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:
- Logan. Here’s what we said in our original review:
When we first see Logan, who has delighted audiences for nearly twenty years, he is a pathetic husk of himself. Drunk and sloppy, he wins a fight only by default. He still can heal, and his claws cut through flesh like butter, but he looks and acts like a loser. This is a lowly state for Logan – aka The Wolverine – and also a statement of purpose. Logan does not just deepen the stakes of the superhero film: director James Mangold and his screenwriters turn it inside out, finding emotional reserves that escaped the genre for a generation.
- Get Out. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Key & Peele is arguably the peak of the sketch comedy show. The brainchild of Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key was always funny and subversive, but its sense of cinema is what elevated it above its contemporaries. The show would use genre tropes and archaic production values in order immerse us into sketches that could be twisted, even disturbing. Their affection for horror and action movies is borderline obsessive – some sketches eclipsed their subject – so it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan Peele’s gravitates behind the camera, not in front of it. Get Out, Peele’s feature-length horror debut, has all the barbs of his best sketches, and a lot more. The film is a wicked black comedy, with a well-earned payoff and a palpable sense of anger.
- The LEGO Batman Movie. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The LEGO Batman Movie is the only real family friendly option opening this weekend, so pile up the car, grab Grandma, and get to it. Not only is this a fun action-adventure, it’s clever enough for everyone to enjoy, and the plethora of Easter eggs make the film worth revisiting once it’s available for streaming. It’s almost as good as The LEGO Movie and, as a bonus, it’s a part of the LEGO world and a part of the DC Universe. LEGO Batman shouts out just about everything in Bat-media, from the Justice League and Super Friends to the 1960s Batman TV series and Batman: The Animated Series. In some small way, we might even consider some of the relationship established here between Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) and Batman (Will Arnett) as an allusion to the ill-fated Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) film. It makes a strong case for LEGO Batman being canon and not just a separate incarnation of the caped crusader.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (claustrophobic thriller edition):
- The Stanford Prison Experiment (now on Netflix). Here’s Lesley Coffin over The Mary Sue:
The case has been written about, documentaries made using the footage from security cameras, and films and television shows made “based on it”, including Das Experiment and the subsequent remake, The Experiment. Now a dramatization based on the experiment has been made … more than a decade after the film was first optioned. The film has been announced with various casts and directors over the years, but finally been made with director Kyle Patrick Alvarez and a cast of 25 young, male actors. And with all the challenges of adapting a true story with such a large cast, the film is a remarkably well made, compelling examination of a very disturbing event which captures the revelations that came as a result of the misguided experiment, while still putting several timely elements front and center.
- 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.
- 10 Cloverfield Lane (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
10 Cloverfield Lane is a brilliant little suspense film: intense, well-acted, and satisfying. Given its namesake and the involvement of producer JJ Abrams, that satisfaction may not exactly jibe with expectations. The title does the film no favors: it is not a direct sequel to Cloverfield, and it completely jettisons the found footage conceit that helped give that film its raw terror. While director Dan Trachtenberg films with a more traditional style, there is a subjectivity to the story so that it still provokes a steady sense of unease. Trachtenberg quickly defines what type of film he has made, and addresses any potential dissatisfaction with steady, claustrophobic groove.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.