Hey everybody. Welcome back to CHUD Special Ed. I’m CM Pollock – hero to children everywhere.

It’s a weak week this week, but that turns out to be a good thing, since – instead of spending cake on new releases – you can drop the dinars at Barnes and Noble Booksellers’ CRITERION COLLECTION SALE. Fifty percent off in-store and online – it’s a kind of magic. Tell ‘em Jason from CHUD.com sent you…if you want them to look at you like you’re a complete idiot.

Like I said, it’s lean like David this week – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few bright spots on the roster. Let’s delve.



Shout! Factory keeps the Corman comin’ with this goofy-classic “Seven Samurai in Space” riff from a screenplay by the legendary John Sayles. The DVD was garbage, so this will undoubtedly be a step up.



KINO drops a three-disc set of Keaton shorts. Could be pretty sweet.



Post-apocalyptic Peppard pilots the legendary Landmaster while Jan-Michael Vincent looks more than a little stoned in this botched version of Roger Zelazny’s sci-fi yarn, which sees a ragtag band of nuclear holocaust survivors attempt a dangerous drive to Dryland. It’s gained a cult following, but it’s still a shoddy turd of a movie.



I’ve heard nothing but good things about this flick. [Will Arnett]McCONAUGHEY?![/Will Arnett] stars as a shystey (yes, “shystey”) attorney who may have backed the wrong horse. Featuring MICHAEL PARE in a supporting role. That’s enough for me. I’m IN.



The 2010 Palm D’or winner is an airy, comical, insanely art-directed bit of happenstance. A man staring death in the face takes stock of his existence – and we tag along.

Oh – for some inexplicable reason, Arthur and Rango hit shelves on the 15th. Guess they thought they were special…? Also, Brazil sees a Blu release this week, but Universal’s disc is bereft of features ala their Fear and Loathing. You might just wanna’ skip it and hold out for better (like a Criterion release).


NAKED (Criterion)


(But really get it at Barnes and Noble!)

Holy shit, this movie’s eighteen years old. I saw it in high school, for fuck’s sake. Mike Leigh took a dark detour – and made “Dangerous” David Thewlis a star with this bitter, hilarious, depressing look at a crumbling Englishman amid a crumbling England. My idea of England is an amalgam of Naked, Withnail and I, and reruns of The Young Ones. This is one of those must-own Criterions. Convenient then, that Barnes and Noble has a sale going on.


2012: Ice Age
B.B. King: Live
Battle Beyond The Stars
Brother’s Justice
Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection 1920-1923
Damnation Alley
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Foreigner: Live
Judgment In Berlin
Killer Weekend
Knights Club
The Lincoln Lawyer
Megadeth: That One Night – Live In Buenos Aires
Miracles of Nature: Extreme Habitats
Miracles of Nature: Unique Island Destinations
Miracles of Nature: Unique Travel Destinations
Naked Criterion
Netrebko / Polenzani / Levine / Metropolitan Opera
Poirot: The Movie Collection
Ring of Fire (IMAX)
Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III
Spreading Ground
Tropical Rainforest (IMAX)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
White Irish Drinkers




Intervision hits hard again, following up their recent release of David A. Prior’s SLEDGEHAMMER with this stunning Canadien pile.

Oftentimes I come up against people who say that some middle-of-the-road Summer blockbuster or lackluster “chick flick” is the “WORST MOVIE EVER.” Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, I call these people morons to their faces. Say what you will about the films of Stephen Sommers or Shawn Levy – they’re competently shot, and they employ hundreds of amazing and talented craftsmen, who do some incredible work in service to a film that might wind up being…middling. Yes – middling. Van Helsing isn’t a “cinematic abortion.” It isn’t the WORST. MOVIE. EVARRR. (learn to fucking spell, internerds) – it’s just there.
I know these movies the fannerds bitch about aren’t the worst movie ever – because I’ve seen the worst movie ever. And now…finally…you can too.

I can’t explain what THINGS is about. I can’t tell you what happens in it. I can tell you that it feels four hours long. I can tell you that, most of the time, the dialogue is utterly unintelligible. I can tell you that there is no such thing as competent acting, shooting, lighting, or special effects in Things. I can tell you it’s not so-bad-it’s-good. It’s so bad it’s BAD. Unconscionably bad. Fugue state bad. Frustration-into-rage bad. The filmmakers behind things make Lloyd Kaufman and Charles Band look like Michael Bay and James Cameron. This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life. It was so bad I felt like I had to watch it again to make sure I saw what I saw – and I did…and I did.

So…be sure to pick that up.

2012: Ice Age
Aerosmith: You Gotta Move Live!
Air War: Vietnam 1964-1972
Alice In Chains: Music Bank – The Videos
Alice In Chains: Unplugged
Allison & Lillia Generation 2
America’s Test Kitchen: 11th Season
Animal Atlas: Animal 123s
Animal Atlas: Animal ABCs
B.B. King: Live
Battle Beyond The Stars
Belly Dance: Body, Mind & Soul
Best of Caillou: Caillou Goes Back to School
A Big Box of Cowboys, Aliens, Robots & Death Rays
Blood Shed
Bob Dylan: Other Side of the Mirror/Newport Folk
The Boss
Brainy Baby: Music
Brainy Baby: Spanish
Brainy Baby: Talking Hands
Brother’s Justice
Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection 1920-1923
Caliber 9
Card Subject to Change
Celine Dion: All The Way Decade
Charles Bronson Collection
The Color Purple (2 Disc Collector’s Edition)
Courage Cult
Curse of the Puppet Master: The Human Experiment
Cypress Hill: Live
Damages: The Complete Third Season
Damnation Alley
David Bowie: The Road to the Railway
Dead Enders
Defcon 2012
Delinquent Girl Bosses Collection
Derek Trucks Band: Songlines Live
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Big Party PackDr. Loris Moscas 3 Keys to Heart Health
Dr. Who: The Awakening
Dr. Who: The Gunfighters
Drop Box
Eckhart: The Complete Series
Elvis: #1 Hit Performances
Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season
ER: The Complete Fifteenth Season
Fable: Teeth of Beasts
Fabulous Betty White Collection
Figaro: Living In the Moment of a Character
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Foreigner: Live
Frankenstein’s Cat: The Complete Series
Frozen Kiss
George Romero’s Deadtime Stories
Ghostbusters: So Much Fun It’s Spooky
God’s Bloody Acre/TomcatsGordon Glass
Gordon the Garden Gnome
Groovie Goolies
Helicopter War: 1964-1972
Heroes of Horror Collection
Hollywood Bombshells
The Italian Connection
James Taylor: Live at the Beacon Theatre
John Denver: Wildlife Concert
Journey: Greatest Hits 1978-1997
Journey: Live in Houston 1981 Escape Tour
Judgment in Berlin
Killer Weekend
Knights Club
La Grania De Los Zombies
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1990
The Lincoln Lawyer
Looking for Sophia
Luther Vandross: Live at Wembley
Mad Mad Mad Monsters
The Man Who Collected Food
Martina McBride/Train: CMT Crossroads
Megadeth: That One Night – Live In Buenos Aires
Memoirs of a Lady Ninja 2
MI-5: Volume 9
Midnight Horror Collection: Puppet Master Volume 2
Minty: The Assassin
Miracles of Nature: Extreme Habitats
Miracles of Nature: Unique Island Destinations
Naked (Criterion)
Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 7
National Geographic Classics: Oceans
Netrebko / Polenzani / Levine / Metropolitan Opera
Nova: Power Surge
Pared De Cecilia
Pastor Jones Chronicles
Poirot: The Movie Collection
Por Ellas Perdi La Cabeza
Puccini: Turandot
Puppet Master 4
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter
A Question of Justice
[Rec] 2
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Higher Ground
Ring of Fire (IMAX)
Robin Gibb: In Concert with The Danish Choir
Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III
Roger Corman Drive-In
Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer
Secrets of the Dead: World’s Biggest Bomb
Sherlock Holmes Collection
Silver Screen Cowboys
Sociedad Mortal Collection
Spirit of Bellydance
Spreading Ground
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: Pride & Joy
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live from Austin, Texas
Stevie Ray Vaughn: Live At The El Mocambo
Surviving the Cut
The Sweet Life
Tale of Two Cities: Circuit City Story
TCM Greatest Classic Films Legends: Burt Lancaster
TCM Greatest Classic Films Legends: Lucille Ball
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Literary Romance
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Shakespeare
TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Elizabeth Taylor
Theatre of Tragedy: Last Curtain Call
The Third Wave
Thomas: Thomas in Charge
Thundercats: Season One, Volume One
To Be Twenty
Tropical Rainforest (IMAX)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Urmana/Scandiuzzi: Verdi Aida
Vietnam: Air War
Waking Madison
The Wars of the Roses: A Bloody Crown
Waylon Jennings: Nashville RebelWhite Irish Drinkers
Women in Prison Triple Feature
World War II Commando Collection
Rey Mysterio: The Life of a Masked Man
Yo Gabba Gabba: Party In A Box!

Now That’s What I Call MUSIC – WITH JEB DELIA!



While it’s certainly good news that Friedberger’s solo debut doesn’t indicate an impending breakup for Fiery Furnaces, it’s an intriguing enough exercise to get one hoping that she’ll find time to get out on her own again soon (with or without grandma).

The album title is pretty on-the-nose, and that’s all to the good: we hear a lot about classic summer pop these days, and much as I enjoy, say, Bethany Cosentino, bands like Best Coast and Wavves could take a lesson from the musical variety and invention with which Frieberger shapes every song here. And Frieberger’s summer feels particularly lived-in: she’s not merely savoring the freedom of being out of school or bunking off work, she’s crafted an elegant remembrance of what it meant to be young, inquisitive  and creative in the heat of a New York summer.  Friedberger creates a summertime version of herself during a visit to “Roosevelt Island,” but decides that she “doesn’t really want to see her ever again“: sometimes summer memories are best kept in old photographs (“Owl’s Head Park”) or shared family history (“Scenes From Bensonhurst”). Even at their haziest, the lyrics are carried on gorgeous melodies: “I Won’t Fall Apart On You Tonight” is all sweet soul and promise, “My Mistakes” is the catchiest song about a car crash since “D.O.A.”, and “One Month Marathon” is an intimate acoustic strum around a fire on the beach. I could do without the nagging insistence of “Inn of the Seventh Ray,” and there are times when Friedberg’s Kate Bush moves veer uncomfortably close to Tori Amos territory (“Glitter Gold Year”). But for the most part, this is the kind of satisfyingly personal use that pop music is too rarely put to.



Hometown shoutout to Atlanta CHUDsters, as Ernest Greene releases his first full-length album under the Washed Out moniker. And while the previous EP’s were steeped in a sense of isolation (they were, after all, recorded while living in his parents’ house-though not, evidently, in the basement)  producer Ben Allen seems to have drawn Greene out a bit this time around. Among other things, he’s introduced him to some other musicians (including New York band Small Black), opening up the sound considerably (even when he’s doing all the parts himself).  The highlight is “Far Away,” a sublime piece of melancholy, sliding from the near-whisper of the introduction to a dance rhythm that has some of Bryan Ferry’s doomed elegance. Throughout the album, vocal and instrumental textures are deep and shifting, allowing glimpses behind the hazy curtain in the quiet heartbeat confession of “You and I,” or the way the hummable tune of “Amor Fati” emerges from its wash of synth. Greene draws musical inspiration not just from Ferry’s generation, but even more so from disciples like David Sylvian or Tears For Fears, with a shot of bittersweet dance pop thrown in for good measure.



First of all, I think I’m due props for resisting the temptation to make this a one-word review. Secondly, I’d always pictured the committed Yes fan as much preferring the Wakeman/Howe stuff to the 80’s revival under the tender care of a pair of ex-Buggles (“Owner of a Lonely Heart” is like the poster child for that series of 80’s CD’s marketed as being for your lame uncle to dance to at weddings), so the fact that Horne and Downes are back to inflict themselves on Howe, Squire, and White again means that this album really shouldn’t work as well as it does.

If nothing else, you gotta hand it to these guys for creating a real-life version of Mark Wahlberg’s Rock Star: new singer Benoît David has spent the last few years impersonating Jon Anderson in a Yes cover band (better that, I suppose, than impersonating David Benoit, which might have been easier).Also replicating an actual member of Yes is Oliver Wakeman, who provides what are described as “additional” keyboards, evidently prior to being given the heave-ho from his dad’s old band.

At any rate, fans of busy prog with time-changes, high keening harmony vocals, wet-seal-slick guitar and burbling synths will gorge themselves on this one. Howe’s the star this time as the album’s title magnum opus (delivered, naturally, in five  movements plus overture) allows him a virtual guitar clinic, with slashing power chords, nimble fret-hopping, and some unusually lyrical acoustic work on “Part II.” I don’t know that I hear another “Owner of a Lonely Heart” on this one (much hope for something as indelible as “Roundabout”); “The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be” seems poised for airplay, but it’s actually the final movement of the Fly From Here suite that recaptures the old magic. A must for the committed.



The line on this woman is supposed to be that she’s not quite country, not quite Americana, but Shepherd herself knows better: after all, she didn’t call this album “Where Vaguely Rootsy Music Grows.”

While I can understand an artist, man or woman, pandering to what today’s pop music fans will accept when you toss around the word “country,” it’d be nice if the marketers would be as upfront as the singer. Shepherd’s powerful voice runs through the familiar sequence of down-home clichés (cows and cowboys, trains, church, good ol’ boys, and heartbreak). Granted, these sorts of things become clichés because they’re experiences shared by many people over many years, but memorable songs come from balancing the universal with the personal, not just  remembering honeysuckle and the highway, and name-checking Jesus.  But in what I’d call a positive sing, she actually nails it on the final track: “Rory’s Radio” is a sweet, aching remembrance of her brother (who died in a car accident at 23) and their shared adolescence, that rings truer than anything else on the album: significantly, it’s one of only two songs Shepherd composed solely on her own, and suggests that, left to her own devices in the future, she may craft more songs that measure up to her impressive singing.


Incubus – If Not Now, When? Sadly, only two tracks were available for preview, so I can’t give a full review. The title song is a bit on the whiny side, veering dangerously close a Time-Life power ballad, but I don’t doubt that it’s sincere. “Promises, Promises”, sadly, is not the Dionne Warwick song, but it does vary things with a taste of piano funk backing.

Blake Shelton – Red River Blue. This guy owes Cee-Lo Green a huge debt of thanks: if it wasn’t for the presence of that gen-u-wine musical genius on The Voice, you’d instantly dismiss anyone associated with it. Not that Blake is even in Green’s ballpark as a writer or singer, but you can’t dismiss him out of hand, either. At least the single, “Honey Bee”, isn’t one of your Nashville whine-fests.

John Wetton – Raised In Captivity. Look, buy the new Yes album by all means if you want to, but Brit-prog’s long-time go-to sideman has beefed up his new album with a lineup of friends that includes Robert Fripp, Eddie Jobson, Steve Hackett, Tony Kaye, and Steve Morse. Now that’s rock and roll.

Alkaline Trio – Damnesia. It’s funny that jazz fans more or less accept the idea of re-interpretation as a valid musical choice, while pop music remakes are usually presumed to be a desperate cash-grab. That said, the Trio’s 15th anniversary album features thoughtful acoustic reworkings of their back catalog. Which means even if you have the originals, you can still pony up for this one, too. Wait – what was that I said about a cash-grab…?

Tesla, Twisted Wires. Hmmm… two new “unreleased” songs, the “final recordings of the original lineup from 2005,” and, get this: they’re “featured on the latest Guitar Hero game”… you know, the one that killed the franchise for good.

David Bromberg – Use Me. Bromberg is finally as old and broke-down as he used to pretend to be back when he was a kid. The guest list is a roots music Murderer’s Row (John Hiatt, Los Lobos, Levon Helm, Dr. John, just to name a few), and the selection of blues and soul covers, plus a few new originals, is one tasty bit of ‘cue.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers – 2120 South Michigan Avenue. For anyone who finds Bromberg’s approach to the blues too personal and over-subtle, here’s ol’ George taking the exact opposite tack: African-American tradition as an excuse to party. Man has the chops, though: he goes lick-for-lick (so to speak) on “Hi-Heel Sneakers” with Buddy Guy… who, let’s face it, isn’t the subtlest performer around, either.

Fair To Midland – Arrows & Anchors. Why is this the best FtM album yet? Maybe because the songwriting finally earns its quirkiness (“Typhoid Mary Sends Her Best,” “”Three Foolproof Ways to Buy The Farm”), maybe because the wimp-metal choruses are less overbearing… or maybe because one track is named after the revered Snagglepuss’ catch phrase: “Heavens To Murgatroyd.”

From Bikes to Trains to VIDEO GAMES – WITH BRIAN CONDRY!



Splosion Man is a really great platformer. Hard as balls, though. Co-op is delightful insanity. Ms. Splosion Man is more of the same…but with a chick! Eff yeah! But seriously – this is probably the best shit, like plant shit.


NCAA FOOTBALL 2012 (PS3; 360; retail)

For a lot of people, this is probably the game of the week. And more power to them, I say. I have negative interest in it, but I don’t like sports games, unless they’re eXtreme.

OBLIVION 5th ANIVERSARY (PS3; 360; PC; retail)

Seems to be about 5 years too early, but whatever. It’s a decent price and comes with the big, questy DLC plus 10 bucks off Skyrim. So if you haven’t already bought this three times (goddammit, Steam! You and your sales), it’s a pretty solid deal for a hell of a lot of RPG. Get it on PC, though. The mods are great.


Movie tie-in! Movie tie-in! Harry Potter the Next. Fuck this shit.


Erasure – A Little Respect
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax (Come Fighting)
P.O.D. – Boom *
P.O.D. – Youth of the Nation

* means you can buy Pro Guitar and Pro Bass modes.

It’s not finished…

It’s finished!