Instant Picks of the Week 9/22/17
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.
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (Netflix)
Critically acclaimed, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY is a touching and poignant biopic depicting Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life after having a stroke and being left with lock-in syndrome. Julian Schnabel utilizes dynamic and powerful editing and cinematography techniques to give the audience complete access into Jean-Do’s reality and experiences. The first third of the film is entirely from the first person perspective of Jean-Do, allowing the audience to become Jean-Do and access his memories, experiences, and pain. Unsettling, inventive, and disconcerting images from his time in the hospital are juxtaposed by warm and reminiscing shots from his past. We learn about suffering and self-reflection and are given a glimpse into the soul. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY is a visually stunning and beautifully complex film that calls the rest of us to reflect on our lives and humanity, separating spirit from body in the process. [Kamla Thurtle]
THE HOST (Netflix)
Over a decade after it first premiered, THE HOST still remains a staple in director Bong Joon-ho’s work and one of the most perfect examples of a monster movie. After a horrifying creature from the Han river takes his young daughter from him, Park Gang-du and his family race through Seoul, searching for her while desperately trying to avoid the interfering South Korean government and military. The visual effects aren’t particularly impressive, but the monster (the supposed “host” of a dangerous virus) is still hideous to behold, dashing through the sewers and streets of South Korea’s capital. However, the real monster soon reveals itself as the institutions of South Korea and the United States: the scientists who dump toxic chemicals into the river, the military attempting to control the virus, and the governmental bureaucracy performing various unforgivable inadequacies. Bong Joon-ho’s impeccable direction stands out more than anything—it’s more terrifying to watch the people of Seoul run away in horror than it is seeing the monster itself. Regardless of what deeper meaning you take from the movie, THE HOST is entertainment at its finest and shows us what the monster genre is capable of truly creating. [Ethan Cartwright]