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 & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Metallica: Through the Never. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The quality of the direction even allows moments of genuine emotion to seep into the concert portion. There’s Hetfield on his knees, drawing out the final notes of the solo in Nothing Else Matters as long as he can. There’s the way the band is clearly moved by the audience’s devotion to belting out the other-worldly melody that concludes The Memory Remains. And there’s the consistent, almost fatherly concern Hetfield shows for how his fans understand the music. He urges them to pass through the darkness of the songs rather than be consumed by it, and to come out the other side energized and alive. In short, Through the Never is classic Metallica. A bit all over the place, a bit over the top, and not entirely sure where it’s going. It’s also risky, surprising, fun, brash, thundering, and utterly undaunted.
- Last Vegas. Here’s what we said in our original review:
So if you’re looking to gauge your interest, think of Last Vegas as a more laid-back, amiable, heartwarming, and far less salacious version of The Hangover. It has an elder’s slow, deliberate grace, and basic decency. And for a film that has so much fun oogling the exposed flesh of nubile 20-something females (it i s a Vegas movie about for old guys) Last Vegas also breaks out a surprising amount of feminism: watch, for instance, the way Archie ultimately takes the young punk under his wing and instructs him in how to approach women. Or the way Sam finally finds a young woman up for helping him “enjoy” his weekend, and the astonishing notes of grace the scenario plays out on.
- Don Jon. Here’s James Berardinelli over at Reelviews:
Don Jon is about addiction, obsession, and compulsion. It’s about how the elements that drive and define our lives can impede normal, productive behavior. And, unlike a dark film like Shame, which deals with the same subject, it attacks its thesis with humor. Although Don Jon has a lot to say (and a lot more to suggest) about porn, it’s primarily a character study about a man’s struggle to overcome his addiction. In many ways, it’s not that different from a movie about an alcoholic except, in this case, the compulsion to view porn doesn’t overwhelm the protagonist’s life; it merely impedes his ability to sustain a romantic relationship.
INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- New World. Here’s Andrew O’Hehir over at Salon:
I think it’s likely Park Hoon-jung will make better movies than this one, which is only his second as a director. (He’s not related to Park Chan-wook; Park is an extremely common Korean surname.) There’s arguably a mechanical coldness to New World, which is an excellent work of craftsmanship rather than a really good movie. It doesn’t have the heartfelt sentimentality and/or religiosity or the undercurrent of Buddhist-existentialist philosophy found in the very best Asian thrillers, and a lot of that comes back to Lee Jung-jae’s unreadable performance as Ja-sung, a man of Hamlet-like inner turmoil who is never permitted a revealing soliloquy. (He may in fact serve as an illustration of Jesus’ famous maxim from the Gospel of Mark about gaining the whole world and forfeiting your soul.) All that said, no one in American movies has made a crime opera this good in years.
- The Square. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The Square, a documentary by Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) is a heady tour-de-force look at the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Initially covering only Mubarak’s ouster in 2011, Noujaim continued filming throughout the summer and the next tumultuous two years, capturing the the Egyptian Army’s removal of the elected President Mohammad Morsi. The theme of the film is unequivocally revolution, a loaded word that has inched its way towards meaningless and obsolescence, yet here comes roaring into vibrancy. The Square is an engrossing look at the lives of several activists who remain doggedly staunch in their quest for change despite increasingly harrowing circumstances and a constantly changing political landscape. Perhaps surprisingly, the film, while grounded in realism, is unapologetic in its idealism. These activists, although fighting for political change, are actually about as soured on politics and politicians as one can be – the change they seek out and their motivations are universally human and refreshingly not power-centered.
- Man of Tai Chi. Here’s Ignatiy Vishnevetsky over at The AV Club:
This appreciation for modest craft, the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, informs the movie’s many fight scenes, which use a loping camera and clean, clear cuts to create a smooth sense of movement that still manages to register the combatants’ weight and force. Feet and fists move with the camera, and angles orient the combatants in space. Even Reeves—who has a stiff-legged, Frankenstein’s-monster-like fighting style—ends up looking like a formidable physical presence. The choreography (overseen by the great Yuen Woo-ping, who, like Chen, worked with Reeves on the Matrix movies) emphasizes the movement of the combatants’ bodies around each other and the way Chen is able to use his opponents’ momentum as an advantage. When the small, wiry actor uses an early opponent’s lunge against him, rolling so that the man gets thrown by the force of his own body, it feels real.
That’s at for our weekly Netflix guide! Let us know what you’re watching in the comments.