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New on DVD 5/6/14

New On DVD

 

5 new releases to take a look at:

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars

Released in theaters on March 14th Veronica Mars broke the mold.  It was the first time one of the 6 major Hollywood Studios (Warner Brothers) released a movie in theater and for in home viewing o the same day.  Veronica Mars was a project crowd-funded on kickstarter and based on a TV series of the same name, that was cancelled much to the chagrin of its’ loyal followers.  I have yet to see this film or the show but I am a fan of Kristen Bell so I will hopefully get to see this soon.

Still Mine

Still Mine

Love story starring James Cromwell that is based on a true story.  From what I read about the film Cromwell was excellent and the story and light but moving.

After the Dark

After the Dark

Interesting concept movie when a philosophy teacher challenges his class to a final thought experiment.  Suspense, horror, thriller as the group gets all Lord of Flies and as people start taking sides as the lines of theory and reality blur.

The Legend of Hercules

The Legend of Hercules

Seems like nonone likes this film as it is a rotten 3% on Rotten Tomotoes and is getting sliced and diced by critics and audiences.

Labor Day

Labor Day

I have a lot of interest in seeing this one as it was shot in the next town over from me in Sutton MA.  I wrote an article a while back regarding this.  No success in the theater and with these two actors you should have had more.  Winslet and Broden star in this tale of a Mother and her son and a criminal hiding out in their house.  Hoping to check his one out this week.

That’s it that’s all

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts Poster

Written by: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
Directed by: Benh Zeitlin
Starring:Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly
Reviewed by: Scott

Shot in Louisiana in a world outside the levees called ”the bathtub” Beasts of the Southern Wild is part fairy-tale part everything.  I had no idea what “the Bathtub” was until the opening of this film and I was on a guided tour of this unique, self-reliant, disconnected community through the eyes of a 6-year-old named Hushpuppy.

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Hushpuppy is strong, because she has to be, she is self-reliant, because she has to be, she is resilient.  The relationship between Hushpuppy and her father Wink is complicated and certainly would not be tolerated in the connected world.  He is a drunk and in no way a good father, as represented by moments of physical and verbal abuse doled out to the 6-year-old Hushpuppy but underneath this is a father who is trying to make his daughter a survivor, forced to raise his daughter alone as the mother is no longer around.  He teaches her to fish with her bare hands and at one moment he pumps her up so much she is yelling “I’m the man” in one of the most touching father daughter moments in the film.

Beasts

Life is not easy for Hushpuppy, her father Wink or anyone that lives in ” the Bathtub”but they would not have it any other way.  With a  storm approaching the town readies itself for survival even after dire warnings to evacuate the area. They will not run from the community they call home, regardless of the threats from Mother Nature, the ice caps melting and the return of the aurochs, an ancient creature  that would eat its own family to survive.  As the Aurochs make their way from the polar ice caps to “the bathtub” the tension grows for an inevitable face to face with our main character.

(Quvenzhané Wallis)

First time Director Benh Zeitlin  refused to use a tripod and had very little resources for this film but this does not detract from it too much.  The classic “shaky cam” is apparent but adds a sense of realism to film, shot much like a documentary.  I am not a fan of this tactic but I was surprisingly unaffected by this.  Other special effects include the shots of the Aurochs which were surprisingly well done considering the budget.  Overall the presentation and cinematography are on par with many indie films, you could see that it was shot on a low-budget but the content and acting overshadowed the deficiencies.

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The two main characters, Hushpuppy and Wink played by Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry respectively are in this film without any prior acting which gave them a raw sincerity.  You as a viewer forget that they are actors and feel as though you are watching their reality unfold before you and that is a testament to the work they did on this film.  The acting is by far the best part of this film and carries it through at its’ weakest moments.

Beasts is magical, plain and simple, it is like someone took a fairytale and put it in the Bayou.  The film is laden with allegory that will be discussed for years to come and probably in some college film classes.  It jumps from fiction to reality seamlessly while not knowing where one ends and one begins.  I give Beasts of the Southern Wild two and half guys.

