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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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