VideoReport #464


(Click on the pics for more reviews!)

 For the Week of 7/8/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Repeat: Every…single…day.

 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 Who’ll Stop The Rain (in Mystery/Thriller.) Remember when Nick Nolte was strikingly buff and handsome and not that crazy? Well, if you’re longing for a time when Nolte could have been cast as Thor without too much of a stretch, check out this surprisingly grim and violent thriller with Nolte playing a former Marine roped into smuggling heroin back from Vietnam for his shifty buddy Michael Moriarty. When things go to hell, Nolte grabs Moriarty’s clueless wife Tuesday Weld and goes on the lamb from a trio of particularly unpleasant and crazy bad guys (Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey, and evil cop Anthony Zerbe). Appearing only a few years after the Vietnam War ended, the film is a uniquely gritty and strangely sad action flick, with disillusioned, unhappy people trying to put their shattered lives back together in unwise ways. Nolte’s formidable and resourceful as he and perpetually underused Weld make an unusual reluctant couple, and Moriarty does his Moriarty thing, bringing an eccentric energy to yet another perpetual loser screwup character, a former idealist whose faith has been shattered by the lunacy of the war. Full of odd touches, interesting dialogue, and sudden outbursts of violence, this is an overlooked, mean little gem. Based on Robert Stone’s novel Dog Soldiers.

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 The Tall T (in Classics.) A great, seminal Western from genre stalwart Budd Boetticher (Decision At Sundown, 7 Men From Now, Ride Lonesome), starring his favorite leading man, Western legend Randolph Scott. Cult Movies author Danny Peary (the best film critic you’ve never heard of) called it a battle of wills between “a moral man with violent tendencies and a violent man with moral tendencies,” and that’s a good approximation of the surprisingly complex morality of the film. Scott plays an expert, upright cowboy who’s trying to start up his own homestead on the frontier of a slowly-civilizing West. Taken hostage by a trio of bandits led by the courtly but dangerous Richard Boone, Scott finds himself trying to keep himself and fellow captive, spinster Maureen O’Sullivan alive while the gang waits for her rich father to come up with ransom. Scott and former Tarzan’s Jane O’Sullivan make a good couple, his rangy ranch hand coming to respect the woman whose louse of a new husband betrayed her to save her own skin. But the film’s heart is the relationship between Scott and Boone, another of Boetticher’s mirror image antagonists. Tight-lipped Scott bides his time and minds his words in his predicament but Boone, a similarly older old Western hand comes to respect and like Scott, his taciturn wisdom a sharp contrast to Boone’s crude, violent henchmen (including go-to “ethnic” sidekick Henry Silva as the unfortunately named, quick-triggered “Chink”). In their conversations, the film’s theme comes into focus, with two capable denizens of the frontier subtly arguing the paths they’ve chosen. In the end, it’s the moral but violent Scott who must make his case against his opposite number. One of the best lesser-known Westerns out there.

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!                                                        

>>> Dennis suggests Moscow On The Hudson (in Comedy). In honor of the late Paul Mazursky, take home his 1984 comedy. As much as certain people/political parties would like to claim otherwise, the immigrant experience is integral to what America truly is, and Paul Mazursky’s comedy is an especially clear-eyed yet warm-hearted exploration of that fact. Robin Williams (of all people) delivers a lovely, understated performance as Vladimir, a Russian circus clown who impulsively defects in the middle of Bloomingdale’s. Treated like a feel-good story for a day, Vladimir journeys from his initial, naïve dreams of life in the land of the free, to the disillusionment of the disenfranchised, and finally to genuine citizenship, with all its attendant compromises.

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 Veronica Mars (in Feature Drama.) The movie, that is (although I can’t imagine anyone watching the movie without having seen the show first). Veronica Mars is back (thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign where TV fans tossed their dollars in to see Neptune, California’s foremost high school sleuth return). Kristen Bell is great as always as Veronica, who reluctantly comes back to her hometown to advise her onetime boyfriend, the perpetual “good looking bad boy who plays by his own rules” Logan (Jason Dohring) when he’s accused (not for the first time) of murder. Of course, she gets sucked back in to the class war hellscape that is Neptune, home of the meanest, most corrupt rich folks in America—Veronica Mars has always been one of the few US shows that made class a major theme. And if the mystery isn’t especially clever, it’s not bad—the show was always more interested in Veronica and her relationship with her peers and her excellent private dick dad Enrico Colantoni than in crafting brilliant twists. And the film brings back all your favorite characters (some for mere cameos), with the relationship between Veronica and dad Keith remaining one of the most realistic and supportive in TV history. All in all, those VM fans who helped get this film made were no doubt satisfied. For the rest of you, the show really is worth a look, as Veronica remains a great, strong female protagonist. Fun.

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

 >>> Emily S. Customer suggests The Parent Trap. Let’s take a trip to summer camp! The Parent Trap (1961) stars Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills as two squabbling summer campers whose cabinmates keep remarking upon their resemblance. Finally figuring out why they share that uncanny resemblance, Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick work out a scheme to play the biggest switcheroo on their parents (Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith).

