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 indie dramas about troubled young people.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- All the Money in the World. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The first mistake was even casting Kevin Spacey in the first place. In Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, Spacey would play J. Paul Getty, an oil tycoon who outright refused to pay a ransom when his grandson was kidnapped. We saw an initial trailer of the Spacey version, with the middle aged actor wearing awkward prosthetics to make him look older, and those clips were never entirely convincing. But then the Spacey scandal broke, and Scott replaced him with Christopher Plummer. That Scott was able to complete the reshoots, amounting to a coherent film, is downright astonishing. Still, the miscasting extended well beyond Spacey, and the movie’s misanthropy lacks the wit of Scott’s other recent films.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Molly’s Game. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Based on the memoir by high-stakes poker game runner Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game follows the former Olympian’s journey from athletic aspirations, to her arrest and sentencing for organizing an illegal gambling operation. Bloom is played by Jessica Chastain, who has to deliver much of the film’s story through narration. This becomes a little bit of an issue at times throughout the two and a half hour film because Sorkin is best when he writes dialogue. While there are conversations in this film, they occur in largely confrontational moments, leaving little breathing room between scenes.
- Phantom Thread. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Day-Lewis is arguably the best film actor of his generation, and yet Krieps is his equal. Phantom Thread would fall apart without performances that vibrate in sync with one another. How Alma and Woodcock find harmony is fascinating, even a little odd, since they avoid the typical path of a couple in love. In fact, one bizarre thing about the film is how Anderson studiously avoids sex. Aside from a scene where Woodcock pulls Alma into his bedroom, there is little sense of desire. The pair arrive at intimacy through other means, using techniques that might delight Freud or those in the BDSM community. Phantom Thread is not a romantic film, since Woodcock is too self-involved for that. Instead, it is about what it takes to “make it work.” That is not romantic, exactly, and yet anyone in a committed relationship will see that their sacrifices and demands are not all that exaggerated.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (Does it get better? Edition):
- Short Term 12 (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
But for all the strong performances from the adults, the teenagers nearly steal the show. As Jayden, Dever has the most to do. Her character is rude and violent, yet her transition into Grace’s thoughtful friend is convincing and delicate. Still, the strongest performance is from Stanfield. At first Marcusspeaks forcefully, barely moving his mouth, and we can hear the aching vulnerability underneath. He opens up only when he performs a hip-hop verse with Mason – the care workers all encourage the kids to express themselves, and it works – and we don’t learn the scene’s significance until Mason discusses his own background. The Marcus subplot wraps up off camera, and hearing Mason talk about it reveals just how much of himself he sees in him. It’s not always subtle, but Cretton suggests the only way they can do this job is if Mason, Grace, and others continually rely on their empathy.
- Young Adult (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Every minute makes you want to cower in your seat in a way you would during that special kind of a horrible first date: a date with the kind of guy that overshares and is so desperate for emotional support that he’s willing to bare their soul to a complete stranger. And it’s a dark soul: from Mavis’ delusions about a time when all was right with her world to Matt’s constant connection to how horrible those four years were, the baggage the characters carry could not fit into 10 Mini Coopers (those ARE oddly spacious, mind you). Sure, a bad date can make for a good story and a learning experience, but you still sometimes wish you were warned ahead of time. That’s what all I’m going to try and do here: warn you. So here it comes: Young Adult is one of this year’s best movies. But you may not want to submit your fragile, slightly adult adult self to it.
- White Girl (now on Netflix). Here is E. Oliver Whitney at ScreenCrush:
There’s little surprise as to where White Girl is headed as things turn increasingly dark and upsetting. But this isn’t a movie about twists, it’s one where the results are clear from the start, where the filmmaker unabashedly exposes the ugly mistakes and vices of her female lead. Wood’s script continues to fall deeper down the rabbit hole of its own messy disintegration, never pulling back to rescue us from its brutality or from watching its character’s aggravating choices. Unafraid to expose her character’s weaknesses and degradation, White Girl establishes Wood as a brazen new talent to watch.
That’s it! Get streaming kids.