Menahem Golan's passing last week had a number of people revisiting his 80s heyday of glorious trash ("Over the Top," "The Apple"), but this week brings the home video release of one of the best films he funded. John Cassavetes's "Love Streams," about a middle-aged brother and sister caring for one another after their other loved ones leave them, comes out on a Criterion Blu-Ray release, complete with digital restoration and a 60-minute making-of documentary.
Other classics receiving Blu-Ray releases include Jaques Tourneur's great noir "Out of the Past," featuring one of Robert Mitchum's best performances, from the Warner Archive Collection. Twilight Time has a number of exciting titles this week: Fritz Lang's 1941 thriller "Man Hunt," 1978's "The Buddy Holly Story" (featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Gary Busey – really!), and a pair of Ken Loach films, 1991's "Riff-Raff" and 1993's "Raining Stones." Other highlights on the classic circuit include Maurice Pialat's "We Won't Grow Old Together" and William Wyler's "The Children's Hour."
Grindhouse and horror fans can pick up new Blu-Rays of "The Toxic Avenger" and "Motel Hell," while those in the mood for something sweet have a host of Disney titles to choose from, including "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "Hercules," "Tarzan," and a 2-disc set of "Fun and Fancy Free" and "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad."
For new releases, fans of the Muppets might want to check out this year's "Muppets Most Wanted," which doesn't reach the bar set by 2011's "The Muppets" but still has that wonderful Muppet charm. Arthouse fans might want to check out the underrated horror movie "Proxy" or Steven Knight's "Locke," which isn't much more than a showcase for Tom Hardy's performance, but that performance is very good. Other shakier prospects include the divisive James McAvoy vehicle "Filth," Drake Doremus's "Like Crazy" follow-up "Breathe In," the Colin Firth drama "The Railway Man," and the long-delayed Halle Berry split-personality drama "Frankie and Alice," which might be worth a look just for the sake of curiosity.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The A.V. Club
In the right hands, the push-pull between naturalism and artificiality could be exhilarating; unfortunately, those hands don’t belong to Doremus. As in his 2011 Sundance prizewinner "Like Crazy," the use of improvisation (both films were directed from lengthy, dialogue-free outlines) never succeeds in deepening the generic, on-the-nose characterizations, and the director’s handful of attempts at using form as anything other than a conveyor of improvisatory atmosphere range from clunky to incompetent. Read more.
David Ehrlich, The A.V. Club
Unfortunately, Baird shares Bruce’s apathy for the character’s self-improvement. "Filth" tries hard to be edgy, but the transparency of that intention is enough to divorce the viewer from Bruce’s POV, and watching the film feels less like entering his head than it does like paying for the agony of being his therapist. Read more.
Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
"Locke" is a solo act, and Tom Hardy is its superbly talented soloist. Throughout writer-director Steven Knight's nocturnal drama, the actor, deploying a Welsh accent, keeps his voice in a calm, determined register, suggesting a born manager and innate control freak whose life has spun atypically out of control. Read more.
Guy Lodge, HitFix
That's perhaps the only respect in which James Bobin's chipper, deliberately shabby film might be called "wise." Exuberant silliness is the order of the day, with Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller firing cheap sight gags, gloriously terrible puns and random, daffy star cameos at the crowd like so many chickens launched squawking from a cannon. Some land, some don't -- I was cackling too consistently to keep score -- but until an oddly sluggish final reel, the onslaught is deliciously relentless, like being beaten over the head with a marshmallow pillow, and taking a bite with each blow. Read more.
Eric Kohn, Indiewire
Even as "Proxy" stumbles through a series of ridiculous developments, it never loses touch with the thrill of watching it constantly evolve. Parker proves early on that there’s nowhere this story won’t go, crafting a giddy sense of dark events just around every corner. It’s all over the top, but unashamedly so, and encourages you to get swept up in the madness. Read more.
Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
For all the assuredness behind the camera and in front of it, there's very little in way of edge or even, surprisingly, emotion. Certainly, both Eric and Patti feel angry, hurt, astonished and more, but the movie itself is void of that kind of sentiment. For all the awful history it delves into, the picture has difficulty in feeling much about it. Read more.