Earlier this year, the USPS added free tracking numbers to all Priority Mail and Standard Post (formerly known as Parcel Post) packages. Recently, they also added $50 of insurance to all Priority Mail packages, making a choice of USPS even more worthwhile.
Saturdays at Jet Video, titles from our Action and Suspense sections rent for $1 each. This week's spotlight is on John Carpenter's 1976 action classic, "Assault on Precinct 13."
Before "The Thing," before "Escape from New York," and even before "Halloween," John Carpenter and his crew produced this early action/suspense movie with a difference. A police station in a desolate area of a city is on its last night before being shut down and taken out of service. That afternoon, the phones and electricity are shut off, and just a handful of staff are kept on to look after the station overnight. The isolated building then becomes the setting of a siege in which gang members, armed with silenced automatic rifles, terrorize the occupants, who are unable to reach out for help. Will they make an escape, and how many will survive?
Bottom line: Even non-action fans will appreciate the clever plot, smart characters, and humor, and the premise is an unusual one, with tons of cool 70s flavor to boot. More than anything, this (much more than on the very early "Dark Star," for instance) is where Carpenter started showing the talent for which he'd soon become famous.
Fridays at Jet, titles from our Foreign section rent for $1 each. This week's spotlight is on director Federico Fellini's 1963 film, "8 1/2."
The plot of "8 1/2" is not straightforward. The stories contained within it revolve around the dizzying experiences, memories, and dreams of a successful yet frustrated film director who is overwhelmed by his personal relationships, professional obligations, and creative impulses. While many have interpreted it as an autobiographical film, it was not necessarily so, although Fellini did have several things in common with the protagonist. Repeated viewings are recommended; the material is not difficult to access, but it's a very rich film that Fellini cited as one of his favorites of all time, and which many critics have placed near the tops of their lists as well.