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Hitching a Ride on the “Darjeeling Limited” and More New DVDs

Hitching a Ride on the “Darjeeling Limited” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“The Darjeeling Limited” (2007)
Directed by Wes Anderson
Released by Criterion Collection

Anderson’s underappreciated trip to India on the backs of three brothers (Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson) who take a train the country to honor their late father gets a reexamination with this Criterion Collection edition that includes a new documentary, an audio commentary from Anderson, Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, audition footage, a video essay from Matt Zoller Seitz, a chichat between Anderson and the late James Ivory about the film’s music and Anderson’s ad for American Express and the short “Hotel Chevalier” with Natalie Portman.

“As Good As Dead” (2010)
Directed by Jonathan Mossek
Released by First Look Entertainment

Andie MacDowell, Frank Whaley and Matt Dallas star as spurned cult members from the South who take a New Yorker (Cary Elwes) hostage years after they believe he’s killed their leader in this thriller. Brian Cox and “Teeth” star Jess Weixler co-star.

“Breaking Upwards” (2010)
Directed by
Released by
Real-life couple Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones work out their issues by co-writing, co-producing and starring in this anti-romantic comedy about a young couple who, fearful of getting too serious too soon, plot out the terms of their break-up while attempting to keep dating for appearances’ sake. (Lisa Rosman’s review of the film is here.)

“Carnies” (2010)
Directed by Brian Corder
Released by R-Squared Films

“Hellboy”‘s contortionist star Doug Jones gets to skip the makeup, CG or otherwise, in this thriller where a 1930s carnival becomes the scene for several murders as sword swallowers and gypsies attempt to find the killer before the killer finds them.

“Coffin Rock” (2009)
Directed by Rupert Glasson
Released by MPI Home Entertainment
This Aussie thriller involves the paternity test from hell as one married woman’s infidelity leads to a pregnancy after years of infertility with her husband, but her one night stand becomes a nightmare when he demands to know if he’s the father.

“Daniel and Ana” (2009)
Directed by Michel Franco
Released by Strand Releasing
A close-knit brother and sister (Dario Yazbek Bernal and Marimar Vega) whose entire relationship changes after they are kidnapped by three hoods and they decide against reporting the crime in this Mexican drama.

“Doghouse” (2009)
Directed by Jake West
Released by MPI Home Video

The only thing worse than getting divorced is when your pals try to take your mind off it by taking you to a village that they think is full of single women, but actually is a hive of cannibals. Director West envisions the possibility in this horror comedy.

10112010_FourBoxes.jpg“Four Boxes” (2009)
Directed by Wyatt McDill
Released by E1 Entertainment

A selection of SXSW and the Seattle Film Festival in 2009, “Weeds” star Justin Kirk leads a group of three liquidators into the home of a dead man where they become fascinated with a Web site comprised of surveillance camera footage that looks innocent enough until they see a bombmaker at work in this darkly comic thriller.

“The Gates” (2008)
Directed by Albert Maysles
Released by Kino Video

Fulfilling a 25-year project that he started with his late brother David, Albert Maysles tracks the development of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s construction of the orange gates that lined Central Park in the spring of 2005.

“How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)
Directed by Dean DuBlois and Chris Sanders
Released by DreamWorks

After being let loose from Disney, “Lilo and Stitch” directors Dean DuBlois and Chris Sanders moved to DreamWorks to create one of the few 3D films of the past year to earn almost universal praise for its coming-of-age story of a young Viking who grows up with his pet dragon as their respective parents fight each other on a daily basis. (The DVD and Blu-ray will be available on Friday, October 15th.)

“I Am Love” (2010)
Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment
An heir to Luchino Visconti and Douglas Sirk, Guadagnino spent 10 years working with Tilda Swinton to craft this devastating Italian melodrama about the wife of wealthy textile manufacturer who begins an affair with her son’s friend (Gabbriellini), reawakening her long-dormant passion for life and threatening to destroy the family she has long kept together. (Alison Willmore’s review and Erica Abeel’s interview with Swinton are here.)

