Volume DXV— Videoport: Fury Road—The Last Video Store On Earth
For the Week of 6/30/15
Videoport will give you a free movie every day, whether you like it or not. Although we can’t think way you wouldn’t like it, we’re not here to judge. All your call.
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!
>>> Dennis suggests As Above, So Below (in Horror.) As a horror movie fanatic, I’m both more and less demanding than the average movie fan. On the one hand, I think that a great horror movie is a rare and amazing thing to be held to as high, or higher, standard than any other kind of movie. Because making a great horror movie is harder. Horror movies generally don’t attract the best talent—and when they do, it’s often a case of the best slumming it for the paycheck or cashing in for the bucks before heading back to Oscar-town. So a real horror fan sets his or her sights low, and looks for little gems on the fringes. Which brings us to this decidedly above-average found-footage horror flick about a group of explorers unadvisedly heading into the depths of the Paris catacombs that boasts a unique setting, some decent shocks, a clever twist or two, and a compellingly charismatic lead performance. Honestly, those are more gems than you generally get, making this an unexceptional but more-than-acceptable horror movie. Actually filmed on location in the endless catacombs [read: spooky, ancient tunnels full of actual bones that stretch in mostly unexplored creepiness underneath all of Paris], the movie follows a driven/irresponsible scholar/explorer type (a solid Perdita Weeks) determined to uncover some National Treasure-esque prehistoric secrets. Enlisting some cool, hip French urban explorer thrill-seekers, she also seeks out her ex-sort-of-boyfriend and fellow explorer to help her out, and he’s the chief attraction, played as he is by Mad Men’s Ben Feldman. Sometimes a good performance in a horror movie is overvalued because it’s so unexpected, but Feldman’s just plain good here, the nervous energy he exhibited as Mad Man’s Ginsberg intact but layered with a leading man’s handsome charisma. The movie—solid all around really—offers Feldman the chance to show that he can carry a movie. It’s finding performances like this that makes being a horror fan so rewarding.
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! >>> Dennis suggests Grand Hotel (in Classics). There’s a lot to like in this star-studded 1932 Best Picture winner about a group of disparate people gathered in the titular Berlin hotel, but the best thing by far is the startlingly mature—and modern—performance from a young, fresh-faced Joan Crawford. As the secretary of boorish executive Wallace Beery, Crawford’s Flaemmchen looks her fate as this jerk’s eventual mistress in the face and doesn’t blink—there’s a moment when she, confessing her troubles to worldly cat burglar John Barrymore, lays out her seemingly inevitable future with a knowing weariness that’s easily the best acting she ever did. And it’s all one with one word.
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!
>>> April suggests Vicious (in British comedy) It was amazing to see all the lovely photos of elderly LGBT couples who married after the Supreme Court ruling allowed same-sex marriage in all states on June 26th. Among those who were celebrating were Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi and I was reminded of just how adorable they are as a bickering couple who’ve been together for almost 50 years in Vicious. The show primarily revolves around their home and the friends and neighbors who stop by to interrupt their squabbles. A younger man moves in which prompts a great deal of flirting and awkward situations. The jokes are often too obvious, but Vicious is a delightful little sitcom if you’re looking for something light.
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! >>> Dennis suggests picking a movie you’d never find anywhere else. (You know, except Videoport, of course.) Here are some suggestions.
—Heavy (in Feature Drama). Always nice when a great character actor gets a lead, this low-key drama about a hefty, terminally-shy cook who starts to come into himself gives Pruitt Taylor Vince a chance to show what he can do. Touching and deeply human.
—One False Move (in Mystery/Thriller). Early-90s crime drama is more about performances and the dsins of the past than action. Great work from Cynda Williams, Bill Paxton, Michael Beach, and an unknown Billy Bob Thornton.
—Hell Cab (in Incredibly Strange). Forget the deceptive, horror movie-looking cover art, this is an affecting, episodic night in the life of a typical Chicago cab driver (and understated, resolutely human Paul Dillon) as he makes it through a typically eventful night behind the wheel. Packed with interesting actors (John C. Reilly, Laurie Metcalf, John Cusack, Michael Shannon, Gillian Anderson, Julianne Moore), this indie is an overlooked 90s sleeper.
—Killer Of Sheep (in Feature Drama). A legendary underground American indie, this low-key, black-and-white family drama about a poor black family from director Charles Burnett was only rediscovered for the groundbreaking indie it was decades later. (Look for the homage in David Gordon Green’s similarly great low-budget film George Washington.)
