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2010 Holiday Movie Guide – DVD

2010 Holiday Movie Guide – DVD (photo)

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The 2010 Holiday Movie Guide. What's showing when, where and how.

The 2010 IFC Holiday Film Guide

Contrary to even our own guide to what’s coming out on video-on-demand and online, rumors of the demise of those shiny discs that still take up shelf space have been greatly exaggerated. Take next week, for example, in which one will only be able to enjoy the guilty pleasure of “Lake Placid 3” or the easy charm of the Adam Scott indie comedy “Passenger Side” on DVD or upgrade to high-definition for the “Alien Quadrilogy” boxed set, a rerelease of the “Back to the Future” trilogy or better yet, Criterion editions of Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory” or the Japanese curiosity “Hausu” on Blu-ray. And it’s not even December yet.

Unfortunately in this time of tightened purse strings, the studios and specialty labels like Shout! Factory, Criterion and Olive Films aren’t going to make this holiday season any easier on the wallet, with most digging deep into the vaults to pull up restored classics and lesser-seen obscurities, which will sit side by side with plenty of this summer’s biggest blockbusters on Netflix queues and store shelves in the months ahead. Many of the films showcased below never were released in theaters or in many cases haven’t been available on home video before, waiting to be discovered by new audiences.

by Stephen Saito

Can’t make it to the theater? Here are the recent indie hits, restored classics and diamonds in the rough that can be picked up at the local video store or might make excellent stocking stuffers.

OCTOBER

WEEK OF:  17-23  |  24-31

NOVEMBER

WEEK OF:  1-6  |  7-13  |  14-20  |  21-27  |  28-30

DECEMBER

WEEK OF:  1-4  |  5-11  |  12-18  |  19-25  |  26-31

On DVD the week ending October 23

Giallo, Maya Home Entertainment, 2010

“Giallo,” Maya Home Entertainment, 2010

Dario Argento’s “Giallo”

After becoming one of the foremost directors of the giallo genre, famed horror auteur Dario Argento gives it a nod in the title to his latest, which brings in Adrien Brody as a detective on the hunt for a murder nicknamed “Giallo” (The Yellow) after the sister of a kidnap victim (Emmanuelle Seigner) seeks out his help. Granted, we were more excited about this when Vincent Gallo was in talks to play the serial killer in question and before “Giallo” sat on the shelf after a mildly enthusiastic response from the festival circuit in 2009, but still, new Argento is always reason enough to celebrate.

“‘Apocalypse Now:’ Full Disclosure”

An upgrade from the 2006 “Complete Dossier” edition, Francis Ford Coppola’s classic war film hits Blu-ray for the very first time (in both the original and extended “Redux” cuts), finally accompanied by the making-of doc “Hearts of Darkness,” as well as new interviews, a new 48-page booklet with rediscovered archival materials and new interviews with Coppola and the cast and crew.

“Assault Girls”

Mamoru Oshii helms this follow-up to 2001’s “Avalon” in which a trio of women led by “Babel” star Rinko Kikuchi fight off sand monsters in a virtual world to test their mettle and weapons skills.

“The Hitman Diaries: Charlie Valentine”

After his latest score goes awry, a fading gangster (Raymond J. Barry) reaches out to his estranged son (Michael Weatherly), a budding criminal himself, to help him, though the lure of money and power may prove stronger than blood in this crime thriller. Tom Berenger co-stars.

“Journey to Promethea”

Billy Zane dons a crown for this fantasy epic about a rebel (Sam Murphy) who leads his people to rise up against an oppressive king.

“The Killing Machine”

…Dolph Lundgren is. Here, the “Expendables” star plays a hitman trying quit the profession to concentrate on his duties as a husband and father, but he must fight to stay alive after his cover is blown. Bo Svenson co-stars.

“The Lost Tribe”

Roel Reiné’s horror flick concerns a group of friends and business partners who aid a drowning man, only to learn that he leads them into a jungle filled with danger. Lance Henriksen co-stars as a priest with suspicious motives.

“Mirrors 2: Evil Lives”

Nick Stahl fills in for Kiefer Sutherland as a newbie security guard who must track down the murdered woman who is caught between this world and the next that he can only see in the reflective glass before she starts killing others in this direct-to-video sequel to Alexander Aja’s 2008 horror film. Fox is going the extra step with the sequel’s DVD release, including the original Korean film “In the Mirror” that the series is based upon.

“My Name is Jerry”

“Hellboy” and “Legion” star Doug Jones, who is just popping up everywhere these days, plays a door-to-door salesman who seeks to emerge from his midlife slump with the help of a punk rocker (Allison Scagliotti). Catherine Hicks and “That ’70s Show”‘s Don Stark co-star in Morgan Mead’s comedy.

“Shoot the Hero!”

“Clerks”‘ Jason Mewes and Samantha Lockwood star as a couple who go through a different kind of premarital counseling in this action comedy about a soon-to-be-wed pair who are held hostage during a jewelry heist when they go ring shopping. Danny Trejo and Fred Williamson co-star.

“The Six Wives of Henry Lefay”

Tim Allen is thought to be dead, leaving behind six exes, including Paz Vega, Jenna Elfman, Lindsay Sloane, Kelli Garner, Andie MacDowell and Jenna Dewan, eager to cash in on his will, if only his daughter (Elisha Cuthbert) would let them in the directorial debut of “Mr. 3000” screenwriter Howard Michael Gould.

“Theater of War”

A selection of the Tribeca Film Fest in 2008, John Walter gives audiences a peek inside the Public Theater’s controversial revival of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage” that had its share of big personalities in Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, director George C. Wolfe and playwright Tony Kushner. (An interview with Walter here.)

“Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl”

“Tokyo Gore Police” director and general gore makeup extraordinaire Yoshihiro Nishimura once again presides over madness in this battle over an ex between two women with supernatural powers.

Other indies that played theaters, but you might have missed:

The Rachel Weisz epic “Agora,” the Jesse Eisenberg starrer “Holy Rollers,” the nature doc “Oceans,” the Nicole Holofcener dramedy “Please Give” (Matt Singer’s review here), “Smash His Camera” (Bilge Ebiri’s review here), “The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom” (Lisa Rosman’s review here)

New to Blu-ray:

“The Howling Trilogy,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Ultimate Edition,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Ultimate Edition,” Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” and “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet,” Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal’s “Predators” (Matt Singer’s review is here) “Psycho,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Seven Samurai” (Criterion)

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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