The Special Edition: 02.15.2011

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02.14.2011

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The week of 2/15/2011

group edited by: Troy Anderson


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UNSTOPPABLE

Director: Tony Scott

20th Century Fox

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

  • Featurette
  • Commentary

Unstoppable is the movie that Tony Scott has been making with Denzel Washington for nearly twenty years. The only catch is that Washington has started to slip into the Gene Hackman role, while hot young new star gets to be the Denzel Washington character. The film underperformed because the Washington role reversal reminded America that it is aging and approaching senility at an alarming clip. Captain Kirk held his own as the other guy trying to stop the train. Rosario Dawson and the fat guy from Mallrats also appear as human obstacles for the half-mile long train of death. Pull-quote: “This train ran better than the Harlem Globetrotters pulled on your mom.”

LAST TANGO IN PARIS

Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci

MGM/20th Century Fox

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

• Nothing
Last Tango in Paris was only nominated for two Oscars, but its place in film history was cemented. Maria Schneider died recently and its left me thinking about this film’s legacy. Much has been made of how Schneider was the only one of the main players not to get any accolades. She was also the victim of much improvisation during the filming that caused her a great deal of embarrassment. The film’s anal sex involving butter lubricant has been the source of many jokes throughout the years. People joke about how the hefty Brando chose something so fatty to lather up Schneider’s hole to pound. But, there’s a lot of subtext there. The film was originally envisioned as being about a gay couple meeting up in Paris for a surprise fling. When you consider how heavily anal sex figures into the film, you’d wonder if it was Bertolucci trying to salvage an old idea with Hollywood dressing. Naturally, the film caused Bertolucci to get arrested and lose the right to vote for five years. Fascinating stuff.

LEMMY: 49% MOTHERFU**CKER, 51% SON OF A BITCH
Directors: Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski

Red Catalog Group

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Featurettes
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes

and more!

Lemmy: 49% Motherfu**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch arrives on DVD a week before its Blu-Ray counterpart. There’s more interview material on this disc than what made it into the feature. So, you’re going to listen to every guitar pro talk about Lemmy and his legacy of cock rockery. Lemmy makes for an interesting documentary subject, as he knows that the material is beneath him. But, he’s a good sport and he gives the directors some material to create a film. More or less, the heart of the film is in the material that the guys catch on the fly. Lemmy knows that he’s the baddest motherfucker on the planet and he doesn’t care anymore. He’s an older guy that’s seen more shit than anyone who’ll ever read this column. Make sure you hear his story about scoring acid for Hendrix.

WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”

Director: Davis Guggenheim

Paramount

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Four additional inspiring teacher/student stories
Changing the Odds: A look at innovative programs that are changing public education
Public Education Updates: Changes which have taken place since the making of the film
A Conversation with Davis Guggenheim
The Future Is In Our Classrooms
The Making of “Shine”: the film’s title track by musician John Legend
Commentary by Director Davis Guggenheim and Producer Lesley Chilcott

Waiting for “Superman” is a film that shows that Guggenheim isn’t quite that capable at shooting documentaries. The entire narrative of the film jumps back and forth between blame game and walking advertisement for charter schools. There’s a ton of talking heads and no real answers. But, you have to appreciate the effort. The film made me remember John Edwards pre-douchebag affair and how he was actually tackling issues on a national level that no one addressed. This film is a lot like Edwards, as it’s a low-key bastard that lacks the focus and direction to be taken seriously.

Music

Section By Jeb D.

GO GO BOOTS

Drive-By Truckers

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!


