Bored To Death

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Quick A motorcycle courier finds himself targeted by police after a mysterious man forces him to deliver bombs to various addresses while an ex-girlfriend unlucky enough to have strapped an explosive helmet to her head comes along for the ride. This Korean effort takes the single plot thread of Speed and combines it with a lot of goofiness. The action runs the gamut of cartoony to thrilling, but it’s never less than entertaining. There’s also a little bit of heart to add more weight to the matter, but it’s never enough to extinguish the goofy fun. I’ll be honest… this is casual entertainment and a rental at best for most folks, but those of you as partial to Korean films as I am may want to pick it up too. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Making of, trailer, featurettes]

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If you’ve never seen Jonathan Ames’s recently cancelled HBO show Bored to Death, you might want to brush up on the premium cable mystery/comedy show, for costar Ted Danson recently suggested in an interview with French journalist Pierre Lenglas (according to Lenglas’s Twitter account) that a feature-length Bored to Death movie might be in the works. To be fair, nothing official has been announced and, according to Vulture, HBO qualified Danson’s statement my stating that the creators and talent of the show are only in the early stages of conversation. But with Jason Schwartzman and Zack Galifianakis rounding out the show’s cast, a Bored to Death movie might make quite a bit of sense. Bored to Death ran for three seasons from 2009-2011, and chronicled the misadventures of Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman), a struggling writer who becomes an amateur detective in order to get over being dumped by his girlfriend Suzanne (Olivia Thirlby). His best friend Ray (Galifianakis) is a deeply insecure comic book artist who struggles to maintain power in his relationship with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns). Danson plays Ames’s boss, George Christopher, the editor of a New Yorker-style magazine and a ginormous pothead. While the show lost steam for me in its third season, Bored to Death was a clever and surprisingly warm show about the difficulties of commitment, the changes in New York City’s boroughs, the death of the printed word, and narcissism. It’s the type of show that could only have aired on HBO.

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Popular (I think) online comic website The Oatmeal recently uploaded an entry titled “I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened,” a riveting tale of online piracy. As this is the Internet, the comic has already been widely disseminated with many individuals championing it as a justification for piracy, while others have rallied against it as a perfect example of why pirates are big fat babies. For one view, you can go to what seems to be the first response from Andy Ihnatko, while Devin Faraci also weighed in at Badass Digest. Both of these gentlemen have mostly targeted the pirates themselves in terms I agree with. Let’s run down that quickly before I move on to something both of them have missed.

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Bane and The Dark Knight

What is Movie News After Dark? This evening’s column, as evident in the above image and title, will be very Batman heavy. Because it’s impossible to live and work on the internet without running into a bunch of Bat-related stuff. So we might as well just get it out of the way. We’ll also mix in some Community. And Community/Batman crossover. We begin tonight with one of two brand new photos from The Dark Knight Rises. This one features Bane, as played by Tom Hardy, staring down Batman, as played by Christian Bale. Guess what happens next…

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Culture Warrior

Hipster is a term that is difficult to define, mainly because its definition has changed so much over time. The term (arguably) first entered mass culture with the publication of Norman Mailer’s 1957 essay, “The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster,” which recounts the rise of the jazz-age hipster from the 1920s-40s and its later manifestation in Beat culture. In this controversial piece, Mailer states, “You can’t interview a hipster because his main goal is to get out of a society which, he thinks, is trying to make everyone over in its own image.” Thus from the very outset early in the twentieth century, the hipster remains elusive in terms of providing a self-definition. The hipster thus became defined instead by those observing from the outside. To self-identify as a hipster in early-mid twentieth century subcultures was to, in effect, not be a hipster at all. Thus, the very definition of a hipster, if we can even call it that, becomes a self-contradicting Catch-22. In the age of jazz and the Beats, hipsterism was a means of deliberately constructed self-identification within an authentic counterculture (though such identification remained purposefully vague to those outside that culture). 20th century subcultures and countercultures have continually defined themselves through association with a certain brand of decidedly non-mainstream music. While the term “hipster” has moved in and out of use, the notion behind it has remained through each decade with each major shift in countercultural expression, from psychadelia to punk to goth to grunge […]

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Jonathan Ames is a lot cooler than some may think. He’s a man who gets the job done, a smooth talker, and is also a ladies man. In season one of Bored to Death, Ames started out with a girlfriend played by Olivia Thirlby and ended up hooking up with a client played by Parker Posey; he’s a ladies’ man in all sense of the phrase. All women treat him kindly, including the femme fatales. He may not be the ‘ol hard-boiled detective we all know, but instead he’s the soft and cuddly kind. Jason Schwartzman is someone that’s no stranger to the awkward and sometimes not-so-smooth side of humanity in terms of past roles, but Ames is different. On the outside, you’d say he’s just that. But he’s not. As stated above, he’s probably one of the coolest and most reliant heroes currently on the small screen. If it came down to picking Jack Bauer or Jonathan Ames to solve a case, it’d be best to go with the latter. Bored to Death just started its second season and this time around it’s topping itself in nearly every category: the stakes are higher, it’s playing up its noir roots, and much, much more. Here’s what Schwartzman had to say about Bored to Death, the style of the world, and playing a modern day hero:

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees an abundance of TV shows hitting DVD in preparation for the new Fall season including Modern Family, Spartacus Blood and Sand, Community, Castle, and more.

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