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A Geekgasm of “Cronos,” “Inception,” “Videodrome” and More New DVDs

A Geekgasm of “Cronos,” “Inception,” “Videodrome” and More New DVDs (photo)

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A look at what’s new on DVD today:

“Cronos” (1993)
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro
Released by Criterion Collection

After years of being out of print, Guillermo del Toro’s feature debut is getting the Criterion treatment and del Toro has gone all out to make it one of the best discs ever with new interviews, his 1987 short “Geometria,” two audio commentaries, a video tour of his home office, and more.

“300 Killers” (2010)
Directed by Matt Jaissle
Released by Midnight Releasing

A police chief (Johnny Andrews) who sees his city falling under the thumb of a ruthless drug dealer and sends out his best detective (Anthony Tomei) to put a stop to it in Matt Jaissle’s action film.

“Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright” (2010)
Directed by R. Ellis Frazier
Released by Maya Home Entertainment

Aidan Quinn stars as a billionaire who flees to Tijuana after he’s on the run for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme in search of a woman he left behind decades earlier while a federal agent and some less savory folks are in hot pursuit. Writer/director R. Ellis Frazier surrounds Quinn with Andy Garcia, Mario Van Peebles, Luke Goss, Gina Gershon, and Danny Pino.

12072010_BarryMunday.jpg“Barry Munday” (2010)
Directed by Chris D’Arienzo
Released by Magnolia Home Entertainment

Chris D’Arienzo’s directorial debut found quite a few fans when it premiered earlier this year at SXSW, with Patrick Wilson playing against type as the smarmy ladies man in the title who loses his testicles in an attack only to finally man up when he discovers he may be a new father soon to a woman (Judy Greer) he barely recalls in this comedy. Chloë Sevigny, Malcolm McDowell, Jean Smart, and Cybill Shepherd co-star. (Interviews with Wilson and Sevigny are here.)

“Boys Life 7”
Released by Strand Releasing

Strand Releasing’s latest collection of gay themed shorts features Julian Breece’s “The Young and Evil,” Larry Kennar’s “Spokane,” Gary Huggins’ “First Date,” and Martin Deus’ “Raw Love.”

“Caged Animal” (2010)
Directed by Ryan Combs
Released by Phase 4 Films

Now that he’s appearing in DTV titles like “Death Race 2,” apparently it’s time to accept Ving Rhames a star of the Blockbuster realm. Even though he once again collaborates with director Ryan Combs from “Animal 2,” this isn’t necessarily a continuation of the prison saga from that DTV series, but instead the origin story of Miles “Cain” Skinner, who must defend his turf against his rival from the outside (Robert LaSardo). Robert Patrick co-stars.

“A Dog Year” (2009)
Directed by George LaVoo
Released by HBO Films

In the midst of all the excitement surrounding Jeff Bridges’ performances in the upcoming “Tron: Legacy” and “True Grit,” HBO is releasing this family friendly drama that was orphaned by the end of the indie label Picturehouse in 2009. Bridges stars alongside Lauren Ambrose as a writer who emerges from a midlife crisis with the help of an abandoned border collie he takes in from the pound.

“Escape from Zahrain” (1962)
Directed by Ronald Neame
Released by Olive Films

Ronald Neame directs this 1962 Yul Brenner vehicle in which the “King and I” star revolts against his country’s corrupt government and makes a desperate attempt to exit.

“Fistful of Brains” (2008)
Directed by Christine Parker
Released by Brain Damage Films

This zombie western involves two brothers’ feud that tears a North Carolina town apart during the 1800s when the murder of a herd of cattle leads to a series of unfortunate events.

“Fox 75th Anniversary Collection”
Released by Fox Home Entertainment

There are 75 films to celebrated 75 years of the venerable Hollywood studio, but only one is actually a DVD debut: the 1933 adaptation of Noel Coward’s “Cavalcade.” However, the studio is more than making up for it with a set that includes everything from “All About Eve” to “The Devil Wears Prada” and a hardcover book celebrating Fox’s history.

12072010_MtHead.jpg“Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor and Other Fantastic Films”
Directed by Koji Yamamura
Released by Zeitgeist Films

KimStim has collected legendary Japanese animator Koji Yamamura’s shorts for U.S. consumption for the first time, including the 2003 Oscar-nominated “Mt. Head.”

“Harpoon: Whale Watching Massacre” (2009)
Directed by Julius Kemp
Released by Image Entertainment

The original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”‘s Gunnar Hansen adds to the killer cred of this Icelandic slasher flick where a group of whale watchers make the mistake of getting onto the wrong boat when their own vessel runs into rough waters.

“Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel” (2010)
Directed by Brigitte Berman
Released by Phase 4 Films

Canadian documentarian Brigitte Berman studies the impact of the Playboy founder on America’s changing attitude towards sex, as well as the country’s bumpy journey towards civil rights equality in this biography. Given unprecedented access by Hefner, Berman goes beyond the grounds of the Playboy Mansion with interviews with libertines such as James Caan, Jim Brown and Gene Simmons as well as the likes of Dr. Ruth, Pat Boone, Jesse Jackson and George Lucas. (My interview with Berman is here.)

“Hunter Prey” (2009)
Directed by Sandy Collora
Released by Maya Entertainment

Sandy Collora, director of that great Batman short “Dead End” from 2003, gets to helm a full-length sci-fi film about a spaceship where the crew becomes hunted by an extraterrestrial prisoner that escapes their clutches.

