The week of 2/08/2011

group edited by: Troy Anderson


HOME VIDEO


TAMARA DREWE

Director: Stephen Frears

Sony Pictures Classics

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

  • Trailer
  • Featurettes
  • Commentary

Tamara Drewe has not caught on with Anglophile audiences. I would figure that a well-directed indie film based on a graphic novel would cross the pond and find a warm American audience. Well, that’s not going to happen. No one cares about comic-based movies unless it’s got a superhero or two. The film is a rather close adaptation of the source material, as Gemma Arterton breathes life into the titular character. A recently successful young lady who returns home to show off her new looks and talents to the locals. What will a sleepy farm community make of the new Drewe? Well, that remains to be seen.

THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA

Directors: Paul Crowder and Jon Small

Lionsgate

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

• Billy Joel’s Front Row Ticket Santa
• Interview with Popular Rock and Sports Journalist Chuck Klosterman
The Last Play at Shea is an attempt at bridging the world of Billy Joel with the history of the New York Mets. Alec Baldwin narrates this look at two storied icons who modern audiences love to shit on. Early in the documentary, Joel brings up that he sold out Shea without releasing a new album in 15 years. People laugh, but they know what Joel is getting at with his opening jab. He’s a frustrated little man who has built a career out of being a frustrated little man. His biggest hits are about wanting, lust and desire. Compare that to the Mets, who have spent a lifetime in the shadow of the Yankees. That’s where you see the magic of the documentary, as you try to root for two icons that have managed to blossom in dung.

MIDDLE MEN
Director: George Gallo

Paramount

Buy it at Amazon!
Special Features:

Commentary
Featurettes
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes

Middle Men is a great flick about the can-do business attitudes that made Internet porn possible. The problem with the film is that it relies on way too much on films like Wonderland and Boogie Nights to set the tone. Still, it’s one of those smaller flicks that plays against type and warms the heart enough with a story about a small-time business owner. That business might be selling memberships to foot fetish websites, but it’s still part of the larger American dream. That is until the FBI and Russian Mafia becomes involved. Hilarity ensues and some violence, as Luke Wilson tries to teach the world to embrace internet porn.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978)

Director: Meir Zarchi

Anchor Bay

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Meir Zarchi
Audio Commentary with Author/Historian Joe Bob Briggs
The Values of Vengeance: Meir Zarchi Remembers I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
Alternate Main Title
Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots, Poster & Still Gallery

I Spit On Your Grave is a milestone in rape cinema. I know that Rape Cinema has had few iconic films outside of The Accused, Deliverance and this particular film. Most people remember the flick due to Roger Ebert’s savage review of the flick. I remember it because a topless chick cut a dude’s dick off in a bathtub. Simple pleasures and thrills catch my attention, so I can’t pretend to expound on the subtext of the film. What matters is that this rip-roaring rampage of revenge is being remastered into a lovely 1080p HD transfer. Couple it with lossless audio and all of the special features from the legendary Elite Entertainment Millennium DVD for quite the trash cinema release.

Music

Section By Jeb D.

THE WORLD IS YOURS

Motörhead

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!

You don’t review Motorhead so much as a band, but more as a phenomenon. Lemmy’s time-ravaged voice has set the tone for three decades of adjectivized metal, and if Motorhead never achieved the heights of contemporaries like AC/DC, they’re not exactly Anvil, either. No points for PC here, and plenty of macho bravado: “Born To Lose,” “Get Back In Line,” “Outlaw,” “Bye Bye Bitch”-but that’s really the point. Motorhead stands for metal as lifestyle, and after all this time, if this is actually the first song called “Rock N Roll Music” that Lemmy’s ever written (I use the word loosely), I’m impressed. Words of wisdom: “All things come to he who waits / But these days most things suck.”

TAO OF THE DEAD

And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!

As someone who’s generally uninterested in the adolescent testosterone that prompts bands to name themselves after blood/death/murder/yadda/yadda, and who has limited use, at best, for prog-rock, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. In the grand tradition of, say, Vanilla Fudge or The Electric Prunes, the band divides the album into two compositions-one 35 minutes long, the other 16-broken down into eleven and six movements respectively (and they pat themselves on the back for the cleverness of tuning each song to a different key). There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the overarching structure, but individual tracks stand on their own pretty well: “Pure Radio Cosplay” may be a bit self-referential, but it chugs along at a bracing Stones-like clip, and “Cover The Days Like A Tidal Wave” is brisk post-Velvets buzz. There’s a couple too many by-the-numbers slogs like “The Wasteland” and “Fall Of The Empire,” but overall, it’s pretty entertaining, and despite its highfalutin objectives, probably their most accessible yet.


BRIGHT MORNING STARS

The Wailin’ Jennys

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There’s an embarrassment of riches in the down-home female harmony department these days, from Mountain Man to the Secret Sisters, and this trio of Garrison Keillor’s favorite thrushes are certainly holding up their end. The title song is a traditional tune of loved ones’ passing, delivered with clear-eyed strength and lack of sentiment. The balance of the material is originals, ranging from the smoky lowdown of “Cherry Blossom Love” to the full-throated passion of “Storm Comin’.” Moody, Mehta and Masse construct something completely modern out of the most traditional elements, both vocally and musically: while they get excellent support from a veteran team of studio musicians, the three Jennys are pretty formidable on guitar, banjo, and accordion themselves. Your Robert Plants and Tom Joneses doing their rootsy covers is all well and good, but traditions dry up without artists who can work with them as living constructs, and this album brims with memorable composition as well as gorgeous singing. First-rate stuff.

