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.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Miss Meadows. Here’s Glenn Kenny over at RogerEbert.com:
The opening scene of Miss Meadows sets a peculiar, and peculiarly labored, tone. Katie Holmes, in a very proper anachronistic ensemble, walks down a sidewalk in a beautifully manicured suburb. She reads from a poetry anthology and occasionally breaks into a tap dance. A CGI squirrel raises an eyebrow, a CGI bluebird chirps. It’s all very opening-scene-of-Blue Velvet, only forced, secondhand; the special-effects animals aren’t nearly as arresting/disturbing as, say, the animatronic robin at the end of Blue Velvet was. Soon enough, a vulgar fellow in a pickup harangues Holmes from the road, threatening her if she continues to refuse to accept his offer for a “ride,” if you get what he’s saying and-his-other-dialogue-will-guarantee-that-you-do, and she pulls a handgun from her purse and plugs him.
- Fury. Here’s yours truly over at Tiny Mix Tapes:
With nonstop grit and antiheroes who veer from cowards to sadists, Fury dismantles one war cliché after another, at least until it celebrates them. The film’s long climax is a shift in the tank’s purpose: it becomes a turret, a pill box, a bunker, and ultimately a tomb. The climax unspools like a pale comparison to the work of Sam Peckinpah, a director who doggedly depicted combined ugliness with queasy thrills. Sadly, the final sequence of Fury is more like video game and less like historical revisionism, complete with manipulative music and shots that celebrate the glory of battle (Pitt is given a series of implausible hero poses that would make John Wayne blush). Ayer starts with an intriguing, nihilistic art film and somehow ends with a guttural, righteous hoo-rah straight out Hollywood. By the time Ayer dwells on the tedious messianic imagery, Brokaw would have probably shed a single manly tear, and so The Greatest Generation lives on in the popular imagination.
- Open Windows. Here’s David Ehrlich over at The AV Club:
As the story spins out of control, the lack of a practical reality begins to take its toll, the detachment sucking the fun out of a movie that is always sweating harder and harder to deliver it. Each twist frays the connection to Vigalondo’s film world, and by the time the film pits three rival hackers against one another (including one who sounds distractingly like an Auto-Tuned Kiefer Sutherland), the whole thing is as dull as it is ridiculous. For the rambunctious and imaginative Vigalondo, Open Windows is just another failed experiment, and it leaves him with that much more to prove.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- 2 Days in New York. Here’s what we said in our original review:
2 Days in New York moves at such a breakneck pace that it’s easy to forgive its semblance to dozens of other comedies. The American characters are bewildered, the French characters are outrageous, and at the center are a couple who cannot seem to have a moment alone. Director and co-author Julie Delpy has everyone speak with a manic combination of French and English; it’s a wonder that we can follow dinner conversation since the dialogue overlaps the subtitles. By plunging the audience into a world of European eccentrics, the heartfelt humor is nearly exasperating.
- Nymphomaniac (volumes 1 and 2). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The full version of Nymphomaniac is four hours long, and distributors in the United States charged two separate admissions to address the issue of its length (they also doubled the box office returns, presumably). Now that I’ve seen the full film, I’m not so sure the split is necessary. Nymphomaniac is an engaging, weirdly optimistic film about a woman whose sexuality challenges convention. It is episodic and full of meta-analysis, and writer/director Lars Von Trier’s commitment to coincidence is reminiscent of literature. While the final scene is shocking, it is part of a fierce critique of patriarchy.
- The Fall (season 2). Here’s Willa Paskin over at Slate:
The Fall follows its familiar premise—the ritual murder of young women—to a conclusion that is simultaneously logical and rare in the many other series about this same subject: that the battle of the sexes is real, you can tell because of the casualties, and it is a rout. (An alternate title for The Fall could be The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s original Swedish title: Men Who Hate Women.) The series showcases a parade of men who, intentionally and unintentionally, abuse their physical superiority. Stella, the show’s mouthpiece, has to deliver a wide variety of sweeping lines noting this phenomenon. Served up by an actress with less gravitas, they might sound simplistic. As uttered by Anderson, they sound daring. Telling a male police officer that Paul Spector is not, in fact, an aberration but a man on the continuum of men, who like all men is capable of crossing certain lines with women, takes real ovaries.
IMPORTANT PSA: Things Leaving NETFLIX this weekend.
- A View to a Kill
- Apocalypse Now
- Apocalypse Now Redux
- Babes in Toyland
- Batman & Robin + Batman Forever + Batman Returns
- Cocoon: The Return
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- Down Periscope
- For Your Eyes Only + From Russia With Love + Goldfinger + Live and Let Die + Never Say Never Again
- Jane Eyre
- Mad Max
- Nacho Libre
- School Daze
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
- The Juror
- Arbitrage (Feb. 5)
- Fawlty Towers
- Hotel Babylon
- Red Dwarf
- Jem and the Holograms
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Pound Puppies
- Transformers Prime
- Transformers: Rescue Bots
That’s it for our regular Netflix guide! Let us know what you’re watching in the comments!