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 & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Captain America: Civil War. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The marketing for Captain America: Civil War creates a feud to drum up interest: inspired by theTwilight films, ads everywhere ask us whether we’re #TeamCaptainAmerica or #TeamIronMan. This choice and the semi-plausibility of the Sokovia Accords suggest that Civil War might be more political than previous Marvel films. The Russo brothers and their screenwriters brilliantly write their way around taking a side: they create situations and moments where Cap and Stark seem right, and then invalidate their arguments moments later. It’s a zero-sum game designed to give Civil War more heft than it has, and I mean that in a good way. Like a sharply-defined TV drama, Captain America: Civil War builds on previous entries to create a situation with characters who are frustrating because we understand them too well. This film is so entertaining, so sharp and confident in its sweep, that it retroactively raises Captain America and Tony Stark’s previous adventures to its level.
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Samberg, Schaffer, and Taccone – who wrote the film and the latter two directed – have made a tonally perfect parody of the pop music genre, even if it’s topic is such an easy target that some of the jokes almost seem too obvious at times, or frankly a little late for parody. The music is fine, the cameos are well used, and Popstar is continuously very funny, yet it has the amount of substance that the Digital Shorts contained, which isn’t much. But isn’t that exactly what pop music and the Digital Shorts do best, by giving us quick snippets of fun with little to sink our teeth into? But if this is Lonely Island’s first attempt at a film, I can’t wait for the Style Boyz to reunite again for another.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- We Are Legion (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The interviewees that represent Anonymous aren’t all perfect. They can be socially obtuse, downright juvenile, and display pretty large nerd culture chips on their shoulders. But they also show a capacity for self-deprecation and self-awareness, and an instinctive understanding that whether a person has power changes the ecosystem of moral obligations they confront. Many seem genuinely concerned with upholding a particular code, and their finest moments are nothing short of remarkable: During the uprising against the Mubarak regime in Egypt, Anonymous members put together widely distributed do-it-yourself instructions for Egyptians on how to evade surveillance on the web and get communications out of the country once the internet there was blacked out. They even formed voluntary communication chains to aid Egyptian activists in the same effort.
- Young Adult (now on Hulu). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Having said that, every minute makes you want to cower in your seat in a way you would during that special kind of a horrible first date: a date with the kind of guy that overshares and is so desperate for emotional support that he’s willing to bare their soul to a complete stranger. And it’s a dark soul: from Mavis’ delusions about a time when all was right with her world to Matt’s constant connection to how horrible those four years were, the baggage the characters carry could not fit into 10 Mini Coopers (those ARE oddly spacious, mind you). Sure, a bad date can make for a good story and a learning experience, but you still sometimes wish you were warned ahead of time. That’s what all I’m going to try and do here: warn you.
- The Invitation (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Like the best psychological thrillers, The Invitation escalates tension until it’s nearly too much to bear. What’s sneaky about the film, and makes it so involving, is that the tension is more about manners than anything else. The characters may be privileged, yet there is a universal component to the situation in which they find themselves. Director Karyn Kusama’s best asset is her patience – she knows that once the other shoe drops, her command of the film falls with it – so this is a thriller where the opening acts are more fun than the final payoff.
That’s it! Let us know what you’re watching nerds.