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“Back to the Future” in Blu, Uwe Boll’s in “Darfur” and More New DVDs

“Back to the Future” in Blu, Uwe Boll’s in “Darfur” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy”
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Released by Universal Home Entertainment

Yes, we’re finally getting the footage of the original Marty McFly, Eric Stoltz, for the first time, but for many simply having the hi-def version of Robert Zemeckis’ time-travel franchise will be good enough. Commentaries, deleted scenes, a full-length documentary and much, much more come on this new set of the trilogy.

“Alien Anthology”
Directed by Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

While not as much of an upgrade over its previous DVD release as “Back to the Future,” the Blu-ray update of the four “Alien” films worth owning now boasts isolated scores for each film, all of Ridley Scott’s sketches for the first “Alien,” the uncut documentary of David Fincher’s ill-fated “Alien 3” as well as plenty of new interactive material.

“Altitude” (2010)
Directed by Kaare Andrews
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

“Friday the 13th” star Julianna Guill and Jessica Lowndes are part of a group of teenagers forced to fend off an unidentified creature away from their single-engine plane in this high-flying thriller.

“Attack on Darfur” (2010)
Directed by Uwe Boll
Released by Phase 4 Films

After leaving the video game adaptation well dry, Uwe Boll takes a stab at serious subject matter with this action flick starring Billy Zane, Edward Furlong and Kristanna Loken as journalists who must decide whether to stay the course or turn back when their village in Sudan comes under siege.

“Backyard” (2009)
Directed by Carlos Carrera
Released by Maya Home Entertainment

“East Bound and Down” star Ana de la Reguera stars as a policewoman in over her head in Ciudad Juarez where women keep disappearing with disturbing frequency, leading her to go against her bosses’ wishes to investigate. Jimmy Smits co-stars in this drama from “The Crime of Father Amaro” director Carlos Carrera.

“Bazaar Bizarre” (2004)
Directed by Benjamin Meade
Released by Troma

James Ellroy hosts this 2004 documentary about businessman by day/serial killer by night Bob Berdella.

10262010_CannibalGirls.jpg“Cannibal Girls” (1973)
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Released by Shout! Factory

One of Ivan Reitman’s earliest films has been restored and revived by Shout! Factory, bringing out the best in this $12,000 horror comedy starring “SCTV” stars Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin as a couple who unwittingly check into a bed and breakfast run by flesh eaters. The new disc comes complete with interviews with Reitman, Levy and producer Dan Goldberg and even the film’s alternate soundtrack with the William Castle-esque “Warning Bell” sound cues.

“Chaplin at Keystone”
Released by Flicker Alley

Flicker Alley is releaseing this four-disc set comprised of 35 films Charlie Chaplin starred in during his early career at the silent comedy factory Keystone where he began to develop his persona as the Little Tramp. The set includes everything from shorts like “A Busy Day” to the newly restored feature “Tillie’s Punctured Romance.”

“Chicago” (1927)
Directed by Frank Urston
Released by Flicker Alley

If you liked Rob Marshall’s Oscar-winning film about the infamous Roxie Hart murder trial, only without the music, you might want to check out the newly restored 1927 silent version taken from Maurine Watkins’ original play, produced by none other than Cecil B. DeMille.

“Chronic Town” (2008)
Directed by Tom Hines
Released by Pathfinder Home Entertainment

After premiering at Sundance in 2008, Tom Hines’ dramedy follows an Alaskan cabbie at a crossroads in his life. Familiar faces Paul Dooley, Stacy Edwards and Garry Marshall co-star.

“The Cursed”
Directed by Joel Bender
Released by Otter Creek Motion Pictures

It must be a special film to bring together buff brothers Louis and Costas Mandylor to play brothers onscreen who serve as the sheriff and deputy in a small town where the peace is disturbed by a mysterious stranger with potentially supernatural abilities.

“Dead Outside” (2008)
Directed by Kerry Anne Mullaney
Released by Vanguard Cinema

Although it sounds suspiciously similar to “28 Days Later,” Kerry Anne Mullaney spins her own zombie tale on the Scottish countryside as a father (Alton Milne) who lost his wife and daughter to an outbreak six weeks prior who forms a bond with a young girl (Sandra Louise Douglas) as they take shelter in a barn.

“Death Tube” (2010)
Directed by Youhei Fukuda
Released by Cinema Epoch

Japanese director Yohei Fukuda imagines a video sharing site devoted to murder in this horror film about a man who spends his time watching gruesome kills on a site called Death Tube, only to become involved as more than an audience member.

“Flick” (2008)
Directed by David Howard
Released by Peach Arch

Writer/director David Howard’s supernatural horror film stars Faye Dunaway as a cop brought back to investigate a series of murders that may have to do with the reappearance of a murder victim from the 1950s who is revived and looks for his girlfriend.

“Fools” (1970)
Directed by Tom Gries
Released by Olive Films

Jason Robards and Katharine Ross star as a pair of mismatched lovers in this 1970 drama.

