DID YOU READ

Out of “Nowhere,” “Four Lions” Attack and More New DVDs

Out of “Nowhere,” “Four Lions” Attack and More New DVDs (photo)

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“The Man From Nowhere” (2010)
Directed by Lee Jeong-beom
Released by Well Go USA

Matt Singer said there’s a sequence in this Korean revenge thriller that has “already taken up permanent residence in the Movie Hall of Fame section of my brain,” so what more do you need? “Mother” star Won Bin stars as the man who is framed by local gangsters and seeks to retrieve the young girl he lives next door to after she’s been kidnapped.

“Abducted” (2011)
Directed by Jon Bonnell
Released by Brain Damage Films

Originally called “Match.Dead,” this 2009 thriller details the perils of online dating when a teen girl (Kathleen Benner) arranges a date with a man she soon learns is a psychopath (James Ray). Alan Smithee is the credited screenwriter on IMDb, so one might not want to go in with high expectations.

“Babysitters Beware” (2011)
Directed by Douglas Horn
Released by Phase 4 Films

If you’re the type to be intrigued by the box art for this children’s film with the young “Modern Family” star Rico Rodriguez proudly hovering over a ticked-off Danny Trejo tied up in caution tape, then this comedy about a kid who wants to act so badly as to eliminate the need for babysitters in his life may be for you.

“The Chaperone” (2011)
Directed by Stephen Herek
Released by WWE Studios

WWE star Paul “Triple H” Levesque stars in this comedy as a former getaway driver for a bank heist crew who leaves prison and faces the decision to get behind the wheel once more for his old thieving pals or be the chaperone for his daughter’s field trip to the Natural History Museum.

“The Dorm that Dripped Blood” (1982)
Directed by Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter
Released by Synapse Films

A very young Daphne Zuniga appears in this low-budget indie slasher flick that is getting the Blu-ray treatment to make the kills particularly bloody in this story about a dorm set for renovation with the young women residing there getting some help from a killer in clearing the place out first.

“Every Day” (2010)
Directed by Richard Levine
Released by Image Entertainment

Back during the premiere of this dramedy at Tribeca, “Defiance” star Schreiber said he was drawn to role of a harried family man in the middle of a midlife crisis because “it’s a simple story and simple stories are often overlooked.” He wasn’t the only one pulled in by this debut from former “Nip/Tuck” writer/producer Levine, who mines his past for this story of a TV showrunner (Liev Schreiber) who feels the pressure of a relationship with his wife (Helen Hunt) that’s descended towards routine, a son (Ezra Miller) who’s gradually coming out of the closet, a cranky father-in-law (Brian Dennehy) who moves in when his health is on the wane and a comely co-worker (Carla Gugino) that suggests the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. (My review of the film is here.)

“A Film Unfinished” (2010)
Directed by Yael Hersonski
Released by Oscilloscope Laboratories

Tel Aviv-based filmmaker Hersonski’s visit to a Berlin film archive led to her first feature documentary, this investigation of a 62-minute piece of Nazi propaganda, shot by German soldiers, that presented Jews living the high life in the Warsaw Ghetto when in fact the Holocaust was well underway. Using personal diaries and interviews with some of the survivors, Hersonski gives context to what was really going on behind the scenes.

03042011_FourLions.jpg“Four Lions” (2010)
Directed by Chris Morris
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

After spending three years doing extensive research, Brit improv vet Chris Morris makes his feature directorial debut with a script co-written by “In the Loop”‘s Jesse Armstrong on this comedy that shows the lighter side of Jihad, tracking the movement of four British Islamic extremists who can’t get their act together. (Bilge Ebiri’s interview with Morris and Alison Willmore’s review of the film are here.)

“Half Moon” (2010)
Directed by Jason Toler
Released by Vicious Circle Films

Porn star Tori Black crosses over for the horror film about a prostitute’s encounter with a man she suspects to be a serial killer, only to discover he may actually be another kind of monster entirely.

“Helena From the Wedding” (2010)
Directed by Joseph Infantolino
Released by Film Movement

It’s chilly in upstate New York and not just because of the snow in Infantolino’s directorial debut. “Oz” star Lee Tergesen stars as a playwright named Alex, whose recent marriage to Alice (Melanie Lynskey) takes a backseat to bad reviews for his latest production as the couple heads up north from Manhattan to host a New Year’s Eve retreat for his friends, though once at his cabin, he quickly finds that he isn’t at home when a comely stranger to the group (“Community” star Gillian Jacobs) draws his attention and the relationships of those around him all seem to be in flux.

“Inside Job” (2010)
Directed by Charles Ferguson
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Fresh off its win for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars, Ferguson’s documentary about the financial meltdown with interviews with many of the major players is arriving on DVD and Blu-ray. (My review of the film is here.)

