Sure, I’m watching the new episodes of “Arrested Development” on Netflix like everybody else is. But eventually, we’ll get through them, or at least need a break from binge-watching them. And when that happens, the Instant Gratification column is there!
Pick of the week: “The Intouchables”: My full review is here. Not the Eliot Ness gangster movie “The Untouchables,” but the highest-grossing film in France, a slick and charming comedy-drama about a paralyzed tycoon who hires a street-smart Senegalese man to look after him. It’s high-concept ripe for a Hollywood remake (which is in the works), but it’s a well-acted crowd-pleaser that ultimately earns its emotional payoffs.
Documentary of the week: “Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters” — My full review is here. Cinematheque first screened this documentary in Madison, a fascinating look at a visual artist who creates cinematic tableaux that look like key frames from movies that were never made, equally informed by David Lynch and Douglas Sirk.
Action movie of the week: “Sleepless Night” — My full review is here. This 2012 French action film was a ton of fun at the 2012 Wisconsin Film Festival, all taking place entirely in a labrynthine nightclub as a desperate man tries to rescue his daughter from a crime boss.
Drama of the week: “End of Watch” — A visceral action film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as L.A. rookie cops who run afoul of a Mexican drug cartel, David Ayers (“Training Day”) made one of the sleepers of 2012.
Political film of the week: “The Revisionaries” — Teachers, parents and others interested by where Wisconsin’s education system is going might want to check out this 2012 documentary, which looks at the war over textbook standards in Texas between creationists and, you know, science.