New Blu-ray Releases Red Sparrow

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to new Blu-ray releases and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

It’s time again to round-up the best Blu-rays available right now, and in the immediate future. This week, we have the Jennifer Lawrence spy-thriller Red Sparrow, the very funny Game Night, the surprisingly good horror-sequel Strangers: Prey At Night, and the so-dumb-it’s-fun action flick The Hurricane Heist.

Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week, and beyond.

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/Filmcast Ep. 457 – Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence Red Sparrow

David, Devindra, Jeff, and Kristy discuss the Lawrences’ (Jennifer and Francis – no relation) latest collaboration. Also, David and Kristy discuss Derren Brown’s reprehensible new special, The Push. Check out Kristy’s review of it here.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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Jennifer Lawrence Red Sparrow

“Power, that’s what he wants,” observes Jennifer Lawrence’s Dominika Egorova in Red Sparrow as she stands confidently bare before her Sparrow trainees. She’s just humiliated an aggressive male in the group and her former would-be rapist. Soon after foiling the attempted assault in a shower, Dominika disrobes at the front of the class and goads her assailant to finish his deed consensually. Try as he might, the classmate can’t get it up. With her unabashed preening, Dominika reveals the impotency of those who attempt to corral her sexuality for their own pleasure – not unlike Lawrence herself these days.

Love her or loathe her, Jennifer Lawrence is a millennial icon and trailblazer – among the first of her contemporaries to win an Oscar as well as carry a major Hollywood franchise on her shoulders. She’s a truly unique cultural creation: combining a beguiling screen presence with a guarded private life, but exuding accessibility and authenticity rather than mystery and artifice. Lawrence is not a star because she’s better than us. She’s a star because she’s one of us, a fitting reflection for the ethos of a generation that grew up self-actualizing on screens and now must figure out how to transition into adulthood.

As Red Sparrow opens, it’s instructive to observe yet another chapter of her career as she both navigates and rewrites modern stardom. From her unique position having conquered the commercial and prestige corners of the film industry, Lawrence has the ability to reflect our society’s values while also helping to shape them. This applies to an even greater extent in matters regarding gender, sexuality and self-presentation. In the midst of an unfinished gender revolution, Lawrence confronts an amplified version of the dilemmas presented to many women in America and across the developed world. How much can a patriarchal society bend before it breaks? At what point does female strength become threatening to men? How do we gender traits like assertiveness and confidence? How do women exude sexuality for self-empowerment, not merely to feed a male gaze? Read More »

Red Sparrow Francis Lawrence Interview

With Red Sparrow, the gloves are coming off for director Francis Lawrence. The filmmaker behind ConstantineThe Hunger Games sequels, and the “Bad Romance” music video has made an often unsettling thriller. Mary-Louise Parker, in a “no such thing as small parts” sort of small part, brings great levity to the movie, but light popcorn fare this adaptation of author Jason Matthews‘ novel is not.

After the success of the three Hunger Games sequels, Lawrence has served up a pitch dark film about the brutal, unforgiving, and cold world of Russian Intelligence. The story begins with the immersive and eye-catching visuals expected from Lawrence. In an eight-minute sequence cutting between Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton‘s characters, the director tells a lot of story with such precision. It’s a strong hook that we recently discussed with Lawrence along with the film’s style, lessons from his music video work, collaborating with Jennifer Lawrence, and more.

Check out our Red Sparrow Francis Lawrence interview to get insight from the director on his latest film.

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Moviepass testing

MoviePass is reportedly “testing” some new and old features that are making its subscribers unhappy.

Several users in certain markets noticed that their MoviePass app was barring them from purchasing tickets to Red Sparrow, the spy thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence. And meanwhile, a select few users got notified of an old, unpopular feature that MoviePass may be bringing back.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Movies to Watch With Red Sparrow

In the grand tradition of Spy vs Spy, Jennifer Lawrence plays a ballerina-turned-undercover-operative in Red Sparrow, a Russian agent who falls for CIA spook Nate Nash (“Nash, out!”), played by Joel Edgerton. It’s also a glowering action reunion for her and director Francis Lawrence, who helmed a triptych of Hunger Games movies, and, by most accounts, is a Soviet tank-full of style over substance.

There are thousands of spy movies to pair with it, and most of them involve Russia (really, the Soviet Union) ferreting into sticky situations to get information on Americans that will probably yell “Wolverines!” while thwarting them in the end. The tricky thing is considering how few female-led spy films there are compared to the grand list of one of the most popular modern genres. Red Sparrow is rare on that front, but there are plenty of other connections to make.

Here are some movies to watch alongside Lawrence’s descent into deep cover.

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Jennifer Lawrence Lie Detector Test

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Red Sparrow star Jennifer Lawrence takes a lie detector test like some kind of old fashioned spy. Plus, one fan creates an incredibly lifelike sculpture of Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown from Back to the Future, and VICE News takes a deep dive into the Best Picture-nominated Darkest Hour. Read More »

Red Sparrow Reviews

The new faux-Hitchcockian thriller Red Sparrow has the dubious honor of both being too overheated and too sterile to have any impact. Granted, Red Sparrow does have the pedigree of A-lister Jennifer Lawrence playing the conflicted lead, as well as the undeniable sense that this is the kind of prestige-striving film for adults that is rarely made or released outside of awards season. But the end result is flaccid, more convinced of its intelligence than it should be, and painfully overlong.

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Red Sparrow clip

Depending on which critic you ask, Red Sparrow is either a surprisingly good adult drama or a slog to sit through. Either way, there’s some buzz behind the Jennifer Lawrence spy-thriller. A new Red Sparrow clip offers a dramatic-yet-subdued look at the film.

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red sparrow clips

Jennifer Lawrence has aced the steely-faced seductive stare. That much we can tell during the barrage of clips, TV spots, and marketing for her upcoming spy thriller Red Sparrow.

The film hits theaters in a matter of weeks, and with early buzz building for the movie, 20th Century Fox is kicking its marketing into high gear. But can the air of mystery around Francis Lawrence’s Cold War-era film be maintained?

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