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:
- The Hollars. Here’s what we said in our original review:
There’s a scene in The Hollars where John Hollar (John Krasinski), having been called back unexpectedly to his small hometown, returns to a pond he visited as a child. In a nostalgic moment, he climbs onto the tire hanging from a tree branch that stretches out over the water and swings for a minute over the pond. Only for a minute, though, because it doesn’t take long for the branch break under the weight of an adult man, and John drops into the water. It’s a short scene, and certainly intended at least in part for comedic effect. But it also encapsulates one of the major themes of the film: sentimentality and nostalgia are all well and good, but you can’t stop real life from dropping you fully-clothed into a pond.
- Kicks. Here’s what we said in our original review:
It’s clear what Tipping is going for. But it’s harder to say whether or not he nails it. Kicks is an uneven work, flicking between its two primary tonal modes in a way that sometimes feels herky-jerky. A cynic might say it feels like a very long music video, anchored to a plot device so familiar it risks cliché. But while the slight story and languid pacing might frustrate some viewers, Tipping has achieved something notable here. He’s presented a clump of characters, defined by sizzling poverty and last-resort violence that surround them, without succumbing to the impulse to moralize about any of it.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- The Lobster (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Like Dogtooth before it, The Lobster forces its viewers to confront so many questions that its bizarre plot almost seems irrelevant. Even if The Lobster does present more questions that it cares to answer, it ends up unimportant in the long run. In doing this, Lanthimos’ pseudo-fable becomes far more about emotion than all of his previous work combined. The lengths one will go for love – and what we look for in love – will resonate long after the movie’s ambiguous conclusion.
- Krisha (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
Unfolding across an especially long and awkward Thanksgiving Day, Krisha creates an audio-visual language of social anxiety; it’s practically a horror movie about the horror of being the unwanted guest at the party. Almost every stylistic choice—most of them quite dynamic, especially for a first-time director—has been made to serve Krisha’s subjective perspective, her “jumpiness.” Rhythmic montages of activity, scored to the atonal plucks of Brian McOmber’s sinister score, somehow turn the mundane activities of a holiday get-together—preparing the meal; watching the big game; horsing around in the yard—into sources of unease. These are private family rituals, not for interlopers. Likewise, several conversations are shot from eavesdropping distance, the camera creeping down hallways or lingering in doorways. Krisha keeps Krisha always on the outside, unable to participate.
- Blue Jay (now on Netflix). Here’s Brian Tallerico over at RogerEbert.com:
What if you could almost literally get a look at the path not taken? What if you could consider the differences between the teen you and the adult you in stark contrast? Would you regret the choices you made? Would you change your life? “Blue Jay” is a gentle, genuine trip down memory lane that features one of our best actresses in the kind of role she doesn’t get to play that often, and another great turn in the arc of an independent film icon. It’s a two-hander through and through (there’s only one other speaking role at all and it’s minor) and the two leads are more than up to the challenge, giving so much to one another that we fill in the history of their relationship and the years they’ve spent apart. The final act has a twist that doesn’t particularly work for me (mostly in that I wish there was no revelation in that moment at all) but the performances are so truthful that it doesn’t really matter.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.