Archive for the ‘Video/DVD’ Category

You Don’t Even Need to Bring a Gift!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

wedding-vid.jpg
The stage show The Wedding Singer, based on the 1998 Adam Sandler flick, is running now through Aug. 31 at Harrah’s Resort. AC Weekly publisher Lew Steiner caught this video from the show, which we’ve been told is very good, last night. Enjoy the sneak peek and check out more videos on our ever-expanding video page (scroll down), including Kiss Army at last weekend’s Fakefest at Trump Marina, Kalin & Jinger’s Real Magic show, currently running at the Marina, and the ACCVA’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Walking Tour.

Sleepers on DVD

Friday, July 27th, 2007

AuroraWEB.jpgAs August approaches and this summer of big scale bombast movies begins to dial down the hype machine, the desire to see smaller scale movies about real people begins to dominate my thoughts. It’s why I so look forward to my annual trek to the Toronto Film Festival in September. It is also why those occasional character driven movies like the fabulous Waitress and the very funny Knocked Up are so appreciated as a summer change of pace.
As a film critic, I like to think that I don’t let too many sleeper gems, small scale films that offer the simple pleasures of real characters and emotions, slip by unnoticed. However, if I have been guilty of the sin of omission, or of living in a town that isn’t exactly a hotbed of alternative cinema, Netflix bails me out.
I’ve found several gems in my recent Netflix envelopes including Aurora Borealis, The Dead Girl and Black Snake Moan. Sometimes I’ll get the notice that a film is coming, a selection I made months ago, and I’ll wonder, what movie is that?

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Netflix vs. Blockbuster

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Netflixenvelope.jpgFour years ago, I signed up for a free tryout of a new DVD-by-mail service called Netflix. You went on-line to set up your list of movies, and the first three available were sent to your home. You watched them at your leisure, with no late fees. When you sent back a movie in a pre-paid envelope, the next movie on your list was sent to you. Despite the fact that the local Blockbuster had tons of movie titles available, I found myself relying on Netflix for all my video needs. Why? Well, the no late fee aspect was attractive, and the $20 a month fee was reasonable. I usually averaged 12 to 15 movies a month. Even at the then $3-a-title rental price at the Blockbuster, that meant I was getting $39 to $45 worth of movies for the monthly fee. (These days the fee is $18 and movies at the local video store are $4.50 a title so the savings are even greater.)

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AC Weekly On Film

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

DuaneH.jpgDuane Hopwood, an engaging low-key look at a man whose life is spinning out of control due to his alcoholism, recently came out on video. Starring David Swimmer and written and directed by Matt Mulhern (who grew up in Longport and co-starred in the TV series Major Dad), the film is set in Atlantic City and was filmed there in Feb., 2004. If you rent the DVD (Roger Ebert put it in his top 10 for 2005), look closely at the coffee table during a scene when Duane’s friend Gina (Susan Lynch) drops by Duane’s home in the rain. Sitting on the table is a copy of Atlantic City Weekly (the Feb. 5, 2004 issue to be exact), featuring a rodeo rider on the cover.
Rent the movie and also read my interview with Swimmer from the Nov. 17, 2005 issue about this underrated little gem.

Movies with AC Roots

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I received a request for some info on movies made in Atlantic City. Atlantic City, when it was known as the World’s Playground in the 1920s through 1960s, was referenced in numerous movies, including Citizen Kane.
However, when it comes to movies that were actually filmed here, the two biggest were Louis Malle’s magnificent Atlantic City (1981) and Bob Rafelson’s The King of Marvin Gardens (1972). Both looked at the city when it was on the ropes. In particular, The King of Marvin Gardens uses the town’s seedy and dying look to establish the uncomfortable relationship between two brothers (played by Bruce Dern and Jack Nicholson). The movie was filmed in town in 1971. During a break from my first semester at college, when Stockton made its debut at the Mayflower Hotel on the AC boardwalk, I watched Dern, Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn film take after take of Dern and Burstyn in a rolling chair meeting up with Nicholson.
Malle’s Atlantic City uses Atlantic City as the backdrop to show the transformation of the characters, through the transformation of the city. Set when casinos first arrived, Susan Sarandon is the ambitious young woman who wants to become a dealer. Burt Lancaster is an old low-level gangster who remembers when Atlantic City was noted for its illegal gambling joints. Kate Reid and Robert Joy co-starred. Joy, by the way, can currently be seen as the coroner on CSI: New York.
In more recent times, Atlantic City has been briefly used as the backdrop in the movies The Color of Money, Ocean’s Eleven and Rounders.
DuaneHopwood.jpgHowever, there is a little movie you might want to check out on DVD. Duane Hopwood (2005), stars David Schwimmer as a drunk trying to get his life back together. It was filmed in Atlantic City and Longport in 2004, and if you look closely, you will see a scene that features a copy of Atlantic City Weekly on a coffee table. I interviewed Schwimmer, an interview you can read by accessing the archives link for Nov. 17, 2005 on the www.acweekly.com web site.
Later