VideoReport #506

Volume DVI—The Avengers 3: Punch Everything Until It All Comes Out Okay

For the Week of 4/28/15

Videoport gives you a free movies every single day. You know who gives you free movies never? Netfl*x, Redb*x, Time Warn*r Cable—that’s who. Local, independent—Videoport. Come have a free movie on us.

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!

rare_exports_teaser_poster_en>>> Videoport customer Connor Q. suggests Rare Exports (in the Incredibly Strange section). Rare Exports is in Finnish, which is awesome. When I was in high school, all I wanted to do was learn Finnish. Which was hard, since Portland was low on Finns then, and also lacked the now ample Finnish-media-providing powers of the Internet, since it was the early 1990s. So instead I had to run and see every Aki Kaurismäki movie that The Movies saw fit to put on—try saying “Tulitikkutehdaan Tyttö” seven times fast—and also rent Leningrad Cowboys Go America (available in Videoport’s Criterion Collection section)…only to find that, well, they don’t say much (this is kind of a Finnish thing), and they’re also in America, so there’s not exactly a great percentage of Finnish to English spoken. Nice hair, though. Oh yeah: the movie. Evil Santa Claus. But the people are pretty evil, too. Though to their credit, a nasty monster eating your whole caribou/reindeer herd will awaken the foul beast that lies within us all. Especially since reindeer are apparently worth like $2000 apiece. (Or $200? I’m not sure about my reindeer math. Need to re-watch the reindeer marginal-rate-of-return bit again. One never wants to be off by a whole decimal point when it comes to reindeer.) Anyhow, there is an evil Santa, a totally badass kid—this film apparently suggests that rural Finnish parenting norms are, to say the least, far from the overprotective views currently popular/lamented in the U.S.A.—and a theft of radiators. Somewhat bad things happen to potatoes, and there is a British-accented guy with a U.S. passport. And a pretty decent set of explosions, lots of blerpy CGI snowscape action, and a wicked deep hole. What more could you want?

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 Medium Cool (in Classics). Hey, a 1969 half-documentary about the press trying to film police abuses during political protests. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that some 46 years later, right? Oh, right. Anyway, this film—directed by legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler—follows an apolitical news cameraman (an excellent Robert Forster, decades before he was excellent in Jackie Brown) as he covers the 1968 Democratic national convention. Wexler thrust his leading an and crew right in the middle of the thuggish Chicago PD as they ran roughshod over legally assembled hippies and political types who had the dumb idea to express their first amendment rights in the infamously corrupt and fascistic Windy City of Mayor Richard Daley. That might sound dry, but the film is an electric, Cassavetes-esque, semi-improvised piece of Gonzo drama. (In fact, the lead role was intended for Cassavetes.) And, in an age where the widespread availability of handheld cameras exposes police abuses daily, Medium Cool seems more ahead of its time than ever.

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 I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing (in Comedy).

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

 

I do not think that they will sing to me.

 

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves

Combing the white hair of the waves blown back

When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Taking its title from the famous—and famously depressing—poem, this 1987 Canadian film somehow avoids diving into the depths of existential despair the poem hints at, even as it tells the tale of an awkward, lonely young woman pining for both a 1139_IveHeardTheMermaidsSinging_Catalog_Poster_v2_Approvedwoman and a career she can seemingly never have. In one of the most beautifully moving performances I’ve ever seen, Sheila McCarthy plays Polly, an aspiring photographer who gains the unexpected position of assistant to the chic proprietor of a hip art gallery. Honestly, McCarthy’s performance is something uniquely, heartbreakingly hopeful, a portrait of a terminal outsider who nonetheless continues to find reasons to maintain her cockeyes optimism. This is one of those little movies that I can never get anyone to rent, so why not buck that futile trend. This is one of those movies that will get to you.

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 Would You Rather (in Horror). One of the chief benefits of watching low budget horror movies—something I’ve done obsessively since I was 13 years old—is uncovering little unexpected moments. Sometimes it’s a talented director (Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson were my discoveries, hidden gems I could hold onto even when they became justifiably famous for the likes of Spider Man and The Lord Of The Rings). Sometimes it’s a chance for an actor to shine in a disreputable genre—here, I look at people like Jeffrey Combs in Re-Animator or Tony Todd in Candyman. The love of horror movies is the joy of unexpected discovery. So a movie like Would You Rather is like a treasure trove. The main attraction is Combs, long a staple of genre films, having a field day as a mysterious millionaire who invites a group of disparate, unsuspecting people to his isolated mansion for his singularly twisted version of the titular summer camp game. It’s a nasty, low-budget little piece of work, relying on the grisly thrill of watching the various collection of characters decide how to cope with the bloody ethical dilemmas Combs’ malicious plans place them in. What makes the film so watchable are the performances from a top-to-bottom cast of interesting actors delivering the epitome of horror movie hidden gems. Apart from the always-great Combs, hamming it up with gleeful aplomb (Re-Animator, The Frighteners), the film stars Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse, Agent Carter), John Heard, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Wire), Eddie Steeples (Crab Man from My Name Is Earl), Robb Wells (Ricky from Trailer Park Boys), June Squibb (Oscar nominee from Nebraska), Robin Lord Taylor (The Penguin from Gotham), Charlie Hofheimer (Abe from Mad Men), and Sasha Grey (former porn star turned “legit” actress—The Girlfriend Experience). Oh, also, the main character—nice girl trying to win money to take care of her terminally ill brother—is Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect) who is dull, but you can’t have everything. Grubby little horror with a ton of good actors doing interesting work—that’s the fun of seeking out the fringes.

