Yahoo Entertainment is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
Something of a strange mix as February winds down – crime thrillers nestled alongside adaptations of erotic airport novels as Prime release the new Rosamund Pike film I Care a Lot while dropping Fifty Shades of Grey on its service.
Meanwhile, Netflix has little in the way of original film works this week but a stone-cold classic on its hands nonetheless in the form of Steven Spielberg’s melancholy sci-fi masterpiece A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.
Sky Cinema has a brand new release to boast about too, with Hugh Bonneville playing author Roald Dahl in To Olivia.
Please note that a subscription will be required to watch.
New on Amazon Prime Video: I Care A Lot
The new film written and directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) sees Rosamund Pike back in the watchably vicious Gone Girl mode, sporting a bob so sharply cut it looks lethal. She plays Marla Grayson, an enterprising health-economy fraudster who entraps wealthy old people under her care as their legal guardian, taking their fortunes in the process. As she sets out to scam her biggest mark yet – seemingly a sitting duck – everything goes off the rails, as it turns out they have connections to a volatile gangster (Peter Dinklage).
There’s a point hidden somewhere in the film about the US healthcare’s already predatory financial system being easily weaponised. But, it’s something better illustrated in the likes of Steven Soderbergh’s claustrophobic thriller Unsane, written with a slickness and intensity that this film wishes it had. Something just simply doesn’t click - it feels as though Blakeson automatically assumes that the audience will root for Pike purely by virtue of her being the protagonist, the occasional ‘girlboss’ speeches not being quite enough to give direction to a performance that is a little aimless.
Watch a trailer for I Care A Lot
In intentionally recalling her Gone Girl part – Pike plays on the same feigned white innocence, buddying up with the cops and bending the system to her will – Blakeson mostly just proves how surprisingly difficult a tone it is to replicate. If anything, Chris Messina more compelling to watch as a smiling, devilish lawyer, who puts into perspective as to why Pike’s character feels wrongly calibrated, if anything Pike needed to lean harder into the unrepentant awfulness.
I Care a Lot for the most part is throwaway, trashy fun that is perhaps not quite as smart as it claims to be, its grand point coming at the end of an overlong and confusingly calibrated narrative. There’s some fun in seeing the layers peeling back on the case of Peterson’s true identity, and the increasingly deep water Marla finds herself in, but not many redemptive features otherwise.
Also on Prime Video: Bad Boys, Fifty Shades of Grey
New on NOW TV with a Sky Cinema Pass: To Olivia
UK TV royalty Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes play author Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal in this handsome but chronologically dubious real life drama that plays hard and fast with the couple's tragic 30-year relationship.
It’s 1962 and Dahl, a burgeoning children’s author, and his wife Neal, a glamourous Hollywood movie star, have retreated to the English countryside to bring up their young family. Tragically, their lives are turned upside down by the devastating death of their daughter Olivia.
Also new Sky Cinema: Walkaway Joe, Spontaneous
New on Netflix: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
A project that originally began development with producer and director Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi masterpiece is an intoxicating and melancholic blend of both of the filmmaker’s sensibilities. Bleak ironies and satire colour the life of the robotic boy David, as through him Spielberg needles at questions about love and technology amidst humanity’s decline, with not much in the way of a concrete answer.
The film somehow mixes genuine sentiment with an underlying darkness without those two tones betraying the other – perhaps partly in thanks to Haley Joel Osmont giving one of the best lead child performances of all time (just above his role in The Sixth Sense). A genuine heartbreaker.
Also on Netflix: Space Sweepers, The Meg
New on BBC iPlayer: Tomorrowland
Brad Bird’s ambitious Disney blockbuster is a renowned misfire, shooting for the moon but coming a bit short thanks to something of a half-baked screenplay from Damon Lindelof. The writer’s film writing has had a tendency to overindulge in the mystery box structure that define even his best TV works, his compulsion to create fascinating questions before considering the answers (or whether there needs to be answers) undermining solid directorial work (and a typically charming supporting performance from George Clooney).
While Lindelof’s wrestling with the idealism of dreaming of a better future and practical cynicism turns out like a lecture by the film’s end, Tomorrowland is at least two-thirds of a pretty great movie thanks to capable visual world-building and a genuinely worthwhile concept. At the time and even now Brad Bird is among the most idiosyncratic and interesting American filmmakers, so this is one for those with curiosity about where Disney’s original blockbusters went.
Also on BBC iPlayer: Stronger, Tropic Thunder
Watch: 007 fans choose the best James Bond films