Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country reviewed: ‘neat’

Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country will be back in November. Expect weird music. Photograph: Andrew Toth/Getty Images Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country (Netflix) Streaming October 25 A reworking of William Faulkner’s novel of the same name,…

Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country reviewed: ‘neat’

Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country will be back in November. Expect weird music. Photograph: Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Will Ferrell’s Lovecraft Country (Netflix)

Streaming October 25

A reworking of William Faulkner’s novel of the same name, Ferrell takes a Tom Corbett-style trip through deep south Louisiana in search of his fiancée, Mabel (Comedian Trey Parker, voicing an incarnation of himself) at the cost of an evening of misanthropy that must be had. While first title creates a certain apprehension, the more extensive list of standups that feature in the film makes Lovecraft Country a compelling watch. Additionally, Ferrell lets loose the infamous closing track Never Gonna Stop (Exclusively on Spotify), ranting about his forlorn ride down memory lane.

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Further proof that Netflix’s trailers for original releases are increasingly spot-on. Great music also lending credibility to the flick. I am the Bullet (Netflix)

Streaming November 7

An eye-catching marketing campaign for his co-writer feature debut, this allegorical thriller by British-Australian director Chloe Lamford, grapples with the afterlife with amiable simplicity and a nice satirical twist on that undignified concept. A man’s consciousness is wiped from his body and placed in the body of a mime (Stellan Skarsgård) in the afterlife in a sequence straight out of a similar set-up to God, and while this leads to rather heavy-handed question-begging (does God come from India?), it’s a refreshing look at – and unexpected beauty in – the afterlife.

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With Dreamgirls and Beautiful Creatures in the midst of their critical and commercial debuts – but undeniable box office clout from A Star Is Born and Get Out to date – it would be shame to see them clash in a multi-generational battle of epic proportions. Philomena (UK cinema)

Streaming November 20

Not so much the low-point as the second worst among the three films about the gut-wrenching subject of Philomena Lee’s struggle to locate her son who was sold into slavery, this Lord Lowes, Steven Spielberg and Judi Dench ensemble outing plays out like various dynamics from a 21st-century drama about prejudice, exclusion and the curious chemical reactions that occur when flattery and mediocrity meet. The beleaguered Philomena is the director’s foil – her grief and desperation are the film’s emotional glue – and while the first half has some dynamic chinks, the second half is buoyed by Dench’s comic magnetism. Amid the villainy (Michael Fassbender’s charismatic Don Pedro de la Peña) and resentment (Martin Freeman as Toby), Dench makes a formidable presence, throwing one-liners of low comedy with equal flair and alacrity. It’s both the film’s best attribute and its biggest limitation, as the jokes don’t add up to much and too many of the big reversals reveal nothing of interest, leaving the conclusion hollow and unsatisfying.

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The Beatles’ Mind, Memory and Life (BBC)

BBC TV show Photograph: BBC

Available in November

The Beatles’ brain tape means much more than just a nice euphemism for bootlegs. Its existence is the bizarre, continuing effort of Dr Denis Coote, a cartoonist known for his quest for “most unusual, unusual” objects made of tin, resin, tobacco or water. This particular object, a disc of 700 deliberately unfinished songs recorded by the Beatles in their post-Beatles years, is now transcribed into a dialogue-free audio file, with each section changing in its original format. In addition to the individual tracks, each disc can be placed side by side and the arrangement is offered as a choice from a list of previous songs. Add all this to The Beatles Mind, Memory and Life’s 40-minute telly run, and you have something much more satisfying than the dismally shameless RFI–style airbrushing that so many of their reunions tend to present,

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