VideoReport #483

Volume CDLXXXIII- The Portland Spring Of Mrs. Stone

For the Week of 11/18/14

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. With the exception of that one day, what’s it called? Oh, right, NEVER DAY. Because there are no exceptions—free movie every 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 $7.99!

>>> Dennis suggests Game Of Thrones (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). In perhaps the most unnecessary recommendation of all time, I say, “He—give this scrappy little fantasy series a chance, people who do nothing but rent Game Of Thrones!” Well, I just read the first book, and then started rewatching the first season of the HBO series, somewhat annoyedly. See, I only read the

Dinklage. Just...Dinklage.

Dinklage. Just…Dinklage.

book because the lovely Ms. Emily S. Customer bought a copy for 50 cents and damned if I didn’t like it. So now I have to watch the damned show and read all the books, which will take over my life for an unacceptable length of time. I’d seen the first season and liked it enough, although not enough to keep going—it wasn’t enough to see me through the occasional turgid scene or untangle the connections of the seeming billion of so characters. But, having read the book—and therefore getting a second dose of remedial tutoring—watching the show is a fun game of seeing how well the series cast the roles and visualized what was often so striking in the book. (Which really is not bad at all.) First on the good list, of course, is Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, aka The Imp. The dwarf son of the book’s world’s richest and most devious family, he’s drunken, lecherous, and knowingly sardonic about all the high-flown rhetoric and pledges of honor surrounding him. Dinklage’s Tyrion gets all the best lines, and steals ever scene he’s in. There’s really no one else who could have played the role, or played it so well. He’s a hoot. Sean Bean brings his signature stolid formidability to the role of Ned Stark, the world’s most honorable, if occasionally unworldly lord. Ned’s the heart of the show at the start, loyal and true—to a fault. Kit Harrington’s affecting—if a bit wet-eyed—as Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard, sent to serve in this world’s most fascinating outpost, The Wall. A massive edifice at the frozen edge of the world, it’s (under)manned by exiles and outcasts expected to keep the barbarians and some supernatural spookiness out of the kingdoms. There’s Jack Gleeson who’s so good at playing the most punchable little creep in TV history, Prince Joffrey, that I imagine people just take pokes at him walking down the street in real life. Then there’s Jason Momoa as Drogo, king of Game Of Thrones’ answer to the Klingons, the horse-ridin’ barbarians, the Dothraki. He’s pretty damned cool. So thanks a bunch, George R. R. Martin—now I have my next few months of reading and watching all mapped out. Who needs to get anything done, anyway?

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 doing some holiday shopping at Videoport! Look, nobody wants to talk about the impending holiday wallet-emptying season at this early date (or ever.) But, since we all have to go through it anyway (except Scrooge, and I’m starting to see his point), why not buy local! And, apart from the principle of keeping your dollars in the community (which is really a good idea), Videoport’s got tons o’ movies for you to get for everyone on your list. And—here’s the real reason to do this—you get a free rental for yourself with any movies you buy from us. Tons o’ movies, plus you get yourself a li’l somethin’ for your troubles. (Plus, Videoport can special order anything we don’t have in stock and we have gift certificates!) Shop local!

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 writing for the VideoReport! We’ve been doing this every week for over nine years, and you can join the fun! The VideoReport is where the staff and customers of Videoport (your favorite local, independent video store) share our thoughts on our favorite (or least favorite) movies and TV series, so c’mon in and play with us! Send in your reviews to our Facebook page Videoport Jones, or to Otherwise, you’re just going to get me blabbing on about the same stuff all the time. No one wants that.

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!                                        

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Now You See Me (in Mystery/Thriller). On the surface, Now You See Me looks like a big goofy heist movie, and that’s not misdirection: it is a big goofy heist movie. Now could it be anything else? Even the premise is both big and goofy: four magicians (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco), some of them down on their luck, some hustling, all ripe for a big score, are anonymously invited to a mysterious meeting. A year later, the quartet appears in a lavish Vegas magic show where they send a (random) audience member to his (random) bank halfway a continent away and bring him back along with millions of dollars in cash. Oh, and then an FBI agent (Mark RuffaIo) starts pursuing them. And Morgan Freeman shows up! Oh, and then Michael Caine is in there. And, hey, Common is in this movie! And Melanie Laurent (of Inglourious Basterds)! It’s frothy, silly, splashy fun, and though the plot is a little dizzy, the action and direction are remarkably clear: even the most frenzied scenes boast a coherence that keeps the film on track. Despite its ostensibly high-minded moral (which the marketing spoiled but I won’t), Now You See Mestarts out silly, then it gets sillier. But there’s something exhilarating about the sheer giddy glee of it, the pure preposterous audacity of a heist film that doesn’t much bother to make sense of its own manipulations and maneuvers.

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!          

>>> You get a free kids movie every Friday, no other rental necessary. And Videoport just put a few hundred new movies in there—try it out. You don’t have to be a kid, even!

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 best TV series of a particular type. Comparing “best TV series ever” is a fool’s errand, since different shows fulfill different functions. So here’s another fool’s errand—the best TV shows by type.

