Californication

Scream Factory

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Phantom of the Paradise Winslow Leach (William Finley) is a musician and songwriter hoping to make it big, but his efforts to get his work noticed by the infamous producer and personality, Swan (Paul Williams), results in trouble. Swan hears, loves, and steals Winslow’s music leaving the artist deranged and badly burned in the process, but Winslow returns behind a mask to wreak havoc on the man’s hot new club. Toss in a thief of another kind, a dame named Phoenix (Jessica Harper) who steals Winslow’s heart, and the stage is set for tragedy. It’s Phantom of the Opera meets Faust, part comedy and part musical, and it had to have been clear from the outset that it was not going to find a home with general audiences. It also has some not so subtle critiques for both sides of the entertainment industry, from the selfish cruelties of corporate interests to talent who are accepting of it all in search of fame of fortune. The message never gets in the way of the zaniness or the musical numbers though. There are some new extras here as well as ones ported over from Arrow Video’s recent Blu, and the best supplement remains Guillermo de Toro interviewing/chatting with Williams. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interviews, making of, alternate takes, outtakes, trailer, gallery]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Killer Joe Chris (Emile Hirsch) is having a bad day, but when he decides the key to solving all of his problems is to have his mother whacked by a hit man (Matthew McConaughey) he discovers that things can always get worse in this refreshing return from William Friedkin. Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church and Juno Temple are all along for the violent and darkly comedic ride, but it’s McConaughey who shines through the grime, brutality and Southern hospitality gone bad. He excels as a cruel bastard looking for love in some very wrong places who’s unafraid to take what he wants even if that means abusing Gershon with a KFC drumstick. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Featurette, Q&A, SXSW intro, commentary, trailer]

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Culture Warrior

Last week, Thomas Catan and Amy Schatz of The Wall Street Journal published an article about the Justice Department’s antitrust investigation into whether or not cable companies are manipulating consumers’ access to streaming competitors of television content in order to reduce competition. The investigation’s central question is this: are cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner setting data caps to limit download time, speed, and amount of content in order to stave consumers off from using alternatives like Hulu and Netflix? Furthermore, the DOJ is investigating whether or not selective data limits applied to certain streaming outlets (like the fact that Comcast’s data limits can apply to streaming Hulu, but not Comcast’s own Xfinity services) violates Comcast’s legally-binding oath to not “unreasonably discriminate” against competitors. According to the WSJ, “Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday suggested he had sympathy for those who want to ‘cut the cord’ rather than paying for cable channels they don’t watch. At a Senate hearing, Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) said cable bills are ‘out of control’ and consumers want to watch TV and movies online. Mr. Holder responded, ‘I would be one of those consumers.’” What’s most important about this story for TV consumers is not so much the specific outcomes of this investigation (though that will no doubt have wide-ranging but uncertain implications), but the fact that lawmakers, regulators, and the industry will continue to be forced to recognize new distinctions being made between cable companies, networks, and individual shows as citizens increasingly […]

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Boiling Point

Depending on your position in life, you most likely fall into one of three camps regarding DVR service. If you’re a user of it, you think it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time. Way better than sliced bread. If you’re someone who has their livelihood tied to commercials, you probably hate it. After all, we use it to skip that shit. The third camp is people who don’t have DVRs and thus don’t really care. Regardless of what camp you fit into, we must all acknowledge that the DVR is here and here to stay. No take-backsies! We have to learn to live with it – well, no, I love to live with it, it frees me up and lets me watch TV on my schedule, but I can understand why some studio people don’t like it. So knowing that a DVR is running in tons of houses, I have a message to Cable Companies: get your shit synchronized!

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Channel Guide - Large

When we first see our frowzy anti-hero, he’s alone, smoking, pacing back and forth in the men’s room of an upscale New York restaurant, rehearsing…something.  “You’re amazing, a goddess, a gift from on high.” Is it a poem? A marriage proposal? Has he finally found a love so powerful and true that it’s remedied his hitherto cankered existence? No, of course not. Later, face-to-face with the delusional woman who somehow didn’t see this coming, he finishes the thought. “You deserve the white dress and the happy ending. I’m just not the guy to give it to you.”  Hank Moody is the same man he’s been since day one—insincere, kind of a jerk, closetful of black clothes. Season five of Californication picks up two years after the events of season four (hey, I guess the world doesn’t end in 2012). Karen (Natasha McElhone) is now married and apparently happy about it; Charlie (Evan Handler) and Marcy (Pamela Aldon) still aren’t together but have a two-year-old son (the kid hasn’t started talking yet which may or may not have something to do with the fact that both of his parents are apt to have sex in places where it’s quite easy to stumble upon them); Becca (Madeleine Martin) is in college, dating an arrogantly suave, younger version of her dad (who didn’t see that coming?); and Hank still hasn’t shaved.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