“Jackass 3D” (2010)
Directed by Jeff Tremaine
Released by Paramount Home Video

Although only 3D-enabled TV sets will be able to show off the stunts and stupidity of Steve-O, Wee Man, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn and of course, Johnny Knoxville in their full glory, everyone will now be able to enjoy the small pleasures from the comfort of home of seeing a man’s tooth being pulled out with the help of a Lamborghini, a poop volcano, and if you stay for the end credits, Jeremy Renner being launched up into the sky in a port-a-potty. (Matt Singer’s review is here.)

03042011_LettersToFatherJacob.jpg“Letters to Father Jacob” (2009)
Directed by Klaus Härö
Released by Olive Films

A veteran of film festivals as varied as Camerimage in Poland to Pusan, this small Finnish tale of a recently paroled woman (Kaarina Hazard) who finds a job working for a blind priest who answers people’s letters to give them comfort, but must find a way to help the priest when the letters stop.

“Morning Glory” (2010)
Directed by Roger Michell
Released by Paramount Home Video

Rachel McAdams stars as a producer who hopes to resurrect a basement-dwelling morning TV show with a legendary anchorman considered past his prime (Harrison Ford) in this comedy from “Notting Hill” director Roger Michell. Patrick Wilson and Diane Keaton co-star.

“Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: XX”
Released by Shout! Factory

Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Joel Robinson host another batch of schlocky gems in this latest collection that compiles their takes on “Project Moonbase,” “Master Ninja I,” “Master Ninja II,” and “Magic Voyage of Sinbad.” In addition to the running commentary provided on the films, this box also includes an interview with “Master Ninja” star Bill McKinney and a documentary with the show’s cinematographer Jeff Stonehouse on creating the look of the show.

“The Next Three Days” (2010)
Directed by Paul Haggis
Released by Lionsgate

Though it arrives in the thick of awards season, the latest from “Crash” director Haggis appears to have only pure entertainment on its mind. An adaptation of the 2008 thriller “Pour Elle,” this thriller stars Russell Crowe as a professor who must use his wits to hatch a prison escape plan for his wife (Elizabeth Banks) when she’s accused of murder. Liam Neeson puts in a cameo as an escapee who teaches Crowe the tricks of the trade.

“Off Limits” (1953)
Directed by George Marshall
Released by Olive Films

Mickey Rooney and Bob Hope match wits in this comedy about a boxing manager (Hope) whose prize-fighter (Stanley Clements) is drafted into the army and decides to enlist himself to keep an eye on him, though an aspiring pugilist (Rooney) threatens to divide his attention.

“On the Double” (1961)
Directed by Melville Shavelson
Released by Olive Films

Danny Kaye stars as an American soldier whose ability to impersonate a British colonel is of great use to his home country, though it puts him directly in the line of fire in this World War II-set comedy.

03042011_Pelt.jpg“Pelt” (2010)
Directed by Richard Swindell
Released by Osiris Entertainment

A group of girlfriends don’t have such a great time during their camping trip in the woods in this horror film from Richard Swindell.

“Rage” (2011)
Directed by Sebastian Cordero
Released by Strand Releasing

Like Cordero’s last film “Cronicas,” Guillermo del Toro produced this thriller that tells of a construction worker (Gustavo Sanchez Parra) who’s involved in the accidental murder of his boss, but whose desire to remain close with his girlfriend, the live-in maid for a well-to-do family, keeps him in hiding on their estate as he’s pursued by investigators.

“The Shriven” (2010)
Directed by Brian Schiavo
Released by Shriek Show

Ah, there might just too many obstacles to overcome in this low-budget sci-fi flick revolving around Ben, a man who finds out the woman he loves is a shape-shifter who hunts humans at night to subsist.

“Son of Terror” (2011)
Directed by Antony De Gennaro
Released by Midnight Releasing

Billed as “a horror thriller black comedy from Seattle,” Antony De Gennaro’s directorial debut covers nearly all the bases with this story of a mentally ill man who finds that the world around him may be crazier than he is.

“Tales from Earthsea” (2006)
Directed by Goro Miyazaki
Released by Disney Home Entertainment

Based on Ursula K. Le Guin’s epic fantasy series, Hayao’s son Goro Miyazaki makes his feature debut on this animated film about a wizard and a prince who team up to save the prince’s homeland which has come under siege by dragons and internal strife.

“Zombie Farm” (2009)
Directed by Ricardo Islas
Released by Maya Entertainment

With that kind of title, there isn’t a lot left to the imagination, especially when you consider director Ricardo Islas’ previous body of work including “Night Fangs” and “Headcrusher.”

New to Blu-ray: “Excalibur”, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, Hayao Miyazaki’s “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”, the Andy Goldsworthy doc “Rivers & Tides”

[Additional photos: “Four Lions,” Drafthouse Films, 2010; “Letters to Father Jacob,” Olive Films, 2010; “Pelt,” Osiris Entertainment, 2011]

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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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