VideoReport #492

Volume CDXCII- Synecdoche, Portland

For the Week of 1/20/15

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Oh, and we’re local, independent, and care about movies and our customers. But mainly it’s about the free movie thing.

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!

.>>> Rent the big Academy Award Nominees at Videoport!

These are the ones that are available:

Best Picture: Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Supporting Actor: Boyhood (Ethan Hawke)

Best Actress: Gone Girl (Rosamund Pike)

Supporting Actress: Boyhood (Patricia Arquette)

Animated Feature: How To Train Your Dragon 2

Best Director: Boyhood (Richard Linklater), The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

Best Documentary: Finding Vivian Maier

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida

OR howsabout the Golden Globe Nominees!

Best Picture—Drama: Boyhood (winner),

Best Actress—Drama: Gone Girl (Rosamund Pike)

Best Picture—Comedy or Musical: Pride, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Actress—Musical or Comedy: The Hundred Foot Journey (Helen Mirren)

Best Actor—Musical or Comedy: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Ralph Fiennes)

Best Animated Film: The Lego Movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2 (winner)

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida

Best Supporting Actress: Boyhood (Patricia Arquette—winner)

Best Supporting Actor: Boyhood (Ethan Hawke)

Best Director: Boyhood (Richard Linklater—winner), Gone Girl (David Fincher), The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

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!

best-top-desktop-wallpaper-buffy-the-vampire-slayer19-top-10-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-episodes>>> Dennis suggests his Joss Whedon fanboy shelf (in the Staff Picks section). Sure, I’m too old to be a fanboy. I was too old to become the world’s biggest fan of a show called Buffy The Vampire Slayer, too, but here I am, so we’ll all just deal with it. Whedon is the creator of the following. They are all incredibly entertaining, surprisingly deep, and angel_season1_promo_poster-e5b34way smarter than their genres may indicate to people with prejudices against such things. First, there’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer*, which was Whedon’s first introduction to the viewing public. A small percentage of the public (he never gets good ratings) but still. It’s Whedon’s mission statement—the blonde girl in the horror movie who usually gets killed in the dark alley is, instead, the newest in a long line of monster killers—and the monsters in the alley are the ones in trouble. Don’t let the title (or the admittedly shaky first season) scare you off—this is an outstanding show, one that combines horror, comedy, and coming-of-age high school drama in equal, and equally satisfying ffpostermidmeasure. Outstanding TV. And then there’s Angel, the Buffy spinoff that become Buffy’s equal—sometimes its better. Buffy’s beau—a vampire cursed with a soul—sets out as an unlicensed private dick in Los Angeles. High adventure and the signature Whedon wit and penchant for heartbreaking drama. Again—outstanding TV. Firefly is next—and the best thing that Wehdon’s done. Which of course means that no one watched this sci-fi series and it was cancelled after like 14 episodes—at least he got the gang back together for the movie Serenity. Which no one watched. I hate you people. Make it up to me, and yourselves I guess, by watching this show—a sci-fi series unlike any other you can think of. Perfect television—I’ve watched theCabin-in-the-Woods-Poster brief run of this show about 20 times. Dollhouse wasn’t Whedon’s finest TV outing, with a rough start and two short seasons. But boy howdy did it pick up, eventually broadening its initial concept (secret government agency uses rewritable human “dolls” to fulfill client’s nefarious desires) to become something apocalyptic, and stunningly imaginative. Cabin In The Woods was written by Whedon and directed by his Buffy pal Drew Goddard, and it is every horror fan’s bloody dream, a smart deconstruction of the horror genre that is also a kickass horror movie. I love this movie. Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog is a musical about a 1415_i3.1_Doctor_Horrible_Bannersensitive would-be supervillain (everyone’s pal Neil Patrick Harris) whose pursuit of world domination pales next to his love for a shy do-gooder and runs headfirst into his nemesis, the meathead superhero Captain Hammer (Firefly’s Nathan Fillion). Whedon’s a huge musical fan (see Buffy season 6, disc 2 for the superlative Buffy musical episode), and this is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen. (Sure, I hate musicals, but that only proves how great this is.) The Avengers was where Whedon conquered the world. Wrapping all Marvel’s superhero mythologies together in this one blockbuster was entrusted to a cult TV director who’d never really been able to attract an audience—and I don’t have to tell you how well that went. All the money, all the critical acclaim—Joss now has all the power. Which makes the world a better damn place as far as I can see. (He went on to create the TV show Agents Of Shield, spinning off from The Avengers, too.) Much Ado About Nothing was the tiny-budget Shakespeare adaptation Whedon L_Kal8273made while in post-production on The Avengers. And it’s great. I’m a Shakespeare geek as well as a Whedon geek, and this tiny movie (made at Whedon’s house and starring friends from his various TV shows) is as good as the lauded Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson version, with a stunning turn from Angel’s Amy Acker as Beatrice. Whedon used to have drunken Shakespeare readings with his actors at that same house—this is as warm and intimate as those evenings must have been. Oh, and Whedon wrote the original Toy Story, too, just in case you needed more reason to love him. Get renting, people. This guy’s got a lot to offer you.

*Oh, and here’s an incredibly cool story about Anthony Head, who played Buffy’s British watcher/helper/father figure on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. If you need one cool story to put you over the top, this is it. Outstanding, this guy. 

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 a double feature of all-lady rock band movies. There’s quite a few to choose from but I’ve picked two of my favorites. Linda Linda Linda (in Made in Japan) is an excellent Japanese film about a group of high school girls who have three days to prepare songs for their school’s rock concert. Unfortunately their lead singer quits, so they coerce Korean exchange student Son to join them, even though her Japanese isn’t great. It’s a fun coming of age drama with cool music originally by the Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts. Bandits (in Foreign Language) goes in a very different direction than Linda Linda Linda; it’s more of a prison break road movie but with rock & roll thrown in. Four women in a German prison form a band, but on the way to a performance they hear one of their songs on the radio and decide to escape. Along the way they become famous but they can’t run forever. Listen, it’s not a great movie, but I enjoy how outrageous and funny it is and it doesn’t hurt that star Jasmin Tabatabai wrote or co-wrote most of the songs because they’re great.

Thrifty Thursday! Rent one, get a free rental from any other section in the store! OR Get any three non-new releases for seven days for $7.99!                                        

>>> Emily S. Customer suggests Ultraviolet (in Sci Fi/Fantasy). When Det. Sgt. Michael Colefield’s best friend disappears hours before his wedding day dawns, what could be simple cold feet turns out to be so much more. Tracking his missing friend leads Colefield (Jack Davenport, CouplingSmashPirates of the Caribbean) to a covert team policing squad (including Idris Elba and Susannah Harker) who specialize the threat of “Code Fives” preying on the population of London. This stylish, stylized six-episode thriller never utters the word “vampire,” and delivers some neat tricks and intriguing ideas along with its sang froid.

Free Kids Friday! One free rental from the Kids section, no other rental necessary! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!          