The Truckers’ latest reaffirms Patterson Hood’s status as one of the most intelligent, empathetic and gripping storytellers in music today; you won’t soon forget the parade of Vietnam vets, disappointed working-class Americans, and murderous preachers (well, the same one twice) that populate his songs. His principal weakness has always been a lack of interest in the niceties of song construction–you know, hooks, bridges, melodies–and this is the first time since A Blessing And A Curse that it seems to be lessening an album’s impact. In contrast to last year’s The Big To-Do, this collection has less in common with the big rock guitars of Lynyrd Skynrd or The Bottle Rockets, than it does with the Memphis stew of soul and country that Hood’s dad knew so well in his days as a Muscle Shoals bass player: it’s not an album of big gestures, but of slow burns (drummer Brad Morgan earns his keep on this one). There are definitely moments of greatness: the opener, “I Do Believe” is a gorgeous remembrance of a boy’s (Hood’s) late grandmother, and “The Thanksgiving Filter” is a horrifyingly real piece of familial black comedy. But songs like “Ray’s Automatic Weapon” and “The Fireplace Poker” would benefit from musical development as strong as the stories they tell. The epic “Used To Be A Cop” is the reverse: a fascinating piece of almost disco rhythm that builds and layers instruments as it goes on (with even a taste of Joe South-style “electric sitar”), but the song tells its whole story in the first few lines and has nowhere to go after that. And for whatever reason, Shonna Tucker and Mike Cooley’s contributions this time feel more like welcome changes of pace to Hood’s relentlessness than songs that stand on their own, as is usually the case. I suppose I’m nitpicking: this is a brilliant album from the finest rock and roll band of their day; it’s just not quite up to their best.

THE PEOPLE’S KEY

Bright Eyes

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer the wacked-out weirdness of this album to the soulful sincerity that Oberst more often peddles. It opens with an Erich Van Daniken-style story of space aliens begetting devils upon humanity, intoned against darkly reverbed guitar; along the way we get a view of Hitler jolly enough to back the latest Youtube iteration of Downfall (“One for the Führer / One for his child bride / One for the wedding / One for the suicide“– what a card, that Conor!), Oberst’s version of 70’s hair metal (“Shell Games”), to the thumping rock and roll of “Haile Selassie” and “Triple Spiral.” There’s tinkling piano and querulous vocals, too, don’t worry: “Beginner’s Mind” and “Ladder Song” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early Bright Eyes album. I’m not convinced there’s a lot under the surface of this album’s musical sound effects, but it’s richly texture enough to make it worth taking the trouble to find out.

12  DESPERATE STRAIGHT LINES

Telekenesis

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Dump your band, wreck your van, lose your long-distance lover, and… well, you’d probably mope. I would. Michael Lerner had a better idea: he taught himself to play bass, rebuilt his band with producer Chris Walls, and moved from twee muttering to brisk, angry power pop. He does cheery-depressed better than anyone since Robert Smith (“Please Ask For Help”), and even whines out a vintage-sounding power ballad (“50 Ways”). Words of Wisdom: “Always do what I am told/ Jesus Christ, I’m gettin’ old.”

LET ENGLAND SHAKE

PJ Harvey

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Regression? Revival? Reinvention? However you look at it, Polly Jean’s taken a sharp turn away from To Bring You My Love and White Chalk to return to the tough, brutal guitar heaven of her early days. Like as not it’s the subject matter as much as anything else: war rages through songs like “Bitter Branches” and “On Battleship Hill.” Unfortunately, not all her passion can summon up much in the way of wit or original thought (“The Glorious Land” is so ham-handed I’m not sure it even qualifites as satire). Even when she puts down the guitar–for some apprentice-level sax on “The Last Living Rose” or the White Chalk-style piano strains of “Hanging In The Wire”, or the John Sebastian-like autoharp she strums throughout–she continues to bludgeon the listener with cliches. That’s not to say it never works: with able support from John Parish and Mick Harvey, tracks like “Written on the Forehead” and the title song get across on their musical stance, even when the lyrics don’t bear close scrutiny.

Other Notable 2/15 Releases

Hayes Carll, KMAG YOYO (& other American stories). Rough and ready down-home Americana with a name off the menu of your favorite sushi bar.

Twilight Singers, Dynamite Steps.Whenever you’re here, you’re alive.” Greg Dulli and company make the difference between mortality and immortality sound pretty irrelevant. And let’s face it– what woman can resist a line like “Spread your legs / Insert your alibi”?

Mr. Big, What If. I give up… what?

Cowboy Junkies, Demons. On the one hand, treating the music of Vic Chesnutt with the Junkies’ typical torpor wouldn’t necessarily be doing it a service. On t’other hand, more exposure for a brilliant songwriter is always a good thing.

VIDEO GAMES

edited by: Justin Clark

MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3: FATE OF TWO WORLDS
Capcom
360, PS3
2/15
$59.99

CLICK TO BUY FROM AMAZON!!

Marvel vs Capcom is still the only true benevolent, unending gift gaming has given to the Marvel brand. Many an X-Men/Spider-Man/Avengers/Squirrel Girl game has come and gone, but every single one has aged like a fine bottle of septic system. That gloriously violent X-Men Origins Wolverine game hasn’t yet, but don’t worry, its time will come. But I will drop just about any game made in the last 10 years to go play X-Men vs Street Fighter if the offer was made. These games have never not been fun. If downloadable MvsC2 was an apology for the too-long wait for a revival, MvsC3 is the make-up sex. Despite needing to pour one out for my girl B.B. Hood, who didn’t make the cut this time, every single conceivable complaint gamers could’ve ever had about Marvel vs Capcom 2 (which, far as major ones go, pretty much comes down to that cockbite of a soundtrack) has been addressed, improved upon, and polished to a high shine. As it was, so shall it ever be: Capcom loves you.

DRAGON QUEST VI
Square Enix
DS
2/14
$29.99

CLICK TO BUY FROM AMAZON!!

While Lord knows I’m grateful to Square Enix for their habit of regurgitating their older RPGs back onto portables with enhancements, if for no other reason than it allowed portable Chrono Trigger to happen, eventually, the dam has to break, and some of that money they allot to pay for 3.7 seconds of grade-A Final Fantasy cutscene needs to go towards new games. Actually, scratch that. I’d rather that money go towards Square Enix hiring a story editor, then everything else will kinda fall in place. For now, you’ll take your 67th SNES revamp on the DS and like it.

OOOHHHH: ON THE DLC TIP

HARD CORPS: UPRISING
Konami/Arc System Works
XBox Live Arcade, Playstation Network
2/16
$15/1200 MS pts

So, a prequel to Contra Hard Corps, with Blaz Blue‘s studio and hand drawn graphical prowess behind it, made accessible for the normals, hard as nails for everyone else who isn’t a pussy, for less than $20. WHY AM I NOT PLAYING THIS SHIT RIGHT NOW?

ROCK BAND TUESDAY LAST FRIDAY!!

February Heartache Duets Pack ($10.99/880 MS pts)

  • Animotion – Obsession
  • B.o.B. (featuring Hayley Williams) – Airplanes
  • Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
  • The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
  • Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
  • Meat Loaf – Paradise by the Dashboard Light
  • Stevie Nicks – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around X

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

Nice little cross section of duets this week for Valentine’s Day, though for those whose significant others like to pretend they’re less Meg and Jack White, more Gwyneth Paltrow in that movie where she still had a head at the end. Not a bad selection, especially the Stevie Nicks track, but certainly a bit more mainstream than expected.

And, hey, it’s available now!

WHAT’S NEW ON DVD THIS WEEK:

Around The World In 80 Days: The Complete Epic Mini-Series
Bill Moyers: A World Of Ideas – Writers (Athena)
Classic Adventures Collection: Jason And The Argonauts/Merlin
Daylight Robbery
Death Tube 2
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol – 2010 Christmas Special
The Fugitive: The Fourth And Final Season, Vol. 2
Game Of Death
Glorious 39
Kiss The Bride
Kites
The Lady Hermit (Shaw Brothers)
The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu
Love At First Kill
Murphy’s Law: Series Three
National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie
Needless, Collection 1
Oppai Chanbara: Striptease Samurai Squad
Respire
The Rich Little Show: The Complete Series
Spin City: The Complete Fourth Season
Stag Night (Ghost House Underground)
The Storm Warriors
Summer Wars
Taggart: Cold Blood Set (Reissue)
Taggart: Death Call Set (Reissue)
Taggart: Evil Eye Set (Reissue)
Taggart: Killer Set (Reissue)
Taggart: Root Of Evil Set (Reissue)
Taggart: The Complete Original Series
A Time For Drunken Horses
Top Gear: The Complete Season Fourteen
Top Gear: The Complete Season Fifteen
12th And Delaware (HBO) (DVD-R)
Unstoppable (2010)
Waiting For “Superman”
The Web Of Death (Shaw Brothers) (Sword Masters)
White Lion (2010 Movie)
Wishbone
Women Without Men
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK:

