Flick Picks 12/22/2015: Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, Time Out Of Mind, Goodnight Mommy

As we head into award season and enjoy the release of those serious films - some good, others not so much - that hope to contend for the big prizes, the recent releases on DVD reflect the rest of the cinematic spectrum.  This week we have a good collection of the sort of films that don't often get attention at award time, deserving or not.  For your consideration, we have thrills, we chills, a few laughs and even a little seriousness.  But not too much.  

Feature Films

 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION

Yes, he actually did this.  Tom Cruise catching a flight the hard

way in Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation.

 

Along with Mad Max:  Fury Road, the latest entry in the Mission Impossible franchise sat at the head of the summer blockbuster class.  Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is the sort of action film towards which others should aspire.  A fairly lean plot, beautifully-filmed action sequences and even a little wit - what more could one ask?  Oh, it's fairly thrilling too.  Enjoy.  

 

TIME OUT OF MIND

 

Richard Gere as you have never seen him - as a homeless man, adrift on the streets of New York.  It might not be a Richard Gere for which audiences are clamoring, but the veteran actor gives a committed performance as homeless, mentally-ill man trying to reestablish contact with his daughter. 

 

Also new:  FANTASTIC FOUR

 

 

Foreign Films


GOODNIGHT MOMMY

 

For those of you who enjoyed the excellent horror film  The BabadookGoodnight Mommy provides a fine, creepy companion piece.  Goodnight Mommy might begin and end with handsome Austrians serenading us in traditional song, but we're a long, long way from The Sound of Music.  A mother recovering from plastic surgery finds herself in a battle of wills with her twin boys who don't believe their mother is the person who emerges from facial bandages.  Without spoiling the film's major twist or saying too much about the its most difficult scenes, suffice it to say you won't ever look at super glue in quite the same way....

 

Also new:  Jean Dujardin (The Artist) stars in The Connection, a crime thriller that is a European flipside to William Friedkin's The French Connection.  Dujardin stars as a Marseilles magistrate trying to dismantle a notorious drug smuggling operation.

 

 

 

Series

CHASING SHADOWS

 

Alex Kingston (formerly of ER) stars in this British crime series that follows the work of a missing persons unit.

 

ZOO SEASON ONE

 

In a very strange pandemic, animals are attacking human beings all over the world.  Who can blame them, really?  Nevertheless, a young team from various backgrounds is trying to solve the problem in this CBS series based on a novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.   


EXTANT SEASON TWO

 

The second and last season of this CBS series from executive producer Steven Spielberg follows the life of an astronaut (Halley Berry) who returns to her family inexplicably pregnant after spending 13 months in outer space.

 

Also new:  THE MIDDLE SEASON SIXTHE ROYALS SEASON ONE

 

 

Performing Arts

 

AMY SCHUMER:  LIVE AT THE APOLLO

 

Concluding what we might call the year of Amy Schumer is this May 2015 performance recorded at the famed Apollo Theater in New York.

 

 

Documentary

BURROUGHS

 

The Criterion Collection has issued a two-disc edition of this 1983 documentary of the inimitable William S. Burroughs.  A fascinating portrait of one of the 20th century's most confounding figures.

 

 

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