Toomb's New Releases

Toomb’s New Releases for 5/13

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Hello Oregon! How are my fellow Eugeneans doing with this morning with the news that Ashton Kutcher might be taking over for Senor Sheen on 2 1/2 Men? Sounds like something that might affect anyone who watches that show. As far as the theaters go, Hollywood is banking on The Hangover-styled Bridesmaids as their cash-cow this weekend, and it actually looks pretty damn good!

Bridesmaids is a comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Rose Byrne. This preview has been running for a few weeks now and it still makes me laugh. Kristen Wiig gets her first lead role (thank god), she was the best thing about MacGruber, and in fact might have replaced Tina Fey as my new favorite comedianne. It follows maid-of-honor-to-be Wiig as she invites a group of misfit friends along with her to her rich friend’s posh wedding. This movie looks gut-bustingly funny, go see it. Bridesmaids is rated R for some strong sexuality, and language throughout.

For those action-fans out there this week brings the dark, futuristic vampire movie Priest strarring Paul Bettany. Priest, a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic-thriller set in an alternate world ravaged by a millenia of war against CGI vampires. Priest revolves around a legendary soldier/priest from the last war, who now lives among the other humans in walled-up cities ruled by “the Church.” His niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, the Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her. Priest is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language.

Then there’s Hesher, the latest starring amazing actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman. Hesher, Gordn-Levitt’s character, plays n extreme loner who chain smokes cigarettes and almost never bathes. Hesher is almost impossible to describe, let’s just say it’s a black comedy about family problems and you should see it over anything else coming out this weekend, because it’s going to be very. very good. Hesher is rated R for disturbing violent behavior, sexual content including graphic dialogue, pervasive language, and drug content – some in the presence of a child.

At the Bijou this week is Paul Giamatti‘s new movie Win Win, about a disheartened high-school wrestling coach, from the director of The Visitor and The Station Agent, this movie looks brillaint! Also the documentary I Am.

Catch your breath while you can, next week brings On Stranger Tides(YAY!) Have a great weekend Eugene!!

Toomb’s New Releases for 5/6

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It’s time. Whether your finances are ready or not, Hollywood’s Summer Blockbuster Season has begun. It’s not really about whether you can afford the movie, but more if you can afford to get to the theater. Gas is the highest its ever been, I paid $4.09 at the Chevron in Delta Oaks today, and at this point… it costs more for a gallon of gas than it does to go to a movie (if you go to Cinemark). As a matter of fact, if you ride your bike, you can hit over 12 movies for the price of a fill up… That’s practically the entire summer movie season! By the time Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits, I’ve no doubt that I will be paying $6+ a gallon (So I’ll bike it and get popcorn).

First up us the uber-blockbuster Thor, based on the Marvel Comic, and directed by Shakespearean Officiant Kenneth Branagh (the guy who directed, adapted, and starred in the 4+ hour Hamlet).  Thor stars Captain Kirk’s dad, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Antjony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kat Dennings. The spot that’s been dedicated to the other iffy Marvel franchise Iron Man, May is now set to be owned by the God of Thunder. Honestly, this could go either way, my hope is that Branagh navigates the minefield of blockbuster action movie making better than others, but I won’t be surprised if I leave the theater with a so-so feeling. Thor is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.

Next up is Something Borrowed, a cookie-cutter Rom-Com that has “gone from theaters in a week” written all over it… Where friendships are tested, and secrets bubble to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, only to have her best friend take him before she can tell him. It’s got Goldie Hawn’s daughter and that chick from Big Love, the youngest wife, you know, the bubbly one. Totally predictable, toally hammy, and totally not my style. Something Borrowed is rated whatever… honestly… I don’t care. (PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, and some drug material).

Can you believe that’s it? WTH Eugene? Bitiful is at the Bijou, and the latest Jane Eyre is showing at the Regal Cinemas… but most importantly (now for the next generation thanks o Glee, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is at the Bijou!! (As well as, get this 1987’s The Hidden, god I love the Bijou! I’m going to start representing more for the little guys.

Toomb’s New Releases for Friday 4/29

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It’s a cold Friday morning Eugene, a week before the summer movie season begins, and the anticipation is palpable. With big names like Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Harry Potter finale (that really just scratches the surface), coming in the weeks ahead, this will be the last weekend without some sort of gigantic blockbuster release for awhile. Hollywood is even trying to jump the gun even sooner this year with our slate of offerings today.

