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Wesley Snipes Plays the “Game of Death” and More New DVDs

Wesley Snipes Plays the “Game of Death” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Game of Death” (2011)
Directed by Giorgio Serafini
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Quite possibly Wesley Snipes’ last film for a long, long time, this action flick features the “Passenger 57” star as a CIA agent who is betrayed by his employer after he’s deployed to take out an arms dealer in Detroit. “Grindhouse” star Zoe Bell is onhand to provide backup.

“Celestial Films: Lady Hermit” (1971)
Directed by Meng Hua Ho
Released by Funimation

An aspiring female kung fu warrior searches for an elusive master who turns out to pretend to be a servant in this Shaw Brothers produced action flick.

“Daylight Robbery” (2008)
Directed by Paris Leonti
Released by Well Go USA

Paris Leonti’s heist flick involves a group of misfits who plot to rob the London Exchange of the loot in their underground vault.

“Disconnect” (2011)
Directed by Robin Christian
Released by Osiris Entertainment

Think of Robin Christian’s thriller as a gender-switching “Frequency” where a college student is able to connect with her dead mother on the phone and attempts to use it to warn her of her impending death at the hands of another.

“Gangland” (2008)
Directed by Crew Hamilton
Released by Indican

After a well-to-do couple enters the bad part of town and only one leaves, a man takes the law into his own hands to clean up the streets of Los Angeles from the rival gangs that have taken control in this thriller.

02142011_Glorious39.jpg“Glorious 39” (2009)
Directed by Stephen Poliakoff
Released by Entertainment One

Stephen Poliakoff’s drama features an all-star cast including Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie, Juno Temple and Eddie Redmayne as the Keyes family, a distinguish English family that sees their way of life unravel on the eve of World War II.

“A Kiss of Chaos” (2009)
Directed by Ricardo Sean Thompson
Released by Maya Entertainment

This thriller, co-starring “CSI: Miami” star Adam Rodriguez and Paul Calderon, revolves around a woman who is having a hard time when she’s forced to take in her ex-boyfriend and HIV-positive sister on the same day, which also puts her at the mercy of a local drug dealer. (“The Wire”‘s Michael K. Williams).

“Kiss the Bride” (2011)
Directed by Ibrahim Yilla
Released by Phase 4 Films

Two domineering mother-in-laws threaten to ruin a young African-American couple’s wedding in this comedy from Ibrahim Yilla.

“Kites” (2010)
Directed by Anurag Basu
Released by Image Entertainment

Americans will get Brett Ratner’s edit of this Bollywood love story starring Hrithik Roshan and Bárbara Mori as a couple who fall in love with each other on the eve of her wedding in Vegas to his girlfriend’s sadistic brother in order to get a green card, but must find a way to get out of town in one piece.

“The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu” (2009)
Directed by Henry Saine
Released by Dark Sky Film

A Slamdance 2010 selection, this comedy sees the last living relative of H.P. Lovecraft band together with two friends to fight off an invasion of Lovecraft’s monsters while protecting an ancient relic, presumably without the budget of Guillermo del Toro’s Lovecraft adaptation “At the Mountains of Madness” at their discretion.

02142011_Lemmy.jpg“Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch” (2010)
Directed by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski
Released by Red General Catalog

This documentary about the indefatigable Motörhead frontman boasts interviews with Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper and Scott Ian about the enduring influence of the heavy-metal rocker as well as probably a few NSFW backstage tales.

“Love at First Kill” (2011)
Directed by John Daly
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Noah Segan and Margot Kidder headline this thriller from director John Daly (once called “The Box Collector”) about a mother who will stop at nothing to keep her son away from a new love interest in town.

“National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie” (2010)
Directed by Jerry Daigle and Christopher Meloni
Released by Lionsgate

Aside from his turns in “Wet Hot American Summer” and “Harold and Kumar,” Christopher Meloni rarely gets the chance to show off his funny side, so consider this comedy where he plays the producer of a raunchy comedy a nice change of pace. Mario Cantone, Robert Klein and Cyndi Lauper also appear in this meta-sketch comedy film.

“October Moon 2: November Son” (2008)
Directed by Jason Paul Collum
Released by Tempe Video

Jason Paul Collum follows up his 2005 horror comedy with another installment where the survivors of the murder massacre of the first film seek revenge for those that they lost while welcoming the arrival of two new men of mysterious origin.

“Paroled” (2007)
Directed by Sal Martino
Released by Urban Home Entertainment

Master P puts in an appearance in this 2007 drama from Sal Martino about a recently-released criminal who must resist going back to a life of crime or risk getting his third strike.

02152011_PromisedLands.jpg“Promised Lands” (1974)
Directed by Susan Sontag
Released by Zeitgeist Films

The feminist icon’s only documentary centers on Israel after the Yom Kippur War of 1973, gauging reaction from Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk and physicist Yuval Ne’eman as she captures the scorched landscapes and wonders whether there could ever be peace, considering that even Israelis are divided over Palestinian sovereignty.

