Instant Picks of the Week 10/6/17
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
GAGA: FIVE FOOT TWO (Netflix)
Chronicling the road to her Super Bowl Halftime Performance and the release of her fifth studio album, FIVE FOOT TWO is a firsthand look at the creative process of pop icon, Lady Gaga. For loyal Gaga fans, the documentary marks a radical shift from the meat dress-wearing, avant-garde superstar of the past and dives deeper into the mind and heart of the girl behind the glamour and fame. The film follows Gaga as she writes, records, and releases her most personal album to date, JOANNE. An ode to her late aunt, a touching story Gaga painfully shares in the context of the film, the album is clearly Gaga at her most raw, and the film remains on brand with its crude and gritty portrayal of the star. She’s not Lady Gaga draped in Versace carried on a gold throne by a troop of shirtless men, she’s a girl in black jeans and a white t-shirt trying to make music with meaning rather than excess production value. Filled with unintentionally prophetic, stream-of-consciousness sermons (mostly cannabis induced) on the hardships of fame, FIVE FOOT TWO is like reading pages out of Gaga’s personal diary without being too self-serving or egotistical. That’s not to say the film isn’t wildly fun—there is a playfulness and childlike purity with which Gaga approaches her art that is truly infectious and can’t help but put a smile on your face. Filled with laughs, tears, pain, and triumph, FIVE FOOT TWO is a “comeback kid” tale sure to entertain and entice audiences of past and present Gaga alike. [Omar A. Cabezas]
EYES WIDE SHUT (Netflix)
Forget A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Forget THE SHINING. The great auteur Stanley Kubrick’s final film, EYES WIDE SHUT, is more controversial and frightening than either. Tom Cruise plays Bill Harford, a cool, confident doctor whose world is turned upside down when he learns of his wife Alice’s (Nicole Kidman) thoughts of infidelity. Harford then finds himself going on a dark odyssey of strange, almost surreal sexual encounters that lead him to question his marriage and ultimately himself. EYES WIDE SHUT was never intended to be a horror movie, but it is nevertheless terrifying to watch Harford’s seemingly perfect world upended and torn apart. Over the past 15 or so years, Cruise has mostly just played the charming action star, but EYES WIDE SHUT shows that he is more than capable of playing a wide variety of characters. Even though he died during production, it is clear that EYES WIDE SHUT is a Kubrick film with its smooth cinematography and morally complex characters. The film will turn even some die-hard Kubrick fans off due to its abstract plot, but regardless of how you analyze it, EYES WIDE SHUT is a haunting experience and essential viewing for any film lover. [Ethan Cartwright]