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:
- How to Be Single. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Well, I am sad to inform you that How To Be Single sets out to ruin all the good work all those movies have done and bring the romantic comedy back to its dark ages (i.e. that trying time of He’s Just Not That Into You and Something Borrowed?). And, as a further afront to quality rom com lovers out there, it goes and casts almost everyone we’d WANT TO see in this type of movie: Alison Brie, Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Anders Holm, Jason Matsoukas, Damon Wayans Jr, Jake Lacey and … (the list goes on). The result is sort of a What To Expect When You’re Expecting for the singles set: a loosely connected group of women (and men around them) navigate dating, breaking-up, settling down, and more in New York City.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Knight of Cups. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The two-hour journey is a masterwork of cinematography, a triumph of film editing, and littered with evidence of brilliant work by the costumers, craftspeople, and sound designers who are as essential to filmmaking as they are overlooked. But Malick has located all that busy artistic brilliance inside a pile of horseshit. As gorgeous as it is, as accomplished the artistic mind behind the oblique-angled camera work and gradually-building thematic substance of the film are, Knight of Cups devotes all its energy to the plight of rich, sad, lonely white men in Hollywood.
- The Finest Hours. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Despite not getting the telling that this story deserves, The Finest Hours is a perfectly serviceable action adventure alternative to all of the Oscar nominees currently screening more widely. If you go, just sit quietly with your popcorn, let the score and lack of subtlety wash over you like so many 3D waves, and try not to wonder how someone who has been completely submerged half a dozen times in a tempestuous sea manages to still be wearing a hat.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- James White (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Sometimes you hear about the connection between self-destructive behavior and nihilism. A person does not give a fuck about themselves or anyone else, really, so they annihilate themselves with booze, drugs, and bad behavior. In my experience, not all self-destructive people hate the world. Quite the opposite, actually: they feel so much and care so deeply that destruction is the only way to numb their raw nerves. The hero of James White is like that. While this is a coming-of-age story, first-time writer/director Josh Mond has no patience for the easy, simple choices. He treats James’ problems with the sincerity they deserve, and gets unruly, intense performance from his lead actors.
- Trumbo (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Tasha Robinson over at The AV Club:
Credit Trumbo with not turning Trumbo himself into a paper angel to make the question simpler. As played by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, he’s an irascible old coot who speaks largely in polemics and one-liners, and strides boldly through life, armored by his principles and his ego. The film isn’t subtle about his idealistic stance on income equality and workers’ rights: The scene where he explains his politics to his pre-teen daughter feels like a communism commercial conceived by a team that normally handles ladies’ hygiene products. (He’s leading her on a pony in a sun-dappled yard; she asks, with grave concern but also deep love, “Dad? Are you… a communist?”) But Trumbo also isn’t subtle about his temper, or his faults and failings.
- Addicted to Fresno (now on Hulu). Here’s yours truly over at The Washington Post:
In the popular imagination, it goes without saying that siblings will not get along. There’s too much buried resentment and pain over shared history. The comedy Addicted to Fresno takes this cinematic assumption and uses it explore some truly dark territory. But while director Jamie Babbit, who cut her teeth on indie comedies, is an equal- opportunity offender, some jokes land better than others. Still, strong lead performances and an energetic supporting cast elevate the uneven material.
That’s it for this week! Get streaming, kids.