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:
- The Bling Ring. Here’s my review over at Tiny Mix Tapes:
During The Bling Ring, I found myself repeatedly whispering in my friend’s ear. She’d been following the real-life story of the four young thieves who would break into the homes of celebrities. “Who’s that?” I would ask, or “What show was she on?” I don’t mean to say I’m above knowing who these famous people; I’m just too old, and my interests do not align with a California teenager. That being said, The Bling Ring ably plunges the audience into a world of nightclubs, hip-hop, and high fashion. The only problem is that writer and director Sofia Coppola is content just to wallow, not to comment, so the uncompromising superficial drama is ultimately grating.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- World War Z. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Generally, I’d rather eat the flesh of the living than my own words (or, for that matter, anything else). In the interest of fairness, below is my hype-take on World War Z from the Summer Film Preview Guide of this very illustrious and august publication:
Write it down: this will be the cinematic equivalent of a missed extra point, an air-balled free throw, balking in the winning run in game seven, or posting an own-goal while celebrating a save. It’s generally gauche to write, let alone print, the obituary of the not yet departed, but this work has all the hallmarks of an unforced error.
Write it down: I have no idea what I’m talking about. World War Z is not a flawless movie, and Danny Boyle still did it better, but the film breathes new life into a genre that’s been shambling along for a decade. With all the production hallmarks of a dumpster fire, this film still manages to do so much so well that I really don’t have any cause to trash it.
- Gimme the Loot. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The movie critic cliché that comes to mind to describe Adam Leon’s Gimme The Loot is “promising first feature.” It’s not the writer-director’s first film, though, so that backhanded praise won’t serve. Instead, there are pieces that work extremely well, wedded to dialog that swerves between forced and intoxicatingly authentic. It doesn’t quite add up to more than a pastiche of other, better films about New York boundary-crossing and disaffect, but that’s just negative spin on the more basic reality: This is an enjoyably aimless, largely well-executed movie that rightly prefers verité simplicity to the lunging plot contortions that sometimes mar arthouse treatments of society’s divides. Oh, and the soundtrack kicks fucking ass.
INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Bullhead. Here’s what we said in our original review:
As Jacky, Matthias Schoenaerts’ captivating performance is the strongest reason to see Bullhead. While his physique is the first thing anyone will notice – apparently the actor gained seventy pounds for the role – fits of emotion are what make him a unique screen presence. He lacks the skills/requirements for a complete adulthood, so watching him struggle is heartbreaking, even if these deficiencies cause occasional bouts of violence. Without physical grace, Roskam films the action so the viewer can fully grasp Jacky’s clumsy power. The juxtaposition of strength and weakness, already the source considerable tension, comes to a head during its brutal final sequence.
- Shut Up and Play the Hits. Here’s what we said in our original review:
I look forward to the day when I can tell my hypothetical kid that I saw LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden, even though he/she will probably respond with, “You’re embarrassing me.” Pop music is more fractured than ever, so the MSG show is the closest thing we’ll have to a macro-scale cultural experience. Like other concert films of similar ambition – Stop Making Sense, The Last Waltz, and Shine a Light come immediately to mind – Shut Up and Play the Hits gives the impression we’re in the thick of it with the musicians. It is terrific fun, with the right note of bittersweet melancholy.
- I Saw the Devil. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Torture porn has nearly evolved into its own genre, complete with conventions and iconography that make it as easy to spot as a classic western. But the graphic violence that defines this breed of horror is gratuitous — it’s shocking, hearty fun but it doesn’t go for the jugular of depth or meaning… it just goes for the jugular. Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw The Devil may be as gory and repulsive as some of the guiltiest splatter films, but it toes a fine line, ultimately falling into a category of film that gleans meaning from violence (although I’m certain many critics will argue that it is concretely a gorno).
What are you watching on Netflix this week? Let us know in the comments!