>>> It’s a free kids movie! There are a lot to choose from! For free!                                                                                

Having a Wild Weekend! Rent two movies, and get a third one for free from any section! OR get any three non-new releases for a week for $7.99!                                            

>>> For Saturday, April suggests The Mighty Boosh (in British comedy) Do you love absurd surreal comedy? Then you might like The Mighty Boosh, a bizarre yet perfectly normal comedy series from Noel Fielding (The IT Crowd) and Julian Barrett (A Field in England). Series one starts off in a zoo where Vince (Fielding) and Howard (Barrett) are zookeepers. There aren’t many animals in this zoo and most of the time Vince and Howard end up doing outrageous things like fighting a kangaroo, dressing up like a panda, or joining a band called Kraftwerk Orange. I told you it’s bizarre, but funny! Series two is equally strange although they’re no longer at the zoo but hanging out in the apartment above Naboo the Shaman’s shop. There they search for “the new sound”, hang out with goth girls, and discover the legend of Old Gregg, a part-fish part-woman/man creature. Series three takes place in Naboo’s shop where Vince and Howard work. It gets even weirder as Vince becomes infected with a Jazz virus, Vince and Howard’s doubles challenge them to a crimp off, and there is a crack fox. Yes. Watch it.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests The Fall—season 1 (in Mystery/Thriller). As Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, called in from The Met to head Belfast’s investigation into a string of murders, Gillian Anderson brings an incomparable cool polish to this smart, stylish procedural. Gibson is ferociously intelligent, deliberate, and uncompromising. The series is both a nailbiter of a thriller and a thoughtful commentary on the tropes too often invoked in serial-killer stories, making for a taut first season that never discounts the humanity of all its characters.

>>>Dennis suggests getting some free money! Any time you want, $20 gets you $25 in rental credit, or $30 buys you $40. That, my friends, is some free money.

New Releases this week at Videoport: Lucy (Even though that whole “people only use 10 per cent of their brains” thing is pure onsense [please Google it before you argue with me], but this action flick from action flick master Luc Besson [The Professional] is supposed to be a ton o’ fun. In it, Scarlet Johansson as a test subject whose —tee hee—10 per cent brain is unlocked, letting her use the 90 per cent of the human brain that we all use every day, only she gets all the superpowers that come with embodying an old wives’ tale. Morgan Freeman is on hand to intone spooky scientific stuff. So go ahead and use your whole brain and rent this one. Well, maybe not your whole brain…), The Boxtrolls (A young orphan boy raised by the titular, um, boxtrolls—which are trolls with box bodies, or something?—tries to save his grubby weirdo pals from an evil exterminator in this odd, little animated movie that’s actually supposed to be pretty good. Ben Kingsley and Jared Harris are in there, doing voices.), The Drop (In his last role, James Gandolfini plays a bar owner and low-level gangster who enlists younger brother Tom Hardy to help him out of a jam with the mob. A gritty goodbye to one of the best actors around.), Annabelle (Remember that movie The Conjuring? Well, there was a spooky doll in there somewhere—and here’s her own horror movie. Killer dolly!!!), Rudderless (Everybody loves William H. Macy, so everyone should rent his directorial debut, an indie drama about a grieving father who finds a box full of his dead son’s music and lyrics and, trying to understand the boy, forms a band to play his kid’s music. Starring the always-interesting Billy Crudup and Antonin Yelchin), The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam [Brazil, 12 Monkeys] is back, returning to the dystopian sci-fi that is his bread-and-butter, this time starring Christoph Waltz as a computer hacker whose inquiries into human existence run afoul of the shadowy totalitarian government called Management ), Coherence (Good-looking thinky sci-fi thriller about a group of bickering people huddling in a house when a comet passing by causes all manner of…things I can’t tell you about. Costarring everyone’s favorite Poster_largeeveryman, Nicholas Brendon from Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Expedition To The End Of The World (rousing Danish documentary about a group of eccentrics setting sail to the most unexplored regions left on the globe),Jimi: All Is By My Side (Andre Benjamin [aka Outkast’s Andre 3000] stars in this biopic of legendary guitar hero Jimi Hendrix), Honeymoon (A just-married young couple [including Rose jimi-all-my-sideLeslie from Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones] find their lake house honeymoon getaway turning super scary—find it in the Horror section), The Scorpion King 4 (Lou Ferrigno and some UFC fighters continue the franchise that stared as a spinoff of the Mummy sequel. That’s how you know it’s good), Supernatural—season 9 (Sam and Honeymoon-Leigh-Janiak-Movie-PosterDean Winchester keep on fighting demons in this still-entertaining horror action series. I A1o8jBofp7L._SL1500_mean, it’s no Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but after you rent all the Buffy [and then all the Angel], you gotta have get your “pretty people fighting evil” TV fix somewhere.), Prisoners Of War— season 1 (Hey—you know how everyone in the world [and certainly at Videoport] looooves Homeland? Well here’s the Israeli TV series it’s a remake of! You…are…welcome!), Take Back Your Power (Activist and possible conspiracy nutjob Josh del Sol digs deep into the NSa government surveillance scandal and spins this documentary into theories that Big Brother is using your utilities and other means to spy on you. Nutjob…or not?!), Revenge Of The Green supernatural-season-9-dvd-cover-11Dragons (Based on a true story, this gangster flick watches two 1980s Chinese immigrant brothers rise through the Prisoners_of_War_Serie_de_TV-249938387-largeinfamous titular NYC Chinatown gang. Ray Liotta’s in there somewhere. ), The Pirates (Big budget high-seas Korean period adventure about a rag-tag group of pirates banding together to track down a legendary white whale that’s swallowed a royal trinket ), The Mule (Hugo Weaving stars in this Australian crime comedy about a first time drug mule who gets caught by law enforcement with contraband in somewhere very uncomfortable and undignified. [It’s his butt]), The Green Prince (The son of a Hamas leader becomes an Israeli informant in cdn.indiewire.com_this gripping documentary)

Revenge-of-the-Green-Dragons-Movie-PosterNew Releases on Blu Ray this week at Videoport: The Scorpion King 4the-pirates-korean-movie

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VideoReport #468

Volume CDLXVIII—Videoport: The Indie Video Store’s Revenge

For the Week of 8/5/14

Videoport gives you a free movie every, single day. And since we have oh, about a jillion movies, you won’t run out of free movies to watch for approximately half a jillion years. I’m not a math guy, but that sounds about right.

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 murder all over the world! Everyone loves murder! Especially when it’s fictional and being solved by a dogged-yet-suspiciously attractive detective, preferably with a cool accent. It’s a universal love, this love of murder, so here are some favorite murder-series from all over the world!

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (BOTSWANA) sees Jill Scott’s Mma Precious Ramotswe open up the country first female-run detective agency.

Hinterland (WALES) sees rumpled copper Tom Mathias try to solve a brutal crime in the very Welsh-named town of Aberystwyth. Described as “a Welsh The Killing.”

