Happy Endings

Welcome back to This Week In Discs… now on Mondays for your reading pleasure one day early! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Isn’t Anyone Alive? It’s afternoon on a college campus, and as the students chat about urban myths, employees go about their business and strangers pass through the area something begins to happen. They all begin to die. One by one they fall to the ground coughing and writhing in pain, but the conversations continue on around them. Director Gakuryu Ishii and screenwriter Shirô Maeda (adapting his own play) have delivered a film guaranteed to turn off 90% of viewers with its shifting tones, slow pace and lack of easy answers, but the 10% who stick with it will find a surreal gem exploring the things we share with each other and the things we keep secret. Dark, absurd humor exists alongside moments of real beauty, and the ending in particular is an affecting glimpse at true loneliness. [Extras: None]

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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. Sound of My Voice A filmmaking couple infiltrate a cult in search of the truth regarding its enigmatic leader Maggie (Brit Marling), but the longer they stay the more one of them comes to believe her claims. The situation grows more dangerous when Maggie makes a spectacular claim and asks one of them to kidnap a specific young girl. Marling co-wrote the film with director Zal Batmanglij, and they’ve created a thought provoking, suspenseful and often surprising indie that feels bigger than it is by virtue of the ideas at play. Marling also delivers a spectacularly charismatic performance that just may have viewers lining up for a sip of her Kool-Aid.

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Welcome to This Week In DVD + This Week In Blu-ray = This Week In Discs! It’s a work in progress still, but we hope you enjoy. The entertainment industry appears to be celebrating our new baby by releasing a cinemetric ton of quality Blus and DVDs. Hope you’ve been saving your pennies… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Father’s Day (Blu-ray/DVD) A young boy loses his eye to a sadistic madman after witnessing the murderous pervert rape and kill his father. Years later, Ahab is a pissed off, pistol-packing ex-con out for revenge and joined in his quest by a teenage (well, Porky’s kind of teenage anyway) street hustler and a young priest on a quest to send the demonic psychopath to the bowels of hell. In a week with The Raid, Kill List and Jaws all hitting Blu-ray why am I featuring this Troma release as my Pick of the Week? Because those titles have enough press behind them, and Father’s Day deserves some too. It’s gory as hell, foul as f*ck and funnier than any other movie featuring chainsaw-wielding strippers. If you can handle the bloodletting and copious nudity, both female and male (way, way too much male), then this is a four-disc special edition worth owning. You get the movie on Blu and DVD, a DVD of special features and a soundtrack CD. [Extras: Deleted scenes, Featurettes, Trailers, Short films by Astron-6]

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The 11 Best TV Shows of 2011

Because it’s Saturday, we’re talking television. That’s when Amber Humphrey publishes her weekly entry of Channel Guide, our twice-weekly column on all things television. But there’s something else at work this week. It might be Saturday, but it’s also the final day of the year. And what better way to send off our coverage of television in the year 2011 than with a list of the shows that we loved most dearly. In order to do so, Channel Guiders Amber Humphrey and Mikela Floyd each contributed their picks for the five best shows of the year, in no particular order. In keeping with our ’11 Best’ theme for the Year in Review, FSR Publisher and closet television fanatic (don’t tell movies, we don’t want them to be jealous) Neil Miller throws in one final pick with his own best show of the year. All powers combined, they have unleashed our list of the 11 Best TV Shows of 2011.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

Editor’s Note: We are very excited to welcome you to the relaunch of Channel Guide, our twice weekly column covering the world of television. Taking over the column are not one, but two talented ladies with a wealth of knowledge and wit. Every Wednesday will feature a new essay from Mikela Floyd, a newcomer to FSR and a voice we’re really excited to be able to share with all of you. And now, on with the show… Something’s happening on network television, and it’s conjuring some pretty serious childhood flashbacks. That’s right, TV’s got a pretty big mean streak these days, and it’s got me feeling like my weekly viewing habits are just one televised squabble over the seating arrangements at the cool kids’ table. Sure, there are some notably peppy programs filling my DVR, but for every ‘Steak Me Home Tonight’ sandwich (Happy Endings) and anorexia-stricken stewardess (Pan Am), there are innumerable instances of primetime snark that are getting meaner and meaner.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to another jammed to the gills edition of This Week In DVD! Once again there’s a lot to love hitting shelves today including new movies like Bridesmaids and Bride Flight, TV on DVD releases like Modern Family, Castle, and Happy Endings, a new Bruce Willis movie that never saw the inside of a theater, and even a few re-issues of older movies you may never have heard of before… like the one starring a young Charlie Sheen as a mass murdering punk from the Midwest. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. HitRECord Recollection Volume 1 Joseph Gordon-Levitt is well known and well liked as an actor from TV and films like Third Rock From the Sun and 500 Days of Summer, but he’s interested in more than just a life in front of the camera. HitRECord.org is his web-centered creation that sees projects small and smaller develop from the ground up as collaborative efforts with friends and strangers alike. Everything submitted is up for remix and recreation. One person’s short story can see pictures, animation, voice-overs, a score, and more added by any number of people. It’s an intriguing concept, and while some of the end results have premiered at Sundance and SXSW, this collection is the first retail release. The book itself is very McSweeney’s-ish, which is awesome, and includes a wraparound half-sleeve, creative text and artwork, a CD, and a DVD of short films, videos, and more. […]

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Like NBC & FOX, ABC cleaned house last week by canceling pretty much every under-performing show that was on their schedule. But today they have released the schedule that will be filling all the gaps. Unlike NBC & FOX there is nothing really eye popping or exciting. However, there were some oddities: – The new Tim Allen series Last Man Standing will be leading off Tuesday nights at 8pm – The Middle is being pushed to Wednesday lead off at 8pm – Charlie’s Angels will lead off Thursday nights at 8pm Basically the oddities are that ABC is over-selling their shows. Need I remind everyone about the scheduling disaster that was FlashForward? Fine show, but it was never meant to lead off the night in its first season. And the general rule is you never put a new show as your lead off (even if it is produced by Steven Spielberg, FOX). But why listen to me when you can look at ABC’s schedule and the clips for yourself:

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Continuing with our on-going coverage of all things TV for the next few days, NBC has made yet another pick up announcement for four more series orders. The four pilots that have been picked up to series are “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, starring Laura Prepon, Free Agents, starring Hank Azaria, Bent, starring Amanda Peet, and BFF (formerly Best Friends Forever)” according to TV By The Numbers. The astute reader will notice that all of these series are comedies. Could NBC be planning another day worth of prime time comedy in addition to their already stacked Thursday night comedy block? It’s looking very likely. As for the cancellations? The peacock has decided to finally pull the plug on the god awful demon spawn that is The Event. The show has been an absolute mess since day one with a forcefully, and annoyingly convoluted plot. Let this failed show be a sign to all other networks, just because one sci-fi show is successful (LOST), doesn’t mean all of them will be. Of course, that’s not all that got cut.

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bp-happyendings2

Despite being a sourpuss and all around curmudgeon, Robert Fure thinks Happy Endings aren’t just for Thai massages.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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