Shake off the Blockbuster blues with The Secret of the Grain.
Late summer is the season of hype fatigue, a time when everyone around you is talking about how annoyed they are that yet another huge blockbuster that was supposed to be so mind-blowing in fact left their mind conspicuously unblown. So why get your heart broken again when you can sit in your air-conditioned apartment and watch something that is fully Vulture-approved? "Abdellatif Kechiche’s deserving César Best Picture winner is a family epic in miniature," wrote Bilge Ebiri about The Secret of the Grain. "An aging French-Arab dockworker is laid off, then attempts, with the help of his large and contentious family, to open a couscous restaurant inside an old boat. What begins as an immersive look at immigrant life in France gradually becomes a surprisingly deft piece of neorealist suspense, building up to the restaurant’s heartbreaking opening night."
Relive your teenage crush on Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street: The Complete Series.
This set collects all five seasons of the greatest series ever made about the world's hottest ponytailed high-school narc (who would go on to become the world's drunkest pirate). Worried about the time commitment? Johnny Depp left the show after season four, so you can stop there and skip the Michael Bendetti final year. (Some pre-viewing homework: watch Depp learn to say "vato" and "homes" here.)
Get infuriated by The Art of the Steal.
"Calculated to enrage and pulling it off like gangbusters," wrote New York's David Edelstein, "Don Argott’s documentary pits the legacy of the late Albert C. Barnes’s Barnes Foundation (which boasts arguably the world’s finest collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art) against the social-climbing, philistine, downright Nixonian machinations of Philadelphia’s wealthiest — who gamed the system and pried the collection loose in defiance of Barnes’s legal will ... Beyond the outrageous story of the Barnes, The Art of the Steal makes the depressing case that not-for-profit culture attracts a distinct species of greedhead and charlatan, the kind that likes to bask in the radiance in artists’ reflected glory."
Count the abs in Clash of the Titans.
We've noted how ludicrous Anthony Hopkins looks in the recently released images from Thor, and we expect there will be a fierce debate over whether that film will be cheesier than Titans, the garish and sporadically enjoyable camp-fest directed by Louis Leterrier. Bonus: The DVD removes the headache-inducing retrofitted 3-D effects. For more on the film's star Sam Worthington, and Vulture's take on the perplexing rise of the "no risk action star," click here.
Get stoned with Animal Collective: Oddsac.
Most music DVDs pretend to be about music and the performance, when all many fans want is a psychedelic head trip to stare at while getting baked on the couch with your three roommates and that guy who's always hanging around even though it's unclear who invited him. So thank goodness for Animal Collective, which had the good sense to collaborate with longtime director Danny Perez on a 53-minute psychedelic art-house trip of a film (it premiered at Sundance) that doesn't ever pretend to be suitable for Behind the Music or Austin City Limits. (To explain more would be to pretend to understand more.)
Also out this week: Poirot: The Movie Collection; Speaking in Code; Ian Drury: Rare and Unseen; Repo Man; Ip Man; Neil Young Archives; Altamont Now; G.I. Joe: The Movie; Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter; Rambo: The Complete Collection.