First up is the uber-hypedFast Five, that is actually getting really good reviews. It’s (technically not) the 5th sequel in the Fast and the Furious franchise that started 10 long years ago. Starring the cast from 3 of the movies, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Jordana Brewster. Switching locales to stunningly filmed Rio, Fast 5 is directed by previous helmsan, Justin Lin, returns to what looks like a spectacularly wild ride. Fast 5 is rated PG-13 for language, violence, half-naked women, and intense situations.

Then we’ve got the very, very interesting looking Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, based on an extremely famous Italian comic. It stars Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington as supernatural private eyes, along the lines of Constantine, but funny. (Curious how much Brandon Routh and Keanu Reeves look alike). Dylan Dog seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans… and is rated PG-13 for sequences of creature violence and action, language including some sexual references, and some drug material.

Then there is the family-friendly sequel, Hoodwinked Too. I’ve never seen the original, nor even know what a Hoodwink is, but Miss Amber (my little girl) tells me that it’s all the rage. Red Riding Hood is called to examine the sudden mysterious disappearance of Hansel and Gretel in this fairy tale animated adventure. Hoodwinked Too is rated G for cuteness.

Lastly is the teen comedy (?) Prom starring a cast of unkowns, this movie follows a group of teens as they prepare for their high school prom. I don’t remember high school ever looking like this, even for the people who were paying attention and going to class. The Disney production is just the kind of spoon-fed trash I really don’t want my kids watching… let them stick to animated movies and stop trying to rule the world. Prom is rated PG.

Have a great weekend Eugene, and don’t forget Disorient: the Asian Film Festival!

 

Toomb’s New Blu Rays (and DVDs) – No Release Day Edition

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Guess what?! There’s nothing new on Blu Ray or DVD this week, go figure? Well, there is a Criterion Collection Edition Blu Ray of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, along with a few minor releases like Human Planet, a documentary about the human species.

I don’t remember the last time there weren’t any new movies out on Tuesday, and I’ve been dumbstruck with what to give you guys as a replacement. How about a look at one of today’s best options when it comes to home entertainment? (and I was a hard convert, so take it from me when I say)

Netflix rules. It’s a simple sentence, and yet it means so much. As an avid disc-man from way back, I was a tough convert to Netflix, the online/mail-order DVD/Blu Ray service. In fact, back 10 years ago when Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, flew down to Texas and bravely told John Antioco (CEO of Blockbuster, the former great video chain) that they should work together to bring movies to people over the internet… he was literally laughed out of the office.

Netflix offers an online alternative to movie rental. It combines a giant movie library, a top-notch streaming application, and a “like” algorithm that suggests movies to you based on the ones you’ve watched already. Customers can pay well under $20 a month to get not only disc-rentals sent to your mailbox, but a virtually unlimited number of streaming movies, television shows, documentaries, and more to your home computer, mobile devices, or game consoles.

As a man who spent his entire 20s renting DVDs from Blockbuster Video (I swear when I was in college my roommates and I watched almost every movie in the West 11th store!), I too was a hard-sell on internet-based disc rentals. When Blockbuster offered their paltry Blockbuster Online in 2006, it was a horrible service. It took multiple days to get a movie, you never got the movie you wanted, and half the time it was the wrong disc in the sleeve! The only good thing about Blockbuster Online was you got to trade it in at the store for another free rental. With all of the money I pumped into Blockbuster Video from the year 2000 to 2010, it’s amazing to me that Blockbuster is now on the “chopping block” after filing for bankruptcy and closing half it’s stores.

In fact it was just announced this morning that Blockbuster has won the right to sell the rest of its assets (valued at somewhere around $250 million) to Dish. Dish, owner of the 2nd largest satellite tv network) will take on costs for the leases at over 3,300 video-rental stores across the U.S. while it decides whether to keep them open. A decision that affects somewhere around 29,000 jobs.

