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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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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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