All The President’s Men (Book Packaging)
Big Daddy
Chaplin (15th Anniversary Edition)
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol – 2010 Christmas Special
Game Of Death
Glorious 39
Green Paradise: Africa – Wild Beauty (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Green Paradise: The Americas – Pure Nature (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Green Paradise: The Pacific – The Blue Islands (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Hoodwinked (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Kansas City Confidential (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Kites
Last Tango In Paris
Moonstruck (MGM Award Series)
NBA: Ultimate Jordan (Deluxe Limited Edition)
Needless, Collection 1
Network
Rain Man (MGM Award Series)
Stag Night (Ghost House Underground)
The Stranger (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Summer Wars
Top Gear: The Complete Season Fourteen
Top Gear: The Complete Season Fifteen
The Twilight Zone (1960s): Season Three
Unstoppable (2010)
Waiting For “Superman”
The Web Of Death (Shaw Brothers) (Sword Masters)
White Lion (2010 Movie)
WWE: The John Cena Experience
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger


THE SALES



NEW RELEASES

Unstoppable                   $16.99  $22.99
Waiting for “Superman”    $16.99  $22.99


DVD SALE

$9

How to Train Your Dragon

Ramona and Beezus

The Proposal

Eat Pray Love

Shrek: The Final Chapter

Toy Story 3

Inception

Iron Man 2

The Other Guys

The Town

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Sex and the City 2

The A-Team

The Expendables

Knight and Day

Legend of the Guardians: The Owl Movie That No One Loved

BLU-RAY SALE:

$12.99

Taken
The Princess Bride
Fight Club
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut
The Day After Tomorrow
Ong Bak 3

TV on DVD SALE:

$12.99

Bethenny Getting Married: Season 1

$18.99

Vampire Diaries: Season 1

The Big Bang Theory: Season 3

Modern Family: Season 1

$19.99

Glee: Season 2 Volume 1

$22.99

Dexter: Season 4

$24.99

Glee: Season 1

Castle: Season 2

Scrubs: Seasons 1-2 (two pack)

Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1-2 (two pack)

NEW RELEASES

Unstoppable                        $16.99  $21.99
Waiting for “Superman”    $16.99  $21.99

DVD SALE

$8.99

Inception
The Other Guys
The Town
Salt
Eat Pray Love
Easy A
Toy Story 3

$11.99

The Social Network
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Knight and Day
Secretariat
Dinner for Schmucks
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Step Up 3
Shrek: The Final Chapter

BLU-RAY SALE

$9.99

The Cove
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

$12.99

Taken
The Princess Bride
Fight Club
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Kingdom of Heaven DC
The Day After Tomorrow
Ong Bak 3
$13.99

Inception
The Other Guys
The Town
Salt
Eat Pray Love
Easy A
Toy Story 3

$14.99
Almost Famous
Out of Sight

$16.99

The Social Network
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Knight and Day
Secretariat
Dinner for Schmucks
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Step Up 3
Shrek: The Final Chapter

TV on DVD SALE

Nothing


VIDEO GAME SALES

Best Buy:

Marvel VS Capcom 3: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Mario Sports Mix: $49.99 (Wii)
Dance Paradise: $49.99 (360 Kinect)
Body and Brain Connection: $49.99 (360 Kinect)
TDU2 – Test Drive Unlimited 2: $49.99 (PS3)

Target:

Marvel VS Capcom 3: $59.99 (360/PS3), Special Edition: $69.99
- All Kinect games: Buy 2, save $10

Toys R Us:

Marvel VS Capcom 3: $59.99 (360/PS3) – get $15 gift card with purchase
- 50% off of any Wii game with the purchase of any of the following 4 Wii games:
Just Dance, Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids, Michael Jackson Experience
- Save $10 off of any Wii or DS game with the purchase of either of the following 2 games:
Dragon Quest VI: $34.99 (NDS)
Mario Sports Mix: $49.99 (Wii)

K Mart:

Marvel VS Capcom 3: $59.99 (360/PS3 – comes with Comic Book. Yaaay.
Mario Sports Mix: $49.99 (Wii)
Dragon Quest VI: $34.99 (NDS)
Zhu Zhu Princess: $29.99 (NDS)


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