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:
- Kidnap. Here’s Ignatiy Vishnevetsky over at The AV Club:
The director of this trash is Luis Prieto, who did the pointless British remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher—a movie that had an ounce of style, mostly because it was doing its darnedest to copy Refn. In Kidnap, he’s maybe going for the relentless rat-tat-tat of late-period Tony Scott; there are some swirly camera movements, death-by-a-thousand-cuts sequences of cars flipping over, and even some fake flash frames added to an establishing shot to make it a little more Man On Fire. But Scott was a real gonzo stylist, and this movie mostly looks like a turd, filled with amateurish, off-putting dissolves and blurry, added-in-post zooms. The fact that it was shot by Flavio Labiano, the capable cinematographer of movies like Non-Stop and The Day Of The Beast, boggles the mind.
- Tulip Fever. Here’s Kate Erbland over at Indiewire:
As the film limps toward its final act, its tone vacillates between sweeping romantic drama and slapstick comedy. Sophia and Jan cook up an idea that ensnares both the well-meaning Cornelius and a desperate Maria, using their individual traumas to launch a plan that is startlingly vicious (and occasionally played for wacky laughs). Love makes people do crazy things, and as overwrought and silly as Tulip Fever is in both execution and aim, the film embodies that sentiment in an unexpectedly compelling manner. It’s unfortunate that it takes 107 minutes to get there, but a final twist offers the film’s sole play for emotional resonance.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (catch up on great 2017 releases edition):
- Wonderstruck (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Whoever was in charge of marketing Wonderstruck did a bad job with it. They should have downplayed the involvement of biggest actors – Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams – and not even mentioned it was directed by Todd Haynes. You see, Haynes is responsible for art films like Carol and Far from Heaven, and while Wonderstruck has an arthouse sensibility, it is a film that has broad appeal. Adults and children will admire it equally. This film is indeed fun for the whole family, even if that phrase makes most folks involuntarily sneer. Here is an earnest, heartwarming drama that never condescends to its young, vulnerable heroes. It takes its time to get going, but the rewards are worth the wait.
- The Big Sick (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Nanjiani and Gordon have been married for about ten years, so of course their film takes some liberties. Uber wasn’t around during their first months together, for one thing, and the film’s ending is more plausible than what actually happened to them. Still, this is a gorgeously understated comedy, with Holly Hunter as the real stand-out (this film recalls her role in Broadcast News, since both Hunter performances are flinty, intelligent, and warm). Judd Apatow produced this film, and it includes his trademark of being longer, even more languid, than the typical comedy. That can be a bad thing, but it’s an asset to The Big Sick. Here is a film that has the pace and rhythm of real life, minus all the ugliness. It is not a fantasy; instead, it feels like Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon invited us to share their rose-colored glasses.
- Graduation (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
For generations of Romanians, the decision to have children was more difficult than usual. The years before and after the 1991 revolution left difficult questions: what kind of country did Romanians want for their children? Could they see a future in it? Those questions and their aftermath are central to Graduation, the Romanian drama from Cristian Mungiu. Its hero has a narrow focus – he wants nothing more than his daughter to leave Romania for a prestigious UK university – except one obstacle after another gets in his way. This is primarily about pervasive corruption, and how it seeps into every transaction, no matter how perfunctory or personal. Mungiu observes this with his trademark low-key style, letting the muted tones serve as a haunting metaphor for what it’s like to live in a country that seems beyond hope.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.