Set in 1966, when the British government deemed rock & roll unfit for their airwaves, a boat off the coast transmits banned music from international waters in Pirate Radio. Sent to the boat by his mother to "clean up his act," Tom Sturridge has an in with Bill Nighy, his godfather and the boat's captain. He gets a crash course on rock and rebellion by the boat's crew of various on-air radio personalities, including Nick Frost and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a wild American DJ, and his first love with the captain's niece (Talulah Riley). Smooth sailing can't last forever, as the pirate broadcasters come under a fire of a minister (Kenneth Branagh) who wants to shut them down, and his subordinate (Jack Davenport) who has found an angle to shut down the pirate's broadcast forever. On DVD and Blu Ray.
The newest film by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, The Slammin Salmon is the name of the restaurant run by The Champ (Michael Clarke Duncan), who needs the restaurant to make $20,000 in one night. As the wait staff (from the Broken Lizard team) struggle to make more money than the restaurant's ever made in one night, everything goes outrageously wrong and the team has to try and keep the restaurant alive against all odds, with customers like Jim Gaffigan, Will Forte, and Lance Henriksen just trying to have a normal night out.
Tim Allen directs and stars in Crazy on the Outside as an ex-con trying to get his life together and fly straight... but every aspect of his life on the outside is completely crazy. From his sister (Sigourney Weaver) who told his family that he'd been in France for three years and her antagonistic husband (J.K. Simmons), to the discovery that his girlfriend (Julie Bowen) isn't dead (like his sister told him) but marrying a home theater salesman (Kelsey Grammer), nothing is normal. On top of that, his beautiful parole officer (Jeanne Tripplehorn) doesn't take his ambition to go straight and take over his father's painting business seriously, and neither does his former partner (Ray Liotta) who wants him to return to a life of crime.
Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is a simple minded road worker by day, but if he can't grasp complex ideas, he his devoted to the ideas of right and wrong: at night, he is Defendor (with an "-or;" he gets upset if you get that wrong). Armed his his grandfather's WWII trench club and a handful of homemade gadgets and tricks, the costumed Defendor walks the streets at night fighting the bad men until he encounters a runaway teenage prostitute (Kat Dennings) who sets him up against a real kingpin. Defendor's new partner and crusade cause trouble with Arthur's best friend (Michael Kelly) and the girl's crooked cop pimp (Elias Koteas)... but if Defendor on the street is a simple man with unshakable morals, he can be a powerful symbol in the hearts and minds of the public. With Sandra Oh.
18-year-old John Foster is trying to put his past behind him, a murderer released from a juvenile penitentiary, but the media and his arresting officer (Russell Crowe) aren't letting him forget in Tenderness (based on the book by Robert Cormier). On the road, he finds Sophie Traub hiding in his back seat, and the two bond over their time together, but the cop who put him may be right: his violent impulses never truly went away, and his happenstance passenger could be his downfall or his salvation.
A pair of zombie films are new this week--
first, the Port Gamble-set Zombies of Mass Destruction (which premiered at SIFF) is a zombie comedy with a political bent, whose heroes are second generation Iranian American (usually assumed to be Iraqi, and responsible for a terrorist biological attack) returning home after her time at Princeton, and a gay man (blamed for moral decay and biblical wrath) returning from Manhattan with his partner to come out to his mother. The zombie outbreak creates a social satire about prejudice and inflexibility that is drenched in buckets of blood.
Next, Autumn is set in a world where billions are dead from a virus, but the remaining people begin to realize they are not alone. The re-animated dead don't pose any threat at first, and the survivors just wait from them to decompose... but as time goes on, the zombies slowly get their senses back, attracted to sound and light, and the only way to survive is to quietly hide in the dark.
Our foreign language films this week include--
Three Kingdoms, set in the same conflict as Red Cliff, tells the story of Zhao Zilong (Andy Lau) as he joins the army and fights for peace and unity throughout his homeland. As Zhao Zilong rises from a common footsoldier to undefeated hero, his story is told by his "big brother" (Sammo Hung), from the early besting of General Cao (Damian Lau) to the elderly hero's final campaign against Cao Ying (Maggie Q), the general's granddaughter.
When Sylvie Testud receives a break-up letter from her husband, deployed on the French front lines during World War I, she rushes out to the front to find him... but since women aren't allowed to go out alone during wartime, she has to dress up and pass herself off as a young male soldier in La France. With Pascal Greggory and Guillaume Verdier.
The follow-up to 2003's Yes Men, The Yes Men Fix the World keeps up with the culture-jamming duo as they set up websites and attend corporate lectures when they're invited: the Yes Men pose as representatives of Dow and Halliburton and present the business community with profitable opportunities only slightly more absurd than the companies' actual policies... causing trouble for the corporations, and sometimes themselves.
The Beaches of Agnes is the autobiographical documentary of Agnes Varda, director of The Gleaners and I and Cleo from 5 to 7. The celebrated director recounts her time in film for her 80th birthday, covering her past in the French New Wave, the feminist movement, and the cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
New this week to Reckless Video's TV New Releases are BBC's dysfunctional family dramedy Shameless and the Cranford follow-up, Return to Cranford.
Layer Cake, Doom
Dead & Breakfast, Kill Bill
Happy Gilmore, An American Werewolf in Paris
Sideways, Grey's Anatomy
The Chateau, La Vie en Rose
Queen Margot, The Messenger
Vanity Fair, Being Julia
Underworld, The Girl in the Cafe
Rabbit-Proof Fence, Henry V
The Wedding Date, The Pirates of the Caribbean
Super Troopers, Beerfest
Dukes of Hazzard, Open Water
Sin City, Daredevil
I am the Cheese, The Chocolate War
The Interpreter, Daltry Calhoun
Legend of the Drunken Master, House of Flying Daggers
Zu Warriors, Kill Zone
The Enforcer, Legend of the Red Dragon