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 scope out some creepy allegorical films.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Sequels rarely surpass or equal their originals, especially in the Jurassic world. There’s a reason why The Lost World and Jurassic Park III aren’t treated as canon within the world of the reboot. The fun of Jurassic World was similar fun to the original Jurassic Park itself: audiences get to see what an actual dinosaur theme park would look like. The original movie only showed a prototype, but the reboot showed the park in all its populist, commercialized glory and then had the joy of seeing it get destroyed. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom not only tries to add in big details as canon that never existed in the original, it also feels a lot less ambitious in the process.
- Billionaire Boy’s Club. Here’s John DeFore over at The Hollywood Report:
None of the above should be taken as a suggestion that Billionaire Boys Club is the kind of car wreck that must be witnessed. Rather, it’s a derivative bore, all popped collars, douchey bros and hand-me-down psychology, that gets its characters up to their necks in borrowed money just long enough to have it really hurt when the accounts run dry. The killings that follow have little of the clammy-palms panic required of true-crime thrillers — despite Elgort’s credible performance — and the script leaves itself plenty of cheap back doors against the possibility that its version of events is totally wrong. “Here’s the dirty little secret about being rich,” the movie begins — and then it proceeds to tell us nothing we haven’t all known about money for a very long time.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (creepy allegory edition):
- mother! (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Without spoiling the surprises that Aronofsky has literally around every corner, he takes a darkly comedic look at society that would make Luis Buñuel proud, while harboring a deep love for Roman Polanski and Lars von Trier. Mother! even comes close as humanly possible to a major studio’s version of Antichrist and shares many of the same ideas – which mother! has plenty. Mother! evokes The Bible, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in almost equal measures. Mother! should be a wild, unintelligible mess, but instead becomes one of the most engrossing metaphors for love, loss, and life in recent memory.
- The Witch (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Eggers describes The Witch as “a New England folk tale.” The suggestion of classic storytelling is important, since there is an allegorical element that’s more universal than modern. William has a moment of contrition, yet is too late: his patriarchal authority is more to blame for what happens than the creatures that lurk in the darkness. Still, it is the sublimely creepy ending where Eggers finally articulates the themes he’s been exploring all along. He is not critical of what happens, and instead I think he sees it as a consequence of inflexible piety. We no longer worry for the characters, because in a deliciously macabre sense, they are better off than when they started.
- The Childhood of a Leader (now on Netflix). Here’s Godfrey Chesire over at RogerEbert.com:
The script that Corbet wrote with Mona Fastvold is reportedly based on a 1939 piece of the same title by Jean-Paul Sartre, and its central idea has been understood as positing a certain psychological background for fascist leaders. But if anyone looks to Corbet’s film for a rigorous working-out of that notion, they’re bound to emerge disappointed. More than anything, the movie plays as a personal, poetic look back at a century where history, cinema, psychology and politics intersected in ways that we are still trying to parse. That it has the courage of cryptic-ness, and leaves sympathetic viewers intrigued long after its final images have faded, is enough to mark The Childhood of a Leader as an uncommonly promising debut.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.