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“Dogtooth,” “Enter the Void” and a Week of DVDs on the Edge

“Dogtooth,” “Enter the Void” and a Week of DVDs on the Edge (photo)

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“Dogtooth” (2009)
Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos
Released by Kino

“Enter the Void” (2010)
Directed by Gaspar Noé
Released by MPI Home Video

Somehow it’s fitting that two of last year’s most dangerous films will be hitting DVD shelves the same week, both being favorites of the IFC.com staff. “Dogtooth,” Lanthimos’ much-debated Un Certain Regard winner from Cannes, concerns the lives of three culturally isolated children — two daughters and a son, who range from mid-teens to early 20s — fenced in by their parents’ country home, who receive a reeducation when their lone connection to the outside world, a female security guard for their parents’ business, introduces them to the joys of sex and Sylvester Stallone films. Meanwhile, “Irreversible” provocateur Noé’s latest is a wildly ambitious 155-minute extravaganza set inside the mind of a drug dealer told from the first-person perspective. Nathaniel Brown and “Boardwalk Empire” star Paz de la Huerta play siblings torn apart after their parents died in a car accident who reunite in Tokyo just before Brown’s drug dealer is shot and left to observe his sister from above. (Alison Willmore’s review of “Dogtooth” and Aaron Hillis’ interview with Noé can be found here.)

“Aaron Bacon: Troubled Youth Collection” (2010)
Directed by Nick Gaglia, Jonathan Heap, Kether Donohue, and Charlie Vaughn
Released by Vanguard Cinema

“Avatar” supporting player Joel David Moore and “Firefly” fave Alan Tudyk make appearances in this collection of dramatic shorts including Nick Gaglia’s “Aaron Bacon,” Jonathan Heap’s “Bedridden,” Kether Donohue’s “The Babydaddy,” and Charlie Vaughn’s musical coming out tale “Flight to Sinai.” Also available on VOD.

“Alligator” (1979)
Directed by Sergio Martino
Released by Mya Communication

Barbara Bach and Mel Ferrer are just two of the tourists who make the unfortunate booking at a resort in Africa where a flesh-hungry crocodile, thought to be the reincarnation of an angry island god, is eating the guests in this exploitation flick made in the wake of “Jaws.”

“Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground” (1959-1962)
Directed by Basil Dearden
Released by Criterion Collection

The 25th entry in the Criterion Eclipse Series offers a spotlight to the oft-overlooked British director Basil Dearden with four of the films he made after exiting Ealing Studios to make the crime thrillers “Sapphire” and “The League of Gentlemen,” in addition to the landmark gay drama “Victim” with Dirk Bogarde and the jazz-infused “All Night Long.”

“The Bird Can’t Fly” (2008)
Directed by Threes Anna
Released by Vanguard Cinema

Barbara Hershey plays a woman who almost literally can’t return to her desert home for her daughter’s funeral since it has been deluged by sand, but finds a reason to stay with the discovery of a grandson she hadn’t known about previously in this 2008 drama from Dutch director Threes Anna. Also available on VOD.

01242011_BroadcastNews.jpg“Broadcast News” (1987)
Directed by James L. Brooks
Released by Criterion Collection

Although there are few films even his most diehard fans can agree upon, Brooks’ one consensus masterpiece after moving from being a legendary executive producer on TV shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Taxi” to film is this comedy set inside the high-pressure world of network news where a producer (Holly Hunter) is caught between a witless, attractive anchor (William Hurt) and an experienced, albeit sweaty reporter (Albert Brooks). The new Criterion reissue includes a documentary on Brooks’ career thus far, an alternate ending and deleted scenes, an audio commentary with Brooks and editor Richard Marks and more.

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” (2010)
Directed by Alex Gibney
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney reunites with “Enron” author Peter Elkind to chronicle Eliot Spitzer’s fall from grace as part of a prostitution ring. But that’s only one facet of this portrait of the former New York governor, which is equally interested in probing the cutthroat political scene that Spitzer largely rose above as the state’s attorney general, only to reap the consequences of ignoring it when his name was discovered on a madam’s list of johns. (My review and interview with Alex Gibney are here.)

“Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes” (1980)
Directed by Shia Yue
Released by Apprehensive Films

“Crippled Masters 3: Fighting Life” (1981)
Directed by Wang Chung Kwong
Released by Apprehensive Films

The legless Jackie Conn and the armless Frankie Shum continued one of the most unusual (and some would say exploitative) martial arts series around, though only one is a true follow-up to 1979’s original “Crippled Masters” where the Taiwanese twosome team up to make up for each other’s disabilities and battle local corruption. There’s less action in “Crippled Masters 3,” where Conn and Shum play completely different characters as brothers who try to fit into a community where they’re looked down upon.

“Dead Space 2: Aftermath” (2011)
Directed by Mike Disa
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

A spinoff of the EA video game series, this anime feature carries on where the sci-fi game left off.

01242011_EverythingStrangeandNew.jpg“Everything Strange and New” (2010)
Directed by Frazer Bradshaw
Released by IndiePix Films

Recently nominated for a Spirit Award for Best First Feature, Frazer Bradshaw’s drama centers on a carpenter who has become disillusioned by his life and ponders what to do to change it one long-take at a time.

“Feed the Fish” (2010)
Directed by Michael Matzdorff
Released by Strand Releasing

Also suffering from a mid-life crisis, Tony Shalhoub’s author of children’s books decides to literally take a plunge in this comedy when he joins a group of daredevils who jump into Lake Michigan in the dead of winter. “The League” and “The Freebie” star Katie Aselton lends him support.

“Final Spawn” (2011)
Directed by Fabrice Lambot
Released by Platinum Disc

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 Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” (2009)
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
Released by Music Box Films

The third and final installment in the first film adaptation of the Millennium Trilogy sees a Mohawk-donning Noomi Rapace reprise her role as the punk computer hacker Lisbeth Salander who is holed up in a hospital in critical condition as she awaits trial for three murders while journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) tries to make a case for her innocence.

“House of Bones” (2010)
Directed by Jeffrey Scott Lando
Released by Millennium Media Services

Corin Nemec and Charisma Carpenter star as seekers of the paranormal in this thriller where a TV crew’s tour of a haunted house turns into murder spree.

“Inhale” (2010)
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
Released by MPI Home Video

After the director bounced back from his little-seen English-language debut, the Julia Stiles-Jeremy Renner drama “A Little Trip to Heaven,” with the much-awarded 2006 thriller “Jar City,” Kormákur is back in the States with this thriller about a district attorney (Dermot Mulroney) and his wife (Diane Kruger) who are forced to come to terms with their ethics when faced with finding a lung donor for their young daughter and discovering the most viable solution may be turning to a surgeon who performs illegal transplants in Mexico. (My interview with Mulroney about the film’s strange journey to the screen is here.)

01242011_InspectorBellamy.jpg“Inspector Bellamy” (2010)
Directed by Claude Chabrol
Released by MPI Home Video

While Chabrol’s 50th film is cause for celebration, it is also a bittersweet occasion since the director known outside of France as the country’s answer to Alfred Hitchcock sadly passed away last year. However, the French master of suspense was able to check one thing off his bucket list by working with another icon in Gérard Depardieu for the first time in his final thriller about a police commander whose idyllic vacation away from the city with his wife (Marie Bunel) is rudely interrupted by a man (Jacques Gamblin) accused of insurance fraud who wants to clear his name, as well as Bellamy’s bothersome half-brother (Clovis Cornillac).

“Land of Confusion” (2011)
Directed by Jeremy Zerechak
Released by Virgil Films and Entertainment

Jeremy Zerechak’s documentary follows a squadron of the Pennsylvanian National Guard as they become soldiers policing the streets of Baghdad.

“Like Dandelion Dust” (2009)
Directed by Jon Gunn
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper star in this adaptation of Karen Kingsbury’s novel about the fight over an adopted child (Maxwell Perry Cotton) between the parents he’s come to know and the ones that gave him up and hope to restart their lives after a history of abuse and alcoholism.

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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

via GIPHY

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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