>>> Emily S. Customers suggests our favorite TV nurses! Doctors get a lot of acclaim, but we all know the medical system couldn’t run without the smarts and hard work of nurses. Here are a few of our favorites: Scrubs‘ Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes). Scrubs starts when the newest crop of interns enter the work force, and J.D., Turk, Elliot, and Carla quickly form a unit of four, but the show never lets us forget: By the time the three newly minted doctors arrive at Sacred Heart, Carla’s been working there for years, snapping orders at green interns and ferociously defending the patients’ care and nurses’ rights. Parks & Recs Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones). [points] ANN PERKINS! It takes an unflappable character to be Leslie Knope’s best friends, and who’s more unflappable than a nurse? She can’t be flapped! Downton Abbey‘s Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton). When Matthew Crawley and his mother Isobel arrive in Downton, their aristocratic relatives at the manor turn up their noses ever so slightly at the idea of a new heir who (GASP!) practices a profession. It’s bad enough that Matthew is a lawyer, that his late father was a doctor; it’s downright shocking that Mrs. Crawley made it her business to keep abreast of the ever-changing medical techniques of her era, and whether her nursing experience formed her character or her character made her a fine nurse, the result is the same: There’s no character on Downton Abbey more sympathetic, practical, and demanding than Isobel Crawley. Don’t see your favorite TV nurse here? Peruse the shelves of Videoport and write us your own review for next week’s newsletter!
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 movie from the kids section every Friday, with no other rental necessary. Where else are you gonna get something for free for absolutely nothing? Nowhere, that’s where.
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, Emily S. Customer suggests About Time (in Feature Drama). It’s about as sweet as time-travel stories get. In this light romantic dramedy from screenwriter Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love, Actually, S1 of Blackadder), on his 21st birthday, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bil Nighy) that the men in their family are able to travel back in time — nothing momentous, just the ability to nip back and correct errors in their own timelines. Irresistibly, young Tim uses this special gift to meet Mary (Rachel McAdams), and to nudge their courtship along, before more serious demands draw his attention. It’s bittersweet and even a bit tame, but that tameness is comforting, like the toast you have with a cheerful cup of tea.
>>>For Sunday, It’s the monthly list of movies and TV shows that Netfl*x is taking away from their customers this month. Again—there is literally no reason for this massive corporation to do this, and, of course, Videoport has them all for you. Because we are local and independent and not evil and faceless and awful!
Big Fish (2003)
Big Top Peewee (1988)
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Cast Away (2000)
Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
The Fly 2 (1989)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
Jack Frost (1997)
The Langoliers (1995)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Louis C.K.: Hilarious (2009)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Natural Born Killers: Director’s Cut (1994)
Racing Stripes (2005)
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
She’s All That (1999)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Space Cowboys (2000)
Stephen King’s The Stand (1994)
Super Troopers (2001)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Three Kings (1999)
Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (2006)
Wahlburgers—season 1 (2014)
New Releases this week at Videoport: Zero Motivation (Acclaimed Israeli film, nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, looks in on a group of disaffected female soldiers at an isolated army base in the desert as they count down the days until they can get the hell out of there), If You Build It (Inspirational, award-winning documentary about a pair of educator-activists in the poorest country in North Carolina who teach underserved kids how to help their community and themselves by teaching them how to make stuff), Folsom Forever (Documentary about the neighborhood fair in San Francisco that sprung up after the destructiveness of the AIDS crisis and redevelopment savaged the scene, where gay activists and members of the city’s leather community banded together), Get Hard (Sure-fire box office winners Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up in this rude, crude comedy about a white collar executive facing a prison sentence who enlists the help of a family man [who Ferrell thinks is a gang banger, because racism] to toughen him up for the slammer. Two undeniably funny guys—so what if the reviews weren’t all that, right?), Last Knights (Hey, did you all remember when Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman starred together in a medieval action flick about guys with swords and so forth? Well, it happened—here’s proof), Danny Collins (Al Pacino decides to try for a change, playing the titular aging pop star, a 70-ish has-been cruising along on past glories who decides to sober up and start, well, trying again. Pacino got some of the best reviews in years for this one—here’s hoping it inspires him to continue giving a crap!), While We’re Young (The new comedy-drama from indie director extraordinaire Noah Baumbach [The Squid And The Whale, Frances Ha, Greenberg, Margot At The Wedding] sees middle-aged marrieds Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts find their lives reinvigorated when they are befriended by a pair of younger oddballs [Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver]), The Gunman (Professionally unlikable yet undeniably untalented star Sean Penn tries his hand at a Liam Neeson-esque action movie career resurgence in this thriller about a professional assassin who finds himself back in the Congo years after he assassinated a Congolese government minister. Strangely, the people in Congo are planning on killing him)
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. It’s money you’d spend at Videoport anyway, since we’re so super and you love us so much. But we give it to you for free. Why? Um, not sure really—come take advantage before we come to our senses!
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