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“Chaos Reigns” in “Antichrist,” “Scott Pilgrim” Rules, and More New DVDs

“Chaos Reigns” in “Antichrist,” “Scott Pilgrim” Rules, and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Antichrist” (2009)
Directed by Lars von Trier
Released by Criterion Collection

From its incendiary debut at Cannes to becoming a cult hit defined by the meme “Chaos Reigns,” Lars von Trier’s psychosexual horror film about a married couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) that repairs to a cabin in the woods to grieve over the death of their young son is receiving the Criterion Collection treatment. Video interviews with von Trier, Gainsbourg, and Dafoe, making-of vignettes and a documentary about the Cannes premiere accompany the feature. (Aaron Hillis’ interview with von Trier is here.)

“The Battle of River Plate” (1956)
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Released by Hen’s Tooth Video

Despite being Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s most financially successful film, it has been a rare commodity in America on home video, where people have had to buy the British edition of this Peter Finch 1956 war film to place alongside “The Red Shoes” and “Peeping Tom.” Hen’s Tooth Video fixes all that with a new release.

“Boiler Maker” (2010)
Directed by Paul Murray
Released by Hannover House

John Savage stars in this thriller where an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is invaded by two bank robbers who take the group hostage.

“The Brazen Bull” (2010)
Directed by Douglas Elford-Argent
Released by Virgil Films and Entertainment

Michael Madsen, the busiest man in showbiz, at least in direct-to-video land, continues his 2010 hot streak playing a madman who terrorizes a young couple in an L.A. high-rise. Rachel Hunter co-stars.

“Charlie St. Cloud” (2010)
Directed by Burr Steers
Released by Universal Home Video

In this adaptation of Ben Sherwood’s novel, Zac Efron contends with the memory of his dead brother as he tries to start a new relationship with a young woman (Amanda Crew) and attempts to move on with his life. Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger co-star.

“The Chosen One” (2010)
Directed by Rob Schneider
Released by Xenon

Rob Schneider can’t catch a break with his directorial efforts, seeing as though his 2007 comedy “Big Stan” also debuted on DVD, but he does corral notable names to star in them with a cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Holland Taylor, and Peter Riegert for his latest in which he plays the car salesman who is visited upon by a group of South American shamans that insist he is the prophet to can make it snow on their mountain and thus end a draught.

11092010_Compulsion.jpg“Compulsion” (2009)
Directed by Sarah Harding
Released by BFS Entertainment

“Bend It Like Beckham”‘s Parminder Nagra faces the unappealing choice of spending her life in an arranged marriage or spending one night with her family’s driver (Ray Winstone) who can help her escape her fate in this British drama.

“Damned by Dawn” (2009)
Directed by Brett Anstey
Released by Image Entertainment

A veteran of Sitges and Frightfest, this horror flick from writer/director Brett Anstey pits a family against the undead to save their spirits from being eternally damned.

“David’s Birthday” (2010)
Directed by Marco Filiberti
Released by Wolfe Video

Marco Filiberti’s drama concerns a psychiatrist (Massimo Poggio) away on vacation with his wife (Maria de Medeiros) and another couple and becomes infatuated with their friends’ teenage son (Thyago Alves).

“Dead Enders” (2010)
Directed by Paul C. Hemmes
Released by R Squared Films

Paul C. Hemmes’ horror flick centers on a widow (Christie Collins) whose search to recapture her dead lover leads her to imprison and torture men she believes to be his spirit incarnate, but one man attempts to escape her clutches.

“The Dry Land” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Piers Williams
Released by Maya Entertainment

First-time director Ryan Piers Williams recruited his real-life leading lady America Ferrera to play the wife of a soldier (Ryan O’Nan) who returns home to Texas after a stint in Iraq and struggles to readjust to civilian life. “That ’70s Show”‘s Wilmer Valderrama stars as an army pal who can commiserate in this drama, which also co-stars Melissa Leo and Jason Ritter.

“The Four-Faced Liar” (2010)
Directed by Jacob Chase
Released by Wolfe Video

Two twentysomething couples brought together by a chance encounter in a bar end up becoming intertwined when the girlfriends of the quartet become interested in each other in Jacob Chase’s dramedy that played earlier this year at Slamdance and was an Outfest Audience Award winner.

“Grown Ups” (2010)
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Adam Sandler gives his pals an excuse to get paid for a vacation in this comedy which reunites ’90s “Saturday Night Live” alumni Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Colin Quinn, as well as Kevin James, for a weekend in the woods, brought together by the death of their youth basketball coach.

“Hunt to Kill” (2010)
Directed by Keoni Waxman
Released by Anchor Bay

Steve Austin and Eric Roberts apparently had unfinished business to tend to after “The Expendables,” co-starring in this action thriller about a Border Patrol guard (Austin) who is co-opted by a group of thieves to navigate them through the forest until Austin realizes, of course, he can kick their ass and proceeds to flip the script.

“I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale” (2010)
Directed by Richard Shepard
Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories

Richard Shepard’s documentary about the only actor ever to appear exclusively in films nominated for Best Picture — “The Deer Hunter,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather I & II” and “The Conversation” — yet never nominated for an Oscar himself gets his due in this 40-minute documentary with interviews with one-time fiancée Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Steve Buscemi, Gene Hackman and more.

11092010_Jaffa.jpg“Jaffa” (2009)
Directed by Keren Yedaya
Released by Film Movement

Keren Yedaya’s drama tells of the Israel/Palestine conflict through the romance between the daughter of an Israeli mechanic and the mechanic’s employee from Palestine who plan a clandestine wedding together until her brother sets out to ruin their plans.

“Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child” (2010)
Directed by Tamra Davis
Released by Arthouse Films

While “Half Baked” director Davis has spent much of her time of late working on a culinary career, she spent years cooking up this doc on her friend Basquiat, the fast-rising neo-expressionist artist who died much too young at the age of 27. Featuring rare interview footage Davis captured of the Brooklyn-based art sensation during the height of his popularity before his death in 1988, “The Radiant Child” also includes new interviews with Julian Schnabel, Fab 5 Freddy and Larry Gagosian that help illuminate Basquiat’s struggle against and ultimately his influence on the New York art scene of the ’80s. (My interview with Davis and Matt Singer’s review of the film are here.)

“Knucklehead” (2010)
Directed by Michael W. Watkins
Released by Vivendi Entertainment

Like the John Cena drama “Legendary” earlier this year, this comedy marks a step away from the action films that defined WWE’s early years in the film business starring the Big Show as a dim bulb orphan named Walter who is coaxed into competing in a mixed martial arts event by a conman (Mark Feuerstein) who promises him that the money will go to saving his orphanage, though fortunately a nun (“The Office”‘s Melora Hardin) is onhand as Walter’s chaperone to keep things on the up and up.

“Light Gradient” (2009)
Directed by Jan Kruger
Released by Strand Releasing

Jan Kruger follows two young men into the German countryside where they get lost and find out far more about each other than they thought possible in this drama.

“Locked Down” (2010)
Directed by Daniel Zirilli
Released by Lionsgate

It doesn’t get too much more eclectic than this underground boxing flick which features MMA fighter Kimbo Slice alongside Bai Ling and Vinnie Jones in the story of a cop who is wronged by the system and is forced to fight his way through prison cage matches to stay alive.

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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…


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.


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).


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.


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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GIFs via Giphy

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.


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.



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 and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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