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Ok, you guys–since we know how important at-home-entertainment is for all of us – every Tuesday we’re going to 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. Now–all you need is someone to watch these movies with.

OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:

  • Savageshere’s what we said in our original review:
    Savages is mostly a waste of time. With more convincing character establishment in the first 30 minutes, the rest of it — the gory, sloppy, mediocrely-plotted rest of it — would be nearer to compelling. But the screenplay never gives you any reason to invest in the trio of walking cliches who you’re supposed to root for, and Benicio in full-on creep mode is a hell of a lot more fun to watch than Kitsch as a Symbol For How Iraq And The Drug War Are Like Totally Similar, Y’Know? The problem isn’t that you’re rooting for the bad guys. It’s that there’s no reason to give a damn who comes out on top.”
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunterhere’s what we said in our original review:
    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a mess. It’s something of a gloriously flamboyant mess–never before have I seen a movie shoot the iconic president, with beard and coat and top hat and all, backlit and striding towards the camera in slo-mo like a Michael Bay action hero–but it’s still a mess … There is the shadow of a moral idea lurking in the story. As a metaphor for the motivations and moral nature of the Confederate South and American slavery, vampirism works pretty well. The movie even works in a shot at modern right-wing views of Lincoln as a big-government authoritarian–Adam suggests that one of his secondary motives is not just to stop Lincoln but to tarnish the president “as a monster.” But the film’s scattershot storytelling can’t get the metaphor to connect with the concrete mechanics of the plot.”
  • Magic Mikehere’s what we said in our original review:
    “Magic Mike is a film that subjects its hero to the choice between dreams or stripping. (Don’t we all have to face that choice someday?) It does an admirable job of erasing integrity from the equation, as stripping isn’t the noblest of professions. Somehow being a male stripper doesn’t involve the disreputable analogues of a feminine stereotype (e.g. daddy issues, or being named after a car, month, birth stone). It instead asks us if the emasculation of values is worse than the emasculation of taking it all off. But who am I kidding with these semi-philosophical questions. You probably just want to see a couple of cute, chiseled Adonises wriggling around to club music. As a comedy, it feels deflated, minus some high notes here and there. Everything else is just eye candy, and that’s why it might do very well in the box office.”

OUT THIS WEEK & (MOSTLY) RECOMMENDED:

  • Take This Waltzhere’s what we said in our original review:
    “And so Sarah Polley‘s gentle, sad-happy, in-between things new movie starts. And even if you think you know how it ends (and you probably do), and how it may get there (you probably do) in the summer sea of explosions, superhero reboots and male strippers, it is the equivalent of a perfectly crafted summer cocktail in a bar you’ve been wishing to discover: a place that is not too loud, not too flashy, not too anything. It is just right for a lazy afternoon of lingering about.”

OUT RECENTLY AND DEFINITELY WORTH YOUR TIME:

  • The Invisible Warhere’s what we said in our original review:
    “Why does the military systematically betray the absolute trust it inculcates in its recruits, when faced with sexual assault allegations by blaming the victims and protecting perpetrators? How can the same military that depends upon women and aggressively recruits them allow serial rapists and predators in its ranks? How is it that the epidemic of sexual assault in the U.S. Military has gone un- or under-examined for decades? The Invisible War cannot answer all of the questions it raises, but by asking them at all–and exploring them with unflinching resolve–it does more for survivors of military sexual assault in 90 minutes than our armed forces appear to have done, well, ever.”

INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • The Innkeepers –
    Hey, guys. Remember how I recommended The House of the Devil a few weeks back? (No? Well you should probably see it and read why you should right over here and YES that one is still on Instant Watch.) Well Ti West’s subsequent film, The Innkeepers, is new to Netflix Instant Watch and it’s really worth your while–especially one week out from Halloween. Take one haunted hotel, two amateur paranormal investigators, some absolutely gorgeous cinematography and one classic love-spurned, restless-ghost tale and you’ve got yourself a fantastic scare. Its slower pacing makes it all the more eerie, coupled with some very detailed, thoughful sound design. Watch it loud and in a quiet room and watch it in the dark. I dare you. (Oh, and we’ve got an interview with genius writer/director/producer Ti West right over here. All your horror dreams coming true.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=endLt6cX0fk
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