If you can’t make it to the movie theaters this week, but still want to see something new and different, the internet has you covered. Too covered, actually. Countless movies get weekly digital releases, from the biggest studio blockbusters to the smallest indie movies, so it’s tough trying to sort through the options to decide what’s actually worth watching. But don’t fret. Inverse is here to offer some of the best digital movies choices each week.
A new Terrence Malick film used to be cause for celebration among cinephiles, who ate up the auteur’s lyrical and poetic style, beginning with his first film, 1973’s Badlands. He took an infamous 20-year break from filmmaking between 1978’s Days of Heaven and 1998’s meditation on war and humanity, The Thin Red Line. But since winning the Palme dOr with 2011’s The Tree of Life, the reclusive filmmaker has been churning them out — with diminishing results.
His latest, Knight of Cups, came and went in arthouses in 2015, mostly because the movie, which starred Christian bale as a thinly drawn screenwriter, seemed like it was the product of someone taking drugs for the first time and trying to make an imitation Malick movie.
This movie is so small that it doesn’t even have an IMDB page, official website, or trailer on YouTube. Yet the found footage WWI soldiers-as-zombies premise should be enough to make horror fans squeal with delight at the schlockiness.
“100 years after World War I, at the sight of a fierce and bloody battle where thousands of men were killed, a team of investigators have traveled to France to attempt to unravel the rumors of unexplained mysteries from the blood-stained battlefield. What they find is the battle isn’t over and the unthinkable happens when the undead are uncovered from their final resting place.”
Trying to make sense of the War on Terror and the tumultuous fallout of the current political climate has been a tricky task for filmmakers. The war is seemingly without end, which means that the clock cannot start on more reflective movies; after all, it took several years for The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now to properly bring the Vietnam War to the home front. There have been a handful of significant films about the ongoing wars in the Middle East, including Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, but it’s Eye in the Sky, that contemplates the morality of the many foreign entanglements America has pursued.
It’s good to see winking horror comedy still alive and well all over the world. Australiens is a patently absurd-sounding low budget Aussie affair, but that’s what makes it interesting. This isn’t supposed to be serious, so here’s our suggestion: Fork over the $4 to rent it, gather your friends and a whole lot of booze, and have yourself a great Friday night watching the fun unfold.
From the lowbrow to the highbrow: If you’re not into the schlock, then the Criterion Collection has you covered. They’re releasing the digital version of French filmmaker Jean Renoir’s La chienne the same day their spiffy Blu-ray version hits store shelves. If you’re a snooty film lover that has given up physical media, then throw your hard-earned at this 1931 drama, which was Renoir’s second sound film. There’s definitely no Australian aliens to be found here; the movie tracks a lonely cashier played by Michael Simon, who falls for a prostitute whose pimp increasingly takes advantage of the situation. It is very French.
Drafthouse Films knows how to cater to the kind of movie fan that frequents their popular cinema chains, which started in Austin, Texas — and this is more or less a love letter to them.
The doc tracks a group of childhood friends in Mississippi that tried to recreate Steven Spielberg’s adventure classic Raiders of the Lost Ark for over a decade. Raiders! had its beginnings at one of the Drafthouse’s infamous all-night movie marathons otherwise known as the Butt-Numb-A-Thon. Filmmaker Eli Roth had obtained a bootleg tape of the full remake by friends Chris Strompolos and Eric Zalathe, and the Drafthouse programmers decided to screen a bit of it. The recreation went over like gangbusters, and the documentary tracks Zala’s attempt at finally filming the costly Nazi plane sequence.
Before you see what he does with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Cinematic Universe and horror fans can get a pretty good idea of director Jon Watts’ cinematic stylings. Even before he scored a small hit with last year’s Cop Car, he another movie wth a very straightforward title, Clown (see the trailer above). The movie tracks a family man who finds himself transformed into a hideous clown after putting on a costume for his son’s birthday, which is really adding insult to injury. The movie began way back in 2010, after Watts posted a trailer to YouTube for a fake movie called Clown, suggesting that it was filmmaker Eli Roth’s next film. When Roth got wind of it, he didn’t sue Watts — he helped him get it made into an actual movie. Now that is an origin story.