Pick of the Week — “The BFG” (Netflix) — My full review is here. I liked Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel fine when I saw it in theaters, and expect it will wear even better over time. In addition to its undeniable visual wonders, the late screenwriter Melissa Mathison (“E.T.”) lets the movie find some strange nooks and crannies, and Mark Rylance’s performance as the titular giant is a delight.
“Escape From New York” (Netflix) — Color me skeptical about a Robert Rodriguez-helmed reboot, but John Carpenter’s 1981 original is classic high-grade exploitation, with Kurt Russell kicking off a whole new career as futuristic antihero Snake Plissken.
“Tropic Thunder” (Netflix) — Ben Stiller’s bro-heavy sendup of Hollywood and war movies, about a group of actors caught in a war zone who think they’re acting in a movie, hits a lot of very broad targets.
“Gremlins” (Netflix) — A Christmastime viewing of Joe Dante’s 1984 movie, about a group of mischievous critters who take over a small town, showed that it’s scarier than I remembered for younger kids, and a lot of fun for everybody else.
“There Will Be Blood” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Amazon drank Netflix’s milkshake by nabbing the rights to Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a self-made man who strikes it rich and only loses his soul in the process. It’s “Citizen Kane” drenched in blood and oil.