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The Painless Way to See “127 Hours,” and More New DVDs

The Painless Way to See “127 Hours,” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“127 Hours” (2010)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

With a fast-forward button at the ready on home devices, it’s high time more people see James Franco’s Spirit Award-winning performance as real-life adventurer Aron Ralston, who gets his arm trapped under a boulder in Utah’s Bluejohn Canyon and struggles to survive and free himself in Danny Boyle’s life-affirming followup to “Slumdog Millionaire.” (Matt Singer’s interview with James Franco and Danny Boyle is here.)

“420 High Desert Way” (2011)
Directed by Tom Breedlove
Released by Maverick Entertainment Group

Dealing with a different drug than the one suggested by the title, this procedural drama follows a young undercover cop who must refine his extreme sports skills as he infiltrates a drug cartel and must bust them before they learn his true identity.

“Bambi” (1942)
Directed by James Algar and Samuel Armstrong
Released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment

The animated classic comes to Blu-ray for the first time, illuminating every fiber on the whitetail deer’s head on his way to becoming prince of the forest. The new package includes deleted scenes, a six-part making-of documentary, a picture-in-picture special feature detailing the development of the film and more.

“A Beautiful Life” (2010)
Directed by Alejandro Chomski
Released by Image Entertainment

Bai Ling, Dana Delany and Debi Mazar are part of the supporting cast in Alejandro Chomski’s drama that revolves around an illegal immigrant and a runaway girl whose desperation leads them to become lovers and drug dealers.

“The Bleeding” (2009)
Directed by Charlie Picerni
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Not a “Twilight” fan? This thriller starring Vinnie Jones and Kat Von D as vampires may be the cure as DMX, Michael Madsen and Armand Assante team up to slay them.

“Burlesque” (2010)
Directed by Steven Antin
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

It got bludgeoned upon its release in theaters, but cult status begins now for the directorial debut of Steven Antin, brother to Pussycat Dolls creator Robin, that stars Christina Aguilera as a country girl who makes her way to Hollywood to become a star, if only she can get on stage at Cher’s burlesque club that is under threat of being foreclosed upon. Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet and Kristen Bell co-star.

02282011_CableGuy.jpg“The Cable Guy” (1997)
Directed by Ben Stiller
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Long known as the film Jim Carrey got $20 million for, the 15th anniversary of the dark comedy about a man (Matthew Broderick) who sees his life ruined by an obsessed satellite installer, which is only being released on Blu-ray, aims to restore its reputation with director Ben Stiller, producer Judd Apatow and Carrey providing a no-holds-barred audio commentary for the occasion, as well as deleted scenes, rehearsal footage and more.

“Cannes Man” (1997)
Directed by Richard Martini
Released by Cinema Libre Studio

Plenty of famous faces dot Richard Martini’s 1996 comedy about the film festival on the Croisette and Sy Lerner (Seymour Cassel) plays the wheeling and dealing producer who just tries to get noticed along with an aspiring screenwriter.

“The Clowns” (1970)
Directed by Federico Fellini
Released by RaroVideo

Having been a badge of honor on the shelves of DVD collectors who don’t let international borders prevent them from ordering rarities from around the world, RaroVideo is finally coming to America and their first release is one of the only Fellini films never to see a DVD release on our shores, the 1970 comedy in which he stars as the ringleader of a circus. In addition to the film, the DVD includes a 40-page booklet of rare Fellini sketches, a video essay and a rare Fellini short.

“Dr. Black & Mr. Hyde” (1976)
Directed by William Crain
Released by VCI Entertainment

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, this blaxploitation horror film is a takeoff of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story with Bernie Casey as the scientist whose experiment goes horribly awry and faces an alter ego that he cannot control.

“Faster” (2010)
Directed by George Tillman, Jr.
Released by CBS Films

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is out for revenge as a recent parolee whose main objective is to take out those responsible for his brother’s death while being trailed by two cops (Carla Gugino and Billy Bob Thornton) and a hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) in this thriller from “Notorious” director George Tillman, Jr.

02282011_GlennGouldGeniusWithin.jpg“Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould” (2010)
Directed by Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont
Released by Lorber Films

The enigmatic Canadian pianist has inspired plenty of films about his work, but Hozer and Raymont present all sorts of never-before-seen footage and recordings of Gould for this documentary that examines the contrast between his public persona and private life, as well as shares interviews with collaborators, friends and obsessions (pop icon Petula Clark gets some camera time).

“Infinite Justice” (2006)
Directed by Jamil Dehlavi
Released by Platinum Disc

This drama revolves around an American reporter (Kevin Collins) who is taken hostage by Muslim extremists in protest of those held captive at Guantanamo Bay.

“Love & Other Drugs” (2010)
Directed by Edward Zwick
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

A break from the big-budget historical epics “The Last Samurai” director Edward Zwick’s known for in his film work, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this romantic dramedy about a pharmaceutical rep (Gyllenhaal) whose career is on the rise with the introduction of Viagra, but whose personal life takes a hit when he falls for a Parkinson’s sufferer (Hathaway).

“Mado” (1976)
Directed by Claude Sautet
Released by Pathfinder Home Entertainment

Michel Piccoli stars as a businessman struggling to save his company when his partner leaves him in a sea of debt after committing suicide and turning to a prostitute (Octavia Piccolo) for comfort as a rival attempts a hostile takeover in this drama from Claude Sautet.

“My Girlfriend’s Back” (2010)
Directed by Steven Ayromlooi
Released by Lionsgate

“Felicity” star Tangi Miller and Malik Yoba cross paths, but try to overcome poor timing in this romantic comedy from Steven Ayromlooi.

02282011_MyGirlfriendsBoyfriend.jpg“My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” (2010)
Directed by Daryn Tufts
Released by Good Times Home Video

After being unlucky in love, Alyssa Milano suddenly finds herself caught between two very different men (Christopher Gorham and Michael Landes) in this romantic comedy. Beau Bridges and Carol Kane co-star.

“S.W.A.T. Firefight” (2011)
Directed by Benny Boom
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

This DTV sequel to the Colin Farrell-Samuel L. Jackson redo of the TV show brings together former Terminators Robert Patrick and Kristanna Loken in this cop thriller about an LAPD lieutenant (Gabriel Macht) who is reassigned to Detroit where he faces off once again with corruption at the station.

“Satin” (2011)
Directed by Christopher Olness
Released by Monarch Home Video

Melissa Joan Hart and Robert Guillaume come to the aid of a down-on-his-luck Vegas crooner (Hamilton von Watts) who finds himself stuck in the tiny burg of Lost Springs when his car stalls out in this dramedy.

[Additional photos: “The Cable Guy,” TriStar Pictures, 1997; “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould,” Lorber Films, 2010; “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” fiftyfilms, 2010]

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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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.

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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.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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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.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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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.

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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.

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