This week, one of the better titles from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, “The Short History of the Long Road,” leads the new Blu-ray/DVD pack. A few other new releases are hitting (mostly virtual) shelves today, too, though they fall a bit short of this one.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Sabrina Carpenter is terrific in this indie road trip tale from writer/director Ani Simon-Kennedy. Even as Simon-Kennedy navigates the story to places you’ll recognize, it’s impossible not to be taken by Carpenter. Here’s a bit from our Tribeca review, back in 2019:
The best part of “The Short History of the Long Road” is the lead turn by Sabrina Carpenter. Her performance is brilliant, walking a very fine line and pulling off a very tough role. Her work removes almost all thought of the film’s somewhat derivative nature, focusing you in on the emotional story at hand.
“The Short History of the Long Road” follows a familiar path, but Carpenter is so good, you won’t care one bit.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
For this week’s Vintage pick, now seems like a great time to cite an underrated Spike Lee work. Lee is having a moment right now with “Da 5 Bloods,” but too few people cite “He Got Game” among his best. This is Lee’s look at the complicated relationship between fathers and sons. Denzel Washington is terrific, as he always is with Lee. Roger Ebert has some especially high praise for this Spike Lee Joint, as you can see below:
He Got Game is Lee’s best film since Malcolm X.
Another high-qualify Lee movie to enjoy!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
This quirky mix of comedy and horror stars Jean Dujardin in the latest outing from oddball filmmaker Quentin Dupieux. Despite being far easier to digest than something like “Rubber,” “Deerskin” still has a very unusual vibe, almost paying homage to Yorgos Lanthimos. Dujardin, no matter how ridiculous it gets, is inherently watchable. The Wrap was quite taken with this performance:
Despite playing an odd, mad villain, Dujardin (best known for his Oscar-winning performance in “The Artist”) remains dangerously charming.
This is Dupieux’s most accessible work, due in no small part to Dujardin’s compelling turn.
This documentary is almost begging to be remade as a narrative feature. Following a troubled teenager, as she comes of age, due in part to motherhood, the beats are all there, though obviously are able to resonate more with this non-fiction approach. Variety had this to say:
As a feature-length debut for Swedish duo Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, it’s a work of major promise.
Another title to definitely consider today!
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our one and only Criterion option today is this Russian war film from 1985. “Come and See,” directed by Soviet filmmaker Elem Klimov, is a landmark effort in that country’s cinematic history. The Collection sells it to you like so, highlighting how much its impact will last with you:
Nearly blocked from being made by Soviet censors, who took seven years to approve its script, Come and See is perhaps the most visceral, impossible-to-forget antiwar film ever made.
Anyone who appreciates antiwar films like this one should definitely pick it up.