DID YOU READ

Ryan Reynolds Escapes Two “Buried” Indies, Samuel Fuller Freakouts and More New DVDs

Ryan Reynolds Escapes Two “Buried” Indies, Samuel Fuller Freakouts and More New DVDs (photo)

Posted by on

A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Buried”
Directed by Rodrigo Cortes
Released by Lionsgate

“Paper Man”
Directed by Kieran and Michele Mulroney
Released by MPI Home Video

While one can’t feel too badly for the future “Green Lantern” star and People‘s sexiest man alive, Ryan Reynolds’ two stabs at glory outside the beaten path went largely unseen, which is particularly a shame in the case of Rodrigo Cortes’ “Buried,” the thriller where Reynolds has no acting partner but a cell phone as a military contractor who finds himself trapped in a coffin with no knowledge of how or why he got there. A success at Sundance, Lionsgate scrapped expansion plans for the film when it didn’t do well in limited release, so home video will be the first chance for many to catch it. Still, that was a considerably bigger success than “Paper Man,” which snuck in and out of theaters in the spring despite its big name cast. The dramedy features Reynolds as the imaginary superhero pal of Jeff Daniels’ struggling writer, whose writer’s block and desire to leave a mark on the world also leads to befriending a teen (Emma Stone) he takes a spark to – it’s also available on VOD. (My interview with Cortes and Reynolds is here.)

“Animal Kingdom”
Directed by David Michôd
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Currently riding high on an Oscar push for the film’s duplicitous matriarch Jacki Weaver after having won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, David Michôd’s moody directorial debut stars Ben Mendelsohn as the 17-year-old nephew of a well-known Melbourne underworld figure who attempts to break away from his family’s criminal ways, with the help of a possibly crooked cop (Guy Pearce). (Alison Willmore’s interview with Michôd is here.)

“Army of Crime”
Directed by Robert Guédiguian
Released by Lorber Films

Simon Abkarian and Virginie Ledoyen play the couple at the center of a revolt against the Nazi occupation in this historical epic from French director Robert Guédiguian.

“Checking Out”
Directed by David Leland
Released by Image Entertainment

Long before “Paper Man,” Jeff Daniels was having a midlife crisis in this Joe Eszterhas-penned comedy from 1989 about a man whose young neighbor dies setting him off into a panic.

“The Dogfather”
Directed by Richard Boddington
Released by Image Entertainment

Chris Parnell stars in this comedy about a family man who takes in an orphaned bulldog for his son, not knowing that the dog swallowed the ring of a mob boss, who sends two goons to get it back.

01172011_DownTerrace.jpg“Down Terrace”
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

Like “Animal Kingdom,” Brit director Ben Wheatley’s directorial debut is a crime thriller concerning a family of criminals, but far funnier when a father and son are released from prison and try to find their proper place within both their immediate family and their other one. (My short review from Fantastic Fest is here.)

“Eichmann”
Directed by Robert Young
Released by Entertainment One

British helmer Robert Young recounts the final hours of Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann (Thomas Kretschmann) after he is captured by Argentine authorities and sent to Israel where he is interrogated by a young officer (Troy Garity) before he’s set to be executed. “Run Lola Run” star Franka Potente plays the officer’s wife.

“El Superstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Frances”
Directed by Amy French
Released by Cinema Libre Studio

Odd couple George Lopez and Norman Lear both lend their name as executive producers to Amy French’s mockumentary about Juan (Spencer John French), a Beverly Hills-born Caucasian who is taken in by a Latino family at the age of three and groomed to become a successful singer/songwriter in the Tejano music mold. Danny Trejo makes an appearance as Juan’s stepfather while Lupe Ontiveros plays his adoptive mother in this comedy inspired by the Frenches’ experience of growing up in Echo Park.

“Freakonomics”
Directed by Seth Gordon, Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki, and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

An group of documentary all-stars including “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock, “Client 9” director Alex Gibney, “Why We Fight” director Eugene Jarecki and “Jesus Camp” helmers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady take on this adaptation of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s bestselling tome on unusual economic realities, from Spurlock’s segment on the relationship between naming your child and financial prosperity and Ewing and Grady’s look at incentive-based education. (Evan Narcisse’s interview with producer Seth Gordon is here.)

01172011_JackGoesBoating.jpg“Jack Goes Boating”
Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

For his directorial debut, Hoffman adapted Bob Glaudini’s 2007 LAByrinth Theater Company production for celluloid, putting in pals John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega to reprise their roles as a married couple that sets up their wannabe Rastafarian friend (Hoffman) with a fellow pothead (Amy Ryan). (Alison Willmore’s review of the film is here.)

“Lebanon”
Directed by Samuel Maoz
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

A Golden Bear winner at Venice, Samuel Maoz’s autobiographical potboiler illustrates the blood and tears that have gone towards achieving a hard-won truce, as he follows in the footsteps of fellow former soldier Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” in detailing the endless hours of sweating out the First Lebanon War in a tank as a gunner in the Israeli military.

“Married Men and Single Women”
Directed by Steven Drayton
Released by Maverick Entertainment Group

Think Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married” for Steven Drayton’s drama about three couples facing the impact of infidelity on their relationships.

“The Naked Kiss” and “Shock Corridor”
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Released by The Criterion Collection

Sold separately, Criterion already released two of Samuel Fuller’s finest films of the 1960s, but is updating them both in Blu-ray and with new Daniel Clowes’ covers as well as a new supplements including a fresh interview with star Constance Towers on both “The Naked Kiss” and “Shock Corridor,” in addition to much more.

“Running Wild”
Directed by Duncan McLachlan
Released by Screen Media Films

This 1992 Brooke Shields drama finally sees the light of day on DVD, tracking a television reporter (Shields) who travels to South Africa where she meets a documentarian (Martin Sheen) who has spent over a decade watching and protecting a family of cheetahs.

“Sins of My Father”
Directed by Nicolas Entel
Released by Maya Home Entertainment

Director Nicolas Entel tells the story of a son trying to escape the shadow of his father — who happens to be Pablo Escobar. Sebastián Marroquín, now 32, recounts life growing up with the legendary drug lord as a dad and even seeks out out the children of some of those his father murdered in order to bring some closure to the victims.

01172011_Stone.jpg“Stone”
Directed by John Curran
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

A retiring parole officer (Robert De Niro) gets the most trying case of his career when the wife (Milla Jovovich) of a convict, whose sentence is up for review, attempts to seduce him in John Curran’s drama that got short shrift back in the fall after its distributor was sold. (My review of the film and Matt Singer’s interview with Norton are here.)

“Takers”
Directed by John Luessenhop
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

T.I., Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Michael Ealy and Hayden Christensen star as a gang of thieves whose latest armored car robbery leads a pair of cops (Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez) to finally track them down and bring them to justice. Even with real stunts and a star-studded crew, the main attraction, however, is Christensen’s porkpie hat.

“Triggerman”
Directed by Giulio Base
Released by Lionsgate

Paul Sorvino and Terence Hill head to the Wild, Wild West for this western about a gambling tournament that is rudely interrupted by a wily gunslinger.

“The Virginity Hit”
Directed by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

“The Last Exorcism” writers Botko and Gurland blur the line between reality and fiction with this raunchy sex comedy produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay about three friends who are trying to help their friend get laid for the first time.

[“Down Terrace,” Magnolia Pictures, 2010; “Jack Goes Boating” and “Stone,” Overture Films, 2010]

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
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.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
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.

geowash_flat

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.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet