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:
- Steve Jobs. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Aaron Sorkin and Steve Jobs are a perfect fit for each other. In his films and on television, Sorkin has a hard-on for brilliant, wealthy white assholes who still somehow think they are not getting the respect they deserve. The Sorkin hero can lead to terrific entertainment – The Social Network is a dark satire about entitled bros – but in the biopic Steve Jobs the formula is wildly uneven. Sorkin takes Walter Isaacson’s dense Jobs biography and distills it into vignettes. Directed by Danny Boyle, who is a strange fit for this material, Steve Jobs is unabashedly theatrical and brimming with Sorkin-isms. Some scenes feel downright electric, with thoughtful insight about Jobs’ legacy, while others are laughably terrible. Few screenwriters carry so much clout, which is a shame since nowadays Sorkin seems like a victim of his success.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Carol. Here’s what we said in our original review:
A beautiful, blonde, immaculately groomed customer walks into a department store, to buy a doll, and leaves having bought a very expensive train set instead, and with a pair of gloves left behind (on purpose?). The very young, pretty, brunette sales clerk returns them and the cool, confident customer invites her to a lunch as a thank you. They drink vodka martinis and eat creamed spinach and poached eggs and look at each other and with that look the scene is set for Carol, Todd Haynes’ lovely, gentle, but also slightly devious new movie.
- The Big Short. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The Big Short is an angry film. Director Adam McKay, who also wrote the script with Charles Randolph, certainly has a story to tell. But he also wants to educate his audience about how the financial crisis of 2008 went down. That furious, clenched-teeth mission infuses the film, forcing it past the ostensible boundaries of its biopic genre and into the realms of documentary and even the experimental. McKay has helmed pugnacious comedies like Anchorman and The Other Guys, but we’ve never seen anything like this from him before.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Victoria (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Those two scenes are everything I wanted Victoria to be. They’re unnerving, high energy, and the one take concept makes them feel vital and alive. Every other part of the movie could be cut into different scenes, just like any other film and its terrific trailer. That’s the crux of the problem with Victoria. Most of the film feels meandering and pointless, as if you’re just following along with the story because it’s too late to do anything else. If you’re going to chose to do something, there should be thought and reason behind the choice.
- The Hunting Ground (now on Netflix). Here’s Jesse Hassenger over at The AV Club:
At some colleges, it’s easier to get kicked out for cheating than for raping someone. That’s not the central thesis of Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. Instead, a statistic about the number of students expelled from a particular school for sexual assault versus the number expelled for other “honor code” violations like cheating flashes by quickly, amidst a barrage of other damning factoids. It’s a testament to the wealth of this material that the point is a passing one—just one incidence of institutional hypocrisy among many.
- The Forbidden Room. Here’s Scott Tobias over at The Village Voice:
The Forbidden Room isn’t the best film Maddin has ever made — I prefer the headlong rush of Cowards Bend the Knee or the distilled melodrama of his six-minute short “The Heart of the World” — but it’s without question his most film. At a shade over two hours (trimmed by ten minutes from Sundance), it’s his longest feature by a comfortable margin and perhaps his busiest, with a nesting-doll structure that tucks stories within stories within stories, like a hypnotist drawing his patient ever deeper into the subconscious. The experience is two-thirds thrilling to one-third enervating, a winning ratio for what’s essentially a tightly curated anthology film.
That’s it! Let us know what you’re watching in the comments.