This week, Robert Pattinson stars in an erotic science fiction thriller, which leads the charge of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases. The overall slate leaves something to be desired, though Pattinson fans have an arthouse flick to sink their teeth into. Time to dive in.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Claire Denis makes her English language debut with this Robert Pattinson fronted sci-fi narrative. Ambitious, disturbing and obtuse, the film is an incredibly challenging watch. In fact, it can be downright confounding at times. What holds it together is Pattinson, doing some of the best work of his career. It’s needed too, as the movie won’t meet you halfway. Back at the New York Film Festival, Awards Circuit put this review out into the world:
Robert Pattinson continues a fascinating post “Twilight” career. Pattinson almost exclusively chooses to act in challenging material. This performance is dedicated and intense, which is required for from the film.
“High Life” is not for everyone. Pattinson has been doing unique indie films for years now, and even this is more arthouse level by that measure. Still, Pattinson is excellent as an acting showcase, it’s one of his finest hours.
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $1,225,852
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Stuber,” the pick today is a recent Kumail Nanjiani outing. It’s “The Big Sick,” one of 2017’s best films. Nanjiani stars and co-wrote the script with his wife Emily V. Gordon, based on their early courtship. It’s a fun, moving and altogether surprising work, anchored by the actor’s tremendous turn. From our rave review that summer:
There’s no shortage of performances to rave about in “The Big Sick.” Nanjiani shows newfound range and displays the ability to be an effective leading man.
Nanjiani is a real talent, so check out his best work to date before seeing his latest starring role on Friday.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in the Robert Pattinson vehicle “High Life”:
Filmmaker Jafar Panahi not only directs his latest work, but takes a starring role as well. Playing himself, he helps to make this new criticism of his country even more compelling than usual. The powers that be in Iran aren’t fans, which is the point. Our positive take here on the site had this to say:
This latest effort from the beleaguered director once again continues his penchant for palpable realism, offering a fervent critique of his native Iran.
Panahi fans would do well to pick this one up.
Box Office: $71,613 (and counting)
This body swap comedy takes a well worn premise and adds some much needed representation to the mix. Giving women of color a broad comedy to play around with is a real breath of fresh air. From our review here on the site:
“Little” is an entertaining movie that promotes women on the screen and behind the scenes.
For female centric comedy, this is the option to seek out this week.
Box Office: $40,673,960
A remake of the 1980s horror classic, this latest iteration puts a high gloss on things and tinkers just enough with Stephen King‘s story to make it worthwhile. In particular, young Jeté Laurence is excellent in a tough role. Our take on the site, here, includes the following:
Is “Pet Sematary” a watchable horror movie? Sure. In some (mostly superficial) ways it is better than Mary Lambert’s low-budget 1989 film.
A bit better than expected, this horror offering has some real style to it. King lovers should dive in, as it’s somewhat of an upgrade over the original.
Box Office: $54,724,696
Johnny Depp playing a terminally ill college professor letting loose during his final days. Years ago, that could have made for a comic romp. Now? It’s more just a showcase for how far Depp has fallen. Still, he commits to the role and turns in better work than usual. From the Los Angeles Times:
Depp, sporting a distractingly foppish, unfurling-flag hairdo, commits to his character’s tricky balancing act
Depp is having a good time here. If his antics float your boat, it could provide some low key laughs.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The BRD Trilogy”
The first of two options coming to Criterion today is this three pack of Rainer Werner Fassbinder films, a favorite of the company. Specifically, they are a trio of movies centered on German women, which would get Fassbinder plenty of acclaim. The Collection has this to say in their sales pitch:
In 1977, German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder was thirty-two years old and had already directed more than twenty-five feature films. That summer, he embarked on a project to trace the postwar history of West Germany in a series of ﬁlms told from the perspectives of three remarkable women. Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss, and Lola—The BRD Trilogy, which takes its title from the Bundesrepublik Deutschland—would garner him his greatest commercial success, both at home and abroad, and cement his position as one of the foremost figures of the New German Cinema.
Fassbinder fans should definitely check this out!
The other choice joining the Collection this week is a war drama from filmmaker Agnieszka Holland. A story of survival, based on the life of Salomon Perel, represents a unique effort to showcase. Just look at what Criterion says about the film:
Based on the real-life experiences of Salomon Perel, Agnieszka Holland’s wartime tour de force Europa Europa is a breathless survival story told with the verve of a comic adventure, an ironic refutation of the Nazi idea of racial purity, and a complex portrait of a young man caught up in shifting historical calamities and struggling to stay alive.
Criterion devotees should dive right in!
“Broad City: Season Five”
“Broad City: Complete Series”
“Gotham: The Complete Fifth and Final Season”
“Gotham: The Complete Series”
“The Magicians: Season Four”