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, Videoport customer Ryan M. suggests Inherent Vice (in Feature Drama). Seeing as most viewers are probably in search of perfect sense, it takes some serious balls to commit to perfect NONsense, and Paul Thomas Anderson has ‘em. This has been evident since the beginning of his career, though perhaps it just stands out more than usual in Inherent Vice, which is based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel from 2009. To varying degrees, it could certainly be argued that all of PTA’s films are comedies, but this is the one that most feels like a fearless screwball farce. It’s akin to watching a live action cartoon or a comic book adaptation in that it’s colorful, frequently amusing, and could not care less about whether it is understood or not. Pynchon’s novel was more concerned with a distinctive set of vibes than coherence, and Anderson clearly favors feelings over understanding where cinema and storytelling are concerned, so in that sense he is the perfect candidate to bring Doc Sportello and his truly out-there exploits to the screen. The film is very much alive, and quite frankly the energy is infectious. The spectacular ensemble cast certainly attributes to this, but its Anderson’s technical perfectionism and resonant cinematic philosophy that take it a step further. It’s something of a transcendent stoner comedy in that it’s incredibly playful while also delivering an engaging critique on the times (the story is set during the 1970’s) and digging deep, and I mean DEEP into its protagonist’s psyche. Everything is seen through bloodshot eyes and paranoid ears, so it’s frequently committed to disorientation. This may bother some, but I ran with it. Sometimes it truly is enough to just sit back and enjoy the ride, especially when said ride is as outrageously funny and visually stimulating as this.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests Clerks (in Comedy). You know, sometimes after a particularly trying day working behind a counter, even the memory of this legendary, micro-budget comedy from writer-director-Silent Bob Kevin Smith provides some comfort. I still have a lot of affection for Smith, for a lot of reason, even though he’s never really progressed beyond the “guy from Jersey working out some stuff” level, artistically, especially when I think of how he transformed his time working 60985retail into a hilariously cathartic and filthy cinematic primal scream. Because sometimes people try to make themselves feel big by making the employees of a small business feel powerless and small—and sometimes said employees will…not…have…it. As one trEWtPexXuiZtEd7QGHyY9rhHLnof the characters states, “we push buttons.” But if you treat us like that’s all we do, people, prepare to have yourselves immortalized in all your supercilious, classist a-holery in the indie movies we’re all writing.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Paddington (He’s a little British bear, what more do you need? Based on the classic children’s books [and ubiquitous dolls], this family film is actually supposed to be really good. Again—cute British bear. What more do you want?), Wolf Hall (No one ever gets enough of that turkey-leg-chompin’, wife-beheadin’ Henry VIII! At least that’s the lesson learned from this recent Masterpiece Theater miniseries where Henry attempts to annul his marriage to the-gambler-movie-poster-20151901Anne Boleyn in order to get a male child—not knowing that it’s his damned fault that he keeps siring girl babies. Jerk. Starring Homeland’s Damian Lewis as Henry.), The Gambler (Mark Wahlberg stars in this Inherent-Vice-Poster1-e1420753199331crime thriller as a literature professor [not likely] and addicted gambler [much more likely] who gets himself in over his head and has to try one last gambling gambit to pull himself out. Good cast includes John Goodman, Jessica Lange, and The-Wedding-Ringer-Bar-640Michael K. Williams [aka Omar from The Wire]), Inherent Vice (This is the movie of the week, people. For one thing, director Paul Thomas Anderson has not only never made a bad movie, he’s never made anything but modern classics. [See: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master]. For another thing, this psychedelic detective story about a 1970s, spaced-out detective [Joaquin Phoenix] searching sun-drenched Los Angeles for a missing ex-girlfriend is the sort of ambitious adaptation of an “unfilmable” novel [this time by the ever-mysterious Thomas Pynchon] that only a masterful director like Anderson would take on. And last, here’s the supporting acccast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Michale K. Williams, Reese Witherspoon, Timothy Simons, and Jillian Bell. Just rent this one, you guys. See the Saturday from Videoport customer Ryan!), The Wedding Ringer (Kevin Hart stars as the titular wedding ringer, a guy who hires himself out to prospective grooms to provide thecapture-d_c3a9cran-2014-05-18-c3a0-16-33-04 fun bachelor party the poor shlubs can’t accumulate for themselves. Said shlub this time is Josh Gad [Frozen], who bonds with Hart as he tries to impress his bride and her family.), Accidental Love (The story behind this satirical comedy might be more entertaining than the film itself. Acclaimed director David O. Russell [Spanking The Monkey, Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter, American Hustle] bailed on the film [along with much of the cast] when the producers ran out of money, and took his name of the movie. Completed without Russell, the movie, about a waitress [Jessica Biel] who becomes a nymphomaniac 1-would-you-ratherafter a nail gun accident and the dim-witted but ambitious politician [Jake Gyllenhall] who looks to capitalize, in various ways, on her affliction. With a supporting cast including James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, and Bill Hader.), Mommy (The newest from from precocious 25-year-old French Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan [Laurence Always, I Killed My Mother] about a time in the near future where Canadian parents can easily commit their troublesome teenage children to state-run institutions), Would You Rather (See the-boy-next-door-posterThursday’s review for details on this nastily entertaining horror flick), The Boy Next Door (Jennifer Lopez is a recently-cuckolded woman who falls for her hunky, young new neighbor, only to gradually discover that sexing up the mysteriously sexy teenager next door can have unexpectedly un-sexy consequences.)

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.

VideoReport #464

Volume CDLXIV- GOOOAAALLL!!!