The Fall (NORTHERN IRELAND)’s got the ever-stunning Gillian Anderson tracking down a serial sex murder played by the guy (Jamie Dornan) who’s going to be a sexy sex guy in that 50 Shades Of Grey movie. Man, he’s got the market cornered on sexy creeps…

Spiral (FRANCE) examines some Gallic murders alongside some sexy French cops.

Every British Detective Show Ever. (GREAT BRITAIN). Man, British people love to murder the hell out each other. Seriously, Videoport must have three dozen or more BBC mystery series, but if I had to pick one, I’d say go with Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series. (Also: Luther, Cracker).

Top Of The Lake (NEW ZEALAND) brings American actress Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), doing a passable accent, as a big city copper lured back to her hellishly dangerous and strange home town to investigate a young girl’s disappearance. Directed by Jane Campion and costarring the likes of Peter Mullan and Holly Hunter.

The Bridge (DENMARK/SWEDEN). A body is found on the border and a pair of mismatched international cops have to learn to work together. (The American remake also qualifies for MEXICO, since it transplants the action to the US/Mexico border.)

Wallander (SWEDEN—only Sweden, so The Bridge doesn’t disqualify it.) The most dogged, bummed out detective in all of Scandinavia!

Detective De Luca (ITALY). There is being an honest cop in a corrupt system, and then there’s being an honest cop in Fascist-occupied Rome. —Lilyhammer (NORWAY) has American mobster Steven Van Zandt (The Sopranos) hiding out under an assumed name in Norway.

Haven’t seen it yet, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess there’s some killin’. Did I miss some of your favorite international murder shows? Well write in to the VideoReport at denmn@hotmail.com and yell at me about it!

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 Decision At Sundown (in Classics.) Another of the Randolph Scott westerns directed by Budd Boetticher, this one sees Scott’s typical loner cowboy riding into a town. Unlike earlier films we’ve talked about here before (The Tall T, Ride Lonesome, Seven Men From Now), Scott’s Bart is something of a jerk, rudely insulting everyone in the small outpost town of Sundown, especially anyone who mentions town mayor Tate Kimbrough, a glad-handing dandy who’s preparing to marry the daughter of a local cattle baron. It’s interesting to see Scott outside his traditional role of the taciturn but basically decent loner. This time, he’s got a secret that makes him obsessively force a confrontation with the slimy Kimbrough and offend everyone he comes into contact with, even his loyal pal Sam (Noah Beery Jr, who you know as Jim Rockford’s dad). Eventually, Bart and Sam find themselves holed up in he town stable, fending off Kimbrough’s hired guns while Bart’s secret agenda becomes clear, and the townspeople begin to reconsider their allegiance to their sleazeball mayor. It’s an unusual western, even for the already unusual Boetticher/Scott oeuvre, with a unique, oddly sophisticated climax that forces Scott to confront his past in a more complex way than you’d expect. Coming next week in this slot: The Scott/Boetticher Western Buchanan Rides Alone, which is even weirder.

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 Community (in Comedy). Check out the new releases this week for some shameless gushing about this show, since season 5 comes out on DVD this week. And then rent all of Community (except season 4 which never happened). Seriously, this show makes you so damned happy.

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 writing for the VideoReport! As you can see from this week’s issue, when no one chips in some reviews for the VideoReport, it’s just me rambling on. Even I’m bored with me. Send in your reviews to denmn@hotmail.com or to our Facebook page Videoport Jones. Do it, you!

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, Dennis suggests The Simpsons, season 7, episode “Summer Of 4 Ft. 2” (in Animation.) I recently had/got to review this particular episode for one of my other jobs. (It’s the AV Club—I’m a little braggy about it.) I also have to review the new seasons of the show and—man—watching a season 7 episode after a season of season 25 Simpsons is like a cool rain shower in the desert. And if it’s this one—the one where Lisa tries to reinvent herself in order to make friends during a vacation at Flanders’ beach house—then it’s even better than that. I’m a sucker for Lisa episodes anyway—she’s my favorite character, especially when it comes to episodes like this one that finds the sweet spot between huge laughs and, well, sweetness. Yeardley Smith often gets forgotten since she only does Lisa’s voice and no others, but that only allows Smith to truly understand Lisa, and her performance here is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. Also featuring some great Milhouse, Homer playing Mystery Date, and the dreaded M-320 firecracker. One of the best episodes ever.

>>>For Sunday, Dennis suggests some free money at Videoport! Put $20 on your rental account and we give you $25 worth of rental credit. And $30 gets you $40 in rental credit. No catch—just free, free money.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Need For Speed (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul [aka Jessie Pinkman] gets his first post-Breaking Bad starring role in…a video game movie. In it, he plays a guy who enjoys automobiles and chooses to drive said automobiles at a high, perhaps even illegal, rate of speed.), Oculus (Some good actors for this sort of thing, with Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff, and Mad Men’s Jared Harris starring in a horror flick about a young woman determined to prove that the murder her brother’s accused of is actually the diabolical workings of an evil mirror. That should go over well in court…), Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields (Documentary profile of the indie rock band headed by the best singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of. Unless you’ve heard of Stephin Merritt, in which case you are one of the cool kids. Free tip: Buy the Magnetic Fields’ 3-album set 69 Love Songs—it’ll do things to you.), Divergent (Since the descriptions of this Hunger Games wannabe action sci-fi flick sound like white noise in my head every time I try to read about it, so here’s what the IMDb says: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late. So there you go), God’s Not Dead (Busloads of church types made this right-wing flick something of a hit. In it, evil college professor Kevin Sorbo is a smug, condescending intellectual who makes his poor, impressionable college students acknowledge that God doesn’t exist if they know what’s good for them. Luckily, there’s one courageous kid in the class who stands up to all that book-learnin’ and independent thinking and starts a campaign to keep higher education based on narrow interpretations of the Bible and nothing else. Enjoy!), Adventure Time: Princess Day (Everybody loves this weird-ball, surprisingly grown-up animated series, so you should rent this and then talk about it online with all the other smart kids.), Secret State (British stalwarts Gabriel Byrne and Charles Dance star in this British political thriller series about the shifty, shadowy connection among government, banks, and big business. Who knew?), The French Minister (Acclaimed French comedy about a young political aide who discovers that the titular, respected French dignitary—a renowned politician and ladies man—may not be entirely what he seems), Cuban Fury (Everyone’s favorite comic sidekick Nick Frost [Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End] gets his first starring vehicle, with Nick playing a sad sack who decided to enter a Salsa Dancing championship to change his fortunes—and win the hand of ever-lovely Rashida Jones. Also starring Chris O’Dowd.), The Last Days (It’s the end of the world—and everyone in Barcelona does not feel fine. A mysterious plague kills you as soon as you go outside, but a desperate guy decides to team up with a stranger to try to make his way across the city through the sewers and subways in order to find his missing girlfriend.), Ping Pong Summer (Period comedy set in 1985, where a family’s Summer vacation becomes a contest of wills—fought out over the family ping pong table. Costarring certified funny people Amy Sedaris and Judah Friedlander.), Californication- season 7 (Another season of this Showtime series about an LA writer punching and sexing his way through the city en route to possibly getting his career back on track. Your enjoyment may depend on how much you enjoy the sight of David Duchovny getting copiously laid), Community- season 5 (After the —unpleasantness—that was season four, when brilliant and hilarious creator Dan Harmon was fired by the suits [always a great freaking idea, guys], Community is back! The real Community! Dan Harmon is back and so’s the show—one of the funniest, most innovative, and downright outstanding sitcoms in TV history. You really need to watch this show—and if you do, please remember, season four never happened.), and 4, count ‘em 4 new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on DVD: The Black Scorpion, The Projected Man, It Lives By Night, and Outlaw Of Gor!

