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:
- Logan Lucky. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Logan Lucky spends the lion’s share of its runtime of its heist, using it as an opportunity for sight gags and character development. After it ends, however, there is a protracted coda where an FBI Agent (Hilary Swank) tries to solve the whole thing. These scenes last at least ten minutes too long, delaying the inevitable twist where we learn the lynchpin of Jimmy’s plan, to the point where its arrival is like an afterthought. This is a minor quibble, however, since Swank’s performance almost makes up for it and Soderbergh has earned ample goodwill. This not a return to form, since Soderbergh never lost his considerable talents. Instead, Logan Lucky maintains its affable charm. When you catch this film on basic cable in a couple years, you’ll probably watch it to the end, even if it means putting up with the slower bits.
- Ingrid Goes West. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The film is well-paced, not too long, and sharply crafted. Spicer’s direction and the cinematography by Bryce Fortner are effective but unobtrusive. The best visual moments observe Ingrid in close-up, her hollow eyes bathed in the sickly light of her smartphone, desperately searching for that next ephemeral hit of affirmation. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Ingrid Goes West grim, but it is a tough film. Spicer and Smith bravely deny their audience a conclusive character arc. Ingrid is saved, but whether she is redeemed is another matter. You could arguably watch the film on repeat, the catharsis of the climax bleeding right into the crisis of the beginning, in an endless loop of hashtags, emojis, and false connections on and on forever.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (space is really f’ing big edition):
- The Farthest (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said from our AFI Docs coverage this year:
As the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System, the Voyager is humanity’s first attempt to leave some lasting remnant of our existence in the universe. The Farthest records the first 40 years of Voyager’s journey through the solar system and beyond, but is also fantastic in how it documents mankind’s attempts to stay relevant, even when we’re just a blip on the radar. The Farthest spends plenty of time on the Voyager’s Golden Record, an album that tries to compromise the entirety of humanity in just a few songs and photos, to any far away intelligent life that might find it. How do you boil down the accomplishments into two hours of music and about a hundred photos? It’s this type of reflective nature that makes The Farthest more captivating than your typical space documentary. Director Emer Reynolds shows the wonder of this staggering achievement, but also reflects on the incredibly personal nature of recording mankind’s existence. We feel the wonder of doing something so great and groundbreaking.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Let’s just start with the first thing: Baby Groot is adorable and I don’t care what anyone else says. I fully expect to see him everywhere, a la Frozen, but I don’t work in retail anymore or have children, so for me it is *great*. The second thing is that Guardians 2 is, thankfully, Good Enough. It has a story that is both self-contained to the Guardians Universe, and also sets itself up as a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is a film that revels in joy, with awesome action scenes, and a story that gives all of the characters their shine. It also deals with some heavy issues, ranging from child abuse to the meaning of the universe itself. Yeah. Let’s deal with the fun stuff first.
- Arrival (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Anyone who texts knows the power of language and grammar. If a text includes a period, particularly after the word “OK,” it can signify anything from certainty to simmering hatred. Language, particularly how it creates the possibility of a perceived slight or threat, is at the heart of Arrival, the remarkable science fiction film from director Denis Villeneuve. In an era where special effects coincides with a dearth of ideas, here is a cerebral film that relies on curiosity for its ample thrills. Villeneuve is a fascinating genre filmmaker, although most of his work approaches Kubrickian detachment. His latest is moving, too, in ways that are quietly shocking.
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.