The week of 4/05/2011

group edited by: Troy Anderson


HOME VIDEO


TRON: LEGACY / TRON: CLASSIC

Directors: Joseph Kosinski and Steven Lisberger

Walt Disney Pictures

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

• First Look at TRON: Uprising, the Disney XD animated series
• Visualizing TRON – How did the filmmakers bring to life the gorgeous world inside the GRID?
• Installing the cast – Hear from all the stars of TRON: Legacy and their experience in making the movie
• The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed [BD Exclusive – Interactive bonus piece] – What happens immediately following the end of the movie? What is Flynn Lives and who is responsible for their efforts?
• TRON: Disney Second Screen [BD Exclusive – Interactive bonus piece] – Using your iPad or computer, watch the movie with exclusive interactive elements available on your 2nd screen
• Launching the Legacy – Beyond the amazing visuals is a rich story filled with an entire world’s history and mythology. Discover how the writers and filmmakers created this complex fiction
• Disc Roars – Watch director Joseph Kosinski use the raucous crowd at Comic-Con to record actual ADR for the disc game stadium crowd
• Music video – “Derezzed” written, produced, and performed by Daft Punk

 

Tron and Tron: Legacy equal a film series that barely qualifies as an afternoon distraction. However, Disney has been hellbent on convincing the world that pioneering CG Animation equals cinema classic status. After spending the better part of last week rediscovering the films, I learned that I was right on my first assessments of both films. The original Tron is a garish eyesore that dabbles in spectacle rather than capitalizing on Cindy Morgan’s rockin’ tits. Tron: Legacy serves to remind the world that you should never attempt a sequel after the ten year marker. Hedlund is a void of a lead, while Olivia Wilde desperately holds on to a glimmer of establishing a perennial royalty check. Jeff Bridges ties them both together, as the guy who couldn’t escape the Daft Punk funk.

 

 

TAXI DRIVER

Sony Pictures

Buy it at Amazon!

movieIQ
Original 1986 Commentary with Director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection
Interactive Script to Screen
Feature Length Commentary by Writer Paul Schrader
Feature Length Commentary by Professor Robert Kolker
Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver
God’s Lonely Man
Producing Taxi Driver
Influence and Appreciation: A Martin Scorsese Tribute
Taxi Driver Stories
Making Taxi Driver
Travis’ New York
Travis’ New York Locations
Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Martin Scorsese
Animated Photo Galleries

Taxi Driver is one of the greatest American films. Everyone has their favorite moments, some of them involving a child prostitute. My favorite moment in the film still comes from Scorsese’s bit role where he describes the physics of shoving a magnum inside a vagina. It’s chuckles and fun, until Travis Bickle becomes the hero that New York needs. Seeing as how it’s been twenty years since Paul Schrader became my cinema hero, it’s a little hard to break away childhood attachments to a film like this. I have to applaud Sony for bargain-pricing this stacked released for the budget-conscious. Unfortunately, most of the special features are ported from prior releases.

 

 

I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS
Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

LionsGate

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

• Audio commentary with producer Andrew Lazar and writers/directors John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
• “The Making of I Love You Phillip Morris” featurette
• Theatrical trailers

I Love You Phillip Morris is the story of a low-key cop realizing that he wants to be a criminal. A criminal in the eyes of the Law and in the eyes of Fred Phelps. Eventually, Morris admits that he’s a homosexual and begins to purse Ewan McGregor. There are certain elements of the readership that will have flashbacks to The Pillow Book and envy Jim Carrey’s mission. The film suffered a difficult road to finally being released, so I hope that more people discover it on Home Video. However, it might not be for everyone. For the Right-minded out there, nobody gets Ned Beatty’d. The end result is a well-written film that’s plagued by pedestrian direction and awkward editing choices.

 

A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Director: Steven Spielberg

Dreamworks/Paramount

Buy it at Amazon!

Special Features:

Creating A.I.
Acting A.I.
Designing A.I.
Lighting A.I.
A.I./FX
The Robots of A.I.
Special Visual Effects and Animation: ILM
The Sound and Music of A.I.
Steven Spielberg: Our Responsibility to Artificial Intelligence
Trailers: 2 Theatrical Trailers HD
A.I. Archives

A.I. was supposed to be this dream project. Like most dreams, it was begun by a better man and fulfilled by a lesser dreamer. The last ten years has seen a ton of critics, fans and like-minded nerds flip their opinion on the film. While you can appreciate the mother-child dynamic, there’s a lot of creepy shit going on. The whole idea of service industry turning into virtual prostitution caught my eye on my most recent viewing. If that wasn’t enough, there’s almost the entire third act to effectively reconsider. When David meets the Aliens and wishes for something better, it’s not about fairy tale trappings. You’re watching an eternal child forced to suffer for eternity, as he seeks parental approval.

