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. This week we’re focusing on thrillers about Nazi punks (who should fuck off):
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Thor: Ragnarok. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Thor: Ragnarok attempts an admirable, casual tone for most of its run time. For a while, anyway, Waititi and his actors genuinely want their film to function as amiable shaggy dog entertainment, instead of the dramatic bombast we find in most superhero films. In its climax, of course longtime producer Kevin Feige has its way, with yet another protracted action sequence where good and evil fling magic bullets at each other (the climax takes place on a bridge, seemingly without any spatial coherence). Most MCU films end this way, to the point where I’m getting diminishing marginal returns. Surely Feige feels obligated to his fans/shareholders for a Big Battle, and yet it would be truer to the film’s tone if Waititi had the chance to blow the special effects budget on a joke. Thor: Ragnarokalready includes the biggest, most expensive Goatse reference I have ever seen. If they had continued with such playful subversion, this film could have represented a welcome change in direction, instead of a half-measure.
- Insidious: The Last Key. Here’s Emily Yoshida over at Vulture:
I regret to report that I didn’t understand most of what happens in Insidious: The Last Key. Several successful genre films in recent months have been criticized as playing fast and loose with their own fantastical in-film logic (It, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) but the fourth installment of Leigh Whannell’s ghost-and-mediums horror series wraps up its own free-association illogic with an impenetrable tangle of woo-woo spirit-world mechanics and lingo. There is a real chance that one might be too busy trying to piece it all together to notice the jump scares, the film’s prime mode of horror-stirring.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (Nazi punks fuck off edition):
- Imperium (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Kenji Fujishima over at Paste Magazine:
The most intriguing, and thus insidious, of the white supremacists Nate encounters, however, is Gerry Conway (Sam Trammell), a seemingly harmless family man who turns out to be the undercover FBI agent’s most important contact. Certainly, Gerry is the one Nate connects with the most, personality-wise: both soft-spoken, thoughtful and introverted, with a shared love of classical music to bring them together. Perhaps it’s inevitable that this quiet, intelligent fellow turns out to be hiding an even deeper revolutionary streak than the younger posers and entertainers in the movement—the only one willing to put his beliefs into action. This character thus poses Imperium’s most potent challenge to Nate’s, and the audience’s, sympathies: a character we can’t help but be drawn to even as, intellectually, we realize how dangerous he is.
- The Believer (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Roger Ebert:
Censors feel they are safe with objectionable material but must protect others who are not as smart or moral. The same impulse tempts the reviewer of The Believer. Here is a fiercely controversial film about a Jew who becomes an anti-Semite. When I saw it at Sundance 2001, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, I wrote “some feared the film could do more harm than good.” I shared those fears. The film’s hero is so articulate in his retailing of anti-Semitic beliefs that his words, I thought, might find the wrong ears. I understand the film, I was saying–but are you to be trusted with it?
- Green Room (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
This DIY approach to action and self-defense reflects the film’s attitude, which is grim and sometimes even funny. The Neo-Nazis are so dispassionate in their brutality that the band’s ability to crack a joke becomes a small, necessary form of punk rock rebellion. Saulnier’s willingness to kill his characters is jarring, and a welcome change of pace from thrillers that telegraph on-screen deaths. Unlike filmmakers who focus on the consequences of a conflict, Saulnier focuses on the process of a conflict. Even when the film ends with a surreal, bloody final stand-off, Saulnier’s visual storytelling is unique. If Hawks and Carpenter influence Green Room‘s premise, then the Coen Brothers influence his filmmaking.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.