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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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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