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DID YOU READ

The “Afterschool” Special, Amanda Seyfried x2 and More New on DVD

The “Afterschool” Special, Amanda Seyfried x2 and More New on DVD (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Afterschool” (2009)
Directed by Antonio Campos
Released by MPI Home Video

Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, Campos’ polarizing debut stars Ezra Miller as a high schooler whose AV club assignment leads him to capture the drug-induced deaths of two of his popular prep school classmates. [Sam Adams’ review of the film is here.]

“All Men Are Brothers” (1975) and “Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms” (1978)
Directed by Chang Cheh and Wu Ma/Chang Cheh
Released by Well Go USA

Well Go USA do long-suffering American kung fu fans a solid and finally release “All Men Are Brothers,” the sequel to the Shaw Brothers’ epic “Seven Blows of the Dragon” (a.k.a. “Water Margin”) featuring David Chiang and Chen Kuan-tai as warriors battling against the tyranny of despots, and “Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms,” which pits Shaw brothers favorites’ the Venom Mob against the master that crippled them.

“The Black Cauldron” (1985)
Directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich
Released by Disney

Once considered a black mark on Disney when it was a box office failure in 1985, the company is now celebrating the 25th anniversary of this hero’s journey of a farmboy who must retrieve a prized pig to prevent the rise of a league of undead warriors. The new disc includes a new deleted scene, notable since the film was trimmed during its initial release after being the first Disney film to receive a PG.

“Boogie Woogie” (2009)
Directed by Duncan Ward
Released by MPI Home Video

Ward sends up the art world with an all-star cast including Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Seyfried, Alan Cumming, Heather Graham and more battling it out in London’s fierce gallery scene. [Aaron Hillis’ interview with star Danny Huston is here and Bilge Ebiri’s review of the film is here.]

09072010_CasinoJack.jpg“Casino Jack and the United States of Money” (2010)
Directed by Alex Gibney
Released by Magnolia Pictures

Oscar-winning “Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room” director Gibney ruffles some feathers with all the Washington higher-ups included in this look at disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s rise within the Republican Party as a trusted operative and bagman, including former U.S. representatives Bob Ney and Tom DeLay, who both sit down for interviews.

“Just Wright” (2010)
Directed by Sanaa Hamri
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

“Something New” director Hamri helms this romantic comedy about a physical therapist (Latifah) who starts to have feelings for her patient (Common), a New Jersey Nets star whose recent knee injury threatens his career. Unfortunately for her, he starts up a relationship with her best friend (Patton) first. One can expect true love will find a way, but even with the NBA’s blessing, just don’t expect true b-ball action.

“Letters to Juliet” (2010)
Directed by Gary Winick
Released by Summit Entertainment

Amanda Seyfried makes her second appearance on DVD shelves this week with this light romantic comedy from “13 Going on 30” director Winick about a young woman who travels to Verona with her foodie boyfriend (Gael Garcia Bernal) and helps out a fellow tourist (Vanessa Redgrave) find a lover from decades earlier.

“Looking for Eric” (2009)
Directed by Ken Loach
Released by MPI Home Video

Soccer star Eric Cantona is featured in “Wind That Shakes the Barley” director Loach’s comedy as the life coach to a down-on-his-luck Manchester United fan and mailman (Evets) who is trying to recapture some of the old magic with one of his former flames. [Matt Zoller Seitz’s review of the film is here.]

“Madchen in Uniform” (1958)
Directed by Géza von Radványi
Released by Wolfe Video

Romy Schneider stars as a boarding school student who falls for her female teacher in this 1958 German remake of a 1931 classics that has largely been out of public rotation since it was brought overseas in 1965.

09072010_MySonMySonWhatHaveYeDone.jpg“My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done” (2010)
Directed by Werner Herzog
Released by First Look Studios

David Lynch executive produced this drama based on the true story of a murderer, played by Michael Shannon, who killed his mother after being inspired by the Greek tragedy “Oresteia.” Chloë Sevigny, Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Michael Pena and Willem Dafoe are on hand to fill out the cast. [Aaron Hillis and Bilge Ebiri have interviews with Herzog.]

“The Next Hit” (2008)
Directed by Antwan Smith
Released by Lionsgate

Flo Rida and Rick Ross lend street cred to this thriller set in the world of Miami hip hop where a rap label takes advantage of the death of one of the artists for bigger posthumous sales, amid growing suspicion that they might’ve been responsible for his death.

