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 look at some Tom Hardy back when he was more intelligible:
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- The Only Living Boy in New York. Here’s Bilge Ebiri over at The Village Voice:
There is a better, more touching movie hidden somewhere inside The Only Living Boy in New York, and you can often see it creeping in around the edges. It’s not to be found in the somewhat empty coming-of-age narrative at the film’s center, which follows Thomas (Callum Turner), a precocious, snarky, and (of course) melancholy recent college grad having trouble deciding what to do with his life. The offspring of a publishing executive father (Pierce Brosnan) and a neurotic artist mother (Cynthia Nixon), Thomas likes to mope about how New York isn’t New York anymore, how everything today has lost its edge. (He’s fond of saying, “New York’s most vibrant neighborhood right now is Philadelphia.”)
- How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Here’s Christopher Orr at The Atlantic:
Mitchell co-wrote the screenplay with Philippa Goslett, based on a short story by Neil Gaiman. But Mitchell is also, most famously, the artist responsible for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which he cowrote and starred in onstage before directing the 2001 screen adaptation. And if there’s anything that could have lifted How to Talk to Girls at Parties above its amiable humdrum, it’s a touch of Hedwig’s profane, boundary-demolishing perversity. Aliens? Punk-rockers? “Parent-teachers”? Hedwig would have eaten them all alive, and then come back for an encore.
- Shock and Awe. Here’s Emily Yoshida over at Vulture:
But Reiner and writer Joey Hartstone (who also worked with the director on LBJ) can’t quite hold back the Hollywoodisms, which undercut the seemingly unglamorous pavement-pounding business of getting the inside scoop on Donald Rumsfeld. Over and over again, Shock and Awe begins to feel like it’s cooking, but then takes a break for some truly egregious schmaltz — a mystifying romantic subplot between Marsden and Jessica Biel that goes nowhere, orchestra-swell speechifying that feels slapped on over concerns that the whole thing doesn’t feel enough like a movie. It’s the stylistic opposite of Meryl Streep’s gracefully graceless “let’s go, let’s publish” moment in The Post. The problem isn’t Reiner taking dramatic liberties with the facts, it’s that his toolbox for doing so hasn’t changed since the mid-’90s.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (Tom Hardy edition):
- Locke (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Screenwriter Steven Knight likes to see what happens when ordinary people in England find themselves in extraordinary situations. In Dirty Pretty Things, immigrant workers in a London hotel discover a sinister criminal underworld, only to use it for their own gain. Eastern Promises is all about a young nurse who finds herself in the middle of a feud between Russian mobsters. Now there’s Locke, which Knight also directed, and he adds formal daring to the story of an everyman who experiences unenviable stress. Locke takes place entirely inside a car, with a hero taking phone calls from his co-workers and family. It’s a bold experiment, and does not have the payoff of the usual thriller.
- Bronson (now on Hulu). Here’s Noel Murray over at The AV Club:
Michael Gordon Peterson—dubbed “Charles Bronson” by a bare-knuckle boxing promoter—was arrested in 1974 at age 22, and sentenced to seven years in prison for armed robbery. Since then, he’s spent all but four years of his life behind bars, both for crimes committed on the outside and for violence perpetrated on the inside. For his movie Bronson, director Nicolas Winding Refn turns Petersen’s life story into a pensive, Kubrickian study of anti-social behavior. From an opening sequence that has a naked, greased-up Tom Hardy (as Petersen) punching at a cage in slow-motion while The Walker Brothers’ art-pop classic “The Electrician” blares on the soundtrack, Bronson makes kicking ass—and waitingto kick ass—into an aesthetic all its own.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (now on Netflix). Here’s Andrew O’Hehir over at Salon:
I don’t think John le Carré or much of anyone else laments the demise of Soviet communism, and all the spies of the Circus and the CIA and whatever the KGB now calls itself have kept right on going without it. But the question of whether Western democracy has recovered from its Cold War hangover, from its addiction to secrets and spying and the erosion of both rights and liberties, certainly remains topical. In the end what makes George Smiley seem honorable in spite of all that, as this grim but exciting film moves from Hungary to Turkey to the English countryside to the drafty, horizontal spaces of the Circus to the lonely bourgeois comfort of his Islington home, is his almost doglike loyalty. He remains true to queen and country and the corruption-infested spy service that has cast him out not because of any faith but because it’s his nature, and ours. Sticking with the tribe, it’s what we do.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.