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Danny Huston is Back in “Black,” a Complete “Grindhouse,” and More New DVDs

Danny Huston is Back in “Black,” a Complete “Grindhouse,” and More New DVDs  (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Fade to Black” (2010)
Directed by Oliver Parker
Released by Image Entertainment

It looks like we’ll have to update our list of actors who’ve played Orson Welles with this long-delayed drama from “The Importance of Being Earnest” director Parker, which stars Danny Huston as the “Touch of Evil” auteur who gets caught up in a murder mystery all his own on 1948’s “Black Magic” in Italy when he finds out his name is on a hit list. Christopher Walken, Diego Luna and Paz Vega co-star.

“30 Days of Night: Dark Days” (2010)
Directed by Ben Ketai
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Rare for a direct-to-video sequel, original author Steve Niles returns to co-write this follow-up to the 2007 graphic novel adaptation about a vampire attack in Alaska. This time, “Lost” star Kiele Sanchez is protecting her neck, along with Diora Baird, Harold Perrineau, Rhys Coiro and Mia Kirshner, to seek vengeance against the bloodsuckers that took her husband.

“Black Mountain Madman” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Marshall
Released by Cyber Pictures

Marshall sends up the slasher flick by heading into the woods of Oregon with five pot-smoking friends who go in search of the legendary local bogeyman.

“Bomber” (2010)
Directed by Paul Cotter
Released by Film Movement

A SXSW selection of 2009, Cotter’s road trip comedy centers on an elderly couple whose ne’er do well son joins them on a journey to Germany where the family’s patriarch seeks forgiveness.

“Destined to Be Ingested” (2010)
Directed by Sofian Khan
Released by Midnight Releasing

Since the title “Cannibal Holocaust” was already taken for one of the most infamous horror films of all time, producers of this island-set cannibal tale threw out the delightfully redundant “Holocaust Holocaust” in favor of the title you see now for this film about a couple who strike it rich in the stock market and book a cruise that’s a one-way ticket into the clutches of a group of people eaters.

“Don’t Let Me Drown” (2010)
Directed by Cruz Angeles
Released by Image Entertainment

A veteran of Sundance and Seattle 2009, Angeles sets his romantic drama against the post-9/11 landscape where a Brooklyn-based teen (E.J. Bonilla) meets a young woman (Gleendilys Inoa) whose sister died during the attacks and both find comfort in each other as a safe haven from their overbearing parents.

“‘The Evil’/’Twice Dead'”
Directed by Gus Trikonis
Released by Shout! Factory

Roger Corman presents these two ’80s-set haunted house flicks in a double feature: “The Evil,” starring Richard Crenna as a drug rehabilitation counselor who finds an evil presence in the basement of his new clinic in an abandoned mansion, and “Twice Dead,” which sees Todd Bridges and Tom Bresnahan find their new home inhabited by the ghost of a dead actor.

“Fire” (2010)
Directed by Raoul W. Heimrich
Released by Maverick Entertainment

“CSI” alum Gary Dourdan inadvertently becomes the center of a conspiracy when he and his wife apply for a bank loan and are taken hostage by a group of thieves. According to the single quote on the film’s poster, Quentin Tarantino thinks it’s a “great movie.”

10032010_Grindhouse.jpg“Grindhouse” (2007)
Directed by Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino
Released by The Weinstein Company

Speaking of Tarantino, his homage to exploitation with Robert Rodriguez is finally being released in the original form it played theaters back in 2007, complete with trailers from Eli Roth (“Thanksgiving”), Rob Zombie (“Werewolf Women of the SS”), and Edgar Wright (“Don’t”). For the updated set, Zombie, Wright and Roth have all done new commentaries and director’s cuts, not to mention a new installment of Rodriguez’s 10-minute cooking school, and making-of featurettes that weren’t on the previous separate releases of Tarantino’s “Death Proof” and Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror.”

“The Human Centipede” (2010)
Directed by Tom Six
Released by MPI Home Video

After introducing the world to heretofore unknown surgical procedures, Six’s horror film grew from cult status to cultural mass when Stephen Colbert referred to it on this year’s Emmys. Now, one can watch the exploits of the crazed Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser) in the comfort of home, as the German surgeon experiments on two American women whose car breaks down.

“Humphrey Bogart Essential Collection”
Released by Warner Brothers

Blu-ray fans will applaud the coinciding release of “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” in hi-def for the first time, but for Bogart fans with slightly deeper pockets, Warner Brothers has released this 24-film collection spread across 12 discs, including everything from “The Roaring Twenties” to “Key Largo.” The set also includes a collectible book, a bonus disc with newsreels and cartoons from the era and postcards of Bogie one-sheets, among other goodies.

“The Karate Kid” (2010)
Directed by Harald Zwart
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

One of the surprise hits of the summer, Jaden Smith fills in for Ralph Macchio in this update of the 1984 coming-of-age film that has Smith moving to China to learn kung fu from Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han.

“The Last Rites of Ransom Pride” (2010)
Directed by Tiller Russell
Released by Screen Media Films

For some, the mere idea of “Party Down”‘s Lizzy Caplan armed with a shotgun as the lead of this western is enough to warrant a rental, but throw in Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Peter Dinklage and Jason Priestley and you’ve got yourself an intriguing oater about a woman who must bring her dead husband home for burial.

“Listen to Your Heart” (2010)
Directed by Matt Thompson
Released by Osiris Entertainment

Writer/Director/Actor Thompson makes his directorial debut on this drama about a New York singer/songwriter (Kent Moran) whose muse (Alexia Rassmussen) can’t hear his music, but finds a more formidable obstacle in her overprotective mother (Cybill Shepherd) who keeps her from pursuing a relationship with the musician.

“Mid-August Lunch” (2010)
Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
Released by Zeitgeist Films

Even though “Gomorrah” director Matteo Garrone is listed as a producer, expect the only mob presence in this light Italian comedy to be around the dining room table where a middle-aged man (played by writer/director Di Gregorio) is forced to take in his landlord’s mother and aunt and his doctor’s mother during the holiday of Ferragosto in order to pay off some debts. Di Grigorio earned a Donatello Award for Best New Director in his native country for the film. (Reviews from Alison Willmore and Lisa Rosman are here.)

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (2010)
Directed by Samuel Bayer
Released by New Line

After directing legendary videos for Nirvana and Green Day, Bayer finally made his feature debut with this update of Freddy Krueger, starring Jackie Earle Haley as the man with the knife gloves who terrorizes the dreams of a group of high schoolers.

“The Oxford Murders” (2010)
Directed by Alex de la Iglesia
Released by Magnolia Pictures

Delayed for so long that Alex de la Iglesia’s next film “The Last Circus” is already on the festival circuit, the mischievous Spanish auteur’s first English-language foray is finally hitting American shores, with Elijah Wood and John Hurt playing a student and professor who attempt to solve a series of murders that appear to be rooted in mathematical code. (An interview with de la Iglesia is here.)

“The Rig” (2010)
Directed by Peter Atencio
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

William Forsythe leads a group of roughnecks to survive the crushing waves of a tropical storm while trapped on an oil rig in this aquatic thriller.

“Rust” (2010)
Directed by Corbin Bernsen
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Corbin Bernsen wrote, directed and stars in this religious drama about a minister whose friend is accused in the arson murder that has rattled the town. Behind the scenes, the real Canadian town of Kipling helped finance the film.

“The Secret of Kells” (2010)
Directed by Tomm Moore
Released by New Video

The big surprise of this year’s Oscar nominations in the animated feature category, don’t expect this “Secret” to be held much longer. Brendan Gleeson is among the vocal contributors to this Irish adventure about the creation of the Book of Kells and the 12-year-old who blossoms under the tutelage of a matter illuminator to give life to the book. (Lisa Rosman’s review is here.)

“Splice” (2010)
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Released by Warner Bros.

Genetic mutation goes horribly awry in this thriller from “Cube” director Natali that stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as the proud parents/scientists behind a new creature out of human and animal DNA that quickly groes into something out of their control. (Bruce Bennett’s review is here.)

“Tomboys” (2009)
Directed by Nathan Hill
Released by Dreamscape

The feature debut of Australian actor/director Hill is a revenge thriller involving a group of rape victims who capture their tormentor and then decide whether they’ll torture him as much as he did to them.

“The Undertaker” (1988)
Directed by Franco Steffanino
Released by Code Red

In this horror flick from the ’80s, Joe Spinell stars as the titular mortician who takes in unwilling customers to keep him company at his funeral home.

“Woke Up Dead” (2010)
Directed by Jon Fasano
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Once a series of Web shorts, this Jon Heder-starring comedy has been compiled into a feature-length film with the “Napoleon Dynamite” star playing a college student who believes he’s dead after waking up in a bathtub and gets his pal (Josh Gad) to record the days that follow. Krysten Ritter, Wayne Knight and Jean Smart co-star.

New to Blu-ray:

[Additional Photos: “Grindhouse,” The Weinstein Company, 2007; “The Oxford Murders,” Magnolia Pictures, 2008]

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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