Kneel Before VOD: November 14th
Steven Soderbergh’s short-lived (feature film) retirement ends in a grand-fashion in an exciting tale of two brothers who put together a team to rob a speedway during the biggest race of the year. The stacked cast including Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Riley Keough look to be having the time of their lives, particularly Daniel Craig who chews the scenery completely against type. Logan Lucky rivals the great fun of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy at times. If you’re itching for more Soderbergh, he also just launched an app called Mosaic that tells an innovative choose-your-own-adventure story.
Creator of many of Saturday Night Live’s recent shorts, Kyle Mooney takes the lead in this comedy co-written by him and his long-time collaborators Kevin Costello and Dave McCary, who directs. Mooney is James, a man who has lived in a bunker with his parents for as long as he can remember, watching the children’s show Brigsby Bear. The cops show up one day and inform him that his parents are actually kidnappers who made up the show. Determined to make the show he loves a reality, James teams up with some new friends to film their own Brigsby Bear. The film is often hilarious and very earnest despite its dark premise.
Netflix: Lady Dynamite: Season 2
Maria Bamford is one of the funniest people in comedy, and her excellent Netflix Original show returned this week for a second season. The comic plays an exaggerated version of herself in a surreal version of her life. At the end of the first season, Bamford met a man who she’s still with as she fully throws herself into her work while still battling her various demons. I haven’t got a chance to see season 2 yet, but if it’s even half as creative and entertaining as the first, it’s going to be something special.
HBO Go: The LEGO Batman Movie
Following the smash success of The LEGO Movie, WB immediately launched production on two spinoffs and a yet-to-be-released sequel. The aggressive strategy didn’t work so well for The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but The LEGO Batman Movie is a lot of fun. The Joker (played by Zach Galifianakis, which is amazing) is wreaking havoc on Gotham City, and Batman has to reluctantly accept the help of Robin (played by Michael Cera, which is amazing), Batgirl (played by Rosario Dawson, which is AMAZING), and others to take him down. Batman’s adventure is just as laugh-out-loud funny and sweet as Emmet’s in The LEGO Movie.
Hulu Plus: Much Ado About Nothing
A black-and-white Shakespeare adaptation isn’t something I’d normally have any interest in, but I’m very glad that I checked this one out on a whim. Joss Whedon directs this comedy, which was filmed over just a few days at his house, with flair and whimsy. The film is a quite fun modern retelling of the Bard’s play with a cast including Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, and Alexis Denisof, who all seem to be having a great time making this loose-feeling movie. Denisof particularly impresses with one of the most fun performances I’ve seen.
Also Streaming: The Mothman Prophecies
FilmStruck: Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu The Vampyre, Cobra Verde
Just two weeks ago I got to highlight Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski’s first collaboration, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, and this week FilmStruck added even more of the troubled duo’s work together. Much has been made of difficult it was to work with Kinski, particularly during Aguirre, but the results are unmistakable. The three films are all epic period pieces with a dark tone, but couldn’t be more different in terms of filming styles and Kinski’s great performances.