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 rock and roll documentaries about misunderstood geniuses.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Hereditary. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Festival hype can be a bit of a problem. I’ve written about it before; in the insulated community during a prestigious film festival, critics lean toward hyperbole over accuracy. The early praise for Hereditary is just the latest example. At the Sundance premiere, critics suggested the film is the scariest thing they’ve seen in years, saying it is full of “unspeakable horror.” That sounds exciting, even if it runs the risk of setting expectations so high. Luckily, critics who review film around its theatrical release – myself included – do not write from a festival bubble. I am happy to report Hereditary is indeed an intense film, more creepy than scary, and just may make your skin crawl.
- Adrift. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The structure of the film takes a really smart turn by telling the story in a non-linear fashion, starting with Tami emerging from the bowels of the boat, post Hurricane, intercut with the scenes of them meeting each other and the building of their romance in Tahiti, along with scenes of the Hurricane. This way the very visceral (and potentially nauseating) scenes of Tami and Richard battling the storm, coupled with the exhausting/depressing scenes of trying to find the way back to land when the boat has been pushed astronomically off course, do not drain the audience completely because there’s the reprieve of a love story.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (musical genius edition):
- Searching for Sugarman (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
If somebody told you there was a singer-songwriter whose producers thought he put Dylan to shame when he cut two records in the late ‘60s but you’d never heard of him, you wouldn’t believe it. Or you’d chalk it up to hipster douchebaggery and forget the whole thing. But Rodriguez is real. He became bigger than Elvis for white anti-Apartheid South Africans even as his records flopped in the States. Thanks to the contagious new documentary Searching for Sugar Man, you can see the whole story for yourself.
- Amy (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The best documentaries are illuminating. Most of the time they shed light on people or events about which we’re unfamiliar. The trickier, more rewarding documentaries disabuse us from our wrongheaded notions of things we already know (or think we do). Directed by Asif Kapadia, who also made the terrific Senna, the heartbreaking documentary Amy belongs in the latter category. His subject is Amy Winehouse, the late jazz singer whose rise to fame corresponded with addiction and tabloid attention. Using candid video footage and audio snippets from people who knew her best, Amy cinematically articulates why her death is a genuine tragedy.
- The Devil and Daniel Johnston (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Noel Murray over The AV Club:
The Devil And Daniel Johnston may go on a little too long, since Feuerzeig gets most of Johnston’s life story out of the way in the first two-thirds of the film. He spends the last third following Johnston now, as he struggles to get out of bed and get back to work. But toward the end, Feuerzeig shoots what may be the movie’s linchpin scene, as celebrity fan Matt Groening meets Johnston backstage at a concert, and gets openly creeped-out when the usually sedate Johnston snaps to frantic life and starts pressing Groening about finding a project they can work on together. The Devil And Daniel Johnston layers multiple themes, but it returns repeatedly to the tangled relationship between hipsters and the out-of-control oddballs they enable.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.