Streaming on Netflix
If you were less than thrilled with The Fifth Estate (and you're not alone), Netflix offers We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, which tells the same story in a documentary. Disney's James and the Giant Peach is a fun surreal flick for kids, and fans of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland can stream the first two seasons of Once Upon a Time. And if you want to compare the new Carrie (read our review here) to the original De Palma version starring Sissy Spacek, that's up too.
The Jackass franchise has released another loose story brimming with gags. According to critics, Bad Grandpa is a lot like its predecessors (four films over 11 years). The A.V. Club's Kyle Ryan says it has a more linear flow than the rest: "Bad Grandpa mostly succeeds in its very modest goal. It's Borat without the satirical edge." The New York Times' Neil Genzlinger says, "It's hard to score big laughs with hidden-camera material these days . . . but Mr. Knoxville and his young sidekick still land a few jaw-droppers." The content of this comedy seems to be jaw-dropping for some Christian critics too, but not in a positive way—Bob Hoose of Plugged In calls the film, among other things, a "pointless phlegm hawk into the stormy wind."
Blue is the Warmest Color first garnered critical buzz at 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where both leading actresses and the director received the Palme d'Or from the Steven Spielberg-led jury. It also sparked controversy among critics everywhere for its explicitly depicted lesbian relationship (read the Quick Take for June 10 here.) And it releases in theaters nationwide today, so people are taking yet another look. Anthony Lane of The New Yorkerhad a lot to say about some of the film's other elements, and he praises the character development extensively: "Now I understand what it means to be in the full flush of youth." The Gothamistalso praised the romance, calling it "deeply sad and relatable," and saying "it disturbingly articulates the truth." But the controversy over the extensive explicit content is not over.TIME magazine asks, "How much sex is too much sex?" The author of the original novel (Julie Maroh) called all the sex scenes ridiculous. Actress Lea Seydoux described the process of making this film "horrible" in an interview, and director Abdellatif Kechiche rantingly scolded her in return at a press conference in LA. Read more about the conflicts here.
Movie and Television News
Sherlock fans rejoice! The BBC hit series will air its third season on PBS on January 19, 2014. It will follow Downton Abbey, that other hugely popular British drama, which starts up again January 5th. Rabid fans have been waiting nearly two years for this, and Sherlock executive producer Sue Vertue promised America that "Season 3 is worth waiting for." Read more here.
Murder, She Wrote will be written for the screen again. NBC is revisiting the classic 80's hit series with writer Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives). Octavia Spencer of The Help will step into the lead role. Read more here.
Taylor Lindsay is a fall intern for Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College.