Ah, the Golden Globes. The redheaded stepchild of award show season – a veritable island of misfit toys in terms of pop cultural offerings. Ridiculous as they oftentimes may be, the picks of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are now among us, and up for the inevitable scrutiny of the Internet as a whole. Film nominations aside, the small screen selections for this year’s statuettes are as random as ever. With regular contenders ineligible for nomination (Mad Men), and former heavy-hitters now struggling to stay relevant (I’m looking at you, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy), the pool of nominees is a hodgepodge one – often seeming as shallow as Paris Hilton. So just which shows should take home the statues when the Golden Globes are telecast January 15th? Here’s my breakdown of the nominees – from the way-to-go to the WTF.

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This Week in DVD

Another week, another pretty solid group of DVD titles released for your viewing pleasure. Our wallets and bank accounts will be a lot happier this week too as compared to last Tuesday when the number of DVDs worth buying numbered eight. Eight! That’s more than most DVD columns feature in their entirety! But like I said, this week is filled with rentals (and one title worth buying) including Crazy Stupid Love, Cars 2, Bunraku, Trespass and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Adventures of Mark Twain (UK) “Naked people have little to no influence in this society.” So says the always wise and wonderful Mark Twain as captured in clay in this funny and whimsical claymation adventure. The film mixes bits and pieces of several of Twain’s works, short and long, into an adventure that sees Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher join Mr Samuel Clemens himself on a steam powered airship across the sky. Twain is hoping to find Halley’s Comet so he can end his life in its flames, but the children attempt to convince him that he still has much to offer mankind and that mankind has much to offer him. Fanciful visuals and eminently quotable observations from Twain’s writing make this a fun film that speaks to kids as well as adults. **NOTE – This is a region2 DVD which requires either a region-free player or the willingness to watch on your PC.**

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we have 1st Lt. Travon Boykins – massive film geek and fightin’ force for the US Army – calling in live from the (un)active war zone of Iraq. Advisin’ and assistin’, baby. Shunning our usual format, we ramble on coherently for a while, give a one-sentence review of True Grit and figure out what Californication looks like without any sex. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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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 once again sees a healthy number of releases worth buying and renting and only a few that should be avoided like a leprous Jehovah’s Witness. The much talked about but little seen Scott Pilgrim vs the World hits shelves today alongside Criterion’s release of Antichrist, Grown Ups, Ticked Off Trannies With Knives, and a few TV shows including the first season of the BBC’s excellent Sherlock.

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Showtime Networks has a big presence in San Diego this year, from gigantic banners to multiple panels to a button campaign and several buses toting fellow nerds around the city. The crux of their advertising campaign this year revolvers around the idea that Showtime’s ‘heroes’ have more fun. Specifically we’re talking about Weeds, Californication, Dexter, and Nurse Jackie, shows that prominently feature some rather messed up main characters who are dysfunctional on some level. While each of these shows was represented on a panel (Dexter was on two), most of the information that was revolved focused on Hank Moody’s furthered adventures and the future of Dexter Morgan, so that’s what we’ll be talking about here. Plus those two shows are super awesome.

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In a three-way, melee attack of awesome that will leave you wondering how we removed your heart from your chest without breaking the skin, FSR is gearing up to head to sunny San Diego in order to stay indoors all weekend. Interviewer extraordinaire Jack Giroux, Robert “Fists of” Fure and I will be sharing the experience with you from Wednesday night through a hungover Sunday morning. Pack your bags, dear reader, because you’ll be coming along for the ride. Just don’t believe Fure when he tells you he’s a commercial airline pilot.

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californication-s3

In the third episode of the third season, Hank attempts to juggle three women sexually and at least two emotionally. This will always end well.

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californication-s3

Hank Moody is back as the rock star author turned professor in Season 3 of the Showtime hit Californication.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working as the owner of a Hank Moody’s neighborhood liquor store. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. This week we have Adventureland, Californication, The Informers, and more!

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fake-books

Fans of ABC’s “Castle” and Showtime’s “Californication” are in for a treat as their previously fake books have suddenly become very real.

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Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… the UK!

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Hank completes his biography of Lew Ashby. Mia departs LA for her cross-country book tour. Sonja gives birth to a baby who is decidedly not Hank’s. Fortunately, Julian steps up to the plate.

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominees for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards today, laying out what is generally regarded as a relatively accurate precursor to the Academy Awards nominations.

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To celebrate the release of Mia’s book, Ashby hosts a soiree at the manor. At the party, Karen reveals to Hank that she hasn’t read Mia’s book.

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For the second time this season, Hank finds himself in a chair, legs open wide, and another man playing with his balls.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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