Pick of the week: “Goosebumps” (Netflix) — I was pretty skeptical of a big-budget version of R.L. Stine’s quickie kiddie horror novels, but this adaptation starring Jack Black is fast-moving, funny and just the right amount of scary. It’s the best Joe Dante movie Joe Dante didn’t make.
“Creative Control” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. In this clever and elegant indie sci-fi film, an arrogant ad executive is tasked with the launch of an immersive Google Glass-like piece of wearable tech and ends up addicted to its possibilities, especially the way he can created a virtual sex avatar out of his best friend’s girlfriend.
‘The Station Agent” (Netflix) — My full review is here. As people are passing around Peter Dinklage’s 2012 commencement speech on Twitter, it’s a good time to rediscover his first starring role in Tom McCarthy’s 2003 film, as a loner who moves to a small town to get away from people and ends up entangled in the lives of grieving mother Patricia Clarkson and bubbly new friend Bobby Cannavale.
“Into the Wild” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Sean Penn ably adapted Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book about a free-spirited young man (Emile Hirsch) who sought to go “off the grid” and went too far. Worth seeing just for Hal Holbrook’s supporting performance as a gentle old man he meets along the way.
“Dreamscape” (Shout! Factory) — I was a fan as a teenager of this inventive 1984 sci-fi film, starring Dennis Quaid as a psychic who tries to stop a rival from assassinating the president — in his dreams. But Shout! Factory has added an extra kitschy twist by streaming it online as part of its “VHS Vault” series, mimicking how it would look if you had just popped it into the VCR fresh from a trip to Sound Warehouse.