Pick of the week:
- Bullhead. A punishing drama that explores the psyche of a man who was damaged physically in his younger years, and who continues to bear his emotional scars visibly as he travels through the underground drug scene in Europe. As difficult as it is to watch, it’s shot through with streaks of dark visual artistry by first-time feature director and writer Michael Roskam, which makes it somewhat more bearable.
Also out today on DVD and/or Blu-ray, with links to my reviews (here or at Twitch), as available:
- 21 Jump Street. Mostly positive reviews make me curious about this comedy from the guys who made ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.’
- The Artist. A loving pastiche and tribute to the Silent Era, the Academy Award-winning film has received a healthy degree of critical backlash. While it’s not a great film on its own merits, it is affectionate and resonates pleasantly in the memory.
- Deliverance. John Boorman’s haunting fable of masculinity and quiet terrors serves as an apt counterpoint to ‘Bullhead’ (see above). Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty star.
- Mirror Mirror. The better of the two Snow White films this year, Tarsem’s oft-delirious visual inclinations make this a fun watch.
- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Described as a “Turkish Western,” and the receipient of glowing reviews, this “slow cinema” picture follows a criminal investigation, but is much more interested in painting a portrait of characters and landscapes.