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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:

  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Nothing makes much sense in 2 Best 2 Marigold, and nothing really happens that anyone should care about. The only thing really worth noting about the whole affair is that, fundamentally, the success of the first film and the failure of this is an interesting reflection of two broader trends. The first is the increasing prevalence of the elderly in American and global society, and the degree to which they, just like everyone else, want to see their concerns, their interests, and their stories represented on-screen, and respond accordingly. The second is that Hollywood is incapable of learning any lessons from surprise successes other than to print sequels, prequels, and spin-offs of those successes until all life, soul, and art is sucked dry from them. In this case, it took exactly one follow-up to complete the process of inevitable vampiric death by corporatization, but that surely won’t stop the machine, like clockwork, from pushing Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 3-D In IMAX™ on us in 2018. The final irony is that, as Hollywood makes more and more interminable rent-seeking films about the elderly wringing the most out of their dwindling years, the single biggest thing the elderly could do to squander their precious time on Earth is see this stupid movie and what are sure to be its many stupid cousins.
  • The Longest Ride. Here’s Jesse Hassenger over at The AV Club:
    Director George Tillman Jr. doesn’t integrate the two stories particularly well. The flashbacks always leave off at a crucial narrative juncture, but the movie rarely shows present-day Ira halting his story—few of the scenes between Alda and Robertson have endings at all. Their entire relationship exists primarily to deliver those flashbacks and draw tenuous parallels between the two couples. (“Ruth also loved art,” Ira excitedly notes, not mentioning if she also enjoyed other equally obscure concepts, such as food or sunny days.) Inelegant transitions abound even when the movie sticks to the present, where the fated Luke and Sophia have awkward, faux-flirty conversations. The movie manages to generate some heat between its young leads in exactly one effective sequence that cuts together Luke’s professional bull-riding, Sophia’s attempt to ride a practice rig, and the couple having sex constantly. Even then, they seem to like each other because they both look good semi-naked.

OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME

  • Dior and I. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Contrasting past and present – whether it’s Christian versus Raf, matte muslin shapes versus their glimmering gown counterparts – Tcheng creates tension when little actually exists.The venerable house of Dior will keep on trucking, as will the skilled artisans tucked away, laboring into the night overpicotage. Dior may be one of the last two remaining “true” couture houses in the world, but the story of art versus business is a timeless tale. Patrons support the artists who create magic that delights the masses. It’s a nice look at the process that precedes a final product that seems at once impossible and effortless: a couture runway show. As one seamstress explains of the gowns, “It’s flat. Then it all comes together.” The same can be said of Dior and I.

INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • Welcome to Me. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    The film is intentionally small, not just due to budget. Director Shira Piven has created a semi-intimate portrait of a person most of us likely know and worry over. The cast is excellent (Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins) and the film was shot on location in Los Angeles, yet manages to feel like it could be anywhere about anyone, not a super famous SNL vet. The score is sparse and the quiet, helping give Alice a lonely world and the viewer a chance to see a ‘real’ person in the role. It’s not a bad film. It doesn’t need to be seen in theaters. It’s pretty good, weekend Netflix afternoon viewing. It’s not not funny. It’s not light, but it’s not heavy. Borderline personality disorder isn’t funny.
  • Two Days One Night. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Two Days, One Night interrogates with quiet but piercing grace a panoply of socioeconomic maladies afflicting Belgium and Europe: unemployment, sexism, racism, environmentalism (it’s not an accident that Sandra works at an industry burdened with the fate of the world, and one in search of power from the fundamental source of life). It taps into a broader zeitgeist of hopelessness, disaffection, and insecurity that collapses the quotidian and the devastating. And yet for all that devastating portraiture of a society mired in crisis, this is a film that is fundamentally about a crisis of the individual, a crisis of the soul. Cliche though it may be to say, Two Days, One Night roots its timeliness in the timely, a document of a moment and a myth alike. In finding hope in hopelessness and transcendence in loss, Two Days, One Night is as necessary as it is beautiful.
  • A Most Violent Year (now streaming on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    As A Most Violent Year gets more intense as the timeline looms in the near distance, not only do we see some incredible scenes from Chandor and beautiful imagery from cinematographer , but we also see some heavy-handed imagery and flat out stating of themes in the film’s final scenes, almost as if to make completely sure the audience gets the point. But A Most Violent Year is at its best when it works at breaking down the American Dream, especially when looked at in comparison of Abel and his truck driver Julian (Elyes Gabel), a man who so deeply wants Abel’s life, yet the circumstances of economic prosperity haven’t give him the chances he needs, leaving him behind likely forever. Gabel’s performance is one of desperation, panicked at trying to grasp a life he will never have, especially in contrast to the calm demeanor of Abel, who you can tell can sympathize with the frenzy going on within Julian.

That’s it for weekly Netflix guide! Let us know what you’re watching in the comments.

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