I spent a good part of last week diving into a variety of horror, thrillers and otherwise Halloween-friendly films for my annual creepy movies and toys list, many of which will also be highlighted below. Outside of this week's genre titles we have the overlooked "The Art of Self-Defense" the 4K release of "Scarface," the comedy "Stuber" and the 40th Anniversary concert for The Cure.
Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network") and Imogen Poots ("Green Room") star in the black comedy "The Art of Self-Defense." Eisenberg plays a young man who after getting attacked on the street enlists in a local dojo where he learns to defend himself from a charismatic Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) who might not be all he initially appears to be.
Director Brian De Palma's "Scarface" is a notoriously violent tale of a Cuban immigrant (Al Pacino) who takes over a drug cartel and gives into the excesses found therein. I've yet to see the new 4K transfer (it was shot on 35mm, so it be a sizable upgrade to the Blu-ray), but I have to admit that I've never really fallen in love with the film in the way that many have.
"Stuber" stars the likable Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani in an overblown comedy that finds a detective recruiting his "mild-mannered" Uber driver to help him track a terrorist.
Based on Pnina Gary's stageplay, a work born of her own experiences, "An Israeli Love Story" is set in 1947 and sees a young woman fall for a young man, but the evolving landscape of Israel becomes an obstacle.
"Liam Gallagher: As It Was" is a documentary that follows the abrasive Oasis front man as he attempts to establish himself as a solo artist.
"The Cure: 40 Live Curaetion 25 + Anniversary" pairs The Cure's two shows, one as part of the Meltdown Festival that was curated by Robert Smith and the band's 40th Anniversary show at Hyde Park. I've yet to see the Curaetion set, but having attended the Hyde Park show in person and when it was given a limited theatrical release in July, I can highly recommend the set to even casual fans. Tim Pope's film isn't perfect and there are some artistic flourishes that I would have introduced earlier, but the performance is fantastic.
It's an incredibly strong week for horror releases as we get the new Rob Zombie film "3 From Hell" (a sequel to "The Devil's Rejects"); "Crawl," a classic survival horror from Alexandre Aja featuring a hurricane and a horde of alligators; the loose adaptation of Shirley Jackson's novel "The Haunting of Hill House" follows the Crain family decades after they were forced to flee their home in 1992 following a string of paranormal activity in an extended version that features footage not included in the Netflix release; Guillermo del Toro's utterly essential "Hellboy" from 2004 in absolutely breathtaking 4K; 1979's "Killer Nun," the ultimate exploitation film that features a murderous nun ; "The Omen Collection: Deluxe Edition" that features all four films from the franchise (the original trilogy and the remake) and "Twin Peaks: The Television Collection" which collects the original series and the Showtime revival on Blu-ray (can't wait to sit down with this one).
This week's big digital releases include the Fast & Furious spin-off "Hobbs & Shaw" with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham (not enough Venessa Kirby) and "A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish" for those who are desperate to get a jump on the holiday season with a film that takes the structure of "Cinderella" and applies it to a teen who is forced to sing at a billionaire's Christmas party.