DID YOU READ

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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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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