VideoReport #460

Volume CDLX—Indie Video Stores Forever!

For the Week of 6/10/14


Videoport gives you a free movie every day. So, basically, if you don’t come in and rent from Videoport every day, you’re just leaving free movies on the table, people.


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!

>>> Emily S. Customer pays tribute to Rik Mayall with The Young Ones (in British Comedy—take the whole series home with that ‘3 movies for a week for 7 bucks’ deal.) It’s always a sad day when the weekly VideoReport is easy to write; that almost always means we’ve lost someone special. This week, Rik Mayall died at the too-young age of 56, leaving a great comic legacy for us to remember him by. As a teenager, I glommed onto the anarchic slapstick of The Young Ones with greedy glee, delighting in the weekly downfall of Rick, the self-styled People’s Poet, the spotty wanker brimming over with unaccountable self-certainty, the self-declared “most popular member of the flat!” Rick’s shallow, empty posturing as a radical caught me at an impressionable age, inoculating me every so slightly against the hypocritical, facile faux-revolutionaries that bloom around the edges of every political movement, teaching me that laughter is a revolutionary tool, the pinprick that deflates the biggest balloon.

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!

>>> Regan suggests At Close Range (in Action/Adventure.) Maybe you won’t be partaking in and Father’s Day festivities this Sunday. Maybe you find your father to be a self-righteous close-minded buttbrain blowhard. So maybe you should watch this star-studded winner from the 80’s about a son who gets to know his dad and first is all “ah, man, he’s rad. he’s a rad dad.” but then he’s all “oh, wait, he’s a criminal. and quite the a**hole!” and WHO ISN’T IN THIS MOVIE YOU ASK? Well, it’s got Christopher Walken, Sean Penn, Chris Penn, Mary Stewart Masterson, Crispin Glover! Kiefer Sutherland, David Strathairn, and that little weaselly guy from the original Fright Night, Stephen Geoffreys. Check out his IMDB filmography, he’s got some colorful titles like MECHANICS bi DAY, LUBE JOB bi NIGHT. It’s hard to say what that one’s about. HA! So have a happy fathers say with your good dads and go suck it on Father’s Day you bad dads.

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’s tribute to Rik Mayall continues with Blackadder II, and Blackadder Goes Forth (in British Comedy.) I first knew Rik Mayall as The Young One’s spotty, spouting, sputtering Rick, so his appearances as the various intergenerational Lords Flashheart took me by surprise. Actors act, we all know that, but sometimes a performance feels so indelible, so inevitable, that it’s jarring to see the actor’s posture, voice, tone, and demeanor change so radically. “Flash by name, flash by nature!” indeed! Ungainly, knock-kneed Rick suddenly (and “suddenly” is the word for all things Flashheart) swaggers around, all moustaches and macho jocularity. It knocked me for a loop as a young nerdlinger, I tell you. WOOF!

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!                                        

>>> Andy suggests August: Osage County (in Feature/Drama). When a patriarch goes missing, a family gathers to comfort the cancer-stricken, drug-addicted, sour-tongued mother. It’s based on a play by Tracy Letts, who also wrote Bug and Killer Joe. But August: Osage County isn’t much like those films. It’s more like Cat on A Hot Tin Roof or another classic Tennessee Williams drama. It’s all like, here’s a f**cked up family full of sordid secrets; let’s put ‘em in a tense situation, pour some alcohol down their throats, and WE’RE OFF! Let the arguments commence and the skeletons come dancing out of the closet! I mean, every family has secrets, but August: Osage County’s Weston family was created by a talented writer, so their secrets are likely more entertaining than ours. This movie version of the play is very entertaining. There’s something about the casting that’s a tad obvious, though. I mean, Meryl Streep gets the showy central role that requires both histrionics and gravitas. Naturally! Sam Shepard plays a wise but alcoholic father figure. Duh! Chris Cooper, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Juliette Lewis don’t venture far from their comfort zones, either. My eyebrows arched a bit when a couple of Englishmen crashed the party, though. Benedict Cumberbatch does a good warm-hearted, dumb yokel. And Ewan McGregor proves once again that he can only do a convincing American accent if his character is an over-annunciating yuppie. The story of August: Osage County may sound pretty routine, and it is. But, like the casting, it’s also very satisfying and pleasantly familiar and American. And occasionally surprising.

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’s tribute to Rik Mayall concludes with The Comic Strip Presents… (in British Comedy.) The Comic Strip Presents…mercilessly parodied the most hallowed traditions of English literature and film, from the stiff-upper-lip tales of keeping calm and carrying on to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series to the haunted mistress of the manor in DuMaurier’s Rebecca. The wide range gave Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmundson, Nigel Planer, and Peter Richardson a playground to create cartoonish characters or sensitive satirical impressions, while the anthological structure gave each half-hour sketch a chance to unwind from spoofy fluff into surreal depths and digressions.