 

New Arrivals at Videoport: White Nights (Finally on DVD, this 1985 dance-y drama finds Mikhail Baryshnikov, a ballet dancer who’d defected to America, forced back into dancing for the Motherland when his plane goes down back in Russia. It’s a semi-beloved melodrama, livened up by a great cast [including Helen Mirren and Isabella Rossellini], and some truly thrilling dancing from Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Divergent, Need For Speed, Oculus

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #467

Volume CDLXII- Videoport: The Videoporting

For the Week of 7/29/14

(Click the pics for more reviews!)

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Who’s gonna argue with that? People who hate movies, I guess. But why are they even in the store in the first place? Weird…

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!

>>> Videoport Customer Caleb suggests Bad Biology (in the Incredibly Strange section). This masterpiece of filth and perversity is the work of none other than NYC film auteur Frank Henenlotter, the man responsible for such cult brilliance as the Basket Case trilogy, Frankenhooker, and Brain Damage, and was co-written and produced by sick and twisted Long Island hardcore rapper, R.A. ‘The Rugged Man’ Thornburn. It tells the story of a New York photographer Jennifer (Charlee Danielson) whose extracurricular activities include feeding her insatiable appetite. She was born a sexual mutant, and is on the hunt for fulfillment; possibly even love. Her daily routine involves dirty sex and a fast reproductive metabolism. You have to see it to believe it. And she does a photo shoot called F*** Face! Parallel to this, we follow Batz (Anthony Sneed), who spends all of his time feeding a mixed cocktail of strange chemicals to his “lower self” who has been forever mutated and has made him a slave… to himself. Again, you gotta see it to believe it. The story eventually brings these two kindred (tortured) souls together, but not before a whirlwind intercourse’al adventure that would make John Waters blush. Unfortunately, I can’t explain too much about this picture here in the VideoReport.  I can say I sat through all 4+ hours of Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Vol. 1-2, and I hated it. The reason I’m bringing this up, is that Bad Biology actually had a few things in common with that waste of time. Jennifer in Bad Biology spends some time justifying her appetite, but she manages to explain herself in a matter of minutes (as opposed to over 4 hours of my life). The HUGE difference is that the depravity in this picture was plot-driving, comedic, entertaining, and I thought more symbolic. I highly recommend this to fans of Henenlotter, sex-comedies, exploitation, sexploitation, gore, horror-comedies, perversity, B-movies, filth, Troma films, stop-motion penis animation, obscene language, gratuitous sex scenes, unapologetic sex, transcendental orgasms, telepathic reproductive organs, photography and blood.

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 presents his monthly update on how a certain internet movie subscription service (which is routinely the subject of class action lawsuits) hates you and doesn’t care about your happiness! Yup, it’s the start of a new month, which means that said huge, heartless conglomerate is taking away a huge list of great movies from those of you foolish enough to rely on it for your entertainment (we forgive you). They do this every month. Videoport does this….never. We never take movies away from you—because that’s evil and stupid. We love you. They hate you. Here’s this month’s list:
“The Addams Family” (1991)

"No one'll miss this piece of crap!"—Netfl*x

“No one’ll miss this piece of crap!”—Netfl*x

“Airplane!” (1980)

“Attack of the Crab Monsters” (1957)

“Braveheart” (1995)

“The City of Lost Children” (1995)

“Clay Pigeons” (1998)

“Clockers” (1995)

“Days of Thunder” (1990)

“Donnie Brasco” (1997)

“Easy Rider” (1968)

“Fido” (2006)

“The Ghost and the Darkness” (1996)

“The Good Son” (1993)

“Heartbreakers” (2001)

“Maximum Overdrive” (1986)

“The Mill and the Cross” (2011)

“Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life” (1983)

“Neil Young: Heart of Gold” (2006)

“Paper Moon” (1973)

“The Pianist” (2002)

“Piranha” (1978)

“The Rainmaker” (1997)

“She Done Him Wrong” (1933)

“Somewhere in Time” (1980)

“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” (1991)

“Stephen King’s Thinner” (2996)

“Stripped to Kill” (1987)

“Swimming with Sharks” (1994)

“To Be or Not to Be” (1983)

“Top Secret!” (1984)

”Valkyrie” (2008)

“Waking Ned Divine” (1998)

“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” (2008)

So that sucks, right? The worst loss? I’d say The Meaning Of life, but the whole policy stinks. It’s random, and it reveals that said internet subscription service doesn’t care about movies…or you. Videoport keep its movies at your fingertips. Always. Your choice, I suppose…                                                                                    

 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!                                                          

 >>> How about getting some free money at Videoport! Pre-pay $20, we give you $25 in rental credit. Pre-pay $30 and you get $40 in rental credit. Yes, it’s just that easy, people.

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 Six Feet Under (in Feature Drama.) HBO’s Six Feet Under gets better the more I watch it. Alan Ball’s prestige drama centers on a family-run Los Angeles funeral home, weaving together the sorrows and lessons of each week’s spotlit death and subsequent funeral through the longer arc of the Fisher family’s joys and dramas. Where it could be trading in archetypes or even stereotypes, the show brims with deftly drawn, complex characters. Newly widowed Ruth (Frances Conroy, American Horror Story) mixes life-long repression with unpredictable quirks and bents. As David the younger son who followed his father into the family business and black-sheep older brother Nate, Jr., Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Peter Krause (Parenthood, Sports Night) immediately radiate a peculiar but utterly plausible affinity that only develops and broadens as the show does. Angsty teenaged daughter with arty aspirations Claire (Lauren Ambrose, Sleepwalk with Me) is perhaps the closest to a caricature, but Ambrose’s weird, wired combination of snark and luminous energy gives Claire inner life. As it expands, the series introduces a wide range of family and friends, bringing in impressive, accomplished actors of every ilk: Rachel Griffiths, Jeremy Sisto, Lili Taylor, Ben Foster, Mathew St. Patrick, Patricia Clarkson, Justina Muchado, Kathy Bates, James Cromwell. On this rewatch, I noticed that the series manages to seed important character developments and plot points through the earliest seasons, sometimes letting them germinate for years before they bloom. What feels like a loose, long series of stories is actually very tightly structured — without ever losing that fresh, raw sense of immediacy.

