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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:

  • Sausage Party. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    As with This Is the End and Preacher, writers Goldberg and Rogen clearly have an interest in religion and Sausage Party becomes almost like The Lego Movie or WALL-E in the way it tries to sneak a larger point into its animated film without hitting the audience over the head with their ideas. But unfortunately, it’s the promised crudeness and low-blow jokes of Sausage Party keep it from being great, while the simpler jokes almost always win throughout. Sausage Party is trying to do some brilliant things – especially in its third act – that keeps it from being completely spoiled.

OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:

  • Indignation. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Indignation is an uncommon film about mostly common experiences. If it were more heavy-handed, it might feel like a cautionary tale, but very few of Marcus’ decisions seem ill-advised or unusual.  He’s a college kid who could have been just about any college kid, and makes choices that just about any college kid might make in any era. In Marcus’s case, however, they’re rippling out to a tragic but possibly unavoidable conclusion.

  • Morris from America. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Morris is a perfectly ordinary 13-year-old boy. He dreams of becoming a rapper, he’s lonely, and he is just discovering girls. The most unusual thing about Morris are his circumstances: he is black, but he lives in lily-white Germany. That’s the set-up for Morris from America, an observant coming-of-age comedy. The perfectly-translated German subtitles only add to the Morris’ profound sense of alienation. Writer and director Chad Hartigan may frame the plot around familiar adolescent experiences, but at least he resists easy outcomes.

INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • Citizenfour (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    It was easy to be dismissive of Edward Snowden last summer. The former NSA contractor looked like a malnourished dork, the sort of guy who would neg women at bars who were minding their own business. This unfair characterization is partly deliberate on Snowden’s part – NSA overreach was always meant to be the story, not Snowden himself – and we only had a handful of interviews/quotes with which to understand him (he spoke in libertarian friendly, freedom-loving platitudes). Among other things, the compelling documentary Citizenfour humanizes Snowden. He is the central figure in a story that combines espionage with intrepid journalism, as well as righteous anger against an overarching conspiracy that somehow normalized the utter erosion of our privacy. No matter what we might think of Snowden, director Laura Poitras forces us to reconsider our biases, which speaks to the depth of her cinematic forcefulness.

  • Black Book (now on Netflix). Here’s Noel Murray over at The AV Club:
    Working again with longtime screenwriting collaborator Gerard Soeteman, Paul Verhoeven makes Black Book into a rollicking wartime movie-movie, replacing awards-bait clichés with a strong dose of two-fisted action, frank sexuality, and coal-black cynicism. Carice van Houten plays a Jew in hiding who survives a double-cross and winds up in the seemingly safe arms of the Dutch resistance, where she immediately draws a dangerous assignment, working as a secretary for the Nazis. When she’s ordered to distract her boss, Sebastian Koch, with as many feminine wiles as she can muster, van Houten soon learns that Koch may be more sympathetic to her cause than her fellow rebels are. Before long, she isn’t sure who she’s pretending to be, or why.

  • The Neon Demon (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Provocation is an important tool in a filmmaker’s arsenal. It is what shakes an audience out of complacency, and gets them engaged. Any genre – even comedy – has the potential to be provocative, forcing us to question why we are shocked. Nicolas Winding Refn wants to be provocative more than most filmmakers out there. He made an international splash with Drive, a thriller that’s more about mood than action, and his latest The Neon Demon features many of the same hallmarks: a throbbing electro soundtrack, saturated cinematography, and sudden violence. While his breakthrough used thriller tropes to comment on the genre, his latest comments on his own obsessions, and not much else. It is provocative for its own sake.

That’s it! Get streaming, kids.

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