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:
- mother! Here’s what we said in our original review:
For those familiar with the directorial stylings of Darren Aronofsky, mother! starts off not too dissimilar from what one would expect. Like The Wrestler and Black Swan, mother! keeps the camera close behind its star, almost as if Aronofsky wants the audience to literally live in their skin. In many ways, mother! is almost the conclusion of Aronosky’s self-harm trilogy, where his leads give and give all they can of themselves for the creation of art. But Aronofsky makes a decision to throw subtlety to the wind, indulging the ambitious, bombastic style shown in The Fountain, yet contained into a smaller, more personal story. Mother! allows Aronosky to unify his his two wildly varying styles in one of the most insane and ballsy films ever released by a major studio.
- Detroit. Here’s what we said in our original review:
The hallway of the Algiers Motel in Detroit, Michigan may become an infamous movie set, like The Overlook Hotel or Hannibal Lecter’s prison cell. The key difference is that the Algiers Motel is not fiction, and neither is the horror that unfolded there. Detroit, Kathryn Bigelow’s first film since Zero Dark Thirty, creates a feeling of unsparing dread and sustains it for what feels like a lifetime. Working again with screenwriter Mark Boal, the script offers a macro-scale approach to the key figures of the motel massacre. Race, inequality, and miscommunication are the key factors at play: Bigelow’s coiled direction lets us to see all the missteps that led to that hellish, miserable hallway. There are no apologies for what happened, on either side of the camera, yet clear-eyed understanding is little solace in the face of of profound, soul-wrenching anger.
- Atomic Blonde. Here’s what we said in our original review:
In Atomic Blonde’s best scene, Broughton is guarding Eddie Marsan’s Spyglass from assassins through a staircase in what is one of the finest action sequences of the year. Theron is tough and determined, but Leitch also shows the exhaustion in each punch thrown the further the battle goes on. In this sequence, Atomic Blonde shows its strengths when it puts all the story nonsense on hold and boils down the action film to its essence: there are bad guys that we want our good guys to take out. It’s a thrilling sequence that Atomic Blonde could do with more moments like it. Atomic Blonde works in the moments that play to Leitch’s well-known strengths: gorgeously shot action that is as surprising as it is brutal. Unfortunately, Atomic Blonde is best when its story is on the back-burner, allowing Theron and Leitch to take the reins and go wild. Atomic Blonde could’ve used a bit more refining in its substance to match the bravura style this film has in spades.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (hell is other people edition):
- It Comes at Night (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Some movies don’t end when the credits roll. They don’t drift away as you shrug on your jacket and check your phone. They stay with you on the walk home. They’re still there when you turn off all the lights and crawl into bed, and they’re really on the forefront of your mind when you get up to double check the locks. They turn shadows into monsters. They hold you captive. It might only last for an hour or two, you might wake up fresh-faced and ready to conquer a normal day, but it’s scary. The idea that something can hijack your mind and change your perception, that the nightmare isn’t over when you leave the theater, is scarier than anything you can show on a screen. Maybe you think that’s silly. Maybe you’re the kind of person who dabbles in French Extremism. You watch Irreversible or Martyrs without flinching. You’ve got an iron stomach and you laughed while watching High Tension. Or maybe you’re the opposite of that. Maybe you have no interest in the genre. You like thrillers, sure, but horror? A waste of your time. I say this because, like the quiet and immersive horror films that have come before this, a lot of people are not going to like It Comes At Night. For some it will be because the movie doesn’t go far enough, and for others it will be because it’s gone way too far. Like The Witch, It Follows, and so many others, it will be criticized for not being scary enough, for being more of an art project than a horror movie. Thankfully those people are wrong (they usually are).
- Raw (now on Netflix). Here’s your truly at The Washington Post:
Ducournau’s masterstroke is to conflate Justine’s incipient cannibalism with more benign growing pains. There are scenes that one will recognize from many college movies: Justine walking in on her roommate (Rabah Nait Oufella) having sex, or Alexia schooling her sister — with brutal honesty — on how to make herself more attractive. But when Justine starts hooking up with someone, and she’s overcome by the need to do more than nibble, Marillier’s reaction to her desire looks like a mix of curiosity and fear. Raw is a constant negotiation of that contradictory mix. Justine’s cannibalism, the film argues, is a craving like any other, albeit a more exaggerated version of one, not to mention one that comes with its own unique dilemma. How can Justine want to devour the very people to whom she feels an emotional connection? In the tradition of films from Frankenstein onward, Raw recognizes the monster as a tragic figure.
- Green Room (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Jeremy Saulnier is the antithesis of Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, and I mean that as a compliment. While Iñárritu fills his otherwise pulpy films with haughty bullshit, Saulnier strips away all that portentous fat. Like Blue Ruin, Green Room is lean and entertaining, without a wasted shot or aspiration other than to entertain, thrill, and shock its audience. And since Green Room sticks to its premise without ponderous shots of the stars or whatever, Saulnier unearths deeper themes along the way. He has more to say about violence, vengeance, and friendship in 90 minutes than Iñárritu had to say in double that time (the soundtrack is better, too). To top it all off, there’s a kiss-off line that’s funny and weirdly profound. This is one of the year’s best films.
That’s it nerds! Get streaming.