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“Lost and Found” Footage and Other Discoveries This Week on DVD

“Lost and Found” Footage and Other Discoveries This Week on DVD (photo)

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“America Lost & Found: The BBS Story” (1968-1972)
Released by Criterion Collection

A set of seven films that’s as diverse and wild as the era in which they were born, Criterion’s reassembly of BBS Studios’ run from 1968 through 1972 boasts influential hits like “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces” and “King of Marvin Gardens” and obscurities like Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut “Drive, He Said” and Henry Jaglom’s “A Safe Place” that have never been on DVD before. New interviews, vintage documentaries and much more from directors Bob Rafelson, Peter Bogdanovich (whose “Last Picture Show” is also included), Nicholson and the late Dennis Hopper highlight a collection that doubles as a history of when there was a changing of the guard in American cinema.

“Countdown to Zero” (2010)
Directed by Lucy Walker
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

This “scareumentary,” as our own Alison Willmore termed it in her review, reunites Participant Media and “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Lawrence Bender to focus on the reemerging threat of nuclear proliferation around the world and features talking heads like Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, and Pervez Musharraf.

“Cross the Line” (2010)
Directed by Albert J. Allie
Released by Celebrity Video Distribution

According to IMDb, there’s already been a sequel announced for this low-budget crime thriller, so the time is now to catch up with Allie’s cop drama which forces a recently divorced pair of detectives (Allie and Tina Krause) to work one last case together to bring down a drug kingpin.

“Deadland” (2010)
Directed by Damon O’Steen
Released by Phase 4 Films

A staple on the regional festival circuit where it’s picked up awards for best feature at the Nevada and Central Florida Film Festivals, Damon O’Steen’s action film is set during World War III where one survivor (Gary Weeks) searches for his wife following a nuclear apocalypse.

11232010_AliceCreed.jpg“The Disappearance of Alice Creed” (2010)
Directed by J Blakeson
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton has been very busy in the past year making the would-be blockbusters “Clash of the Titans” and “Prince of Persia” and the Cannes-bound Stephen Frears flick “Tamara Drewe.” But it was the directorial debut of “The Descent: Part 2” writer J Blakeson that was sheer torture – as the titular Alice Creed, she is kidnapped by two common hoods (“Happy-Go-Lucky” star Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston) who hold her hostage until she attempts to turn the tables. (My review is here.)

“Eat Pray Love” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Even if you weren’t one of the millions to pick up Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir or are usually resistant to the charms of Julia Roberts, one might consider this travelogue in which Roberts flirts with James Franco and Javier Bardem in foreign locales from India to Italy following the dissolution of her marriage as a vacation from home, given Robert Richardson’s lush cinematography. “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy directs.

“The Expendables” (2010)
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Released by Lionsgate

After opening on the same day back in August, Sylvester Stallone’s action extravaganza’s rivalry with “Eat Pray Love” continues to the small screen where Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and even Julia’s brother Eric Roberts will cram into your television set. In his review, Matt Singer called it “the ultimate mid-life crisis movie,” though the therapy here is all done in bullets.

“Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles” (2010)
Directed by Pitof
Released by Entertainment One

Wonder what ever happened to Pitof, the director of “Catwoman”? Well, wonder no more as he directs familiar faces John Rhys-Davies, Amy Acker and Arnold Vosloo in this dragon-filled medieval epic about a kingdom beset by the fiery flying beasts.

“Flipped” (2010)
Directed by Rob Reiner
Released by Warner Home Video

When Rob Reiner’s warmly received ’50s-set coming-of-age story found a cold reception in its limited theatrical release, Warner Brothers quickly pulled it from theaters, meaning that this adaptation of Wendelin Van Draanen’s novel about two eighth graders who fall for each other at different times will just have to be discovered at home.

11232010_GreasersPalace.jpg“Greaser’s Palace” (1972)
Directed by Robert Downey Sr.
Released by Scorpion Entertainment

“Putney Swope” mischief-maker Robert Downey Sr. reinterprets the story of Jesus in this 1972 counterculture oddity.

“Grotesque” (2009)
Directed by Koji Shiraishi
Released by Media Blasters

While Koji Shiraishi’s horror film won’t be seen in England anytime soon, where it was banned, Media Blasters is releasing it here, depicting the story of a couple abducted on their first date and tortured in the basement of a medically trained madman. Castrations and mutilations commence as the couple begs for their lives.

“Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss” (2010)
Directed by Felix Moeller
Released by Zeitgeist Films

The son of famed German helmer Margarethe von Trotta, Felix Moeller presents the family of a far less regarded filmmaker, Veit Harlan, a hired hand of Joseph Goebbels who presided over the incendiary piece of Nazi propaganda, “Jew Süss,” in 1940. In the present day, Moeller checks in on Harlan’s children and grandchildren to see how their patriarch’s legacy as an acquitted war criminal shaped their lives and the nation around them. (Lisa Rosman’s review is here.)

Hide and Go Kill 1 and 2 (2008-2010)
Directed by Tomoya Kainuma (1) and Masafumi Yamada (2)
Released by Cinema Epoch

Cinema Epoch brings this J-horror flick and its sequel to American shores where teenage girls spend their late nights playing a game of hide and seek online that quickly spirals out of control and its contestants start winding up dead.

“If You Could Say It In Words” (2008)
Directed by Nicholas Gray
Released by Vanguard Cinema

A winner of best feature at the Derby City Film Festival in 2008, this romantic drama is set in Philadelphia where a painter with Asperger’s Syndrome attracts the interest of an adrift young woman, both of whom have trouble expressing their feelings.

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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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