WEEKLY BYT GUIDE TO DVD RELEASES / ON DEMAND / INSTANT NETFLIXING
Alan Zilberman | Aug 13, 2013 | 2:00PM |

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. Now all you need is someone to watch these movies with:

OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:

  • Bullet to the Head. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Director Walter Hill throws in what color he can: The editing and cuts are all enjoyably overcooked, the locations (mainly New Orleans, it looks like) are visually thick and heady, the voice-over is appropriately noir-ish, the soundtrack boasts moderate-tempo hard-rock delta blues that’s almost as guttural as Stallone’s narration, and of course Hill throws in plenty of brutal, bloody violence. His direction has some genuine panache, but on occasion the camerawork approaches the incomprehensible. Ultimately, without the help of its other lead performance or its script, Bullet to the Head is forced to fall back on swagger and bluster. And for a film like this, that’s just not enough. Unlike Jimmy himself,Bullet to the Head can talk the talk, but it can’t walk the walk.

  • The Company You Keep. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    The Company You Keep, the new political thriller from Robert Redford, is more handsome than effective. Because he’s Redford, he’s able to put together a cast of terrific character actors and the production values are polished. Problems arise when he’d rather indulge his vanity than tell a story that should be more economical. There are plenty of twists, including one without any real emotional payoff, but they’re dead on arrival when expository dialogue and heavy-handed directorial choices get in the way. There’s a sharper, leaner thriller somewhere underneath all the endless in-fighting between aging Baby Boomers.

OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:

  • Reality. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Reality, the latest from Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone, could not be more different than previous film. 2008′s Gomorrah dealt with the cruel everyday world of Neapolitan crime– not the same thing as the mafia – and its muted color palette was instrumental in its depiction of a drab, violent world.Reality, on the other hand, is much more bright and lively. Parts of it are funny too, although I wouldn’t call it a comedy, exactly. Garrone’s subject is reality television, and while his message is somewhat familiar to American audiences, his control of character and camera more than compensates for his pat conclusion.

INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • It’s a Disaster. Here’s Kate Erbland over at Film School Rejects:
    The jokes write themselves – It’s a Disaster is, in fact, not a disaster at all (though a brief glitch during the film’s final screening at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival did result in half of the audience tittering “it’s a disaster!” to a temporarily blank screen). Todd Berger‘s film takes some familiar ingredients – an end-of-the-world plot, a cast of characters who are stuck with each other, suburban brunch at its absolute worst – and mixes them up into one heck of a funny and acutely realized comedy stew (quiche?). Amusingly acted, incredibly well-written, and surprisingly adept at mixing and mingling disparate tones, It’s a Disaster is the exact kind of fresh comedy that audiences hope to find at film festivals.

  • Tabloid. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    In the hands of anyone other than Errol Morris, Tabloid would be hard to believe. The subjects are too bizarre and the details are too lurid. Mormon sex, animal cloning, and stunning delusions of grandeur are defiantly on display. But because this is Morris – a peerless documentary filmmaker who seems uncover to fascinating subjects with unflappable ease – it easy to assume his latest is the real deal. Flashy graphics and Morris’ unique interview style help Tabloid transcend its racy subject matter. By the time the end credits roll, it had raised bigger questions about credibility, obsession, and our insatiable appetite for sleazy news.

  • ParaNorman. Here’s Manohla Dargis over at The New York Times:
    ParaNorman, a beautiful-looking, charmingly heartfelt 3-D stop-motion animation about a boy and his ghouls, comes with an assortment of hair-raising frights. Some of these are just the flesh-and-blood people in Norman’s life, the bullies and teachers and even relatives who, with degrees of impatience and love, chastise the 11-year-old for his unusually morbid habits. Norman, a sprout whose black hair stands at attention as if he were in a state of perpetual alarm (he is voiced with vivid emotion by Kodi Smit-McPhee), can’t help but be a little creepy. After all, he doesn’t just see dead people, he also hangs out with them, sometimes while watching creature-features on the family TV.

What are you watching on Netflix this week? Let us know!