Volume CDLXI- The Videoport Movie Massacre
For the Week of 7/22/14
(Click the pics for more reviews!)
Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Repeat: every…single…day. As you were.
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 Home Movies (in Animation.) There’s nothing else quite like Home Movies. Co-created by Brendon Small (Metalocalypse) and Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers), the improvisational animated series centers around eight-year-old filmmaker Brendan Small, his best friends Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky: Dr. Katz, Bob’s Burgers) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin: Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Wet Hot American Summer, Jon Benjamin Has A Van) as they hang out in Brendan’s basement filming, play desultory games of soccer under the slack tutelage of dissipated blockhead Coach McGurk (also Benjamin), and go through day after day of school with their weird classmates (several of whom are voiced — you guessed it — by H. Jon Benjamin). It doesn’t sound like much until you watch it, at which point the quiet brilliance of the show starts to creep up on you. After an ignominious beginning at UPN, which cancelled it after just five episodes, Home Movies was picked up by the just-established Cartoon Network where it became one of the founding series on which its successful Adult Swim programming block was built, and with good reason. Home Movies is a playhouse for great comedic talent. Home Movies leaves plotlines loose and improvisational, making the most of its cast’s easy comedy and chemistry and of its stellar guest performers: in addition to its regular cast, the series features recurring or guest performances from Louis C.K., Laura Silverman, Jonathan Katz, Jen Kirkman, Andy Kindler, Emo Philips, Maria Bamford, Eugene Mirman, Mitch Hedberg, and Patton Oswalt, and they all seem to be having a blast.
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 Comanche Station (in Classics.) My catchup on all of the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott westerns continues! (How’s your catchup of obscure westerns going, by the way? Thought so…) In this one, the perpetually laconic and leathery Scott plays Jefferson Cody, a signature Scott lone rider who we first see in a tense negotiation with a group of Native Americans. (Sure, these westerns all have something of a simplistic view of the “injuns”—it’s the times, just go with it.) Cody has followed a rumor that the Indians are holding a captive white woman. They are—but Cody registers
disappointment when he sees that the woman is Nancy Gates’ Nancy Lowe, but he completes the deal and gets them the hell out of there, especially since he had to throw his rifle into the deal. Hitting the trail, they don’t talk much (see Randolph Scott, taciturnity of), but when they come upon Burly Claude Akins and his henchmen, the plot fills in each of their backstories. She was captured by the Comanches and her husband has offered a $5000 reward for her return—but hasn’t come looking for her himself. And he—he’s been bargaining for the return of kidnapped white women for years. Each story pays off affectingly (her reveal is the less predictable), and Scott has another showdown with a violent man like himself, but one who hasn’t made the same moral choices (a Boetticher theme). All of these seven “B” westerns had low budgets, but Boetticher had a unique eye for settings, and for casting—like previous entries The Tall T and Ride Lonesome there’s an offbeat, thoughtful tone to the usual western proceedings, and, as ever, Scott provides an authoritative, magnetic center. In addition, the fact of what happened to Gates during her captivity is handled in an unusually mature and touching exchange between herself and Scott—it’s only a few lines, but it speaks volumes for both characters, and for the story. I continue to be impressed. Up next week: The decidedly darker Decision At Sundown.
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!
>>> How about getting some free money at Videoport! Pre-pay $20, we give you $25 in rental credit. Pre-pay $30 and you get $40 in rental credit. Yes, it’s just that easy, people.
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 Inside Llewyn Davis (in Feature Drama.) First off, it’s LLEWYN, not Llewellyn. Blame the Coen Brothers for making your brain mispronounce the title every single time. Second, it’s a Coen Brothers film—see it. The Coens are among the best American filmmakers of all time. Their vision is singular, their films unique—and difficult. And never less than fascinating. In this one, a character study of the titular LLEWYN Davis, a struggling folk singer in the Greenwich Village of the early 1960s, the Coens seem to be doing something simple. The folkie gigs, scams money and places to stay from threadbare friends and worn-out acquaintances, and dreams of making it big. Being the Coens, though, things aren’t quite so simple as another story of a musician chasing his dreams. Llewyn (a should-be star making performance from Oscar Isaac, who does his own playing and singing), is talented, but the film is cagey about whether his lack of success is his fault, or the cold, unfeeling world’s. He’s dedicated to his art, but is that artistic feeling justification for his often lousy behavior? And what’s the deal with that cat? Like most Coen Brothers movies, there are more questions than answers, but there’s also the assured, guiding sensibility behind every single moment that makes you think that your final confusion is worthwhile. (And entirely your fault.) As Coen Brothers movies go, ILD is on the minor side, which means it’s only about the third best movie I’ve seen this year. Yes, the Coens are that good.
Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!
>>> It’s a free movie and it’s for kids. Save your grinchy grinching for someone who’s not giving a free movie to a kid.
Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!
