Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we have more Jonathan Majors domination with Devotion hitting shelves. Today also includes Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, a 4K edition of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and lots else. Read on for more…
This period war biopic never quite got its fair awards season shake, even if it was overall a rather well regarded movie. Majors is good, Glen Powell is too, and it balances all aspects of the story in a very satisfying manner. I spoke to director J.D. Dillard about the film here, as well as Majors himself here, and both conversations are well worth checking out. Here is what I said in my Devotion review back at the Toronto International Film Festival:
In another lifetime, Devotion is the type of film that would play all the time on cable, becoming your father or grandfather or uncle’s favorite movie. It’s so old school in its approach that you can’t help but feel the familiarity. That being said, the flick is undeniably effective, allowing these qualities to be positives, as opposed to negatives. It’s a far cry from something like Top Gun: Maverick, but it’s not trying to replicate that in any way. Playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, Devotion has more than enough to offer in order to warrant a recommendation. It just doesn’t have quite as much originality as some other titles.
Devotion flies down a well worn path, but there’s always a sense that it’s honoring the past, as opposed to limiting its creativity in any way. Almost from top to bottom, it feels familiar, though it’s hardly a bad thing. There’s a comfort food nature to it all, even in a military biopic. It’s not quite an Oscar caliber play, but it’s certainly quality cinema.
Also Available This Week
B’Twixt Now and Sunrise
Detective Knight: Independence
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Resident Alien: Season Two (TV)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (in 4K)
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody
From The Criterion Collection: “This debut feature by Robert Townsend is an ingenious satirical landmark that takes riotous aim at the typecasting of Black actors in 1980s Hollywood. The writer-director-star’s megawatt charisma propels Hollywood Shuffle, the hilarious tale of a struggling actor attempting to break into an industry where the only roles available to Black performers seem to be hustlers, butlers, and slaves—forcing him to choose between selling out and maintaining his self-respect. Lampooning everything from film noir to zombie flicks to sitcoms, Townsend and cowriter Keenen Ivory Wayans cannily turn the frustrations of the Black artist into a subversively funny pop-culture critique.”
Two Films by Marguerite Duras
From The Criterion Collection: “Marguerite Duras had already established herself as one of the major figures of postwar French literature when she launched an equally fascinating and unclassifiable career in cinema, translating her elliptical, experimental style to the screen through an unprecedented fusion of hypnotic, highly stylized imagery and radically disjunctive sound. Boldly reimagining the possibilities of dialogue, music, silence, and architectural space, the tantalizing, sphinxlike evocations of soul-deep female malaise India Song and Baxter, Vera Baxter embody Duras’s singular multisensory approach, with each opening up new spaces for the expression of women’s interior worlds.”