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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 movie hunks, and the young indie actors you should know more about today.

OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:

  • Mom and Dad. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Brian Taylor is one half of Neveldine/Taylor, two vulgar auteurs who got some notoriety for Crank and Crank: High Voltage. Those films starred Jason Statham as Chev Chelios, a hitman who needed to maintain high adrenaline levels in order to survive. The Crank films were hyper to an obscene degree, reveling in debauched, sex-crazed humor that would please your average college sophomore. Once you got past the sex and violence, there was an artistry there, too: the action sequences were imaginative, and the camera technique was uniquely frenzied. Mom and Dad is Brian Taylor’s first film in six years, and his first without Mark Neveldine. Instead of the mid-tier of his previous work, Taylor works within more modest means. Aside from the meager stakes and set-pieces, all the hallmarks of his work are still there: this is a high concept thriller, with streaks of black humor, and an uncompromising celebration of violence. His concept even is intriguing, particularly since many of Crank’s original fans might just be starting families of their own. Few things are quite as subversive as a family in the throes of violence, so Mom and Dad embraces the concept like hands around the jugular.

OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:

  • The Florida Project. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    In discussions about books, we often spend some time talking about point of view. In a book, point of view is usually pretty easily identifiable, and whether or not you study it – or even notice it – it has an impact on a story: first person perspective is very different from third person omniscient. We don’t think as much about the impact of point of view on movies, but films like The Florida Project demonstrate why we should. Broadly, The Florida Project is an observation of working poverty just outside “the happiest place on Earth” – Disney World. But what resonates about the story is that it’s told primarily through the view of Moonee, a six-year-old who is both weary and innocent enough to thrill in hearing the choppy sound of her own voice through an electric fan.

INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (indie darlings, present and future edition):

  • Logan Lucky (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    After several long years, director Steven Soderbergh is finally back from his filmmaking hiatus. Wait, that’s not quite right: since Side Effects, he has also directed two seasons of the Cinemax series The Knick, in addition to the HBO original film Behind the Candelabra(he also served as the cinematographer on Magic Mike 2). Either way, Logan Luckyrepresents a return to form: this is Soderbergh’s first heist film since Ocean’s 13, with the same sense of humor and understated intelligence. This time, however, the characters could not be more different. Instead of smooth-talking city slickers in tailored suits, our West Virginia heroes are proud country boys/girls. Soderbergh has no problem with this shift – Logan Lucky includes an effortless populist streak – although the shaggy dog conclusion nearly undermines the whole thing.

  • Beach Rats (now on Hulu). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    The worlds of Beach Rats and Good Time are not that far apart. Both are set in the not-so-glamorous parts of New York City, where hapless young people look for the next thrill or fix. The film making style is similar, too, with oodles of unflattering close-ups and medium shots. Whereas Good Time is a grim, nihilistic slog, Beach Rats has more humanity. Director Eliza Hittman steels her camera on a young gay man, torn by an identity crisis, as he negotiates two scenes that couldn’t be more apart: the carefree world of youthful summer, and the intensely private, intimate world of online cruising. Torn between two sensibilities, Hittman pushes her hero until his inner turmoil creates outward suspense.

  • Little Men (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Ira Sachs understands that new friendships develop quietly. They do not need drunken confessions, or major tests of loyalty. Instead, friendships come from a silent sense of comfort, and repetition. Like others my age, many of my oldest friendships have their basis in countless bike rides and games of Nintendo. Sachs’ latest film Little Men delves into that fragile bond, and how it can be ephemeral. It is also more ambitious that, using its young heroes to uncover the kind of urban story that is heartrendingly common. Gentrification is a thorny topic, particularly for a fictional film, and yet Sachs weaves the political and personal so that every character somewhat sympathetic, and kind of a jerk, too.

That’s it! Get streaming, kids.

 

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