Instant Picks of the Week 9/29/17
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 CONVERSATION (Amazon Video)
Writer-director Francis Ford Coppola may be most famous for the Godfather trilogy and APOCALYPSE NOW, but one of his absolute best films—released the same year as GODFATHER PART II—is THE CONVERSATION, a quiet, slow-burning thriller. Gene Hackman stars as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert that becomes obsessed with one of his assignments for a private company. As his interest in the assignment grows, his paranoia that someone is following his every move increases in turn. Even though it was made in the early 1970s, you can’t help but make comparisons to today’s society, filled with people fearing the NSA for its intrusive surveillance techniques. Coppola is stellar at bringing out a sense of tension and unease throughout the whole movie, despite there being very little action or violence in the film. Instead, we focus mostly on the character Harry Caul, who Hackman plays with a truly unnerving performance that compels us to keep watching. In a career filled with masterpieces, Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION stands out as one of his finest and most original works and remains a staple in Hackman’s successful career. [Ethan Cartwright]
CORALINE proves that just because something is animation doesn’t mean it’s for kids. This stop-motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy/horror novel scared the shit out of me when it first came out in 2009, and no doubt still freaks me out today. The film follows the misadventures of Coraline “not Caroline” Jones (Dakota Fanning), a precocious and curious girl who finds a secret door in her new house that leads to an idealized alternate universe. In this new parallel world, everyone has buttons for eyes and ostensibly only lives to please Coraline. However, she soon discovers that there are much more sinister things brewing deep in the mind of her Other Mother (Teri Hatcher), Coraline’s button-eyed, eerily loving nether-world matriarch and the controller of this “better” universe. This film is simultaneously dark and imaginative, and manages to build a world full of wonder and terror. CORALINE will resonate with anyone who has ever looked at their life and wished they had it better, but it teaches audiences to appreciate the people and things in it—you never know how horrifying the alternative could be. [Jordan Valdés]