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 cautionary tales about the internet.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Lizzie. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Before most audiences could see this film, Sevigny distanced herself from the final product. She is unhappy with what Macneill brought, adding “I wanted it to be this rousing, smash-the-patriarchy piece.” That is not quite Lizzie: it is too brooding and restrained for that. In terms of performances, anyway, there is plenty to admire. Sevigny was practically born for this role, while Stewart is achingly perfect as a young woman whose small facial tics betray genuine emotion. Still, the film’s staid approach may lead you to wonder what Sofia Coppola or even Ana Lily Amirpour could have done with the same material. This vision of Lizzie Borden is ultimately too timid and dispassionate to be transgressive.
- Peppermint. Here’s what we said in our original review:
On Alias, Jennifer Garner became a genuine star in a show where she sought revenge against a group who killed her fiancé. With the help of J.J. Abrams, Garner was the rare female badass action hero in which the audience had actual stakes in her mission. Almost twenty years later, Garner has been married and become a mother, and her latest action character in Peppermint has grown in much the same way. Garner has proven that she can pull off emotional resonance through a badass figure, but unfortunately Garner can’t save what it easily one of the worst films of 2018.
- The Nun. Here’s what we said in our original review:
It’s not like I expected The Nun to be so good it would break the genre barrier and win an Oscar, but I did think I’d have more fun, and that’s the biggest sin a bad horror movie can make. If you’re not going to be scary and you’re not going to be interesting, you have to be fun. There are a few moments in the film where it feels like they’re starting to veer into some classic nunsploitation territory, and while those scenes are definitely a highlight, they’re also a peak into another dimension where this is a better movie. Until I can hop on a Tesla rocket and blast into that universe, I’m skipping The Conjuring spin-offs. Call me when Wan is in the director’s chair.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (internet cautionary tale edition):
- Nancy (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Glenn Kenny over at RogerEbert.com:
The filmmakers—it’s worth noting that this is a movie whose behind-the-camera creative team is almost entirely female—enact a strange but ultimately successful balancing act; the tension as the trio awaits the DNA test that will reveal if Nancy is indeed Brooke has a pall of dread over it. But what the film is finally about is not whether or not Nancy will inflict damage, but whether these lonely people can receive true grace. In this respect and several others, Nancy exhibits a seriousness of purpose that’s rare in American movies today.
- Cam (now on Netflix). Here’s Inkoo Kang over at Slate:
If the first half of Cam is pleasantly episodic and purringly tense, the latter half—in which Alice searches for her hacker—is clever, inventive, and wonderfully evocative. A kind of Black Mirrorfor cam girls, its frights are limited to this tiny slice of the web, but no less resonant for that. We see Alice strive to maintain a certain standard of creative rawness, even as she’s pressured by the machine in front of her to become something of an automaton herself. And versions of the scene where a desperate Alice calls the cops for help with the hack, only to be faced with confusion about the net and suspicion about her job, have doubtlessly played out countless times in the past two decades. At the intersection of an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago and an ageless trade that’s seldom portrayed candidly in popular culture, the film finds stakes—and a resolution—whose freshness is hard to understate.
- Hackers (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Scott Tobias over at The AV Club:
Hackers has surfaced lately as a midnight movie, and it’s full of unintentionally funny moments—some that were probably there at the time, others that have emerged as the Internet has evolved past the glory days of Netscape and Alta Vista. Moreu reportedly studied cyberpunk culture closely, but his hackers speak in an invented shorthand, heavy with nonsense phrases like, “I bet it [a laptop] looks crispy in the dark” and “You’re in the butter zone.” And though the characters’ fetishization of the latest gadgetry is infectious, breathless conversations about technology that would look Paleolithic a few years later naturally invites some snickers in 2012:
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.