2andHalfGuys

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Bargain_Bin

Welcome to this week’s review from The Bargain Bin! Danny DeVito! Today, we know Mr. DeVito as “Frank Reynolds” the hilariously demented dad of Dennis and Dee Reynolds on the hit comedy show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. Believe it or not, there was a time when Daniel Michael DeVito was, well, just a mere movie star who played second, or yes, even third billing to mega stars like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Lets quickly take a brief look at the career of Mr. DeVito. Early in Danny DeVito’s career there were films such as 1973′s not so well known comedy/drama “Hurry Up or I’ll Be 30″ (Petey) and of course the 1976 Oscars dominating film  based on Ken Kesey’s best seller “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in which Mr. DeVito plays the lovable looney “Martini”, but for most of us, at least for myself, the earliest memory I have of Danny DeVito is his role as the hilariously evil cab dispatcher “Louie DePalma” of the hit comedy TV show “Taxi” (1978-1983). It is safe to say that DeVito’s role as DePalma, although a television role, is the job that may have really helped to launch him into his hugely successful film career that really took off in the eighties with films like this week’s selection from The Bin and other 1980′s hits such as the hit comedies “Ruthless People” (1986) and “Throw Momma from the Train”(1987). Danny DeVito’s wildly successful career in the eighties just kept on rolling through the nineties with hit films like  “Batman Returns” (1992) and “L.A. Confidential” (1997). Now, as mentioned earlier, you have maybe his most beloved character “Frank Reynolds” of the hit television show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia” (2005-20013- Frank Reynolds didn’t appear until the 2006 season). Not a bad big and small screen career for the guy from Asbury Park, New Jersey! As you know by now, this week’s review is of the film that you could say began his string of hits in the eighties. This week’s film is the hit action/comedy film also starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner…………..

Romancing the Stone

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Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Diane Thomas
Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and DannyDeVito.
Reviewer: Joe Sikes

Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is a best selling romance/adventure novelist who, you could say, lives a rather conservative lifestyle in relation to her lustful action novels. Miss. Wilder has just completed her most recent, highly anticipated novel and who better than to celebrate the momentous occasion with than her cat “Romeo”. You could say that Joan lives vicariously through her writing as a way to deal with her life that is missing the passion and action that she depicts in her novels. Joan dreams of actually meeting  a man like the hero that saves the day and gets the damsel in distress in her famous novels but her dream has yet to come close to her reality. Little does Joan know that her life is about to resemble her writing in a way that she will not soon forget.

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Joan Wilder’s beloved sister, Elaine (Mary Ellen Trainor) is in trouble and Joan is forced to step outside of her comfort zone and travel to Cartagena, Columbia, to save her abducted sister, much to the dismay of her publicist, Gloria (Holland Taylor). After only a short time in Columbia, Joan winds up in a bus accident that turns into a cross fire battle only to be saved by a rugged gentleman by the name of Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas). Joan is in quite the bind while being many miles away from where her sister is  held captive by the bickering, humorous  amateur kidnappers Ralph (Dany DeVito) and Ira (Zack Norman). Fortunately, Joan has the money that it takes to pay Jack T. Colton to take her to her troubled sister. Is Jack just a means to Cartagena or the man that Joan has been writing and dreaming about through her novel, in the flesh? Maybe he is both! Check out “Romancing the Stone” and find out! If you like Romancing the Stone, you might like “Jewel of the Nile”, which is pretty much the same movie but not as good.

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To be completely honest, I actually like “Romancing the Stone” very much. I mean, not as much as movies like, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” or “Blade Runner” but, all in all, Romancing the Stone is a film that has its moments of humor and action that make it a movie worth watching for the first time and a movie that is worth watching again. Lets not forget Mr. DeVito who really helps to provide some of the comedy that makes Romancing of the Stone work! I give Romancing the Stone 2 out of 3 Guys. See you next time with another review from the Bargain Bin!

