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 & PERHAPS WORTH SKIPPING:
- Labor Day. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Through his first four films, director Jason Reitman created comedic dramas that were effective in both making his audience laugh and move them, from the child pregnancy in Juno to the fear of commitment in Up in the Air and the emotional selfishness of Young Adult. Yet with his newest film Labor Day, Reitman tries to drop the comedy with a serious drama, yet unintentionally gets laughs from an overwrought melodrama seeping with awkwardness and odd handling of the subject matter.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Escape from Tomorrow. Here’s Matt Cohen over at The Week:
Essentially, Escape From Tomorrow is like a David Lynch fever dream. It exhibits the same quality that makes Lynch’s early films so appealing and notorious: Turning everyday settings into nightmarish, surreal traps. With Escape From Tomorrow, Moore turns what’s considered one of the happiest, friendliest places in the country into a bizarre nightmare. Hilarious, creepy, and highly entertaining, Escape From Tomorrow isn’t just a smart VOD choice. It’s an instant cult classic.
- Gloria. Here’s Mike D’Angelo over at The AV Club:
Movies about middle-aged women are so rare that it’s tempting to praise them on that basis alone. Thankfully, the Chilean drama Gloria, which won Paulina García the Best Actress prize at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival, doesn’t require much critical mitigation. Neither mocking nor quite celebrating its title character, who’s at once adorable and exasperating, the film asserts—even in the face of grim box-office realities—that menopause isn’t the end of sex or love. At the same time, though, it’s utterly realistic about the challenges of looking for love in an age group consisting almost entirely of people who’ve failed, in one form or another, at creating a viable long-term partnership.
INSTANT NETFLIX VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- The Intouchables. Here’s what we said in our original review:
With a less charismatic cast, this would have just been a throwaway comedy. With these two, it is easily the kind of movie you can see yourself revisiting all the time. The Intouchables is perfect for when you’re feeling sad, or lonely, or need a pick-me-up or when you need something dependable and want just what the doctor prescribed.
- Raw Deal. Here’s Jeremy Arnold over at TCM:
Five years before Lee Marvin threw coffee into Gloria Grahame’s face in The Big Heat (1953), Raymond Burr threw flaming brandy into the face of his mistress in Raw Deal, simply because she spilled a drink on him. Burr actually throws it into our face – the camera lens – and though we never see the burn on the face of his victim, we certainly hear, and feel, her reaction. Burr’s own flippant reaction to what he’s done makes it even more appalling: “She should have been more careful,” he shrugs. This scene of shocking violence is but one of many in the movie, a brilliant low-budget film noir from director Anthony Mann.
- The Dirties. Here’s Zachary Wigon over at The Village Voice:
Playing like a Hollywood found-footage teen movie by way of Funny Games‘ Michael Haneke, Matthew Johnson’s The Dirties explores high school violence from a refreshingly original angle. Johnson presents us with bullied teens who plot revenge not from the typical position of introverted maladjustment but rather with an excited self-awareness—after procuring the blueprints for his high school, one maybe-killer reads journalist Dave Cullen’s Columbine. The book matters, but it’s the fantasy-generating medium of cinema that inspires protagonists Matt (Johnson) and Owen (Owen Williams) to step back and reimagine their lives; they’re making a movie titled, yes, The Dirties, in which heroes Matt and Owen kill the school bullies (dubbed “the Dirties”). Their video camera serves as a powerful tool, enabling them to dictate the terms of their own reality—but it’s exactly this ability that begins to push Matt into a realm where his movie’s story might become too real.
That’s it for this week’s Netflix guide. Let us know what you’re watching in the comments!