This week sees the release of three contentious follow-ups to more widely acclaimed films, each of which is better than the consensus picks. First and best of all is Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, which fully expands on The Limey‘s influence over Spring Breakers in its fractured tale of a layabout (played beautifully by Matthew McConaughey) spreading nothing but destruction in his wake. Either in spite or because of the general loathsomeness on display, it’s the year’s most delightful film to date. Also delightful is David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake, which takes the only logical step to following up It Follows and is from the perspective of the creep following women around this time. Fans of Pynchonian conspiracies, Old Hollywood references, and R.E.M.’s Monster should seek it out if they haven’t yet. And then there’s Jordan Peele’s Us, a knottier, more challenging movie than Get Out that stuck with me a helluva lot longer than that film did. Get Out is a successfully completed puzzle where you’re proud of the time you put into it but don’t often think about it afterwards, while the pieces of Us Peele leaves missing stick like a splinter in your brain; damned if I’m ever going to figure out how exactly I feel about the final shot, other than that it’s almost certainly the best of the year.
There’s other stuff too. In case those first two movies are a little too much fun, there’s always Criterion bringing you down to Earth with two separate Bruno Dumont films, and Kino releasing two 80s Godard works (although those are at least pretty straightforward compared to the places Godard went later and before). Kino also comes to the rescue of William Friedkin’s Brink’s Job (surely a Solute favorite in the making) and Park Chan-wook’s Thirst, but by far the biggest rescue is Cohen’s Blu-Ray of Between the Lines, a forgotten, Miller-approved journalism drama (from the only recently rediscovered Joan Micklin Silver) featuring a fine slice of early Goldblum.
The Beach Bum (Universal)
Between the Lines (Cohen)
The Border (Kino)
The Brink’s Job (Kino)
Corvette Summer (Warner Archive Collection)
First Name: Carmen (Kino)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Cinema Guild)
Hotel Mumbai (Universal)
Mississippi Burning (Kino)
The Running Man (Arrow Academy, and no, not that one)
Under the Silver Lake (Lionsgate)
La vie de Jésus (Criterion)