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 horror films now that the weather is turning.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Ocean’s 8. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Ocean’s 8 is the sort of film that’s all too rare nowadays: an entertainment for adults that succeeds through the sheer force of its star power. Director Gary Ross and screenwriter Olivia Milch – daughter of David – do not depend on the charisma and cool of Steven Soderbergh’s three Ocean’s films. Instead, this is its own thing, a heist where feminist empowerment is more important than being the most clever. It has no aspirations for greatness, and instead trusts that its audience will chuckle and nod along with each gag and twist.
- Superfly. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Superfly is the rare drug dealer film with brains. It is an astute, sharp modern take on a story that deserved an update. Priest is a substantial character that is fresh in this current climate, and Jackson’s portrayal breathes new life into a character that couldn’t been entirely one-note. Superfly is a welcome summer surprise that revitalizes stale genre tropes into a refreshingly substantial and impressive reboot.
- Heart Beats Loud. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Haley – co-writing with his frequent collaborator Marc Basch – crafts an earnest, sweet, and charming story in Hearts Beat Loud that centers around a father’s love for his daughter. It’s hard not to smile when Offerman and Clemons unite over their shared love of music, and their few performances together – especially their final one – is heartwarming and simply wonderful. Haley and Basch, however, forget to add any real urgency to their story. While Hearts Beat Loud has every element that one would expect fro a typical indie comedy – and sure, it is that – it’s the film’s sense of heart and phenomenal music that makes it a tad better than the genre’s usual fare.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (slow-burn horror edition):
- It Follows (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
On one level, anyway, this is a horror film about a sexually transmitted disease. But unlike the slasher films of the early eighties, Mitchell is no prude who views grisly death as comeuppance for promiscuity. Jay and the others are sophisticated about sex – insofar that kids their age can be – and there are no mean-spirited jokes, nor do any characters conflate sex with love. By letting his characters Mitchell treat sex as a matter-of-fact part of their lives, he’s free to abandon grandiose themes and instead lead his characters/audience through an entertaining, cathartic mix of tension and relief. As long as they don’t accidentally learn the premise beforehand, It Follows is so good that it has the potential to convert non-fans into full-on aficionados.
- The Conjuring (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
All of this results in the movie NEVER letting you go. EVER. I saw it with two friends, and we all dealt with it in our own scared, roller-coaster way. I retreated to seeing most of it through a protective curtain created by my (thankfully abundant) hair, one of them literally screamed more than once (and then apologized, more than once) and our third companion simply closed her eyes every single time the music changed. She knew what was coming, and she was NOT going to like it. Then we left, and went for a walk, and had a drink, and talked about anything BUT the movie, and still, I assure you, I barely slept that night and definitely spent the next day freaking out/instagramming/sharing-my-concerns over a bruise I found on my thigh the next morning (WTF). I bet you will, too.
- Vazante (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Cinematographer Inti Briones shoots all this in stark black and white, that captures the rich detail of both the Brazilian landscape and the characters’ troubled expressions. Black and white film’s cultural associations with the silent era also opens up a certain psychological space for Vazante’s lack of dialogue. We’re cued to study faces and pay attention to tableaus to draw inferences. It’s a dreamy approach to film you don’t find often, and that I appreciated. But it also means the movie requires concentration, attention, and patience. Thomas takes a her time putting all the narrative’s various pieces in place, and only once that task is done does Vazante start to move forward with relentless logic. If you don’t think you can keep your brain engaged for two hours without the help of virtually any stimuli, it will be a slog.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.