The week of 1/25/2011
group edited by: Troy Anderson
Director: Robert Schwentke
- Deleted Scenes
- Animated documentary shorts
Red was a comic that I considered lesser Warren Ellis for the longest time. When they announced the film, I didn’t have much faith. That was until I saw John Malkovich actually giving a damn about a performance. That was until I saw Karl Urban take that McCoy charm and extend it past Starfleet. Mary Louise Parker is also in the film. Let’s put it this way, people. I still watch Weeds. Sure, it has jumped the shark so many times that the shark done died, but I’m hot for Mary Louise Parker. Summit is releasing the film this Tuesday in a variety of editions. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, I’d recommend picking up the 1-disc Blu-Ray. There’s no special features, but it’s about thirteen dollars for the movie only disc.
Director: Sam Taylor-Wood
Sony/The Weinstein Company
- Deleted Scenes
- The Making of Nowhere Boy
- Nowhere Boy: The Untold Story of John Lennon
- The Creation of The Beatles
Director: Randall Wallace
Buy it at Amazon!
• Heart of A Champion
• Choreographing the Races
• A Director’s Inspiration: A Conversation with The Real Penny Chenery
• Audio commentary by director Randall Wallace
• 7 Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary by director Randall Wallace
• Secretariat multi-angle simulation
• Music video – AJ Michalka “It’s Who You Are”
Secretariat was the first really major film shot in my area since The Insider. Most people automatically associate us with horses and the general fuckery that comes with gambling on an antiquated sport. I hate to tell you, but outside of gambling and parades in the spring…most of us know shit about the sport. Therefore, this has to be a film for old people that remember 1973 and give a shit about a horse that loved to fuck. Don’t believe me? Well, look up how many kids that Secretariat sired after retiring. That has to be the life. You work at a young age, retire early and get paid to hump. Back to the film for a moment. It’s an over-indulgent melodramatic piece of nostalgia with decent acting, but little in terms of story.
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
- Audio Commentary with Jodorowsky & Journalist Alan Jones
- Optional Spanish and Italian language tracks
- Deleted Scenes with Jodorowsky commentary
- Theatrical and Japanese trailers
- Forget Everything You Have Ever Seen: The World Of
SANTA SANGRE – Feature-length making-of Documentary
featuring all-new interviews with cast and crew
- For One Night Only: Alejandro Jodorowsky – Channel X
UK 1990 Documentary
- Goyo Cárdenas Spree Killer: Documentary on the real life
inspiration for SANTA SANGRE
- On stage Q&A with Jodorowsky
- Jodorowsky 2003 interview
- Composer Simon Boswell Interviews Jodorowsky
- Blink Jodorowsky Short by Simon Boswell
- Echeck – Adan Jodorowsky short film with optional commentary
Santa Sangre finally arrives on home video in North America. Rarely seen in our region outside of its 1989 theatrical bow, a new generation is getting to experience Jodorowsky for the first time. The film tells the tale of a young circus performer who has spent his recent years living in an institution. Years ago, his dad flipped out and cut off his mom’s arms. The family was part of the Santa Sangre cult and one day the parental units went nutty and decided to start chopping. In the present, the young man and his mother reunited so that they can start killing people as a family. I’d recommend a double feature with Secretariat.
Section By Jeb D.
KISS EACH OTHER CLEAN
Iron and Wine
I liked the fact that 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog seemed to suggest that Sam Beam was actually bestirring himself to juice up his sound a bit, with extra instruments, a variety of tempos, etc., providing enough aural variety to actually reward a full 40-50 minutes’ worth of listening. I had not, however, expected the man to catch a full-on case of the Brian Wilsons: the signature sound of this album is not Beam’s meticulous, fussy guitar, but the massed “doo-doo-wop” and “aaaaahhh-ohhhh” of the backing vocals. How Beam’s lyrics strike you will determine much of your reaction to this album, since he actually doesn’t play that much guitar; he ranges from Dylan-like picaresque to Paul Simon-style dribble-out-of-your-ears poesy, and with the music being all over the aural map–jazzy saxophones blare and squawk on “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me,” he breaks out the world-music percussion on the menacing “Monkeys Uptown,” and some Crescent City funk for “Big Burned Hand”–the listener needs to be pretty invested in Beam’s persona of modern-day wandering prophet to get the thing to hold together. It’s a vastly ambitious undertaking, but I’m wondering about its reception: anyone that thought Shepherd’s Dog was already too raucous compared to the stateliness of his earlier work is going to find this an even more radical departure, while fans of the kind of textured pop he builds the songs around may be a bit disappointed that he’s still more inclined to drone or murmur than to sing. And anyone whose principal attraction to the guy was his guitar playing… well, SOL on this one, folks.
