Every week we give a weekly round-up of what’s new to DVD, VOD, and Netflix streaming. But since today it Twin Peaks day, we’re going to focus titles similar to David Lynch’s influential TV series. You already know Twin Peaks is streaming on Netflix – if you haven’t watched it, then you have no excuse – so here are few similar titles that’ll pique your interest. Let’s get weird:
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK:
- Hamlet. From Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet onward, Lynch leading man Kyle MacLachlan has made a career out of playing creeps you cannot but help watch anyway. In this modern adaptation of Hamlet, MacLachlan plays Claudius, uncle to the titular Danish Prince (Ethan Hawke). He’s the film’s villain – he murdered Hamlet’s father and married his mother – and this adaptation adds some Gen-X ennui to the mix. Some of the stunt casting works (Bill Murray plays Polonius), while some of the modern flourishes do not (Hamlet gives his famous speech inside a Blockbuster Video). Still, this is a bold Shakespeare experiment, one enhanced by a soundtrack that includes Primal Scream and Morcheeba, among others.
- Side by Side. Here’s what we said in our original review:
This is an educational documentary. It includes basic descriptions of how cameras function, how cinematographers work, and what color correction does. Its only weakness is that by taking no side, it starts to repeat itself. No filmmaker, not even David Lynch, has the answers to this debate, so Side by Side eventually spins its wheels. Film versus digital is analogous to electric versus acoustic, mp3 versus vinyl, and so on. Like the other format debates, this one may be inconsequential for those who aren’t experts. Still, it works because the talking heads are brilliant and their passion is infectious. It also doesn’t hurt that Keanu’s haircut and beard keeps changing.
- Nobody Else But You. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Even with a killer soundtrack of American rock and roll, Nobody Else But You is very, very French. There is a scene where Candice poses nude with a group of young firemen. The photographer is shooting the scene for a benefit calendar, and of course the firemen gently flirt with the young woman. How the scene plays out, including its hilarious visual punch-line, would be unthinkable in an American film. That’s the central appeal to a low-key thriller like this: by taking a popular genre and making it the director’s own, there is enough material here to make the movie seem fresh, albeit on a shallow level.
- Citizen Ruth. Frequent Lynch collaborator Laura Dern cut her teeth with Citizen Ruth, a dark comedy directed Alexander Payne. She plays the titular Ruth, an irresponsible glue-sniffing lowlife who gets pregnant. The pro-life movement and the pro-choice movement keep jockeying for her affection, and Ruth slowly realizes they do not care about her or her baby. They only want to see their enemy defeated. Lynch continues to dedicate his career to strange film – Inland Empire (also starring Dern) is challenging and rewarding and equal measure – while Payne veers toward sentiment and the easy payoff. Still, it’s great to see Payne and Dern working together from when they were both fearless.
- Hannibal. More than any other show on network TV, Hannibal feels like a spiritual successor to Twin Peaks. Created by Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies), Hannibal jettisons all the twee world-building in favor of a hallucinatory horror universe that masquerades as a police procedural. The show is set before the events of Red Dragon, so Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is colleagues with Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). The cases are incidental because Fuller’s real subject is psychological horror, punctuated by dark surrealist imagery and a food fetish. Anyone who misses Twin Peaks owes themselves a favor to watch this series (Blue Velvet fans will appreciate how a severed ear is an important plot point). The first season is on Amazon Prime, so get watching, creeps.
That’s your week’s Twin Peaks-themed Netflix recommendations for the week. Now who could go for some damn good pie?