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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.

OUT THIS WEEK & (MOSTLY) RECOMMENDED:

  • DRIVE – what we said in our original review: Taking its cues from many L.A. noirs before it, and lacquered with an 80s veneer, Drive starts slow but accelerates to finish neck and neck with the best of 2011…Mitigating the violence are lyrical scenes where Refn states his case as a music video director should feature filmmaking fall through. With cerebral song selections – usually analog synth washes and downbeat dance tunes – slowmo scenes are infused with an elegance that draws deep upon wells of dreamy nostalgia. The linking of music and violence recalls the ecstatic discomfort of the sacred and profane that David Lynch marries so well.
  • THE THING – what we said in our original review: In its build-up to the violent climax, Heijningen shares Carpenter’s restraint. The opening act takes its time to develop the key characters, using full advantage of its harsh setting, and the tense middle section captures some of the unease that defined the original.

OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:

  • Dream House – the poorly reviewed supernatural thriller which has all the makings of a poor man’s Shining, will from now on be probably known mostly as the movie that Rachel Weitz and Daniel Craig met on and soon after married. Which, I guess, is some sort of a claim to fame.
  • In Time – what we said in our original review: When my friends have a birthday, I like to joke that whatever age they are turning is the age where they start to die. In the world of In Time, writer/director Andrew Niccol’s new science fiction film, that literally happens at age twenty-five. Niccol imagines a world where minutes and seconds are the only currency, and the disadvantaged live hour-to-hour whereas the rich have centuries. The premise is a perfect allegory for present-day income inequality, and the sexy cast helps sell Niccol’s powerful conclusions. By favoring action over drama, Niccol cannot match his earlier films, yet its political relevance may help extend In Time‘s influence.

INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • NIGHTWATCH – winter is a big month for general feelings of paranoia and this 1997 nugget starring Ewan McGregor, Patricia Arquette and Nick Nolte is a good one and freshly available on instant. The premise is simple: McGregor’s law student takes a job as a night watchman at a morgue (bad idea). Before you know it he begins to discover clues that implicate him as the suspect of a serial of murders. It is all a downward spiral from there.
  • THE DARK HALF – Speaking of ghost stories, paranoia and winter- I always felt The Dark Half was the unfairly overlooked Stephen King adaptation. Directed by George Romero (!) it opens with one of those profoundly unsettling twins developing in utero sequences (nothing good ever comes of twins in thrillers. See also Sisters, Dead Ringers etc) and then plunges us deep into one cold winter where Timothy Hutton’s dark alter ego (or is it?) is attempting to take over his life. All this is happening while he is writing a novel in Maine, naturally. Sure-not much new ground is broken here but, hey, I remember being truly scared/unsettled/not happy at all during this movie. Twins man.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iISe-Zy1b4

Now-tell us what you’ve been watching at home lately

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