THE PARTY AIN’T OVER
Rockabilly’s virtues may be limited, but it does have them, and the principal one is simplicity: spare instrumentation, rough-and-ready production, and raw, exhilarating vocals. I suppose that Jack White just thought that was too easy a fit, and instead of simply letting Jackson get real real gone like she still can, he’s got to fuss and futz and lay his handprints all over everything: from the down-the-drain vocal tremolo on “Shakin’ All Over” (get it? shakin’? get it?) to the hurdy-gurdy arrangement of Ray Charles’ “I’m Busted” to the weirdly weepy “Teach Me Tonight,” the album brims with wrongheaded musical choices; in particular, White appears to have an insatiable taste for sour-sounding horn charts that draw attention away from his charge, which is particularly unfortunate when his guitar playing is as sharp and inventive as you’d expect. Apart from the depressingly obvious “Rip It Up,” there’s a few choice selections here that Jackson twists nicely to her style (Bob Dylan’s “Thunder On The Mountain,” Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good”), but even on what should be an obvious winner like “Rum and Coca-Cola,” Jackson’s sly singing gets buried under the production and backing vocals (and dollars to donuts, White picked the song principally for its ability to ruffle PC feathers; I’m only surprised he didn’t pull out “Ubangi Stomp” while he was at it). You know, Jack, Frank Zappa may have been being ironic when he said “Shut Up ‘N’ Play Yer Guitar”… but I’m not.
Gang of Four
I’m actually not sure whether this is Gang of Four’s third reunion, or fourth, but either way, I think we can pretty well conclude that careerism turned out to be more tempting than King and Gill imagined way back when. The sound is certainly there: the new rhythm section of Tom McNeice and Mark Heaney mesh perfectly with Gill’s chunky, slashing guitar to replicate the funk-propelled noise that inspired bands from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Bloc Party and beyond. So, for that matter, is the acid commentary on modern life: consumerism, intolerance, personal betrayal, updated to include omnipresent media, war in Iraq, and the vulnerability of identity, electronic and otherwise. I don’t know that they do as much as they might with their unique perspective on a world that has changed far too little (and rarely for the good) since their arrival, but in rock and roll, deep thinking usually counts for less than the ability to encapsulate ideas and emotions in quick, hard-hitting phrases like “You / Want / What / You / Can’t / Explain!” or “What is the proof of life?”, chanted over and over. And, as I say, the album sounds great. I could do without some of the fussy production touches (auto-tune? for reals?), but there’s a reason that Gill was among the most influential guitarists of the past few decades, and hearing him in prime form is a particular pleasure you won’t get elsewhere.
Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuaria
In American music, the line between pop vocal and jazz can be a fuzzy one; in Brazil, it pretty much doesn’t exist. Vinicius Cantuaria is a singer/songwriter/guitarist who’s both a pop idol and respected jazz player, leading a revamping and updating of classic Brazilian jazz/pop that mixes Bossa Nova with contemporary dance rhythms. For this album, though, he and guitarist Bill Frisell focus less on new music of today (what do we call it: “nova Bossa Nova“?), and instead take a nostalgic look back at growing up in the Hispanic New York of a generation on from the days when musicians like Ben E. King, Stan Getz and Smokey Robinson romanticized it. With Frisell’s guitar adding color and texture, the album is like a stroll down Seventh Avenue, with music gently wafting out of apartment windows, so that a mixture of jazz, soul, blues, and even country, blends into a fluid and flexible sound with a distinct Latin flavor. Among the highlights are the stately “El Camino,” the darkly elegant “Mi Declaración,” the breezy country-inflected “Cafezinho,” and through it all, Cantuária’s exquisite singing, owing more than a bit to Bossa Nova godfather Joao Gilberto, but with fluid pop touches on the wistful “Lágrimas de Amor,” and the unexpectedly defiant-sounding title cut. One caveat: my copy didn’t come with a translation, and I understand that none of them do, which is a pity: while Cantuária conveys an awful lot with his fingers and his voice, I suspect the album would resonate even more strongly if I didn’t have to rely on my rusty high-school Spanish.
Other Notable 1/25 ReleasesCarolina Chocolate Drops & Luminescent Orchestrii. The hot young old-timey band meets up with their New York-based gypsy/tango/hip-hop brethren for cross-cultural fun and games; reasonably priced for four songs, but did we really need another recording of “Hit ‘Em Up Style”?
John Renbourn, Palermo Snow. Given the title and cover graphics, I’m a little surprised they didn’t try to sneak this one in with the Christmas releases. No matter: one of the world’s great acoustic guitarists dazzles on selections from Bach and Satie to somce choice originals. Plus, he reminds us that “Weebles Wobble (But They Don’t Fall Down).” Humorless he’s not.
Get Up Kids, There Are Rules. Seven years on, the new album loses no intensity from Guilt Show; if anything, there’s a new sense of mature urgency along with the expert popcraft. “Keith Case” is repeated from last year’s EP, if you’re keeping score.
Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads, & Beyond: The Arhoolie 50th Anniversary Boxset. These four disks present a formidable assemblage of seminal music from one of the great independent labels, and enough of it is previously unreleased to satisfy even the pickiest collector. I mean, you could just start by buying a good single-disk collection of Skip James or Mance Lipscomb, but why deny yourself the pleasure of meeting John Semien & the Opelousas Playboys, the Hackberry Ramblers, or savoring the Fondettes’ immortal “The Beatles Are In Town”?
edited by: Justin Clark
DEAD SPACE 2
360, PS3, PC
Confession time: Despite my sage advice last week, I myself haven’t beaten Dead Space yet. So, I’ve remained quite blind to all things regarding the sequel’s plot until I get that motherfucker in the bag. Having said that, favorable comparisons to Eternal Darkness have been tossed around, and everyone who’s spent time with the full game says it’s a stronger experience in every possible way. The 2/3rds of the original I’ve played is already some of the best survival horror I’ve ever played. Any improvement on that (hopefully, more scares that aren’t of a jump variety) promises $60 well spent. Possibly followed by $8 spent on Depends.
TWO WORLDS II
South Peak Games
Two Worlds basically plays in that same open world fantasy wheelhouse as Oblivion and Fable and Dragon Age, without Oblivion‘s sheer scale, Fable‘s charm and ambition, or Dragon Age‘s…well…everything. It’s Bioware. Point is: Boil any of those three down to being a generic medieval fantasy, and you’re left with nothing. A tasteless, ordinary paste of a game. The sequel promises nothing to improve upon that, and two of those other games have sequels coming. There is no need whatsoever to settle for less.
LORD OF ARCANA
Lord of Arcana is basically Square Enix’s attempt to steal some of those sweet Monster Hunter dollars that just flows from the river of Capcom so effortlessly. It looks much the same, it plays much the same, only with an M rating, and Nobuo Uematsu doing the score, which, for what it’s worth, is a big plus in the game’s favor. It’s at least an RPG, meaning Squeenix isn’t straying too far out of their wheelhouse, but it’s up in the air how well they do when trying to ride another studio’s genre jock, especially after years of it being the other way around.
OOOHHHH: ON THE DLC TIP
Xbox Live Arcade
1200 MS pts
One gets the feeling that the only reason Breach exists is so Atomic could recoup anything out of Six Days In Fallujah, which is still sitting in development purgatory a year after Konami ditched out. Which is fine by me. It would be a damn shame for the in-game engine and physics for that title to not get put to good use, and the price is right for what looks like a pretty high quality dose of multiplayer only FPSing. Still, the question remains of what this thing can do that COD: Black Ops didn’t do last year, and Bulletstorm doesn’t have a mind on doing this year.
ROCK BAND TUESDAY
David Bowie Pack 02 ($8.49/680 MS pts)
- Blue Jean
- Modern Love X
- Young Americans
- Ziggy Stardust X
$1.99/160 MS pts per track
X-Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansion available for 99 cents/80 MS pts
More Bowie. Anyone *not* okay with this after two weeks of nu metal?
Didn’t think so.
WHAT’S NEW ON DVD THIS WEEK:
WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK:
Animal Kingdom (2010)
Red $13.99 $22.99
Secretariat $17.99 $24.99
Open Season 3 $16.99 $19.99
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest $15.99 $19.99
Saw VII: The Final Chapter $17.99 $24.99
Glee: Season 2 Volume 1 $24.99
TV on DVD SALE:
Secretariat $15.99 $22.99
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest $15.99 $22.99
Saw VII: The Final Chapter $15.99 $19.99 $24.99
Red $15.99 $17.99 $19.99
Glee: Season 2 Volume 1 $19.99
Dinner for Schmucks
Monsters vs. Aliens
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Shrek: The Final Chapter
How To Train Your Dragon
The Last Exorcism
Legend of the Guardians: Owl Movie that Bombed So Hard
TV on DVD SALE
Arrested Development: Season 1 $12.99
Entourage: Season 1 $16.99
Supernatural: Season 1 $19.99
Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 $19.99
VIDEO GAME SALES
Dead Space 2: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Dead Space 2 Collector’s Edition: $79.99 (360/PS3)
Medal of Honor: $39.99 (360/PS3)
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: $39.99 (360/PS3)
- Save $20 when you buy an y 3 of the following Kinect games, or save $10 when you buy any 2:
Game Party in Motion, Sports in Motion, Dance Central, Kinect Sports, Sonic Free Riders, Your Shape Fitness Evolved, Motionsports Play for Real, Zumba
Dead Space 2: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Price cuts on over 40 great games
Toys R Us:
Only $4.99: Any $19.99 PS3 or XBox 360 game when you purchase any 1 of the following 3 games on either PS3 or XBox 360 (limit ONE per guest, quantities limited, no rainchecks):
Dead Space 2: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Call of Duty Black Ops: $59.99 (360/PS3)
DC Universe Online: $59.99 (PS3) $10 gift card
Dead Space 2: $59.99(360/PS3)
Dead Space: $9.99 (360/PS3)