And do you know why Blockbuster is going the way of the CD store? Netflix baby. I never would have believed it to be possible, but what’s been called the “most successful online start-up in recent history,” has taken down Goliath. It’s stories like this that give us a EDN a warm feeling inside. David and Goliath is the most appropriate analogy when dealing with anything in our modern, corporate-driven, fast-food culture. Whether you’re talking about video rentals, the music industry, or the gradual decline of cable, the “little” guy taking out the big ‘uns are what we thrive on. It is, after all, the point of this website. To bring news that matters to the public on a local level… without a million dollar budget.

When I say that I watch Netflix everyday, I’m not exaggerating. They have everything from the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, to movies you can’t find anywhere else, to some of the greatest programming on television. While this all seem like mindless promotion, the trick is, I’m not. Go find out for yourself, Netflix has changed the way I watch movies. If you don’t like it, I think you can still find a Blockbuster somewhere…

Toomb’s New Releases for Friday 4/22

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Whew, well hello Eugene! I’m recuperating from the laugh-tacular Doug Benson show last night, so I apologize for the late release… but there’s really not much going on in the theaters this Easter weekend. Hollywood is on autopilot in anticipation of Fast and the Furious Five next Friday, and the official summer movie season starts the weekend after with Thor.

There IS an amazing documentary at the Bijou this weekend called Queen of the Sun, I personally believe this is one of those “every kid should see it in school” movies. It’s very informative, thoughtful, and absolutely beautifully filmed. Highest marks for Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? See it soon!

However in the meantime, we’re stuck with African Cats, a nature documentary centered on two lion families and their effort to teach their cubs the ways of the wild. African Cats is a Disney production, so I’m sure it’s a top-notch hard-hitting documentary. Go to the Bijou and see Queen of the Sun instead. Sorry Disney. African Cats is rated G for everyone.

Next up we’ve got the very demographic-oriented Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. I’ve never seen a Tyler Perry movie, they aren’t aimed at me, however he was great in Star Trek for the few speaking lines he had. In this episode in the Madea films, she jumps into action when her niece, Shirley, receives distressing news from the doctor. Hilarity ensues. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family is rated PG-13 for drug content, language and some mature thematic material.

Lastly we have the chick-flick Water for Elephants. (I don’t want to be inundated with “That’s so not a chick flick!” Cause anything that has Katy Perry shrieking about “Fireworks” in the preview is a chick flick…) and it’s Reese Witherspoon and that Twilight kid... so you do the math. Reese is a circus girl who falls for a veterinarian student who joins the circus after his parents die. Based on a beloved novel, Water for Elephants is rated  PG-13 for (IMDB doesnt say, hmmm I’ll guess) some language, adult situations, and a scene of sensuality. ($10 says I’m right).

That’s it for this weekend folks, I’m personally going to head outdoors, and down to the Saturday Market, then some Earth Day celebrations (where I can litter freely, haha), then the big E-Day on Sunday. Make sure to stock up on Mylanta before the Easter Baskets come out!

 

Toomb’s New Blu Rays (and DVDs)

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Welcome back Eugeneans! How was everyone’s rain-soaked and yet, oddly sunny weekend? I hope as fun and movie-filled as mine! Coming up thus week we’ve got some good movies on disc to keep you and your family entertained.

First up we’ve got the quintessential British filmThe Kings Speech. Centered around the World War II-time King: George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, (played by Colin Firth) and his life-time struggle with a stammer in his speech. He takes the help of a rather unorthodox speech therapist, played sublimely by Geoffrey Rush, and over the months and years they form a close friendship. “Bertie,” as King George VI was called affectionately (and not-so) before ascending to the throne after his brothers abdication, manages to conquer his stammer and lead Britain through one of it’s darkest times in History. The Kings Speech is a beautiful film, and frame by fame, director Tom Hooper (the Damned United, HBO’s John Adams, and Longford) guides us through historical circumstances with suspense and tight storytelling. What really shines here is the performances by Firth, Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. See this movie. The Kings Speech is rated R for some language.

Next Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star in Rabbit Hole, a “dramedy” from director John Cameron Mitchell (of the fantastic Hedwig and the Angry Inch). A tale about a happy couple whose son dies accidentally, and how they manage to carry on. Rabbit Hole is a strangely comedic and touching film about loss and grief, however it doesn’t overburden the viewer with sadness. It relishes in the positive and the whole film works somehow, hanging on the performances of Kidman and Eckhart. Another must-see released this week. Rabbit Hole is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some drug use and language.

