Coming Soon Trailers: Tulip Fever.
We end August with a wimper, seeing only one new release, a handful of expansions, and just two VOD offerings.
Well, good riddance to August! This month has been one long slog through middling movies and disappointing flicks. The box office has been barren as of late. At least earlier in the month, you could count on VOD to pick up the slack with, if not excellent, then at least plentiful offerings. We have no such luck this week. The rental market is nearly as desolate as the theaters. A couple films that had small debuts expand nationally, but few of them are headed to over 700 theaters, making it a crap shoot if they will make it to your locale. That’s too bad, since they both seem to be rock solid offerings amidst this slow summer season.
An unhappily married woman falls in love with the brash young artist who is commissioned to paint her portrait. It is the height of the tulip mania in 17th century Amsterdam, and the illicit couple hope to use the demand for tulips to fund their escape.
See It?: Go pick a flower instead.
Seriously? That’s the plot of this story? A craze for tulips and portraits? My god, we’re scraping the low end of the barrel. This film also stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne, the world’s least interesting couple from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. You could not pay me to watch another movie featuring those two, even if it does have Judi Dench and Alicia Vikander. This film has been in production hell for a while now, so not even the production company has much faith in it. Sounds like a great time to read a book on the Dutch masters. Or go smoke a Dutch Masters. Or do literally anything else.
Ingrid Goes West.
Ingrid is a mentally unstable young woman who confuses social media with real life. She fixates on personalities she discovers online and builds fantasy friendships with them, which turn into tragedies when she attempts to meet them in real life. Her latest obsession is Taylor Sloane, a seemingly perfect “influencer” with a big fan base. Ingrid heads out to California to meet her and become her friend, at any cost.
See It?: Yes.
This is a darker dark comedy than many in the genre, but it still manages to have some laughs while giving a no-nonsense portrayal of pop-culture fixation and internet stalking. Aubrey Plaza has been phenomenal in everything I’ve seen her in, and she particularly plays haunted unstable types with a deft touch. This films seems to have a finger on the pulse and a fantastic cast, including Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Constantine is a young man with a troubled past and a brother suffering from developmental difficulties. His criminal past catches up to him after a robbery goes wrong and his brother is sent to prison for the crime. Racing against time, Constantine tries everything he can to get his brother released before enemies on the inside take their revenge on his brother.
See It?: Yes.
Robert Pattinson is showing that he has some real chops as an actor. Even though I hated The Rover, I loved his performance in it. Here he is again in another indie film, and this time everything seems to be lining up for a solid experience. Pattinson looks great, the art style of the film is hypnotic and memorable, and the pacing seems to be air-tight. There was a lot of early buzz on this flick, and for good reason. Check it out.
Video on Demand.
The Evil in Us.
A group of friends looking for a good time head out to a deserted island. Once there, most of the crew decide to dabble in a new recreational drug. As you may guess, that ends up being a poor life decision as the new drug makes its users hyper aggressive and willing to chomp on anyone near them.
See It?: Rent it.
It’s not the most novel plot in the world, but this film seems to be able to make hay with it. The acting is pretty decent and the visuals are solid. If you’re into these cabin in the woods/last girl horror movies, this one looks like an entry into the genre that you won’t regret investing in.
A man traumatized by a vicious beating has become a virtual shut-in. His only contact with the wider world is through an online site where he meets a married woman looking for a fling, and through his binoculars. One day he invites the woman to his place, and she uses his binoculars to see what he’s been watching: a young Chinese woman who also lives a secluded life. As they watch, a man enters the apartment and beats the young woman. Faced with a crime they can’t prove, the two voyeurs must figure out how to deal with the situation.
See It?: Yes.
This is pretty clearly borrowing many elements of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but it looks to have a strong sense of its own identity. The acting is strong for such a new cast, the premise is electric, and the visual style seems stark and visceral. As a fan of Rear Window, I’m excited to see what they do with the material.