Pick of the Week: “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou“ (Netflix) — And to think that back in 2004 this was thought of as something of a misfire after Wes Anderson’s first three masterpieces. It’s still one of my favorites of his, gently sending up those old “adventure” TV shows like “Wild Kingdom” while telling a quirky and funny story for the 11-year-old in all of us. Because it’s the perfect age.
“The Square” (Netflix) — My full review is here. While Joel Edgerton has become a big Hollywood star, I haven’t heard much lately about his brother, stuntman-turned-filmmaker Nash. Too bad, because he made a terrific Australian noir in 2009 about a corrupt building contractor who gets in way over his head when he tries to steal a bag of cash from the husband of his lover. Make sure to also check out the nastily funny short “Spider” which also posted on Netflix.
“Gimme Danger” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Jim Jarmusch’s documentary about The Stooges is electrifying fun, with Iggy Pop and others close to the band telling the tale of how the band’s noisy sound paved the way for the White Stripes, the Strokes and a ton of other loud, loud bands.
“A Man Called Ove” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Based on the hit novel, this Swedish comedy-drama looks at an elderly curmudgeon who is militant about defending the rules in his little neighborhood, but as he warms to the new Iranian family who moves in next door, we learn in flashback about his long, colorful and tender life. There isn’t a moment you won’t see coming, but it all still works.
“Welcome to New York” (Netflix) — My full review is here. In Abel Ferrara’s new film, Gerard Depardieu is all but perfectly cast as an arrogant, lustful diplomat brought low by a rape charge while staying at a hotel in Manhattan. Based on the real case involving World Bank head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it’s a penetrating look at how power warps the rest of the world around its appetites.