“Promised Land” (Netflix) — I expected a drama centered around a small town deciding whether to allow fracking to be pretty didactic and one-sided. But Gus Van Sant has something slyer and more nuanced under his sleeve, casting Matt Damon as a likable fracking rep who really thinks he has the town’s best interests at heart, and John Krasinski as a rather jerkface environmental activist fighting for the hearts and minds of the townspeople.
“Squid Theft!” “Bones! Bones! Bones!” “Forced to wear a leotard!”
If you want to make a film critic smile, drop one of the intertitles to Guy Maddin’s phantasmagoric last film “The Forbidden Room” in the middle of a conversation. Maddin’s film, now out on DVD and Blu-ray from Kino Lorber is a cinephiliac’s dream and nightmare, as Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson took a treasure trove of plots from lost and never-made films and created giddy, eerie Russian nesting dolls of stories out of them.