Thursday, October 28, 2010


There's so much going on in town this weekend... including:

The final weekend of the 25th annual Vermont International Film Festival. Lots of great films and events still to catch! Report back either here or on our Facebook page to let us know what you saw and what you thought...

The Rocky Horror Puppet Show has three more days (& five more performances) left. Read the glowing 7 Days review here. And be sure to save your ticket stubs - they'll get you a free rental from our Horror, Musicals, Sci-Fi, or Cheese & Sleaze sections!

The Shape of Things
, Neil LaBute's acerbic drama, opens this weekend and runs through the next, presented by Champlain College Theater at FlynnSpace.

And on Friday night, prolific Burlington-based playwright Stephen Goldberg's work is showcased in the city's newest venue, The Off Center for the Dramatic Arts, located at 294 N. Winooski St. The event is billed as Goldberg: Scenes, Monologues, and Other Disturbances.

And as if all that's not enough to keep everyone busy, there are also a ton of great new releases on DVD to check out...
New to Our Shelves This Week:

The Girl Who Played With Fire
Catch the second installment of this worldwide phenomenon before the third and final film hits theaters next week.

Winter's Bone
A neo-realistic, Appalachia-set thriller with a forebodingly authentic sense of place and great, understated performances. A festival favorite.

You Don't Know Jack
Not a biopic of Jack Kevorkian, but rather a dramatization of the issue of self-determination. Barry Levinson directs; Al Pacino, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, & Brenda Vaccaro star.

Sex and the City 2

Everyone Else
A young couple's relationship receives close scrutiny in this Swedish character study.

Wild Grass
Octogenarian filmmaker Alain Resnais shows no signs of slowing down...

Passenger Side
Road trip, indie style. Starring Adam Scott.

Two kids spend Christmas night on the streets of Dublin.

Searchers 2.0
The latest from Alex Cox sounds intriguingly odd.

Nice Guy Johnny
The newest movie by Edward Burns.

Clapham Junction
A group of gay men decide to end the bullying and harassment they face in this British film.

The Chaser
My favorite DVD cover of the week.

Eleventh Hour
Patrick Stewart plays a scientist in this British mystery mini-series.

Venture Bros. - Season 4.1

In Treatment
- Season 2
New city. New patients.

The Twilight Zone (original) - Season 1
What's your favorite episode of this classic series?

The Royle Family - Season 1

Lady in White
An offbeat horror-esque tale from the 80's.

Paths of Glory (Criterion)
Kubrick's great WWI picture gets the Criterion treatment.

House (Hausu, 1977) (Criterion)
A fascinating curio - pure lunatic cinema! Part comedy, part fantasy, part horror, and all nutzoid.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In honor of the season of horror, we throw the spotlight on some flicks that combine wicked senses of humor with healthy doses of genuine gore and thrills...

Shaun of the Dead
Edgar Wright's brilliant rom-zom-com is perhaps the pinnacle of this particular sub-genre. Loving homage, sharp parody, and true horror offering, this one will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure.

Evil Dead Trilogy
Sam Raimi's much-loved cult trilogy gets progressively wackier and more satirical as it goes along, but has an abundance of great gags and gross-outs all through.


It remained under the radar when first released, but this clever, OTT throwback deserves better. Knowing performances (by Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, and others) are matched by great effects in this funny/gross alien/mutant tale.

Another often-overlooked cult gem, this Bob Balaban directed oddity is rich in disturbing atmosphere.

Dead Alive
Once hailed as "the goriest films of all time," Peter Jackson's early work may not still hold that title -- but it can't be far behind! Featuring that wonderfully quirky kiwi humor and gallons of gore, this is the flick that put Jackson on the map. (Also worth checking out - for the comic/horror fans - are Jackson's Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles.)

I'm pretty sure that James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein belongs on this list as well, but (shame on me!) I haven't seen it yet... something I need to remedy soon.

Other honorable mentions:

Zombieland, Black Sheep, Gremlins, Severance, Drag Me to Hell, Tremors, Teeth, Cemetery Man, and An American Werewolf in London... So tell me: what movies have I overlooked?

The Vermont Film Fest starts this week!
Be sure to check out all the great offerings - both films and events - happening as part of the 25th annual Vermont International Film Festival.

Theater Happenings:

The Rocky Horror Puppet Show
Be sure to save your ticket stubs for this one! Redeem them for a free rental from our Horror, Musical, Sci-Fi, or Cheese & Sleeze sections!!