“Four in a Jeep” (1951)
Directed by Leopold Lindtberg
Released by VCI Entertainment

A winner of the Golden Bear in Berlinale in 1951, Leopold Lindtberg’s thriller pits four sergeants from the U.S., France, England and the Soviet Union against their superiors when their mission to capture a Soviet prison escapee is reversed into a plot to set him free when they take sympathy on the prisoner and his wife.

“The Girl Who Played With Fire” (2010)
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
Released by Music Box Films

Daniel Alfredson, the brother of “Let the Right One In” helmer Tomas, takes over the reins from “Dragon Tattoo” director Niels Arden Oplev for this thriller that sees muckraker Mikael Blomkvist working on a story about a sex trafficking ring that will upset Swedish society, but when the story is set to run, a couple of fellow Stockholm journalists are murdered and Lisabeth Salander is the chief suspect.

“Hausu” (1977)
Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi
Released by Criterion Collection

Although Matt Singer confessed during this year’s revival run of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s completely lunatic “Hausu” that the film was “ahead of its time in 1977, it’s ahead of its time now, and will continue to be ahead of its time until some point in the future when humans communicate telepathically and sleep in nutrient-rich fluid baths,” Criterion knows it’s been too long for American fans of this Japanese cult favorite to own the surreal adventures of a group of girls who venture into a haunted house unlike any other.

“Hush” (2010)
Directed by Mark Tonderai
Released by MPI Home Video

William Ash stars as a man who can’t believe his eyes in this thriller where his girlfriend disappears, leading him into a dangerous chase with a mysterious trucker.

10262010_TheInfidel.jpg“The Infidel” (2010)
Directed by Josh Appignanesi
Released by Tribeca Film

After years of bit parts in films like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Love Guru,” British-Iranian comic Omar Djalili gets a star turn in this comedy about a Muslim cabbie who discovers late in life that he’s actually Jewish, leading him to seek out lessons in Judaic ways from his fellow driver (Richard Schiff).

“King of the Avenue” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Combs
Released by First Look Studios

Simon Rex makes a pact with the devil (Ving Rhames) to rule Miami’s drug trade, but isn’t prepared for the consequences in this thriller. Esai Morales co-stars.

“Kisses” (2009)
Directed by Lance Daly
Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories

Kelly O’Neill and Shane Curry star as Kylie and Dylan, a pair of 10-year-olds who flee the suburbs for the streets of Dublin looking for Dylan’s older brother who left home two years earlier after a run-in with their alcoholic father. Shot in spurts over seven months in 2007, the film depicts the burgeoning relationship between Kylie and Dylan as danger grows when night falls. (Matt Singer’s review is here.)

“Lake Placid 3” (2010)
Directed by G.E. Furst
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

To think Bridget Fonda and Bill Pullman once starred in the start of this series years ago and the killer croc problem in Lake Placid still isn’t solved. Yancy Butler and Colin Ferguson are the latest duo to try and see what’s going on.

“Les Princes” (1983)
Directed by Tony Gatlif
Released by Pathfinder Home Entertainment

Tony Gatlif’s 1983 debut finally arrives in the States, telling the story of a family of gypsies living on the fringe of Paris.

“Lynch Mob” (2010)
Directed by Byron Erwin
Released by Virgil Films and Entertainment

While it probably wouldn’t be advised to go to a place named Lynchburg, Georgia for starters, that’s especially true in this horror film starring Tony Darrow as a recent charge of the witness relocation program who must go back to his criminal ways if he wants to survive in the town full of cannibals.

“Mafu Cage” (1977)
Directed by Karen Arthur
Released by Scorpion Releasing

Lee Grant and Carol Kane play sisters who live together in a dilapidated mansion who see their levels of sanity start to crumble in this psychological thriller from director Karen Arthur.

10262010_MakeOutWithViolence.jpg“Make Out With Violence” (2009)
Directed by the Deagol Brothers
Released by Factory 25

The Deagol brothers’ festival favorite that won best narrative feature prizes in Nashville and Oxford is an odd coming-of-age tale of twin brothers who spend the summer trying to revive their friend Wendy from the dead.

“Mentor” (2006)
Directed by David Langlitz
Released by MTI Home Video

MTI Home Video is dusting off David Langlitz’s directorial debut from 2006, starring Rutger Hauer as a college professor who becomes too intertwined in a love triangle involving a former and current student (Dagmara Dominczyk and Matthew Davis, respectively).

“Mutants” (2009)
Directed by David Morlet
Released by MPI Home Video

A pregnant woman (Helene De Fougerolles) trudges through a post-apocalyptic world looking for a refuge from the zombies in this psychological thriller from French helmer David Morlet.

“Nice Guy Johnny” (2010)
Directed by Edward Burns
Released by MPI Home Video

Appearing on VOD the same day, Edward Burns writes, directs and stars as a skuzzy uncle in his latest comedy about an aspiring talk radio host (Matt Bush) whose weekend in the Hamptons has potentially life-changing ramifications when he meets a woman (Kerry Bishe) who could sway him from his current fiancee.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

geowash_flat

Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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