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

>>> It’s a free movie and it’s for kids. Save your grinchy grinching for someone who’s not giving a free movie to a kid.

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

 >>>For Saturday, Videoport Customer Kevin H. suggests a pair of movies about art! First up: The Best Offer (in Mystery/Thriller). Every so often a lost masterpiece turns up, found in an attic or maybe even painted over at some later date. World famous art appraiser/auctioneer Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush) is the type who makes such finds, except he’d never deign to dirty himself by poking about in attics. Mainly because he’s an irascible old prig who is never without pair of gloves on, so as to best avoid all actual human contact, I guess. But while he doesn’t care for people, he does love his art (he scams his own auctions in order to obtain desired works). When he is called to catalogue and sell the contents of a crumbling old villa, he becomes intrigued by the promise of what he finds. There may be pieces of a long lost automaton, for instance. Oh, and there’s his mysterious client, a woman who lives in secret behind the walls of the house and refuses to be seen. He’s kind of intrigued by that too. I don’t want to say too much else about it. A lot of things are not what they seem in this movie; watching the story unfold and allowing myself to be surprised at certain points was part of the fun. And it is, above all else, a fun movie. Director Guiseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) creates a stylish look and a breezy feel that seems like something from an earlier age of movie-making. And watching Geoffrey Rush give a performance that is over the top yet humanizing for a very unlikeable character, that’s a lot of fun too.

>>>For Sunday, Videoport Customer Kevin H. gives you the second half of his art movie double feature with Museum Hours (in Foreign Language). By contrast, Museum Hours is a quiet little film that takes place in large part amongst the works of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Johann, an aging guard at the museum, spends his days in near-invisibility, quietly observing and meditating on the museum’s artwork and visitors. One day a visitor, in need of directions, interrupts his routine. Anne, a Canadian, is only in Austria to attend to a comatose relative who has no one else. She speaks very little German, doesn’t have a lot of money, and like Johann appears to be more or less edging through middle age alone. In a more conventional movie this would be headed for a romance, but it isn’t, or at least not in the usual sense.  “What is it about some people that makes you curious, while with others one would be just as happy not to know anything about them?” asks Johann in a voiceover. Their romance is one of companionship. He shows her the city as he knows it and assists her, a foreigner, in navigating it. They talk – about the paintings in the museum, about their lives, about the city around them (and the city of Vienna is, as much as the artworks in the museum are, the background of the movie). They pass their time together, at ease with and respectful of one another. That’s maybe more of a rare thing than we might think.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Noah (Russell Crowe stars as the titular Biblical drunk boat builder, gathering a certain number of all the animals in the world because God loved us so much that He decided to drown the bejeezus out of the human race. Big budget, a good director [Darren Arnofsky], and a good supporting cast including Jennifer Connolly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins [who contractually must appear in all epic movies], Emma Watson, and the voice of Nick Nolte!), The Protector 2 (Ong Bak star and certifiably insane risk-taker and arse-kicker Tony Jaa is back in the sequel to that movie where he knocked out hundreds of goys with his sharp, deadly elbows), Jimmy P. (Great actors Benicio Del Toror and Mathieu Amalric star in this indie drama about a traumatized WWII Native American veteran and the caring French psychiatrist who tries to help him. Directed by Arnaud Desplechin of A Christmas Tale, Kings & Queen, and My Sex Life…Or How I Got Into An Argument), Appleseed Alpha (a gun-toting woman and her cyborg pal try to survive in the rubble of post-WWIII New York City in this continuation of the long-running anime series), Finding Vivian Maier (fascinating documentary about an unassuming nanny whose lifelong obsession of taking stunning photographs of the most rundown people and places of New York only was discovered after her death), Wahlburgers- season 1 (So former novelty music acts turned successful actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg [and some other non-famous Wahlberg brother] opened a burger restaurant? And people care about that? Enough that the increasingly-inaccurately named Arts & Entertainment network would make a reality show about it? That makes…sense? I guess? Anyway—enjoy!), The Other Woman (Three blonde women discover they’re all being betrayed by the same weaselly guy and set out for comical revenge in this comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton),Super Duper Alice Cooper (documentary about a particular makeup-wearing shock rocker. Nope, I’m not gonna tell you which one…)

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: The Other Woman, Noah

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…

 

Buy your movies at Videoport!

(Instead of some stupid chain store or soulless, small-business-crippling website.) Yup, apart from the many previously viewed movies and TV shows on hand at Videoport, we can get you anything that’s currently in print. We don’t charge shipping (or that handling nonsense), and you can have it in your hands in a bout a week. Sure, said corporate behemoths might get it a bit cheaper (because of their concentrated, small-business-crippling evil), but Videoport gives you a free rental with every single movie you buy from us. Call that $3.50 off the price, call that a blow for the little guy—all it really means is you get your movie and make the world a liiiiiitle bit better at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #457

Volume CDLVII—Videoport: The Videoporting

For the Week of 5/20/14

Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Why? We love movies and we want to share them with you. That’s why.

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 using the Monday-Thursday special (3 movies for a week for 7 bucks) to sample some Middle Aisle greatness! You know how you keep hearing about all these shows and movies that everyone says you have to see but then you forget them all or you make a list and look at it and get all daunted? Well, since you can load up with that special I was talking about, why not make yourself a Videoport sampler on the chaep? Some ideas? You got it: Firefly (in Sci Fi) is one of the best science fiction series I’ve ever seen. Hell, it’s one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen, a thrilling, moving, funny, imaginative space opera about a small band of outlaws and misfits banding together by chance and just trying to scape by in a totalitarian future where human dignity is scarce. Top-to-bottom great performances and brilliant writing, all thanks to the great Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, The Avengers, Cabin In The Woods). The Wire (in Mystery/Thriller). And this would be the best TV show I’ve ever seen. At root, it’s a story as old as TV—cops vs. drug dealers, this time on the very, very mean streets of Baltimore. But what this series does is take those well-worn raw materials and transform them over five stellar seasons, into the television equivalent of a great American novel. Fully a dozen of the most memorable characters in TV history come from this one show. Luther (in Mystery/Thriller.) Speaking of The Wire, Idris Elba, who plays Stringer Bell (one of those dozen memorable characters) stars (with his original British accent) in this gritty BBC cop show. In it, Elba is John Luther, tortured supercop. That’s really all you need to know—Idris Elba, supercop, awesome. The State (in Incredible Strange.) You love this 90s sketch comedy show and don’t even know it. I’ll prove it—have you enjoyed any of the following shows/movies: Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, The Ten, Children’s Hospital, The Baxter, Hell Baby, Burning Love, Wanderlust, Role Models, Reno 911—then you love The State, since the people involved in the still very funny sketch show went on to do all that other stuff.