(Click on the pics for more reviews!)

 For the Week of 7/8/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Repeat: Every…single…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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests Who’ll Stop The Rain (in Mystery/Thriller.) Remember when Nick Nolte was strikingly buff and handsome and not that crazy? Well, if you’re longing for a time when Nolte could have been cast as Thor without too much of a stretch, check out this surprisingly grim and violent thriller with Nolte playing a former Marine roped into smuggling heroin back from Vietnam for his shifty buddy Michael Moriarty. When things go to hell, Nolte grabs Moriarty’s clueless wife Tuesday Weld and goes on the lamb from a trio of particularly unpleasant and crazy bad guys (Richard Masur, Ray Sharkey, and evil cop Anthony Zerbe). Appearing only a few years after the Vietnam War ended, the film is a uniquely gritty and strangely sad action flick, with disillusioned, unhappy people trying to put their shattered lives back together in unwise ways. Nolte’s formidable and resourceful as he and perpetually underused Weld make an unusual reluctant couple, and Moriarty does his Moriarty thing, bringing an eccentric energy to yet another perpetual loser screwup character, a former idealist whose faith has been shattered by the lunacy of the war. Full of odd touches, interesting dialogue, and sudden outbursts of violence, this is an overlooked, mean little gem. Based on Robert Stone’s novel Dog Soldiers.

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 The Tall T (in Classics.) A great, seminal Western from genre stalwart Budd Boetticher (Decision At Sundown, 7 Men From Now, Ride Lonesome), starring his favorite leading man, Western legend Randolph Scott. Cult Movies author Danny Peary (the best film critic you’ve never heard of) called it a battle of wills between “a moral man with violent tendencies and a violent man with moral tendencies,” and that’s a good approximation of the surprisingly complex morality of the film. Scott plays an expert, upright cowboy who’s trying to start up his own homestead on the frontier of a slowly-civilizing West. Taken hostage by a trio of bandits led by the courtly but dangerous Richard Boone, Scott finds himself trying to keep himself and fellow captive, spinster Maureen O’Sullivan alive while the gang waits for her rich father to come up with ransom. Scott and former Tarzan’s Jane O’Sullivan make a good couple, his rangy ranch hand coming to respect the woman whose louse of a new husband betrayed her to save her own skin. But the film’s heart is the relationship between Scott and Boone, another of Boetticher’s mirror image antagonists. Tight-lipped Scott bides his time and minds his words in his predicament but Boone, a similarly older old Western hand comes to respect and like Scott, his taciturn wisdom a sharp contrast to Boone’s crude, violent henchmen (including go-to “ethnic” sidekick Henry Silva as the unfortunately named, quick-triggered “Chink”). In their conversations, the film’s theme comes into focus, with two capable denizens of the frontier subtly arguing the paths they’ve chosen. In the end, it’s the moral but violent Scott who must make his case against his opposite number. One of the best lesser-known Westerns out there.

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 Moscow On The Hudson (in Comedy). In honor of the late Paul Mazursky, take home his 1984 comedy. As much as certain people/political parties would like to claim otherwise, the immigrant experience is integral to what America truly is, and Paul Mazursky’s comedy is an especially clear-eyed yet warm-hearted exploration of that fact. Robin Williams (of all people) delivers a lovely, understated performance as Vladimir, a Russian circus clown who impulsively defects in the middle of Bloomingdale’s. Treated like a feel-good story for a day, Vladimir journeys from his initial, naïve dreams of life in the land of the free, to the disillusionment of the disenfranchised, and finally to genuine citizenship, with all its attendant compromises.

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 Veronica Mars (in Feature Drama.) The movie, that is (although I can’t imagine anyone watching the movie without having seen the show first). Veronica Mars is back (thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign where TV fans tossed their dollars in to see Neptune, California’s foremost high school sleuth return). Kristen Bell is great as always as Veronica, who reluctantly comes back to her hometown to advise her onetime boyfriend, the perpetual “good looking bad boy who plays by his own rules” Logan (Jason Dohring) when he’s accused (not for the first time) of murder. Of course, she gets sucked back in to the class war hellscape that is Neptune, home of the meanest, most corrupt rich folks in America—Veronica Mars has always been one of the few US shows that made class a major theme. And if the mystery isn’t especially clever, it’s not bad—the show was always more interested in Veronica and her relationship with her peers and her excellent private dick dad Enrico Colantoni than in crafting brilliant twists. And the film brings back all your favorite characters (some for mere cameos), with the relationship between Veronica and dad Keith remaining one of the most realistic and supportive in TV history. All in all, those VM fans who helped get this film made were no doubt satisfied. For the rest of you, the show really is worth a look, as Veronica remains a great, strong female protagonist. Fun.

Free Kids Friday!  One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

 >>> Emily S. Customer suggests The Parent Trap. Let’s take a trip to summer camp! The Parent Trap (1961) stars Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills as two squabbling summer campers whose cabinmates keep remarking upon their resemblance. Finally figuring out why they share that uncanny resemblance, Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick work out a scheme to play the biggest switcheroo on their parents (Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith).

