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 helping you catch up on new releases you may have missed.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Death Wish. Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
By most metrics, this Death Wish is a better movie than the first one. The acting is stronger, and it’s much more confidently, dynamically directed, Roth sweeping his camera alongside speeding cars and across the towering towers of the Windy City as though he were auditioning to make a Batman movie. There are moments when it almost works as a dopey, brutal B-movie, in the tradition of a thousand action distractions about fed-up everymen steeling their nerves and leaping into danger—a species of low-brow entertainment the original helped popularize. But whether uncritically brought over in remake translation or genuinely reaffirmed, the movie’s fucked-up politics poison the fun. By the end, which creates an unmistakably symmetrical arc for Paul, Death Wish has all but devolved into a scare-tactics advertisement for locked-and-loaded home protection. Which is to say, this is very much a movie that believes that more guns, not less, will make us all safe. With any luck, that’s a philosophy that will soon look as outdated as Bronson’s facial hair.
- The Hurricane Heist. Here’s Alfonso Duralde over at The Wrap:
Critics often lament that worthy films released early in the year are too often forgotten during awards season, so let’s be very clear up front: For your Best of the Worst of 2018 consideration, in all categories, The Hurricane Heist. A Sharknado movie minus the fish, this mess is somehow the work of director Rob Cohen, who could once upon a time muster up junky entertainments like XXX and the original The Fast and the Furious. Now he’s managed to outdo such hilarious recent efforts as Alex Cross and The Boy Next Door with a laughable caper wherein the good guys continually manage to thwart the bad guys through skillful manipulation of a Category 5 hurricane.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Thoroughbreds. Here’s what we said in our original review:
But it’s Finley who is the true revelation here, as the first time filmmaker evokes a Hitchcockian style of growing tension and eeriness. Despite Thoroughbreds mostly taking place in Lily’s home, Finley never lets his film feel stagey, instead his tracking shots and Kubrick-like focus from behind the characters make this world feel much larger than one house. Finley’s deliberate hand and assured direction in every scene is slowly-paced and elegantly crafted. Thoroughbreds‘ fantastic cast and shockingly great direction and compelling story show that Finley is as calculated and smart as his central characters, an exciting new talent that has made one of 2018’s finest debuts.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (2017 catch-up edition):
Lady Bird (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The dialogue is prickly and authentic. Lady Bird is smart, but nearly as smart as she thinks she is, so one of the film’s joys is how she fakes her way into whatever position she wants. There is an early scene where she sees Danny (Lucas Hedges) in a supermarket, and pretends to know Jim Morrison just to be cool. Later Danny and Lady Bird strike a romance, but Gerwig does not go for the easy, typical tonal see-saw of awkwardness and relief. In Lady Bird, these moments exist within seconds of each other, so Gerwig conditions her audience not to dread what comes next, and instead go along for the ride. The sub-plot with Danny culminates understated power: Lady Bird is finally confronted with real vulnerability, leading to the film’s first real hint that she might be OK, after all.
- The Florida Project (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s yours truly at the Washington City Paper:
The innocence of childhood can have a conservative streak to it. Kids are perfectly happy with their lives, no matter how bad it gets, as long they do not deviate from routine. It’s not just that children do not know better; they also lack the experience to see beyond what’s in front of them, and how some routines can be corrosive. This tension is at the center of The Florida Project, the remarkable new drama from Sean Baker. This film is a testament to the perseverance of children, and an affecting portrayal of modern poverty. Baker starts by keeping these stories separate, only to have them converge in heartbreaking ways.
- The Hero (now on Hulu). Here’s what we said in our original review:
From the moment The Hero opens, director Brett Haley is so confident in Sam Elliott’s iconic deep, rumbling voice that you hear him before you see him. As Lee Hayden, a washed-up western film star, Elliot is shilling for “Lone Star Barbeque Sauce: the perfect partner for your chicken.” The audio clip plays over a black screen before you finally see Lee in the sound booth. And Elliot’s voice really is something, which makes it even more incredible that much of the best work he does in The Hero is done silently.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.