Kneel Before VOD: July 15th
Welcome to Kneel Before VOD! Here, we recommend the latest, highlight-worthy films now on video-on-demand. We'll help you navigate through the thousands of options out there, on dozens of services, to the best in streaming this month!
The debut of writer/director Cory Finley was not only one of the most overlooked movies of last year, it was also one of its best. Thoroughbreds is a dark comedy taking aim at the notion of privilege in our modern society and the extreme ways in which that privilege can manifest in certain people. The film follows two high school girls, one a diagnosed sociopath who has recently killed her pet horse played by Olivia Cooke and the other a “perfect student” type played by Anya Taylor-Joy, both giving stellar performances. The two are old friends who've drifted apart until life unexpectedly brings them back together, and though they seem like opposites now it doesn't take long before we see their similarities and they find a way to make this new relationship mutually beneficial. Thoroughbreds is a biting satire that is headlined by two incredible performances, as well as the final on screen performance of Anton Yelchin, making this film definitely worth your time.
Under the Silver Lake (2018)
At one point Under the Silver Lake was one of the most anticipated A24 releases of the year. It is, after all, the second feature from It Follows director David Robert Mitchell. Something happened along the way however and the film got pushed back, taken off the calendar, and then dumped unceremoniously to VOD. Turns out the movie is just a bonkers modern day noir that is at times satirizing the entire genre and at others desperately attempting to be praised as a piece of said genre. Andrew Garfield stars as Sam, a guy who embodies almost every conspiracy theorist you have ever met. He is as paranoid white male who thinks the world is out to get him because he's expected to get a job and pay his rent. When he has a pleasant encounter with a pretty girl, and the next day she has disappeared from his life, he sets out immediately all over L.A. to try and find her. It's a mad dash for a women that we as the audience aren't even sure remembers Sam's name, but nonetheless he falls down a deep rabbit hole of random conspiracies trying to get there. The film is erratic, disorienting, and way over the top in an attempt to make the viewer question whether everything is real or not, just like Sam. Mitchell is a master behind the camera and has tons of fun playing around with different angles and compositions, making this one of the most interesting films of the year. I haven't been able to shake this thing since seeing it, so while it may not be for everyone, those who dig it are really going to dig it.
Blow Out (1981)
As fans of cinema, we often love when a movie shows us, even if just a little, how the sausage is made. Bonus points awarded if you can do that inside of a more interesting story, like filmmaker Brian De Palma does in his 1981 masterpiece Blow Out, a film about a sound technician who accidentally records the audio of a car crash. The accident turns out to be anything but and before long our protagonist, played by John Travolta, finds his life in danger. This is De Palma at the height of his talents, both as a writer and a director, coming just a year after Dressed to Kill and two before Scarface. The neo-noir political thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and blended with De Palma’s skills behind the camera, this thing also looks stunning. His use of split-screen and split-diopter shots are on full display here creating gorgeous shots and making the film just as interesting visually as it is on the page. Catch up now on Amazon prime, and if you like it, run out and grab the Criterion disc before the July sale is over!