Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New Acquisitions - December 2014

Lift your head up from your notebook and take a deep breath. Yes, it's finals season, but you've gotta take some time for yourself. Maybe watch a movie or a TV show? We're glad to aid and abet that sort of behavior.

As we wind our into the last week of the semester,  we have one last load of great DVDs for 2014. Our biggest and splashiest purchase is the complete series of How I Met Your Mother, complete with the alternative ending that nearly everyone agrees should have been used in the first place. But there's plenty of other notables in this batch too: Disney's Maleficent, sci-fi sleeper hit Edge of Tomorrow, FX's acclaimed Fargo television series, and indie sensation Chef.

We're also picking up more classics we've been missing, especially on the television front. We've purchased seasons of shows including Ally McBeal, Cheers, Chico and the Man, and In Living Color.

And for fans of the truly weird, we now also have The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, a bizarre sci-fi action-adventure film starring Peter Weller (best known as RoboCop) as a neurosurgeon who fights crime across the galaxy with the help of his rock-n-roll band. It's special.

Hit the jump for a full list of what we have in store...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Watch the best films of the year in one thrilling montage

Another year in film is winding down, leaving a trail of Oscar contenders and Christmas movies as it passes into the horizon. December seems like as good of a time as any to look back on some of the great films that came out this year, everything from The Lego Movie to Gone Girl.

We're going to hand the metaphorical mic over to David Ehrlich, an editor who for several years has compiled mashups of what he considers the best films over the year. His choices are always a little controversial (Godzilla makes the top 25; Birdman does not), but he certainly knows how to make a montage. Even if you don't know some of the odder films in Ehlrich's list, they're worth watching here. We guarantee you'll want to watch Why Don't You Play in Hell? after this.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Does The Wire work in HD? You be the judge

In a move even more controversial than their decision to launch a standalone streaming subscription service, HBO has decided to remaster classic television series The Wire in high-definition widescreen. The show, as directed by showrunner David Simon, was intended to be show in the 4:3 aspect ratio of standard-definition television sets. In the process of extending that image to 16:9, this remaster makes significant edits to the cinematography of the original series – and that doesn't sit well with many people.

We've previously touched on the big difference that aspect ratio can make, so this certainly isn't a minor change that's going unnoticed by filmmakers. The Wire is often considered the greatest television series of all time, and to many, this type of creative tampering borderline heresy.

Simon seems to feel ambivalent about the remastering, mentioning that some scenes work better in widescreen while others don't. That's inevitable for such a sweeping change to the original format. But we think you, the discerning film enthusiast, deserve to be the judge of that. (Hit the jump for the clips...)

Monday, December 01, 2014

See Top Five with Chris Rock... WITH Chris Rock!

You may have seen Chris Rock in the news recently from his controversial routine on Saturday Night Live or his candid interview about race in Vulture. He's in the middle of a publicity tour for Top Five, his upcoming semi-autobiographical comedy that's gotten rave reviews since it's premiere at TIFF this year, even generating some potential awards season buzz (watch for a Golden Globe nomination). The movie hits theaters in DC next week, but we've gotten our hands on pre-release passes.

The screening goes down at the Regal Gallery Place 14 on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30pm. Most excitingly, we've been told that Chris Rock himself plans to attend the screening for an introduction! This is a pretty exciting screening that you'll want to be at.

Passes can be picked up in person or are redeemable online via our partners at GoFobo. As always, remember that these screenings are intentionally overbooked and that you'll need to show up at least one or two hours in advance to ensure that you get a seat. But it'll be worth it, especially since Chris Rock will most likely be there!