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:
- Patriots Day. Here’s Sean Burns over at North Shore Movies:
The few of us who saw Berg and Wahlberg’s $150 million money-loser Deepwater Horizon back in October know their formula already: the former-underwear-model-turned-hamburger-salesman plays a flawless-yet-humble salt-of-the-Earth fella who runs around a factually dubious depiction of a tragic event, super-heroically saving the lives of the supporting cast so they can all spend the last ten minutes of the movie thanking him in slow-motion while sad music plays. The narcissism is grotesque. In Patriots Day, Wahlberg can’t even walk down the street without people stopping him just to say what a great guy he is. After every big scene, someone in the cast takes a moment to tell Tommy he did a good job, and thanks him for being there.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Dr. Strange. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Sometimes Doctor Strange is downright delightful. In terms of style, it is different enough from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so that it effectively answers the criticism that all the films look the same. Director Scott Derrickson takes his hero to some wacky places, since this is more of a fantasy than a traditional comic book film. But for all its inventiveness, there are things about Doctor Strange that are frustratingly familiar. Not all superheroes require an origin story, and yet this one labors yet another one for most of its run-time. Derrickson squanders a talented actress with the thankless love interest role. And for a film that mostly takes place in Nepal – when it’s on Earth, anyway – there is icky Orientalism that would make most Everest climbers blush.
- Silence. Here’s what we said in our original review:
As an example of cinema craft, Silence is unambiguously not merely the work of a master, but a focused and dedicated one, working with a clarity of purpose and vision that has not always been true of Scorsese as of late. It is not simply to say that it exceeds the sum of its parts, though those parts are of exceptional quality and consistency. The performances are terrific, including an ingeniously-cast Garfield; but the standout is Issey Ogata’s Inoue, instantly an all-time classic screen villain. Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography is glorious, both embracing and challenging the strengths and limits of video at every moment in a way that stuns without ever crossing into ostentatiousness. And Scorsese’s careful and structured camerawork, as always stitched together virtuosity by Thelma Schoonmaker, never chooses the obvious route.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (Richard Linklater edition):
- Everybody Wants Some!! (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
There’s little room for villains in a Richard Linklater film; when the guy throws a party, even the assholes make for good company. Which is fortunate, because for a little while, just about every character in Everybody Wants Some, Linklater’s new timewarp of a hangout movie, comes across a bit like a douche bag. When we first meet the boys, a hard-drinking college baseball team living under one (slowly collapsing) roof, they’re behaving like the jocks of any old campus comedy: chasing skirt, hazing freshmen, and bonding through a never-ending Olympics of macho competition. They’re frat brothers in all but name, and a non-pledge might seriously wonder if they really want to spend two hours in a kegger simulation, but without a buzz on. Eventually, though, something strange and almost magical happens: Personalities start to form, banter starts to land, and—against all odds—this jovial broletariat starts to actually grow on you. That’s the Linklater touch. He makes open-mindedness infectious.
- Before Midnight (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Like the previous two films, Linklater achieves a peculiar sense of tension through dialogue alone. Death, love, commitment, and sex are their chief topics of conversations. These are well-worn subjects, this is true, but the script by Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy holds our attention by keeping constantly aware of how experience changes how we feel. Did I mention the movie is also hilarious? Even during their biggest arguments, Hawke and Delpy can toss a one-liner so that we experience the same whirlwind of emotions that their characters do. The chemistry between Hawke and Delpy is still there, only now it’s deepened. When the credits inevitably began, I didn’t want to leave these two characters, yet also I knew that any moment longer would take the piss out of the whole thing. Before Midnight is just perfect.
- Boyhood (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The strongest parts in Boyhood, the ones with the most wisdom, are with Mason and his biological parents. The best scene in the film is when Mason, around age 12 or 13, goes on a camping trip with his father. Since Mason is between childhood and adolescence, he’s able to really converse with his father, and there’s a cadence to the dialogue that rings true (Mason’s father also imbues helpful advice that Mason stupidly ignores until long after high school is over). Hawke is pitch-perfect here as a parent that’s an amalgam of other roles he’s perfected with Linklater, and his character has a satisfying mini-arc that avoids the familiar route. Arquette’s character, on the other hand, never has the opportunity to be the fun parent, yet her performance combines tenderness, tough love, and vulnerability. It’s a cliché that we see her mistakes and not Hawke’s, but Linklater also shows how her parenting style evolves from exhausted nagging toward a desire for empathy.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.