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Eight spaghetti westerns, Orphan Black, and Portlandia


Movies 4 You: Spaghetti Westerns/More Spaghetti Westerns

Movies 4 You: Spaghetti Westerns/More Spaghetti Westerns (NR)

Timeless Media Group

Thanks to the success of Django Unchained, the interest in lost spaghetti westerns is at a fever pitch. Timeless Media's latest duo of quadruple features takes the full barrel, with eight lost classics. Volume 1 contains the quintessential Ringo trilogy — A Pistol for Ringo, The Return of Ringo, and Ringo: Face of Revenge — as well as my personal favorite, Shoot Gringo Shoot. Volume 2 is even better, amping up the bloody action and political subtexts with Blood for a Silver Dollar, 10,000 Dollars for a Massacre, Seven Dollars on the Red and A Bullet for a Stranger. For me, the trashier and more nonsensical the movie, the more authentic to the whole spaghetti western experience. Forget the Leones and Bavas, and delve deeper here into the real face of Italian shoot-'em-ups. — Louis Fowler

Orphan Black: Season One

Orphan Black: Season One (NR)

BBC Home Entertainment

If you wondered how Tatiana Maslany, a little-known Canadian actress, beat out Claire Danes, Keri Russell, and other formidable actresses at last month's Critics' Choice Awards, wonder no more. Cultural bellwether and fellow winner Patton Oswalt served as Maslany's loudest champion during the premiere run of BBC's mind-blowing series Orphan Black. "I quit," he tweeted. "Maslany is an actor ... I take up space in TV shows & movies." It's barely hyperbole. Maslany plays more than a handful of ethnically and morally diverse characters, sometimes many within the same scene, who all seem to be the unwitting clones of one another. Every new twist and turn is also new to us, and that requires a mighty center to anchor the show's spinning top. Whether she's playing a Berkeley intellectual, a street-smart Brit, a Ukrainian psycho or a soccer mom, Maslany's center holds. — Justin Strout

Portlandia: Season 3

Portlandia: Season 3 (NR)

Video Service Corp

The IFC alt comedy series Portlandia hits its third season, as well as all the speed bumps along the way. What started out as a pointed, often-skewering vision of far-left counterculture ramblings has digressed more into a bad SNL sketch that doesn't know how to end itself. The once-smart comedy of the first two seasons has been replaced with a reliance on easy jokes — mostly fart, dick and fat — in a way that inspires more cringing than laughing. Season 3 isn't without its charms, though: The episode in which Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, along with help from some early-'90s personalities, take back MTV from the corporate tweens is particularly inspired and clever. But many others feel rushed and filled out around the barest of bones. Portlandia remains a worthy enough series; let's just hope Fred, Carrie and Co. get their comedic footing back in Season 4. — Louis Fowler

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