“I’ll Come Running” (2008)
Directed by Spencer Parsons
Released by MPI Home Video

Parsons’ light romantic drama features Melonie Diaz as a Texas waitress who must head to Denmark when her one night stand with a vacationing Dane (Jon Lange) results in an unexpected tragedy. (A trailer is here.)

“Jonah Hex” (2010)
Directed by Jimmy Heyward
Released by Warner Brothers

You won’t find a neglected masterpiece here, but perhaps morbid curiosity might lead you to this Josh Brolin adaptation of the DC Comics’ gunslinger who has his mind set on revenge against the terrorist (John Malkovich) who burned a hole in his cheek. Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender and a host of other famous faces can be seen briefly in this 81-minute wonder, which may be partially explained by the deleted scenes included on the disc.

“Leaves of Grass” (2010)
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson
Released by First Look Studios
In a change of pace for “The Grey Zone” director Tim Blake Nelson, Edward Norton pulls double duty as Bill and Brady Kincaid, twin brothers who went in completely opposite directions — Bill is a Brown professor, Brady a low-level pot dealer — who must make amends when one of Brady’s elaborate schemes goes awry and pulls down Bill with him into a world of Shabbat-worshipping drug lords (Richard Dreyfuss), gun-toting orthodontists (Josh Pais) and surly Oklahomans (Steve Earle). (Matt Singer’s review and Alison Willmore’s interview with Norton are here.)

10112010_LostBoysThirst.jpg“Lost Boys: The Thirst” (2010)
Directed by Dario Piana
Released by Warner Brothers

Corey Feldman is back in this second direct-to-video sequel to Joel Schumacher’s 1987 vampire tale as Edgar Frog, who partners with brother Alan (Jamison Newlander) to prevent a rave from turning into the end of days when a coven of bloodsuckers choose the party as a chance to quench their thirst for blood and turn everyone into vampires.

“The Magician” (1958)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Released by Criterion Collection

Criterion adds to their extensive Bergman holdings with this Max Von Sydow starrer about a mesmerist whose stop in Stockholm is marked by suspicion after gossip about his previous shows elsewhere suggests he may have help from the dark arts. The film’s special features include an essay from Peter Cowie, a rare interview with Bergman from 1967 and an audio-only one conducted in 1990 by “Carlos” director Olivier Assayas and Stig Björkman.

“Manson: My Name is Evil” (2010)
Directed by Reginald Harkema
Released by Lionsgate

In Harkema’s horror flick that premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, there was love to be found amongst the ruins of the Charles Manson murders as one of his followers (Kristen Hager) is on trial for murder and becomes the obsession of one of the jurors (Gregory Smith).

“Spoken Word” (2009)
Directed by Victor Nunez
Released by Maya Entertainment

The return of “Ruby in Paradise” director Nunez stars Kuno Becker as a slam poet on the rise who gives up an exciting life on the West Coast to return home to take care of his ailing father (Rubén Blades) in New Mexico where he has to come to terms with the past he thought ht had left behind for good.

“S&Man” (2006)
Directed by JT Petty
Released by Magnet Releasing

It’s hard to believe that Petty’s 2008 sophomore feature “The Burrowers” arrived on DVD before the 2006 documentary that originally got the director all the attention, focusing on the world of fetish and fake snuff films and their connection to modern horror films.

“White on Rice” (2010)
Directed by Dave Boyle
Released by Indieblitz Releasing

Boyle’s film puts a new twist on the arrested development comedy, setting its tale of a lovable loser in a Japanese American family struggling to deal with the arrival of 40-year-old manchild Jimmy, fresh from Tokyo and freshly divorced.

Appearing on Blu-ray for the first time: Franco Zeffirelli’s “Callas Forever,” “The Hangover: Extreme Edition,” “Sex & Lucia,” “Three Kings”

[Additional photos: “Four Boxes,” E1 Entertainment, 2009; “The Lost Boys: The Thirst,” Warner Bros., 2010]

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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.

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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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