Monday, April 20, 2015

This week's major DVD Releases

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night ***½ Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. The plot’s tired blood is jumped up considerably by style; all in all, it’s an intoxicating blend of eerie horror and ‘80s pop, made by an artist to keep an eye on.

Cake ** Directed by Daniel Barnz. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington. A woman becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group while grappling with her own, very raw personal tragedy. This film is the sort of well-intentioned independent effort that can make criticism feel like overkill. There’s nothing to hate, nothing to love. The movie’s greatest virtue is that it gives Aniston a little room to play against the somewhat sardonic tough-cookie type that she deploys in vulgar comedies.

Walter Directed by Anna Mastro. Starring Andrew J. West, Justin Kirk, Neve Campbell, Leven Rambin, Milo Ventimiglia, Jim Gaffigan, Brian White, Peter Facinelli, Virginia Madsen, William H. Macy. Walter, a ticket-taker at the local cinema believes he is the son of God. He has agreed to decide the eternal fate of everyone he comes in to contact with. Much of Walter’s behavior resembles, at very least, a movie version of mental illness, only to have the story reclassify it as a coping mechanism. This unwittingly makes the character seem as affected as any Sundance stereotype — and the movie disturbing for all the wrong reasons.

Everly Directed by Joe Lynch. Starring Salma Hayek. After a call girl betrays her crime boss lover to the police, he offers a $50,000 bounty to anyone who can kill her. Trapped inside her apartment, she must fight off an endless tide of assassins to survive. Yet another boring ode to heavy breathing that’s offered under the hypocritical pretense of celebrating female empowerment.

Taken 3 * Directed by Olivier Megaton. Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Forest Whitaker. A former CIA operative is framed for murder and must use his covert skills to keep himself alive while trying to prove his innocence. Sadly, the sequel isn’t even so bad as to be memorable. Instead, it’s vaporous, not even possessing the qualities indicating that anyone involved cared about any detail of the film.

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