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.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Criminal. Here’s Ignatiy Vishnevetsky over at The AV Club:
Violent, low-IQ psychopath Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner) is implanted with the memories of a dead spy by the CIA, only to escape in London, where he uses his newly acquired skills to disable security systems, speak French (which be believes is Spanish), make waffles, and wreak havoc, all the while dodging bomb-throwing Spanish anarchists and looking for a bag full of money. An unholy cross between Charles Manson and Charles Bronson, the middle-aged Jericho is actually the heroof Criminal, a high-concept thriller that teeters like a seesaw between deranged and dull. Maybe that’s what happens when a loony script by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg (The Rock) and an atypical Costner performance—with the actor’s mushy voice squeezed into guttural yelps and growls—are put in the hands of Ariel Vromen, director of the serial-killer biopic The Iceman and something of a specialist in making the lurid seem listless.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Sing Street. Here’s Tasha Robinson over at verge:
At this point, no one who watches John Carney’s movies is likely to mistake his feelings about the transformative power of music. His debut film, the raw and aching Once, features Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as two lonely people making music together to express the emotions they can’t voice to each other. Carney’s more visibly commercial 2013 film Begin Again was initially called Can A Song Save Your Life?, and the plot is one long series of affirmations around that question. Its protagonists, played by Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, are both dealing with broken romances and failed careers, and they find the satisfaction and success they’ve been missing by teaming up to record an album. And now, Carney’s new musical Sing Street finds new ways to play the same chords in new combinations. Once again, Carney rhapsodizes about the redemptive power of music. And once again, his story turns into an extended concert, where the characters’ performances take over the film, to joyous and giddy effect.
- Kung Fu Panda 3. Here’s Glenn Kenny over at RogerEbert.com:
Of all the Dreamworks Animation franchise lead characters—not that there are many of them—Po, the often goofily hapless but ultimately mighty titular Kung Fu Panda voiced by Jack Black is the most unambiguously and unabashedly lovable. So, Kung Fu Panda 3 has got that going for it right off the bat. The sunny metrics of the believe-in-yourself scenario the character offers—as appealing a combo as pandas and martial arts seem, they’re not exactly made for each other, which in each of the movies is exactly the point—are sufficiently strong that the films don’t need to truck in overt jokiness (as the Shrek pictures tend to, which I myself tend to find needy and irritating); they’re more about a genial, jovial, we’re-in-this-together attitude.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Embrace of the Serpent (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Combining the uncertain hell of Fitzcarraldo and the terrifying insanity of Apocalypse Now, director Ciro Guerra’s third film Embrace of the Serpent takes a trip down the Amazon, which seems to be synonymous with exploring harsh truths about the world and one’s self. But despite comparisons toHeart of Darkness and the works of Werner Herzog and Francis Ford Coppola, Guerra shows a whole new side of the Amazon River with his darkly fascinating film that is one of the year’s best.
- My All American (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
In 2015, even fans of football are jaded by the concussions, off-field violence, and scandals that plague the game at all levels. Given that, it’s an uphill battle to sell the viewing public on a heartfelt football movie like My All American. But My All American has the genuinely inspirational true story of Freddie Steinmark at its forefront, and a seasoned veteran in its back pocket: writer and first time director Angelo Pizzo’s credits include Hoosiers and Rudy, two of the best known “based on a true story” sports films of all time. The film isn’t particularly deep, but it’s a charming motivational sports movie that becomes a moving motivational life movie halfway through.
- The Irish Pub (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Not only does The Irish Pub do a spectacular job at capturing the history and cozy nature of the pubs, but it also does a great job at presenting the different characters that work at and patronize the pubs. While many of the people only receive a few minutes of screen time, by the end of their scene it really feels as if they could be your neighbors or friends. In fact, most of the interviews take place only a few feet away from their subject, so it’s easy to feel as if you’re sitting on the bar stool along with them. Although, eventually these conversations start to blur together and some of the stories do become monotonous.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.