I’m on record as being a recovering Steven Soderbergh fan. Or maybe I was a recovering fan who has fallen off the wagon. This metaphor has already gotten out of hand and I just started. I loved Soderbergh early in his career then drifted away for awhile but I’m now very much back into finding him to be a very interesting director.
He briefly quit filmmaking a few years back and kept himself busy with TV work on shows like The Knick, then came back to film with Logan Lucky, and now he seems to be splitting his time between the two mediums. No matter the format, Soderbergh has always experimented. With films like Full Frontal, he let his cast do their own hair, make-up, and costumes; filmed it on cheap video; and shot it like an amateurish film from the French New Wave. He released Bubble simultaneously in the theaters and on cable TV.
His latest television show, Mosaic, was originally released as an interactive app, allowing the viewer to experience different portions of the story from the perspective of different characters in a non-linear fashion. How exactly that will play out on Blu-ray has yet to be seen, but it should at least be interesting, if not that very good.
Honestly, his experiments are often pretty bad, and I don’t really have high hopes for this one, but I find it very exciting that such big-named directors like Soderbergh and still toying with the ways that we experience narratives. For that, Mosaic gets my Pick of the Week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Bull Durham (Criterion Collection): Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins star in what might just be the best baseball movie ever made.
A Quiet Place: Jon Krasinski co-wrote, stars in, and directed this effective horror film that proves he is so much more than Jim from The Office. My full review is here.
The Rolling Stones: From the Vault - No Security - San Jose ’99: After their hugely successful Bridges to Babylon tour, where they’d played stadiums filled with crowds exceeding 100,000 people every night, the Stones decided to play smaller arenas to feel more in touch with the audience. They stripped back the special effects and stage wizardy and concentrated on the music. Like their previous From the Vault releases, this comes with a simultaneous CD, LP, and digital release.
Detective Bureau 2-3: Got To Hell, Bastards: Arrow Video continues to release films by Seijun Suzuki in excellent packages. This one’s a crime drama about a smug investigator who nabs a pair of gangs with flamboyant aplomb.
Chappaquiddick: Biopic about Ted Kennedy that concentrates on a moment early in his career when a car accident claimed the life of a young campaign strategist. Stars Kate Mara, Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, and Jim Gaffigan.
The Magicians: Season Three: I started to watch this series about a group of magical students trying to understand their powers, but quickly found it was not appropriate for my young daughter and never returned to it. Maybe one day it will rise to the top of my list of things to watch when she’s asleep, but I doubt that will be soon.
Dragon Inn (Criterion Collection): Action-packed martial arts flick set during the Ming Dynasty gets the Criterion treatment.
Lean on Pete: This horse drama starring Chloe Sevigny, Steve Zahn, and Steve Buscemi has been getting rave reviews, including one from our own David Wangberg.