A Trip Through “Fantasia” to “Valhalla” and More New DVDs

A Trip Through “Fantasia” to “Valhalla” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“The Fantasia Collection”
Released by Disney Home Entertainment

While the headliner of Disney’s incredible group of releases on November 30th will be the four-disc Blu-ray double feature of “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000,” it’s what’s less publicized that should be exciting to both Disneyphiles and film fans in general. Starting with the hi-def debut of the two “Fantasias,” Disney will finally include amongst the films’ copious special features (many ported over from the out-of-print DVD set) the 1946 Salvador Dali-Walt Disney collaboration “Destino,” along with an 82-minute making-of documentary. And incidentally, Disney is also releasing three standalone documentaries that shouldn’t be overlooked in “The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story” about the songsmiths behind the studio’s most famous musicals like “Mary Poppins,” “Walt & El Grupo,” which details the company-shifting trip Walt Disney took with his animators to Latin America as part of the Good Neighbor Policy during World War II, and the most acclaimed of the bunch, “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” which chronicles the resurrection of Disney’s animation division during the late ’80s and early ’90s.

“Alarm” (2008)
Directed by Gerard Stembridge
Released by MPI Home Video

“About Adam” director Gerard Stembridge’s latest film is a psychological thriller about a woman (Ruth Bradley) who moves from hustle and bustle of Dublin for the Irish countryside, only to be freaked out by how quiet her new hometown is during the day, leading to the installation of an alarm system after she finds someone has broken into her home and the idea that she could be of more danger to herself than those around her.

“Anotherworld” (2010)
Directed by Fabiomassimo Lozzi
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures

A selection of Frameline and the Chicago International Film Festival, Lozzi blends fiction and nonfiction with this collection of 43 monologues about the gay male’s experience in Italy.

11272010_CairoTime.jpg“Cairo Time” (2010)
Directed by Ruba Nadda
Released by MPI Home Video

A romantic drama both in its subject matter and setting, Patricia Clarkson stars as the wife of a U.N. official who is left adrift in an Egyptian hotel, where her only company is her husband’s friend (Alexander Siddig), during a three-week stay in the Middle East.

“Going the Distance” (2010)
Directed by Nanette Burstein
Released by Warner Home Video

Refreshingly foul-mouthed for a romantic comedy while not being of the gross-out variety, the narrative debut for longtime documentarian Nanette Burstein (“American Teen”) invovles a pair of young lovers (Drew Barrymore and Justin Long) whose relationship is born out of unfortunate timing as Barrymore’s journalist moves to San Francisco while Long’s A & R rep must stay in New York. While criticism about Long’s face proved more enduring than the actual film during its September release, it’s quite possible the comedy will find its audience on home video.

“Henry Jaglom Collection: Love & Romance”
Directed by Henry Jaglom
Released by Rainbow Releasing

On the eve of his latest film “Queen of the Lot,” the director rereleases his romantic dramas 1985’s “Always…But Not Forever,” 1997’s “Deja Vu” and 1992’s “Venice/Venice” (with appearances from David Duchovny and Melissa Leo).

“Knight and Day” (2010)
Directed by James Mangold
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

Although Tom Cruise’s return to action proved to be a box office disappointment domestically, this thriller, in which he stars as a secret agent who must protect a civilian (Cameron Diaz) who gets unwittingly involved in a massive conspiracy, wound up being an international success, perhaps partly because it has a pretty awesome chase scene through Spain. Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace and Viola Davis co-star.

“La Braconne” (1993)
Directed by Serge Pénard
Released by Pathfinder Pictures

A selection of Cannes, this French coming-of-age story tells of an 11-year-old who lives with his two uncles and gets them into trouble when he is responsible for the disappearance of some chickens in town and lets one of them take the fall.

“Life in Flight” (2008)
Directed by Tracey Hecht
Released by MPI Home Video

Patrick Wilson stars as an architect who seemingly has it all with a great marriage and a wonderful son until his flirtations with an urban designer (Lynn Collins) suggest that even though his life has gone according to plan, that isn’t what he wanted from life in director Tracey Hecht’s feature debut. Amy Smart co-stars. (My interview with Hecht is here.)

11272010_LiverpoolLisandroAlonso.jpg“Liverpool” (2009)
Directed by Lisandro Alonso
Released by Kino

Back in 2009, R. Emmet Sweeney called Lisandro Alonso’s latest film “one of the most challenging and rewarding films at Rotterdam,” unspooling the character study of a sailor who travels in search of his mother and admires all the sights to be seen on the bottom tip of South America.

“Lulu” (2002)
Directed by Jean-Henri Roger
Released by Pathfinder Pictures

Mathieu Amalric and Tony Gatlif put in appearances in this drama about a transsexual bar owner (Elli Medeiros) accused of murder who becomes romantically entangled with the journalist (Jean-Pierre Kalfon) who tries to set her free.

“Shadowland” (2010)
Directed by Wyatt Weed
Released by Pirate Pictures

In this horror film from director Wyatt Weed, Caitlin McIntosh stars as an amnesiac vampiress who doesn’t know whether to run from or towards a bounty hunter dispatched by the Vatican who claims he can save her soul.

“The Sicilian Girl” (2009)
Directed by Marco Amenta
Released by Music Box Films

Amenta dramatizes his 1997 documentary about the 17-year-old daughter of a mafioso who agrees to testify against the mob after the deaths of her father and brother in this Italian thriller that I thought “resembles a Hollywood B-picture of the 1940s” when I saw it last year.

“The Special Relationship” (2010)
Directed by Richard Loncraine
Released by HBO Home Video

Screenwriter Peter Morgan and Michael Sheen’s third entry into their shared Tony Blair series ultimately landed without director Stephen Frears and on HBO, but critics suggested Richard Loncraine filled in Frears’ shoes admirably in recounting the bond that formed between Blair and Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) between 1992 and 2000.

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (2010)
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Released by Disney Home Entertainment

If old school Disney doesn’t do the trick this week, Jerry Bruckheimer’s bombastic spin on the “Fantasia” staple is also being released on DVD and Blu-ray, with “Undeclared” star Jay Baruchel getting the magic wand after he accidentally unleashes the mortal enemy of Nicolas Cage’s sorcerer and must send him back to hell. And win the girl (Teresa Palmer).

11272010_ValhallaRising.jpg“Valhalla Rising” (2010)
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Released by MPI Home Video

Arguably one of the most visually striking depictions of Viking life ever forged, “Vahalla Rising” reunites Refn with his “Pusher” star Mads Mikkelsen for this elegiac journey across the Scottish Highlands interrupted by disembowlings, bludgeonings and beheadings at the hands of a warrior named One-Eye (Mikkelsen) in 1000 AD.

“Vampires Suck” (2010)
Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

We’re completists at IFC.com, which is why we’re including the latest from cinematic arsonists Friedberg and Seltzer (“Date Movie” and “Meet the Spartans”) in this column. Ken Jeong and Diedrich Bader are present in this “spoof” of “Twilight” and whatever else has caught their fancy recently.

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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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