Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, we have a fascinating documentary in Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story highlighting the slate. In addition, there’s some real solid 4K options this week, which is always a plus, as well as a Kevin Smith cult classic getting a Special Edition. Anyway, why don’t we dive in?
Joey’s Top Pick
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story
This documentary, which was one of the inaugural Awards Radar reviews, looks back on the creation, as well as the destruction, of the Ren & Stimpy cartoon. From my review: “People of a certain age will no doubt fondly recall Ren & Stimpy. The cartoon was simply unlike anything else we’d ever seen. Not only was it different than what Nickelodeon was showing, it stood out as a singular entity in all of animation. A precursor to the more adult themed shows like Rick & Morty that are so popular now, it was truly a cult entity. The new documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story seeks to not just depict how the show got made, but also why it didn’t last. When it’s focused on that element, it’s very compelling and successful. It’s only when it takes aa half-hearted look at the accusations against show creator John Kricfalusi that it gets taken down a peg.” It’s a solid doc, and even with its imperfections, still well worth checking out!
District 9 (on 4K)
Science fiction lovers fell hard for District 9, but so did Academy members. Now, a handful of years removed from all the fuss, it still stands out as a less than subtle but still effective cautionary tale. Neill Blomkamp hasn’t been able to approach this quality since then, but District 9 is always a satisfying watch. Especially now in 4K, that’s all the more true! Fans of the flick should obviously pick it up.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Anyone who was a Breaking Bad devotee was no doubt curious about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. As someone who never watched the show, some of it was lost on me, but it still represents quality entertainment. If you loved the show and want to own this accompanying flick, I’d never dream of standing in your way…
As a huge Kevin Smith fan, any Special Edition of one of his movies is a treat for me. Mallrats is no exception, as this 25th anniversary Limited Edition offers up multiple versions of Smith’s cult classic. You get both the Extended and Theatrical cuts of the flick, as well as the TV cut that amusingly edits out the foul language. Is the film low art? Sure. Is it also hilarious? Of course. If you love this storyteller like I do, this is a perfect Blu-ray to pick up this week!
Requiem for a Dream (on 4K)
One of my favorite films, even if it’s an incredibly hard sit, Darren Aronofsky‘s harrowing Requiem for a Dream hits 4K for the first time in a Director’s Cut to celebrate its 20th anniversary. No movie has ever made drug use more cinematic, less appealing, or powerful. It’s truly a modern classic, plain and simple. If you somehow have never seen it, this is a must-own. Hell, even if you have, this is a perfect addition to your collection. Even more so than Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, this is the true pick of the week…
Also Available This Week
Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!
The Flintstones: The Complete Series (TV)
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls (Joey’s extra pick)
From The Criterion Collection: “Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system. As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humor with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.”