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Blade Runner (in Sci Fi). It was in the middle of one more argument in the interminable ongoing daily argument that is the life of even the most tepid feminist that I suddenly understood, with the dazzling flash of suddenness that is the hallmark of revelation – my affection for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Even an avid watcher and rewatcher like me can admit that the film, whichever version you watch, is flawed. As a woman, I have spent my entire life so far, and will doubtless spend the rest of it, being told in a thousand subtle ways that I’m not really human, even though I appear human and have all the necessary human traits and inside, I certainly feel like a full-fledged human. But there are plenty of people I would otherwise like and respect who’ve uncritically swallowed the dehumanizing sexism of our society, who’ve allowed themselves to be inculcated with the subliminal idea that men are the default human model and that women are… well, not quite. (Of course, it’s worse and more complicated than that: the default human template in the U.S. is youngish white heterosexual cisgender middle-class male; everything that deviates from that narrow demographic slice is tacitly treated as something suspect, something devalued, something not entirely human.) When you spend every day of your life learning the silent lesson that you aren’t entirely human, the social politics of Blade Runner become fascinating. Because no matter how completely human I feel, most days someone will come along to remind me that in his eyes, I’m not… but the real inhumanity lies in the bigots who deny that humanity, and in the safely privileged people who stand by silently and watch bigotry unfold. Every day, that tortoise lies on its back in the sand, and you’re not helping, Leon. Why aren’t you helping?

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 Dogs Of War (in Action/Adventure.) At this point, Christopher Walken has become the movie industry’s weird, entertaining uncle. I’m not really complaining, Walken is exceptionally talented and always was, and whenever he shows up in one of the dozen or so crime thrillers he seems to do every year now it’s always strange and hammy and reliably thrilling. But if you go back in time (something Videoport is very good for), you can see Walken in movies where he was given a chance to be something different. I mean, he was always weird—those pale, koo-koo eyes were never going to cuddle up with Meg Ryan—but in movies like The Dead Zone, Pennies From Heaven, and even the reviled Heaven’s Gate, he could give some variety. For today (free on Tuesday with any other paid rental, of course), I’ll pick this 1980 war picture, where Walken applies his spooky intensity to the role of Jamie Shannon, a baby-faced mercenary who, betrayed and tortured while operating in a fictional African country, rounds up the guys in order to essentially overthrow the government. Don’t mess with Christopher Walken is the message, really. It’s a lean, muscular thriller, and Walken does a lot with a little—like I said, the young Walken had a blank-faced prettiness which makes his inevitable explosions of Walken-y violence all the more shocking here.

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 Like Someone In Love (in Foreign/The Criterion Collection.) A young Japanese call girl (Rin Takanashi) is engaged by an elderly widowed professor (Tadashi Okuno, looking like a much friendlier human version of the Muppet Waldorf). When she arrives at his tiny, book-lined apartment and finds he’s more interested in making her soup and talking than sex, she, already exhausted from her college exams, falls asleep. Accepting a ride back to Tokyo in the morning, she and the professor find themselves coping with Takanashi’s hot-headed, jealous boyfriend (Ryo Kase), mistaken identity and car trouble, leading to the typical Abbas Kiarostami ending: ambiguous, haunting and, to those less charitable, maddening. That ending — and most of the rest of this fascinatingly opaque film — worked just fine for me, as I remain a sucker for quiet, character-driven movies where again, the unsympathetic might say, “nothing really happens.” (See the films of Ming-liang Tsai, such as “Goodbye, Dragon Inn” and “What Time Is It There?” for more mesmerizing examples of the power of “nothing.”) I’d compare “Like Someone in Love” to the films of American auteur Jim Jarmusch as well, with its long, contemplative driving scenes (at least half of the film takes place inside the old man’s immaculate Volvo), welcome lack of exposition (we’re left to pick up on the characters’ situations as the story unfolds) and the driest of deadpan humor. It’s a delicate, minutely observed and quietly enthralling character study for people who, you know, are into that sort of thing.

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 a tribute. Legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis died this week at the age of 82. It’s hard to overstate Willis’ influence on film of the past 40 years. Just a glance at his credits proves that. In Klute, he painted scenes in warm neutrals lavished with shadow, a look that defined an era of filmmamking. In The Godfather trilogy, he translated that glamorous contrast into the language of morality, letting the darkness and beams of light play over the films as moments of moral clarity play in the characters’ consciences. But that distinctive canvas of dark punctuated with color weren’t the only tools in Willis’ kit. The black-and-white of Stardust Memories and Zelig tell stories as crisp and clear as a great newspaper epic. The Parallax View makes dizzying use of space, angle, and reflection to suffuse the film with the paranoia and panic that would become the signature of ’70s political thrillers. Gordon Willis didn’t define one look of a generation of film; he helped to set them all.

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 suggests Malice (in Mystery/Thriller.) While I’m recommending so many of Gordon Willis’ great and well-remembered films, it’s a little anticlimactic to swan in and suggest you rent the overwrought, overheated, overplotted thriller Malice. (In his review of the film upon its theatrical release, Roger Ebert notes, “Offhand, this is the only movie I can recall in which an entire subplot about a serial killer is thrown in simply for atmosphere.” I can now add Mr. Brooks  to the list.) But I’m doing it anyway. It’s a great example of Willis’ exuberant use of dark with just a splash of light to set a scene, to set a mood, to create something where there is… well, not nothing, but not much. I recently rewatched Malice, hooting with mixed pleasure and derision, and all the while marveling at how deftly this swampy mess dragged me in despite knowing exactly where it was going, and marveling at how excellently it was shot. Now that I know it was the work of Gordon Willis, the film’s adeptness and visual appeal make more sense. He knew how to play light and dark, the simple presence and absence of shadow, into a portrait of moral complexity.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests The Wire (in Mystery/Thriller.)  ALERT, URGENT, ALERT. ALL VIDEOPORT STAFFERS RESPOND. I have just been informed by a denizen of another city, one not lucky enough to have access to Videoport, that “The Wire,” HBO’s prestige drama tackling urban decay and socio-political stagnation that drives our poorest citizens to crime or misery, is not available on N*tflix. That’s right: arguably the greatest drama of our time is not available from the popular streaming service, thanks to yet another of those exclusivity agreements and back-room deals that constantly reduce consumers’ access to the finest programming. This is why, however useful streaming services can be, there’s no replacement for the variety and consistency of brick-and-mortar indie video stores like Videoport. Videoport isn’t beholden to corporate overlords or restricted by back-room deals. Videoport just wants to get you the movies and shows you want to watch, when you want to watch them.

