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  • Playtime - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009

    Arriving nearly a decade after Mon Oncle, Playtime continues the adventures of M. Hulot. More than a decade seems to have passed since its predecessor, however. The colorful Paris of Mon Oncle, last seen being slowly chipped away by progress, has now vanished almost entirely. Playtime takes as its setting an ultra-modern Paris where familiar landmarks appear only as fleeting reflections in the new buildings of glass and steel. Alternating between Hulot and a group of American tourists, Tati exploits the chaos just below the overly ordered surface of this brave new world. Again moving from one nearly wordless episode to another, Tati sends his alter ego off to make an appointment in a whirring, featureless office complex. He subsequently moves on to an exhibition of new inventions, meets an old friend at an aquarium-like apartment, wreaks havoc in a snooty new restaurant, and, again, almost falls in love. The most ambitious and technically complex of the Hulot films, it proved unprofitable and helped usher in the financial difficulties that would plague Tati late in life before later getting the recognition it enjoys today. ~ Keith Phipps, All Movie Guide
  • The Last Starfighter - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009

    Trailer-park teenager Lance Guest regularly escapes from his humdrum existence by playing the video game Starfighter. His expertise at this recreational endeavor attracts the attention of affable stranger Robert Preston. Before he knows what's happening, Guest is whisked by Preston into the outer reaches of the galaxy! It turns out that the Starfighter game is being played in deadly earnest in outer space, and that Guest is expected to join Preston's Star League, then do battle with the wicked Kodan forces. Guest's principal ally is the lizardlike Grig (Dan O'Herlihy--and we didn't recognize him either). His great rival is the traitorous Xur (Norman Snow). The contrast between Guest's earthbound life as the son of single-mother Barbara Bosson and his new position as Starfighter is daunting at first, but soon the boy is manning a spacecraft and zapping the baddies as though he's been doing it all his life. The Last Starfighter was clearly designed with "sequel" in mind: giveaways include the resurrection of a "dead" character and the surprisingly casual escape of the villain. While the film didn't stir up enough business to warrant a sequel, the Starfighter video game remained a much-sought-after commodity by joystick-happy "warriors" all over the country. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
  • Screwballs - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009

    Five high school boys chase after "Purity" Busch (Lynda Speciale) for impure reasons in this undistinguished teen sex comedy that emphasizes the absurd (such as a bowling ball attached to a sensitive part of the anatomy, going down the lane for a strike), and points to its own buffoon-like quality in fast-forward segments. As the five try one mindless stunt after another to lure Purity into their clutches, many a viewer would fast-forward the 80-minute running time even further. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide
  • M*A*S*H - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009

    Although he was not the first choice to direct it, the hit black comedy MASH established Robert Altman as one of the leading figures of Hollywood's 1970s generation of innovative and irreverent young filmmakers. Scripted by Hollywood veteran Ring Lardner, Jr., this war comedy details the exploits of military doctors and nurses at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War. Between exceptionally gory hospital shifts and countless rounds of martinis, wisecracking surgeons Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Trapper John McIntyre (Elliott Gould) make it their business to undercut the smug, moralistic pretensions of Bible-thumper Maj. Frank Burns (Robert Duvall) and Army true-believer Maj. "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Sally Kellerman). Abetted by such other hedonists as Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt) and Painless Pole (John Schuck), as well as such (relative) innocents as Radar O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff), Hawkeye and Trapper John drive Burns and Houlihan crazy while engaging in such additional blasphemies as taking a medical trip to Japan to play golf, staging a mock Last Supper to cure Painless's momentary erectile dysfunction, and using any means necessary to win an inter-MASH football game. MASH creates a casual, chaotic atmosphere emphasizing the constant noise and activity of a surgical unit near battle lines; it marked the beginning of Altman's sustained formal experiments with widescreen photography, zoom lenses, and overlapping sound and dialogue, further enhancing the atmosphere with the improvisational ensemble acting for which Altman's films quickly became known. Although the on-screen war was not Vietnam, MASH's satiric target was obvious in 1970, and Vietnam War-weary and counter-culturally hip audiences responded to Altman's nose-thumbing attitude towards all kinds of authority and embraced the film's frankly tasteless yet evocative humor and its anti-war, anti-Establishment, anti-religion stance. MASH became the third most popular film of 1970 after Love Story and Airport, and it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. As further evidence of the changes in Hollywood's politics, blacklist survivor Lardner won the Oscar for his screenplay. MASH began Altman's systematic 1970s effort to revise classic Hollywood genres in light of contemporary American values, and it gave him the financial clout to make even more experimental and critical films like McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), California Split (1974), and Nashville (1975). It also inspired the long-running TV series starring Alan Alda as Hawkeye and Burghoff as Radar. With its formal and attitudinal impudence, and its great popularity, MASH was one more confirmation in 1970 that a Hollywood "New Wave" had arrived. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide
  • The Girl Next Door - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009

    Boy meets girl who's already met all sorts of boys and girls in this teen-slanted comedy. Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch) is a straight-laced and highly ambitious high school student who plans to study at Georgetown University and dreams of a career in politics. While most of his classmates are in the throes of an epidemic of senioritis, Matthew is obsessed with schoolwork and has a hard time relaxing and having fun. But he finds himself a bit less focused on his future career when Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), a beautiful 19-year-old blonde, moves in next door. Danielle is playful, spontaneous, and doesn't always remember to draw her shades, and before long Matthew is head over heels in love. Danielle soon finds herself taken with Matthew as well, but their relationship takes an unusual turn when he discovers that, before she moved to town, Danielle had a successful career as a porn actress. Matthew is able to convince Danielle that she's cut out for better things in life than appearing in porn videos, but his advice doesn't especially please Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) or Hugo (James Remar), two porn moguls who figure Matthew owes them big-time after convincing their leading lady to drop out of the adult industry. The Girl Next Door -- which, appropriately enough, shares its title with a 1999 documentary about adult film superstar Stacy Valentine -- also features Timothy Bottoms, Paul Dano, and Chris Marquette. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
  • Friday - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009

    Hard-core rapper Ice Cube, after appearing in such hard-hitting films as Boyz 'N the Hood and Higher Learning, played his first comic role in this picture he co-wrote with frequent musical collaborator DJ Pooh. Craig (Ice Cube) manages to get fired on his day off (though he claims it's through no fault of his own) and spends the day hanging out with his buddy Smokey (Chris Tucker) and trying to avoid his father (John Witherspoon), who wants him to find another job immediately. Smokey (whose name might have something to do with his tremendous fondness for marijuana) has even more serious problems; he was given $200 worth of weed to sell by Big Worm (Faizon Love), but he ended up smoking it instead, and if he can't come up with the money by the end of the day, he'll be in a world of hurt (and will put Craig in the same place just for being his friend). And Deebo (Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr.), a gargantuan bully who roams the neighborhood on his bicycle, has it in for Craig, while Craig tries his best just to stay out of his way. As one would expect, Friday features a strong hip-hop soundtrack, featuring tracks by such artists as Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill, Mack 10, and Funkdoobiest, as well as old-school R&B selections from The Isley Brothers, Roger, and Rose Royce. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
  • Kagemusha - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009

    Just as many American studio-era directors found acclaim abroad that was denied them in their home country, by 1980 Akira Kurosawa's reputation outside Japan exceeded his esteem at home. As uncompromising as ever, he found considerable difficulty securing backing for his ambitious projects. Unsure he would be able to film it, the director, an aspiring artist before he entered filmmaking, converted Kagemusha into a series of paintings, and it was partly on the basis of these that he won the financial support of longtime admirers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Set in the 16th century, when powerful warlords competed for control of Japan, it offers an examination of the nature of political power and the slipperiness of identity. For some time, Shingen Takeda Tatsuya Nakadai has been able to stay removed from the heat of battle by using his brother Nobukado Tsutomu Yamazaki as a double. As the film opens, Nobukado offers another option, having discovered a condemned thief (also played by Tatsuya Nakadai) bearing an uncanny resemblance to the warlord. After he insists on witnessing the fall of an enemy in person, Shingen falls victim to a sniper's bullet, forcing his advisers to present the thief as the fallen warrior. At first awkward in his new position and plagued by dreams in which the spirit of his double confronts him, he slowly grows into the role even as his enemies begin to advance on his kingdom. The winner of the Palm D'Or at Cannes, Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior has also been released as The Double. ~ Keith Phipps, All Movie Guide
  • Surveillance - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009

    An FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer attempts to capture the madman with a little assistance from his would-be victims in director Jennifer Chambers Lynch's supernatural police thriller. FBI Agents Elizabeth Anderson (Julia Ormond) and Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman) are on the trail of some killers when they arrive in a small desert town to investigate a vicious mass shooting on the highway. The witnesses are an overzealous cop, an unreliable junkie, and an eight year old girl. For some reason Agents Anderson and Hallaway can't comprehend, the pieces of the puzzle just don't seem to fit together. Later, when the minute details concealed by each witness finally start coming into focus, the two agents discover that sometimes the truth comes at a very substantial cost. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
  • Duplicity - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009

    Closer co-stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite for Oscar-nominated director Tony Gilroy's drama tracing the illicit love affair between two spies-turned-corporate operatives. The Cold War has thawed, and for CIA agents seeking to make an easy mint, the real money is in multinational corporations. CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and Ray Koval (Owen) are both racing to secure the formula for a product that will bring untold wealth to the company that lands the patent first as the stakes begin to rise, and their passions start to flare. Meanwhile, their mutual employers, industry giant Howerd Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and trailblazing CEO Dick Garsil (Paul Giamatti) start resorting to some seriously underhanded tactics in hope of gaining an advantage over the competition. Loners by definition of their own careers, Claire and Ray engage in a series of schemes and double-crosses while contending with the fact that their mutual attraction could ultimately jeopardize their entire missions. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
  • Fighting - Blu-ray Disc

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009

    A small-town boy hustling his way through the big city forms an uneasy alliance with a scam artist who inducts him into the violent world of bare-knuckle brawling in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints writer/director Dito Montiel's unforgiving urban action film. Arriving in New York City with little more than the shirt on his back, Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) makes ends meet by selling counterfeit goods on the street. But times are tough and money is short, and just as things are starting to look grim, Shawn crosses paths with crafty con artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard). Harvey instantly recognizes Shawn's natural talent for street fighting, and offers to help the uneasy newcomer make some quick cash on the bare-knuckle circuit. But making a living by brawling isn't easy because the system is hopelessly corrupt, and the only people who really come out on top are the rich businessmen who place wagers on the disposable fighters. Still, Harvey's instincts were right, and Shawn quickly makes a name for himself by taking down every opponent who crosses his path, including mixed martial arts champs, veteran pugilists, and ultimate fighters. As each bout becomes more intense, Shawn realizes that his only hope for escaping this dark world is to face his fiercest opponent to date. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide