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So, you guys–since we know how important at-home-entertainment is for all of us (especially in winter) – every Tuesday we’re going to 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. Now–all you need is someone to watch these movies with.


  • The Woman in the Fifthhere’s what we said in our original review:
    “The best film noir has always been about incompetence. The protagonist struggles against an indifferent and cruel universe, only to realize that he is powerless against it. Towards the end of The Woman in the Fifth, Pawlikowski resolves the story in a parallel way, albeit with a tinge of tragedy and regret. Tom’s journey gets more inward, and the understated direction reflects his eroding sanity. The shots zoom in on Tom’s face and only grow more abstract. It’s downright claustrophobic, so when Tom finds his way out of his problem, the subsequent relief is both seen and felt. Nothing about a thriller like this is especially ambitious or deep. But when all its elements sync together seamlessly, its consistency is more pleasure than something relatively uneven.”
  • Oslo, August 31sthere’s what we said in our original review:
    Oslo, August 31st is too heartfelt to be depressing. It sees Anders and his city with warm clarity, even when his thoughts grow increasingly dark. Somehow, despite Anders’ sense of defeat, there are life-affirming moments where Oslo eclipses the single-mindedness of addiction. The final scenes are the most intimate ones in the film, and Trier regards Anders like a detached observer. Everyone’s day is a series of small decisions, Triers argues, and they culminate with vibrancy on a massive scale. The good news is that the world does not get smaller just because Anders chooses to disengage from it.”


  • Katy Perry: Part of Me – A 3D look behind Perry’s cotton candy, gumball pink teen pop curtain. via Rotten Tomatoes:
    “‘Part of Me’ is more electronic press kit than fly-on-the-wall documentary.”
    “An inane and boring self-promoting documentary in unneeded 3-D about good girl pop singer Katy Perry.”
    “The whole enterprise is simply another way for the singer to cash in on her stardom.”


  • The Cabin in the Woods – Read what we said in our first review here and our second review here. (Loved it so much, we checked it out twice.)
    “For its final act, The Cabin in the Woods uses implacable logic to show us the proverbial man behind the curtain. It accomplishes this through visual wit and gallows humor; there is one shot in particular that’s so audacious that it single-handedly justifies the ticket price. If I wasn’t busy laughing, I would have tried to take in all its macabre details. With uncommon ingenuity, the movie has a satirical message about horror in general, and what it purpose it serves for genre devotees. There’s no point in elaborating further – you’ll have to see what happens– except to say there is enough esoteric dark comedy to ensure The Cabin in the Woods’s position as a cult classic.”


  • The House of the Devil
    If you think it’s too early to get into the horror “Halloween spirit” or that the genre should in fact be limited to a one-month run of TV syndication and  overdone, cheesy scares, we’ll probably never be friends. And while I’m saving up most of my instant horror Netflix recommendations for some October posts (for those who do fall into the aforementioned category), I can’t resist sharing my favorite contemporary horror–Ti West’s The House of the Devil. While I could wax film philosophical about the film’s slow pans, its vintage-horror feel and the way West really just gets it, I’ll explain that this is a film steeped in long tradition of psychological terror, of finding yourself in a horrible position before you fully realize the extent of it. It’s a long, suspenseful ride for the audience with a penchant for hanging on to the edge of one’s seat. (For fans of: The Thing, Rosemary’s Baby, Burnt Offerings)