The Glass Menagerie
This is the last weekend of VSC's production of 'The Glass Menagerie' - it's a strong production of a fine play that features great design and excellent performances. Don't miss it!

The Shape of Things
Champlain College Theater presents Neil LaBute's provocative play at the FlynnSpace, Oct. 28-30 & Nov. 3-6.

Peter Pan
Lyric Theater is gearing up to present this family classic next month. To help get you in the mood, we just added the DVD of the 2000 version starring Cathy Rigby to our shelves!

New to Our Shelves This Week:

Please Give
Nicole Holofcener's smartly written comic drama features complex, nuanced characters well played by a great cast that includes Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, and Rebecca Hall.


Adrian Brody continues his bid for action movie stardom in this franchise re-boot.

Horror maestro Dario Argento's latest, starring (ahem) Adrian Brody.

Theater of War
Excellent documentary on the staging of Mother Courage by The Public Theatre, featuring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Tony Kushner. Offers an insightful look at the vitality of theater, the processes involved in crafting a poduction, and the intersection of art and politics.

The Six Wives of Henry Lefay

Holy Rollers

Assault Girls
A live-action sci-fi adventure from the director of Ghost in the Shell.

Alejandro Amenabar (director of Open Your Eyes, Thesis, & The Sea Inside) helms this historical epic set in ancient Egypt and starring Rachel Weisz as Hypatia of Alexandria.

Smash His Camera
Leon Gast's doc about Ron Galella, one of the most notorious paparazzos to ever (dis)grace the "profession."

Kenneth Branagh returns in a new series of mysteries based on the popular Swedish novels.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exciting news on the local film front:

The Vermont International Film Festival has just announced the line-up for this year's fest - the 25th anniversary celebration! Starting next Friday and running through the end of the month, this year offers a wide selection of intriguing films and enticing events, including seminars, panels, and special appearances.

Mark your calendars now!

In the news this week:

As a collective sigh of relief is shared for the rescued Chilean miners, we thought it might be an interesting time to turn our attention towards some of the films that have focused on the life and plights of miners over time:

Ace in the Hole
Billy Wilder's acerbic tale of an over-eager journalist who lands the "story of a lifetime" when he covers the predicament of a trapped miner. Ethics don't make much of a stand against the promise of a Pulitzer.

John Sayles dramatization of a mining community organizing against the brutality of an oppressive company features an excellent ensemble of actors.

North Country
Charlize Theron anchors this tale of the first successful sexual harassment lawsuit. (Richard Jenkins gives a typically solid supporting performance as her father.)

The Devil's Miner
Award-winning documentary following a 14 year old who works in a Bolivian silver mine.

Salt of the Earth

Based on a strike against a zinc mine in New Mexico, this political film was blacklisted shortly after its release. (The only film to ever receive such a dubious distinction.)

Harlan County, U.S.A.

Barbara Kopple's fearless documentary about a violent miners' strike in Kentucky. Made into a feature film, Harlan County War, starring Holly Hunter in 2000.

How Green Was My Valley
The Best Picture winner of 1941 offers a rather sanitized view of pre-union mining lives at the turn of the century.

It's also been an interesting week regarding the U.S. military's notorious policy towards gay service members. (This New York Times article explains some of the unexpected turns the most recent suit against the policy have taken.) We offer some suggestions for films addressing the subject:

Serving in Silence

Coming Out Under Fire

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Dog Tags

Gay Republicans

(One of the most unexpected aspects of this week's story was that the lawsuit in question was originally filed by the so-called Log Cabin Republicans - the openly gay chapter of the GOP.)

And speaking of civil rights issues, we also have a movie recommendation for New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino: he might find Kirby Dick's most recent documentary Outrage enlightening.

New to our shelves this week:

I Am Love
Tilda Swinton is fantastic in this incredibly sensuous Italian drama. Also features gorgeous cinematography by Yorick Le Saux and an amazing score by John Adams.

Leaves of Grass
Tim Blake Nelson wrote and directed this high times comedy starring Edward Norton and Edward Norton.

Mid-August Lunch
The popular Italian foodie comedy makes its DVD debut.

Part genetic horror tale, part dysfunctional family story.

Jonah Hex


The Lost Boys: The Thirst

Manson: My Name Is Evil

Arn: The Knight Templar

Dumping Lisa
Shot in Burlington, VT!

Oliver Twist (2007)
We now have eight different adaptations of Dickens' classic! (Plus at least three movies inspired by the tale.) Perfect for brushing up on the story before Vermont Stage Company's upcoming production.

White On Rice

I Am Comic


The Age of Stupid

Baseball: The Tenth Inning
Ken Burns' two-part follow-up to his Emmy Award-winning series.

The Tudors - 4th Season

Dollhouse - 2nd Season

The League - 1st Season

Being Human - 2nd Season

Wives & Daughters (1999)

The Magician (1958)
Criterion continues to do right by Ingmar Bergman.

Murder in Mississippi

The Vikings

Coming out on Friday:

How to Train Your Dragon

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's been a lot of discussion recently surrounding the tragic spate of teen suicides in the past few weeks. Because we believe the subject is so important, we compiled a list of documentaries and films that address some of the issues raised by these unfortunate events.

Out in the Silence
Perhaps the film that most directly addresses these issues, this recent documentary follows the struggles of a gay teenager and his mother as they enlist a sympathetic lawyer to help them combat the pervasive bullying and harassment (not to mention "official" indifference of the school administration and others) which permeates their small town.

The Laramie Project
Based on the tragic death of Matthew Shepherd, this was originally a theater production developed by a group of artists and journalists who traveled to Laramie after the murder to interview the townspeople and schoolmates.

The Question of Equality
A four-part documentary series from the mid-90's that raises questions of civil rights, many of which still have not been adequately addressed.

For the Bible Tells Me So

Examines the ways in which religion can complicate the issues of coming out and finding acceptance.

Beyond Hatred
After an openly gay man is murdered by skinheads, his parents try to understand the social and psychological roots of hate crimes.

Larry Clark's film shows the dark side of repression and misplaced aggression.

Here are a number of films that deal with the processes and difficulties of coming to terms with one's sexual orientation at a young age and which also present positive perspectives:

...But I'm a Cheerleader

The Edge of Seventeen

Beautiful Thing

Get Real


Show Me Love

The Mudge Boy


The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love

The Truth About Jane

Ma Vie en Rose


If there are other films or documentaries you think should also be mentioned - or if you have other points to raise, feel free to add your thoughts in a comment below.

Local theater happenings:
Congratulations to our customers, Gypsy & Rosy, who each won a pair of tickets to the upcoming production of Death of a Salesman at the Flynn Theater, starring Christopher Lloyd!
The show is Saturday, October 9th. Tickets are still available, but selling fast. Get yours soon!
And for those who can't make it, check out one of the adaptations we have: Volker Schlondorff's 1985 version starring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich & a 1966 version starring Lee J. Cobb and George Segal.

Speaking of classic American theater, The Vermont Stage Company's production of The Glass Menagerie opens this Wednesday (10/6) and runs through the 24th.
We also have two adaptations of that one: the Paul Newman directed 1987 version starring Joanne Woodward and (again) John Malkvoich, as well as a 1973 version starring Katharine Hepburn and Sam Waterston.

Steel Magnolias, a perennial hit, is also being staged locally, mounted by the new company, Girls Night Out Productions, and featuring a cast of local favorites.

Oh, and speaking of really classic theater, have you heard of the upcoming production of The Rocky Horror (Puppet) Show? It promises to be a pretty fun - and saucy! - time. (Photo by Brent Harrewyn)...

Tickets are on sale now - be sure to save your ticket stubs to redeem for a free rental from our Horror, Sci-Fi, Musicals, or Cheese & Sleaze sections!

New to our shelves this week:
The Karate Kid (2010)
An update of the 80's favorite starring Jaden Pinkett-Smith and Jackie Chan.

Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
'Tis the Season!

The Secret of Kells
An imaginative, endearing telling of the ancient Irish tale that wound up as a surprise contender for last year's Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

The Oxford Murders

John Hurt & Elijah Wood star in this thriller about math and murder.

The Human Centipede

The gross-out horror that's gotten everyone talking... do you dare?

30 Days of Night: Dark Days

The Last Rites of Ransom Pride

Fade to Black

Mystery Team

Penguins of Madagascar: I Was a Penguin Zombie

Bones - 5th Season

Caprica - Season 1.0

Ugly Americans - 1st Season

Sanctuary - 1st Season

New Arrivals:

Little Monsters


Hand in Hand

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