0

HOME THEATER: Natalie Portman delivers in gritty western ‘Jane Got a Gun’

Share Button

WRITTEN BY AMY LONGSDORF 
For Digital First Media

In Gavin O’Connor’s revisionist western “Jane Got A Gun,” Natalie Portman stars as a pioneer woman seeking to defend herself against a vile smoothie (Ewan McGregor) and his band of outlaws.
Despite a tortured production history which included director and cast changes, “Jane” is gripping from start to finish, with a structure that slowly teases out Jane’s backstory involving a love affair with a Civil War soldier (Joel Edgerton). It’s a bit slick and predictable, but it’s still a kick to see Portman blast away the bad guys. On Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google, Vudu.
Also New To Steaming
Krampus: Maybe there’s a good movie to be made about Saint Nicholas’ evil opposite, a horned and hooved creature named Krampus. But this misbegotten horror comedy isn’t it. Neither scary nor particularly funny, “Krampus” revolves around members of a dysfunctional family (Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Emjay Anthony) who invite the ghoul into their home by forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. After a light-hearted beginning, the film descends into a series of escapades involving sinister elves and demonic gingerbread men. “Krampus” is the cinematic equivalent of a lump of coal. On Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google, Vudu.
• • •
Backtrack: Need a reminder of how good an actor Adrien Brody is? Check out this psychological thriller about a psychiatrist who, following the demise of his daughter, begins to see dead people. There’s so much going on involving ghosts, childhood traumas and accidental deaths, that without Brody’s solid performance, the whole movie would spin out of control. As it is, thanks to Brody and a surprise ending, “Backtrack” is worth a look. On Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google, Vudu.
• • •
Scream: The TV Series – The Complete First Season: Originally broadcast on MTV, this ten-episode series revolves around the murder of a teenager whose demise not only impacts the lives of a handful of high-schoolers (Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Will Fitzgerald) but also stirs up memories of a similar slaying twenty years ago. On MTV.com.
• • •
X Fest: Time travel. Extra body parts. Shifting reality. Outer space. All of these elements combine to form “X Fest,” a speculative fiction film festival from the hyper-collaborative filmmaking collective Video Mass. Short sci-fi films from different filmmakers are fit into an overarching frame story starring Damian Young. The result is a unified and wildly entertaining cinematic event that happens for free for a limited time online. At www.videomass.tv.
• • •
Danger Mouse: The World’s Greatest Secret Agent, Danger Mouse is back in an all-new Netflix reboot of the classic, British cartoon series. Fans of the original, which was the first British cartoon to air on Nickelodeon in the ‘80s and ‘90s, will have a chance to introduce their children to the characters that they grew up with, like Danger Mouse and his ever faithful sidekick Penfold, as well as new characters like Jeopardy Mouse, who is being voiced by Lena Headey from “Game of Thrones,” and Queen of Weevils (Miranda Richardson). On Netflix.
• • •
Whitney Cummings: I’m Your Girlfriend: The actress/comic who co-created the hit series “2 Broke Girls” headlines her first HBO stand-up special. Taped at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif., the special features Cummings’ unfiltered observations on modern gender dynamics, as she skewers the paradoxes of sex and relationships, including such topics as whether men are attracted to successful women; being the breadwinner in a relationship; internet-inspired perversions; the problems with today’s birth control options for women; and her experience freezing her eggs. On HBO Now.
• • •
Team Foxcatcher: Here’s a fascinating companion to “Foxcatcher,” Bennett Miller’s look at the unstable, Philadelphia-area philanthropist John du Pont (Steve Carell) and his murder of Olympic wrestler David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo). The documentary combines archival home videos with plenty of interviews in an attempt to resurrect the events which led to the slaying. “Team Foxcatcher” debuts two decades after the tragedy. On Netflix.
• • •
Tangerines: An Oscar nominee for best foreign language film, this riveting anti-war saga centers on an elderly Estonian tangerine grower (Lembit Ulfsak) who looks after two wounded soldiers from opposite sides of the 1990s-era war in Georgia. Initially, the soldiers profess hatred for each other. But as they share meals and cups of tea, their resentments begin to melt away. “Tangerines” might be a no-frills drama, but director Zaza Urushadze makes you feel it in your bones. On Hulu
• • •
Keep The Lights On: There’s so much about Ira Sachs’ exploration of a doomed gay romance which works that you’ll wish he’d managed to fix the flaws that drag it down. The magnetic Thure Lindhardt stars as a Danish documentary filmmaker involved with an unreliable literary lawyer (Zachary Booth) slowly succumbing to a crack addiction. Sachs captures the give-and-take of everyday life beautifully but he develops Lindhardt’s character at the expense of Booth’s. After a superb beginning, the film grows redundant as the pair make up and break up over and over again. Still, the performances keep you watching. On Fandor.

Share Button

Ticket

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *