“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.


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.