Best American TV drama. The Wire. Not even close, really. This is, at its heart, just another cop show. What it is actually is like a great American novel of a city, in this case Baltimore. Home to easily a dozen of the most memorable television characters ever.

Best shows adapted from another work/best shows based on the dumbest ideas. Fargo and Hannibal (tie). A TV show based on the Coen Brothers’ classic thriller (but without the Coens or any actors or characters involved in the movie)? And yet another screen version of the Hannibal Lecter stories? Stupid ideas that made me roll my eyes when I heard about them. Also two of the best TV series in years. Wow.

Best sketch comedy series since Mr. Show. Key & Peele. First, if you haven’t seen Mr. Show, go to the Comedy section and rent all four season right now. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. It’s revelatory. And then rent the three seasons of Key & Peele, which is just as good. Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key are masterful at the indispensible skill of inhabiting a specific character immediately which, coupled with their insightful take on race (and other things) in America makes for razor sharp (and delightfully silly) sketch comedy.

Best recent short form drama. Rectify. The story of a man who’s released after being on death row since he was 17, this show is like a mesmerizing little gem—unexpected, thoughtful, and almost unbearably moving. I watched it practically holding my breath the whole time. Luckily, the first season is pretty short.

Best new animated series. Rick & Morty. My pick for the best show of 2014, it’s like a dark, twisted, hilarious mashup of Futurama and Back To The Future. But that can’t express the unstinting inventiveness, audacious comedy, or exceptional voice work throughout. Created by Community’s Dan Harmon and Justin Roilland (who, unbelievably, voices both of the main characters), the show is also masterful at grounding the fantastical with unexpected heart. This is just an astounding show.

>>>For Sunday, Why not get yourself some free money!? There’s no reason why you would not do this. Put $20 down on your Videoport rental account, and you get $25 worth of rental credit. Or, high roller, pre-pay $30 and see it turn into $40 in credit. You love Videoport, and you love free stuff. Again, no reason why you would not do this—so do this.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For (Robert Rodriguez and comics legend/current racist nutjob Frank Miller return with this prequel to Sin City. Mickey Rourke is back as Marv, which should be worth checking out anyway), 22 Jump Street (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in this sequel to their film version of the silly 80s TV cop show. Surprisingly, the first one was pretty good, a knowing spoof of the very idea of itself. In this sequel, they’re at it again, knowingly goofing on both the idea of them passing as undercover college students, and of the idea of sequels. Nick Offerman’s in there, too, which is a good thing.), Automata (Artsy, good-looking sci-fi drama about Antonio Banderas’ scientist exploring the implications of future Earth’s reliance on robots, especially once the ‘bots start gaining self-awareness), Brazilian Western (Acclaimed Brazilian drama about a young drug dealer whose romance with a senator’s daughter causes no end of perhaps understandable conflict), If I Stay (The always-worth-watching Chloe Grace Moretz stars in yet another of these young adult “pretty girls with terminal illnesses” movies, here as a teenager who lapses into a coma and must decide whether or not to return to the land of the awake as she sees visions of what her life could be like.), Reclaim (John Cusack’s bummer of a late career slide continues with this unheard-of thriller about an American couple whose attempt to adopt a foreign-born child embroils them in a web of creepy deceit. Costarring Ryan Phillipe and the always-intense Jacki Weaver), And So It Goes (Diane Keaton keeps up her valiant struggle to provide your parents with romantic comedies starring people their age. This time, she’s the nice, kooky neighbor of jerk rich guy Michael Douglas who ends up helping soften the guy up while helping him raise his granddaughter. Directed by Rob Reiner—which used to mean something.), The Following- season 2 (Kevin Bacon is back, chasing evil cult leader and Edgar Alan Poe scholar James Purefoy. Some people like it—enjoy.), Johnny Worricker (Two episodes of this British spy series about a retired spook whose idea of sunning himself in the Caribbean is constantly interrupted by the more active spy community. Great cast, including Bill Nighy, Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Williams, and Ralph Fiennes), The Wind Rises (In what purports to be the last film ever from legendary, brilliant Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki, he brings us another lovingly crafted film, a biopic of sorts about the young man who grew up to design the zeros of the Japanese air force), Into The Storm (In this Twister for a new generation, some storm chasers and unlucky, insufficiently grounded bystanders get swept up in a passing tornado or two)

New Arrivals this week at Videoport: Bomb Digity Arts: TV Show (From the website of the Portland arts collective that donated this DVD to us: The Momentum Portland location focuses on multi-media, visual, culinary, musical/vocal and agricultural arts. Our studio is located at 643 Congress Street, right in the heart of Downtown Portland and the Arts District. Many Bomb Diggity multi-media artists participate collaboratively with another local agency in the development of “TV SHOW,” a television variety show that involves everything from documentaries to animations to cooking segments to interviews and music videos. Bomb Diggity Arts incorporates workshops with guest artists into our programming. Many local artists share their artistic knowledge with participants during these sessions. So there you go—rent it at Videoport! We love local artists!)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, Automata, Brazilian Western, If I Stay, 22 Jump Street, Into The Storm

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!