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:
- Mother’s Day. Here’s what we said in our original review:
We’ve gotten awfully good these days at finding ways to make more money from holidays, and director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries) seems to have decided that his particular niche is doing it through film. Perhaps some people in 2010 celebrated Valentine’s Day by seeing Marshall’sValentine’s Day, and I suppose it’s possible that rather than watching the ball drop, a contingent of introverts celebrated New Year’s Eve 2011 from a movie theater showing New Year’s Eve. But on the second Sunday in May this year, you might want to steer clear of the theater and stick with dinner or flowers. Or maybe just find yourself a greeting card that says, “This Mother’s Day, I’ll demonstrate my love for you by promising to never ask you to watch Mother’s Day.”
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- The Lobster. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Lanthimos’ greatest gift has been creating worlds that we’ve never seen before, imbued with just the slightest amount of humanity in environments based in structure, so they are terrifying in just how familiar and foreign they feel at the same time. As a storyteller, Lanthomos combines the absurdity of Luis Bunuel, an undercurrent of fear similar to Lars von Trier, and the haunted quests for love in strange places that reminds me of Charlie Kaufman. In his films, these worlds feel completely unique and entirely refreshing. But Lanthimos gets his audience to accept every aspect of what they’re seeing, revealing fascinating details to a point that his films feel like a combination of the darkest comedy, the most engaging drama and by the end, a surprisingly effective romance.
- High Rise. Here’s what we said in our original review:
One thing high-minded critics often complain about is too much exposition in movies: Audiences being spoon-fed everything they need to know about the plot through dialogue, rather than allowing the information to emerge organically from character conversation and behavior. High Rise feels like it took that criticism to heart, to the point that it erred catastrophically in the opposite direction. It’s a movie so committed to its satirical vision that it’s damn near impossible to follow. Which doesn’t mean that vision isn’t still giddy, and at times even captivating.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- The Tribe (now on Netflix). Here’s AA Dowd over at The AV Club:
Engineered, perhaps, to remind viewers that deaf people can be selfish, amoral monsters too, The Tribe also feels distinctively modern in its harsh subject matter. As Sergey loses the trust of his comrades, and the plot comes to an inevitably violent head, Slaboshpitsky amps up the unpleasantness. (There’s a medical procedure late in the film that’s among the most harrowing of its kind ever put on-screen. No words necessary to get the grueling impact of that scene.) But Sergey remains such a sullen cipher, a petulant lump of resentment, that the film never achieves much dramatic power. The irony is that a little comprehensible dialogue might actually have lent the kid some personality; even archetypal characters can come alive when given something clever or interesting to say—though, of course, he could be Oscar Wilde, for all most of the audience will know. The Tribe is a singular, fascinating experiment, but that’s about all it is. It gives gimmicks a good name, without ever transcending its own.
- Noah (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Aronofsky never depicts God in Noah, and he only refers to Him as “The Creator.” This is ultimately a wise choice: not only would Noah and others have any concept of a biblical God – none of them could read, presumably – but this also adds a level of fear between man and his Maker. Aronofsky cements this relationship in a hallucinatory sequence, one that blends photography with animation, where we see the entire creation story (this is sure to be controversial since there is literal evolution from beast toward man). Noah obeys and fears God, even when His instructions are cruel. The masterstroke of Noah, one that makes it an important film, is that Noah’s ultimate mercy coincides with God’s. By the time we see the magisterial rainbow, it’s a reward full of humility since Noah and God surprise each other through reserves of goodness they finally could not deny.
- Tallulah (now on Netflix). Here’s Russ Fischer over at The Playlist:
Even when the script veers into contrived setups that have free spirit Tallulah waking Margo from her torpid life, Tallulah consistently offers terrific scenes featuring the duo of Ellen Page and Allison Janney (who, it is worth noting, also excels in every solo scene). Their work together is the vibrant source of the film’s appeal, and Tallulah is at its best when the plot recedes and we get to see Page and Janney’s characters testing their tolerance and eventual affection for one another.
That’s it, nerd! Get streaming.