Everything new to streaming and VOD for the weekend of August 28. What the critics are watching The Personal History Of.
Everything new to streaming and VOD for the weekend of August 28.
After decades of making comedies in the verité/mockumentary mode – The Thick Of It, In The Loop, Veep and The Death Of Stalin – Iannucci embraces a more fanciful aesthetic with this imaginative, ebullient adaptation of Charles Dickens’s tale of a young boy’s journey to manhood, staged with a deliberately diverse cast. Iannucci and co-writer Simon Blackwell stay true to the book’s episodic nature as young David (played as a child by Jairaj Varsani, and as a young man by Dev Patel) moves from family to family as his fortunes rise and fall. And the film’s larger conceit of the adult David telling his tale to an audience in a Victorian theatre allows the ensemble cast to go as big as they please, with Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi and Benedict Wong being particular delights. The whole thing has an energy that makes you feel as though it’s about to turn into a musical at any moment, though that never quite happens. Bit of a shame, really. 119 min. In theatres Friday (August 28). NNNN (Norman Wilner)
Watching Odd Man Rush is a truly alienating experience. It does all the things a sports movie should do, and it has a simple, digestible plot about a young hockey player drifting through a pleasant but unglamorous career in the European minor leagues, but it never once comes to life. Co-written by Bill Keenan, it’s based on the book he wrote about living this actual story: after distinguishing himself in college hockey, he spent several years in a Swedish pro league. The movie adaptation fictionalizes that into the story of “Bobby Sanders” (The Society’s Jack Mulhern), an affable cipher who lands in a small Swedish town where he falls for a young woman (Elektra Kilbey) with dreams of moving to New York City to work at the Guggenheim.
And that’s pretty much the whole thing, with things just sort of happening around Bobby while everyone else tells him how much fun he ought to be having. I felt the same way. It shouldn’t be difficult to make an interesting movie about an alienated hockey player – imagine what Steven Soderbergh might have done with this material – but Odd Man Rush barely seems to care about its own existence. The whole thing feels like a simulation of itself – though that might be because its rural Swedish locations are really in upstate New York. Movies are weird. 85 min. On digital and on demand Tuesday (September 1). NN (NW)
(Matthew John Lawrence)
It’s a shame writer/director Lawrence’s goofball horror comedy didn’t get a chance to play the festival circuit: for all the face-eating and gut-yanking, it’s got a charming, playful energy that would delight a roomful of genre fans. A road movie pitched somewhere between Josie And The Pussycats and Green Room, Uncle Peckerhead follows the travails of Duh (Chet Siegel, Jeff Riddle, Ruby McCollister), a scrappy punk trio who discover their affable driver and roadie (David Littleton) has the unfortunate habit of turning into a flesh-eating monster every night at midnight. Well, “monster” is their term; he prefers “thing.” And if his curse happens to come in handy when the band runs into jerks, who are they to complain?
It shouldn’t work, but somehow all of its disparate elements wind up harmonizing: Lawrence establishes a slightly exaggerated world that makes it easy to accept the premise, especially as Siegel’s sprightly performance as Duh’s optimistic bandleader Judy finds a groove with Littleton’s sweet underplaying as the folksy, violence-prone Peck. (And Duh’s songs turn out to be kind of great, like early Green Day B-sides.) By the time we all go back to the movies, Uncle Peckerhead will have found its own cult. You might as well give yourself a head start. 95 min. Available now on digital and on demand. NNNN (NW)
Cobra Kai (seasons 1-2) – Netflix Canada
I Am A Killer: Released – Netflix Canada
Michael Che @ JFL – Crave
Most Expensivest (season 3) – Crave
Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys (season 1) – Amazon Prime Video Canada
Real Time With Bill Maher (season 18, episode 25) – Crave
Room 104 (season 4, episode 6) – Crave
The Circus (season 5, episode 11) – Crave
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (season 7, episode 23) – Crave
Lovecraft Country (season 1, episode 3) – Crave
Love Fraud (season 1, episode 1) – Crave
The Vow (season 1, episode 2) – Crave
We Hunt Together (season 1, episode 4) – Crave
Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving; directed by Dean Parisot
Documentary directed by Barbara Kopple
Documentary directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes
David Bluvband, Adam R. Brown, Ryan Conrath; directed by Matthew John Lawrence
Documentary directed by David Darg and Price James
Documentary directed by Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross
Jack Mulhern, Dylan Playfair, Sissy Sheridan; directed by Doug Dearth
[links not yet available]
Jasmine Batchelor, Chris Perfetti, Sullivan Jones; directed by Jeremy Hersh
Baize Buzan, Judah Abner Paul, Colleen Mooney; directed by Jer Sklar
Before he launched the Fast And Furious cinematic universe, Vin Diesel had already established himself onscreen as a surly criminal with a heart of gold in David Twohy’s 2000 sci-fi thriller about a transport ship that crashes on an alien world filled with ravenous predators who come out to hunt as soon as the sun goes down. Diesel’s brutal convict Riddick – whose augmented night vision makes him the survivors’ only chance against the monsters – became the star of a very silly space franchise, but honestly Pitch Black is the only one you need to see: it’s a resourceful, vicious little B-movie that moves efficiently, showcases a strong ensemble cast – including Radha Mitchell and Keith David – and never stops cranking up the tension.
Arrow’s new 4K edition offers the best version of Pitch Black ever to hit home video, presenting both the theatrical cut and the slightly longer director’s cut in an Ultra High Definition master that finally does justice to cinematographer David Eggby’s inventive visual aesthetic. (The previous Universal Blu-ray was much softer by comparison.)
Most of the extras from the earlier Blu-ray are here, along with the Dark Fury animated short Twohy produced to ready audiences for 2004’s The Chronicles Of Riddick. Arrow has also added a new retrospective doc, Nightfall: The Making Of Pitch Black, that lets Twohy take one more victory lap for his genuinely original creation. A Blu-ray edition sourced from the same 4K master is also available. (NW)