This week, a long-in-the-making sequel/spin-off to “The Big Lebowski” leads the Blu-ray/DVD charge in “The Jesus Rolls.” Joining that title today? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out, won’t you?
PICK OF THE WEEK
Decades after he played a supporting part in “The Big Lebowski,” John Turturro helms this adventure, centered on his character, Jesus Quintana. A sex comedy with a very different vibe than the Coen Brothers’ original, it still represents something lovers of that cult classic can sink their teeth into. indieWire was fond of what the actor/filmmaker came up with:
The “The Jesus Rolls” only gets more seductive as it ambles towards oblivion and textures its story with a gentle sense of cosmic justice… and its genial vigor gradually comes to excuse Turturro’s abject lack of style.
“The Jesus Rolls” is mainly for fans of “The Big Lebowski” and Turturro’s character. If you fall into that category, pick it up, and enjoy.
Total Box Office: $18,169
Major Awards: None yet
For today’s Vintage pick, we turn to the work of Derek Cianfrance. We all adore “Blue Valentine,” but this week we’ll be going with his follow up, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Reuniting with Ryan Gosling, Cianfrance gives Bradley Cooper one of his early terrific roles in this tale of the sins of the father being revisited upon the son. Our rave review at the time had this to say:
There’s something almost mythical about the story being told in The Place Beyond the Pines, Derek Cianfrance’s absolutely brilliant follow-up to his award-winning drama Blue Valentine (2010). Both traditional and unique in its nature, Cianfrance has crafted something just as strong as last time out while focusing on a different subject and painting on a far broader canvas.
An underrated yet magnificent work that’s truly worth your time!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title, “The Jesus Rolls.”
Vin Diesel took a shot at a superhero franchise with this adaptation of the Valiant Comics character. Unfortunately, the movie is nonsensical, even recently inspiring an episode of the podcast How Did This Get Made?, never the sign of quality cinema. Our review here on the site was actually pretty kind in its dismissal:
When it comes to the evil machinations of corporate zealots exploiting noble patriots in the name of science, “Bloodshot” doesn’t quite hit the memorability target.
Diesel fans only need apply here.
A spin on the classic tale, Oz Perkins‘ “Gretel & Hansel” is a surprisingly uncommercial attempt at commercial horror. Unsurprisingly, the box office was muted. Even our mixed take here on the site got into its odd fit as mainstream programming:
A parable once designed to educate children on the dangers of sweet distraction from strangers has now ripened into adolescent dilemmas. This newest incarnation is gravely concerned with the moral complexities and fallout from innocence lost. Given the gory content and suggestible material, the movie’s biggest twist is how it ever received a PG-13 rating. Whatever magic was conjured to reach a broader audience could backfire if commercial expectations run too high.
This won’t be for everyone. Maybe it’s for you?
Another horror title, this one is of the slow burn variety. Riley Keough turns in another strong performance, but she’s saddled with a character we never quite come to care about. That’s true of everyone in this film. In fact, The Wrap cites that as the main reason why it fails, as you can see below:
We cannot feel afraid for people if we do not care about and associate with them. And we absolutely cannot care about any of the people in The Lodge, because whenever they’re in danger, the directors are looking the other way.
Indie horror fans may enjoy this one, but keep your expectations in check.
Special Criterion Collection Section
Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales
Our only Criterion option today is a collection of Eric Rohmer’s work. “Six Moral Tales” is a unique movie that introduced cinema to an essential new voice. The Collection makes the following pitch for Rohmer’s films:
A succession of encounters between fragile men and the women who tempt them, Six Moral Tales unleashed on the film world a new voice, one that was at once sexy, philosophical, modern, daring, nonjudgmental, and liberating.
The collection includes:
- The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963)
- Suzanne’s Career (1963)
- My Night at Maud’s (1963)
- La Collectionneuse (1967)
- Claire’s Knee (1970)
- Chloe in the Afternoon (1972)
Rohmer fans should definitely pick this one up.