New Releases this week at Videoport: The Monuments Men (George Clooney wrote and directed this fact-based WWII story about an unlikely team of soldiers who spent the last days of the war trying to recover all the stolen artworks the Nazis were trying to hide or destroy; Clooney stars as well alongside buddies John Goodman, Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchett; pair it up with the documentary about the same events The Rape Of Europa, which Videoport has because of course we do), 3 Days To Kill (Kevin Costner tries to jump start his own Liam Neeson, late-life action hero with this Taken-like thriller about a dying CIA agent whose daughter is kidnapped, forcing him to ply his “certain set of skills”), Vampire Academy (they’re young! They’re sexy! They’re vampires starring in another mystical action horror comedy based on a young adult book series! Gabriel Byrne’s in it, no doubt trying to keep a straight face!), About Last Night (when people say “loosely based on,” they’re probably thinking of stuff like this broadly comic take on David Mamet’s nasty one act play Sexual Perversity In Chicago; still, it’s got the very funny Kevin Hart [Ride Along] in there, along with talented and pretty people like Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, and Joy Bryant in a story about a couple of very mismatched couples), Call The Midwife- season 3 (you out there in Videoport-land love this BBC drama series about a group of plucky midwives in 1950s England dealing with sexism, illegal abortions, and tons o’babies), Pompeii (a slave-turned gladiator [think Spartacus and, well, Gladiator] rushes through the streets of the titular island city to save his beloved from having to marry a corrupt Roman senator, and then a freaking volcano erupts! Bad-freaking-day for that gladiator guy! Directed by the guy who did all the Resident Evil movies—so you know it’s good…),Like Someone In Love (from acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami comes this typically enigmatic drama about an elderly Japanese professor who hires a troubled young call girl and has his ordered life turned upside down)

 

New Arrivals at Videoport: The Mirror Has Two Faces (for some reason, we didn’t own this Barabara Streisand movie on DVD; and for some reason, several people asked about it last week. So here you go—Babs is a frumpy lady who wants Jeff Bridges to notice her, but he thinks sex isn’t important so they get married with a strict no-sex policy. But then Babs puts on a dress and Jeff gets all moony over her. Will true love prevail? Well, you guys asked for it…)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: 3 Days To Kill, The Monuments Men, Pompeii

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VideoReport #456

Volume CDLVI—Godzilla Is Real

For the Week of 5/13/14

 Videoport gives you a free movie every single day. Locally owned, independent, principled, awesome. Plus a free movie every day. Not too shabby…

 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 Fargo (in Mystery/Thriller). Of course everyone’s seen Fargo, the Coen Brothers’ near-perfect thriller set among the least-likely murderers the Midwest has to offer. I say near perfect, but I’m just hedging my bets—this is one of the best movies you’re ever going to see, a spellbinding, mystifying depiction of the mundane, commonplace evil that lurks even in the most placid faces. And the heroism. William H. Macy is the former, the stunning Frances McDormand the latter. Do yourself a favor and rent it if you haven’t seen it, or if you have. Then tune in to the new TV series Fargo on TV now. Now, there is no earthly reason why that show should work. Honestly, it sounded like the dumbest damned idea I’ve heard in a while—a “spiritual sequel” miniseries following another tangled mess of unlikely criminals and a dogged, unassuming lady cop who simply embodies the best of a certain aspect of the American character. It’s not the movie, and wisely doesn’t try to be, but it finds a way to evoke the film’s spirit. Neat trick. (Fargo the movie is on DVD. Fargo the TV show is not yet on DVD. Rent the movie—Videoport will have the show as soon as the DVD gods let us.)

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 Loved One (in Classics.) Videoport just brought in this notorious 1965 comedy which bills itself as “The motion picture with something to offend everyone!” You’re welcome! Starring a fresh-faced Robert Morse (you know him best as the significantly less fresh-faced advertising weirdo Bert Cooper on Mad Men), this black comedy about the Hollywood funeral business has a batsh*t insane cast including Rod Steiger (as Mr. Joyboy!), John Gielgud, Dana Andrews, Roddy McDowall, Tab Hunter, James Coburn, Milton Berle and Liberace. The studio hated it, writer Evelyn Waugh (upon whose novella the film was loosely based) disowned it, and the public either ignored it or hated it with a passion. Today, it’s thought of as a cult classic. Again, you’re welcome! (And hey, we also just got another Rod Steiger classic The Pawnbroker on DVD. I smell a Rod Steiger Tuesday double feature!)

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 using the vaunted Videoport 3 movies for a week for 7 bucks special (Monday-Thursday) to make yourself happy by taking home a trio of DVDs of the funniest TV shows we’ve got. Take three of the same show, or one each of three shows—either way, you’re gonna be laughing yourself silly and coming back for more. Party Down is a sitcom about a second rate Hollywood catering company where the employees are all hoping to be doing anything except serving hors d’oeuvres to the rich jerks at each week’s function. Truly amazing cast, with Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Martin Starr, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen, Megan Mullaly, Ken Jeong, and more. It’s rude, smart, and painfully hilarious. Key & Peele is simply the funniest sketch comedy show in more than a decade (since The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, which you should also rent), starring Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele, both of whom have the stunning ability to create very specific characters seemingly without limitation. Two black guys, Key & Peele do some of the most biting, insightful comedy about race since Chappelle’s Show, but I think this show’s better. Honestly, Jordan Peele is the most talented comic actor on television right now. Parks & Recreation. Videoport’s Sam refuses to watch this show (he calls it “Girl Office”) so I’m partly putting this one on the list just to annoy him. But this small town government sitcom starring the great Amy Poehler (See also Upright Citizen’s Brigade) is a better show than The Office. Yeah, I said it. The first season is a little rough—they hadn’t figured out Poehler’s Leslie Knope as a character yet, leaving her very Michael Scott-like in her bumbling obnoxiousness. But the show quickly found itself when it revealed Leslie as one of the most formidable, bizarrely optimistic characters in TV history, a small town functionary whose belief in the essential goodness of the loony townspeople of Pawnee, Indiana is both goofy and touchingly heartfelt. Plus, the show’s got one of the best supporting casts ever. Watch it all, but especially season four, where Leslie’s cockeyed run for public office produced one of the most brilliantly funny and improbably moving political satires ever. Sports Night is creator Aaron Sorkin’s sitcom, a pre-West Wing, pre-pre-The Newsroom portrait of the behind the scenes doings of the cast and employees of an ESPN-like sports cable channel. No, you don’t have to care about sports to like the show. (Much in the same way you can not care about football and still correctly assess Friday Night Lights as one of the best shows ever.) Peter Krause (Parenthood, Six Feet Under) and Josh Charles (The Good Wife, In Treatment) are the cool guy anchor best pals, Robert Guillaume is the wise, prickly boss, Felicity Huffman is the brilliant, work-obsessed producer, and Josh Malina and Sabrina Lloyd are the junior employees who spar and fall in love. It’s smart, fast-paced and full of some truly great TV writing. Nobody rents this show. You should rent this show. Girls is the deliciously divisive HBO sort of comedy from deliciously divisive writer/star/creator Lena Dunham about a quartet of twentysomething female friends trying to figure their sh*t out on the confusing mean streets of NYC. It’s smart, it’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s very, very painful. It’s great. 30 Rock is off the air now and I find myself missing it more all the time. Former Saturday Night Live writer Tina Fey created a show about the behind the scenes shenanigans of the people making a late night sketch comedy show. Along the way, Fey, playing perpetually lonely, overworked goofball writer/showrunner Liz Lemon created one of the most layered, feminist TV heroines ever, a perpetual screwup whose principles consistently get worked over by her commitment to her ever struggling trainwreck of a show and the need to cater to the whims of stars Jane Krakowski and Tracy Morgan, along with her boss Alec Baldwin. Consistently smart, hilarious, and downright insane. TV is 30% dumber and less weird now that 30 Rock is gone. Luckily you can get it (and all these great shows) at Videoport. What—you don’t like to laugh?

