Volume CDLXVIII—Videoport: The Indie Video Store’s Revenge
For the Week of 8/5/14
Videoport gives you a free movie every, single day. And since we have oh, about a jillion movies, you won’t run out of free movies to watch for approximately half a jillion years. I’m not a math guy, but that sounds about right.
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 murder all over the world! Everyone loves murder! Especially when it’s fictional and being solved by a dogged-yet-suspiciously attractive detective, preferably with a cool accent. It’s a universal love, this love of murder, so here are some favorite murder-series from all over the world!
—The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (BOTSWANA) sees Jill Scott’s Mma Precious Ramotswe open up the country first female-run detective agency.
—The Fall (NORTHERN IRELAND)’s got the ever-stunning Gillian Anderson tracking down a serial sex murder played by the guy (Jamie Dornan) who’s going to be a sexy sex guy in that 50 Shades Of Grey movie. Man, he’s got the market cornered on sexy creeps…
—Spiral (FRANCE) examines some Gallic murders alongside some sexy French cops.
—Every British Detective Show Ever. (GREAT BRITAIN). Man, British people love to murder the hell out each other. Seriously, Videoport must have three dozen or more BBC mystery series, but if I had to pick one, I’d say go with Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series. (Also: Luther, Cracker).
—Top Of The Lake (NEW ZEALAND) brings American actress Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), doing a passable accent, as a big city copper lured back to her hellishly dangerous and strange home town to investigate a young girl’s disappearance. Directed by Jane Campion and costarring the likes of Peter Mullan and Holly Hunter.
—The Bridge (DENMARK/SWEDEN). A body is found on the border and a pair of mismatched international cops have to learn to work together. (The American remake also qualifies for MEXICO, since it transplants the action to the US/Mexico border.)
—Wallander (SWEDEN—only Sweden, so The Bridge doesn’t disqualify it.) The most dogged, bummed out detective in all of Scandinavia!
—Detective De Luca (ITALY). There is being an honest cop in a corrupt system, and then there’s being an honest cop in Fascist-occupied Rome. —Lilyhammer (NORWAY) has American mobster Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos) hiding out under an assumed name in Norway.
Haven’t seen it yet, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess there’s some killin’. Did I miss some of your favorite international murder shows? Well write in to the VideoReport at firstname.lastname@example.org and yell at me about it!
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 Decision At Sundown (in Classics.) Another of the Randolph Scott westerns directed by Budd Boetticher, this one sees Scott’s typical loner cowboy riding into a town. Unlike earlier films we’ve talked about here before (The Tall T, Ride Lonesome, Seven Men From Now), Scott’s Bart is something of a jerk, rudely insulting everyone in the small outpost town of Sundown, especially anyone who mentions town mayor Tate Kimbrough, a glad-handing dandy who’s preparing to marry the daughter of a local cattle baron. It’s interesting to see Scott outside his traditional role of the taciturn but basically decent loner. This time, he’s got a secret that makes him obsessively force a confrontation with the slimy Kimbrough and offend everyone he comes into contact with, even his loyal pal Sam (Noah Beery Jr, who you know as Jim Rockford’s dad). Eventually, Bart and Sam find themselves holed up in he town stable, fending off Kimbrough’s hired guns while Bart’s secret agenda becomes clear, and the townspeople begin to reconsider their allegiance to their sleazeball mayor. It’s an unusual western, even for the already unusual Boetticher/Scott oeuvre, with a unique, oddly sophisticated climax that forces Scott to confront his past in a more complex way than you’d expect. Coming next week in this slot: The Scott/Boetticher Western Buchanan Rides Alone, which is even weirder.
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 Community (in Comedy). Check out the new releases this week for some shameless gushing about this show, since season 5 comes out on DVD this week. And then rent all of Community (except season 4 which never happened). Seriously, this show makes you so damned happy.
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 writing for the VideoReport! As you can see from this week’s issue, when no one chips in some reviews for the VideoReport, it’s just me rambling on. Even I’m bored with me. Send in your reviews to email@example.com or to our Facebook page Videoport Jones. Do it, you!
Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!
>>> It’s free! It’s for kids! Or the very immature!
Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!
>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests The Simpsons, season 7, episode “Summer Of 4 Ft. 2” (in Animation.) I recently had/got to review this particular episode for one of my other jobs. (It’s the AV Club—I’m a little braggy about it.) I also have to review the new seasons of the show and—man—watching a season 7 episode after a season of season 25 Simpsons is like a cool rain shower in the desert. And if it’s this one—the one where Lisa tries to reinvent herself in order to make friends during a vacation at Flanders’ beach house—then it’s even better than that. I’m a sucker for Lisa episodes anyway—she’s my favorite character, especially when it comes to episodes like this one that finds the sweet spot between huge laughs and, well, sweetness. Yeardley Smith often gets forgotten since she only does Lisa’s voice and no others, but that only allows Smith to truly understand Lisa, and her performance here is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. Also featuring some great Milhouse, Homer playing Mystery Date, and the dreaded M-320 firecracker. One of the best episodes ever.
>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests some free money at Videoport! Put $20 on your rental account and we give you $25 worth of rental credit. And $30 gets you $40 in rental credit. No catch—just free, free money.
New Releases this week at Videoport: Need For Speed (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul [aka Jessie Pinkman] gets his first post-Breaking Bad starring role in…a video game movie. In it, he plays a guy who enjoys automobiles and chooses to drive said automobiles at a high, perhaps even illegal, rate of speed.), Oculus (Some good actors for this sort of thing, with Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff, and Mad Men’s Jared Harris starring in a horror flick about a young woman determined to prove that the murder her brother’s accused of is actually the diabolical workings of an evil mirror. That should go over well in court…), Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields (Documentary profile of the indie rock band headed by the best singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of. Unless you’ve heard of Stephin Merritt, in which case you are one of the cool kids. Free tip: Buy the Magnetic Fields’ 3-album set 69 Love Songs—it’ll do things to you.), Divergent (Since the descriptions of this Hunger Games wannabe action sci-fi flick sound like white noise in my head every time I try to read about it, so here’s what the IMDb says: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late. So there you go), God’s Not Dead (Busloads of church types made this right-wing flick something of a hit. In it, evil college professor Kevin Sorbo is a smug, condescending intellectual who makes his poor, impressionable college students acknowledge that God doesn’t exist if they know what’s good for them. Luckily, there’s one courageous kid in the class who stands up to all that book-learnin’ and independent thinking and starts a campaign to keep higher education based on narrow interpretations of the Bible and nothing else. Enjoy!), Adventure Time: Princess Day (Everybody loves this weird-ball, surprisingly grown-up animated series, so you should rent this and then talk about it online with all the other smart kids.), Secret State (British stalwarts Gabriel Byrne and Charles Dance star in this British political thriller series about the shifty, shadowy connection among government, banks, and big business. Who knew?), The French Minister (Acclaimed French comedy about a young political aide who discovers that the titular, respected French dignitary—a renowned politician and ladies man—may not be entirely what he seems), Cuban Fury (Everyone’s favorite comic sidekick Nick Frost [Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End] gets his first starring vehicle, with Nick playing a sad sack who decided to enter a Salsa Dancing championship to change his fortunes—and win the hand of ever-lovely Rashida Jones. Also starring Chris O’Dowd.), The Last Days (It’s the end of the world—and everyone in Barcelona does not feel fine. A mysterious plague kills you as soon as you go outside, but a desperate guy decides to team up with a stranger to try to make his way across the city through the sewers and subways in order to find his missing girlfriend.), Ping Pong Summer (Period comedy set in 1985, where a family’s Summer vacation becomes a contest of wills—fought out over the family ping pong table. Costarring certified funny people Amy Sedaris and Judah Friedlander.), Californication- season 7 (Another season of this Showtime series about an LA writer punching and sexing his way through the city en route to possibly getting his career back on track. Your enjoyment may depend on how much you enjoy the sight of David Duchovny getting copiously laid), Community- season 5 (After the —unpleasantness—that was season four, when brilliant and hilarious creator Dan Harmon was fired by the suits [always a great freaking idea, guys], Community is back! The real Community! Dan Harmon is back and so’s the show—one of the funniest, most innovative, and downright outstanding sitcoms in TV history. You really need to watch this show—and if you do, please remember, season four never happened.), and 4, count ‘em 4 new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on DVD: The Black Scorpion, The Projected Man, It Lives By Night, and Outlaw Of Gor!
New Arrivals at Videoport: White Nights (Finally on DVD, this 1985 dance-y drama finds Mikhail Baryshnikov, a ballet dancer who’d defected to America, forced back into dancing for the Motherland when his plane goes down back in Russia. It’s a semi-beloved melodrama, livened up by a great cast [including Helen Mirren and Isabella Rossellini], and some truly thrilling dancing from Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines)
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 guys know we can make copies of your DVDs and VHSes at Videoport, right? No, it can’t be anything copyrighted (that’s sort of what that word means), so you’ll just have to buy another copy of Weekend At Bernie’s to replace that VHS you’ve played so often it finally shredded itself. But home movies or anything not copyrighted? We can do it! $10 bucks a pop and little Susie’s dance recital can be copied and sent to every relative on your Christmas card list!