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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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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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