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New Releases for October 12th

This week's new DVDs include a comic book hero, classic kung fu, two documentaries about Portland sports teams, giant and/or blood thirsty monsters, foreign horror and comedy, silent films new to DVD, two TV series finales, a couple great new Criterion titles, two movies where the lead actor plays a duel role, and the best animated movie of the year that didn't render us a blubbering mess. Here's the list; as always the * means it's also on Blu-ray and you can buy it online by clicking SALE. I AM LOVE—A decadent drama about power shifts in a wealthy Italian family, headed by their Russian-born matriarch played by the always amazing Tilda Swinton. LEAVES OF GRASS—Edward Norton plays an Ivy League professor who returns to his small home town believing his pot-addled twin (also played by Edward Norton) is dead—but he's not, he's just in a heap 'o trouble. This comedy, directed by Tim Blake Nelson, was a hit at this year's SIFF. ARN: THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR *—War, power, betrayal and true love fuel this story of one Knight fighting in the Crusades, starring Stellan Skarsgard and Simon Callow. JONAH HEX—Josh Brolin steps in to the boots, hats & face of the DC Comics frontman... 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER—Many of us consider this 1983 Shaw Brothers production the best martial arts movie ever, and we're pretty sure several members of the Wu-Tang Clan agree. DEATH KAPPA—Mythical irradiated water goblin Death Kappa rises amongst nuclear fallout to take out another giant monster ravaging Japan! S&MAN—JT Petty's highly disturbing documentary explores the connection between voyeurism and horror films. BREAKING UPWARDS—A indie comedy starring director Daryl Wein and his real-life ladypal Zoe Lister-Jones as a couple who negotiate an amicable and interesting break-up. DOLLHOUSE: SEASON 2—The last 13 episodes of Joss Whedon's latest TV show. Watch the finale Epitaph Two: Return with caution, then debate whether the show was canceled too soon. KIMJONGILIA—Executive producer Mike Figgis presents this striking documentary exposing the humanitarian crisis in North Korea. THE MAGICIAN—Ingmar Bergman's 1958 battle of the wits starring Max Von Sydow as a traveling illusionist debuts on DVD on the Criterion Collection. SALE THE DARJEELING LIMITED--The new Criterion edition of Wes Anderson's film includes commentary with Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola & Anderson, deleted scenes, Hotel Chevalier, Anderson's American Express commercial & much more. SALE And arriving very soon to the Family New Release section, the thoroughly enjoyable HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON* ANIME NEW RELEASES Golgo 13: Collection 2 FAMILY NEW RELEASES Doctor Who: Dreamland—Animated! Olivia: Merry Christmas, Olivia The Essential Bugs Bunny SALE NEW BLU-RAY: FORMAT OF THE FUTURE The Hangover—Extreme Edition Three Kings NEW TV ON DVD Being Human: Season 2 In Treatment: Season 2 Inspector Lewis: Season 3 Wolverine & The X-Men: Complete Series * The Tudors: The Final Season NEW IMPORTS & FOREIGN FILMS Assassin in Love (2007)—Wales Bangkok Adrenaline (2009)—Thailand Blades of Blood (2010)—Korea Bouquet of Barbed Wire (2010)(PAL Code 2)—UK Bouquet of Barbed Wire: Complete Series (1976)(PAL Code 2)—UK Criminal Justice 2 (2008)—UK Daniel & Ana (2009)—Mexico Demeking, The Sea Monster (2009)—Japan Grand Vadrouille (1966)(PAL Code 2)—France Grandma's House (2010)(PAL Code 2)—UK Kung Fu Master (2010)—Hong Kong Real Kung Fu (2005)—Hong Kong TV series Samurai Vendetta (1959)—Japan Shank (2010)—UK The Special Relationship (2010)(PAL Code 2)—UK The relationship in question is between Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) and Tony Blair, again portrayed with flair by Michael Sheen. Coffin Rock (2009)—Creepy obsessed stalker action from Australia. The Horde (2009)(PAL Code 2)--A zombie film from France. This trailer appears to be dubbed but the DVD has English subtitles. NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVES Jimmy The Gent (1934)—"James Cagney and Bette Davis star as a less-than-scrupulous private detective and the woman he loves--who has just left him for an even less scrupulous employer. Jimmy Corrigan (Cagney) is jealous when his operative and sweetheart, Joan Martin (Davis), goes to work for his seemingly upper-crust rival Charles Wallingham (Alan Dinehart). But Corrigan discovers that Wallingham is just as crooked as Corrigan; he's just better at concealing it. Now--even as Corrigan tricks an eyewitness into marrying a guilty client so she can't testify in court--he must prove Wallingham is a crook to win Martin back. Directed with panache by Michael Curtiz, the result is a fast-paced comic delight, and a superb showcase for the first teaming of its two incandescent stars." Judge Steps Out (1949)—"Boston judge Tom Bailey (Alexander Knox) has position, security and a lovely home on Beacon Hill. He also has a disagreeable wife, a selfish daughter and a nagging suspicion that somehow his life has gone terribly wrong. Then one day Bailey falls ill and gets a diagnosis from a no-nonsense doctor: he's suffering from 'inflammation of the family...' Wry and romantic, The Judge Steps Out is a lovingly polished gem that speaks to anyone who's ever heard the siren call of a second chance." A Stolen Life (1949)—"Classic film fans rejoice: A Stolen Life stars two Bette Davises in one grand, heart-wrenching melodrama. The iconic actress portrays twin sisters Kate and Pat: the first good and the other, if not exactly evil, a vain vixen who's landed the husband (Glenn Ford) Kate wanted."
That Certain Woman (1937)—"Married to a gangster at 15...widowed by the St. Valentine's Day Massacre...remarried to a playboy... forsaken...left to raise her baby alone: Mary Donnell (Bette Davis) leads the kind of three-hanky life just made for a prestige '30s melodrama." Thunder of Drums (1961)—"'Bachelors make the best soldiers,' declares Capt. Stephen Maddocks (Richard Boone), who knows the West can only be tamed by men as single-minded as he is. So with renegade Indians on the warpath, he has no patience for the love triangle that erupts between greenhorn officers (George Hamilton and James Douglas) and a beauty (Luana Patten) promised to one of them - or for the chaos he knows it will cause." NEW FROM THE COLUMBIA CLASSICS SERIES A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)—"The legendary Jean Simmons (Angel Face, Spartacus) saddles up for this gripping, modern-day western as a sheltered girl living miles from civilization, whose quiet life is shattered by the intrusion of two desperate men. Rory Calhoun (River of No Return) plays Ed Stone, accused of murdering the brother of Sheriff Munson (Stephen McNally, Winchester '73), both of whom are en route to jail when their plane crashes in a torrential rainstorm that forces them to seek refuge at the High Sierra ranch run by Simmons and her absent father (Brian Aherne, I Confess). Suspicion, attraction and fear are just some of the emotions that rise to the boiling point when the threesome are forced to bide time in the tiny house. What happens next will keep you glued to your seat." Counter-Attack (1945)—"During a mission to capture a Nazi officer deep inside enemy-held territory, paratrooper Alexei Kulkov (Academy Award® winner Paul Muni, Best Actor, 1936, The Story of Louis Pasteur) ends up trapped inside the basement of a bombed-out building along with fellow Russian Lisa Elenko (Margeurite Chapman, Destroyer) and eight German soldiers, one of them an officer pretending to be an enlisted man. As they await rescue, Kulkov and a Nazi professor (Ludwig Donath, The Jolson Story) probe each other in the hope of learning something that could help their respective sides win the war. Who will best the other?" Johnny Allegro"Ex-gangster Johnny Allegro (George Raft) makes the acquaintance of the beautiful Glenda Chapman (Nina Foch) when he helps her out of a tight spot. As a result, a Government agent persuades Allegro to exploit his new contact to go undercover and infiltrate a crime ring led by Glenda's husband, Morgan Vallin (George Macready, Gilda). Allegro achieves his objective, arriving at an island owned by Vallin, but realizes quickly that Vallin is a formidable opponent with a disturbing hobby. Can Allegro trust Glenda — the wife of the man he's trying to bring down? Will Vallin discover that he and Allegro are on the opposite sides of a dangerous and deadly game?"
NEW DOCUMENTARIES, STAND-UP COMEDY, ART & OTHER NON-FICTION FARE Black Dolemite: The Best of Rudy Ray Moore—"Rudy Ray Moore performs some of his most famous and hilarious routines in an intimate club setting." Two of our staffers saw the late great Rudy Ray Moore live years ago and can vouch for the hilarity. One even got an autographed back scratcher! The Gates (2008)—"In February, 2005, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed 7,500 arches (gates), curtained with orange cloth that waved and billowed and decked miles of walkways in Central Park. The gates stood for 16 days, the first unfurled by Mayor Bloomberg, who championed the project, giving it the okay after the artists 25-year quest to gain approval. Archival footage shows pro-and-con debates and various mayors and commissions turning down the project. By the end, the gates installed, the camera travels a winter landscape, orange shining through trees and reflected in ponds. Passers-by, quintessential New Yorkers, express pleasure. Art dwarfs the nay-sayers." All this is brought to you by directors Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles. Tatsumi Hijikata: Summer Storm—"Ankoku Butoh (Dance of Darkness) is the avant-garde dance form born out of the devastation of post WWII Japan but also influenced by Dadaism, Surrealism and Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty. It's legendary founder, Hijikata Tatsumi, is the supreme figure in the last half-century of Japan's experimental culture, a seminal and inspirational presence there for artists, choreographers, filmmakers, musicians and writers. His final performance with his dancers, Summer Storm, took place in 1973 at the Westside Auditorium of Kyoto University. Three cameramen with small 8mm cameras filmed the entire performance in color, one close-up to the dancers' faces and bodies, the second from the middle of the auditorium, and the third from the back of the hall. As with the other performances, the ghostly images of Hijikata and his dancers were outlined against a deep, engulfing darkness." I Am Comic—Follow retired comic Rich Shydner's attempt to return to stand-up and get a glimpse at the people who practice live comedy. This trailer has some language NSFW. Kings of The Road (2009)—"In 1959 the fate of Portland's hockey team was in doubt. With only a handful of players returning, an uncompleted arena, and the press denouncing the team as the worst team ever fielded in the league, all they could do was skate. Kings of the Road tells the story of that team, The Portland Buckaroos, and their eventual rise as champions and division leaders year after year from 1960-1974. This full length version of the original short film includes 71 minutes of new material." Mania (2010)—"From the seed of Harry Glickman's idea to start his own professional basketball team in Portland, through the years of struggle, improbable success, fall from grace and recovery, this comprehensive history of the Portland Trailblazers examines the unique bond between a city and its only professional sports team. Featuring unprecedented access to management and players on and off the court, the story unfolds through interviews with Glickman, Stu Inman, Bill Schonely, Maurice Lucas, Paul Knauls, Clyde Drexler, Damon Stoudamire, Brandon Roy, longtime Blazer fans like Everclear's Art Alexakis, and more." Michael McDonald: Model Citizen—" In this hilarious, one-hour performance, Michael shares his views on a variety of topics from fame to family and gives the audience a peek at the seemingly normal person behind the whacked out personae he has developed for television (including his famous role as Stuart the baby). Part stand-up comedy, part one man show, this special is for anyone who - like Michael - finds humor in the strange world all around us."
Nickelsville—A locally made doc. all about the titular tent city. "Nickelsville proves what can be accomplished when the poorest people in society work together in pursuit of a common goal." Rock 'N' Roll Wrestling—"A group of crazy wrestlers and their maniacal manager invade the sanctity of a laid back cable rock video station and replace the easy-listening programming with an incredible barrage of wrestling rock videos and bloody ring highlights from the greatest matches of all time." Those crazy people include Jerry "The King" Lawler and Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Margaret Leng Tan: She Herself Alone—"In addition to being a renowned new music pianist, Margaret Leng Tan is a specialist at the toy piano. Her performances are dramatically captured here by Spanish director Anton Cabaleiro. Ms. Tan performs Cage's classic 'Suite for Toy Piano,' her arrangement of Cage's seminal 'Dream' for toy & grand piano; plus new works, many written for her; and her arrangement for voice and toy instruments of a recent song by George Crumb." Jonathan Winters: Birth of a Comic Genius—" From his early breakthrough as a regular on the NBC Comedy Hour, to his prolific work on the Steve Allen/Dinah Shore/Jack Paar shows, and his own shortlived 15 minute series The Jonathan Winters Show, the man literally reinvented the concept of 'live' comedy. And they're all here on this collection. And keep in mind, virtually everything you see is an improv, ad-libbed by Jonathan on the spot. Sometimes his 'straight men' have written lines, but these are just fodder to inspire Winters to new heights of absurd comic insanity. You will literally witness the Birth of a Comic Genius, and understand how he inspired the generation that followed--from Andy Kaufman to Robin Williams to Seinfeld and countless others." ...AND MORE MOVIES Alias The Champ—"Girls, Guns, Gangsters, and Gorgeous George! In the late 1940's, wrestling riled the newly born medium of television, and George was indeed the king, as famous as Elvis and The Beatles in later years. Here, at long last, is his only film. The mob is trying to muscle in on the wrestling racket, a hard boiled detective, Robert Rockwell has to stop them. The all cult cast includes John Hamilton, Tor Johnson, world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, grappling legends 'Slammin' Sammy Mennaker, Count Billy Varga, and Henry Bomber Kulky. Look close for a cameo by Alfalfa from The Little Rascals." Crucible of Terror (1972)—"His name was Mike Raven, the popular Pirate Radio DJ and known occultist whose spectacularly failed attempt at 70s horror stardom marked one of the most bizarre careers in British movie history. And in his most infamous role of all, Raven stars as an insane sculptor whose obsession with the perfect female form leads to a nightmare of sex, sorcery and slaughter. Within a year of this film s release, Raven would mysteriously disappear from the entertainment business become a sculptor. Melissa Stribling (Horror of Dracula), Ronald Lacey (Raiders of The Lost Ark) and Me Me Lay (The Man From Deep River) co-star in this still-sordid cult shocker transferred in startling HD from the only known uncut 35mm print in existence, loaned to Severin by a Bodmin Moor coven!" James Dean: The Ultimate Special Edition—Two of Dean's pivotal films from Studio One: Sentence Of Death: "Dean is a down-on-his-luck ex-con who somehow gets fingered for a robbery/murder at a sleazy diner;" along with Abraham Lincoln—"You don't really have to be a James Dean fan to enjoy this ambitious epic rendering of the Lincoln saga, from the election through the tumultuous Civil War years. James appears near the end of the program in the crucial role of William Scott, an exhausted "everyman" soldier court-martialed for falling asleep on duty. His personal encounter with Lincoln lays the foundation for the show's finale." The set also includes The James Dean Story—"In the wake of Dean's sudden death, this project was originally envisioned as a major studio bio-pic...Young Robert Altman wanted Marlon Brando for narrator. When the smoke finally cleared in 1957, we ended up with this fascinating 'study in pictures' and lots of interviews with family members, Dean's favorite bartenders, and some behind the scenes outtakes from Dean's major features. The focus here is more on the 'human being' and we see his original paintings and sculptures and a letter Dean wrote to his 10-year-old cousin a few months before his death." Doghouse—"The latest and most outrageous in a wave of UK comic horror films like Shaun Of The Dead, Doghouse is a raucous, balls-out funny spin on male insecurity over their own masculinity and vengeful women. A group of guys (including Danny Dyer of The Football Factory and Severance and Stephen Graham of Snatch and Public Enemies) head off for a boys weekend to buck up a friend still depressed over a painful divorce. Unfortunately, they end up in an isolated town infected with a bio-weapon that has turned all the women into the man-hating monsters the lads always suspected women were at heart. The guys spend less time bonding and a lot more time fleeing from hairdressers, nurses, schoolgirls and other iconic female figures all looking to snip away with scissors and swords and literally do what the guys have been fearing for years. Deftly satirical, witty and just bloody good fun, Doghouse is the most original battle of the sexes in years." Four Boxes—"Trevor, Amber and Rob stumble upon a bizarre website featuring Havoc, a man who sleeps in a cage and builds bombs in his basement. After they learn his mass murdering plot may be more than fiction, they debate whether to stop him or to sit back and watch. Starring Justin Kirk and Terryn Westbrook." Golden Age Superstars—"3 Classic Hour Long Dramas from the Glorious Days of Live TV!" This includes James Dean in 1953's Harvest, 1952's Hospital starring Leslie Nielsen, and Mutiny On The Nicholette (1951) starring Boris Karloff as a crazed sailor. Each includes the original commercials. Language of The Enemy—"Romi Meir, an American businessman, travels to Israel for the funeral of his father. While there, he is persuaded to do a brief reconnaissance for the Israeli Secret Service inside the city of Ramallah. However, the assignment goes awry and Romi finds himself trapped behind enemy lines with a mysterious, beautiful Palestinian woman, Joleh Khalid. Caught in the crossfire between opposing sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is forced to re-examine his own world view, as well as those of the Palestinians. But, can he really trust them? And can they trust him?" Light Blast—A cheesetastic sci-fi action thriller from Inglorious Bastards director Enzo G. Castellari, starring Erik Estrada!
Lost Boys: The Thirst—Corey Feldman is back to kick some vampire fang! Lost Slaughters—"While Boris, Bela The Chaney's and Vincent Price ruled the US Horror Scene, in merrye olde England there was only the inimitable Tod Slaughter!" This collection features Strangler's Morgue (1946, based on the play The Terror of London) and The Ticket of Leave Man (1934). The Man Who Had Everything (1920)—"Harry Bullway is a careless young man, always after a good time. He nearly runs over a blind beggar with his car, but he shows no remorse. In response to his heartlessness, the beggar curses him, saying, 'May you always have everything that you want.'" The DVD includes a Felix The Cat short. Psycho Shark—"College students Miki and Mai arrive on a private beach on a tropical island. They can't find the hotel where they booked their reservations, and have gotten hopelessly lost, until a handsome young man shows up, offering to take them to his lodge. But something is not right about the place. The owner's fingernails are tainted with blood and Miki feels something sinister lurking nearby." Sleazemania: Complete Collection—"The original SLEAZEMANIA--Early classics like MARIJUANA (complete with the forbidden nude scenes) and LASH OF THE PENITENTE (early S&M); lots of colorful STRIPPERS; some landmark Herschell G. titles, the notorious SMUT PEDDLER, and a whole lot more. (60 min., color & b&w, 1985)SLEAZEMANIA STRIKES BACK--The beat goes "off" with more classic strippers and an accent on Ed Wood Jr., including the notorious "Bela's Bondage Boutique"; major Herschell titles and more than I can possibly list here. (60min., color/b&w, 1985) SLEAZEMANIA III: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE SLEAZY With a breathtaking title sequence patterned after the popular ROCKY III, this series hits it's zenith with a focus on the "After Midnight" 50's burlesque series; Dance Hall Racket with Lenny Bruce, and some classic Doris Wishman titles. The final mysterious segment MONDO PSYCHO has kept people guessing for years." Three Must-Get-Theirs/Seven Years Bad Luck—A Max Linder double feature! Three Must-Get-Theirs (1922)—"Max Linder's laugh out loud parody of the 'The Three Musketeers' is full of sight gags, tongue-in-check humor and bizarre anachronisms." Seven Years Bad Luck (1921)—" After breaking a mirror in his home, superstitious Max tries to avoid situations which could bring bad luck-- but in doing so, causes himself the worst luck imaginable."