You know that feeling of overload when too many big fall films arrive at once? Today is one of those days for DVD and streaming video, as many of spring and summer’s best movies arrive.
Here’s a glance at the top four. There’s something for every taste and mood, but all are hugely entertaining. (Follow the links for full reviews and trailers.)
X-MEN FIRST CLASS
In the summer’s best and by far smartest action movie, two great actors – Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr and James McAvoy as Charles Xavier – convince us they’re not slumming. As we know from earlier X-Men movies, McAvoy’s character will morph into Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Fassbender's into Ian McKellan as Magneto, but even if you don’t care where this origin story goes (and I deeply don’t care) it’s terrific fun to watch them as best friends deciding how to use their superpowers in a tongue-in-cheek, James Bond-inflected 1960’s.
Why I didn't review this is a choice lost in the mists of deadlines, but I highly recommend it.
Saoirse Ronan, from The Lovely Bones, and director Joe Wright, of Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, are an unlikely pair to make a thriller about a teenage assassin, which may be why Hanna works so well. The movie zooms along to a sleek soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers, and turns a delicate actress and a literary director into action stars.
EVERYTHING MUST GO
Will Ferrell is perfect, understated and touching as a suddenly unemployed man, locked out of his house by his estranged wife, who just decides to live on his front lawn. Everything Must Go is at times too precious, but its touches of droll humor are pure Ferrell.
In the sophisticated romantic drama Last Night, beautifully shot to show New York in all its hip downtown glamor, Keira Knightley is married to Sam Worthington but has a chance to cheat with old boyfriend Guillaume Canet while her husband is away on business. We should all have such tough decisions to make.