This week, provocateur Gaspar Noé leads the way with a rather minuscule slate of new Blu-Ray and DVD options. Faced with an independent curation of titles, the field is fairly small, but includes options that cannot be missed. Quality is in the eye of the beholder, so read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Enfant terrible Gaspar Noé followed up his audaciously graphic film, “Love,” with this dance movie/thriller hybrid. Only an esoteric talent like Noé would somehow find his groove in a tale of a drug induced orgy of flailing bodies. The Washington Post found the director sticking to his indie guns while still courting a wider audience:
Noé has made what might be his most accessible and, yes, tender film to date, teasing the idea of heavenly bliss – before heading straight to hell.
“Climax” clearly won’t be for all audiences. Compared to Noé’s prior work, however, it’s a perfect entry point to his oeuvre. Those with a high tolerance for oddity and a strong constitution should give it a shot.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $817,339
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” the pick today will be the previous installment in this franchise. It’s “Godzilla,” the 2014 film which rebooted the godlike creature for contemporary audiences. Director Gareth Edwards gives the monster the respect he deserves, helloing to launch a new series in the process. From our review at the time:
Edwards goes the Christopher Nolan route in taking a previously campy product very seriously, resulting in a film that entertains not just as big budget entertainment, but also on other levels as well, including those who are reverent of the original Toho incarnation of the big fella.
Catch up with where Godzilla is at with this one, before he meets Kong next year, of course!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title, “Climax”:
Combining the talents of Isabelle Huppert, Maika Monroe, and Chloe Grace Moretz on screen was always going to make for a compelling effort. Though a half baked thriller at times, any opportunity to watch these talented women spar, especially Huppert and Moretz, is a treat. Our review found aspects lacking, yet still saw a silver lining:
“Greta” is an unsatisfying thriller, but one that can fill a rainy afternoon with some Chopin and a genuinely funny moment involving Huppert, a gun, and a little ballet.
Those of you looking for something a bit more mainstream this week should consider this thriller.
Box Office: $10,519,425
“In Like Flynn”
A satirical and fictionalized look at the early days of Errol Flynn, this is a true throwback. In another time, the film would have been a high profile studio release, not relegated to the status of barely released indie fare. That takes nothing away from the quality of the picture. Variety was rather charmed:
Russell Mulcahy’s seriocomic imagining of Errol Flynn’s pre-stardom adventures is hugely satisfying old-fashioned fun.
Box Office: $11,255
Olivia Wilde stars in this genre effort, centered on a woman who devotes her life to separating victims of domestic violence from their abusers. Wilde is riding high off of her directorial debut, “Booksmart,” right now, and can add this strong performance to what’s shaping up to be an excellent 2019 for the actress turned filmmaker. The Hollywood Reporter found much to like:
Putting a deliberately unromantic spin on its wish-fulfillment scenario, the film scratches a genre itch without using it as an excuse … for vicarious sadism.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first of two titles coming to Criterion today is an all-time classic from celebrated filmmaker David Lynch. Considered one of the great American indie films of the 1980’s, Lynch burned a singular style into audience’s retinas with this masterwork. The Collection doesn’t shy away from its all-time great status:
With intense performances and hauntingly powerful scenes and images, Blue Velvet is an unforgettable vision of innocence lost, and one of the most influential American films of the past few decades.
This is a must have for Lynch fans!
“One Sings, the Other Doesn’t”
The other Collection offering this week comes from the recently departed director Agnès Varda. Her musical film from 1977 looks back on a decade to praise the achievements of a certain group of women. At the same time, one can easily look at this and bestow laude unto Varda in the process. Criterion sure does:
A buoyant hymn to sisterly solidarity rooted in the hard-won victories of a generation of women, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t is one of Agnès Varda’s warmest and most politically trenchant films, a feminist musical for the ages.
Celebrate Varda with this effort!
“Blood Series 1”
“The Flash: Seasons 1-4”
“Fuller House: Seasons 1-3”
“Outlander: Season 4”
“Perfect Strangers: Seasons 7 & 8”
“Riverdale: Seasons 1 & 2”
“South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season”
“Supergirl: Seasons 1-3”
“Velvet: The Complete Series”