2guys copy

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Bargain_Bin
Welcome to this week’s review from The Bargain Bin! This week’s selection was impossible to pass up for a mere five bucks. There are movies in The Bargain Bin ranging from Ghost Dad to Goodfellas and there are different reasons for not reviewing either of the aforementioned DVD’s. Although I am a fan of Bill Cosby, I just can’t imagine sitting in front of my TV long enough to watch Ghost Dad. I mean, Ghost Dad could be 20 minutes long and still, I couldn’t see myself making it through the first five minutes. Yet, this being The Bargain Bin, you never know if Ghost Dad might make its way into the mix, a long-shot but possible, if only because of the potential for absolute crappiness. Sometimes you have to put your personal tastes second when digging for a movie to review from The Bin. Goodfellas, on the other hand, I think we all know, is a great movie and although I would love to buy Goodfellas for a steal at five bucks, Goodfellas is just too good to review for a segment titled ‘The Bargain Bin!” Reviewing Goodfellas from The Bargain Bin would be like coming across No Country for Old Men in The Bin, which I have, and reviewing it just because No Country for Old Men is such an amazing film. In other words, there are many great movies that cannot be reviewed for The Bargain Bin segment and there are many horrible movies that may be reviewed but whether good movie or bad movie, which of course is a matter of opinion, there has to be a certain rhyme and reason that suits the character of the “It Came from the Bargain Bin!” segment. This week’s pick from The Bin, although a very good movie, it most definitely suits the personality of The Bargain Bin review piece. This week’s review from The Bargain Bin is the 1994 indie film written and directed by Kevin Smith………

Clerks

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Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith
Reviewer: Joe Sikes

Welcome to a day in the lives of Quick Stop convenience store clerk Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and RST video store clerk Randall Graves (Jeff Anderson). Woken up by a morning phone call from his employer, Dante receives the unfortunate news that his services are needed at the store that day due to an employee who has called out. Dante is assured that his employer will be in by noon, thus still giving Dante the opportunity to play in the hockey game at two o’clock. Although Dante’s morning may be ruined, there is still a chance that the rest of his day will be one of leisure……….so he thinks.

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As soon as Dante’s day begins at the Quick Stop he discovers that it is not the day to be working behind the counter at the store that seems to be a magnet for bad news and happenings that Dante could do without. Luckily for Dante, he has his good buddy Randal working next door at the RST video store. Unfortunately, Randal, as good a friend as he may be, tends to add stress to Dante’s already stressful day. You see, Randal has a hatred for most of the customers at the Quick Stop and the RST video store and he has no problem with expressing his discontent in ways that, although may be hilarious, you could say angers the patrons and in-turn stresses out Dante. Adding to Dante’s anxiety are customers like the chewing gum representative who rouses cigarette customers to the point of a near anti-smoking riot resulting in Dante being pelted with cigarettes and the two loitering idiots who go by the names of Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) who curse out patrons and sell drugs in the parking lot all day. Although indeed stressful, the customers are the least of Dante’s concerns. Dante’s girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) soon admits to him that she has sucked thirty six dicks…not including his, resulting in a hilarious argument in the store. Like the news of his girlfriend’s fellatio achievements isn’t enough, Dante also finds out that his ex-girlfriend has passed resulting in a memorable visit to her wake by Dante and his buddy Randal. On top of all of the previously mentioned stresses, Dante also hears that his ex-girlfriend Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonauer), whom he still has feelings for, is engaged to marry an Asian Design major from her school. All of these personal tragedies and Dante isn’t even supposed to be at work today! Can a Star Wars conversation, a twelve minute hockey game and wise words from Silent Bob of all people, shed some much needed light on Dante’s day from hell? You will have to watch Clerks and see now won’t you.

Jay and Silent Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerks is the film that launched writer/director/actor, Kevin Smith’s career. Made for a mere twenty seven thousand dollars, Clerks brought in over three million dollars. Not bad for a black and white indie film that was filmed in three weeks and largely paid for through funds that Kevin Smith acquired by selling his comic book collection, maxing out his credit cards, utilizing funds meant to pay for his college education, and the insurance money he received after losing his car in a flood. The film Clerks, much like The Blair Witch Project, is an example of what is possible if you have somewhat decent financial means, family and friends who are willing to be in your film that may or may not succeed, and the talent and know-how to put a movie together. There are a number of laugh out loud moments, mostly provided by Jeff Anderson as Randal and Jason Mewes as Jay but what really drives Clerks is the wit and biting humor of the dialog. I give Clerks 2 and a 1/2 out of 3 Guys. See you next week with another review from The Bargain Bin!

2 and a half

 

 

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