2 items from 2016
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
With the excess of low-budget, retreat-in-the-woods dramas often finding characters hashing out their insecurities through a meta-narrative, a certain initial resistance can occur when presented with such a derivative scenario at virtually every film festival. While Sophia Takal‘s psychological drama Always Shine ultimately stumbles, the chemistry of its leads and a sense of foreboding dread in its formal execution ensures its heightened view of »
- The Film Stage
A semi-pseudo-documentary based on a real one, “Frank and Cindy” never quite acquires a convincing raison d’etre despite impressive work from Rene Russo and Oliver Platt as dramatized versions of the real-life dysfunctional parents that writer-director G.J. Echternkamp already portrayed in his same-named 2007 feature documentary. Both films have the “Grey Gardens”-like trainwreck fascination of outsized personalities conducting their own ruin with delusions of grandeur still fully intact, but the narrative spine that might have given this version an arc and a purpose fails to materialize. The result is likely to struggle for theatrical berth, though cast names should make it viable as a home-format item.
During a term break from film school, Gj (Johnny Simmons) reluctantly returns home, where mom Cindy (Russo) greets him with: “Are you ready for the shock of your life? … I quit drinking!” That is a surprise, but she’s hiding a considerably less »
- Dennis Harvey
2 items from 2016
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