 

 

Music

Section By Jeb D.


BLOOD PRESSURES

The Kills

BUY IT FROM AMAZON!

Following the mad, raucous sprawl of The Dead Weather, it’s a little strange hearing Mosshart in such a controlled setting again. But the time away from her day job (and the gossip press) has done the band some good: the sound is clearly that of The Kills, but the music takes a few more chances than on their previous albums. Hince, naturally, brings the Stonesy riffing on “Future Starts Slow” and “Nail In My Coffin,” and “Baby Says” is, in fact, based on a darkly inverted “Gimme Shelter.” But for all the grinding satisfaction of the familiar post-punk blues sound, some of the best moments come when Mosshart steps out for things like the slinky reggae of “Satellite,” the crosscutting counterpoint of “DNA,” and the down-home plainspokennessof “The Last Goodbye,” where she tells us she is unable to “survive on a halfhearted love that will never be whole.”  I have to admit, there’s a part of me that wonders if what we’re reacting to with this band is the production technique as much as anything: if you dialed down the EQ, would these songs pack the same punch? But that’s a theoretical question that evaporates in the wake of actually hearing the band driving behind Mosshart at her most urgent: “You can holler / You can wail / You can swing / You can flail.” Yes, ma’am.

 

SEE MY FRIENDS

Ray Davies and a Bunch of Folks

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How you react to this album will likely depend on what you think it should have been: If the idea were to have a bunch of musical celebs tip a hat to Davies by duetting with him on recreations of his greatest songs, then the all-over-the-mapness of the performances (and the decidedly non-Kinsky approach of most of the artists) might come off as a jumbled mess. On t’other hand, if you think of it as Davies demonstrating that the scope of his writing can fit the styles of a dizzyingly wide range of performers, it works rather well in that context. There’s more hits than misses: Bon Jovi backing Davies on “Celluloid Heroes” is even more lugubrious than the original (if you can imagine such a thing), but Ray’s duet with Jackson Browne on “Waterloo Sunset” works far better than it should, Lucinda Williams is stunning on the relatively obscure “Long Way From Home,” and Mumford and Sons on “Days/This Time Tomorrow” is a natural that would have fit right in on Sigh No More. And you don’t need to know that Davies cut “Till The End Of The Day” with Alex Chilton just before his death to hear it as an inspired high point. I will admit that the “jumbled mess” camp will have a point here: you don’t put Metallica, Spoon, and Jackson Browne on the same album and expect musical cohesion. But Davies’ decision not to have people phone in a bunch of long-distance duets (a la Sinatra), but to travel around the world to hook up with his collaborators in person, provides a through-line that is normally missing in such collections.

 

HOW TO BECOME CLAIRVOYANT

Robbie Robertson

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It’s not intended as a putdown when I say that this album would have made more sense twenty-five years ago (and, indeed, some of the basic tracks go back to sessions from the late 90’s). A quarter-century ago, with The Band ending in a finger-pointing fury of death, drugs, and dissolution, Robertson’s defense (“This Is Where I Get Off”) against accusations of his hogging all the songwriting credit would have had the punch of immediacy. But in the wake of the deaths of Danko and Manuel, and Helm’s emergence from cancer as the Grand Old Man of Americana, it feels, if not exactly petty, at least well past its sell-by date. Regardless, Robertson’s post-Band work was always deeply personal, and deserved a wider audience. And he does a decent job of holding off the whiff of irrelevance by mingling guests like peers Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton (who co-wrote several songs) with disciples like Tom Morello and Trent Reznor. With their backing, and with Clapton sounding more involved than he has in some time, the album has a nice blues-soul groove, but with more jab and weave than actual punch. Lyrically, Robertson digs deeply into the past, both his and that of his generation. “When The Night Was Young” is a melancholy slice of down-home soul that watches youthful idealism fading just out of reach: “We had dreams / We could change the world / Stop the war / But that was back / When the night was young.”  “Straight Down The Line” revisits the day when rock and roll was dangerous enough to be the Devil’s music, and any regrets about a life of excess on “He Don t Live Here No More” are brushed aside by the eerie insinuation of Clapton’s slide guitar, and Robertson s acoustic Flamenco-styled solo. The album slips up here and there–“The Right Mistake” is the kind of cliché-heavy nostalgia that you’d prefer a guy of Robertson’s experience would avoid; the name-checking “Axman” isn’t much more than a showcase for Morello; and “Madame X” and “Tango For Django” are nice acoustic pieces that lack the twisted genius of Robertson’s electric soloing. But the album never falls back on nostalgia for the sound of The Band, and serves as a welcome check-in on the current state of affairs with several rock legends.