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 Hannibal (in Mystery/Thriller.) Following up on Monday’s Fargo recommendation, here’s another movie-based TV series which should not work in any sense known to humankind. The fact that this series, based on the characters from the Thomas Harris books which were turned into the ever-declining series of movies about Hannibal Lecter is one of the best shows on television this year is nothing short of a TV miracle. I’m gonna go ahead and say it—Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen [The Hunt, After The Wedding, Casino Royale] is a better Lecter than Anthony Hopkins. Yeah, I said it. And the look of the show (created by Bryan Fuller who made Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Wonderfalls) is simply stunning—gore or gourmet food, the show looks like nothing else on television. Hugh Dancy’s FBI profiler Will Graham and Laurence Fishburne’s formidable FBI man Jack Crawford chase Lecter, even though they don’t know they’re chasing him, a respected psychiatrist who is also the most brilliant, methodical serial killer ever. So far above what the usual TV cop/serial killer show throws at you, I don’t know if you can handle it. Yeah, I’m calling you chicken. Rent it and prove me wrong, you.

>>>Emily S. Customer suggests Searching For Sugar Man (in Documentary Arts.) Oscar-winning documentary director Malik Bendjelloul has died too soon. But he left behind a haunting, infuriating enchanting film: Searching for Sugar Man spins out its central mystery with provocative delay. The film centers around Bendjelloul’s search for folk musician Sixto Rodriguez, who dropped out of American public life in the early 70s despite industry rumors that he was tapped to be the next Bob Dylan. In our age of instant global connection, the mystery of Sixto Rodriguez isn’t so haunting, but Bendjelloul plays out the story in strategic bites; don’t spoil it by Googling the man and his music. For once, just let the story roll over your in its own time, in its own tune, as the director intended it. Just this once, as a memorial to him and a favor to yourself.

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, Dennis suggests Archer (in Animation.) As an adjunct to that whole funniest comedy TV shows in the store list, I’ll add this animated series to the list. (Editor’s note: if you want Dennis to just stop listing his favorite TV shows, send in your movie and TV reviews to The VideoReport at denmn@hotmail.com or Videoport’s Facebook page Videoport Jones. Seriously—put a stop to this.) Anyway, I watch TV on DVD while I make dinner and I’ve worked my way through all four seasons of this series about the worst spy agency in the world and it’s head spy, the peerlessly douche-y Sterling Archer (voiced by the great Jon Benjamin of Bob’s Burgers and Home Movies fame—you should rent those too, while you’re at it.) Joining Benjamin are Aisha Tyler as Lana, the one sensible agent at spy agency ISIS, who nonetheless finds herself constantly being drawn to Archer, Chris Parnell as office drone Cyril, Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter as Mallory Archer, ISIS head and Sterling’s domineering mom, Judy Greer as Carol/Cheryl, secretary and nutjob, Lucky Yates as resident mad scientist/possible Hitler clone Krieger, and Amber Nash as HR person and greatest character ever Pam (you really have to experience the greatness that is Pam for yourself.) It’s a sendup of Bond spy stuff, of he-man action heroes, of workplace comedies—it’s also a laugh-a-minute joke machine of rude, catchphrase-y giddy greatness. Like creator Adam Reed’s previous shows like Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo the clipart-looking animation and improv-y vocal style, Archer is a unique beast. But it’s also more character-driven—impossibly, you find yourself getting drawn to these sex-crazed, violent, weirdball idiots. It’ll make you giddy.

>>>For Sunday, Emily S. Customer suggests the works of H.R. Giger. Legendary artist H.R. Giger, who died this week at the age of 74, is perhaps best known to audiences as the designer of the xenomorph for Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien, and Giger’s indelible creature and set designs are deservedly renowned. But Giger had a long career in and out of film, and as a cinematic designer, he created some of the most haunting, horrific visions of dreadful beauty in film history. You can see Giger’s work in the Alien franchise and spin-offs (AlienAliensAlien3AVP: Alien vs. PredatorAliens vs. Predator: Requiem, and Prometheus), in Species, and in Poltergeist II: The Other Side. A great wave of relief washed over me when I realized that Videoport no longer boasts in its collection a film for which Giger served as creative consultant; I admit I wasn’t keen to suggest you watch Killer Condom [Kondom des Grauens], a 1996 German sex horror comedy with a protagonist named (I’m so sorry) Luigi Mackeroni. Let us wipe that from our collective minds and move on to anticipation of seeing Giger’s designs for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s scuttled Dune in Frank Pavich’s 2013 documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. The doc’s DVD release date hasn’t been set yet, but that’s a little something to look forward to, with no German sex horror comedy anywhere.

 

New Releases this week at Videoport: Orange Is The New Black- season 1 (finally coming to DVD, this drama about a well-off woman sent to prison for a ten year old crime and forced to interact with the colorful denizens therein; rumor has it this show was created for some sort of fly-by-night internet site, but it’s now available to rent from Videoport on DVD like all decent shows should be; seriously, this is one of the best TV series of the year ), Her (the last of last year’s Best Picture nominees finally comes to DVD; Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely computer guy who falls in love with Siri, essentially; voiced by Scarlett Johannson, it’s the sexiest operating system/human love story of the year!!), I Frankenstein (Aaron Eckhart stars as the sexily scarred-up but still pretty sexy Frankenstein’s monster who sexily battles evil gargoyle/demon things in the modern day in this very Underworld-y looking action horror flick; Sexy Frankensteins!! ), That Awkward Moment (Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and the talented Michael B. Jordan [Fruitvale Station] star in this guy-centric rom com about three best pals who deal with being guys and kissing girls and stuff), Eastbound And Down- season 4 (Danny McBride returns for one final go-round as Kenny Powers, former baseball player and all-time jerkass in this consistently hilarious and painful HBO series), Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation With Noam Chomsky (director Michel Gondry [Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind] made this typically odd, visually arresting documentary which uses hand-drawn animation to bring to life conversations with legendary linguist and philosopher Chomsky)

New Arrivals at Videoport: Waterloo Bridge (Vivien Leigh stars in this 1940 weeper about a ballerina who loses her job and becomes a prostitute when she believes her fiancée [Robert Taylor] dies in the war; then he comes back! Awkward…)

 

New Arrivals on Blu-Ray This Week At Videoport: Bernie, I Frankenstein, Her

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!