Kneel Before VOD: September 3rd
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!
Mortal Engines (2018)
Where are all my steampunks at? This movie got buried last December in a massive pile of holiday releases but ever since it has been building its own cult fanbase. Based on the first of four books by Phillip Reeve, the film takes place in a post-apocalyptic steampunk future where extreme conditions have led to humanity building massive mobile cities on wheels. Super cities eat anything smaller than them as fuel, they abhor anyone who dares to refuse their way of life so much so that the citizens take to the balconies to cheer on the consumption of another inferior city. The scale of this movie is massive, literally, at all times and the effects look stunning as the geniuses over at Weta Digital work their magic in every single frame. The plot is nothing to get excited about but if you are someone who enjoys massive world building and ambitious visuals, catch up with Mortal Engines and join the cult. Your steampunk future awaits.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
It really cannot be said enough just how wonderful Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant are in this movie. Based on the true life memoir of the same name by Lee Israel, the film tells the story of Israel trying to revitalize her ailing career by forging letters from famous and deceased authors. She eventually enlists the help of Jack Hock, an old friend and drug-dealer, to help with her scam. The game can only run for so long, however, as we watch their lives unravel around them. The tragedy of these two people and their relationship together is portrayed beautifully by McCarthy and Grant, and Marielle Heller steps into her sophomore outing looking like a seasoned pro. She handles this material with a cold compassion that allows the audience to truly feel for these characters.
A Simple Favor (2018)
Paul Feig’s follow up to his Ghostbusters reboot came and went with surprisingly little notice. Maybe because nobody knew what to make of it, a mystery thriller directed by the man behind such films as Bridesmaids and Spy was a weird nut to crack. The trailers also sold the movie as a serious thriller from the “darker side of Paul Feig” which, to be fair, is kind of true. There are legitimately tense moments and Feig takes the plot into much darker territory than usual, but when all is said and done, this movie is some good old fashioned trashy fun. Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are both at the top of their game in a movie that allows them both to just run wild. It has non-stop twists and turns. Nobody can be trusted, no one is who they say they are, and every moment you think you've got it figured out it does a total 180 back the other way until it finally reaches its bonkers finale. A friend described it to me as “a lifetime movie on speed” so don't hesitate to pop this one on during your next lazy afternoon.
I’m throwing this one out last for all of my weirdos who like to watch weird shit, because Climax is some weird as crazy shit and I want you to know that before you come back to me crying because your brain has been melted. Okay, so Gasper Noe wrote and directed this and there is a series of stunning long-takes featuring intense dancing, partying, as well as thrilling inanity, and it’s maybe the most stunning camera work I've seen all year. Most of the dancing, dialogue, and character development was totally improvised on set by the 24 member cast of performers led by Sofia Boutella. Still not sold? Okay, the opening credits hit over forty minutes into the movie after the long-take and from there on out the film is a slow descent into madness as everyone at the party has been mysteriously dosed with LSD. The remainder of the movie is a true nightmare made possible with intense performances, hypnotic editing, and bold cinematography.