Thin Red Lines, Black Metal and More New DVDs

Thin Red Lines, Black Metal and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“The Thin Red Line” (1998)
Directed by Terrence Malick
Released by Criterion Collection

No, you won’t be getting the hours of deleted Adrien Brody or George Clooney footage from Malick’s World War II epic, but this Criterion version is most certainly an upgrade from the previous bare-bones DVD edition with 14 minutes of outtakes, new interviews with Sean Penn and composer Hans Zimmer, among others from the cast and crew, an audio commentary with cinematographer John Toll, production designer Jack Fisk and producer Grant Hill and more.

“7 Days” (2010)
Directed by Daniel Grou
Released by MPI Home Video

French Canadian horror author Patrick Senécal adapts his own novel to celluloid about a doctor (Claude Legault) who intercepts the man (Remy Girard) who raped and murdered his young daughter and turns the tables on him in a cabin in the woods. With a résumé including TV series like “Vampire High,” Daniel Grou, known in some circles by the nickname Podz, seems like the right man for the directing gig, making his feature debut here.

“Babies” (2010)
Directed by Thomas Balmes
Released by Focus Features

French filmmaker Balmès’ globetrotting documentary follows the development of four infants in four separate countries. From the womb to the first time they stand upright, the film shows toddlers from Namibia, Tokyo, San Francisco and Mongolia during their first few months of life.

“Carcasses” (2009)
Directed by Denis Côté
Released by Vanguard Cinema

A selection of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2009, Canadian helmer Côté blends fiction and nonfiction to tell the story of Jean-Paul Colmor, the owner of a junkyard for used cars in Quebec who takes in four teens afflicted with Down syndrome.

“Cat City” (2008)
Directed by Brent Huff
Released by MTI Home Video

Julian Sands, Rebecca Pidgeon and Brian Dennehy star in this thriller about a hotshot real estate developer whose affair with his wife’s law partner spirals out to affect a shady business deal the two have plotted, ultimately leading to murder and mayhem.

“Chasing 3000” (2008)
Directed by Gregory Lanesey
Released by Maya Entertainment

Set in the 1970s, Trevor Morgan and Rory Culkin star as brothers who hit the road with the hopes of seeing Roberto Clemente notch his 3000th hit for the Pittsburgh Pirates, a journey that takes on a more noble purpose when Culkin’s Roger starts to succumb to muscular dystrophy. Ray Liotta and Lauren Holly co-star in this coming-of-age drama.

09232010_CocoIgor.jpg“Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky” (2010)
Directed by Jan Kounen
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Now available to be enjoyed as the second half of a double feature with last year’s Audrey Tatou starrer “Coco Before Chanel,” Sony Pictures Classics’ other acquisition concerning the French fashion designer stars Anna Mouglalis as Chanel on the eve of the great success of her famed fragrance Chanel No. 5 as she indulges in a torrid love affair with Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen), whose career is on the wane, after the death of her lover Boy Capel. (Aaron Hillis’ interview with Mikkelsen is here.)

Fangoria Frightfest

The legendary horror fan magazine is breaking into the branding distribution business (a la After Dark) with a collection of frightening flicks that were festival staples in recent years including the Jeffrey Combs haunted house thriller “Dark House”, the simply titled “Pig Hunt” from “Skinwalkers” director Jim Isaac, the psychological drama “Hunger”, the Michael Madsen-starrer “The Tomb”, the Spanish drama “The Haunting”, the Australian rampage thriller “Road Kill”, and the Keri Russell-Thomas Kretschmann truth-based “Grimm Love”.

“Frozen” (2010)
Directed by Adam Green
Released by Anchor Bay Films

With “Hatchet 2” about to hit theaters, Green’s other 2010 horror film is already hitting DVD, telling the story of three friends whose ski vacation turns into a nightmare when they become stranded on a chairlift.

“Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema” (2010)
Directed by Ralph Ziman
Released by Anchor Bay Films

Writer/director Ralph Ziman uses South Africa as the setting for the “Scarface”-like tale of two teens in Johannesburg who rise through the criminal underworld to escape the life in the slums. (Bruce Bennett’s review of the film is here.)

