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:
- T2 Trainspotting. Here’s what we said in our interview with director Danny Boyle:
The movie, it should be noted, is very fun. It plays to all your Trainspotting needs. It even has a new Choose Life speech. Which makes it feel like a reunion that it is. The interview happened the day after the D.C. preview screening which BYT hosted, and the audience showed up with rolled up posters of the original, reacted instinctively to any nod and inside jokes that relayed the spirit of the first movie, and in general, was thrilled to be surrounded by people who remembered 1996.
- The Belko Experiment. Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
White collars, red blood: In The Belko Experiment, American rat racers become guinea pigs in a deadly social experiment. Suddenly trapped within the remote Columbian office building where they put in their 9-to-5 every day, these 80 desperate desk jockeys are instructed by intercom to kill or be killed—to eliminate their coworkers in a timely fashion or risk having their heads remotely detonated one by one. Is this the setup for a grim death-match thriller? Or does it promise something cheekier, a scathing satire about how truly cutthroat corporate culture can be? The Belko Experiment, written by James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), never entirely decides how seriously it wants to take its premise. And so it stakes an uncomfortable middle ground. You may think of Dilbert one minute, the Nuremberg defense the next. No, really.
- The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Here’s Tom Russo over at The Boston Globe:
The know-it-alls on CSI always acted like they were the last word on gritty forensics and the macabre. Those TV glamourpusses never caught a case as gnarly as the one we’re shown in The Autopsy of Jane Doe, a lean indie horror flick that manages to creep us out even before getting to the part that’s meant to be truly unsettling. Norwegian director Andre Ovredal casts Emile Hirsch as Austin Tilden, a guy who’s remarkably well adjusted for all the time he spends helping to run the morgue that his family has operated for three generations. Oh, and did he mention that they conduct their business in the family homestead’s dank, wood-paneled basement? Austin’s somber dad, Tommy (Brian Cox), isn’t exactly a Charles Addams type either, even if he is more wrapped up in the minutiae of what they do — not because he’s intimately interested, like Will Smith in “Concussion,” just very thorough.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (JFK edition):
- 11.23.63 (now on Hulu). Here’s Matt Zoller Seitz over at Vulture:
11.22.63, a Hulu production based on Stephen King’s novel, is a sneakily involving mini-series. It makes you wonder why it’s spending so much time on stories other than its main tale of a writer named Jake Epping (James Franco) traveling back in time to try to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but after a while you relax (or should) and accept that it’s pursuing its own peculiar agenda, and it’s not quite what you thought. I went into it with arms folded because I’ve seen lot of time-travel stories and a lot of conspiracy thrillers. But this mini-series is not either of those things, exactly. Pretty soon the real point sinks in. 11.22.63 is mainly about telling stories and listening to stories, and the empathetic transfer that happens when the listener really feels what the speaker is saying, and the danger of the listener wanting not merely to help the speaker by validating his experiences but by directly intervening in his life — a gesture that can lead not to resolution but more complications, or disaster.
- Grey Gardens (now on FilmStruck). Here’s Alan Scherstuhl over at The Village Voice:
You might want to protest that a sparkling new print of Grey Gardens violates the point of Grey Gardens. But if you feel strongly about it — or if you’ve never had the chance to witness the Fall of the House of Beale on a big screen — there’s no excuse to miss the restoration of Albert and David Maysles’s 1976 study of spirited decrepitude. Shot on 16mm, and still grainy, the story of the two generations of Ediths swanning and dancing about their crumbling mansion remains elusive and dreamlike, no matter how its corners have been brightened. In those corners, of course, is filth, now more sharply detailed than ever before.
- 13 Days (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Roger Ebert:
I call the movie a thriller, even though the outcome is known, because it plays like one: We may know that the world doesn’t end, but the players in this drama don’t, and it is easy to identify with them. They have so much more power than knowledge, and their hunches and guesses may be more useful than war game theories. Certainly past experience is not a guide, because no war will have started or ended like this one. Donaldson and Costner have worked together before, on No Way Out, about a naval officer assigned to the Pentagon who stumbles into a criminal cover-up. That one was a more traditional thriller, with sex and murders; this time they find almost equal suspense in what’s essentially a deadly chess game. In the long run, national defense consists of not blowing everything up in the name of national defense. Suppose nobody had blinked in 1962, and missiles had been fired. Today we would be missing most of the people of Cuba, Russia and the U.S. Eastern seaboard, and there’d be a lot of poison in the air. That would be our victory. Yes, Khrushchev was reckless to put the missiles in Cuba, and Kennedy was right to want them out. But it’s a good thing somebody blinked.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.