Critics’ picks, April 12–18, 2012
A crackerjack Mexican import arrives on home-viewing platforms.
1. Miss Bala
Dir. Gerardo Naranjo. 2011. R. 113mins. In Spanish with subtitles. Stephanie Sigman, Noe Hernandez, Miguel Couturier.
For reasons that elude us, Naranjo’s slam-bang drug-trafficking drama never opened in Chicago proper. Catch up with it at home—and brace yourself for a breathless two hours. Available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes and VUDU.
2. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
Dir. Abel Ferrara. 2011. R. 84mins. Willem Dafoe,Shanyn Leigh, Paul Hipp, Natasha Lyonne.
If the world really does end in eight months, let’s hope it does so with the calm and hushed beauty seen in Ferrara’s apocalyptic chamber piece. Available on demand widely; see ifcfilms.com for details.
Dir. Lena Dunham. 2012. N/R. Approx. 30mins. Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke.
Dunham’s funny, crisply written series marks a big step forward from her Tiny Furniture. The first three episodes suggest she’s headed for Whit Stillman territory. Premieres on HBO Sun 15 at 9:30pm. Available on demand the next day.