“Get Him to the Greek” (2010)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Released by Universal Home Entertainment

Russell Brand’s debaucherous rocker Aldous Snow gets his own film with this “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” spinoff from writer/director Nicholas Stoller that sees Snow as the unwilling charge of Jonah Hill’s lowly music company intern, who must accompany the rocker from London to Los Angeles in 72 hours.

“The Girl From Cortina” (1994)
Directed by Maurizio Vanni and Isabel Russinova
Released by Mya/Ryko Distribution

Vanessa Gravina stars as a frightened young woman who comes back home to escape the literal and figurative ghosts of her past, only to find that some horrors she hasn’t been able to leave behind.

“Good” (2008)
Directed by Vicente Amorim
Released by National Entertainment Media

Long delayed on DVD because of the legal woes of its now-bankrupt distributor ThinkFilm, this World War II-set drama stars Viggo Mortensen as a literature professor who finds himself caught up in the Nazi party. Jason Isaacs and Jodie Whittaker co-star. (Aaron Hillis’ interview with Mortensen is here.)

“Harlow” (1965)
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Released by Olive Films

Carroll Baker stars in this biopic of the 1930s blonde bombshell Jean Harlow, co-starring Peter Lawford, Red Buttons and Angela Lansbury.

“The Haunting Cinema of Frantisek Vlacil”
Directed by Frantisek Vlacil
Released by Facets Multimedia

Czech filmmaker Vlacil gets a double feature of his humanist dramas, 1970’s “Adelheid,” about a soldier’s affair with his servant, and 1960’s “The White Dove,” about a young boy who nurses a pigeon back to health.

“Helen” (2008)
Directed by Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy
Released by Vanguard Cinema

A vet of Telluride and Thessaloniki Film Festivals, this British drama centers on an 18-year-old woman whose role as a stand-in for a police investigation into a local murder leads to soul searching in her own life after realizing the victim had the life she never got a chance at as an orphan.

“I Want Your Girl” (2009)
Directed by Miks Ozolins
Released by Osiris Entertainment

“Indecent Proposal” done up country style, Lochlyn Munro stars in this comedy about a man who is offered $1 million to leave his significant other with a farmer (Robert Pike Daniel) after they’re stranded by a thunderstorm on his land.


“I’m Gonna Explode” (2008)
Directed by Gerardo Naranjo
Released by MPI Home Video

Brought to you by producers Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, Naranjo’s unusual romantic drama sees two teens hit the road after serving detention for a talent show prank to free themselves from a world in which they feel like misfits.

“The Iron Bodyguard” (1973)
Directed by Chang Cheh
Released by Media Blasters

Another kung fu epic to emerge from the Shaw Brothers vault, “Iron Bodyguard” follows a rebellious security guard (Chen Kuan Tai) who fights on behalf of the criminals he believes have been wronged during the Ching Dynasty.

“Iron Man 2” (2010)
Directed by Jon Favreau
Released by Paramount Pictures

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his turn as Tony Stark in the Jon Favreau’s follow-up to the 2008 superhero extravaganza that firmly believes the more the merrier with the addition of Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash into the mix. (Matt Zoller Seitz’s review for the film is here.)

“The Kid: Camacho” (2009)
Directed by Miguel Necoechea
Released by Maya Entertainment

Martin Sheen stars in this boxing drama about an estranged father and son (Kirk Harris) who make up for lost time by training a younger fighter (Alex Perea). Who else but Michael Madsen co-stars in this film from Miguel Necoechea.

“Knock on Wood” (1953)
Directed by Norman Panama
Released by Olive Films

Olive Films dusts off this Paramount comedy that stars Danny Kaye as a ventriloquist whose puppet gets jealous when his fiancée enters the picture, a problem that snowballs into international intrigue when the puppet’s maker turns out to be a spy who hides secret documents in the ventriloquist’s suitcase on his trip to Zurich.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.