“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.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.