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:
- The Mummy. Here’s what we said in our original review:
There’s a general uncertainty at to what the hell The Mummy actually is. It’s the film’s trifecta of writers and poor choice of a director in Alex Kurtzman (whose only other film is the forgettable People Like Us) that throw stupid mythology building, unmemorable action, and nonsense characters and writing together in the hopes that some combination turns this into something bearable. But The Mummy fails on every count, a film that simply doesn’t know how to do anything right, not even make this film into the dumb fun it could’ve been. If this is a sign of things of things to come, let the Dark Universe stay dark.
- Maudie. Here’s David Ehrlich over at IndieWire:
A tender but mawkishly simple melodrama about a handicapped painter who falls in love with a misogynistic orphan in Depression-era Nova Scotia, Maudie would be impossible to take seriously if not for the fact that it tells a true story. Of course, just because something actually happened doesn’t make it any easier to swallow the sight of it on screen. Despite charming performances from Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, this saccharine romance — which pities its characters as much as they pity each other, and often veers perilously close to The Other Sister territory as a result — rings a bit false from start to finish.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Baby Driver. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Baby Driver is the film that Edgar Wright’s entire career has been building towards. Based on an idea he had almost a decade before Shaun of the Dead, then slightly realized in Mint Royale’s “Blue Song” video, Baby Driver is an embrace of Wright’s strengths: great music cues, perfect editing, and a loving admiration for the films that came before him. Yet it’s one of Wright’s usual strengths that is noticeably absent from Baby Driver: his ability to sneak deeper issues into his multilayered stories. Wright made Shaun of the Dead just as much about arrested development and fractured relationships as it was about zombies. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was deceptively about the fight for self-respect, and The World’s End was one big quest to fight alcoholism. While Baby Driver is impeccably created and one of the most enjoyable films of the year, compared to his other films, it is missing that element that made Wright one of the most exciting directors of the 2000s so far.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (horror heroine edition):
- RAW (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
That almost doesn’t feel like the right way to describe it though. Raw is more than a nightmare, it’s like watching an urban legend come to life. Do you remember the first scene in Halloween? Where Michael Myers low key and in the chillest way possible murders his sister and then calmly walks onto the front lawn where his parents are waiting. It’s kind of like that. There’s this tall tale like quality. I can so clearly imagine teenagers whispering to each other about the cannibal girl. It doesn’t hurt that the first scene of the movie is basically an adapted creepypasta. A figure, crouched on the side of the road hops out in front of a car. The car swerves and then immediately crashes into a tree and the figure, casually hops up and approaches the vehicle. It’s very similar to the story Dangerous Roads, which involves a man driving through an empty stretch of desert coming upon two bodies lying in the middle of the road. Instead of stopping the car, the man continues past them and notices in his rear view window that the bodies has stood up and that a large group of people have come out of the tall grass surrounding the road. Like in the story, there is something that’s just not right about the opening scene, but then again, you could say that about any scene in Raw.
- The Witch (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
The horror film The Witch arrives like a revelation. It ignores traditional structure, and finds new ways to frighten us. Robert Eggers’ feature-length debut made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival – he won a top directing prize, which is unusual for a genre film – and the command of his craft is mesmerizing. He does not rely on special effects. Eggers instead trusts his actors, production design, and shrewd editing to reach a conclusion that’s both inevitable and deeply disquieting. Most horror films aspire to be fun. This one will make your skin crawl, and it sometimes feels downright evil.
- Hush (now on Netflix). Here’s Brian Tallerico over at RogerEbert.com:
Mike Flanagan’s Hush, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last month before popping up on Netflix today, is an old-fashioned home invasion thriller that works on its own modest terms. It’s one of those simple horror flicks that’s so streamlined it feels long even at only 82 minutes. It might have worked better as a short film or installment of an anthology series like “Masters of Horror,” but Flanagan has a notable skill in building tension and then just allowing it to simmer. He doesn’t resort to the jump scare tactics that mar so many similar low-budget films. In fact, the most terrifying, shocking moments in Hush typically come without the loud music cue or pouncing cat that producers commonly think is necessary to get you jumping. There are choices in the final act that I won’t spoil but really didn’t work for me (the script foreshadows it, which made me dread its inevitability even more), but this is a better-than-average, essentially-VOD thriller for the weekend that could offer a glimpse at the future of festival-to-streaming titles.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.