For the family viewing, Disney is opening it’s vault to release the classic, Bambi for a limited time. I don’t know if you know how Disney does this, but it’s a total scam. At any given time it is impossible to find certain Disney movies at the same time. Like for instance, they’ll release Bambi, but will quietly take Sleeping Beauty off the shelf at the same time. Why do they do this? In order to get more money out of us, the consumers. Think about how many times you’ve heard the words, “Never before released from the Disney Vault.” It’s because either A) they haven’t released whatever movie on whatever format is popular at that time (VHS, DVD, now Blu Ray) so they get to cash in on it B) Because we keep spawning new generations of Disney-philes… so when our kids who have never heard of Fox and the Hound see that advertisement they think it’s a new movie, and so on and so forth. Disney is the evil empire, and Mickey Mouse is Darth Vadar.

Anyway, Bambi is out on Blu-Ray and DVD, and I gotta tell you, this movie is horrible. Today’s kids won’t get it. Unless they’ve found a way to 3D Flower or Thumper so that they can breathe a little life into one of the stalest animated Disney movies ever. Bambi is rated G for everyone, but be warned, Bambi’s mom gets it Scorsesse-style at the end.

Last is a gem brought to us by National Geographic called The Way Back. I got the chance to preview this movie and it is very good. It stars Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and Colin Ferrell, and is directed by the Australian auteur Peter Weir (Master and Commander: Far Side of the World). It tells the true story of prisoners in a Russian Gulag in Siberia during WWII who escape from the prison only to face the harsh and deadly landscape that surrounds them for thousands of miles. The tag at the beginning state something like: “In 1942, three men walked out of the Himalayas claiming they’d escaped from a Siberian Gulag over 4000 miles away. This is their story.” What happens to these men is indescribable, and practically unbelievable. I highly recommend this movie to anyone, it is a triumphant tale of the human will to survive. The Way Back is rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language.

Have a fun-filled, action-packed week, and stay classy Eugene.

Toomb’s New Releases for Friday 4/15

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It’s that time of the week again my fellow Eugeneans, and by now you know what that means! The spring movie extravaganza continues with a star-studded, historical epic/super-sequel/animated-adventure weekend. Hollywood is pulling out all the stops it has before heavy-hitters like Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean land in a few weeks.

First up is the period piece from director Robert Redford, The Conspirator. The Conspirator is the tale of Mary Surratt, the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. It stars Robin Wright, James McAvory, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, and Kevin Kline. Mary Surratt, 42, owned a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the assassination. Against the back-drop of post-Civil War DC, new attorney Frederick Aiken, a Union war-hero, agrees to represent Surratt before a military tribunal. While the trial goes on, Aiken finds his client may in fact be innocent. She is merely being used as bait and as a hostage in order to capture her son, the only conspirator to have escaped the largest manhunt in history. The Conspirator is rated PG-13 for some violent content.

Next is the family-friendly animated adventure Rio3D. If the title isn’t enough to make you skip ahead, you’ll be interested to know the Jesse Eisenberg, who played Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, adds his voice to Blu- one of the only two remaining Blu Macaws in the world. Rio3D follows Blu as he sets off for, you guessed it, Rio, to find the other remaining macaw, who just so happens to be the bird of his dreams. Hilarity ensues. Rio3D is rated PG for mild off color humor.

Lastly is the movie that is going to have millions of girlfriends gripping their honeys’ arms blue- Scream 4. Directed by master of horror Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Redline, and the original versions of Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes), and penned by Scream writer Kevin Williamson, this slasher-homage/series re-boot is getting astoundingly good reviews (for a slasher film). The original cast, what remains, is back with a new crowd of fresh-faced victims for the latest ghostface killer. Reviews would have me believe this is the best in the series, and that it has more gore, slashes, twists, and surprises than the first 3 combined. I cannot wait to see this movie! Scream 4 is rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking.

Everyone buckle in, spring is well in gear and summer is around the bend. Are you  prepared for this summer’s blockbuster season? Are you stockpiling money away and calculating how long it will take to get to the theater on a bike (because gas will be more expensive than a movie this summer for the first time)? I’ll see you on the bike path and in the movie!