“Respire” (2009)
Directed by David A. Cross
Released by MTI Home Video

The owner of a novelty store (Tracy Teague) tries an experimental treatment created during the 1930s to cure her disease, but doesn’t realize she’ll take on the traits of a killer as an aftereffect in this horror film from writer/director David A. Cross.

“The Sinatra Club” (2010)
Directed by James Quattrochi
Released by Otter Creek Motion Pictures

Danny Nucci takes on the role of John Gotti in this drama from James Quattrochi that centers on the mafioso’s early days trying to prove himself by stealing a trove of silver bullion.

“Stag Night” (2008)
Directed by Peter A. Dowling
Released by Lionsgate

Kip Pardue, Vinessa Shaw, Breckin Meyer and Scott Adkins fight off a tribe of cannibals in a subway station in this horror flick from Peter A. Dowling that will finally see a DVD release courtesy of Ghost House.

“The Storm Warriors” (2009)
Directed by Oxide and Danny Pang
Released by Lionsgate

The Pang brothers continue to recover from their ill-fated Nicolas Cage remake of their own “Bangkok Dangerous” with this sequel to their martial arts epic “The Storm Riders” about a pair of Chinese warriors who do their damnedest to prevent the invasion of a Japanese warlord.

02152011_SummerWars.jpg“Summer Wars: The Movie” (2009)
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
Released by Funimation

A teen geek gets the chance to get closer to the girl he has a crush on by posing as her boyfriend and winds up accidentally unlocking an equation that leads to the escape of a dangerous virtual world into the real world where he’s just trying to impress the girl’s family on the 90th birthday of her grandmother in this much-lauded animated sci-fi/cyberpunk film.

“A Time for Drunken Horses” (2000)
Directed by Bahman Ghobadi
Released by Lorber Films

A double prize winner at Cannes at the turn of the century, Ghobadi’s harrowing drama tracks a family that must fend for themselves in the wake of their parents’ death and find a way to make it to the Iran-Iraq border for an operation to save the youngest brother.

“Unstoppable” (2010)
Directed by Tony Scott
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

Denzel Washington and Chris Pine commandeer a train carrying potentially explosive materials in the hopes of steering it away from school children and a city full of unwitting victims in this Tony Scott thriller.

“Waiting for Superman” (2010)
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Released by Paramount Home Entertainment

After “An Inconvenient Truth” and “It Might Get Loud,” Guggenheim turns his attention to the public school system by chronicling the fates of five children and their families, finding that the results aren’t pretty.

“White Lion” (2010)
Directed by Michael Swan
Released by Screen Media Films

A young child in Africa befriends a lion cub who must grow up away from his family and protect itself from a poacher in this children’s film.

“William S. Burroughs: A Man Within” (2010)
Directed by Yony Leyser
Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories

In addition to never before seen footage, Patti Smith, John Waters, Iggy Pop, and naturally “Naked Lunch” director David Cronenberg all give interviews in this biography about the pioneering author of the Beat Generation who may have survived having his book banned by the U.S. government and the accidental murder of his wife, but struggled with addiction and other inner demons while becoming one of the most famous writers of the 20th century.

“Women Without Men” (2010)
Directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari
Released by IndiePix Films

Banned in its native Iran, Neshat and co-director Azari have picked up prizes elsewhere including a Silver Lion in Venice, for their adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel that sets the travails of five women looking to free themselves from the gender inequality and oppression of Tehran through visits to an imaginary garden against an American/British-backed overthrow of the government in 1953.

“Working Girls” (1974)
Directed by Stephanie Rothman
Released by Code Red

Boasting an early performance from the future Elvira, Cassandra Peterson, this exploitation flick features a fair amount of nudity, but in the context of a painter of nudes and her roomie who try to make ends meet in a world dominated by men.

“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (2010)
Directed by Woody Allen
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Woody Allen’s latest comedy centers on a father (Anthony Hopkins), recently separated from his wife who pursues a much younger prostitute (Lucy Punch), and his daughter (Naomi Watts), whose own husband (Josh Brolin) has a wandering eye for the neighbor across the street (Freida Pinto).

New to Blu-ray: “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence”, “All the President’s Men”, “Big Daddy”, the 1992 biopic “Chaplin”, the noir “Kansas City Confidential”, “Last Tango in Paris”, “Moonstruck”, “Mr. Deeds”, “Network”, “Rain Man”, Orson Welles’ “The Stranger”

[Additional photos: “Glorious 39,” Entertainment One, 2009; “Lemmy,” Red General Catalog, 2010; “Promised Lands,” Zeitgeist Films, 1974; “Summer Wars,” GKids, 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.