Having a Wild Weekend!  Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                     

>>>For Saturday, Emily S. Customer suggests Wet Hot American Summer (in Comedy.) It’s hard to predict who’ll love Wet Hot American Summer. Written by David Wain and Michael Showalter of MTV’s legendary (and long unavailable) sketch-comedy show The StateWet Hot American Summer is a glorious muddle, an incredibly silly trifle with some real sensitivity and some dark, dark background stories at its heart. The film stars a stable of State-ers alongside a scattering of now wildly successful actors (Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks), all obviously well into their twenties or thirties and all cast as goofy teenaged camp counselors feeling the heady swell of freedom from their parents’ homes and rules. The film veers between parody of the summer camp genre and flat-out farce. If you watched a few minutes and dismissed it as stupid, I’d have to nod a little… reluctantly. If you called it a hilarious romp that makes you think you might hurl laughing, I’d prob’ly invite you over to watch it together and see Chris Meloni do his thing. (For a The State double date, head over to the Incredibly Strange aisle and grab a disc of The State, which was finally released in DVD after a long wrangling over musical rights.)

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests Meatballs (in Comedy). Directed by Ivan Reitman (who would later direct Murray in Ghostbusters and Stripes), Meatballs is a snapshot of a different time, a time of tiny gym short-shorts worn with gym socks up to the knee, a time of feathered hair back-pocket combs on prominent display, a time of lax seatbelt laws and no notion of “safe sex.” A time before Bill Murray was a massive star. A time when a goofy summer-camp movie could focus as easily on Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) as on Murray’s effortless antics, but still let the charm and magnetism that would make him an legend shine through.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Nymphomaniac—Part 1 (director Lars von Trier [Antichrist, Dogville, Breaking The Waves, Dancer In The Dark] returns with another excruciating tale of a woman’s lifetime of sexual degradation; Four-plus hours of it! Starring the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slate, Uma Thurman, Connie Nielson, and Udo Kier), Nymphomaniac—Part 2 (The rest of those four hours I was talking about), Visitors (from Godfrey Regio, director of the likes of Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi comes this similarly trancelike visual meditation of man’s relation to nature and technology and all manner of things), Bad Words (Jason Bateman directs himself in this rude comedy about a grown man who, for reasons that only gradually become clear, enters a series of children’s spelling bees and is generally crude and mean and awful to everyone—it’s a comedy!), Hinterland- season 1 (described, in an understandably desperate blurb, as “like a Welsh The Killing,” this BBC mystery series follows the requisite beleaguered copper dealing with the requisite murders and hate crimes in the middle of the Welsh countryside), Maidentrip (seafaring documentary about a 14 year old girl looking to become the youngest person to sail around the world all alone; possibly also a documentary about a pair of parents looking to avoid the child protective services for allowing their 14 year old daughter to do suicidally dangerous things), Vicious—season 1 (Sirs Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi sink their hammiest choppers into this acclaimed and hilarious sitcom about a bickering gay couple whose 50 year relationship mostly involves making catty one-liners at each other), Helix—season 1 (from the SyFy network, here comes a sci-fi horror series about a group of scientists at the North Pole who suspect that they might have uncovered something suspiciously similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing), Like Father, Like Son (acclaimed Japanese heart-tugger about a dad who discovers that his son was in fact someone else’s son, thanks to a long-ago hospital mixup), The Raid 2 (you know how the film The Raid: Redemption is the most insane, over-the-top awesome action flick of all time? Well here’s a sequel which claims it goes even further into brain-melting action movie nirvana), Don Peyote (a stoner gets heavily into hallucinogens and starts making a film about the supposedly apocalyptic conspiracies he sees going on all around him; starring the likes of Dan Fogler, Josh Duhamel, Anne Hathaway, Dean Winters, Wallace Shawn, and Topher Grace, you can find it appropriately enough in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section), Jodorowsky’s Dune (all film fans should check this one out, a documentary about the abortive attempt of all-time lunatic/visionary director Alejandro Jodorowsky [The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre, El Topo] to adaprt Frank Herbert’s epic sci fi novel into a film that would have most likely driven the moviegoing public bananas), Kid Cannabis (another drug-fueled romp you can find in Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section, this time a real-life tale of a nerdy college dude who became an unlikely drug lord when he masterminded smuggling weed over the Canadian border; costarring character actor all stars John C. McGinley and Ron Perlman), Mind Of A Chef (cooking show shenanigans with Anthony Bourdain and David Chang)

New Arrivals This Week at Videoport: Brian’s Song (the most surefire manly cry movie of all time, with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams portraying real life football players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers who battled racist attitudes and a deadly disease, and…sniff…excuse me, there’s something in my eye…), Highway 61 (acclaimed Canadian indie comedy about a mild mannered barber [Don McKellar of Last Night and Slings & Arrows] swept up in a scheme by free spirited roadie Valerie Buhagiar to smuggle a drug-filled corpse over the American border)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Bad Words, Visitors, Jodorowsky’s Dune

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…

VideoReport #462

Volume CDLXII- How To Succeed In The Video Rental Business Without Being a Huge, Soulless Corporate Jerk

For the Week of 6/23/14

 

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Oh, I’m sorry—make that every single day. Apologies.

 

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!

>>> Former Videoporter Stockman suggests Starship Troopers (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy). I’ve only seen this movie once and it was in 2000 in Scotland, but I remember it quite fondly! I love Summer. I love it with a hot passion as hot as the hottest days, but less muggy.  It’s challenging though because the depth of my love for Summer is equal in depth for my hate of insects. I just googled it and according to the Smithsonian at any given time it is estimated there are 10 quintillion bugs alive. Quintillion! That’s a real not made up number! The best thing to do for all of us is to watch a movie where bugs are evil and are mercilessly slaughtered. And laugh. Laugh at their destruction. Laugh until we cry salty cooling tears down our sunburned faces. Wow, this got dark. I think I might have some unresolved bug issues. If memory serves correctly, (which it may not because I was drinking a lot of mulled wine at the time and it was 13 years ago), this was really a not so bad movie. I’m going to watch it again and prove it to you. Or you could just test this out for yourselves instead of waiting for me.I’m pretty sure it’s good. Like 87% sure. It has NPH in it who is the bees knees these days! That could be worth it alone. I’m okay with bees of the bumble variety. They’re cute and they like flowers. Dennis once called me the wasp’s elbows and despite wasps in real life being total dicks it still makes me smile.