>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests The Americanization Of Emily (in Classics.) Hats off to James Garner, who could play a rogue with just the right balance of conviction and compassion, making his characters as irresistible as they are irascible. In The Americanization of Emily, Garner stars as Lt. Commander Charlie Madison, a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve who spends the height of WWII stationed safely in London, where he flouts regulations, rationing, and propriety by rounding up delicacies, liquor, entertainment, and women for the pleasures of the officers. Madison’s enthusiastic aptitude for his role as dogsbody to the brass both impresses and offends Emily Barham (Julie Andrews), the crisply proper English recruit from the driving pool who shows up at one of the parties on a lark. It’s no surprise that a script by Paddy Chayefsky lays the foundation for a crisp, lively satire with a few unexpected turns… and it’s no surprise that James Garner breathes life into Charlie Madison that makes him an indelible portrait of masculinity and a deftly drawn character who burns with vitality and feeling.
>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests Rectify and Enlightened (both in Feature Drama.) You know how TV shows on DVD have made it far too easy to devour an entire series in just a few weeks, making you all cranky because the next season doesn’t come out for a freaking year?!? Well, take these bite-sized shows as a stopgap measure while you wait for HBO to put out the next season of G-D Game Of Thrones—in February?!q F-you HBO! Any way, I call these shows “bite-sized” because they follow the cable/BBC model of short seasons, and not because they’re less substantial than others. In fact, I’d say these series are two of the most resonant, mysteriously moving TV series I’ve ever seen. Challenging? Yup. Hard to describe in any way that’s going to make you want to rent them? You bet. So here’s the deal—I’m just going to say trust me on these. You won’t be sorry.
New Releases this week at Videoport: Transcendence (Johnny Depp stars as a scientist who uploads his consciousness into his new artificial intelligence gizmo which, shockingly, goes horribly awry. Maybe predictable considering he’s playing a scientist who thinks doing that is a good idea. Morgan Freeman costars, proving [as does this year’s Lucy] that he is ever eager to star in sci-fi movies with dumb-ass premises), Cesar Chavez (Michael Peña stars as legendary [and still so, so relevant] labor leader and civil rights activist Chavez. Costarring America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley, and John Malkovich who no doubt is playing some sort of big, rich, white jerk), The Suspect (good-looking Korean spy thriller about a decorated North Korean agent who finds himself abruptly cut off during a mission, leading to one of those roaring rampages of revenge that makes for all the best action movies), Heaven Is For Real (Greg Kinnear stars in this church-y drama about a professor who has to decide whether and how to reveal that his adorable son claims to have visited heaven during a near death experience and totally did not have an easily explainable, well documented physiological reaction to trauma), Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club (speaking of church-y, here’s the new inspirational dramedy from noted prolific borderline-incompetent Perry [the Madea movies], this time about a group of single mothers who bond together to solve each other problems and, presumably, find the Lord. Starring Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Amy Smart), Sabotage (Arnold Schwarzenegger is back from that whole pesky political career and making up for lost time by churning out a couple of action flicks every year. Here’s the new one, with Arnie and pals Sam Worthington, Terrance Howard, and that hunky werewolf guy from True Blood every likes playing undercover DEA agents targeting drug cartels. But have they been undercover for too long!?!), Dom Hemingway (Jude Law dirties himself up to play the titular character in this British gangster flick about a thuggish ex-con unable to keep himself from having rude, lewd violent misadventures. Costarring Richard E. Grant, and The Bridge’s Demian Bichir), The Angriest Man In Brooklyn (Robin Williams stars in this dark comedy as the titular meanine who, told he’s only got 90 minutes to live, decides to try to make up for a lifetime of meanness with his friends and loved ones. Costarring Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo, and everybody’s boyfriend Game Of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage), Blue Ruin (Great reviews come along with this indie thriller about a seemingly harmless guy whose unlikely obsession with vengeance throws his childhood hometown into bloody uproar), Bad Biology (From Frank Henlotter, director of the cult classic Basket Case [which you really should see if you like insane, awesome things], comes this self-described “god awful love story” about a pair of sexually obsessed lovers whose individual quests for unusual sexual fulfillment collide in a, well, orgy of carnal carnage), GMO OMG (You’re eating untested, genetically altered food every day. Some people—not the makers of this documentary—think that’s no big deal)
New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Dom Hemingway, Transcendence, Sabotage, Ray, Heaven Is For Real
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…
Buy your movies at Videoport!
(Instead of some stupid chain store or soulless, small-business-crippling website.) Yup, apart from the many previously viewed movies and TV shows on hand at Videoport, we can get you anything that’s currently in print. We don’t charge shipping (or that handling nonsense), and you can have it in your hands in a bout a week. Sure, said corporate behemoths might get it a bit cheaper (because of their concentrated, small-business-crippling evil), but Videoport gives you a free rental with every single movie you buy from us. Call that $3.50 off the price, call that a blow for the little guy—all it really means is you get your movie and make the world a liiiiiitle bit better at the same time.