BITCHES BREW LIVE

Miles Davis

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!

If you’ve sated yourself with the Anniversary Edition that you got for Christmas, here’s the next logical step: previously unreleased 1969 performances of early versions of songs that would, nine months later, emerge on the landmark Bitches Brew, along with Davis’ complete performance from the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, with maybe his most amazing band ever, including Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Airto Moreira. The booklet is nearly worth the price of the album on its own, as Davis expert Michael Azerrad updates his original liner notes with new interviews, including several with the film crew that had unprecedented backstage access to Davis and his group during the filming of the classic Message to Love: Isle of Wight Festival. The sound is well cleaned up, and the performances intense. Love it or loathe it, Bitches Brew was another example of Davis taking jazz to places that no one before, and few since, had imagined it could go: “Miles Runs Down the Voodoo” feels as though you’re inside Miles’ trumpet, if not his brain, and “Bitches Brew,” itself, blew jazz into the 21st century, even if Miles never got there himself.

Other Notable 2/8 Releases

Teddy Thompson, Bella. Mom is one of the most achingly evocative singers in the history of British pop music; Dad’s a brilliant songwriter whose guitar playing was being compared to Hendrix before he was out of his teens. If that were me, I might play it safe with middle-of-the-road folk-pop, too.

Rhino Bucket, Who’s Got Mine. If you want people to pay attention to your crack-voiced, pounding rock n roll, you might try not releasing it the same week as the new Motorhead.

Jessica Lea Mayfield, Tell Me. Mayfield’s probably best known for her guest vocals with The Black Keys, and Dan Auerbach’s production returns the favor, with stark, ominous settings for her stark, ominous, and winningly personal songwriting.

Esben and the Witch, Violet Cries. There’s a “Marching Song” and they’re on the “Warpath.” They’ve even named a mystical place for a jazz pianist (“Chorea”). And the music’s all spooky n shit, and the group takes its name from a spooky Danish fairy tale and… much ado about not much; even droning singer Rachel Davies sounds bored.

Thompson Square, Thompson Square. If there’s one too many cutesy country-rock duos running loose these days, then Sugarland is the one to get rid of: Keifer and Shawna Thompson have a nice way with post-Mellencamp crunch and down-home twang, with the occasional touch of personality (“Let’s Fight” ). Some of it’s unlistenable (“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?”, “I Don’t Wanna Miss You”), but that’s par for the course in this field, and “One Of Those Days” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Lone Justice album.

VIDEO GAMES

edited by: Justin Clark

MARIO SPORTS MIX
Nintendo
Wii
2/7
$49.99

CLICK TO BUY FROM AMAZON!!

At this point, if it has Mario’s name on it, and it’s not a platformer, you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’ll be fun at parties, but pointless, and way too easy. Meaning, kids/the elderly/your girlfriend will be pleased. Meanwhile, you’re trying to figure out why you’re not off somewhere playing Mass Effect/Dead Space/Call of Duty/with yourself.

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
THQ
360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS
2/8
$29.99

CLICK TO BUY FROM AMAZON!!

In a time where the Wii is still the party/casual gamer system of choice, You Don’t Know Jack picked the perfect time to make a comeback. The snark factor’s been missing from a lot of these games, which makes the aforementioned guilt and eventual boredom from a hardcore gamer about playing a party game (see entry above) a lot less. Whether they’ve actually accomplished that with any measure of quality is unknown, especially in the fact of the 360’s endlessly addictive version of 1 vs 100. But the effort’s appreciated, and the price is definitely right.

OOOHHHH: ON THE DLC TIP

NO MAJOR DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT THIS WEEK

You’ll live. Trust me.

ROCK BAND TUESDAY

Bob Marley Pack 01 ($13.49/1080 MS pts)

  • Bend Down Low
  • Burnin’ and Lootin’
  • Coming in from the Cold
  • Kaya
  • Lively Up Yourself
  • No More Trouble
  • Small Axe
  • Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) X

$1.99/160 MS pts per track
X-Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansion available for 99 cents/80 MS pts

Whether it’s his birthday or not, more Marley this soon’s a bit unexpected, but not unwelcome, especially since it’s lesser known material, even for me (it’s kinda sad that I only know Them Belly Full as a title because of Rage Against The Machine). Still, the material I do know is some of the more laid back stuff, and I don’t know how well that’s going to translate to Rock Band awesomeness.

