Instant Picks of the Week 7/21/17

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.


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Finally, I can breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve watched my beloved video game series fall victim to Hollywood’s kiss of death countless times, but no longer! Showrunners Warren Ellis and Adi Shankar seem to have painstakingly reproduced the tone and setting that have defined the property since its inception, making CASTLEVANIA a step in the right direction for adult fans of both the video game series and animated television alike. CASTLEVANIA’s visuals are equal parts grotesque and elegant; characters and environments are drawn with meticulous detail in stark contrast to its messy, choppy, violent action scenes. In fact, the series so far has an equally strong emphasis on personal and meta themes as it does gratuitous violence. Blind faith and its consequences play a considerable role in setting up the characters’ motivations, and the duality between personal wishes and responsibility is also constantly at play over the course of the opening act.  These themes woven throughout Ellis’s script add layers of depth heretofore unseen in game adaptations, and make CASTLEVANIA both thought-provoking and a blast to watch. Read the full review here. [Angelo Rivera]

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OKJA (Netflix)

OKJA presents Bong’s formalism at its prime (frankly, the man’s been in his prime since 2003, but I digress), weighing the careful balance of parallax, emotional attachment, and political commentary to frame some inventive, and innocent, spectacle. The film is undeniably unique; opting out of gunfire, Wilhelm screams, and collateral damage by embracing a cartoon-like innocence is a noble spin on action filmmaking It’s satirical to the bone, and the caricatures are refreshingly absurd for a modern day blockbuster, constantly reminding me that Bong is a filmmaker entirely his own, not beholden to the expectations of a studio. And frankly, I applaud Netflix for allowing this project to flourish and make its scandalous debut at Cannes. OKJA is so fun, so cute, so charming, and so resolutely idiosyncratic. In a cinematic climate populated by JURASSIC WORLDs, be an OKJA, be a BABY DRIVER, be a MAD MAX: FURY ROAD; even with their pitfalls, cinema is all the better for it. Read the full review here. [Sergio Zaciu]

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