Film

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: New MST3K, Drunk History and Soundgarden rarities among new releases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM


Every Tuesday we let you know the best of the week's new music and video releases to help you decide how to spend your hard-earned cash. It's a slower week due to Thanksgiving, but there are a few things worth your consideration. Check 'em out: 

MUSIC

There are plenty of live sets, greatest-hits collections and "expanded editions" of old albums coming our way, as there always are this time of year. Two you might want to consider: 

Soundgarden, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path. This triple-disc set is broken down into sets of originals, covers and "oddities," and will surely thrill long-time lovers of the Northwest crew more than introduce many new fans to their thud-rock sound. You'll get the full version of "Birth Ritual" from the Singles soundtrack, among other goodies. 

Rick Ross,
Hood Billionaire. The second release by the gangster poet follows on the drug-slinging themes of Mastermind from the Grammy-nominated MC. 

MOVIES & TV


We're not going to lie — it's pretty slim pickings on the new release front for home video. There's the testosterone fest of Expendables 3, featuring Sly Stallone and a bevy of action stars young and old (and older). There's the sci-fi of The Giver, Tyler Perry's attempt at blending Christmas mirth and his Madea character, and the "wait, wasn't that in theaters, like, last week" flick A Merry Friggin Christmas, but I prefer to pretend Robin Williams never made that one. 

For my money, the only worthwhile releases this week come from television. 

Drunk History, the web series-turned-Comedy Central hit is one of the most entertaining half-hour shows to hit television in a long time. It's a collection of increasingly drunk comedians waxing on about important moments in history, and their rambling is then re-enacted by performers ranging from Jack Black to Winona Ryder to Kristin Wiig — it's a who's who of funny folks. The concept might leave you skeptical, but give it a shot. Now you can get the first two seasons of the show on DVD. Here's a bit of what's in store: 

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol XXXI: The Turkey Day Collection captures four episodes of the show — two from the Comedy Central era hosted by Joel Hodgson, and two from the Sci-Fi Channel era hosted by Mike Nelson. The four movies included and skewered by MST3K's Tom Servo and Crow are Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull and Squirm. Here's a look: 

And if you're looking to drive any lingering relatives or friends from the house after your Thanksgiving meal, consider popping in the ridiculously lengthy Lars Von Trier flick Nymphomaniac, a two-parter being released on video as a "director's cut" this week. The overabundance of Shia LaBeouf should be enough to get you some peace and quiet in no time. Take a peek: 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Awesome animation and Lorde takes on The Hunger Games in this week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM


Every week we help you figure out how to spend your home-entertainment dollar by sifting through the new music and video releases and highlighting some of the best choices. Let's do this.

MUSIC

TV On The Radio, Seeds. Unabashed alt-rock experimentalists TV On The Radio have a slightly poppier sound on their first new release since 2011 and the death of long-time bassist Gerard Smith. 

Bryan Ferry, Avonmore. The sultry man-voice behind Roxy Music is back with his 14th solo set, featuring contributions from The Smiths' Johnny Marr, Chic's Nile Rogers, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and more. 
Various Artists, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. The teens-killing-teens dramas have had some seriously strong soundtracks to date. The latest iteration is being "curated" by Lorde (whatever that means), and includes tunes from her as well as Chemical Brothers, Churches, Grace Jones and Bat for Lashes. Here's the "Yellow Flicker Beat" single from Lorde: 

FILM

The big releases this week include 22 Jump Street, the not-as-funny so-so sequel to the funnier-than-expected reimagining of the genuinely terrible TV show, and the sequel to Sin City, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which was pretty much reviled by critics and audiences alike.

Your time is probably better spent checking out these flicks:

The Wind Rises is reportedly the final film from the legendary Spirited Away animator Hayao Miyazaki, who tackles the tale of a Japanese aviation designer in this one, featuring the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinki and Emily Blunt. The 2013 release was nominated for an Academy Award for "best animated feature." 

20,000 Days on Earth is not a typical rock documentary, delving into the creativity of musician Nick Cave through a fictional "day in the life" paired with real interviews with musicians, actors and friends who have worked with the cult icon, and filmed sessions between Cave and his therapist. Thankfully, there are also some stirring live performance clips filmed at the Sydney Opera House with Cave and his band the Bad Seeds. 

Alive Inside is the Sundance Film Festival audience award-winner for "best documentary" for its engaging exploration of how music can help combat memory loss. The filmmaker follows social worker Dan Cohen as he travels the country for his nonprofit Music & Memory and tries to engage with the convoluted healthcare system. 


 
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Foo Fighters record a roadie and Monty Python hit the stage in week's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM


Each Tuesday we're here to help you figure out how to best spend your home entertainment dollar, specifically through highlighting some important new music and video releases. Here are some choice cuts among the releases out this week: 

MUSIC

The New Basement Tapes, Lost on the River. This is a project in which your excitement level will correlate directly to how much you like the artists involved — Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Mumford & Sons Marcus Mumford, Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith and Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens — and how much of a Bob Dylan completist you are. The group took a bunch of recently discovered Dylan lyrics penned in 1967, around the time he recorded the famous Basement Tapes album, and put them to music. The results are pretty great. Here's James doing a song called "Down on the Bottom:"

Foo Fighters, Sonic Highways. One of the few ways Dave Grohl and Co. could make a new Foo Fighters album sound at least a little bit different from the band's past releases is the experiment on Sonic Highways, in which they travel to eight cities and record a song in each, using local talent, ala horn players in New Orleans, or punk producer Steve Albini in Chicago. The HBO series tracking the band's recording for the album is better than the resulting tunes, but Foo Fighters are pretty critic-proof at this point. Here's the band doing new tune "Something from Nothing" on a recent Letterman: 


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Neil Young's orchestral pop, Hoffman's last film hurrah among today's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM


Even Election Day isn't enough to keep us from scoping out some new music and movie releases. In fact, it's hard to think of a better way to rid the mind of the onslaught of political ads and talking-head yammering than delving into something new on TV or in your headphones. 

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Nov. 4: 

MUSIC

Deerhoof, La Isla Bonita. Twenty years into their life as a band, San Francisco crew Deerhoof continues making some of the most interesting indie-rock around. Their latest was recorded live in guitarist Ed Rodriguez's basement during what they called a "weeklong slumber party." Here's a taste: 


Mariachi El Bronx, III. If you think the alter-ego of long-running punks The Bronx is a joke, you're mistaken. Their reverence for authentic mariachi music comes through loud and clear on the band's third release of West Mexican traditional tunes. Here is an audio-vid of new song "Wildfires:"


Neil Young, Storytone. If you're looking for Crazy Horse-style Neil, keep on moving. This is Neil Young delving into lush orchestration and crooning (at least as much as Neil Young can croon). Like most of Young's releases, this one will prove divisive among fans. Here's a sample: 


FILM

The monster-sized mainstream releases this week include The Rock doing his best Hercules impression, and Angelina Jolie in the generally well-received Maleficent. There are a few smaller films that deserve your attention, though: 

A Most Wanted Man is well worth seeing just for Philip Seymour Hoffman's outstanding performance, one of his last, as German security agent Gunther Bachmann. He's tasked with tracking Muslim terrorists active in Hamburg, Germany, where the 9/11 plot was hatched. Far from an action flick, it makes for an interesting look at spy strategies and international politics, with Hoffman joined by strong roles for Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe. 


Land Ho! is a charming trifle of a movie about two elderly gentlemen, friends and former in-laws, who take off to Iceland for a trip to take their minds off an unwanted retirement and unhappy divorce. It's a road-trip flick, a travelogue of one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and a buddy comedy that goes down easy. 


The One I Love joins Mark Duplass, the seemingly omnipresent indie force, and Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss in a twisted rom-com mystery in which a couple heads to a weekend retreat in an effort to rejuvenate their marriage, only to discover something that makes them reevaluate everything they thought they knew about each other. 


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Flaming Lips' album-length cover of The Beatles among today's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM


Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 28: 

MUSIC

The Flaming Lips, With a Little Help from My Fwends. This is bound to be a divisive release, but can you think of a better band to cover/reimagine The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety? No way. I'm even giving them the benefit of the doubt on including Miley Cyrus. Twice. Check it out:
 
Rancid, ... Honor is All We Know. The quartet doesn't vary much from their retro-punk and ska sound, and with good reason — few punk survivors are as capable at sounding fresh and vital as Tim Armstrong and Co. Here's a live taste: 

Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock & Roll Time. The Killer is back with an album evoking his Sun Studios roots in Memphis, with guests including Keith Richards, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson and more classic rockers influenced by the piano wildman. The clip below has no moving images, just the distinctive sound of Lewis's voice: 

FILM/TV

There are plenty of new releases coming out today, including romantic musical Begin Again from the writer/director who made Once, and supernatural thriller Deliver Us From Evil. But you might want to consider these releases first: 

Life of Crime is the latest Elmore Leonard novel to get the movie treatment, and while the reviews were so-so, it's hard to imagine a cast that includes Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and John Hawkes playing younger versions of the Samuel L. Jackson and Robert DeNiro characters from Jackie Brown being too bad. Tim Robbins, Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte and Isla Fisher also appear in an extortion caper that should be good for some laughs.  

If you loved Garden State, well, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll love Zach Braff's follow-up, Wish I Was Here. It didn't make much of an impression on critics or audiences beyond Braff's decision to crowd-source the film's funding. Braff plays Aidan Bloom, a financially struggling actor, father, and husband with a dying father played by Mandy Patinkin, and an irresponsible brother  he can't rely on played by Josh Gad. Expect a better soundtrack than film, much like its predecessor. 

WKRP IN CINCINNATI is an often-overlooked sitcom of the late '70s/early '80s that is finally making its way to DVD in complete form. Set in a radio station that decides to make the switch from an all-news format to rock 'n' roll, it's a hilarious-if-dated office comedy that was stuck in home-video limbo for years because of all the real rock music used on its soundtrack. Thankfully, the rights to use most of the original songs were finally attained, meaning these videos will have plenty of the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and The Police that helped ground the slapstick shenanigans in reality. And if you've never seen or heard of WKRP, you've missed out on one of the best Thanksgiving episodes of TV, like, ever

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: New releases include Sleater-Kinney vinyl, and Pee Wee's Playhouse on Blu-ray

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM


Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 21: 

MUSIC

Mark Lanegan Band, Phantom Radio. The former Screaming Trees singer continues to have one of the most interesting and musically ambitious post-grunge careers of all the acts that came out of Seattle way back when. You can stream Ellensburg native Lanegan's latest right here. Or just give it a sample with this vid: 


Sleater-Kinney, Start Together. This box set includes vinyl versions of the pioneering lady-punk trio's seven albums, plus a hardcover book tracking their history. It's a perfect way for the vinyl junkies to get ready for the band's 2015 reunion, including a tour starting right here in Spokane


Jessie Ware, Tough Love. Ware is a British electro-soul singer that everyone waiting for the next Adele album should be listening to. Her music is smooth, sexy and worthy of comparisons to Sade.  


FILM

If you're looking to turn your brain off, there are certainly some options for you among today's DVD and Blu-ray releases, chief among them the Cameron Diaz/Jason Segal disaster Sex Tape or horror-thriller The Purge: Anarchy. But there is some legitimately brilliant stuff that should go to the top of your rental/purchasing list: 

Snowpiercer is one of the coolest films of the year, thanks to the inventive vision by Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host), and the story adapted from French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. It's a sci-fi tale set in the not-too-distant future when a new Ice Age has descended on the planet, and the only human survivors are on a perpetually moving train strictly divided by class. It sounds hard to believe, but it's full of outstanding action sequences, and great performances by the likes of Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer. 



Los Angles Plays Itself might seem like a slog if you just look at the 169-minute running time, but this brilliant documentary is a must-see for movie geeks. It looks at the myriad ways Los Angeles has been portrayed in film through the years, and is constructed from clips of more than 300 movies to tell its story, all of it narrated by director and film historian Thom Anderson. Complications of usage rights kept the 2004 movie from ever getting a wide release, but now those issues have been sorted out and it's finally available on video. 


Pee Wee's Playhouse is the perfect '80s-era TV show to warrant special treatment, and the release today of the entire series on Blu-ray is cause for celebration in my house. If your only memory of Pee Wee Herman is the scandal that nearly killed the career of Pee Wee creator Paul Reubens, or the excellent Tim Burton-helmed Pee Wee feature film, you need to revisit this multiple-Emmy-winning children's show. Equal parts hilarious and trippy, it's something parents looking for some nostalgia can feel good about watching with their kids. And older Pee Wee fans (ahem), can just wallow and watch Captain Carl (Phil Hartman) and Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne) along with Chairy, Conky and Pterri the Pterodactyl. 


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wayne's World and beer Thursday! Plus: a lot of "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM

waynes-world-pic-1.jpeg

On Thursday, October 23, we'll be screening Wayne's World as part of our ongoing Suds and Cinema series, which teams some sort of bonkers movie with beer from our robust local craft brewing scene at the Bing Crosby Theater.

For Wayne's World, we'll be bringing local lager makers Orlison Brewing, who will have four of their delectable beers on tap in the lobby before and during the film. Beers are just $4, as are tickets to get into the film.

We'll be opening the doors and getting beers flowing at 6:30 pm, with the movie rolling at 7:30 after a short introduction from our film history department, of course.

Also, we're using this night to also celebrate the Inlander's 21st birthday. That's right, we're finally legal, baby! Check our ID if you want, it's all legit.

With that in mind, we'll be celebrating with a little help from Brain Freeze Creamery, who are making a special Wayne's World flavor called, appropriately, "Schwing." They'll be serving that surprise flavor up for free before the movie! 

Also, because we're finally 21, we're keeping the night going with an after party at Rock City Grill immediately after the movie. There, you'll find food and drink specials, including an "Inlander-Red" martini and a yet-to-be-revealed cocktail called "The McGregor" named after the brave founder of our dear paper.

In the meantime, please remember to get yourself properly trained in the ways of "Bohemian Rhapsody," cause we're going to be rocking the hell out of that come the opening credits. Some inspiration...

The dude who was so drunk he was arrested, but somehow remembered all the words in the back of a cop car:



A lesson from the Muppets!



How to make your kids indulge your childhood dreams:



High school kids in the '90s get a hold of a video camera, a few wigs and their grandma's car.
 


Oh, and remember to get that neck nice and stretched out before you meet us at the Bing.


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: The TV "Fargo" and Foxygen's magnum opus among today's new releases

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 14: 

MUSIC

Foxygen, ...And Star Power. The experimental-pop duo Foxygen goes full freak-out on a double-album sprawling across 24 songs that incorporate punk, folk and orchestral pop, all in the service of a concept album about UFOs. Or radio. Or something. 


Stars, No One Is Lost. Looking for a new rolling-skating jam? Hey, who isn't? Try album-opener "From the Night" on the new album from Montreal-based indie-pop crew Stars. It's just one of many tunes blending synth bleats with crafty hooks. 


U2, Songs of Innocence. Believe it or not, the album many of us got free suddenly in our iTunes catalog thanks to U2's monster deal with Apple is actually having a traditional release, too. And while so many people kvetched about getting a free album — oh, the humanity! — that Apple was forced to create a page telling iTunes users how to delete it, Songs of Innocence is actually a better album than the old guys have released in years. Despite it's creepy album cover


DVD/BLU-RAY

The X-Men fans out there will surely flock to get their copies of X-Men: Days of Future Past, if they haven't pirated it already. And the kids might connect with Mr. Peabody & Sherman, although I'll stick with my old Bullwinkle and Rocky DVDs, thankyaverymuch! There are, though, some great new releases on video this week. 

Fargo was an unexpected treat as a TV series, one that took many of us who feel Coen Brothers' movies are not to be trifled with by complete surprise in its ability to hold onto the film's spirit while telling its own, utterly engaging story. Inlander resident TV guru Daniel Walters dug the show, and it just might find a nice place on the bookshelf alongside my array of Coen bros' features. Season 1 is a complete 10-episode story full of familiar faces and particularly strong turns from Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman. 



Venus in Fur is the film version of a Tony-winning play of the same name, featuring the sexually charged and sometimes sadistic story of a playwright searching for a female lead, a seemingly ill-prepared actress, and one long night in the playwright's office while they toy with each other. Roman Polanski seems a natural in directing the film, starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amaric. 


Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger is an incisive documentary about the South Boston gangster who (loosely) inspired the story of the Oscar-winning film The Departed, and the bumbling and stumbling FBI efforts that took years to take him down. 


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TUESDAY TASTE: Sample new releases today including Weezer's return to form, George Takei's emotional doc

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

While many of us consume our entertainment digitally these days, whether it’s a movie, TV show or album (quaint phrase, that), Tuesdays still act as the release date for the vast majority of new goodies for those of us who just have to have our own “official” Blu-ray copy of Sharknado II: The Second One.

Today, that Sharknado dream can become reality — in an “unrated” and “extended version” no less — as the DVD hits stores and online retailers. Each Tuesday, we’re going to make sure you don’t miss out by highlighting a few new music and video releases to help you figure out how to spend your hard-earned home-entertainment dollar.

Here is what’s new and worth your attention, released Tuesday, Oct. 7:

MUSIC

Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright in the End. All the Weezheads dreaming of a return to “the blue album” or Pinkerton will find much to love from Rivers Cuomo and Co. after a forgettable few Weezer albums.


The Vaselines, V for Vaselines. Scottish pop-rockers and Nirvana inspirations The Vaselines (they wrote “Molly’s Lips” and “Son of a Gun”) release just their third studio album in their 28-year history.


Field Report, Marigolden. The Milwaukee folk-rockers Field Report, led by former Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) musical partner Chris Porterfield, builds on their buzzworthy 2012 debut that garnered praise from the likes of Emmylou Harris and Aimee Mann.


MOVIES

The Mad Men and baseball fanatics might want to spend some time with the “based on a true story” feel-good flick Million Dollar Arm. And those with a greater tolerance for Seth McFarlane’s smug mug can check out A Million Ways to Die in the West. And Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow (now rebranded as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) is the obvious popcorn-pic of this week’s releases. Here are three smaller flicks you should have on your radar:

Obvious Child is easily the most charming rom-com based around an abortion that you’ll ever see, thanks to the star-making turn by former Saturday Night Live and Parks & Recreation actress Jenny Slate as a New York standup who finds herself knocked up from a one-night stand.


To Be Takei is a documentary about everyone’s favorite social-media machine/Star Trek actor, tackling everything from his very public coming out to his efforts to, less interestingly, produce a play.


Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is the directorial debut of Mike Myers, and tracks the unlikely career of one of Hollywood’s ultimate insiders in Gordon, who befriended Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix in college, and went on to manage the likes of Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. 


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Our next Suds and Cinema is: WAYNE'S WORLD

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 9:29 AM

bohemians.jpg
Y'all better start memorizing the lyrics to "Bohemian Rhapsody," because guess what? We're showing Wayne's World for the next edition of our Suds and Cinema series.

So, on Thursday, October 23, find your tattered jeans and best black t-shirt and come to the Bing Crosby Theater with your air guitar well practiced for a screening of perhaps the best Saturday Night Live spin-off film of all time. If you're not hip to Suds and Cinema, here's how it works: we show a movie you've probably seen and probably love, and show it to you while you drink locally crafted beer.

For this installment, we're bringing in the Northwest's best lager maker, Orlison Brewing, who will be pouring a couple of their popular brews. Their crew will be on hand to let you know what's going on out at their Airway Heights production facility and probably let you have a sticker, if you're not a jerk about it.

So why Wayne's World? First off, why not? Secondly, it's an excellent encapsulation of the early 1990s, as told through the eyes of two guys who live with their parents but are outrageously popular for their public access television show. There's corporate greed (Rob Lowe!), rock and roll (Alice Cooper cameo!), a classic '90s babe who knows both martial arts and wicked bass lines (Tia Carrere!) and a number of classic lines about gun racks, puking, "schwinging," Grey Poupon and much, much more. So yeah, it wasn't a difficult decision.

We'll get beers pouring at 6:30 pm and then start the movie at 7:30. As always, it's $4 to get in and $4 pints of beer. Stay tuned for costume contest and giveaway details.

In the meantime....
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