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Amber Heard Takes a Double Dip, George Clooney Runs and Guns and More New DVDs

Amber Heard Takes a Double Dip, George Clooney Runs and Guns and More New DVDs  (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“And Soon the Darkness”
Directed by Marcus Efron
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

A remake of the 1970 British thriller of the same name, director Marcos Efron transplants the story from France to Argentina where two friends’ bike ride across the mountains takes a turn for the disastrous when one mysteriously disappears. “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” star Amber Heard and “The Unborn”‘s Odette Yustman bring their collected screaming ability to this horror film. Karl Urban and “Babel”‘s Adrianna Barraza co-star.

“The American”
Directed by Anton Corbijn
Released by Universal Home Video

Ahh, Focus might’ve suckered unsuspecting moviegoers at the multiplex with an amped-up action ad campaign for this elegaic account of the last assignment of a hit man (George Clooney) – “The American” scored an impressive D- from Cinemascore as it became the number one film at the box office for a week – yet it’s bound to find a greater appreciation by true cinephiles as the years wear on for “Control” director Anton Corbijn’s relatively quiet little film. (Alison Willmore’s review of the film is here.)

“Boiler Maker”
Directed by Paul T. 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 Boy Next Door”
Directed by Neill Fearnley
Released by Millenium Entertainment

“Glee” star Cory Monteith stars as the shadowy neighbor who inspires a novel for a mystery writer (Dina Meyer), but when he dies unexpectedly, she must use her insight into the mind of a killer to defend herself from charges she was responsible for his murder.

“Cyborg Conquest”
Directed by Leigh Scott
Released by Millenium Media Services

Stacey Dash accidentally leads a group of bank-robbing biker girls into an android bar where the robots disguised as humans kidnap them and plot a takeover of earth in this sci-fi flick costarring Paul LeMat.

12192010_DyingGod.jpg“Dying God”
Directed by Jean Depelley
Released by Green Apple

How do you chase a serial killer that may or may not be human? “Flags of Our Fathers” star James Horan finds out in this sci-fi tinged thriller about a cop who must conquer his own problems before solving a series of murders, though he has the help of a local pimp (Lance Henriksen).

“The Films of Helma Sanders-Brahms”
Released by Facets Multimedia

Facets is releasing this six-pack of films from the German multihyphenate spanning 1974 to 1997, including the dramas “Earthquake in Chile,” “Germany, Pale Mother,” “The Future of Emily,” “My Heart is Mine Alone,” “No Mercy, No Future,” and “Under the Pavement Lies the Strand.”

“Germany in Autumn”
Directed by Alexander Kluge
Released by Facets Multimedia

Rainer Werner Fassbinder is just one of the 11 filmmakers who were involved in this film from Alexander Kluge that is a mix of fact and fiction surrounding the death of businessman and public official Hanns Martin Schleyer who was kidnapped and killed at the hands of the Baader-Meinhof group.

“Handsome Harry”
Directed by Bette Gordon
Released by Screen Media Films

“Variety” director Gordon returns from an 11-year hiatus to helm this drama starring Sheridan as a Vietnam vet who is called upon by one of his war buddies (Steve Buscemi) from his deathbed to help absolve him of the betrayal of their brother-in-arms (Campbell Scott) by reaching out to the fellow members of their crew.

“The Haunting of Amelia”
Directed by A.D. Calvo
Released by MTI Home Video

Originally called “The Other Side of the Tracks,” A.D. Calvo’s drama follows “Roswell” star Brendan Fehr as a man who has trouble letting go of the death of his girlfriend after she was killed by a train a decade earlier. Sam Robards and Tania Raymonde co-star.

12192010_IdrisElbaLegacy.jpg“Legacy”
Directed by Thomas Ikimi
Released by Code Black Entertainment

In this 2010 Tribeca Film Fest selection, “The Wire”‘s Idris Elba stars as a former member of an elite Black Ops team whose last job leaves him haunted as he sets up in a Brooklyn apartment where he seeks to unravel a government conspiracy.

“Legendary”
Directed by Mel Damski
Released by Vivendi Entertainment

WWE superstar John Cena gets a more prestigious supporting cast than usual with Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover starring alongside him in this story of a teen struggling through high school and the death of his father when he hopes to reconnect with his older brother (Cena) by training to join the wrestling team.

“Legendary Assassin”
Directed by Chung Chi Li
Released by Lionsgate

Courtesy of Lionsgate, this 2008 Hong Kong action flick is finally getting a U.S. release, starring Wu Jing as the titular assassin who is marooned on a desert island with a police officer (Celina Jade) where the two strike up an unusual friendship that serves them well when the murder of a mob boss unleashes a bevy of trouble for them both.

“Made in Romania”
Directed by Guy J. Louthan
Released by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Jennifer Tilly, Elizabeth Hurley and Jason Flemyng play versions of themselves in this mockumnetary that documents the making of Tilly’s “dream project,” a Victorian drama called “The Tides of Reason” that is quickly beset by a bipolar director, disastrous auditions and all sorts of other on-set shenanigans.

“Menschenfrauen”
Directed by Valie Export
Released by Facets Multimedia

German helmer Valie Export’s drama follows a journalist and his relationships to the four women in his life.

12192010_Merantau.jpg“Merantau”
Directed by Gareth Evans
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

A Fantastic Fest favorite back in 2009, Gareth Evans helms this Indonesian martial arts flick starring Iko Uwais as a man from a small town who moves to the big city and finds himself defending a woman from the danger of a sex trafficking ring.

“Resident Evil: Afterlife”
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Paul W.S. Anderson returned to the zombie franchise he helped to create in order to play around with the same 3D cameras used for “Avatar” for the fourth installment of “Resident Evil.” Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice, the security operative who presses forward in her fight against the Umbrella Corporation and leads a group of fellow survivors Ali Larter and Boris Kodjoe to safety.

“Spin”
Directed by Henry Pincus
Released by Blowtorch Entertainment

Bijou Phillips, Katie Cassidy, Lauren German, Amber Heard and Michael Biehn try to remember what happened the night before at the clubs in Henry Pincus’ ensemble drama originally called “You Are Here” from 2007.

“Twelve”
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Released by Hannover House

Despite one of the worst receptions in recent memory at Sundance — James Rocchi, writing for IFC.com, called it “unquestionably the funniest film at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival; if only it had been made with that intention” — the latest from “Batman and Robin” director Schumacher got one of the festival’s richest deals from startup Hannover House for this adaptation of Nick McDonell’s novel about a 17-year-old drug dealer named White Mike (Chace Crawford), whose spring break of selling pot to privileged prep schoolers is interrupted by the murder of his cousin, allegedly at the hands of his best friend. Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Rory Culkin and Zoe Kravitz play the rich kids in White Mike’s orbit as a new drug called “Twelve” hits the streets.

[Additional photos: “Dying God,” Green Apple Entertainment, 2010; “Legacy,” Code Black Entertainment, 2010; “Merantau,” Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2010]

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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…

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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. 

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

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

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

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

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