WHAT’S NEW ON DVD THIS WEEK:

Alfred Hitchcock (Collector’s Edition): Murder!/Sabotage/Jamaica Inn
America America
Angel Eyes (2001) (Budget Reissue)
Bad Day To Go Fishing
Beauty And The Briefcase
A Blood Pledge
Bringing Up Baby
Chrome Shelled Regios, Pt. 1 (Standard Edition)
Chrome Shelled Regios, Pt. 1 (Limited Edition)
Chrome Shelled Regios, Pt. 2
Chuggington: Let’s Ride The Rails!
Classic Educational Shorts, Vol. 3: Safe … Not Sorry (Kino)
Classic Educational Shorts, Vol. 4: The Celluloid Salesman (Kino)
Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1991-1993
Dirty Pair, Pt. 2
Doctor Who: Story 63 – The Mutants
Doctor Who: The Movie (Special Edition)
Down For Life
Dragon Ball: Complete Collection (Movie Four-Pack)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (2010 Movie)
Eyeshield 21, Vol. 4
For Colored Girls
A French Gigolo (Cliente)
The Girl
The Guardian: The Final Season
The Guardian: Complete Series Value Pack
Hideaway (Le Refuge)
High Lane
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story
Kalamity
The Last Play At Shea
Life As We Know It (2010 Movie)
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Masquerade
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Masquerade (With Mickey Mote)
Middle Men
My Soul To Take
My Time Will Come
NBA: Ultimate Jordan (Deluxe Limited Edition)
Ong Bak 3 (One-Disc Standard Edition)
Ong Bak 3 (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)
Paranormal Activity 2
A Private Function
Project Runway: The Complete Eighth Season
The Real Cannibal Holocaust
Repo Chick
Riot
The Romantics (2010 Movie)
Space Jam (Budget Reissue)
Speed-Dating
Still Walking (Criterion Collection)
Strangers On A Train (One-Disc Standard Edition)
The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest For The Infinity Sword! Vol. 3
Tamara Drewe
Tesis (Thesis) (Digitally Remastered Special Edition)
Tom And Jerry, Vol. 1: Fur Flying Adventures
Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne, Vol. 6
Unmade Beds
Wild Target
The Wild Thornberrys: Season Two (DVD-R)
WUSA
WWII: Battlefront
You Again

WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK:

Amarcord (Criterion Collection)
Barb Wire
Beauty And The Briefcase
A Blood Pledge (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Flipper (1996 Movie)
For Colored Girls (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
How To Train Your Dragon
I Spit On Your Grave (1978)
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story
Life As We Know It (2010 Movie)
Life As We Know It (2010 Movie) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Middle Men
My Soul To Take
Ong Bak 3
Ong Bak 3 (Blu-ray/Digital Copy Combo)
Paranormal Activity 2
A Private Function
Repo Chick
A River Runs Through It (Standard Packaging)
The River Wild
Still Walking (Criterion Collection)
Tamara Drewe
Thelma And Louise (20th Anniversary Edition)
Uncle Buck
Waist Deep
Wild Target
You Again (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

THE SALES


NEW RELEASES

For Colored Girls              $16.99  $22.99
Life as We Know It          $17.99  $24.99
You Again                      $17.99  $22.99
Paranormal Activity 2       $17.99  $24.99
DVD SALE

Nothing

BLU-RAY SALE:

nothing

TV on DVD SALE:

nothing

NEW RELEASES

For Colored Girls              $16.99  $24.99
Life as We Know It          $13.99  $19.99 $24.99
You Again                      $16.99  $24.99
Paranormal Activity 2       $15.99  $23.99

My Soul to Take                          $16.99    $24.99
It’s Kind of a Funny Story      $16.99     $25.99
Ong Bak 3                                      $16.99      $19.99

DVD SALE

$4.99

The Illusionist
Say Anything
Righteous Kill
Wanted
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Love Actually

$19.99  (Buy 2 and get $10 off)

Cars

The Incredibles

Monsters, Inc.

Up

Wall-E

Finding Nemo

BLU-RAY SALE

$12.99

Year One

Body of Lies

The Final Destination

The Expendables

Kick Ass

The Dark Knight

BLU-RAY MUSIC BONANZA

$14.99

The Rolling Stones: Ladies & Gentlemen
Michael Jackson: This Is It

$16.99

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage
Metallica: The Big Four – Live From Sofia, Bulgaria
U2: 360° At The Rose Bowl
Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010
TV on DVD SALE

Nothing

VIDEO GAME SALES

Best Buy:

- All Kinect Games 2 for $70 (Reg Price $39.99 – $99.99 each)
EA Sports Active 2: $49.99 (360 Kinect) – note: this is included in the above sale

- Buy one video game, get the second for 50% off. Applies to all games priced $19.99 or less.

Target:

Mario Sports Mix: $49.99 (Wii) – comes with $5 gift card
Call of Duty Black Ops: $49.99 (360/PS3)

Just Dance 2: $39.99 (Wii)

Just Dance Kids: FREE (Wii) with purchase of Just Dance 2 (Wii)

Toys R Us:

Mario Sports Mix: $49.99 (Wii) – comes with $10 gift card and free t-shirt
- 50% off any Wii game with the purchase of any of the following 4 Wii games:

Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids, Just Dance, Michael Jackson Experience

- Buy 1, get 1 40% off: all video games priced up to $19.99

- All PS3 and Xbox 360 games regularly priced $59.99 are $47.99

K Mart:

Nothing