“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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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