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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:

  • Eye in the Sky. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Eye in the Sky is unlike most war films. Sure, there are explosions, deaths, and soldiers who face a moral reckoning over what they do for their country. But director Gavin Hood and screenwriter Guy Hibbert have the laser-like precision of their subject: they focus on one operation, over the course of about twelve hours, and all the decisions involved. If most war films are about action, then this one is about procedure. The characters are all professionals, and the way they think interests Hibbert more than what they do. This is modern warfare at its most impersonal, which is why it stumbles with maudlin attempts to engage our emotions.
  • Triple 9. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Nowadays it can seem like there are more films about cops and robbers than there are actual robberies. Starting with 1903’s The Great Train Robbery, there have been so updates and iterations that it seems impossible to find a new way to riff on them. Triple 9, the new thriller from John Hillcoat, somehow is suspenseful in more than one way. While there are way more bad guys than good guys, the conflict has nuance. Screenwriter Matt Cook keeps the plot off-kilter, so we’re never quite ahead of the plot to feel comfortable. The action feels plausible, as does the urban hell-scape where it takes place. Sporting a large cast of strong actors, this is a tough, this is a nasty thriller that’s devoid of bloat.
  • Race. Here’s what we said in our original review:
    Director Stephen Hopkins – a workhorse who has churned out titles like Predator 2 and The Ghost and the Darkness – does not push his story to hold more meaning that it can. He has some fun with his screen fonts and the occasional odd edit. But for the most part he plays it straight, delivering a standard but well-put-together visual experience, complete with crisp imagery and rich earth tones. Hopkins is probably at his best in the racing scenes: he uses frame rates, camera movement and placement to present Owens’ running not so much as an act of joy or passion, but as a desperate release of incredible power.

INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:

  • Spotlight (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    With careful brush strokes, Spotlight paints how deeply Catholicism saturated the fabric of Boston, crowding out any possibility of suspicion or critique. When the film opens, it’s clear all the pieces of the scandal are already there, right below the surface, just waiting to be seen. A columnist at The Globe has published an article on one instance of abuse, and everyone knows there’s a court battle going on to see if the records can be made public. But its Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), who is Jewish and The Globe’s new chief, who intuits that the Spotlight team should redirect itself to that story. Later, a crucial source is Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), an Armenian lawyer who worked with abuse victims for years. There’s a strong implication that it took outsiders like these to initially pierce the veil, and ask the questions that needed to be asked.
  • Room (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Nick Schager over at Paste Magazine:
    A potentially sensational premise is handled with grace and incisiveness in Room, Lenny Abrahamson’s adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel. Scripted by the author herself, and hewing closely to her book’s adolescent point-of-view, the film opens in what is initially known only as “Room,” a small, crowded space filled with a bed, a wardrobe, a few kitchen appliances, a table and drawings that decorate its walls. In this environment, which boasts a skylight but no windows, live Joy (Brie Larson) and her long-haired son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the latter of whom has apparently never stepped outside Room’s sole door. That entryway is locked via a keypad, and only opened and closed by Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), a bearded figure who appears in the night while Jack sleeps (or pretends to) in order to deliver supplies and have his way with Joy.
  • Pawn Sacrifice (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
    The filmmaking of Pawn Sacrifice leans subtly into the parallels between the east/west geopolitical chess game and the ones that drove Fischer to madness, homelessness, and eventual death. After an opening coda showing an adult Bobby tearing his room apart in search of listening devices in Iceland, Zwick transitions into his childhood by way of a surveillance photographer’s shutter snapping away at the Fischer home while communists party inside. It’s just one of many ways the movie draws you into a strange sympathy for Bobby, not just as an American genius, but as a man constantly convinced those closest to him were saboteurs.

That’s it for our weekly streaming guide!

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