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:
- Get Hard. Here’s what we said in our original review:
There is nothing funny about sexual assault. Why are we still doing this? For some reason, Get Hardbases its entire premise around the idea that the only way to prevent a rich white dude’s “inevitable” sexual assault is to have him go to a black man for help, because of course, the only black guy he’s spoken to has recently been to prison. The joke is supposed to be that Darnell (Kevin Hart) has actually never been to prison and has no idea how to help James (Will Ferrell) prevent this possibility, so he sets up a plan of action and training in exchange for some financial assistance. Let’s ignore the fact that Darnell only asks for $30,000 from James, who made his entire living from generating millions of dollars, and by his own admission could buy a new car every time the old one gets dirty.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- What We Do in the Shadows. Here’s what we said in our original review:
What differentiates this film from other mockumentaries, asides from its special effects and its faux-gothic aesthetic, is its embrace of black humor. There is a terrific sequence involving Viago’s seduction of a victim, and its payoff indicates how blood is truly the funniest bodily fluid. There are supporting human characters who serve as eager mopes for vampires, in the vain hope they’ll be turned, and somehow they’re worse than the actual monsters since Viago and the others cannot ignore their natures. Even with all its blood and death, What We Do in the Shadows ends with a bittersweet hope for the unlikely flat-mates. These vampires may be evil, in the classic definition of the term, yet Clement and Waititi realize supernatural creatures are imperfect jerks, worthy of happiness just like the rest of us.
- Comet. Here’s Nick Prigge over at Slant:
Throughout Comet, Dell (Justin Long) references dreams consisting of conversations from the past with his significant other, Kimberly (Emmy Rossum), an idea summarizing the structure of Sam Esmail’s film. Owing considerable debt to the ultimate rom-com, Annie Hall, Comet skips back and forth through time chronicling this couple’s on-again, off-again relationship, from its quirky inception to its melancholic conclusion, with several key turning points devoted to the love affair’s elongated middle act. This scattered construction, however, doesn’t eschew a traditional romantic arc, making it clear that each moment in this couple’s downward trajectory can be traced to the one before it. Instead, the time-jumping strategy cleverly illuminates the way in which we go over and fixate on isolated incidents in our minds of breakups past.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- The Guest. Here’s Scott Tobias over at The Dissolve:
It starts with the eyes, incandescent blue—dreamy and seductive one moment, cold and alien the next. It all depends on the inflection. The eyes belong to Dan Stevens, playing a mysterious visitor who ingratiates himself to a rural family in the supremely entertaining new horror/thriller/comedy hybrid The Guest. But they also belong to Henry Fonda in 1968’s Once Upon A Time In The West, or Terry O’Quinn in 1987’s The Stepfather, to name two prominent antecedents. Director Adam Wingard surely understood the effect blue eyes have on the other characters—and, just as crucially, on the audience. Everyone wants to believe that this stranger has good intentions, because his presence is so confident and reassuring, just as the family in The Stepfather wants to believe they’re living with a modern-day Ward Cleaver. At the same time, they beat back the nagging suspicion that something’s wrong, because the fantasy is so intoxicating.
- Creep. Here’s Drew Taylor over at The Playlist:
Producer Jason Blum has made a name for himself (and built a very successful company) from the success of the Paranormal Activity franchise, a series of films largely built around grainy, home video footage of doors slowly opening and closing. A number of his films that followed Paranormal Activity adapted this formula, to varying degrees of success. The found footage genre has a ceiling, one that Blum and his confederates would constantly bump up against. But with his newest found footage concoction Creep, he seems to be going for something altogether different and way stranger – a funny/sad horror comedy that feels like the unholy union of What About Bob and Fatal Attraction. Blum has broken through that ceiling and has found something very weird on the other side.
- Spring. Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
Spring never abandons this leisurely pace, even after hints of the supernatural—flowers blooming in fast forward, mangled animal carcasses—begin to appear along its cobblestone path. Throughout, Moorhead and Benson undercut their breezy holiday romance with a vague sense of foreboding, most clearly invoked during topsy-turvy aerial shots of the scenery. They also eventually indulge in some impressive, presumably budget-conscious special effects, delivering the slimy goods at odd intervals. But unlike, say, one of Eli Roth’s vacations-gone-wrong, Springdoesn’t treat the sightseeing bits as prelude to total carnage. Horror invades the proceedings, but it doesn’t hijack them. The film continues to zig where others might zag.
That’s it for our weekly Netflix guide!