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The Second Strike of “Fubar,” “Cannibal Holocaust” in HD, and More New on DVD

The Second Strike of “Fubar,” “Cannibal Holocaust” in HD, and More New on DVD (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD this week:

“Fubar: Balls to the Wall”
Directed by Michael Dowse
Released by Screen Media Films

Following up the 2002 cult comedy about lifelong metalhead pals Terry and Dean, this sequel, which recently premiered to much acclaim at SXSW, finds the duo down on their luck when they decide to head up north to work in the oil industry, but when their best laid plans go awry, Dean attempts to get on worker’s comp, leading to the kind of exploits best enjoyed with a cold beer.

“Born to Raise Hell” (2011)
Directed by Darren Shahlavi
Released by Paramount

Steven Seagal not only stars as an Interpol agent named Samuel Axel in this DTV thriller, but also wrote the script, so you know it has to be good. In it, Axel must bring down a gun trafficking ring in the Balkans where the stakes become personal after one of his team members is killed.

“Gashole” (2011)
Directed by Scott D. Roberts and Jeremy Wagener
Released by Cinema Libre

With sky high gas prices, the timing couldn’t be better for the release of this Peter Gallagher-narrated documentary that studies the history of gas prices and offers an array of alternative fuel solutions.

“Gaumont Treasures: 1908-1916 Vol. 2”
Released by Kino

This three-disc set of silent French classics has a DVD apiece dedicated to the work of Emile Cohl, Jean Durand and Jacques Feyder, who were pioneers of the color process and synchronized sound, commemorated here not only with their films, but a bonus documentary about Durand and a handful of shorts that show their early experiments.

“Gulliver’s Travels” (2010)
Directed by Rob Letterman
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

After being derided as a dud in the States, this Jack Black-starring update of the Jonathan Swift story about a man shipwrecked in a town where he is a giant became an unexpected success overseas, so perhaps they know something we don’t? Probably not, but you can decide now that it’s on home video. Emily Blunt and Jason Segel co-star.

“Hyenas” (2010)
Directed by Eric Weston
Released by Lionsgate

Costas Mandylor and Christa Campbell star in this horror flick about a man whose family is killed by a pack of the titular hyenas and naturally wants to return the favor.

IfGodIsWillingAndtheCreekDon'tRise_04192011.jpg“If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” (2010)
Directed by Spike Lee
Released by HBO Video

After Spike lee’s landmark doc about Hurricane Katrina, “When the Levees Broke,” the director returned to Louisiana to take a look at the recovery efforts and the further destruction caused by the BP oil spill with this four-hour doc. (Aaron Hillis’ interview with the director is here.)

“Ingrid Bergman: Swedish Film Collection”
Released by Kino

Before she became known the world over as Elsa in “Casablanca,” Ingrid Bergman starred in these three films in her native country — “Intermezzo,” “June Night” and the never-before-available-on-DVD drama “A Woman’s Face” — that have been conveniently placed in one boxed set.

“IP Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster” (2010)
Directed by Wilson Yip
Released by Well Go USA

There was obviously unfinished business left from Donnie Yen’s loosely biographical martial arts tale of Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Kai-Man, the educator of such pupils as Bruce Lee. On the heels of the first film, which chronicled Ip Man’s rise during the 1930s and his leadership against the Japanese invasion of 1937, “Ip Man 2” follows the martial artist to Hong Kong during the 1950s where he sets up a school and runs afoul of the instructors at rival academies (led by Sammo Hung) who challenge him to duel.

“John Leguizamo’s Freak” (1998)
Directed by Spike Lee
Released by Vivendi Entertainment

The other Spike Lee-directed release this week deserves equal top billing since it’s been out of circulation for quite some time, despite winning an Emmy on television and a Drama Desk Award for star John Leguizamo back when it was on Broadway as Leguizamo recounts his youth in Queens by performing as all of the colorful characters who populated his early life.

“Kes” (1969)
Directed by Ken Loach
Released by the Criterion Collection

Though the British Film Institute named it as one of the 10 best British films of the last century, Ken Loach’s coming-of-age film about a boy and his bird has never been available on DVD in the States until now with this Criterion edition that not only includes an exquisite transfer of the film, but includes a new making-of doc, one of Loach’s first features for television “Cathy Come Home,” and more.

TheKingsSpeech_04192011.jpg“The King’s Speech” (2010)
Directed by Tom Hooper
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

With the F-word restored, all is right as rain with this year’s winner for Best Picture at the Oscars which recounts the true story of King George VI’s (Colin Firth) struggle to overcome a debilitating stutter with the help of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), the speech therapist who guided the king to find his true voice when the ongoing Second World War necessitated him to take the lectern when his brother (Guy Pearce) abdicates the throne. No stranger to highlighting crevices in history, “The Damned United” and “John Adams” director Hooper helmed this uplifting drama.

“The Last New Yorker” (2010)
Directed by Harvey Wang
Released by Brink

“The Sopranos” star Dominic Chianese and Dick Latessa co-star as a pair of 70-year-old Manhattanites whose lifelong friendship is tested when Chianese’s Lenny decides to embark on a romance that may lead him out of living in the big city, much to the chagrin of his pal who can’t stand its ever-changing nature.

“Rabbit Hole” (2010)
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Released by Lionsgate

As I wrote back when it premiered at Toronto last year, this adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer-winning play about a couple dealing with the grief of losing their only child may “feel like an adaptation of a really great play that hasn’t been botched as opposed to it feeling like a really great movie.” But do expect powerhouse performances from Kidman and Eckhart as the mourning parents in an unexpectedly straightforward film from “Hedwig” and “Shortbus” director Mitchell that finds the couple’s grief pouring out in the most unexpected of ways.

“Sextette” (1978)
Directed by Ken Hughes
Released by Scorpion Entertainment

A notorious bomb when it debuted, Mae West tried to reclaim her unlikely sex symbol status at the age of 84 with an all-star cast including Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton and a young Timothy Dalton in this comedy where a honeymoon turns into an international incident when a movie star (West) and her new hubby (Dalton) can’t enjoy time alone when she’s constantly approached by a variety of delegates from a conference going on at their hotel to sleep with her. Did we mention it’s a musical and Dom DeLuise co-stars?

“Somewhere” (2010)
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Released by Universal Home Video

Known for her delicate character studies such as “Lost in Translation” and “Marie Antoinette,” Sofia Coppola’s latest is the story of a burnt out movie star Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) who reconnects with his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) when his ex-wife unexpectedly drops her off at the Chateau Marmont where Marco is living in decadence, but perhaps not contentment. (My interview with Dorff is here.)

“Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja” (2011)
Directed by Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman
Released by Magnolia Pictures

After dealing with the illegal white powder in the doc “Cocaine Cowboys,” filmmakers Corben and Spellman once again go into the Miami underworld for this look at the marijuana trade during the 1970s. At its recent premiere at SXSW, Matt Singer felt the film was a little too mellow for its own good.

StreetKings2MotorCity_04192011.jpg“Street Kings 2: Motor City” (2011)
Directed by Chris Fisher
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

From the director of the Donnie Darko DTV sequel “S. Darko” comes this DTV follow-up to the batshit Keanu Reeves cop thriller that relocates the police corruption from Los Angeles to Detroit without any real connection to the first film, leaving Ray Liotta to star as a detective who, after seeing his partner die, joins forces with a homicide investigator to bring down a serial killer targeting the boys in blue.

“Vision: From the Life of Hildegard Von Bingen” (2009)
Directed by Margarethe von Trotta
Released by Zeitgeist Films

The famed German director von Trotta tells the story of a nun’s crusade to change the ways of the church in this real-life based drama.

“The Way Back” (2010)
Directed by Peter Weir
Released by Image Entertainment

Based on the book by Slavomir Rawicz, “The Way Back” follows a group of soldiers (Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell and Ed Harris, among others) who break free from a Siberian gulag only to face the unforgiving Himalayas in their quest to safe haven on exceptionally limited resources during the 1940s.

New to Blu-ray: “Mortal Kombat,” “Mortal Kombat Annihilation,” “Sweetie” (Criterion Collection), “Zombie Holocaust”

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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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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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