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!

>>> Emily S. Customer loves a good in-joke. Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday packs a two-fer: fast-talking, flim-flamming newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) rebuffs a politician’s vague threats with a snappy “Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach — just a week before he cut his throat!” Archie Leach, of course, was Grant’s own birth name. Earlier in the film, Walter describes his ex-wife’s solid, dependable new fiancé Bruce as looking ” like that fella in the movies… Ralph Bellamy,” suggesting the nice-enough guy might be a little bit of a dud, at least compared to Cary Grant. Who plays Bruce? Why, it’s that fella from the movies: Ralph Bellamy.

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!                                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer shares her favorite in-jokes and shout-outs. In 30 Rock episode “St. Valentine’s Day” (S3, ep11), Jack Donaghy finds himself confessing — and by “confessing,” I mean “boasting of” — his sometimes bawdy, sometimes loathsome sins to a clearly unworldly priest now suffering the twin agonies of alarm and temptation. Among those misdeeds: “I take the Lord’s name in vain often and with great relish. I hit my mother with a car, possibly by accident. I almost let [corporate rival Devon Banks] choke to death right there on the football field. I looked the other way when my wig-based parent company turned a bunch of children orange. I once claimed ‘I am God’ during a deposition.” Many of Jack’s sins occur on-screen over the course of the show; still more are off-screen events. But that last one — “I am God” — alludes to an earlier Baldwin role, that of cocksure surgeon Dr. Jed Hill in Harold Becker’s overstuffed thriller Malice, which features the Aaron Sorkin-penned deposition diatribe concluding with “You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.”

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!                                        

>>>Emily S. Customer tells you what’s what. Savages (2012) is Oliver Stone’s lurid, hammy tale of small-time drug dealers (Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who go into business with a Mexican cartel. The Savages (2007), Tamara Jenkins’ acclaimed domestic drama, centers on adult siblings (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney) returning home for a funeral only to discover that their estranged father (Philip Bosco) is descending into dementia.

>>>And just to be a smarty-pants, Dennis adds in Savages (in Incredibly Strange), a bizarre outlier in the usually staid Merchant/Ivory film repertoire. Written by infamous Saturday Night Live “prince of darkness” Michael O’Donoghue and New Yorker writer George Trow, this 1972 surrealist film centers on an isolated mansion where the civilized aristocrats within gradually transform into naked forest people…and sort of back. Weird and fascinating.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary!            

>>>Emily S. Customer continues her favorite shout-outs with The Lion King. When young Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) giggles “You’re so weird!” at his scheming uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons), any astute viewer will see the wry truth in Scar’s purring “You have no idea” — but it’s doubly chilling for those of us who remember the line from Jeremy Irons’ ice-cool performance in Reversal of Fortune as Claus von Bulow, a one-time WWII collaborator accused (and convicted, though the verdict was overthrown) of murdering his socialite wife, Sunny (Glenn Close).

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section!                                                    

>>>For Saturday, Dennis suggests The Gong Show Movie (in Incredibly Strange.) First off, this movie may have never been released, on any format, since it was run out of theaters like freaking Frankenstein chased by the villagers. Videoport has a copy—don’t ask questions—so I thought I’d watch it on a recent lunch hour simply because it seemed like the worst possible idea ever. And was it? Umm, no, not really. For those of you not old and fond of terrible things, The Gong Show was invented by this guy named Chuck Barris and on it people performed unusual (meaning batsh*t insane) tricks and half-celebrities made fun of them. It’s like reality TV but 40 years ago. Barris himself was the subject of the quite good (and batsh*t insane) Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, where he was played by the great Sam Rockwell and where, according to Barris’ autobiography, Barris was secretly a hitman for the CIA while simultaneously introducing acts like Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine. Well, The Gong Show Movie, which seemed like an idea born of the 70s cocaine explosion, follows the beleaguered Barris on a few typical days where he interviews potential acts, hosts his awful show, and fights with the network about how smutty everything was. Throughout, Barris seems like a decent enough guy, bemused and exhausted by the pressing needs of fame and the would-be famous, and actually being sort of endearing. Warning: you have to see a lot of Gong Show acts along the way, including some not good enough to get on The Gong Show. Barris actually reminds me of comedian and podcast host Marc Maron (see his standup Thinky Pain in the Comedy section), a world-weary, reasonably funny guy making jokes to save his sanity. (He even sounds like Maron.) Watching The Gong Show Movie: Not the worst idea I’ve ever had!

>>>For Sunday, Andy suggests The Wolf of Wall Street (in Feature/Drama). How does a 70-something-year-old have the energy to make a movie like this one? I’m exhausted just watching this three-hour dynamo! This more than makes up for the last Scorsese/DiCaprio joint, Shutter Island… (excuse me, I’m yawning as I remember that one). The Wolf of Wall Street is the story of Jordan Belfort, the real life stockbroker/criminal/despicable human being. More than that, it’s the story of Belfort’s excess, corruption, and profound lack of character. And somehow that lack of character, that black hole of any redeeming characteristics, is the best performance Leonardo DiCaprio has given since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Yup. We, the audience, despise Belfort’s complete absence of morality and basic goodness, and yet are made to admire his talent as a salesman, his ingenuity as a businessman, and his success as a horny, greedy, drug-loving son of a bitch! Belfort is a talented, whip-smart, but f**king awful guy, and Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio made a

Warblood causes clownface. See your doctor.

Warblood causes clownface. See your doctor.

thrilling and hilarious movie about him, and I think it’s as good as anything either of them have ever made, either together or separately. Talking with people about The Wolf of Wall Street is fun. There’s usually no discussion or critique; it’s just sharing enthusiasm and agreeing on its awesomeness (as long as there’s no undue idolization of the criminal characters). In that way, it’s kind of like talking about GoodFellas.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: 300: Rise Of An Empire (remember 300, the bare-chested, kilted, teeth-gritted action flick about those wacky Spartans? Well it’s back! You know, not by the same director or really any of the same stars or anything, but hey—still insanely buff guys in leather whacking each other with swords! ), Winter’s Tale (this year’s magical, improbable, super-dreamy epic love story stars Colin Farrell as a burglar who falls in love with a sickly heiress—yay! But then she dies—no! But he find out she can reincarnate herself so he goes to find her—yay! But evil Russell Crowe is some sort of mystical evil guy out to spoil everything—boo! Rent it and swoon, if that’s you’re thing), Masters Of Sex- season 1 (super-sexy and smart cable series [pay cable, so you know they leave the naughty bits in

There's something about that 'E'...just can't put my finger on it...

There’s something about that ‘E’…just can’t put my finger on it…

there] about the famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, played by the excellent Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, respectively), The

I know Chris Christie's involved in this somehow.

I know Chris Christie’s involved in this somehow.

Bridge- season 1 (intense FX crime thriller about a dead body found on the exact border of the United States and Mexico, which causes dogged Mexican cop Demian Bechir and brilliant, slightly crazy American cop Diane Kruger to team up and uncover a whole lot of truly unsavory stuff), Enemy (like sexy, scruffy Jake Gyllenhall? Well now there’s two of him! In this erotic thriller, Jake plays a history professor in Canada who spots his lookalike in a live sex show, and then starts seeing him in small parts in movies; he becomes obsessed with finding the guy and then, well, I’ll let your imagination take over; from the director of Incendies and Prisoners), Blood Ties (Guillaume Canet, who directed the intense French thriller Tell No One heads to 1970s Brooklyn for this crime drama about two brothers [Clive Owen, Billy Crudup] involved on both sides of the law with the mob; the ever-lovely Marion Cotillard co-stars), Comedy Bang! Bang!- season 2 (you should really watch this show. You know, if you like hip comedy. Or all the funny celebrities. Or fake talk shows. Or surrealist, conceptual comedy. Or Reggie Watts. Or like to laugh in general. Oh, or weirdness.), Wallander- season 3 (EVERYONE LOVES THIS SHOW! Sorry to yell, but it’s true—everyone just plain loves dour Scandinavian detective Kurt Wallander as he world-wearily works his way through all the most depressingly violent crimes ever; check Videoport’s Foreign Language section for all the dour thrills!),Two Lives (German drama about a young woman who refuses to testify about her status as a “war child” [the product of a Norwegian woman and an occupying German soldier] once the Berlin Wall comes down, causing all manner of twisty-turny upset-people drama; costarring the ever-

Don't ask. Just watch.

Don’t ask. Just watch.

luminous screen legend Liv Ullman), Sons Of Perdition (insightful, upsetting HBO documentary about several teens trying to adjust to the world after leaving a cult-like fundamentalist Mormon splinter group), Some Velvet Morning (it may have the drippiest title of all time, but don’t be fooled—this is yet another act of sexy, nasty cinematic provocation from master of same Neil LaBute (In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbors, The Shape Of Things) about a man [Stanley Tucci] returning to his former mistress [Alice Eve], claiming to have left his wife for her; when she’s not all that overjoyed at the news, things take a dark, let’s call it Neil LaBute-ian turn)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: 300: Rise Of An Empire, Masters Of Sex- season 1

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

This one has a much smuttier alternate poster. Google it.

This one has a much smuttier alternate poster. Google it.

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #461

Volume CDLXI—What The Bleep Does Videoport Know? Quite A Lot, Actually…

For the Week of 6/17/14

 

Videoport gives you a free movie every day. Who hates a free movie? Nobody, 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 seven bucks!

>>> Dennis suggests soccer movies at Videoport! The World Cup is underway, so in deference to former Videoporter Dutch Dennis (aka Disco, aka Dutchelsberg) here’s all the soccer-y goodness you can find at Videoport!

Playing For Keeps (in Drama—2012). Tangentially soccer related but perpetual smirk machine Gerard Butler plays a failed soccer star who has sex with a lot of people.

United (Drama—2012). Feature about the 1958 Manchester United team, called the Busby Babes, who were the youngest team to ever win some soccer championship. Then a bunch of them dies in a plane crash.

The Damned United (2011—Drama). The excellent Michael Sheen stars in this fact-based drama about a soccer scandal that’s much more well know in England than over here. Great work from Sheen and Timothy Spall.

Goal, Goal 2, and Goal 3 (in Drama). A young guy would like to be very good at soccer. He becomes very good at soccer.

Gracie (2007—in Drama). Elizabeth Shue stars in this soccer story about her family’s true inspirational story. When a young man dies, his sister vows to take his place on the soccer team.

Once In A Lifetime” The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos (2006—Documentary). Remember that time in the 1970s when American almost but not quite bought in to soccer as a national sport? Well soccer legend Pele helped.

The Art Of Soccer (2006—Nonfiction Sports). John Cleese hosts this soccer documentary! John Cleese, people!