 

THE DEFINITIVE BILL EVANS ON RIVERSIDE  &  FANTASY

Bill Evans

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Arguably the most important and influential jazz pianist of the post-WW2 era, the wide-raging nature of Evans’ career makes a collected set like this the ideal introduction to his mutli-faceted genius. While Evans did spend a fair amount of time in the 60’s recording for Verve, his years with Riverside and Fantasy (both labels now owned by the Concord Music Group) rather neatly bookend his career: his first album for Riverside, New Jazz Conceptions, came out in 1956, while his final Fantasy release was 1977’s I Will Say Goodbye. The twenty-five selections on these two CDs feature high points ranging from Evans’ famous 1961 appearance at New York City’s Village Vanguard (“Gloria’s Step,” “Waltz for Debbie”) to his ground-breaking “Peace Piece” from 1958’s Everybody Digs Bill Evans, to his brilliant recordings with Tony Bennett (“Young and Foolish,” “The Touch of Your Lips”), which demonstrated that being the most important piano soloist of his day didn’t prevent Evans from being a sensitive and supportive collaborator and accompanist. Besides Bennett, the roll call of musicians on the album is pretty staggering, including Cannonball Adderley, Zoot Sims, Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Gomez, Kenny Burrell, and Ron Carter among many others. And while Evans’ takes on standards like “Autumn Leaves” and “Isn’t It Romantic” are revelatory, it’s equally impressive to hear his transformative powers brought to bear on a trifle like “Love Theme From Spartacus.” Given the decades covered, these are well-engineered disks, and the mastering manages to keep the sound from different venues and eras reasonably consistent without gimmicking-up the originals. One of the best jazz starter sets of recent months.

 

Other Notable 4/5 Releases

Various Artists, Songs For Japan. With 38 tracks (all, so far as I can tell, previously released), you’re bound to find something here to make you feel good about sending a few bucks to help the relief effort. And if your goal in life was to own one single album that featured John Lennon, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, and Michael Buble…

Ray Charles, Live in Concert. On the one hand, thinner sound than last week’s live tribute from Nelson and Marsalis, and fewer familiar hits. On the other hand… well, genius.

Hot Tuna, Steady As She Goes. Back in the day, their laid-back acoustic blues stood apart from the Haight-Ashbury freakouts that were part and parcel of their day job. With their first album in a decade, the acoustic stuff takes a back seat, and what they provide is more or less roots-rock comfort food, which certainly has its place. If you liked last week’s new one from Band of Heathens, you could do worse than follow it up with this.

Smithereens, 2011. Years of releasing Beatle and Who cover albums stripped this band of any relevance they might once have had, but they remain one of the few power-pop bands that knows how to emphasize the one without sacrificing the other. Won’t change your life, but if you liked ‘em before, they still sound pretty damn fine.

Raveonettes, Raven In The Grave. When bands cite The Velvet Underground as a principal influence, I often wonder if they’ve considered the wide range of sounds and styles that the Velvets covered over the space of just four albums, or if they simply glommed onto one Velvets album as their favorite. In the case of The Raveonettes, that was pretty clearly the self-titled third; sounds OK, but tossing a little Loaded into the mix wouldn’t hurt.

INXS, Original Sin. Why is this album of leftover INXS members re-recording their old songs with guest artists any less worthy than Ray Davies doing the same thing? Well, for starters, the songs aren’t as good and the guests aren’t as interesting. And, it kinda sucks.

Fleshtones, Roman Gods/Up-Front/Plus. Starter set for the best frat-garage-party rock band of the 80’s: their debut EP, first full-length album, and nine live tracks. The fact that they’re still around suggests that this stuff might actually be good for you.

The Submarines, Love Notes/Letter Bombs. I have no objection to a pop group chirping about such subjects as “Shoelaces,” “Fire,” “Birds,” “Tigers,” (all song titles here), but that level of thematic reduction suggests a reach for universality that they’re not quite up to. Cute tunes, though.

Sergio Mendes, Celebration: A Musical Journey. Even listeners who can ignore the “elevator music” label that got attached to Bossa Nova (thanks to Getz/Gilberto’s “The Girl From Ipanema”) often find the music of Mendes and his Brasil ’66 (‘67, ’68, etc.) just a bit too easy-listening. I won’t argue, really, but if you can get past the sugary vocals on top, the lush grooves underneath are satisfyingly funky. In conjunction with his work on the movie Rio, this latest anthology does a fine job of spanning Mendes’ career from the Brasil ’66 days up to the present.

VIDEO GAMES

edited by: Justin Clark

sales info: Judas Booth

 

 

NO MAJOR RETAIL RELEASES THIS WEEK

Unless Karaoke Revolution: Glee Edition‘s your bag. In which case, godfuckingdamn you suck.

OOOHHHH: ON THE DLC TIP

THE DISHWASHER: VAMPIRE SMILE
Ska Studios/Microsoft Game Studios
XBox Live Arcade
4/6
800 MS pts

The Dishwasher pretty much kickstarted this awesome renaissance we’ve had of the side-scrolling beat-em-up making a comeback, so it’s only fair its gets a well deserved sequel. Even better, a sequel that not only offers two separate, different campaign modes, but fixes the one major issue I had with the last one, which was getting my ass stomped when I’m trying to slice guys in half. It’s hard enough just trying to get through a guy’s ribcage without some cuntstain in a tuxedo trying to give me the business.

 

 

ROCK BAND TUESDAY

Grand Funk Railroad – The Loco-Motion
Grand Funk Railroad – We’re an American Band X
J. Geils Band – Freeze-Frame X
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart X

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

Harmonix made a point of stating this wasn’t an April Fools week, in which case, these are all accidentally kinda inherently ridiculous, but at least in that charming sorta way, Grand Funk for being neither funky, grand, or having any associations with the nation’s proud railway workers whatsoever, Geils and Joy Division for being so, so very 80s. Still, I imagine a lot of this being fun to plow through on all instruments.

 

 

WHAT’S NEW ON DVD THIS WEEK:

About Adam (Budget Reissue)
Alfred Hitchcock: The Master Of The Macabre (Standard Edition) – Murder!/Sabotage/Jamaica Inn
Arabesque
Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words
Beauty And The Beast: A Dark Tale
Becoming Jane (Budget Reissue)
Behemoth
Bert The Conqueror: Season One
Bill Moyers: The Language Of Life (Athena)
Captain Newman, M.D.
Casino Jack
Come Undone
Dead On Site
Desert Son
Diana Dors Comedy Double Feature: An Alligator Named Daisy/Value For Money
Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Criterion Collection)
Friday Night Lights: The Fifth And Final Season
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Pt. 4
Georgia Peaches/The Great Texas Dynamite Chase/Smokey Bites The Dust (Triple Feature) (Roger Corman’s Cult Classics) (Shout! Factory)
Hero Tales, Pt. 1 (Standard Edition)
Hero Tales, Pt. 1 (Limited Edition)
Hero Tales, Pt. 2
The Heroes Of Telemark (Columbia Combat Classics)
Horrid
I Love You Phillip Morris
Jersey Girl (Budget Reissue)
KJB: The Book That Changed The World
Lark Rise To Candleford: The Complete Season Four
Lark Rise To Candleford: The Complete Collection
Life Unexpected: The Complete First And Second Seasons
Little Fockers
Minder: Season Four
Minder: Season Five
Mirage
The Mountain
National Geographic: Big Cats Collection
The Night Of The Generals (Columbia Combat Classics)
The 19th Wife
100 Years That Shook The World (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)
Rope Of Sand
Sarah Palin’s Alaska
Special A: Complete Collection
Straightman (10th Anniversary Edition)
The Taqwacores
Terry Thomas Comedy Double Feature: Too Many Crooks/Make Mine Mink
Tron: The Original Classic (Special Edition)
Tron: Legacy
Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne, Vol. 7
The World In His Arms
WWE: DX – One Last Stand
XX: Where The Heart Should Be
Year Of The Carnivore
Your Love Never Fails

 

 

WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK:

