Employee Picks: A Rock Musical, Waterlogged Zombies, and a Revenge Thriller

/Film | 11/16/2018 | Jacob Knight
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Now that we’re out of the Halloween season, it seems like it’s finally time to stick to the script. So, without further ado, here’s a legitimate, 100% to format, no-BS edition of Employee Picks.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a bad movie: a mix of biopic clichés, already parodied to death in genius works like Walk Hard, anchored by a central turn that’s more imitation than actual performance. Instead, watch a good movie about glam rockers from one of the finest directors to ever lay eyes on a movie camera. Velvet Goldmine is Todd Haynes’ ode to deafening stage opulence, following journalist Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) as he chronicles the rise and fall of Bowie-esque pop madman Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). The “original punk”, Slade became a symbol of individuality and bi-sexual bliss for a generation of lost teens. Catchy, tragic and deeply human, Velvet Goldmine is one of the finest rock musicals ever made.

Velvet - Goldmine - Blu-ray - Courtesy - Miramax/Lionsgate

Velvet Goldmine is available on Blu-ray, courtesy of Miramax/Lionsgate.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a rather garish attempt to continue cross-breeding epic fantasy with easily-recognizable classic works of art/folklore/fairy tales. In short, it’s a corporate sham masquerading as cinema, and isn’t much fun to sit though. Though it was mostly dismissed (and, in some circles, outright reviled) upon release, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes that same “live-action fairy tale” construct and plays like Sam Raimi was somehow allowed to direct a bizarro spin-off of Supernatural. Here’s a movie with a great tough guy (the always poorly-timed Jeremy Renner) who fights evil with his little sister, that takes pleasure in coating certain monster-centric scenes in copious splatter. The doofiness of the overall tone knows no bounds, as Hansel’s a bumbling Jack Burton type who has diabetes from eating his childhood candy house, and Gretel has a...
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