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:
- The Shallows. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The strength of The Shallows’ premise is ultimately its undoing. Such a spare setup demands a high bar in terms of execution, yet Collet-Serra and Jaswinski just coast on rote thriller logic. The Shallows often looks great, and it will make you sink back in your seat and occasionally squirm. But given the task it sets for itself, that’s not enough.
- The Jungle Book. Here’s what we said in our original review:
It’s not as if Disney’s retelling its past stories is a terrible idea – it’s what people know about the studio and can be handled in fairly interesting ways. But when the original is held with kid gloves, with a fear of trying anything too drastic, or far off the beaten path, remaking these films is less “play with what works” and more “just tell what already worked.” Because of that, Favreau is sort of the perfect choice to tell this story, as he’s a chameleon to whatever story he’s been assigned to direct next. Yet with his last film Chef, Favreau embraced the idea of reinventing the known into something exciting and new, despite being familiar. If only he had heeded his own advice in his return back to big-budget fare that could use some of that revitalization.
- Me Before You. Here’s Eric Henderson over at Slant:
Advocates for people living with disabilities have spoken out against the film—as if they had any other alternative—for its apparent argument that it would be better to not live life at all than subject someone you love to your physical deficiencies, the “someone you love” in Will’s case being himself. But despite all evidence on display, including a rapturous one-sheet that bends over backward to disguise the male lead’s condition, Me Before You clearly frames Will’s decision as selfish, shortsighted, and tragically un-heroic. No one is in danger of leaving a screening saying: “Well, all things considered, he made the right move.” The film works marginally better if one looks at it as a clumsy metaphor for RuPaul’s maxim, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?” But even then, it only scratches the surface of how an individual’s self-loathing poisons the relationships of everyone else around them, reducing its gravitas to book-of-the-month territory.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Sunset Song (now on Netflix). Here’s Matt Zoller Seitz over at RogerEbert.com:
Sunset Song, about a rural Scottish girl growing to womanhood in the years before World War I, is one of the great director Terence Davies’ best films: an example of old school and new school mentalities coming together to create a challenging and unique experience. The movie feels as if it could have been made in the 1940s, were there no such thing as censorship. There’s frank sex and violence, and the movie doesn’t shy away from the nastier aspects of life in that time and place. But there’s never a feeling that Davies is rubbing our noses in suffering, because the film displays so much empathy for its characters and such awareness of the social, political and historical forces that hover beyond the edges of their consciousness.
- Sicario (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Before director Denis Villeneuve gets into his latest thriller, a grim title card informs us the word “Sicario” is a common term for a hit-man in Mexico. We have no idea of knowing whether this accurate, of course, although I like to think the title-card has the same authority as the one that prefaces Ronin. Both Ronin and Sicario are about hardened, violent men who ignore the typical rules of engagement and diplomacy. While Ronin is an excuse for a protracted chase, Villeneuve and his screenwriter Taylor Sheridan are more ambitious. Their examine the amoral consequences of a lengthy drug war, although the plot does not always match the Villeneuve’s powerful, oppressive filmmaking.
- Audrie & Daisy (now on Netflix). Here’s : over at The Wrap
If you’re a teenage girl and have been sexually assaulted, you probably asked for it. You dressed too provocatively, maybe, or flirted too much. Surely you’d been drinking. And that’s just what you have to battle if some people actually believe you. Because you’ll also be accused of lying. That’s the horrific (but also, tragically, common knowledge) takeaway from Netflix’s documentary Audrie & Daisy. Similar to 2015’s The Hunting Ground, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s film focuses on the victims of rape and other sexual crimes, demonstrating how those assaults were just the beginning of their nightmares.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.