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:
- It Comes at Night. Here’s what we said in our original review:
From the very beginning of It Comes At Night you’re infected with dread. That feeling never stops, but by the time Will’s family joins up with Paul, Travis and Sarah, it doubles down. There have been a rash of horror movies in the last few years that have boastfully thrown away some of the genre’s most used tools, like loud sweeping scores and jump scares. These movies instead go full throttle on the atmosphere. They don’t want to resort to cheap tricks, so they fill every frame with quiet horror. If you can’t have a spooky, CGI-ed to hell face pop up in a mirror to earn your scares, then you have to think outside of the box. It Comes At Night feels like the first movie to do this entirely successfully. Don’t get me wrong, I loved The Witch and The Bababdook and Get Out. I love this new smarter horror genre that refuses to take the easy way out, but when you’re trying to consistently build dread without utilizing cheap scares, you lose a different kind of subtlety. You lose the ebb and flow of feeling safe and then having that safety taken away from you. Although It Comes At Night exists in a world where safety as we know it no longer exists, it nails that power exchange between the movie and the audience. It’s a gorgeously paced film that feels organic, like it popped out of Schults’ head fully formed and ready to take on the world.
- Beatriz at Dinner. Here’s Ty Burr over at The Boston Globe:
The filmmakers pay sly attention to the evening’s social nuances, and there’s some rich observational comedy in the reactions of these 1 percenters to the stolid Beatriz at their table. The men especially are appalled and amused — she’s the help, isn’t she? — while the women are outwardly gracious and inwardly monitoring each and every social boundary crossing. If nothing else, Beatriz at Dinner is a field guide to the social behavior of the nouveau riche. Lithgow, in particular, rises to the occasion, and his Doug is nearly as charming as he is loathsome. You could say the movie is shooting fish in a barrel, but then you’d also have to admit that both fish and barrel are asking for it. Eventually the comedy leaches away and the title character — this kind, uncomplicated woman who sees the good in everyone — has to say something, do something, act. At one point, she gazes out at the audience, as if asking us, Well, what are you going to do about it?
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (punk rock poet edition):
- Paterson (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
As expected, the smaller roles in Jarmusch’s world are as memorable from a series of twins that pop in-and-out of frame to anything-but-everyday cameos (keep an eye out for a classic Jarmusch Method Man moment, and Moonrise Kingdom fans will have their year made during one of the bus scenes), altogether adding up to a sum that is much greater than its parts. Just like life. Every once in a while, I qualify a movie as something that if you DO love, “you will love it like you would love a poem” and I don’t do it often because it truly to me is one of the highest praises, but when I do (Beginners, Her, Heartbeats, anything with Miranda July involved) I really mean it. Paterson deserves this qualifier. Mellow yet rhapsodic, it is worth your time and reaction. Go see this.
- Gimme Danger (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Director Jim Jarmusch’s latest music documentary Gimme Danger is an oft-funny collection of stories and images of the influential rock band The Stooges. It’s the sort of project one hopes could transmit the raw power of The Stooges from the screen to the audience. With narration by Iggy Pop, the living members of The Stooges, and a lot of animations, there is a lot to take in throughout, but it still feels as though there is something absent. Honestly, it kind of lacks the urgency from the filmmaker and the well-known energy of Iggy Pop – himself a frequent Jarmusch collaborator.
- We Are the Best (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
While the band’s blossoming talent his the usual beats, the minor characters are given room to breathe and develop. There’s a terrific sub-plot involving Bobo’s single mother: she’s lonely and looking for another man, and Bobo understands her mother’s desire up to a point. Then there are some older punk rock boys, both of whom look like they belong at Buzzcocks show, and they are both sensitive/clueless about how to talk to girls. Still, the richest sub-plot is the introduction and assimilation of Hedvig. She starts as a goodie-two-shoes, a God-loving guitarist who’s too mousy to merit attention. While Bobo and Klara initially exploit Hedvig for her musical talent, it rewarding to see how she transitions from outsider to an integral part of the group. Power dynamics are always shifting, whether it’s because of ego or a perceived slight, but Moodysson’s overarching point is how friendship and defiance are more powerful forces than hormones.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.