It's the weekend! We know, we know. You just got back from Thanksgiving and managed to adjust yourself to the daily grind again, and now the week is over again. Try to soothe your discombobulated soul with some of the many entertainment options available to you! Let us be your guide.
After providing Jeff Bridges with the framework with which he could win his Academy Awards (i.e. he made a movie with him and released it in 2009), Scott Cooper is back with another story of down-and-out white men. Out of the Furnace stars Christian Bale as Casey Affleck as Rust Belt brothers who end up mixed up with criminals and bare-knuckle fighting and Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana and working-class struggle and violence and probably alcohol and lots of quiet contemplation.
In Limited Release
Those living in New York or Los Angeles will have a busy month if they want to keep up with all the platform releases of movies angling for awards. That onslaught starts out slowly this week, with just the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis -- with Oscar Isaac playing a disillusioned folk singer in 1960s New York -- opening on the coasts. The film is already picking up a bunch of awards and nominations, from the Gotham Awards to the Spirits to the National Board of Review. New Yorkers can catch the movie at the Union Square and Lincoln Square theaters, while Los Angeles residents can see it at The Landmark.
Video On Demand
VOD releases this week included The Smurfs 2 (iTunes link), where Katy Perry continues her shrewd character work with Smurfette; All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (iTunes link), the Amber Heard-starring horror movie that sat on the shelf for seven years before finally peeking into theaters this summer; and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (iTunes link), another YA-adaptation and would-be franchise starter, which managed the dubious distinction of being carried by the skinny, pale guy from Sweeney Todd, and which made more money than Beautiful Creatures despite being demonstrably worse, not that it really bothers us or anything AT ALL.
Netflix is offering a strange, wonderful mix of movies that don't really lend themselves to a coherent marathon but may have something to offer viewers of all stripes. Interested in early-'90s Oscarbait? Click on Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves. Late-'90s Oscarbait? Check out Ian McKellen as James Whale in Gods and Monsters. In the mood for a hugely disappointing sequel to a legitimate classic? The Ridley Scott-directed, Julianne Moore-subbing Hannibal is waiting to remind you how disappointing it was. Do you remember waaaaay back when Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis used to date? Commemorate that moment in time with the road-tripping-with-killers flick Kalifornia.
Movies on TV
The HBO premiere on Saturday night is Park Chan-wook's incredibly bizarre, gorgeously artistic, and possibly dangerous Stoker, featuring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and a positively dashing and despicable Matthew Goode. Enjoy!