Deep Water

STREAMING REVIEW:

Hulu;
Thriller;
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content, nudity, language and some violence.
Stars Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Grace Jenkins, Rachel Blanchard, Kristen Connolly, Jacob Elordi, Lil Rel Howery, Brendan Miller, Finn Wittrock. 

Adrian Lyne’s first directorial effort since 2002’s Unfaithful follows a similar tact as his previous film in adapting the 1957 novel Deep Water.

Aside from some erotic overtones and major changes to the ending, Lyne’s Deep Water is mostly faithful to the primary story points from the book. Vic and Melinda Van Allen (Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas) are a couple in a small rural town who seem to have an open marriage, in that she has a number of close friendships with other men that all their friends assume are her lovers. The book is a bit more explicit to this point, that they have an arrangement that allows her to step out as long as they avoid a divorce for the sake of their daughter.

However, Melinda’s constant flaunting of her sexuality in front of other men is actually causing Vic to seethe inside, and he scares off one of her would-be love interests by claiming to have murdered her previous one. This gives him a bit of a reputation among town for a dark sense of humor, but intrigues new-to-town screenwriter Don Wilson (Tracy Letts) with a flair for conspiracies.

Vic’s jealousy really boils over when he meets Melinda’s next would-be lover, a local musician named Charlie (Jacob Elordi) giving her piano lessons. When Charlie ends up drowning in a pool at a local party, Melinda immediately accuses Vic of murdering him, which drives Don to investigate further.

Despite her doubts about her husband’s innocence, Melinda is still willing to tempt fate with another boyfriend, Tony (Finn Wittrock), who might just inspire her to run off to Brazil.

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Deep Water is mostly a dry arrangement of passive-aggressive character interactions that occasionally result in some fatalistic intrigue. The film is rather ambiguous at first about just what Vic is capable of before removing any doubt by the final act. The story mostly requires Affleck to look angry at the people around him, an acting technique not far off from his usual range. To compensate for the slowly simmering plot tensions, Lyne turns up the eroticism with a very sensual performance from de Armas, who also, thankfully, is well suited for the task.

The best thing about the movie is little Grace Jenkins as Vic and Melinda’s adorable daughter Trixie, who steals pretty much every scene she’s in. The filmmakers know it, too, which is why the end credits are just an extended outtake of a scene of her riding in a car singing the ’70s hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.”

Lionsgate Bringing ‘Judy’ Home in December

Lionsgate will release the Judy Garland biopic Judy through digital retailers Dec. 10, and on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Dec. 24.

The film stars Oscar winner Renée Zellweger as Garland, 30 years after rising to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, arriving in London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. While preparing for the shows, Garland battles with management, reminisces with friends and adoring fans, and embarks on a whirlwind romance with soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans — all while struggling to overcome anxiety and physical decline.

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Shedding light on Garland’s final years, the film features perfomances of some of her best-known songs, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “For Once In My Life” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.”

The cast also includes Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon.

The film earned $22.9 million at the domestic box office.

Home video extras include the theatrical trailer, an image gallery and the featurette “From the Heart: The Making of Judy.

Lionsgate Releasing ‘Semper Fi’ on Disc Dec. 3

Lionsgate will release the action-drama Semper Fi on Blu-ray (with digital copy) and DVD Dec. 3. The film is available now through digital on-demand channels.

Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad) stars as a by-the-book police officer who, along with his close-knit group of childhood friends, makes ends meet as a Marine Corps reservist. When Cal’s reckless younger half-brother, Oyster (Nat Wolff), is arrested after a bar fight and given an unfair prison sentence, Cal — driven by his loyalty to family and fierce code of honor — fights to free him.

The cast also includes Finn Wittrock, Beau Knapp, Arturo Castro and Leighton Meester.

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Extras include an audio commentary with writer-director Henry-Alex Rubin, deleted scenes, and the featurettes “Loyalty and Brotherhood: Making Semper Fi” and “A Battle of Honor: Where Devotion Lies.”