>>>For Sunday, Former Videoporter Stockman suggests The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (in Feature Drama.) Regan recently sent me a text message that said “I wish we could go see ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ together and cry our faces off.” Crying my face off is one of my favorite movie related things to do. There’s something extra especially cathartic about narrative crying. I must say I’m quite entranced by the previews for The Fault in Our Stars. I was not entranced as much by the preview for The Perks of Being a Wallflower which was a similar seemingly angst ridden story regarding teenagers. The preview made the dialogue look very clunky and forced despite the delivery that is Emma Watson who, though I don’t care much for the Harry Potter movies (not counting the 3rd one which rocked), I find to be an absolute acting pleasure! So I was quite reticent to view this movie.  It ended up being pure serendipity that I ever watched it. I happened to see a coworker with it and she was kind enough to allow me to borrow it. It’s so nice to discover a movie where the preview shared the terrible, boring, and/or lame parts as opposed to the standard operating procedure which is to edit only the entertaining parts together. This movie was very much not what I expected from the preview in a wonderful way. It was a rich and moving viewing experiencing and indeed I cried my face off. It was wonderful.

>>>And Dennis joins in on the Rik Mayall love with a recommendation  for Bottom (in British Comedy.) Lifelong friends and partners in scatology Mayall and Ade Edmondson always played variations on the same characters—vulgar, anarchic, filthy, juvenile, destructive gross guys. The fact that what they did was usually hilarious is a testament to how funny those guys were, especially together, where their shared enthusiasm for all things lowbrow goaded them on to greater depths of foul comedy than previously thought possible. In this infamous series, they play Eddie and Richie, two scabrous dimwits who, well, I’ll let Wikipedia explain them: The two spend their time coming up with desperate schemes to acquire sex, attacking each other violently, and getting into dodgy situations. Bottom is considered the most violent example of britcom, examples of violence include teeth being knocked out, heads crushed in fridge doors, fingers being cut off, penises set on fire, legs being chainsawed off, forks shoved in eyes, pencils forced up noses, bleach being drunk, legs broken and faces shoved in campfires. It can get a bit trying at times (there are only so many penis fires one can take in a given day), but at its best, Bottom channels the duo’s lunatic comic brilliance with gleefully filthy aplomb. Adult beverages recommended while viewing.

New Releases this week at Videoport: True Blood- season 6 (Sexy vampires! Plus, sexy werewolves! And sexy…I dunno, fairies or elves, or heffalumps, I guess? Sorry, I don’t get this show—you guys continue to have fun though!), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Chris Pine brings his spooky blue eyes to the Tom Clancy hero that only Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Harrison Ford have ever dared play before! This time, lemme see…yup—some sort of spy stuff, I’m almost sure of it!), Tim’s Vermeer (Teller of Penn & Teller fame directs this prankishly fascinating documentary about inventor Tim Jenison who sets out to discover how famous painter Vermeer painted in a photorealistic style more than a century before there were cameras; I heartily suggest a double feature with Orson Welles’ similarly sly documentary F For Fake in the Criterion Collection section), Non-Stop (Liam Neeson continues his late-in-life arse-kicking spree as an air marshal dealing with a threat to murder a bunch of people; not on Liam’s plane, mister!), Devil’s Knot (Canadian director Atom Agoyan dramatizes the already-seriously-documented West Memphis Three case, in which three Goth kids are accused of murdering a young boy; this one stars pretty people Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon—feel free to rent the documentaries Paradise Lost 1-3 and West Memphis Three as well), Ray Donovan- season 1 (the always-interesting Live Schreiber stars in this Showtime series about a slick, LA ‘fixer’ who the rich and famous and unscrupulous rely on to clean up their messes),  Adult World (fresh faced Emma Roberts pursues her career as an aspiring poet while working at a sex shop and similarly pursuing a mentorship with reclusive writer John Cusack in this indie drama), True Detective- season 1 (Sure, I may have had some quibbles with the way this HBO crime miniseries ended, but they’re just that—quibbles; Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are pretty darned stunning in this grisly crime thriller set in the very shady Louisiana countryside), The Missing Picture (stunningly made, wrenching film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar last year; in it, filmmaker Rithy Panh uses all manner of techniques, including clay figures, to tell the tale of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979; another suggested double feature—pair this with Spalding Gray’s monologue film Swimming To Cambodia),A Birder’s Guide To Everything (that kid from The Road plays a 15 year old obsessed birdwatcher who skips out on his dad’s remarriage in order to chase down what he believes is the birding discovery of a lifetime; costarring Ben Kingsley, which is always a good sign), Bushido Man (a present for martial arts movie fans everywhere, this Japanese action flick sees a student traveling all over Japan in order to test his skills against masters in every possible style of martial arts fighting), Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself (documentary chronicles the delightfully eccentric life of writer George Plimpton, who insisted on inserting himself into his stories by, for example, trying out for the Detroit Lions, Boston Bruins, and pro golf, all while looking and talking like your dotty history professor uncle), Klondike (big, burly, sweeping Gold Rush miniseries action, with two childhood friends heading out to try their luck in the gold fields, only to have to beat up a bunch of unscrupulous people and kiss girls and stuff!)

New Arrivals at Videoport: Chicken Hawk (head to Videoport’s Incredibly Strange section for this acclaimed and controversial documentary from director Adi Sideman about members of NAMBLA, who believe that creepy old guys should be legally allowed to sleep with little boys; still creeping people out after 20 years—that’s Videoport!), Chatterbox (and why not stay in that wonderful Incredibly Strange section to pick up this 1977 cult classic comedy about a young woman [Hollywood Boulevard’s Candace Rialson] who discovers, much to her dismay, that her vagina can talk—and make really bad jokes)


New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Non-Stop, Tim’s Vermeer, Alan Partridge, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, True Blood- season 6, True Detective- 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 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!