s Feast of the American West, Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs shows how the strength of one determined woman can save a ranch, a flock of sickly sheep, and a family – with a little bit of help, and a lot of quid pro quo. Determined to save her elderly uncle’s foundering sheep ranch, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) gives up her demanding training with the FBI and moves to rural Montana to take over the operation. When the struggle becomes too much for one set of hands, veterinarian and father-figure Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) pitches in, joining her on the lonely landscape of the isolated ranch, and proves to be as adept in the field and the kitchen as he is in the clinic. Be sure to have a good Chianti on hand for the luscious dinner scene.

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 A Streetcar Named Desire (in Classics.) Clang clang clang went the streetcar! Who knew Vivienne Leigh could sing?! Or, for that matter, that Elia Kazan, known for taut, gritty dramas like On the Waterfront and A Face in the Crowd, could – or wanted to – pull off a big-budget musical in the style of Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis? When elegant older sister Blanche (Leigh) travels from the family’s country estate to visit sister Stella (Kim Hunter) and husband Stanley (Marlon Brando) in their working-class apartment in New Orleans, the fun begins! A Streetcar Named Desire pulls out all the bells and whistles and buttons and bows, sparking such musical-theater standards as Blanche & Mitch’s duet “Alpaca,” the haunting street chorus “Flores,” and Stanley’s rousing “Never Once Touched ‘er.”

>>>Dennis suggests F Is For Fake (in the Criterion Collection.) Orson Wells had his last laugh on the filmmaking word which notoriously rejected him in the last decades of his life by making this fascinating, fiendishly-clever documentary about fakers, forgers, and faux flim-flammers of all kinds. Ostensibly a portrait of the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory, whose impeccable fakes, the film claims, hang in art galleries and museums all over the world. Then the film weaves in footage of de Horys supposedly shot by the infamous Howard Hughes hoaxer (see the film The Hoax) Francois Reichenbach, and then weaves in another story about an art swindle supposedly perpetrated on Pablo Picasso by a mysterious, beautiful woman who appears in the background of both stories. And then Welles, ever the sleigh of hand-man, pulls a final rabbit out of his stylish fedora. It’s a fascinating, prankish masterpiece—the last great Welles film in a career littered with unfinished projects.

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

>>> “A free movie—for children?! Why, back in my day, children worked in the fields all day and played with sticks to entertain themselves! Bah!”

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

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests Jaws (in Horror.) A sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead for the super-spy set, Jaws is a witty, bittersweet character study of the often-disregarded henchman, Jaws (Richard Kiel). The James Bond franchise typically focused on Jaws’ attention-grabbing superficial attributes and abilities: his towering height and massive strength, his nine-lives-style survival skills, and, of course, the steel-capped teeth that allow him to bite through metal cables and human bones alike. But Jaws is more than a pair of murderously-powerful hands and a terrifying bite radius. More than any other character in the 007 universe, Jaws has insight into the daily lives, motives, and machinations of the most elite villains ever to threaten the earth’s very existence. He’s been employed at high levels in at least three different supervillain consortia, yet never before has a film addressed the ins and outs of Jaws’ no-doubt fascinating life.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests The Godfather (in Feature Drama.)  Get ready to laugh! In this 1972 kneeslapper, Vito (Marlon Brando), is just trying to get to the chapel on time. Vito’s single and schlubby; Tom’s settled down with his new wife, a house in the ‘burbs, and now a baby! Standing up as the baby’s godfather during his baptism will give Vito a chance to cement their once-vital friendship – but first he’s got to get to the chapel on time, and the Metro-North ain’t cooperating! Slapstick adventure turns to a farcical buddy-pic reminiscent of The Out-of-Towners when Vito finally calls on Tom for help (and a ride in Tom’s station wagon), culminating in a hilarious and heartwarming scene at the Causeway toll plaza where both men spill their guts in admiration for each other.

>>>Dennis suggests not emulating these prank-y movies (but definitely suggests renting them from Videoport.) Pranking is a pretty douche-y thing to do if you do it wrong (it’s pretty douche-y regardless, rally.) But some people have raised the art of making other people look stupid to, well, an art. Now a lot of you are gonna throw the Jackass dudes at me here, and, all right, I’ll concede that they occasionally make me laugh. When I’m not trying not to hurl. Look, I’m a grown man—I need to see less footage of dirtbags eating their own pee than they seem to think. That being said, there’s a certain genius in making people feel really uncomfortable by violating the social contract with seeming heedless glee, so more power to ‘em. Plus, it’s perversely satisfying to watch an obnoxious guy get really, really hurt. The one prank I remember liking most is in one of the Jackasses (don’t ask which one) where several of them stand overlooking a golf course and blast an air horn every time one of the rich golfers tries to take a swing, eventually provoking the upper-class twist to start winging their golf shots right at them. I think golf and country clubs are ridiculous and awful—it just appealed to the Caddyshack in me. The art of the prank phone call is another thing, and the show Crank Yankers takes some very funny people (Billy West, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Silverman) and has them do characters while calling to complain that, say, they can’t get a tee time at the local country club (golf, again, is stupid), or that they’re going to sue the strip club they’re applying to because they’re blind and have to bring their seeing eye dog onstage with them. That sort of thing. As with all pranksmanship, a little goes a long way, but the performers throw themselves into the necessarily improv-y performances with gusto, and, as I say, they are very funny people. Oh, and did I mention it’s all reenacted in puppet form? It’s an inspired idea, adding a whole other level of loopy rudeness to the proceedings. Of course, the mack-daddy of all current pranks is an unassuming Brit named Sacha Baron Cohen who, whether as alter-egos Borat, Ali G, or Bruno has taken the simple Candid Camera gag and turned it into something like satirical genius. His stuff (the Ali G Show and the movies Borat and Bruno) are certainly a tough watch, partaking in all the grossness and squirminess the genre requires, but his fiendish idea is to confront people with a character which brings out the worst in them. So that when they react, they’re unknowingly revealing some very ugly truths about themselves—and us. Cruel, sure—but there’s some stuff that Cohen pulls off which is like a sociology experiment masquerading as gross, dumb comedy bits. Getting fratboys to chant gleefully hateful things, or red staters to join in with the ignorant Borat’s racist song, or nearly provoking a homophobic riot at a mixed martial arts competition—Cohen is fearless and much smarter than the average prankster. Oh, there’s also a lot of poop. So please don’t try this stuff at home—you’re just not very good at it—but rent ‘em from Videoport. They will all make you very, very uncomfortable.

 

           An April Fool’s Day DVD-Handling Primer

So it’s totally okay to touch the shiny side of one of Videoport’s pristine, precious DVDs. Oh, and please, whatever you do, leave the disc our of its case so that your baby, dog, monkey, or just irresponsible friends and family can spread peanut butter, grit, dirt, grime, sand, crumbs, bongwater, and humus on it! Videoport definitely doesn’t need that movie to work properly! Oh, and if you have a chance, go ahead and let your young kids—who you don’t let operate anything more complicated than a nerf ball—handle and play with our DVDs without supervision—in fact, we insist you do that. Videoport is not a small, independent video store which depends on the health and safety of its hard-bought, precious DVDs! And if it’s not too much trouble, go ahead and play floor hockey with a Videoport DVD—Videoport’s employees don’t feel like screaming and crying and setting things on fire when they see one of their precious DVDs (which are all inspected and cleaned going out the door so we know exactly who’s messing them up every time) come back looking like they’ve been used to sand an antique coffee table. Seriously! All of these things! In no way ironic! Make it happen, people!

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Ron Burgundy is back! Sure, it’s a sequel, but it’s a sequel to one of the funniest, most quotable films ever—Will Ferrell’s vain newsman is one of the most inspired comic creations ever and I’m going to watch this about 50 times and then annoy you with quotes until you punch me!), 47 Ronin (The very not-Japanese Keanu Reeves stars in this bananas big-budget retelling of the legendary Japanese tale of the titular samurai who, when their master is treacherously killed, go on a serious arse-kicking spree; fun fact—Keanu Reeves? Not Japanese! Like, in the slightest!), Psych—season 8 (say goodbye to everyone’s favorite comic crimefighting team with James Roday’s fake psychic detective and his sensible—and hilarious—pal Burton Guster solving crimes with the power of lying and comic timing), Broadchurch—season 1 (David “Doctor Who” Tennant and Olivia “Really Good Actress” Coleman star in this gripping British detective series about a pair of mismatched coppers teaming up to solve the murder of a young boy in a seaside town), The Bag Man (oddball crime thriller about John Cusack’s hitman tasked with delivering a mysterious bag to boss Robert DeNiro—without looking inside, no not even one little bit! No spoilers, but I bet he looks inside. Also starring Crispin Glover for added weirdness!), Knights Of Badassdom (a group of LARPers [that’s live action roleplayers to you] find themselves having to swap out their foam swords for the real things when some dope accidentally reads from a real spell book and raises demons; starring cool people Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, and Game Of Thrones knight of awesomeness Peter Dinklage!!), At Middleton (Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga star in this grown up romantic comedy about a pair of mismatched parents taking their respective kids on a college tour who decide to play hooky and have a lovely day making moony eyes at each other), The Truth About Emanuel (Jessica Biel stars in this thriller about a disturbed young woman who becomes obsessed with the woman who moves in next door), The Pirate Fairy (Tinkerbell is back! And now she’s a pirate or something? Ask your daughter—she’ll fill you in)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, 47 Ronin, King Of The Hill

An April Fool’s Money-Saving Tip from Videoport!

When you put $20 on your Videoport account, it magically turns into $25 worth of rental credit! And $30 buys you $40 worth of rental credit! Just kidding—it doesn’t! Just kidding—it totally does! (Seriously, these are real specials you can do any time to stretch your movie renting dollar. We’d never kid about things like that. Except we totally did that one time just now. Just get some free money, you…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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