Since we know how important at-home-entertainment is for all of us – every week we do a little “what’s getting released on DVD/on demand/Netflix this week” round up for you, with nice little excerpts of our past reviews and more. You’ll love it. Trust us. Now all you need is someone to watch these movies with:
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Frankenstein’s Army. Here’s what we wrote in our original review from the Tribeca Film Festival:
The creatures are wholly convincing. A memorable one has a swastika emblazoned on its forehead, and a giant drill bit for a mouth. Their killing methods are gleefully disgusting: one soldier has his head squeezed until his brain literally pops out of his head. It’s gross and fun, yet Frankenstein’s Army falters with its flat characters and disorienting visual style. The actors accents are inconsistent, and the camerawork is deliberately sloppy so that when the mayhem begins, we cannot fully comprehend their terror. Richard Raaphorst has a perfect premise – demented Nazi monsters are irresistible to horror fans – yet his execution cannot match his imagination. By the time Dr. Frankenstein reveals his true intentions to his final victim, there’s no serious engagement with this kind of material, so this horror film amounts to little more than a highly specific, bloody playground.
- Star Trek Into Darkness. Here’s what we said in our original review:
In a way, Into Darkness suffers from the same self-inflicted wound as Skyfall. Like the last Bond outing, this film can’t decide if it wants to be a giddy homage to its predecessors or a once-in-a-franchise existential crisis for its heroes. Skyfall, however, was well enough structured and executed that these two contradictory impulses more or less hung together. Into Darkness isn’t nearly as well designed, and the self-referential conceptual gymnastics of the third act are the only thing that saves it from descending into tedium.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Love Is All You Need: Here’s what we said in our original review:
The cast is both good looking and real enough (yay Europe! since you know in Hollywood Ida would have been played by someone who has lost all control over their eyebrow movements due to Botox and her daughter by someone less spirited but with a decidedly more perfect nose). Despite the switching between Danish and English, the dialogue never seems too stilted or unnatural. Brosnan is like a fine whiskey (aged to perfection) to Dyrholm’s almost-quality-vintage wine, paired perfectly during different courses of the movie meal. And, while their socio-economic-education-lifestyle differences are brought up by both her and others in moments of (expected? maybe unnecessary?) insecurity, in the end, it takes a good, confident man to know what he wants when he sees it and not to question it. After all, as not just these two but many others in the film will find out, it is not about WHO you are SUPPOSED TO be with, it is about WHO you NEED TO be with.
INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Lore. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Set in the immediate aftermath of Hitler’s suicide, Lore looks downright apocalyptic. Sure, the Black Forest’s lakes and trees are idyllic in a familiar way, yet the young Germans in this film are desperate, hardened. They debase themselves in order to survive, and their Nazi indoctrination complicates what they’re feeling. Aside from gnawing hunger, they are also capable of anger, self-doubt, and denial. This kind of material runs the risk of getting too dark, yet under the sure hand of director Cate Shortland, there is a complex redemptive story underneath the dirty muck.
- Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Here’s Peter Bradshaw over at The Guardian:
New York’s state governor Eliot Spitzer was the campaigning prosecutor who got tough with Wall Street fat cats. He was sunk in 2008 when found to be “Client 9″ in an action brought against a prostitution ring. Alex Gibney makes a convincing case that this action was a conspiracy forged by politicians, moneymen and spin doctors; it never led to a prosecution but had depositions packed with lurid, legally irrelevant details designed purely to trigger a media furore. Yet the married Spitzer himself is no angel. It wasn’t simply his sexual transgressions which brought him low, but his ferocious temper, his arrogance and a tendency to believe his own publicity as the superheroic “lawman” who didn’t need to be nice to anyone. Scary, fascinating stuff.
- Our Idiot Brother. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The movie walks the thin line between a comedy of manners (during the more gentle family gatherings) and straight-up farce (pretty much whenever anyone leaves the safety of their home to eat, drink, attend cultish self-help sessions etc). While it is a slippery slope, the Peretz team behind the movie is obviously on home turf and they never lose their footing. Sure, this is slight, non-Academy Award winning business we’re talking about here, but that is not to say it is not tricky to execute (just think of all those TALKY, tedious “indie” comedies you had to sit through), and for that the Peretz family should be commended.