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. Now all you need is someone to watch these movies with:
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOU TIME:
- We Are the Best! Here’s what we said in our original review:
I had the sort of middle school experience that led me to believe that if someone enjoyed their middle school experience, then they’re obviously an asshole. Sure, my time between sixth and eighth grade was typical: I was incredibly awkward, for one thing, and my relationships with friends/family were fraught with lies and weird arguments. Nowadays I’m thankful I made it out of there, which is why I watched parts of Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best with my hands covering my eyes. The Swedish comedy may include feel-good moments, yet its thirteen year-old heroes are so true-to-life that I stopped thinking critically and squirmed in my seat.
- Ida. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Ida is an exceptional accomplishment, especially for its director, Paweł Pawlikowski, and its two fantastic leads. If I am hesitant to say Ida is a great movie, interpret my reticence as praise. Greatness is hard to come by, and more often than not identifiable only after time has eroded the more plentiful but less durable artifacts of culture that clog our vision. This I can say with certainty, though – Ida is a compelling, intelligent movie, one whose ideas and images are impossible to dismiss. In the last analysis Anna’s unwavering gaze is the perfect synecdoche for both Ida and its subject, lingering long after you’ve looked away.
- The Rover. Here’s what we said in our original review:
I must admit, this may be Robert Pattinson’s best role to date; after the Twilight fiasco, he’s proving a capable actor. While he does well as the glassy eyed businessman in Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Rey is bursting with character. From his stuttered speech, his many tics, and his ability to veer from pure bravado to utter cowardice, Pattinson does an absolutely fantastic job portraying the slightly off balance (and put off) younger brother. In fact, he easily outshines Guy Pearce in most (if not all) of their scenes together.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (BENTZEN BALL EDITION – WHICH IS COMING YOUR WAY OCT 1-5):
- John Hodgman: RAGNAROK. John Hodgman has been developing his alpha-nerd persona for years, and his latest special is its logical conclusion. Filmed right before the end of the Mayan calendar last year, the conceit of RAGNAROK is that Hodgman is a deranged millionaire who’s hell-bent on preparing for the apocalypse (jars of piss and mayonnaise are on the stage). For about an hour, the comedian playfully asserts himself a mustached megalomaniac who thinks lowly of his audience, but the best moments are when he improvises or breaks character. In one hilarious sequence, Hodgman brings an English teenager on stage, and then tells him to wait outside for any signs of the End of Days (the boy leaves without his coat, naturally). RAGNAROK ends curiously, with a ukulele sing-a-along about baptism. It’s a strange way to end a comedy special, but then again, Hodgman is not your typical comedian. He wants us to think about the power of a second chance.
- Medicine for Melancholy. This is about the long aftermath of what should have been a one-night-stand. Remember that guy or girl who was a little too insistent, or kept pursuing even after you were having none of it? That person ended up being your spouse! Medicine for Melancholy is all about possibilities, realized or not, and how identity politics get in the way of what could be a happy romance. At least you had the self-awareness to finally yield and now look what you have. Your partner makes breakfast without you even asking.
- Parks and Recreation. A strange thing happens when a sitcom is on the air long enough: secondary characters transition from bit parts to full-fledged fan favorites. This happened on The Office, and it’s still happening on the beloved show Parks and Recreation. Nowadays Billy Eichner’s Craig is the rage, but it’s worth revisiting those middle seasons to show how Retta’s character Donna is a god damn tour-de-force. She commands more respect than Ron Swanson, has more swagger that Tom Haverford, and is more driven than Leslie Knope (OK, that last one is debatable). Retta is a wicked smart Duke graduate with a penchant for trash TV and opera. You want her to be your best friend, and this fucking video is a terrific reminder why.
Let us know what you’re watching in the comments!