“Outrage” (2010)
Directed by Ace Cruz
Released by Phase 4 Films

Make it three weeks in a row for Michael Madsen direct-to-DVD debuts (and amazingly the first we’ve mentioned that was produced in his “magical” 2009). Here, he plays an ex-military sniper who decides to make some urban visitors (including Natasha Lyonne) his prey in the woods of Georgia.

“The Penitent Man” (2010)
Directed by Nicholas Gyeney
Released by Synergetic Distribution

A selection of this year’s Seattle Film Festival, “The Penitent Man” stars Lance Henriksen as a man who claims to be from the future, which confounds his put-upon psychiatrist (Lathrop Walker) who wonders whether his patient is actually telling the truth and how that might affect his own life.

“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010)
Directed by Mike Newell
Released by Disney

Jake Gyllenhaal shows off his tanned abs as a prince who, with the help of former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, must seize a dagger with the potential to turn back time from a mustache-twirling Ben Kingsley in this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced summer diversion that got the thumbs up from our resident game expert Evan Narcisse.

09072010_PrincessKaiulani.jpg“Princess Ka’iulani” (2009)
Directed by Marc Forby
Released by Roadside Attractions

Four years after beating out countless actresses to play Pocahontas in Terrence Malick’s “The New World,” Kilcher reintroduces herself to audiences once more as the half-Hawaiian, half-Scottish crown princess who fought against U.S. annexation of Hawaii after the islands’ kingdom was overthrown in 1893. Longtime producer Forby (“Prom Night”) makes his directorial debut on this $9 million production that stirred controversy and won an audience award when it premiered at the Hawaiian Film Festival last year. [Matt Zoller Seitz’s review is here.]

“Raging Phoenix” (2009)
Directed by Rashane Limtrakul
Released by Magnet Releasing

A martial arts flick from Thailand, Jeeja Yanin follows up her star turn in “Ong Bak” helmer Prachya Pinkaew’s “Chocolate” as yet another woman done wrong who fights back.

“Starcrash” (1978)
Directed by Luigi Cozzi
Released by Shout! Factory

This Roger Corman-produced sci-fi extravaganza arrives on Blu-ray for the first time where this cult classic and the exploits of Caroline Munro’s bikini-clad space ranger Stella Star might best be appreciated. David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plummer co-star.

“Stiffs” (2010)
Directed by Frank Ciota
Released by Monterey Video

Danny Aiello plays a hearse driver who drums up business for his mob-owned funeral parlor by bringing in some unwilling customers in this comedy. Mafia flick staples Jon Polito and Frank Vincent, as well as Lesley Ann Warren co-star.

“The Twenty” (2009)
Directed by Chopper Bernet
Released by Osiris Entertainment

If you thought this was a remake of the 1993 Brendan Fraser drama “Twenty Bucks,” you wouldn’t be so far off as Bernet gathers an ensemble including Clancy Brown, Laraine Newman and Lisa Darr to surround himself with as an alcoholic who finds a message on the back of a $20 bill that sends him on a road to recovery that isn’t necessarily what his friends and family had in mind.

09072010_UnderStillWaters.jpg“Under Still Waters” (2008)
Directed by Carolyn Miller
Released by MPI Home Video

The Newport Beach Film Festival bestowed a Best Actress prize to Lake Bell for this thriller from first-time director Miller about a married couple (Bell and Jason Clarke) who seek some R & R in the woods before finding their vacation derailed by a stranger (Clifton Collins Jr.) they nearly hit on the road.

Also making their first appearance on Blu-ray: The Jean Claude Van Damme double feature “Bloodsport/Timecop,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless,” Stanley Donen’s “Charade” (Criterion), Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Delicatessen,” the horror flick “Feast,” Phillip Kaufman’s “1978 remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Adrian Lyne’s “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Lord of the Rings” (available separately), Richard Fleicher’s controversial “Mandingo,” a 3D Blu-ray of “Monster House,” Heath Ledger’s “The Order,” “Return of the Living Dead,” “Se7en,” the non-Criterion re-release of “The Third Man,” Jet Li’s “Unleashed”

[Additional photos: “Casino Jack and the United States of Money,” Magnolia Pictures, 2010; “My Son My Son What Have Ye Done,” First Look Studios, 2009; “Princess Ka’iulani,” Roadside Attractions, 2010; “Under Still Waters,” IFC Films, 2008]

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

SAE_102_tout_2

Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

IFC_ComedyCrib_ThePlaceWeLive_SeriesImage_web

SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.