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“Red Riding” Comes Home, Michael Caine Loads His Shotgun, and More New DVDs

“Red Riding” Comes Home, Michael Caine Loads His Shotgun, and More New DVDs  (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Red Riding Trilogy” (2010)
Directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, and Anand Tucker
Released by IFC Films

Jarrold (“Brideshead Revisited”), Marsh (“Man on Wire”) and Tucker (“Shopgirl”) take on the epic true crime story of the Yorkshire Ripper, the serial killer that haunted England throughout the ’70s and ’80s in this three-part series of films: Jarrold’s “1974,” which stars future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield as a journalist investigating the crime, Marsh’s “1980,” which follows Paddy Considine’s veteran cop who suspects corruption within his own department, and Tucker’s “1983,” which tracks David Morrissey’s detective as he makes the connection between a current kidnapping and those of years ago. (Aaron Hillis’ interview with James Marsh is here.)

“Beatdown” (2010)
Directed by Mike Gunther
Released by Lionsgate

Don’t you hate it when your brother’s murdered, leaving you to make up his debt to a local gangster by fighting in an underground MMA cage fighting circuit? Well, that’s exactly what happens to “Apocalypto” star Rudy Youngblood in this drama that co-stars Danny Trejo and Eric Balfour.

“Clear Lake, WI” (2009)
Directed by Brian Ide
Released by Osiris Entertainment

Michael Madsen plays a shadowy character known simply as The Reverend whose sermons inspired a group of teens to kidnap townsfolk he thought were infected with a deadly disease and this thriller follows the surviving disciples, now in their 20s, as they return to the town and come to terms with what they’ve done.

“Echoes of the Rainbow” (2009)
Directed by Alex Law
Released by Tai Seng

Alex Law’s ’60s coming-of-age story picked up a Crystal Bear from the children at this year’s Berlinale for this genteel depiction of an eight-year-old son of a shoemaker named Big Ears who competes for the attention of his parents with his model older brother and is called upon to help after the devastation of a typhoon that wipes out his parents’ shop.

“The Final Girl” (2008)
Directed by Todd Verow
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures

Three French women go in search of a fourth in this mystery from Todd Verow that was a staple of the LGBT circuit in the past two years.

“Four in the Morning” (1965)
Directed by Anthony Simmons
Released by VCI Entertainment

Judi Dench won a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles back in the ’60s for what was just her third film in Simmons’ drama about two couples brought together by a drowning at a nearby lake.

08282010_AnneMarieDuffFrenchFilm.jpg“French Film” (2008)
Directed by Jackie Oudney
Released by IFC Films

Hugh Bonneville plays a British writer whose relationship goes sour on the eve of interviewing a French director known for his expertise on matters of the heart (soccer star Eric Cantona) in this comedy that explores cultural differences when it comes to romance.

“Harry Brown” (2010)
Directed by Daniel Barber
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Michael Caine goes all “Gran Torino” in a thriller about an ex-marine who avenges his friend’s death at the hands of a local gang. Emily Mortimer co-stars in Barber’s feature debut. (Bilge Ebiri’s review is here.)

“Heavy Mental” (2009)
Directed by Mike Hartman
Released by Troma

A wannabe rocker gets what he thinks is the gift of a lifetime when he obtains the guitar of legendary heavy metal god Eddie Lee Stryker, but soon discovers his new axe is possessed by his spirit that wants revenge on the gang that killed him. Look out for Troma chief Lloyd Kaufman in a cameo.

“Made for Each Other” (2010)
Directed by Daryl Goldberg
Released by IFC Films

Christopher Masterson stars with brother Danny’s wife Bijou Phillips in this comedy about a newly married man whose wife’s vaginal piercing makes it impossible for him to enjoy a proper honeymoon, leaving him in an awkward position when he sleeps with her sister and attempts to relieve his conscience by setting up the new missus with another man. Lauren German, George Segal and Patrick Warburton co-star.

08282010_OSS117.jpg“OSS 117: Lost in Rio” (2010)
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Released by Music Box Films

For fans of the swinging super spy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (a.k.a. OSS 117), Music Box Films is bringing the second adventure in the French spoof series Stateside, picking up a dozen years after the events of “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies.” This time around, the top secret agent (Jean Dujardin) is teamed with busty Mossad agent Dolores Kuleshov (Louise Monot) to help retrieve a compromising microfilm of French Nazi sympathizers from the clutches of a Third Reich blackmailer.

“A Quiet Little Marriage” (2008)
Directed by Mo Perkins
Released by IFC Films

Winner of the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival in 2008 and the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance in 2009, Perkins’ drama centers around a young married couple (Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Cy Carter) who resort to deceiving each other when they come to a crossroads on whether to have a child. Melanie Lynskey, Charlie Day and Jimmi Simpson co-star.

“Tormented” (2009)
Directed by Jon Wright
Released by IFC Films

Tipped to be a star in America once “Beastly” and the sci-fier “I Am Number Four” come out next year, you can get your first glimpse of Alex Pettyfer in this horror comedy about a dead teen who rises from the grave to get comeuppance on his classmates.

“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?” (2010)
Directed by Tyler Perry
Released by Lionsgate

More analysis and hysterics follow the four couples of Perry’s 2007 romantic comedy to the Bahamas. Jill Scott, Janet Jackson, Sharon Leal and Tasha Smith star.

“The Waiting Room” (2007)
Directed by Roger Goldby
Released by IFC Films

Also appearing in “French Film,” it’s a big week for fans of James McAvoy’s better half Anne-Marie Duff, who stars in this slightly more serious romantic comedy about two strangers whose chance encounter at a train station causes them to reflect on their past relationships and wonder whether they’d be better in each other’s arms than the significant others they’re currently with.

[Additional photos: “French Film,” IFC Films, 2008; “OSS 117: Lost in Rio,” Music Box Films, 2010]

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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