Green Street Hooligans (2005—Action). Elijah Wood stars as an expelled American college student who moves to England and falls in with a gang of British soccer thugs (led by Sons Of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam).

Kicking And Screaming (2005-Kids section). Will Ferrell stars as a high strung dude who coaches youth soccer and has to stop yelling at everyone. Pretty funny.

Real (2005—Nonfiction Sports). Documentary about Real Madrid, one of the richest and most successful soccer clubs in the world.

The Game Of Their Lives (2005—Drama.) Gerard Butler again, this time in a much better movie about the real life 1950 upset when the traditionally terrible American team beat the Brits.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002—Comedy). See Emily’s Saturday review!

Shaolin Soccer (2001—Comedy). Great action comedy from Stephen Chow about a hangdog soccer team who turn to martial arts for success.

A Shot At Glory (2000—Drama). Robert Duvall stars as a crusty Scottish soccer coach. Robert Duvall, people.

Mean Machine (1999—Former soccer enforcer/actor Vinny “Hard Man” Jones stars in this British soccer remake of The Longest Yard, with his jailed soccer star putting together a prisoner’s team.

Fever Pitch (1997—Drama). See Emily’s Thursday review!

The Firm (1989—Drama). Gary Oldman stars in this fact based tale of the notorious football hooligans fanatically following the West Ham United soccer team of the 1970s.

Victory (1981—Drama). Dopey but thrilling WWII soccer drama about a POW soccer team helping out the French Resistance by beating the Nazis…in

You have no idea what you're doing, do you Stallone?

You have no idea what you’re doing, do you Stallone?

soccer! Starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone…and Pele! Pele gets to do a really amazing bicycle kick which almost made me want to play soccer when I was twelve. Almost.

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!

>>> Emily S. Customer pays tribute to the late, great Ruby Dee. We’ve lost another great, readers: last week, just after the VideoReport went to press, legendary actor, activist, playwright, and author Ruby Dee died at the age of 91. Winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Obie, Screen Actors Guild (and also a SAG Lifetime Achievement honoree), Ruby Dee was also awarded the 1995 National Medal of Arts and a 2004 Kennedy Center Honor, along with her husband and partner in activism and art, Ossie Davis. She’s perhaps best known as Ruth in Raisin in the Sun (1961), recreating her star turn in the Broadway play, but Ruby Dee delivered riveting performances all her life, culminating in her Oscar-nominated role in American Gangster (2007). When news of her death reached me, I thought first of Dee’s unflappable wisdom in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989), where she observes and advises the neighborhood from her window. It’s hard to believe Ruby Dee is gone from us, that she’s not casting a watchful eye over us all. Mother Sister always watches.

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!                                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests Ghostbusters (in Comedy). It was a year ago that my niece asked an innocent question that rocked my smug world to its foundations. “What’s Ghostbusters?” she asked, and I was appalled. Not at her — no, never — but at myself for having let my auntly duties escape me so thoroughly that she could reach 15 without watching this great American comedy. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters’ theatrical release*, I urge you not to fail in your duties to our youth as shamefully as I have. Rent Ghostbusters from Videoport this week and, if you can, share it with the next generation.

*You guys, we’re sorry. No excuses, no pretense. June 8th was the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters’ theatrical release and we just… well, we just plumb forgot until after the VideoReport went to press.                                                                                      

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!                                                                                                    

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests you catch FÚTBOL fever! Fever Pitch (1997, not the 2005 American remake) adapts Nick Hornby’s intense and hilarious match-by-match memoir to tell the story of North London teacher Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth) as his soccer fanaticism impinges upon his blossoming romance with a fellow teacher. Fever Pitch rings notes similar to Hornby’s High Fidelity and About a Boy, but folds in an observation about how enthusiasm for a team expresses and sublimates a fan’s everyday anxieties and emotions, providing an outlet ill-afforded by most modern lives, and offering a substitute kinship system for those who bond over a team when they cannot connect in any other way.

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, Emily S. Customer kicks off another footie favorite! Bend It Like Beckham (in Comedy) stars Parminder Nagra as Jess, a talented football player forbidden by her patents to play on the local women’s team, and Keira Knightley as Jules, who recruits her anyway. Jules’ mother (Juliet Stevenson, household favorite chez Videoport) also discourages her daughter’s footie enthusiasm, constantly trying to lure Jules into pink sweater sets, Wonderbras, and other trappings of compulsory femininity. It sounds like a facile by-the-numbers movie, but Bend It Like Beckham won the hearts of a generation of girls with its winning combination of spirited competition and jubilant comradery. Roger Ebert observed “what makes it special is the bubbling energy of the cast and the warm joy with which Gurinder Chadha, the director and co-writer, tells her story.”

