Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, one of 2020’s more underrated genre efforts hits shelves (or virtual shelves) in Freaky. There’s a few other things of note coming out this week, including the Blu-ray release of one of my absolute favorite films, one that’s been wrongly bludgeoned over the years. Read on for more…
Joey’s Top Pick
Freaky is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2020. With terrific performances from Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, filmmaker Christopher Landon‘s horror hybrid is a ridiculous amount of fun. Seriously, it’s an absolute blast. If you missed it, you really did miss out. Here’s just a small taste from my rave review of Freaky that went up last year:
What a wonderfully smart and twisted surprise Freaky is. Especially since I went in with absolutely no expectations, this snuck up and threw me for a delightful loop. Depending on how blind you go into it, you may be expecting either a comedy or a horror film. Obviously, it’s both, seamlessly blending the two. Funnier than Scream, and much gorier, too, it’s just as smart about what it’s sending up. Showing ample love for its cinematic forefathers, it’s impossible not to be won over by the flick. Now, your mileage may vary in regard to how much it wins you over. For me, it was completely and fully, making for one of the season’s more fun experiences.
For those who don’t know, I un-ironically love Elizabethtown. Cameron Crowe’s supposed misfire is an unwieldy romantic comedy, but its wobbly edges provide some of its charm. Plus, it has two amazing sequences that stand tall with anything Crowe has presented to date (the all-night phone call and the road trip). Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom are underrated and quite likable here, without a doubt. Put aside the unfairly poor reviews and finally give this one a shot. Trust me, it’s good stuff.
Diego Luna and Sienna Miller deliver strong turns in Wander Darkly, a moving drama with a high-concept supernatural premise. Miller especially, who we interviewed here, goes above and beyond. I wrote about Wander Darkly here, opening my review of the movie like so:
Thought experiment time. What do you get when you cross A Ghost Story with something almost resembling City of Angels or Wings of Desire? Well, nothing, really, since that’s a nearly impossible premise. However, if you squint, those influences are seen in Wander Darkly, the new spectral romantic drama hitting screens. Boosted by two really good performances and a solidly unusual premise, this film overcomes a few hiccups to wind up making for an engaging experience. The movie won’t blow you away, but the acting on display may. That alone makes this one worth your while, especially in terms of the turn from Sienna Miller.
Also Available This Week
Black Patriots: Heroes Of The Revolution
The Little Prince
The Parallax View
From The Criterion Collection: “Perhaps no director tapped into the pervasive sense of dread and mistrust that defined the 1970s more effectively than Alan J. Pakula, who, in the second installment of his celebrated Paranoia Trilogy, offers a chilling vision of America in the wake of the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. and about to be shocked by Watergate. Three years after witnessing the murder of a leading senator atop Seattle’s Space Needle, reporter Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) begins digging into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the killing—and stumbles into a labyrinthine conspiracy far more sinister than he could have imagined. The Parallax View’s coolly stylized, shadow-etched compositions by acclaimed cinematographer Gordon Willis give visual expression to a mood that begins as an anxious whisper and ends as a scream into the void.”