Volume CDXCIX- A Winter’s Tale Or, (Please Just Kill Me, I Can’t Take This Nonsense Any More): The Movie
For the Week of 3/10/15
Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Who’s gonna argue with that? Crazy people, that’s who.
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 $7.99!
>>> Videoport customer Ryan M. suggests Careful (in Incredibly Strange). If all great directors can be viewed as big kids playing with expensive toys, then Guy Maddin is truly one of the select few who have made no attempt over the years to hide this. The Winnipeg native borrows heavily from the likes of German expressionism and other films of the silent era for his own work, which often resemble cosmic tragicomedies. They seem to me like mad tales from the mind of a man who is constantly receiving indecipherable messages from some other world entirely; and what we’re seeing is his attempt at understanding such visions. 1992’s Careful is no different, and is perhaps one of Maddin’s most uncompromising and thoroughly enthralling films; a darkly funny story of a 19th century village wherein everyone speaks quietly, always at the mercy of a potential avalanche. Indeed, this is strange, though amidst the more obviously eccentric details – such the village animals having their vocal cords taken out as to not upset the current situation – there are smarter gags; but at the heart of this macabre fable is a poignant Freudian fantasy in which the expected rules don’t apply and taboos are explored rather than merely exploited. The atmosphere that the director compliments his unique story with is one that is truly original and at times disorienting, but in a good way. This is very much the kind of film that is so pleasing on all sensory fronts that one could have a good time simply listening to its complex soundscape and taking the imagery, which is fantastic, into consideration later. This is a distinctively imaginative and overall spectacular entertainment, and refreshing, not merely another shallow nostalgia trip. Where many have the passion but not the vision, Maddin is lucky enough to have the best of both worlds; of which Careful is the buggy bastard love-child.
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 $7.99!
>>>Your monthly list of movies that Netfl*x thinks you don’t need to see any more! Yup, everyone’s favorite video store-killing internet conglomerate routinely sh*tcans a lot of great movies and TV shows from its glitch computer movie service. Here’s what Netfl*x thinks you don’t deserve for March, 2015! (All of which you can get at Videoport, of course, as we are not Netfl*x.)
Adventure Time (Seasons 1-4)
Air Bud (1997)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Brokedown Palace (1999)
Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams (1981)
Childrens Hospital (Seasons 1-2)
Cool Runnings (1993)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Freaky Friday (2003)
Fright Night (1985)
The Graduate (1967)
The Grey (2012)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Jackass: Number Two (2006)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Lords of Dogtown (2005)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Old Yeller (1957)
Ordinary People (1980)
Out of Time (2003)
The Possession (2012)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Regular Show (Season 1-4)
Robot Chicken (Season 1-2)
Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
RoboCop 3 (1993)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
Saving Silverman (2001)
Samurai Jack (Season 2)
The Sweetest Thing (2002)
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
The Tale of Desperaux (2008)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Uptown Girls (2003)
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 $7.99!
>>> Dennis suggests Arrested Development—season 4 (in Comedy.) This is one of the best sitcoms in TV history—so, naturally it got cancelled because no one watched it. Luckily, it was resurrected by an internet company that shall not be named. Unluckily, said company is a cheap, horrible little third world corporation, which meant smaller budgets and a cast that had been scattered to the winds after no one watched the show the first time around. Luckily (it’s a real rollercoaster over here), creator Mitch Hurwitz used the head that had come up with such a great, inventive show in the first place, and made a fourth season completely different in structure than the original series, a structure that allowed the entire cast to come back at different times in service of another intricate, season-long plot that makes use of their gifts—and all pays off in the end. It’s a bold move (and one that doesn’t completely work), but it’s still pretty great.
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 $7.99!
>>> Videoport customer Deb T. suggests Darkon (in Documentary). Darkon is a documentary about the Darkon Wargaming Club in Baltimore, a large group of adults who spend weekends battling others in medieval gear in public parks. It won the Audience Selection for Best Documentary at South by Southwest, and apparently, a lot of people like this movie, just not me. I thought all of the people in it were jerks. I mean, really it’s a story about selfish, self-absorbed, entitled men with an unusual hobby that involves running around the woods in costumes wielding foam swords. I will say, it is somewhat interesting to see what, exactly, this world of live gaming warfare entails. There are different countries. There are maps of land. There are many confrontations that build up to large-scale war in the woods. And then there are parts where these people go back to their normal lives and work at Starbucks. The story mostly follows the lives of two leaders of opposing countries. One is Skip Lipman (known as Bannor), who is a stay at home dad in real life and leader of the country Laconia in Darkon. The other is Kenyon Wells (known as Keldar) who is leader of the most powerful country, Mordom, when he is not working his desk job. And then there are the evil elves with their red eyes and their very own elvish language. I would have loved for the filmmakers to have followed those people home, but unfortunately, they weren’t heavily featured in this movie. The film follows Lipman and Wells as they lead up to a big battle against each other. I could see where it would be a good setup for a movie, if only there was at least one person even remotely likable. But there isn’t. Lipman and Wells spend a lot of time talking about their greatness and how they deserve recognition. Another character sounds a bit entitled when he laments about how despite doing everything right, he’s still a virgin. The token woman, who is a single mother and former stripper, says she uses Darkon because it gives her a sense of control – although that control is never shown in the movie – her Darkon character is barely seen. Bottom line is, when the final battle played out, I didn’t care who won. There wasn’t anybody worth rooting for. So if you’re interested in learning more about the world of Live Action Role Playing or want to see grown men run around public parks with handmade swords and armor, you should check this movie out. If you’d like to see a documentary about people who, despite being a little strange, are endearing and worth cheering for, rent American Movie instead.
Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!
>>> It’s a free kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!
Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!
>>> For Saturday, Dennis suggests The Ice House (in Mystery/Thriller). If there’s one thing that I’ve learned most acutely from my years working at Videoport, it’s that you people looove watching British people murdering each other. Like, love it, love it. So many BBC mystery (AKA Brits murdering each other and then other Brits catching those other Brits) series and miniseries at Videoport, and nearly every one rents—a lot. Bless you—you guys just love killing in a British accent. So here’s a new acquisition from your pals at Videoport, a 1997 miniseries (3 hours, all on one disc!), with the younger than now Daniel Craig in his pre-James Bond days, when his teeth hadn’t been un-Britished and he was still a little skinny. Well, maybe not skinny, but he’s not the beefy thug-monster he is as Bond, as a young copper investigating a body found on the grounds of a British estate occupied by three strong-willed ladies. The lady of the house has lived under the suspicion and derision of the local villagers because 1. They think she murdered her husband years ago, and 2. She’s a lesbian, and 3. People think the women are witches. (The miniseries really is delightfully hard on the bigoted groupthink of the general public.) Craig and imperious superior Corin Redgrave swoop in upon the discovery of the decayed corpse, assuming either that the secretive trio have killed someone new or that they’re finally going to catch them out for the murder of the husband. There are twists, some new crimes, some bigoted British jerks, and some all-‘round decent emoting from the solid cast. It’s, well I’ve already said “solid” but it is, well, solid. Craig’s good as the seemingly dickish dick who reveals some hidden sensitivity, and things wrap up nicely. Plus—the people are all British, and some of them murder each other.
>>>For Sunday, Get some free money at Videoport! Yup, free money. Put $20 on your Videoport account, and we give you $25 in store credit. And a pre-pay of $30 gets you $40 in store credit! That…is free money, people.
New Releases this week at Videoport: Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of The Tomb (Ben Stiller is back alongside a lotof good actor playing reanimated historical figures—who are not zombies, mostly—as the worst security guard in the world in this third film in the family-friendly action adventure series; fun fact, all these middling but successful movies are written by the excellent comedians Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant [The State, Reno 911]), Annie (The musical remake of the musical with those chirpy, chipper songs your little sister wouldn’t stop singing while you were growing up, no matter how many times you stuck your fingers in your ears and ran around screaming for her to stop. Starring the adorable, Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and an orphanage just brimming with adorable, singling moppets!), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 (The ever-interesting Jennifer Lawrence returns as the arrow-shootin’ heroine of this dystopian young adult, sci-fi series where the lots of pretty young people shoot each other with arrows, and everyone has weird facial hair and odd names), The Liberator (Sweeping historical epic about South American military leader and revolutionary Simon Bolivar, played here by Edgar Ramirez of The Bourne Ultimatum), R100 (Screw 50 Shades Of Grey [wait, let me rephrase that]—here’s a kinky Japanese drama about a mild-mannered guy who joins a mysterious sex club with only one rule—you cannot resign under any circumstances for one year. Things get a little weird…), The Legend Of Korra—Book 4 (Did you like the Avatar anime series? Of course you did! Well, this is the sequel spinoff, and it’s even better. You’re welcome), The Red Tent (Big religious miniseries about the troubled history of the twelve tribes of Israel told through the eyes of Jacob’s daughter Dinah. Based on the novel by Anita Diamant, an starring the likes of Morena Baccarin, Minnie Driver, and Debra Winger), Listen Up Philip (Jason Schwartzman plays a great creep, never better than in this dark indie comedy about an egocentric novelist who flees the hoopla surrounding the publication of his second novel to the country home of mentor Jonathan Pryce. Also starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as his long-suffering girlfriend)
New Arrivals This Week At Videoport: Rob The Mob (Michael Pitt [Hannibal] and Nina Arianda star as a perhaps-not-the-brightest couple who decide to take advantage of the mafia’s purported “no guns in the nightclub” policy to steal their stuff. Based on a true story and starring Andy Garcia and Ray Romano), The Ice House (BBC mystery series—see Dennis’ review on Saturday. It definitely has British people murdering each other, that we can promise), Mondo Fuzz (Check out Videoport’s music section for this super-cool “concert movie mixtape” about the various bands in the Austin, Texas music scene)
Free parking at Videoport!
The parking lot behind the building is open for customer parking after 5 PM weekdays and all day on the weekends! And Videoport can get you a free hour of parking at any parking garage in town (including the courthouse garage, one minute away!) And Videoport has a drop-off box right on the sidewalk on the corner of Pearl and Newbury Streets if you don’t want to come in and rent more movies. But, you know, come in and rent some more movies.