“Inception” (2010)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Released by Warner Home Video

Arguably the most debated film of the year, Christopher Nolan’s thriller about dream theft will now be held up to even closer scrutiny on home video where one can endlessly pause and pore over every visual twist and turn. (Plus, it can get you ready for that video game sequel.) Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ken Watanabe and Tom Hardy star.

Mademoiselle Chambon
Directed by Stephane Brizé
Released by Lorber Films

Recently nominated for a Spirit Award after winning a César Award last year for best adapted screenplay and being nominated for two more, Brizé’s drama centers around a construction worker (Vincent Lindon) whose idyllic family life is upset when he volunteers as a substitute teacher at his son’s school and meets the titular Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain), a vibrant, violin-playing homeroom teacher who seduces the married father.

12072010_milkofsorrow1.jpg“The Milk of Sorrow” (2009)
Directed by Claudia Llosa
Released by Olive Films

Famous for being the first Oscar-nominated film from Peru, if nothing else, Claudia Llosa’s drama is centered on a woman (Magaly Solier) who believes her mother passed on a life of misery at birth and attempts to escape her past. (Alison Willmore’s review of the film is here.)

“The Mission” (1986)
Directed by Roland Joffe
Released by Warner Home Video

Long before Roland Joffe was directing treacle such as “Captivity” and “The Scarlet Letter,” he was at the helm of this Palme D’Or winning drama that’s making its Blu-ray debut about the defense of a South American tribe by a group of Jesuit missionaries led by Jeremy Irons against a slave trader (Robert De Niro).

“My Normal” (2010)
Directed by Irving Schwartz
Released by Wolfe Video

Also debuting the same day on VOD, Irving Schwartz’s New York-set drama centers on a woman (Nicole LaLiberte) who supports her desire to become a filmmaker as one of the city’s most wanted dominatrixes, but just as her plan starts to come together, a new relationship threatens to tear it apart.

“Only When I Dance” (2010)
Directed by Beadie Finzi
Released by Film Movement

“Unknown White Male” producer Beadie Finzi travels to Rio de Janeiro for this dance documentary that traces the journey of two fleet-footed teens, Irlan and Isabela, from the favelas of Brazil, where they face daily violence in the streets and discrimination from the national ballet companies for the color of their skin, to the Youth America Grand Prix in New York where the competition is fierce.

“Patrik, Age 1.5” (2008)
Directed by Ella Lemhagen
Released by Entertainment One

Ella Lemhagen’s comedy shows the perils of not reading the fine print when a gay couple in Sweden expect to adopt a 15-month-old orphan and wind up with a 15-year-old hoodlum who objects to their lifestyle.

Directed by Darren Flaxstone and Christian Martin
Released by TLA Releasing

This British drama centers on the romance that develops between a priest incarcerated on charges of pedophilia and a prison guard who believes in his innocence.

12072010_Restrepo.jpg“Restrepo” (2010)
Directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington
Released by Virgil Films and Entertainment

Long respected for his investigative journalism, “The Perfect Storm” author Junger joined forces with photojournalist Hetherington for a look at life inside an American platoon in Afghanistan that naturally will appear in book form (“War”) as well serve as the subject of this film which captures a year in the war-torn Korengal Valley. The National Geographic release was widely lauded at Sundance where Alison Willmore called it an “artful, excellent doc” that is a “nonfiction companion to ‘The Hurt Locker.'” The U.S. military has since shut down the outpost in April. (My interview with Junger and Hetherington is here.)

“Shrek Forever After” (2010)
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Released by DreamWorks Animation

If Jeffrey Katzenberg is to be believed, this will be the last time we see the big ol’ green ogre, in which case, the series might’ve saved the best for last with this entry that reimagines Shrek’s entire trajectory when a deal with Rumpelstiltskin leads to an alternate universe where Shrek hasn’t yet met his true love Fiona or become a local celebrity, though if he is to survive, he must still find true love’s kiss.

“The Stranger In Us” (2010)
Directed by Scott Boswell
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures

After leaving an abusive ex-boyfriend, a man (Raphael Barker) who has little experience in the urban life of San Francisco outside of his past relationship is taken under the wing of a hustler who offers both a bit of protection and danger in this drama.

“Strapped” (2010)
Directed by Joseph Graham
Released by TLA Releasing

A male hustler spends the night at an apartment building full of eccentric tenants in this drama from San Francisco filmmaker Joseph Graham.

“Videodrome” (1983)
Directed by David Cronenberg
Released by Criterion Collection

Although this appears to be a direct port from Criterion’s already impressive 2004 edition of David Cronenberg’s headtrip about a TV exec (James Woods) whose discovery of a hardcore Malaysian program leads him into a dangerous world where real life and television have no barriers. However, it’s quite likely that the new hi-def transfer for this Blu-ray will be so good, it’ll make your head explode.

“The Year of Getting to Know Us” (2008)
Directed by Patrick Sisam
Released by Entertainment One

Maybe this comedy will be known mostly as a trivia answer for what was the last vestige of Jimmy Fallon’s attempt to transition from a “Saturday Night Live” star into a leading man in the movie business before returning to late night as a talk show host. But two years after writer/director Patrick Sisam’s feature debut played at Sundance, a wide audience will finally get their chance to see Fallon as a man trying to overcome a privileged but dysfunctional childhood with detached parents (Tom Arnold and Sharon Stone) by returning home at the behest of his girlfriend (Lucy Liu). (trailer)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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