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:
- Hitchcock. Here’s what we said in our original review:
When I first saw Psycho as a teenager, I remember being immediately jealous of the audiences who first saw it back in 1960. The movie and its twists are part of film history now, so there was no chance I could go into it fresh. But back in 1960, audiences must have freaked the fuck out when the lead actress dies before the halfway mark. Hitchcock, the new biopic directed by Sacha Gervasi, looks at the nervy choices the Master of Suspense made during the production of (arguably) his most famous work. It’s clever and fun story, although strangely absent of any insight into its subject.
OUT THIS WEEK & (MOSTLY) RECOMMENDED:
- In Another Country. Here’s Mike D’Angelo in The Onion AV Club:
South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (Woman On The Beach) tends to make the same movie over and over: a multi-part story in which heavily inebriated males—usually academics or filmmakers—awkwardly woo one or more bewildered females. So it came as a seismic shock when Hong announced that he’d cast Isabelle Huppert as the lead in his latest effort, In Another Country. His shift to a woman’s point of view was unprecedented in his work, and it was harder still to imagine a glamorous French movie star fitting into his extremely insular universe. As it turns out, however, Hong Sang-soo can make a Hong Sang-soo movie under any conceivable circumstance. For those who have never had the pleasure, In Another Country makes an ideal introduction; those who have had it many times should know almost exactly what to expect.
OUT THIS WEEK & DEFINITELY WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Life of Pi. Here’s what I wrote over at Tiny Mix Tapes:
There are some books I know I’ll never read, and Life of Pi is one of them. My dad effusively recommended Yann Martel’s novel on so many occasions, I vowed I’d avoid the book out of spite. After a decade since its initial publication, chameleon-like director Ang Lee adapts the unlikely adventure for the big screen. Working from a script by David Magee, Lee overcomes storytelling challenges through sheer spectacle. Life of Pi is one of the better uses of 3D, if not the best, and many sequences are psychedelic marvels.
INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Holy Motors. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Holy Motors arrives in local theaters on a wave of effusive praise. After its premiere at the Cannes film festival, the notoriously picky audience whooped and cheered. When more critics saw it at the Toronto Film Festival, many clamored to Twitter, proclaiming it’s a mind-blowing masterpiece and one of the year’s best films. Some said it will save the cinema. I wouldn’t go that far – it is simply too batshit insane for that – although I understand what they mean. Director Leos Carax has made a movie about our need for authentic experience, and he certainly delivers on that level. But anyone who sees Holy Motors should have an open mind or be properly warned.
- The Dead. Here’s what the late, great Roger Ebert had to say in his 2005 “Great Movies” essay:
John Huston was dying when he directed The Dead. Tethered to an oxygen tank, hunched in a wheelchair, weak with emphysema and heart disease, he was a perfectionist attentive to the slightest nuance of the filming. James Joyce’s story, for that matter is all nuance until the final pages. It leads by subtle signs to a great outpouring of grief and love, but until then, as Huston observed, “The biggest piece of action is trying to pass the port.” He began shooting in January 1987, finished in April, and at the end of August, he died. He was 81.
- But I’m A Cheerleader. Here’s Sam Adams over at the Philadelphia City Paper:
Jamie Babbit’s candy-colored satire is pure John Waters, right down to its Mink Stole. But if you’re going to copy someone, you might as well rip off the best. Natasha Lyonne, who seems the perfect suburban teen, is bundled off to a sexual reeducation camp when her parents (Stole and Bud Cort) start to wonder about the Melissa Etheridge posters on her wall. No surprise that her summer vacation has the opposite effect: Despite the best efforts of Cathy Moriarty and a dragless RuPaul, she finds herself enjoying the company of other Sapphists, and before you know it she’s struck up a romance with co-Out covergirl Clea DuVall (doing her best to channel James Dean). Babbit’s concoction is sometimes so light and fluffy you think it might evaporate, but it’s saved by the true noxiousness of the institutions it parodies, a real-world evil which lends the film much-needed weight.
Let us know your recommendations in the comments: