Volume CDLXII- How To Succeed In The Video Rental Business Without Being a Huge, Soulless Corporate Jerk
For the Week of 6/23/14
Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Oh, I’m sorry—make that every single day. Apologies.
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!
>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Starship Troopers (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). I’ve only seen this movie once and it was in 2000 in Scotland, but I remember it quite fondly! I love Summer. I love it with a hot passion as hot as the hottest days, but less muggy. It’s challenging though because the depth of my love for Summer is equal in depth for my hate of insects. I just googled it and according to the Smithsonian at any given time it is estimated there are 10 quintillion bugs alive. Quintillion! That’s a real not made up number! The best thing to do for all of us is to watch a movie where bugs are evil and are mercilessly slaughtered. And laugh. Laugh at their destruction. Laugh until we cry salty cooling tears down our sunburned faces. Wow, this got dark. I think I might have some unresolved bug issues. If memory serves correctly, (which it may not because I was drinking a lot of mulled wine at the time and it was 13 years ago), this was really a not so bad movie. I’m going to watch it again and prove it to you. Or you could just test this out for yourselves instead of waiting for me.I’m pretty sure it’s good. Like 87% sure. It has NPH in it who is the bees knees these days! That could be worth it alone. I’m okay with bees of the bumble variety. They’re cute and they like flowers. Dennis once called me the wasp’s elbows and despite wasps in real life being total dicks it still makes me smile.
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 loves a good in-joke. Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday packs a two-fer: fast-talking, flim-flamming newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) rebuffs a politician’s vague threats with a snappy “Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach — just a week before he cut his throat!” Archie Leach, of course, was Grant’s own birth name. Earlier in the film, Walter describes his ex-wife’s solid, dependable new fiancé Bruce as looking ” like that fella in the movies… Ralph Bellamy,” suggesting the nice-enough guy might be a little bit of a dud, at least compared to Cary Grant. Who plays Bruce? Why, it’s that fella from the movies: Ralph Bellamy.
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 shares her favorite in-jokes and shout-outs. In 30 Rock episode “St. Valentine’s Day” (S3, ep11), Jack Donaghy finds himself confessing — and by “confessing,” I mean “boasting of” — his sometimes bawdy, sometimes loathsome sins to a clearly unworldly priest now suffering the twin agonies of alarm and temptation. Among those misdeeds: “I take the Lord’s name in vain often and with great relish. I hit my mother with a car, possibly by accident. I almost let [corporate rival Devon Banks] choke to death right there on the football field. I looked the other way when my wig-based parent company turned a bunch of children orange. I once claimed ‘I am God’ during a deposition.” Many of Jack’s sins occur on-screen over the course of the show; still more are off-screen events. But that last one — “I am God” — alludes to an earlier Baldwin role, that of cocksure surgeon Dr. Jed Hill in Harold Becker’s overstuffed thriller Malice, which features the Aaron Sorkin-penned deposition diatribe concluding with “You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.”
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 tells you what’s what. Savages (2012) is Oliver Stone’s lurid, hammy tale of small-time drug dealers (Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who go into business with a Mexican cartel. The Savages (2007), Tamara Jenkins’ acclaimed domestic drama, centers on adult siblings (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney) returning home for a funeral only to discover that their estranged father (Philip Bosco) is descending into dementia.
>>>And just to be a smarty-pants, Dennis adds in Savages (in Incredibly Strange), a bizarre outlier in the usually staid Merchant/Ivory film repertoire. Written by infamous Saturday Night Live “prince of darkness” Michael O’Donoghue and New Yorker writer George Trow, this 1972 surrealist film centers on an isolated mansion where the civilized aristocrats within gradually transform into naked forest people…and sort of back. Weird and fascinating.
Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!
>>>Emily S. Customer continues her favorite shout-outs with The Lion King. When young Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) giggles “You’re so weird!” at his scheming uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons), any astute viewer will see the wry truth in Scar’s purring “You have no idea” — but it’s doubly chilling for those of us who remember the line from Jeremy Irons’ ice-cool performance in Reversal of Fortune as Claus von Bulow, a one-time WWII collaborator accused (and convicted, though the verdict was overthrown) of murdering his socialite wife, Sunny (Glenn Close).
Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!
>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests The Gong Show Movie (in Incredibly Strange.) First off, this movie may have never been released, on any format, since it was run out of theaters like freaking Frankenstein chased by the villagers. Videoport has a copy—don’t ask questions—so I thought I’d watch it on a recent lunch hour simply because it seemed like the worst possible idea ever. And was it? Umm, no, not really. For those of you not old and fond of terrible things, The Gong Show was invented by this guy named Chuck Barris and on it people performed unusual (meaning batsh*t insane) tricks and half-celebrities made fun of them. It’s like reality TV but 40 years ago. Barris himself was the subject of the quite good (and batsh*t insane) Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, where he was played by the great Sam Rockwell and where, according to Barris’ autobiography, Barris was secretly a hitman for the CIA while simultaneously introducing acts like Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine. Well, The Gong Show Movie, which seemed like an idea born of the 70s cocaine explosion, follows the beleaguered Barris on a few typical days where he interviews potential acts, hosts his awful show, and fights with the network about how smutty everything was. Throughout, Barris seems like a decent enough guy, bemused and exhausted by the pressing needs of fame and the would-be famous, and actually being sort of endearing. Warning: you have to see a lot of Gong Show acts along the way, including some not good enough to get on The Gong Show. Barris actually reminds me of comedian and podcast host Marc Maron (see his standup Thinky Pain in the Comedy section), a world-weary, reasonably funny guy making jokes to save his sanity. (He even sounds like Maron.) Watching The Gong Show Movie: Not the worst idea I’ve ever had!