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

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests Wet Hot American Summer (in Comedy.) It’s hard to predict who’ll love Wet Hot American Summer. Written by David Wain and Michael Showalter of MTV’s legendary (and long unavailable) sketch-comedy show The StateWet Hot American Summer is a glorious muddle, an incredibly silly trifle with some real sensitivity and some dark, dark background stories at its heart. The film stars a stable of State-ers alongside a scattering of now wildly successful actors (Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks), all obviously well into their twenties or thirties and all cast as goofy teenaged camp counselors feeling the heady swell of freedom from their parents’ homes and rules. The film veers between parody of the summer camp genre and flat-out farce. If you watched a few minutes and dismissed it as stupid, I’d have to nod a little… reluctantly. If you called it a hilarious romp that makes you think you might hurl laughing, I’d prob’ly invite you over to watch it together and see Chris Meloni do his thing. (For a The State double date, head over to the Incredibly Strange aisle and grab a disc of The State, which was finally released in DVD after a long wrangling over musical rights.)

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests Meatballs (in Comedy). Directed by Ivan Reitman (who would later direct Murray in Ghostbusters and Stripes), Meatballs is a snapshot of a different time, a time of tiny gym short-shorts worn with gym socks up to the knee, a time of feathered hair back-pocket combs on prominent display, a time of lax seatbelt laws and no notion of “safe sex.” A time before Bill Murray was a massive star. A time when a goofy summer-camp movie could focus as easily on Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) as on Murray’s effortless antics, but still let the charm and magnetism that would make him an legend shine through.


New Releases this week at Videoport: Nymphomaniac—Part 1 (director Lars von Trier [Antichrist, Dogville, Breaking The Waves, Dancer In The Dark] returns with another excruciating tale of a woman’s lifetime of sexual degradation; Four-plus hours of it! Starring the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slate, Uma Thurman, Connie Nielson, and Udo Kier), Nymphomaniac—Part 2 (The rest of those four hours I was talking about), Visitors (from Godfrey Regio, director of the likes of Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi comes this similarly trancelike visual meditation of man’s relation to nature and technology and all manner of things), Bad Words (Jason Bateman directs himself in this rude comedy about a grown man who, for reasons that only gradually become clear, enters a series of children’s spelling bees and is generally crude and mean and awful to everyone—it’s a comedy!), Hinterland- season 1 (described, in an understandably desperate blurb, as “like a Welsh The Killing,” this BBC mystery series follows the requisite beleaguered copper dealing with the requisite murders and hate crimes in the middle of the Welsh countryside), Maidentrip (seafaring documentary about a 14 year old girl looking to become the youngest person to sail around the world all alone; possibly also a documentary about a pair of parents looking to avoid the child protective services for allowing their 14 year old daughter to do suicidally dangerous things), Vicious—season 1 (Sirs Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi sink their hammiest choppers into this acclaimed and hilarious sitcom about a bickering gay couple whose 50 year relationship mostly involves making catty one-liners at each other), Helix—season 1 (from the SyFy network, here comes a sci-fi horror series about a group of scientists at the North Pole who suspect that they might have uncovered something suspiciously similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing), Like Father, Like Son (acclaimed Japanese heart-tugger about a dad who discovers that his son was in fact someone else’s son, thanks to a long-ago hospital mixup), The Raid 2 (you know how the film The Raid: Redemption is the most insane, over-the-top awesome action flick of all time? Well here’s a sequel which claims it goes even further into brain-melting action movie nirvana), Don Peyote (a stoner gets heavily into hallucinogens and starts making a film about the supposedly apocalyptic conspiracies he sees going on all around him; starring the likes of Dan Fogler, Josh Duhamel, Anne Hathaway, Dean Winters, Wallace Shawn, and Topher Grace, you can find it appropriately enough in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section), Jodorowsky’s Dune (all film fans should check this one out, a documentary about the abortive attempt of all-time lunatic/visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky [The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre, El Topo] to adaprt Frank Herbert’s epic sci fi novel into a film that would have most likely driven the moviegoing public bananas), Kid Cannabis (another drug-fueled romp you can find in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section, this time a real-life tale of a nerdy college dude who became an unlikely drug lord when he masterminded smuggling weed over the Canadian border; costarring character actor all stars John C. McGinley and Ron Perlman), Mind Of A Chef (cooking show shenanigans with Anthony Bourdain and David Chang)

New Arrivals This Week at Videoport: Brian’s Song (the most surefire manly cry movie of all time, with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams portraying real life football players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers who battled racist attitudes and a deadly disease, and…sniff…excuse me, there’s something in my eye…), Highway 61 (acclaimed Canadian indie comedy about a mild mannered barber [Don McKellar of Last Night and Slings & Arrows] swept up in a scheme by free spirited roadie Valerie Buhagiar to smuggle a drug-filled corpse over the American border)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Bad Words, Visitors, Jodorowsky’s Dune

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…


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