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:
- Baywatch. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Whatever odd unity drive might have animated this particular iteration of a Baywatch reboot in 2017, the finished product still does bear marks of the changes to American mass culture in the Twitter age. The nerd gets the girl – almost without trying – because of course the buxom lifeguard has a thing for nerds, it’s 2017. The jock is a sad, proud failure who ultimately sets his pride aside to make himself useful. He gets saved, again, by the guy who’s both stronger and more sensitive than him. The women are content to playfully call out colleagues for ogling them, without doing anything so threatening as objecting to the attention. When Efron ends up in a dress, the dialog tries to sand down any undercurrent of transphobic mockery (your mileage may vary here). Probably it’s all harmless. Certainly it’s mostly fun. And definitely anyone who listens to Alex Jones will walk out irate about creeping leftism, but still kinda horny.
- Wakefield. Here’s what we said in our original review:
It is easy for filmmakers to adapt short stories. Unlike a novel, a short story is not so expansive that it requires hours upon hours of running time. Wakefield separates itself from most short story adaptations, however, since it remains unapologetically literary. Most of the film features Cranston’s voice over. We hear Howard’s self-aggrandizing commentary as he observes his family and celebrates his deliberate poverty. There is little actual dialogue in Wakefield, and when it does happen, there is little more than a handful of lines. There are shots of Cranston’s face at various states of curiosity, and images of his family from afar – they start out heartbroken and go on with their lives. Sometimes Swicord visualizes Howard’s fantasy, like what might happen if he is caught, and these comic vignettes spice up the banality of his claustrophobic existence.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (unconventional meditation on death edition):
- Buster’s Mal Heart (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Buster’s Mal Heart acts as if its building to some profound reveal, but it’s the more humanistic, non-conspiracy elements that make the film more than its mysteries. In the end, the questions are mostly rhetorical, it’s what Malek and Smith do when posing these questions that makes Buster’s Mal Heart an moving, curious gem that is far more interested in destroying your heart than muddling the mind.
- Obit (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Obit knows exactly what type of documentary it wants to be. Confidently edited, it is breezy and interesting, not unlike an article you might read in the style section of The New York Times. Director Vanessa Gould steels her camera on the obituaries desk at the Times, and the journalists/editors who write them. The documentary is never grim, however, since the obituary writers all bring a sense of earnest humility with them, as well as a desire to entertain/inform their readers.
- Death Note (now on Netflix). Here’s Jeanette Catsoulis over at The New York Times:
Cramming several tons of plot into a one-pound screenplay, the three writers (one of whom, Jeremy Slater, created Fox television’s thoughtful adaptation of The Exorcist), have little option but to condense. That said, Mr. Wingard’s eye for a stylish image hasn’t dimmed. Working with the cinematographer David Tattersall, he concocts sequences that tilt and drift, awash in neon and a soundtrack that evokes a woozy, winking romanticism. At certain moments, we can almost feel his desire to shrug off the straitjacket of fidelity and make this tale of false gods and flawed superheroes completely his own.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.