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Cult Classic Comedy
|King of Hearts
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One of the most popular foreign films of all time, playing continuously in some theatres for over five years, King of Hearts is a "bright, lilting, whimsical, lyrical" (Cue) comedy thatcleverly satirizes the absurdity of war with a "message [that is] meaningful and entertaining" (Boxoffice). Bumbling Scottish Private Plumpick (Alan Bates) is sent to a village in the beautiful French countryside during World War I on a suicide mission to detonate explosives set bythe retreating German army. The village, soon to be blown sky-high, has been abandoned by its inhabitantsand replaced with escapees from the local insane asylum. Now, with the mentally challenged running the town, Plumpick is crowned King! But his new title brings him his first horrible decision: to carry out his deadly mission or join the ranks of the blissfully ignorant who know nothing about war. King of Hearts is subtle, visually striking and, in short, the "ultimate display of madness" (Life)!
|Revenge of the Nerds: Panty Raid Edition
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College freshmen Skolnick and Gilbert form their own fraternity for computer-whiz misfits.
|American Psycho [Blu-ray]
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Brand: Lions Gate
Patrick Bateman, a young, well to do man working on wall street at his father's company kills for no reason at all, collects body parts and displays them in his home. As his life progresses his hatred for the world becomes more and more intense. Based Bret Ellis' graphically violent novel as a 1980s satire.
The Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho, a dark, violent satire of the "me" culture of Ronald Reagan's 1980s, is certainly one of the most controversial books of the '90s, and that notoriety fueled its bestseller status. This smart, savvy adaptation by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) may be able to ride the crest of the notoriety; prior to the film's release, Harron fought a ratings battle (ironically, for depictions of sex rather than violence), but at the time the director stated, "We're rescuing [the book] from its own bad reputation." Harron and co-screenwriter Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) overcome many of the objections of Ellis's novel by keeping the most extreme violence offscreen (sometimes just barely), suggesting the reign of terror of yuppie killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) with splashes of blood and personal souvenirs. Bale is razor sharp as the blank corporate drone, a preening tiger in designer suits whose speaking voice is part salesman, part self-help guru, and completely artificial. Carrying himself with the poised confidence of a male model, he spends his days in a numbing world of status-symbol one-upmanship and soul-sapping small talk, but breaks out at night with smirking explosions of homicide, accomplished with the fastidious care of a hopeless obsessive. The film's approach to this mayhem is simultaneously shocking and discreet; even Bateman's outrageous naked charge with a chainsaw is most notable for the impossibly polished and gleaming instrument of death. Harron's film is a hilarious, cheerfully insidious hall of mirrors all pointed inward, slowly cracking as the portrait becomes increasingly grotesque and insane. --Sean Axmaker
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Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro. Filled with Terry Gilliam's trademark humor and visual inventiveness, Brazil takes place in a futuristic world where individualism is revoked by a controlling state. In spite of it all, a civil servant dreams of overcoming the bureaucracy, winning over the woman he loves and reinstating true justice. A satirical, imaginative and ambitious film. 1985/color/131 min/NR/widescreen.
If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--this is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. However, Brazil was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam sure captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.
The movie presents such an unrelentingly imaginative and savage vision of 20th-century bureaucracy that it almost became a victim of small-minded studio management itself--until Gilliam surreptitiously screened his cut for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, who named it the best movie of 1985 and virtually embarrassed Universal into releasing it. This DVD version of Brazil is the special director's cut that first appeared in Criterion's comprehensive (and expensive) six-disc laser package in 1996. Although the DVD (at a fraction of the price) doesn't include that set's many extras, it's still a bargain. --Jim Emerson
|The Cable Guy
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Jim Carrey is Chip Douglas, cable installer. Raised on television sitcoms, he wants life to look just like My Three Sons. And when he meets single guy Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick), he sees his chance for some serious male bonding. But Chip's idea of friendship - which includes physical assault, a game of 'Porno Password' and a medieval joust - may be hazardous to Steven's health. In Chip's own immortal words, "I can be your best friend...or your worst enemy." Directed by Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder, Zoolander), and co-starring Leslie Mann, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson, THE CABLE GUY 15th Anniversary Blu-Ray has never looked as good, featuring an all-new commentary with Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow, and Jim Carrey, and over 50 minutes of Never-Before-Seen Extras!
If you think Jim Carrey's comedy is an acquired taste, think of The Cable Guy as a potent bottle of bittersweet wine. The film has a lingering aftertaste, but it is just a bit too dark, a bit too extreme to invite another serving. On the other hand, you've got to give Carrey some credit for risking his $20-million paycheck (and a big chunk of box-office revenue) on this black comedy. A needy, psychologically unbalanced cable-television installer (Carrey) forces his friendship upon an unsuspecting bachelor (Matthew Broderick) who has just broken up with his fiancée. The movie gets edgier and more desperate--and in some respects funnier--as Carrey's cable guy gradually goes crazy. Director Ben Stiller manages to pack some pointed social commentary into the movie's many humorous detours. Although it was a box-office disappointment, The Cable Guy is nevertheless a daring comedy for those who have had their fill of Ace Ventura. --Jeff Shannon
|Repo Man (Collector's Edition)
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Brand: STANTON,HARRY DEAN
The explosive, action-paced cult classic returns in this all-new special edition. Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton star as "repo men" who get caught up in a series of bizarre adventures involving G-men, a nuclear scientist, UFO cultists and revolutionaries. Put your seat belt on and enjoy the wild ride in this groundbreaking, punk-rock, sci-fi black comedy with all-new bonus materials!
|Killer Klowns From Outer Space
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Brand: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENT
Teens flee from large clowns who shoot people with popcorn and spin cotton-candy webs.
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Timothy Balme, Diana Penalver. When his demanding mother becomes a blood-hungry zombie looking for victims, a devoted son tries to keep her actions a secret from the neighbors. Considered one of the most violent, gory horror films of all time! 1992/color/97 min/unrated/widescreen.
If you're not a connoisseur of graphic horror and gruesome gore, you'd better steer clear of this wicked 1992 horror-comedy from the demented mind and delirious camera of New Zealand-born writer-director Peter Jackson. However, if nonstop mayhem and extreme violence are your idea of great entertainment, you're sure to appreciate Jackson's gleefully inventive approach to a story that can judiciously be described as sick, twisted, and totally outrageous. The movie's central character is a poor schmuck named Lionel who's practically enslaved to his domineering mother. But when ol' Mum gets bitten by a rare and poisonous rat monkey from Skull Island and is turned into a flesh-eating zombie, Lionel has the unfortunate task of keeping Mama happy while fending off all the other zombies that result from her voracious feeding frenzies. If you've read this far, you'll either be crying out for censorship or eagerly awaiting your first viewing (or second, or third...) of this wildly clever and audaciously uninhibited movie. And while director Jackson would later achieve critical success with his fact-based drama Heavenly Creatures, his talent is readily evident in this earlier effort. If you find this kind of thing even remotely appealing, consider Dead Alive a must-see movie. --Jeff Shannon
|The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
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"The very oddest good movie in many a full moon," Buckaroo Banzai combines "humor, imagination, a little oriental mysticism and a passel of sharp performances [into] very chic sci-fi" (Time)! Oscar(r) nominees* Peter Weller and John Lithgow team with Emmy(r) winners Ellen Barkin and Christopher Lloyd for a fiendishly clever, action-packed adventure in an outlandishworld you'll want to visit again and again! Brilliant brain surgeon Banzai (Weller) just made scientific history. Shifting his Oscillation Overthruster into warp speed, he's the first man ever to travel to the Eighth Dimension and come back sane! But when his sworn enemy, the demented Dr. Lizardo (Lithgow), devises a plot to steal the Overthruster and bring an evil army of aliens back todestroy Earth, Buckaroo goes cranium to cranium with the madman in an extra-dimensional battle thatcould result in total annihilation of the universe! *1993: Short Film/Live Action, Partners (Weller); 1983: Supporting Actor, Terms Of Endearment (Lithgow)
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Musically comic look at \true life" in a Texas town"
Truly quirky, this mock documentary is part musical, part farce, and completely, oddly innocent. This is a one-man-band job for David Byrne (lead singer of the Talking Heads), who writes, stars, and directs, It's ostensibly about the sesquicentennial celebration of a small Texas town, but it's really about strange characters and strange attitudes. Byrne is our guide, driving us around and giving tour information about Texas in an innocuous patter, frequently running into Louis Fyne (John Goodman), a lonely man looking for love. At various times, and with little provocation, the film swoons into a Talking Heads number with preachers and bar patrons belting out tunes. If you make room for it, however, True Stories can surprise and delight with its inventiveness and its unconventional treatment of the residents. A scene in which a construction worker launches into an aria, on a makeshift stage when no one else is around, is but one example of numerous such moments in this bizarre, delightful, and benign film. Any Talking Heads fan who doesn't own it should. --Keith Simanton
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