>>>For Sunday, Andy suggests The Wolf of Wall Street (in Feature/Drama). How does a 70-something-year-old have the energy to make a movie like this one? I’m exhausted just watching this three-hour dynamo! This more than makes up for the last Scorsese/DiCaprio joint, Shutter Island… (excuse me, I’m yawning as I remember that one). The Wolf of Wall Street is the story of Jordan Belfort, the real life stockbroker/criminal/despicable human being. More than that, it’s the story of Belfort’s excess, corruption, and profound lack of character. And somehow that lack of character, that black hole of any redeeming characteristics, is the best performance Leonardo DiCaprio has given since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Yup. We, the audience, despise Belfort’s complete absence of morality and basic goodness, and yet are made to admire his talent as a salesman, his ingenuity as a businessman, and his success as a horny, greedy, drug-loving son of a bitch! Belfort is a talented, whip-smart, but f**king awful guy, and Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio made a
thrilling and hilarious movie about him, and I think it’s as good as anything either of them have ever made, either together or separately. Talking with people about The Wolf of Wall Street is fun. There’s usually no discussion or critique; it’s just sharing enthusiasm and agreeing on its awesomeness (as long as there’s no undue idolization of the criminal characters). In that way, it’s kind of like talking about GoodFellas.
New Releases this week at Videoport: 300: Rise Of An Empire (remember 300, the bare-chested, kilted, teeth-gritted action flick about those wacky Spartans? Well it’s back! You know, not by the same director or really any of the same stars or anything, but hey—still insanely buff guys in leather whacking each other with swords! ), Winter’s Tale (this year’s magical, improbable, super-dreamy epic love story stars Colin Farrell as a burglar who falls in love with a sickly heiress—yay! But then she dies—no! But he find out she can reincarnate herself so he goes to find her—yay! But evil Russell Crowe is some sort of mystical evil guy out to spoil everything—boo! Rent it and swoon, if that’s you’re thing), Masters Of Sex- season 1 (super-sexy and smart cable series [pay cable, so you know they leave the naughty bits in
there] about the famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, played by the excellent Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, respectively), The
Bridge- season 1 (intense FX crime thriller about a dead body found on the exact border of the United States and Mexico, which causes dogged Mexican cop Demian Bechir and brilliant, slightly crazy American cop Diane Kruger to team up and uncover a whole lot of truly unsavory stuff), Enemy (like sexy, scruffy Jake Gyllenhall? Well now there’s two of him! In this erotic thriller, Jake plays a history professor in Canada who spots his lookalike in a live sex show, and then starts seeing him in small parts in movies; he becomes obsessed with finding the guy and then, well, I’ll let your imagination take over; from the director of Incendies and Prisoners), Blood Ties (Guillaume Canet, who directed the intense French thriller Tell No One heads to 1970s Brooklyn for this crime drama about two brothers [Clive Owen, Billy Crudup] involved on both sides of the law with the mob; the ever-lovely Marion Cotillard co-stars), Comedy Bang! Bang!- season 2 (you should really watch this show. You know, if you like hip comedy. Or all the funny celebrities. Or fake talk shows. Or surrealist, conceptual comedy. Or Reggie Watts. Or like to laugh in general. Oh, or weirdness.), Wallander- season 3 (EVERYONE LOVES THIS SHOW! Sorry to yell, but it’s true—everyone just plain loves dour Scandinavian detective Kurt Wallander as he world-wearily works his way through all the most depressingly violent crimes ever; check Videoport’s Foreign Language section for all the dour thrills!),Two Lives (German drama about a young woman who refuses to testify about her status as a “war child” [the product of a Norwegian woman and an occupying German soldier] once the Berlin Wall comes down, causing all manner of twisty-turny upset-people drama; costarring the ever-
luminous screen legend Liv Ullman), Sons Of Perdition (insightful, upsetting HBO documentary about several teens trying to adjust to the world after leaving a cult-like fundamentalist Mormon splinter group), Some Velvet Morning (it may have the drippiest title of all time, but don’t be fooled—this is yet another act of sexy, nasty cinematic provocation from master of same Neil LaBute (In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbors, The Shape Of Things) about a man [Stanley Tucci] returning to his former mistress [Alice Eve], claiming to have left his wife for her; when she’s not all that overjoyed at the news, things take a dark, let’s call it Neil LaBute-ian turn)
Free parking at Videoport! The parking lot behind the building is free for customers after 5PM on weekdays and all days on the weekends. Also, we can get you a free hour of parking at any downtown parking garage (including the courthouse garage which is, like, a one minute walk away). Just ask for one of our magic stickers!
Get your movies duplicated at Videoport!
You know that Videoport copies DVDs and VHS tapes, right? Well we do! Now don’t try to get us to copy anything copyrighted—that’s against the law. That’s what “copyrighted” means. But home
movies, stuff like that—bring ‘em in and get yourself some copies. They’re ten bucks apiece, we do ‘em fast, and you really should have extra copies of those secret surveillance tapes of that thing that you saw that time. You know—just in case you need to foil someone’s dastardly plot. Soo many movies would have been over that much more quickly of the heroes had made some copies at Videoport. So sad…