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 & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- John Wick. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Co-directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski know what sort of product they’re delivering here, and render the film’s look in shadowy but clearly defined hues of black, grey and slate blue. The closing credits are rendered in a garish neon that’s an obvious pulp noir throwback. They also have some fun with the fearsomeness of John’s reputation. After Aurelio (John Leguizamo) finds out what Iosef’s done, he slugs the kid and gets a furious call from Viggo. But as soon as Aurelio drops John’s name, Viggo simply replies with a chagrined “Oh” and hangs up. So many befuddled mobsters declare “It was just a fucking dog!” over the course of the movie that it becomes a grim joke.
- Dear White People. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Dear White People straddles the line of parody and reality, feeling sometimes like some of these things might be too ridiculous to be true, until the end credits show that no, these awful things the film is talking about occur all the time. Dear White People is far less of a comedy than a discussion starter, presenting that to one side, racism might seem a thing of the past. To the other side, it shows how racial issues still occur all the time. Simien’s discussion of how we all hide, regardless of race is fascinating, even if the film does often feel unbalanced and off because of it.
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The movie is a classic break-up tale. It is also only 1/3 of a full picture. Ned Benson, making his directorial full length debut, wrote & filmed the story as a two parter: HIM and HER which told this story from both of our leads’ perspectives, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year. We, as a lowly, non-festival going movie audience, get a 68 minutes shorter version called THEM, created undoubtedly as a date movie compromise for the smart, cool movie going dates out there, now with a trimmer two hour running time, still leaving a little bit of a window for a glass of wine afterwards and that inevitable conversation about how “This will never happen to us, right?”. The thing is, it might. The movie, while I am sure it lacks some subtlety and depth of the longer version, is still somehow a deep, subtle, gorgeous meditation about how, no matter how hard you try, bad things can still happen.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- The Verdict. Here’s the late, great Roger Ebert:
But it’s that Newman performance that stays in the mind. Some reviewers have found The Verdict a little slow moving, maybe because it doesn’t always hum along on the thriller level. But if you bring empathy to the movie, if you allow yourself to think about what Frank Galvin is going through, there’s not a moment of this movie that’s not absorbing. The Verdict has a lot of truth in it, right down to a great final scene in which Newman, still drinking, finds that if you wash it down with booze, victory tastes just like defeat.
- Re-Animator. Here’s Jeremiah Kipp over at Slant:
Certain debut films from new filmmakers just go for broke and come up with something unique that breaks all boundaries. Re-Animator was Stuart Gordon’s first (and best) movie and bustles at the seams with that youthful energy you see in Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead and the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple. It is almost as though these filmmakers are afraid they’ll never get the chance to make another one, and Re-Animator doesn’t hesitate in being an almost operatic, larger than life comedy of splatter. While it paints with a big (red) brush, it is never boring.
- NEW ON NETFLIX! The Brothers Bloom. Here’s Keith Phipps over at The AV Club:
Johnson’s 2005 debut, Brick, wed the familiar conventions of film noir and high-school movies to create a viable, illuminating hybrid. Here, he’s upped the ambition, using a light, stylish touch and a David Mamet-inspired hall-of-mirrors plot to comment on the nature of storytelling, as it applies to fiction and the stories we use to make sense of our own lives. Ruffalo and Brody do strong work as, respectively, the unrepentant schemer and the heartbroken rogue (though the film might have worked even better with their roles reversed) and Weisz is winning as an innocent hobby collector who—after dutifully working her way through pinhole photography, DJing, martial arts, and other endeavors—has yet to find a calling. Robbie Coltrane and Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi, who does brilliant mime work as a mostly mute demolition expert named “Bang Bang,” give them able support, and the film nicely balances heartfelt moments with head games, at least for a while.
That’s it for our weekly Netflix guide! Let us know what you’re watching in the comments.