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:
- Snatched. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Just two years ago, Amy Schumer made her starring debut in the charming Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck, which played to Schumer’s comedic strengths and solidifying her as a star. With Schumer’s second starring role – Snatched – she brings a legend out of retirement, making Goldie Hawn her co-star, in her first film since 2002’s The Banger Sisters. With Schumer at the top of her game, and Hawn ready to make her triumphant return to film for the first time in fifteen years, Snatched has all the potential one could want from summer’s first big comedy. Unfortunately, the film is lazy and unsurprising, a waste of both Schumer and Hawn’s skills, and a huge step down from the previous work of writer Katie Dippold (The Heat, last year’s Ghostbusters) and director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Before).
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Here’s Sonny Bunch over at The Washington Free Beacon:
I was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting where Guy Ritchie’s latest movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, was greenlit, but I like to imagine the elevator pitch went something like this: “What if King Arthur was kind of a dbag and had friends with names like Kung Fu George?” Charlie Hunnam’s swaggering strut—a sort of exaggerated limp, a hobble that seems to be created by hurling one foot in front of the other via momentum generated by throwing his right shoulder forward rather than simply, you know, walking—is perfect for Ritchie’s Chav King Arthur, in its own perverse way. As he lurches about near the end of the film, letting the tip of the famed Excalibur drag on the ground behind him throwing off sparks, you understand that this is a king who just dgaf, you know? Magical swords and legendary power mean nothing to this dude; he just wants to take his revenge and head home for a cold brew with his banner-bros. Annoyingly edited, shoddily acted, and stuffed with action scenes that have stakes so low as to be invisible to the naked eye, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is easily skipped.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- The Wall. Here’s yours truly over at The Washington City Paper:
A few weeks ago, the war thriller Mine came and left area theaters without much fanfare. The film followed a Marine sniper who was forced to hold his position after his partner died and he stepped on a land mine. It is a terrible film, one that tacks a maudlin backstory onto the cinematic tedium of watching a man stand in place for several days straight. The Wall has a strikingly similar premise: It is also about a sniper—this one is in the Army—who spends most of the film stuck in one place. Whereas Mine halfheartedly tugs the heartstrings, The Wall unfolds like a grim joke. Director Doug Liman never glorifies his hero and instead opts to let the action speak for itself.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (movies about cults edition):
- Faults (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Mike D’Angelo over at The AV Club:
At first glance, Faults appears to be a cringeworthy comedy of embarrassment in the tradition of Larry David and Ricky Gervais. Its protagonist, Dr. Ansel Roth (stalwart character actor Leland Orser, taking magnificent advantage of a rare leading role), is introduced attempting to pay for a hotel meal using a recycled voucher that he fished out of the trash; while he bills himself as one of the world’s foremost authorities on cults, his lectures on the subject serve as little more than an excuse to browbeat attendees into buying his latest book (Follower: Inside The Mind Of The Controlled), which he then charges them an additional $5 to sign. These overly broad early scenes, however, turn out to be misdirection on the part of writer-director Riley Stearns, who has something a lot more subtle and serious up his sleeve. Working with his wife, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who also co-produced), he’s fashioned a movie that undergoes a slow, captivating metamorphosis, scene by scene, though who’s the caterpillar and who’s the cocoon remains unclear until the very end.
- My Scientology Movie (now on Netflix). Here’s Norman Wilner over at NOW:
Does the world need another Scientology exposé after Alex Gibney’s Going Clear? Louis Theroux finds another way in. All he has to do is announce he’s casting actors to play church head David Miscavige in filmed re-enactments and suddenly he’s Suppressive Person #1. Peppered with legal threats and constant, obvious surveillance – the standard intimidation whenever Scientology feels threatened – Theroux politely refuses to back down, walking up to hovering cameramen and asking what’s up in sequences that crackle with nervous energy and genuine risk. And that’s when My Scientology Movie deploys its masterstroke. Borrowing a conceit from The Act Of Killing, Theroux employs former Scientology enforcer Marty Rathbun (who also turned up in Going Clear) to consult on those re-enactments – and films his reactions during the shoot. Seeing Rathbun’s psychic scars emerge is far more compelling than any talking head could ever be.
- The Sacrament (now on Netflix). Here’s Britt Hayes over at Screencrush:
The Sacrament is the next step in the evolution of Ti West – House of the Devil gave us a simmering, retro horror story that built to an insane late third-act climax. The Innkeepers us some surprising character depth, and organic emotional development that lent the film serious stakes; he stuck the knife in slowly and then twisted it violently. The Sacrament isn’t as slow-going as his previous two efforts, but the depth and emotion is still there, heightening the horror considerably.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.