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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)

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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]

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.