It’s been a banner summer for cinephiles; this weekend was no exception. Viewers saw an army of CGI simians raging against their human masters (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as well as the vividly emotional spectacle of watching a Texas kid grow into a college-bound adult (Boyhood). But there were great things happening off the big screen, too, as three of our favorite recent movies now arrive on streaming services and Blu-ray.
We’re big fans of writer-director James Gray (Two Lovers) and he outdid himself with his period melodrama The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard as a Ellis Island refugee who gets involved with a con artist in 1920s Manhattan. Beautifully photographed by the great cinematographer Darius Khondji, the film debuts on Netflix after a limited theatrical run. (Check out our list of other recent additions to the streaming service here.)
Over the weekend, another movie came to home video—though, in a unique twist, not as it was losing theatrical venues, but gaining them. You can watch Bong Joon-ho’s inventive dystopian thriller Snowpiercer—which features Captain America himself, Chris Evans, as the leader of a revolution aboard a train populated by the last remnants of humanity—in the multiplex or on your personal monitor of choice via Amazon and other such services. This is all part of a new release strategy being tested by the film’s American distributor, The Weinstein Company. Though the movie is a thrilling big-screen experience, it’s nice to know you can watch (or rewatch) Snowpiercer at the press of a button.
Finally, making its debut tomorrow on Blu-ray and DVD is Jonathan Glazer’s heady sci-fi film Under the Skin, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a predatory alien who hunts human victims in modern-day Glasgow until she starts to feel for her prey. It’s a tour-de-force performance for Johansson (read our Q&A with her) and a massive step for Glazer, also responsible for Birth and Sexy Beast. Fans of spacey thinkers like 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Man Who Fell to Earth should take note.