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
… And Justice For All
Arthur/Arthur 2: On The Rocks (2-Movie Collection)
Babe
Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker
Benny And Joon
Casino Jack
The Cove
De-Lovely
Fiddler On The Roof (40th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Pt. 4
I Love You Phillip Morris
Jawbreaker
Lars And The Real Girl
Little Fockers (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Mystic Pizza
National Geographic: Big Cats Collection
The People Vs. Larry Flynt
The Rules Of Attraction
Scooby-Doo And The Cyber Chase
Scooby-Doo: Aloha Scooby-Doo!
Still Waiting …
Taxi (2004)
Taxi Driver
Tom And Jerry: The Fast And The Furry
Tron: The Original Classic (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Tron: Legacy (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Tron: Legacy (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Tron: Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic (2-Movie Collection) (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Standard Packaging)
Tron: Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic (2-Movie Collection) (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Identity Disc Collectible Packaging)
WWE: DX – One Last Stand

 

 

THE SALES



 

 

 

 

NEW RELEASES

Little Fockers                                                 $16.99  $22.99
Tron: Legacy                                                   $15.99 $19.99 $24.99 $64.99
Ong Bak 3                                                          $13.99  $13.99
Sarah Palin’s Alaska                                      $12.99
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader     $15.99  $19.99
127 Hours                                                         $13.99  $17.99
The Tourist                                                       $13.99  $17.99
Tron: Classic                                                    $13.99  $19.99
Let Me In                                                          $12.99  $14.99
The Fighter                                                        $13.99  $17.99

DVD SALE

$4.75

Over the Hedge

Walk the Line

Mrs. Doubtfire

Matilda

$10

Eat Pray Love

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Twilight Saga: Eclipse

$13.99

Love and Other Drugs

For Colored Girls

How Do You Know

$14.99

The Hurt Locker/Fair Game

 

BLU-RAY SALE:

$14.99

Kung-Fu Panda

$17.99

Love and Other Drugs

For Colored Girls

How Do You Know

 

 

TV on DVD SALE:

$12.99 each

South Park: Seasons 1-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW RELEASES

Little Fockers                                                          $15.99  $22.99
Tron: Legacy                                                            $15.99 $21.99 $22.99 $59.99
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader               $15.99  $19.99 $22.99
Taxi Driver                                                                 $12.99
I Love You, Philip Morris                                     $16.99  $22.99

DVD SALE

$9.99

Hereafter

Due Date

Inception

Red

Megamind

How To Train Your Dragon

Shrek:  The Final Chapter

BLU-RAY SALE

$9.99
Meet the Parents
Meet the Fockers
$14.99

Hereafter

Due Date

Inception

Red

$19.99

Shrek Forever After

How To Train Your Dragon

Megamind


$24.99

Tron: Classic


TV on DVD SALE

$22.99

Friday Night Lights: The Fifth and Final Season

 

VIDEO GAME SALES

Best Buy:

Homefront: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Masters – Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011: $59.99 (360/PS3), $49.99 (Wii)
WWE All Stars: $59.99 (360/PS3), $49.99 (Wii)
Lego Star Wars III: $49.99 (360/PS3/Wii)
Crysis 2: $49.99 (360/PS3)
Major League Baseball 2K11: $49.99 (360/PS3)
Tron Evolution: $29.99 (360/PS3)
Batman Arkham Asylum: $19.99 (360/PS3)

Target:

WWE All Stars: $59.99 (360/PS3), $49.99 (Wii)
– Buy 2, Get 1 Free: Any of the following titles AND 20 more in store (lowest priced game free):
Halo Reach: $39.99 (360)
Just Dance 2: $39.99 (Wii)
Michael Jackson Experience: $49.99 (Wii)
Glee Karaoke Revolution: $49.99 (Wii)
Donkey Kong Country Returns: $49.99 (Wii)
Super Mario All Stars: $29.99 (Wii)
Goldeneye 007: $49.99 (Wii)
Major League Baseball 2K11: $59.99 (360/PS3), $49.99 (Wii)
Zumba Dance Party: $39.99 (Kinect, Move, Wii)
Bulletstorm: $59.99 (360/PS3)
Little Big Planet 2: $59.99 (PS3)
MLB 11 – The Show: $59.99 (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5: $59.99 (PS3)
Killzone 3: $59.99 (PS3)

Toys R Us:

Call of Duty Black Ops: $26.99 (Wii)
Zumba Dance Party: $26.99 (Wii)
Wipeout The Game: $12.99 (Wii)
Country Dance: $29.99 (Wii)
Michael Jackson Experience: $35.99 (Wii)
Just Dance 2: $26.99 (Wii)
De Blob 2: $26.99 (Wii)
– 14 different 3DS games: Get a $10 gift card when you buy one, no limit)

K Mart:

3DS games on sale for $39.99. Whoopee