Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, a major contender for both Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature in Collective hits shelves. Alongside that sobering film, we have The Croods: A New Age, along with a handful of other options. Read on for more…
Joey’s Top Pick
A testament to the dogged pursuit of the truth, this documentary follows the journalists who, in 2015, uncovered massive health care fraud in the wake of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania. It’s a clinical and perhaps even disturbing experience. However, it’s one worth making time for. Here’s a bit from our DOC NYC review of Collective (here) last year:
With its riveting criminal investigation, provocative political intrigue and unforgettable heroes and villains, there’s a perverse thrill to watching the shocking events of Collective play out. But Nanau never loses sight of the devastating human cost of corruption. Smartly, the film is bookended by scenes of grief-stricken loved ones of the late victims. As we gaze upon their sorrowful faces, Collective ultimately resonates as a plea for us to look out for our fellow man, whether we are an elected official or an average working class citizen.
The Croods: A New Age
A sequel to the surprise it that was The Croods, this second installment is more of the same. If you enjoyed The Croods, then The Croods: A New Age is perfect for you. This time around, the Crood family encounters another family a few rungs up on the evolutionary ladder. As you might expect, it’s a family-friendly animated comedy. At the same time, it won’t make parents tear their hair out. If you’ve got kids, this is likely the best option for you this week.
Pump Up the Volume
One of my favorite movies, Pump Up the Volume is a classic. Christian Slater is at his best playing Mark Hunter by day and “Hard Harry” by night, when he finds himself as a pirate radio DJ. A smart, fun, and surprisingly deep flick, it finally is available on Blu-ray. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to add this one to your collection ASAP. Pump Up the Volume is a must-own and a must-see if you’ve never experienced it before!
Also Available This Week
Inside Amy Schumer: The Complete Series (TV)
The Last Vermeer
From The Criterion Collection: “For his acclaimed follow-up to Man Push Cart, Ramin Bahrani once again turned his camera on a slice of New York City rarely seen on-screen: Willets Point, Queens, an industrial sliver of automotive-repair shops that remains perpetually at risk of being redeveloped off the map. It’s within this precarious ecosystem that twelve-year-old Ale (Alejandro Polanco) must grow up fast, hustling in the neighborhood chop shops to build a more stable life for himself and his sister (Isamar Gonzales) even as their tenuous circumstances force each to compete with other struggling people and make desperate decisions. A deeply human story of a fierce but fragile sibling bond being tested by hardscrabble reality, Chop Shop tempers its sobering authenticity with flights of lyricism and hope.”
Man Push Cart
From The Criterion Collection: “A modest miracle of twenty-first-century neorealism, the acclaimed debut feature by Ramin Bahrani speaks quietly but profoundly to the experiences of those living on the margins of the American dream. Back in his home country of Pakistan, Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi, elements of whose own life story were woven into the script) was a famous rock star. Now a widower separated from his son and adrift in New York, he works long hours selling coffee and bagels from a midtown Manhattan food cart, engaged in a Sisyphean search for human connection and a sense of purpose that seems perpetually just out of reach. A rare immigrant’s-eye view of a post-9/11 city suffused with subtle paranoia and xenophobia, Man Push Cart gives at once empathetic and clear-eyed expression to the everyday drama of human endurance.”
From The Criterion Collection: “Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on the celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, the narrative debut from Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance by Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Smooth Talk captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the conventions of a coming-of-age story into something altogether more troubling and profound.”