We slim down again this week but start off with a doozy, the remake of the 1977 Italian horror classic Suspiria. Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) is a young American ballerina studying at the renowned Markos Tanz Company in Berlin. From the first day she arrived she suspects something mysterious going on at the school as a fellow student is found murdered. As Susie’s training progresses she begins to suspect the school is hiding a terrifying secret.
Dario Argento’s original Suspiria is a brilliantly visual horror classic but director Luca Guadagnino definitely decided not to go the straight remake route. Guadagnino’s Suspiria really only has general story elements in common with the original but is a fiercely unique film in its own right. Johnson is a mesmerizing lead, the supernatural aspects of the story are very well executed and haunting, and the changes in the story elements are interesting and keep the film following its own path. Tilda Swinton commands the screen as usual with a great dual performance as the dance teacher and as an old man who also suspects misdeeds at the school. Suspiria is a very original take on a classic horror film, approach with an open mind.
Next up is the new Jim Carrey series Kidding: Season One. Carrey plays Jeff Piccirillo, a children’s television host known as Mr. Pickles. He is an example to the country with his words of kindness and wisdom and the head of a multi-million dollar branding empire. But when Jeff’s personal life begins to implode, he finds his sanity slowly draining away as he struggles to find a way to cope with real life.
Kidding: Season One is a pretty incredible show. Director and executive producer Michel Gondry collaborates with Carrey to create a very unique show that holds no punches when it comes to personal issues like stress, family life, sex, love and everything in between. The show also boasts an incredible supporting cast including Frank Langella, Catherine Keener, and Judy Greer. And the character of Jeff Piccirillo may be the best creation of Carrey’s career. He infuses Jeff with such emotional weight and such an incredible feeling of authenticity, it is a character he was not only born to play, but I cannot think of anyone else who could have pulled it off as well. Very highly recommended.
Lastly this week is the fourth Season of the HBO hit show Ballers. Dwayne Johnson plays former NFL player turned financial manager to other NFL players along with his partner Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry). Together they navigate the complicated and outrageous world of the NFL trying to make deals to make their business work amidst the madness of the lives of the players.
We already know that pretty much anything Johnson touches turns to gold and Ballers is no exception. I am not even a sports fan but I find Ballers hilarious, maddening and fascinating. Johnson and Corddry have fantastic chemistry and the supporting cast including the fantastic John David Washington and Omar Benson Miller are just as good. The lives of the players with their seemingly endless supply of money and even more endless supply of alcohol, drugs and sex make for a very entertaining ride with a lot of laughs along the way.
Also of note this week is Boy Erased with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler, and Black Lightning: The Complete First Season.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 29, 2019
A Climax of Blue Power (1975)*
A Yeti Adventure
All the Colors of Giallo*
Ballers: The Complete Fourth Season
Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls
Black Lightning: The Complete First Season
Crashing: The Complete Second Season
DCU: Reign of the Supermen
Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series
In the Heat of the Night - Criterion Collection
Kidding: Season One
Mondo Freudo/Mondo Bizarro*
Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975)*
Splatter University (1984)*
Studio 54: The Documentary
Suburbia - Collector’s Edition*
The Game: The Complete Series
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
There's Nothing Out There (1991)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut