BOOYAKA BOOYAKA 619!!

Whaaaat?

I have no clue…

BLADE

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I warned you guys not to buy that awful Canadien Blu no matter how cheap you saw it – and now you get the film in the right aspect ratio. The worthless Trinity is out today as well, but why punish yourself? Whatever you did, you don’t deserve that.

Right now, there’s a link to a purchase at Best Buy – since Amazon seems only to have the Alliance Atlantis version up. Understand that the transfer on that disc is atrocious, and that the film has been CROPPED from its OAR to 1.77:1. Are they out they damn minds? People are going to be furious when they realize it’s the wrong one (the images on the listing confirm it), and I don’t want you guys to be among them.

And it looks like they saved the best for last. Blade II is out next month.

THE FP

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I’m a ravenous fan of post-apoc films wherein culture refashions itself based on a cruel misunderstanding of an element of a long forgotten era. Films like Six-String Samurai and World Gone Wild are fun because of the idiosyncratic fixations future-dwellers have on weird aspects of our culture – which of course, allow filmmakers to goof on our reality (World Gone Wild was meant to be even more subversive than it turned out. In the film, Adam Ant leads a murderous cult of paper pants-wearing Space Monkeys who do his bidding based on his reciting of “scripture” from a book of quotes from Charles Manson – but, as scripted and shot, he was actually reading to his flock from DIANETICS. The Church of Scientology got wind of this, and the film was changed to avoid a lawsuit). The FP looks like it has all the potential in the world to be fun and subversive and hilarious. And with a Jimmy DeBello and a Dash Mihok and CLIFTON GONZALES GONZALES in the cast – how can you say no?

The film’s premise is that, in the far flung and fucked future, gangbangers settle turf wars the only way they know how – via competition in the ancient art of rhythm video game Beat Beat Revolution. It’s like Step Up 2 Tha Thunderdome, and I can’t wait to get a look at it.

GRAY’S ANATOMY (CRITERION)

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Spalding Gray was a great storyteller, and this film always felt like a look at the man at the height of his powers (not to take anything away from Swimming to Cambodia, which is also pretty damned cool). Voyager also releases a Gray documentary today – And Everything is Going Fine, directed (as is Anatomy) by Steven Soderbergh.

THE SEDUCTION OF MIMI

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Is this another Mariah Carey thing? No – it’s Lina Wertmuller using farcical comedy to address Lefty politics versus the mob in Sicily. Starring Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela (“WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘FLASH GORDON APPROACHING?’”) Melato. KINO also offers up Wertmuller’s awesome Love & Anarchy (also with Giannini and Melato) and All Screwed Up today.

WANDERLUST

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I love it when The State comes together. Not the classic Wet Hot American Summer is, but not a bad little film. Paul Rudd has become a master of exceedingly uncomfortable comedy. There were times in this film I was embarrassed for him as a human being. And I wish Jennifer Aniston was pulling weird turns like this and her Horrible Bosses gig a decade ago. Nice of you to join us, ma’am. I’ve missed you since Leprechaun.

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies
Alien Origin
All Screwed Up
Aloha, Scooby-Doo!
And Everything is Going Fine (Criterion)
A Bag of Hammers
Big Miracle
Blade
Blade: Trinity
Cat Run
The Colossus of New York
Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! – nothing to do with the original Django. Sorry.
Evita
The FP
Gray’s Anatomy Criterion Collection
Headspace
The Hidden Blade
Insomnia
The Invisible Man: The Complete Series
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
K-ON!: Season 2. Collection 1
Keyhole
Lee Ritenour: Overtime
Louie: Season 2 – so do.
Love and Anarchy
Michael Buble Meets Madison Garden
Nature: White Lions
Newsies 20th Anniversary Dark Knight Rises Edition
Nova: Hunting the Elements
Project X – BRONARCHY
The Raconteurs: Live at Montreux 2008
Rockwell
The Seduction Of Mimi – is this another Mariah Carey thing? No – it’s Lina Wertmuller using farcical comedy to address Lefty politics versus the mob in Sicily. Starring Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela (“WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘FLASH GORDON APPROACHING?’”) Melato.
Sister Act
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
The Space Children
Tom & Jerry: The Fast & the Furry
Wanderlust
Wilfred: The Complete First Season

GLEN HANSARD – RHYTHM AND REPOSE

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Once is one of those cultural phenomena (both as film and stage musical) that got pushed on me so hard, by so many people, that I just developed an irrational resistance to even trying it; as a consequence, I really haven’t listened to Glen Hansard since The Commitments. And given that as a basis for analysis, I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his new album-not exactly Dublin soul, sure, but a mildly ill-tempered cross between Cat Stevens and Gordon Lightfoot wasn’t among my predictions, either, with the resignation of  “In time, this won’t even matter” more than a bit reminiscent of the passive-aggressive shrug of “Wild World” or “Sundown.” There’s some gently lovely guitar work, tasteful string deployment, and Hansard’s got more delivery than pipes, which is always a good thing. I have the feeling, though, that he’s counting on me knowing the ins and outs of his (and Irglová’s) story to make connections: “I never left you / “You never let me go.” Maybe it’s time I finally watched his damn movie.

FIONA APPLE – THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER THAN THE DRIVER OF THE SCREW AND WHIPPING CORDS WILL SERVE YOU MORE THAN ROPES WILL EVER DO

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Seven years between albums is definitely not a symptom of rampant careerism, and I can even handle the pretension of the goddamn album title when the role of the “idler wheel” (the gear/wheel in a machine that allows others to turn and work together) works as a sort of metaphoric opposite: the “Fiona Apple” persona on display here is fucked if she intends to simply function as a neutral safety switch for you or anyone else, and she kind of thinks you’re an idiot for being willing to do it yourself. Initially, you’d be forgiven for abandoning all hope for an album whose opening track contains the line “The flight of little wings of white-flamed butterflies / In my brain,” but Apple and multi-instrumental madman Charlie Drayton whip up a frenzy of sounds, including an assortment of tape loops and treatments, celeste, marimba, bouzouki, and something described as a “teised guitar” (which, if I’m hearing this right, sounds vaguely like Stuart Adamson’s old E-bow) that bring an air of disquiet to even the flightiest fancy. And when she chooses to— “While you were watching someone else / I stared at you and cut myself“-she can get down-to-earth scary, both as singer and as songwriter. A collection of tunes that’ll shake ‘em up at Starbucks… shit, cover alone’ll do that.

SMASHING PUMPKINS – OCEANIA

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Calling your old bandmate a piece of shit and “one of the worst human beings I’ve ever met” is certainly one way to complete your break with the past, and I don’t have a problem with those who complain that Corgan’s got no business hanging on to the name of a band that hasn’t really existed in years. And, really, I think he’d be better off to jettison it: Oceania‘s strengths are such that it would stand on its own just fine, without its very existence sparking comparisons to past glories (which, let’s face it, were a looong time ago). Bassist Nicole Fiorentino and drummer Mike Byrne acquit themselves nobly right out of the gate on “Quasar,” and Corgan’s got a highly sympathetic guitar partner in Jeff Schroeder; their interplay is gorgeous on “Glissandra,” and is what keeps the nine-minute title track from disappearing up its own ass. From the straight-ahead “Inkless” to the fey wankery of “Pale Horse,” to the acoustic-to-feedback-freakout journey on “The Celestials,” this is a solid, well-crafted album of 90’s era rock that would probably get a more sympathetic hearing if Corgan wasn’t carrying so much legacy around with him… or if he acted like less of an asshole.

OTHER NOTABLE 6.19 RELEASES:

Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7
Jimmy Buffett – Welcome to Fin City
Can – Lost Tapes
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing
Kenny Chesney – Welcome To The Fishbowl
Ravi Coltrane – Spirit Fiction
Dirty Heads – Cabin By The Sea
The Flower Kings – Banks of Eden
Lita Ford – Living Like a Runaway
Groove Armada – Music for Pleasure
Sophie B. Hawkins – The Crossing
Ihsahn – Eremita
Lit – View From the Bottom
Mnemic – Mnemesis
Return to Forever – The Mothership Returns
Mike Stern – All Over the Place
Devin Townsend – By a Thread: Live in London 2011
Walk the Moon – Walk the Moon

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES (PS3, 360, Wii, Vita, 3DS)

The Lego series has been in stale state for a while. Each release has been a decently-made family co-op game with a new set of minifigs to play with. Developer Traveller’s Tales have finally made a leap forward with Batman 2. First off, the hub world has been expanded – we’re now playing in an open-world Gotham City. That does a lot to relieve the repetitive nature of past Lego games. Oddly, the biggest addition to the franchise is voice acting. Instead of speaking in Simlish to each other, Batman and friends are given actual voices and personality. This helps accentuate the personality of the various heroes and give life to the cutscenes. Plus, badass Lego Justice League game filled with humor is a great relief from the other incredibly serious DC franchise games.

STEEL BATTALION: HEAVY ARMOR (360)

Hardcore developer From Software has made a new Kinect entry into an extremely hardcore mech simulator series (known last generation for its 40 button controller). The Kinect seems like the perfect format for a game so preoccupied with immersion. Unsurprisingly, Heavy Armor is ridiculously detailed, down to the crewman who actually has to load each missile you fire. This level of detail is the best part of From’s own Armored Core franchise, and should hopefully make for a great mech game for insane people.

The controller still costs 150 bucks.

BRAVE (PS3, 360, DS, Wii, 3DS)

Look, this exists. And kids will love it while the rest of go on with our lives.

Will we, Tony? WILL WE??

Yeah. We probably will.

For now, though?

FIN.