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer proves that the late, great Ruby Dee turns up in the darndest places. Did you remember that Ruby Dee — Emmy winner, Grammy winner, Oscar nominee, respected activist and poet — had a small role in Paul Schrader’s 1982 Cat Peopleremake? Yeah, me neither. But there she is, right in the first act: when Irina (Nastassja Kinski) arrives at her estranged brother’s home to reunite with him after a youth spent in foster care, she’s greeted by Paul’s housekeeper, Female. (It’s pronounced Fuh-mahl-ay.) I am not making this up.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Alan Partridge (first thing—head to Videoport’s British Comedy section and check out Knowing Me Knowing You, It’s Alan Partridge, and Steve Coogan Live to get a taste of Partridge. Alan Partridge, that is—comic Cogan’s most enduring creation, a clueless, egotistical, perpetually humiliated British TV and radio personality whose insatiable hunger for fame results in pain, embarrassment, and early morning radio DJ jobs in the North Country; now, in his first theatrical feature, the enduringly brilliant Cogan brings the enduringly squirmy Partridge to the big screen as his tiny radio station is taken over by a hostage taker), Walk Of Shame (the very funny Elizabeth Banks [30 Rock, Wet Hot American Summer] stars in this comedy she’s probably too good for about a professional woman who has a one night stand then has to slink across town for an important job interview), The Machine (British sci-fi about a near-future world where two brilliant researchers invent the world’s first self-aware artificial intelligence—that always goes well, right?), The Grand Budapest Hotel (director Wes Anderson continues his career as one of the most unique, singular moviemakers in the world with this universally loved bittersweet comedy about the titular luxury hotel and the comic misadventures of legendary concierge Ralph Fiennes; this is a good one, people), 2 Autumns, 3 Winters (charming French love story about some star-crossed thirtysomethings; from the good people at Film Movement—check out the Film Movement shelf in the middle aisle!), The Lego Movie (against all odds and logic and sense this animated comedy populated by Lego figures is apparently more than just a cynical toy commercial; I mean, it’s clearly a toy commercial, but it’s also supposed to be damned good. Weird…), Joe (both director Davd Gordon Green [George Washington, All The Real Girls] and Nicholas Cage [all the bad movies ever] attempt to reestablish their indie cred in this gritty, low budget drama about an embittered ex-con reluctantly choosing to help out a troubled teenager), The Attorney (Korean drama, based on a true story, about a shady lawyer who finds his conscience when he chooses to take on the case of a teenager whose been tortured after being falsely accused of a crime), House Of Cards- season 2 (Kevin Spacey is back as the least scrupulous politician since—well, all the real politicians in this series based on the British series House Of Cards, To Play The King, and The Final Cut which of course Videoport has—check the Mystery/Thriller section once you’ve run through the Spacey version), Ernest & Celestine (French animated film about the unlikely friendship between a lady mouse and a huge, honkin’ bear won all the awards and made everyone very, very happy; you should rent it if being happy is your thing…), Son Of God (who’s up for an edited-down version of that laughably bad History Channel miniseries The Bible, starring the most boring screen Jesus in memory? Well, Videoport’s got you covered!)

 

New Arrivals at Videoport: Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (speaking of shameless toy commercials passing as legitimate entertainment, check out this animated Star Wars/Lego corporate synergy in the children’s section!), Kes (how awesome is Videoport’s Criterion Collection section? Well, it just got about 3% better with our addition of this 1969 British drama from the steadfastly uncompromising director Ken Loach [The Wind That Shakes The Barley, The Angels’ Share, The Navigators]; this one’s about a working class boy caring for his pet falcon)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Alan Partridge, The Machine, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ernest & Celestine, The Lego Movie

 

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!

The Indie Video Store Fights Back: Episode 3—Fight The Power

Here’s the thing about Videoport.

There’s nothing that RedBox, cable TV, or Netfl*x (still can’t bring myself to type that word) do that Videoport doesn’t do. Only better. “Nonsense,” you say? (Or “Poppycock,” if you’re a Dowager Countess.) Well no, not really.

We have a great selection of movies and TV shows. Only we don’t keep just the newest 50 movies in plastic vending machines (RedBox), scatter them randomly over expensive, repetitive pay channels at our whim (cable), or suddenly pull your favorite shows and movies from our service because, well, we’re evil and capricious (Netfl*x). Instead, when Videoport has a movie or TV show, it’s just here. Laid out in sensible, stable, easy-to-navigate shelves, staffed by friendly, helpful movie experts. You can pick them up, look at them, read about them, ogle the half naked people on the covers—it’s your call. They’re here and they’re always going to be here, right where you saw them last when you decide you want them. Videoport’s library of movies and TV shows has been built up, curated, nurtured even—for decades. Selected and maintained by people who love them, who know about them, who like nothing better than to share them with other people. Coming out to the video store to look around and take home something new and interesting used to be common—and it’s being lost. Now people sit at home and ingest whatever entertainment huge corporations deign to feed them. A video store is a place to explore, to be exposed to new things, and—gasp—to even talk to people about movies.

Plus, Videoport is your video store. I know that’s a slogan and all, but it’s true. We’ve been in Portland since 1987. Same owners, staff that have been here forever and who know the store and its movies better than they know, well, anything else in their lives, really. Videoport buys as much as possible from other local businesses, we support organizations in our community, and provides a service in return. We listen to what you want. If there’s something we don’t carry that you really want to see, then you can make the case for us to get it. We’ve got a request book full of such suggestions and we like getting your input. We can’t have everything ever made (and some stuff—yech, no thanks), but if there’s enough demand for something, we’re going to get it. (Of course, we do a pretty great job getting essential stuff already, but still…ask away.)

Videoport is the soul of independent movies. Sure, you can give your entertainment dollar to some huge corporation (you know, the ones that have driven local, independent video stores like us out of business with heartless efficiency). But you can also make the choice to come here. We have all the movies you want. We know about movies and employ only people who love to talk intelligently about them. And we’re inexpensive. (Daily specials, people—look ‘em up.) Times are tough for locally owned, independent video stores, that’s no secret. But some of you out there still choose to support us, to rent your movies and TV from a place that cares. Cares about movies, cares about you. Netfl*x might as well be renting socks through the mail or the internet for all it cares about movies as something other than a way to make money. Videoport cares. That’s all.

 

You’ve got a choice, people. Make one. Choose Videoport.