Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

New on Netflix: 'Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids' is a joy

Jonathan Demme's latest concert movie hits streaming, as do "Hot Fuzz" and a fine Werner Herzog movie.
Justin TimberlakeHot FuzzEncounters at the End of the World

‘Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids’
When Jonathan Demme makes a concert movie, he doesn’t just make a concert movie. It’s not that he does anything fancy. “Stop Making Sense,” his three Neil Young films and his new bash for Justin Timberlake are each straight-up records of a show. What makes Demme the concert movie’s greatest auteur is the way he captures the the thrill, the joy, even the humanity of performance.

RELATED: Review: "Oasis: Supersonic" is, in its weird way, the perfect Oasis documentary

The boy bander is the most mainstream name he’s ever lensed, but you can see why he was drawn to him: Glitz and garishness and all, it’s clear Timberlake sincerely loves his packed stadium shows. And it’s not just about him: He loves his musicians, his back-up singers, his crew and, of course, the throngs who’ve paid to be there. Timberlake feeds off everyone’s energy, then gives back in kind. You don’t have to know Demme’s the one doing the looking to know that what’s onscreen isn’t a mere cash cow; it’s something beautiful, even utopian. You don’t have to know more than two of his songs to find it 90 minutes of transcendence.

‘Hot Fuzz’
Action and comedy are two genres that shouldn’t go together. And, frankly, they usually don’t. More times than not they cancel each other out. We’re not going to say “Hot Fuzz,” Edgar Wright chaser to “Shaun of the Dead,” is better at action than it is comedy. But it’s one of the few where the cheeky thrills don’t get in the way of some truly inspired yuks. Simon Pegg proved he was as adept as a lean adrenaline junkie as he was a slacker, playing a super-cop banished to a Nowhere, England town that’s not as quaint as it looks. Wright knows the language of action better than most action-makers, and that includes the non-action exposition, which proves funnier than when guns belatedly go blazing.

‘Encounters at the End of the World’
Time was Werner Herzog was a secret. Now he’s a meme — an Internet celebrity whose names your parents probably know. A man who (allegedly) pulled a gun on a costar and brushed off being shot by an air rifle during an interview was destined to become clickbait. But he’s still a filmmaker, and one of our most unique. Still, we’d say the last truly great film he made hails from 2007: his trip to Antarctica, where he hobnobs with reclusive scientists, muses on the cosmos and learns about suicidal penguins. It’s a valentine to weirdos, which describes a lot of his films, but this one is better (and weirder) than most.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

Consider AlsoFurther Articles