Home / Film / Home Movies / Out On Digital / Home Movies/Out on Digital: Aug. 31, 2017

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Aug. 31, 2017

Aug. 29, 2017
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest
homemovies08312017

Recent Blu-ray and DVD releases include the Coen brothers’ first great film, Barton Fink; Wolves, starring Taylor John Smith as an agile basketball player shooting for a scholarship to Cornell; and “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete First Season,” the comedy show that subverted the conventions of TV variety shows.

 

Barton Fink

Mosquitos and blank white pages torment the writer Barton Fink. He was a rising, socially conscious playwright, the hottest toast on Broadway, but in a Faustian bargain, he’s under contract in Hollywood, toiling on a B wrestling picture. He’s also wrestling with writer’s block and is down for the count.

Although they had culty successes in the ’80s, Barton Fink (1991) was the Coen brothers’ first great film. With it, Ethan and Joel Coen finally found a story that expressed their love and bemusement with Hollywood history and Jewish American society. They achieved their trademark high-wire balancing act, treating seriousness with humor and humor with seriousness. And their use of sound, starting with the hotel desk bell that gratingly reverberates for a full minute, is as brilliant as their visualization of moral decay. John Turturro stars as the tortured playwright trying to maintain his lofty stance in a cut-rate commercialized world.

 

Wolves

In Wolves, Taylor John Smith plays Anthony, an emotional descendent of James Dean—basically a good kid navigating the shoals of violent peers and troubled parents. An agile basketball player shooting for a scholarship to Cornell, he finds the court to be as rough as the gridiron. Meanwhile dad (Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon), a swaggering English professor and struggling novelist, is succumbing to alcohol and gambling. Wolves catches the adrenaline of games played for keeps.

 

“Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete First Season”

Debuting in 1967, “Laugh-In” subverted the conventions of TV variety shows. Comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin strode out in tuxes onto a stage painted in psychedelic whimsy. Like Abbott and Costello, Rowan played straight man while Martin was always two measures behind the beat—yet there was also something in Rowan’s ironic smile that foretold David Letterman. With its fake newscasts and send-ups of contemporary events, “Laugh-In” was also the predecessor to SNL.

Poll

Are you upset by the way the NFL and the team owners have treated Colin Kaepernick?

Getting poll results. Please wait...