Movies You Missed

Friday, March 20, 2015

Movies You Missed: Hansel vs. Gretel

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Gretel shows her mojo. (Note: Having failed to find promo stills from this film, I have used trailer screen-grabs.) - THE ASYLUM
  • The Asylum
  • Gretel shows her mojo. (Note: Having failed to find promo stills from this film, I have used trailer screen-grabs.)
This week in movies you missed: Usually in this blog feature, I try to write about movies that you shouldn't miss. But what about all those movies you notice on Netflix and think, Hmm, WTF could that be?

Chances are, you aren't going to stream an obscure, unpromising-looking movie because its title aroused your passing curiosity. But I occasionally do that kind of thing. And that's why I watched Hansel vs. Gretel so you don't have to.

A week ago, while perusing Netflix Instant's new arrivals on Instantwatcher, I noticed Hansel vs. Gretel in the "Most Popular in the Last 24 Hours" list. I've heard of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, an actual movie that occupied local theaters in 2013. I've even heard of Hansel & Gretel Get Baked, which was popular on Netflix at around the same time. But this particular adult twist on the fairy tale was new to me.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Movies You Missed: The Overnighters

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Reinke has tough news for the men he's been trying to help. - DRAFTHOUSE FILMS
  • Drafthouse Films
  • Reinke has tough news for the men he's been trying to help.
This week in movies you missed: The film that should have been nominated for a 2015 Best Feature Documentary Oscar is a dark, mesmerizing portrayal of hope in hard times, and what it means to practice Christian charity today.

What You Missed
Filmmaker Jesse Moss went to Williston, N.D., because he wanted to see what a 21st-century gold rush looks like. (Read more in this interview with Paste.) In the few years since hydraulic fracking gave birth to the North Dakota oil boom, the small town has swelled from about 15,000 residents to more than 20,000.

click image One of Reinke's more successful protégés, who did get a job in the oil fields. - DRAFTHOUSE FILMS
  • Drafthouse Films
  • One of Reinke's more successful protégés, who did get a job in the oil fields.
The boom has touched off a new labor migration within the U.S., reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath: Thousands of men who can't find employment in their own states have flooded into Williston and similar towns, enticed by rumors of six-figure oil-field jobs. The short doc "White Earth," an Oscar nominee in its category, profiles some of those migrants through interviews with their children.

Moss took a different tack. He spent six months sleeping in Williston's Concordia Lutheran Church, where Pastor Jay Reinke created a refuge for would-be workers unable to find housing in the crowded town. His film follows Reinke as the pastor struggles to continue housing these desperate men in the church and its parking lot, against mounting opposition from his congregation, his neighbors, Williston's daily newspaper and its governing body.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 6, 2015

Movies You Missed: The One I Love

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Duplass and Moss play Ethan and Sophie — or are these Ethan and Sophie? - RADIUS TWC
  • Radius TWC
  • Duplass and Moss play Ethan and Sophie — or are these Ethan and Sophie?
This week in movies you missed: The Lazarus Effect, currently in theaters, stars Mark Duplass as a scientist trying to resurrect the dead and his relationship with Olivia Wilde. Rick Kisonak's review suggests the film is eminently missable. So I hopped on Netflix and checked out a less predictable movie that also happens to feature Duplass grappling with love troubles.

What You Missed
Ethan (Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men") are trying to rekindle that elusive spark in their marriage. They re-create the events of the night they first met, but they just aren't feeling the thrill anymore.

So their couples therapist (Ted Danson) suggests a private retreat at a gorgeous country estate. (According to IMDb, these scenes were shot at Danson and Mary Steenburgen's home in Ojai, Calif., and they offer some hardcore house/landscape porn.)

Then something odd happens.

click image RADIUS TWC
  • Radius TWC
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD, COVERING NO MORE THAN THE FIRST THIRD OF THE MOVIE:

In the property's guest house (not where they're staying), Sophie discovers Ethan. He's in a great mood, and the two enjoy an evening of banter and sex. When Sophie returns to the main house, she finds a grumpy Ethan there ahead of her, claiming he's been alone this whole time.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 27, 2015

Movies You Missed: Night Moves

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 3:21 PM

click image Eisenberg as Josh. - CINEDIGM
  • Cinedigm
  • Eisenberg as Josh.

This week in movies you missed:
In the latest from writer-director Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy), former child stars set out to explode things for the planet.

What You Missed
Oregonians Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dena (Dakota Fanning) have a plan. It involves buying a boat in cash from a retiree. Scouting out a massive hydroelectric dam. Connecting with a former Marine (Peter Sarsgaard) who lives in a trailer and knows a thing or two about fake IDs and explosives. Purchasing 1000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer from a very suspicious clerk (James Le Gros).

Their plan does not involve hurting anyone. But even best-laid plans can go awry.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 20, 2015

Movies You Missed: Pre-Oscar Edition: Ida

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Agata Trzebuchowska as the title character - MUSIC BOX FILMS
  • Music Box Films
  • Agata Trzebuchowska as the title character
This Week in Movies You Missed: This quiet, black-and-white Polish drama from cowriter-director Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) is up for two Oscars: Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. It's easy to stream, and well worth seeing.

Folks who like self-consciously "old-fashioned" movies, but not the kind full of treacly sentimentality, should especially check Ida out.

What You Missed
Poland, early 1960s. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a young novice living in a convent, has one task before she can take the veil: She must visit her only known living relative, her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza).

City dweller Wanda is a worldly, jaded loner who serves as a Communist Party judge, handing down penalties to "enemies of socialism." She takes one look at Anna's habit and asks caustically, "A Jewish nun?"

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Movies You Missed: Venus in Fur

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image These stilettos were made for worshipping. - IFC FILMS
  • IFC Films
  • These stilettos were made for worshipping.
This week in movies you missed: I'm going to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. What can I say? I'm curious.

I am expecting to watch two scantily clad thespians uncomfortably fake sexual chemistry. I am expecting (or hoping for) moments of high camp. What I am not expecting from Fifty Shades is to learn anything new about the role of dominance and submission in sex and romance. (For an extremely exhaustive analysis/satire of everything the Fifty Shades series gets wrong about real-life BDSM, click here.)

No. For insight into the culture of whips, chains and legalistic sex-slavery contracts, I turned to David Ives' 2010 play Venus in Fur, adapted for the screen by Roman Polanski and now available on Netflix Instant. It proved to be about as provocative as an arty two-character drama confined to a single location with virtually no nudity can be. That is, a lot.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 6, 2015

Movies You Missed: It's Such a Beautiful Day

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 5:02 PM

click image Bill and his ex contemplate life, death and everything. - © 2012 DON HERTZFELDT
  • © 2012 Don Hertzfeldt
  • Bill and his ex contemplate life, death and everything.
This week in movies you missed: I've been hearing about Don Hertzfeldt's It's Such a Beautiful Day since it was theatrically released (barely) in 2012. Last month, the acclaimed animator — who does everything himself, with minimal computer assistance — won his second Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his latest short, "World of Tomorrow."

The feature-length It's Such a Beautiful Day is finally available for streaming on Netflix Instant, so I got my first taste of Hertzfeldt's work. Or maybe I should say this little cartoon snuck up, slammed into me, convinced me I was about to have a seizure for a few seconds, and left me awed, shaken and in tears.

Lesson 1: Always beware of films with titles that sound like somebody's daily affirmation (e.g., Life Is Beautiful, Everybody's Fine). They aim to make you cry.

Lesson 2: See this one anyway.

What You Missed
It's Such a Beautiful Day started as three short films: "Everything Will Be OK" (2006), "I Am So Proud of You" (2008), and "It's Such a Beautiful Day" (2011). They share a protagonist: a top-hatted stick figure named Bill. Hertzfeldt's voice narrates and relays all the dialogue to us, along with Bill's thoughts.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 30, 2015

Movies You Missed: Proxy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 3:14 PM

Esther contemplates a changed self. - IFC MIDNIGHT
  • IFC Midnight
  • Esther contemplates a changed self.
This week in movies you missed: Late last year over on the Dissolve, I saw critic Mike D'Angelo mention Proxy among his top 15 films of 2014. I'd never heard of this movie from writer-director Zack Parker (Scalene), but, hey, it was on Netflix Instant. I gave it a try.

Wow.

What You Missed
Two women meet at a support group for grieving mothers. Twentysomething Esther (Alexia Rasmussen), who's not good with people (and that's an understatement), doesn't feel comfortable talking about why she's there. Slick, put-together Melanie (Alexa Havins) readily tells her story.

When Melanie reaches out to Esther, cultivating a friendship with her, that's when things get weird. Because Esther is starting to suspect Melanie is not even close to what she seems. Turns out both of them have a few surprises up their sleeves.

Here's the trailer:

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movies You Missed: Four Lions

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 3:00 PM

click image Barry expresses his jihadist fervor. - MAGNET
  • Magnet
  • Barry expresses his jihadist fervor.
This week in movies you missed: In the past weeks, we've seen many impassioned responses to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. The French film company Wild Bunch took an unusual approach. As Variety reported on January 13, users of the company's digital platform can now stream the British comedy Four Lions (2010) for free. 

Why? According to Wild Bunch's website, "What This Is Spinal Tap did for heavy metal and did [sic] Dr Strangelove for the Cold War, Four Lions does for the modern face of terrorism."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 16, 2015

Movies You Missed: The Guest

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 3:56 PM

click image Would you invite him in? - PICTUREHOUSE
  • Picturehouse
  • Would you invite him in?
This week in movies you missed: Do you long for the days of watching nifty little thrillers on VHS? The latest from horror director Adam Wingard (You're Next) harks back to those rental finds of the '80s in a big way.

What You Missed
Who wouldn't trust a face like David's? The young Iraq veteran (Dan Stevens) has a sweet smile, a forthright gaze and the kind of guileless blue eyes that turn cynics into believers.

That's what happens when David drops in on the small-town Petersons, who are still grieving their son Caleb, killed in action. Part of Caleb's unit, David says he's here to deliver their loved one's last message.

Mom Laura (Sheila Kelley) begs David to stay the night. Dad (Leland Orser) is suspicious — till the guest proves to be the perfect sounding board for his workplace woes.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
e-newsletters:

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation