Film Screening: “Being John Malkovich” on Mon., Mar. 3, at 7 PM—reserve now!

So many of the movies playing today are formula, by-the-numbers. In truth, that has probably always been the case. But every now and then a film that is truly original somehow manages to get funded and released. One such movie—written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze—is “Being John Malkovich.”

“Being John Malkovich” will be screened on Best Video’s 120″ projection screen on Monday, March 3, at 7 PM as part of the ongoing “Complex and Compelling” film series. Admission is $5.

This is what critic Roger Ebert had to say about the movie when it was released:

What an endlessly inventive movie this is! Charlie Kaufman, the writer of “Being John Malkovich,” supplies a stream of dazzling inventions, twists and wicked paradoxes. And the director, Spike Jonze, doesn’t pounce on each one like fresh prey, but unveils it slyly, as if there’s more where that came from. Rare is the movie where the last half hour surprises you just as much as the first, and in ways you’re not expecting. The movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films, but Jonze and his cast handle them so surely that we never feel hard-pressed; we’re enchanted by one development after the next.

A unique and beguiling movie, it will be introduced by Best Video owner Hank Paper, who will also lead what promises to be a lively post-film discussion. Admission is $5 and reservations are recommended.

This is the remaining schedule for “Complex and Compelling”:

• Monday, Mar. 3: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

• Monday, Mar. 10: BABEL

• Monday, Mar. 17: MEMENTO

• Monday, Mar. 24: MULHOLLAND DRIVE

Re the rumors: We’re sticking around!

Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that Best Video is closing. Best Video is not closing.

But there are changes. Hank Paper, Best Video’s owner, has sold the building in which the store is located. The new owner wants to keep the store as a tenant and we intend to stay. But the new owner will be taking one-third of the space—where the Coffee Bar and Performance Space are currently situated—for his own business.

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This means that we will have to fit all that we do—maintain our extensive wonderful video archive, present performances and have a Coffee Bar—in a smaller footprint. And we intend to keep doing all that we do. The Performance Space will be moved and the Coffee Bar will be moved.

If you come into the store, you will see that cabinets are being moved and sections being rearranged. All the new releases—Top Hits, New Foreign, New TV, etc.—will be on one wall. Browsing will be different—please feel free to ask for help from the staff. That can’t be stressed enough: Please ask the staff for help in finding what you are looking for!

We know there is a lot of support for the store in the community. We’re developing exciting new strategies for our continued vitality. As the changes develop, we will keep you posted and ask for your support.

It’s harder to be better than “Best” but that’s what we’re shooting for.

Music: The Furors, local legends, play Thurs., Mar. 6, at 8 PM

New Haven rock ‘n’ roll legends The Furors will perform on Thursday, Mar. 6. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

Furors_live_at_Best_Vid_electric

The Furors

Comprised of guitarist Derek Holcomb and drummer Tom Dans—Holcomb sings lead and Dans harmonizes—The Furors have been playing together for over three decades. They have self-released numerous vinyl 45s, a vinyl LP and several compact discs. Their catalog is so beloved among local musicians that a tribute album, “Let’s Get Furious,” was released in 2003 featuring 38 Furors songs covered by 38 local musicians and groups.

The Furors’ music is joyful, quirky three-minute pop, like a cross between They Might Be Giants and early British Invasion rock ‘n’ roll.

Blasting out their rock ‘n’ roll song “Janet Janet” at Best Video Performance Space last October:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Monday.Mar. 3. FILM SCREENING: “BEING JOHN MALKOVICH”

• Wednesday, Mar. 5. SHORT STORY READING: PAUL BECKMAN, DOUG MATHEWSON

• Thursday, Mar. 6. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Monday, Mar. 10. FILM SCREENING: “BABEL”

• Wednesday, Mar. 12. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Mar. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, LYS GUILLORN (solo)

• Monday, Mar. 17. FILM SCREENING: “MEMENTO”

• Monday. Mar. 24. FILM SCREENING: “MULHOLLAND DRIVE”

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

 

Literary Reading: Paul Beckman, Doug Mathewson Wed., Mar. 5, at 7:30 PM

Writers Paul Beckman and Doug Mathewson will read from their works in the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Mar. 5. The event starts at 7:30 PM.

Paul Beckman, left, and Doug Mathewson, right

Paul Beckman, left, and Doug Mathewson, right

Paul Beckman’s outrageously humorous family stories have entertained readers of Playboy Magazine and audiences at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. He is the author of two story collections, including “Come, Meet My Family and Other Stories.” Widely published here, his work has also appeared in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. Prepare to be entertained.

Doug Mathewson works as a writer and editor. His work has been performed at the 92nd St. YMCA in New York City, “Snow-oetry” in Ohio, and by the East Haddam Players. He is a regular contributor to riverbabble, Graffiti Kolkata, Durable Goods, Right Hand Pointing, and The Boston Literary Magazine. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Award, and  The Best of The Web Short Fiction Award. He is a senior member of Full Of Crow Press and Distribution, and works with  Pandemonium Press of Berkley California as a section editor of Door Knobs & Body-paint.  He is the editor of Blink-Ink, and contributing editor of the street zine MUST.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Monday.Mar. 3. FILM SCREENING: “BEING JOHN MALKOVICH”

• Wednesday, Mar. 5. SHORT STORY READING: PAUL BECKMAN, DOUG MATHEWSON

• Thursday, Mar. 6. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Monday, Mar. 10. FILM SCREENING: “BABEL”

• Wednesday, Mar. 12. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Mar. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, LYS GUILLORN (solo)

• Monday, Mar. 17. FILM SCREENING: “MEMENTO”

• Monday. Mar. 24. FILM SCREENING: “MULHOLLAND DRIVE”

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

New Releases 2/25/14

Top Hits
Gravity (sci-fi/action, Sandra Bullock. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 96. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The defiance of impossibility is this movie’s theme and its reason for being. But the main challenge facing the director, Alfonso Cuarón [who wrote the script with his son Jonás], is not visualizing the unimaginable so much as overcoming the audience’s assumption that we’ve seen it all before. After more than 50 years, space travel has lost some of its luster, and movies are partly to blame for our jadedness. It has been a long time since a filmmaker conjured the awe of 2001: A Space Odyssey or the terror of Alien or captured afresh the spooky wonder of a trip outside our native atmosphere. Mr. Cuarón succeeds by tethering almost unfathomably complex techniques — both digital and analog — to a simple narrative. Gravity is less a science-fiction spectacle than a Jack London tale in orbit.” Read more…)

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Thor: The Dark World (comic book action, Chris Hemsworth. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 54. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “As if underscoring their film’s essential witlessness, the folks at Marvel Entertainment have inexplicably missed the opportunity to make a splash by opening Thor: The Dark World on a Thursday. But repackaging a Norse god as an alien superhero takes chutzpah, not humor [unless you count the Viking ship that serves as his spacecraft], and movie studios have yet to lose money by assuming that their audiences have the intellectual discernment of newborns.” Read more…)

Nebraska (drama, Bruce Dern. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 86. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The only consequential violence in [director Alexander] Payne’s Nebraska, based on a script by Rob Nelson, is a punch in the face that has been well earned by the recipient. [Lately Mr. Payne seems to allow himself one or two such righteous blows per movie: Think of George Clooney clocking Matthew Lillard in The Descendants and Sandra Oh busting Thomas Haden Church’s nose with a motorcycle helmet in Sideways.] This is a comedy, with plenty of acutely funny lines, a handful of sharp sight gags and a few minutes of pure, perfect madcap. But a grim, unmistakable shadow falls across its wintry landscape. The world it depicts, a small-town America that is fading, aging and on the verge of giving up, is blighted by envy, suspicion and a general failure of good will. Hard times are part of the picture, and so are hard people.” Read more…)

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Blue Is the Warmest Color (France, romance/drama, Adèle Exarchopoulos, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Blue Is the Warmest Color is a feverish, generous, exhausting love story, the chronicle of a young woman’s passage from curiosity to heartbreak by way of a wrenching and blissful attachment to another, slightly older woman. Although there is plenty of weeping and sighing, the methods of the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, are less melodramatic than meteorological. He studies the radar and scans the horizon in search of emotional weather patterns and then rushes out into the gale, dragging the audience through fierce winds and soul-battering squalls.” Read more…)

Mr. Nobody (drama/fantasy, Jared Leto. Rotten Tomatoes: 69%. Metacritic: 63.)

New Blu-Ray
Gravity
Thor: The Dark World
Nebraska

New Foreign
Blue Is the Warmest Color (France, romance/drama, Adèle Exarchopoulos, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Blue Is the Warmest Color is a feverish, generous, exhausting love story, the chronicle of a young woman’s passage from curiosity to heartbreak by way of a wrenching and blissful attachment to another, slightly older woman. Although there is plenty of weeping and sighing, the methods of the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, are less melodramatic than meteorological. He studies the radar and scans the horizon in search of emotional weather patterns and then rushes out into the gale, dragging the audience through fierce winds and soul-battering squalls.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
King of the Hill (1996, Depression-era drama, Jesse Bradford. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 85. From Janet Maslin’s 1993 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “When present-day movies try to recreate the Depression, they tend to concentrate on period details: old cars, quaint costumes, dusty rugs on boarding-house floors. King of the Hill, the new film by Steven Soderbergh, which has been adapted from A. E. Hotchner’s boyhood memoir, captures something more basic: the way it felt to have that rug pulled out from underneath one without warning, and the recognition that most of one’s acquaintances were trapped in similar situations. With warmth, wit and none of the usual overlay of nostalgia, King of the Hill presents the scary yet liberating precariousness of life on the edge.” Read more…)

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New Documentaries
Muscle Shoals (recording studio, Southern music, Aretha Franklin, in New Music. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 75. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “If you want to bob your head along to a jukebox sampler of glorious American songs, then Muscle Shoals is the documentary for you. But if you want to learn how the area near the small Alabama city of Muscle Shoals, which hugs the south bank of the Tennessee River, became a renowned music center — the place where Percy Sledge’s Civil Rights-era chartbuster ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ was born and where Aretha Franklin poured sweat and tears into ‘I Never Loved a Man [the Way I Love You]’ — then you will need to look and listen elsewhere.” Read more…)

The Crash Reel (sports, snowboarding, Kevin Pearce. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 79.)
Charles Bradley: Soul of America (music, soul music, Charles Bradley, in Hot Docs.)

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New Music
Muscle Shoals (recording studio, Southern music, Aretha Franklin, in New Music. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 75. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “If you want to bob your head along to a jukebox sampler of glorious American songs, then Muscle Shoals is the documentary for you. But if you want to learn how the area near the small Alabama city of Muscle Shoals, which hugs the south bank of the Tennessee River, became a renowned music center — the place where Percy Sledge’s Civil Rights-era chartbuster ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ was born and where Aretha Franklin poured sweat and tears into ‘I Never Loved a Man [the Way I Love You]’ — then you will need to look and listen elsewhere.” Read more…)

Charles Bradley: Soul of America (music, soul music, Charles Bradley, in Hot Docs)

Rob Harmon’s Recommendations 02/25/14

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksIf Shakespeare’s statement that the course of true love never did run smooth then few films could be said to be as accurate—or to “feel as real” —as Abdellatif Kechiche’s warts-and-all tale of sexual awakening BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. Arriving on DVD a few weeks too late for Valentine’s Day the French-Tunisian director’s latest effort somehow manages to toe an impossibly-thin line for three engrossing hours, painting a young woman’s withdrawn dreaminess in her teenage years, her flushes of first true love with another—slightly older and more experienced—woman, the melancholy fall-out from their intense and searing relationship, and the reverberating tones which echo through life afterward like a hangover. True to the title’s reference to temperature, director Kechiche keeps his film at a boiling point, meaning that the much-discussed love scenes between the two female stars are always hot, hot, hot. But to get hung up on these or the film’s NC-17 rating would be tragic as well as a disservice, for it would obscure Kechiche’s latest effort—a sort of lesbian coming-of-age story done in the hothouse, psychologically grinding filmmaking style of John Cassavetes—and one of the most riveting performances that I have seen by an actress in recent years.

Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is a high school student, seemingly smarter than most and a bit introverted, willingly able to get lost in books, but with a normal group of friends who chattily obsess over the attention of boys. She plays along and allows one infatuated classmate named Thomas to pursue her, though she feels empty after they have sex and ends the relationship. One day she is crossing the street downtown when she passes a bohemian-looking young woman with blue hair with her arm around another woman. She sees her for only a few seconds but remembers and later begins to fantasize about her. Soon, a few of Adèle’s classmates have made inferences about her sexual leanings and one of them, sympathizing, invites her along with him to a gay bar. Bored, she walks down the street to another bar where she finally spots and later meets the blue-haired woman, a budding art student named Emma (Léa Seydoux). Though Emma is in a relationship she is intrigued by the innocent Adèle and the two women continue to see one another. Emma eventually brings Adèle home to meet her liberal parents but when Adèle introduces Emma to her conservative, more working-class folks she is only “her friend.”

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Time passes and Adèle and Emma carry on a long-term relationship, living together. Emma’s profile as an artist continues to rise and Adèle is widely acknowledged as her muse. Eventually the tension between their differing directions—dèle is pursuing a life as a teacher and Emma as a painter—leads to jealousy and suspicions which threaten to tear their relationship apart.

Blue Is the Warmest Color may be the tale of one woman’s search for love and sexual fulfillment but through its length and Kechiche’s harrowingly direct and naturalistic filmmaking style it feels like an epic, a kind of “intimate epic.” Kechiche is assured enough to project little context outside of Adèle’s claustrophobic surroundings, essentially thrusting the viewer into her space for the film’s duration. The effect is both disorienting and exhilarating. Additionally, Kechiche’s emphasis on scenes of eating found in his magnificent THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN (2007) (available for rental in our French section!) shines through as food is used—what is being eaten and how it is eaten—as an important character indicator throughout.

As with Cassavetes’ riveting, psychologically-attuned character studies much of the high-wire balancing act to be found in Blue Is the Warmest Color lies in its razor-sharp editing, courtesy of frequent Kechiche collaborator Ghalia Lacroix. She keeps the film taut and prevents the entire thing from spiraling out of control, while additionally pulling double-duty as co-writer of Blue, as she has also written or co-written films with Kechiche in the past. Lacroix and Kechiche adapted the French graphic novel of the same name by artist Julie Maroh, and the portrayal of a young lesbian’s sexual awakening seems to be sensitive and true-to-life.

Blue Is the Warmest Color made a kind of history at last year’s Cannes Film Festival as both Kechiche and his stars, Exarchopoulos and Seydoux, were jointly awarded the Palme d’Or for best film. It is a fitting tribute as their titanic performances literally hold up the film. Of the two, Exarchopoulos needs to be singled out as delivering one of the bravest, most unflinching portrayals in recent memory. She is on camera for just about the entire movie and she shines continuously. Her performance as Adèle is jittery, awkward, fully fleshed-out… and positively wrenching.

Blue Is the Warmest Color may have garnered massive exposure for its lengthy and graphic sex scenes but it should be remembered that these sequences are treated with an ease that renders them both naturalistic and everyday, as though just another of the colors at the director’s disposal. Blue may be the warmest color but it is far from the only one in life’s palette.

Film screening: “American Beauty” to be shown Mon., Feb. 24, at 7 PM

American-Beauty-Poster_WebThe current Best Video/Temple Beth Sholom film series collaboration began this past Monday, Feb. 17. The theme this time is “Complex and Compelling: Fun Movies That Make You Think.” Best Video owner Hank Paper and Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic will take turns presenting and leading discussions of six unique and stirring films that not only make you think but change the way you think. There was a strong crowd for the first movie in the series, Howard Hawks’ classic postwar film noir “The Big Sleep.”

Each movie starts at 7 PM. Admission cost is $5 or $25 for all six films.

The second film in the series is the 1999 Oscar winner “American Beauty.” Directed by Sam Mendes, this drama stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening. Writing in The New York Times that year film critic Janet Maslin opined, “Lester Burnham, played with heavenly finesse by Kevin Spacey in his wittiest and most agile screen performance yet, is a buttoned-down 42-year-old who desperately needs to stop and smell the roses. But he won’t get much joy from the ones in his suburban yard.”

Maslin writes:

“American Beauty” hammers heavily on the notion that nonconformity is needed here. That thought is repeated frequently and never carries a whit of surprise. But scene by scene, the film is full of its own brand of corrosive novelty, from the way Lester transforms himself in hopes of attracting the cheerleader to the revitalizing effects of Carolyn’s acrobatic affair with a fellow real estate agent (a very smooth Peter Gallagher). As these characters struggle viciously — and hilariously — to escape the middle-class doldrums, the film also evinces a real and ever more stirring compassion.

This is the remaining schedule for “Complex and Compelling”:

• Monday, Feb. 24: AMERICAN BEAUTY

• Monday, Mar. 3: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

• Monday, Mar. 10: BABEL

• Monday, Mar. 17: MEMENTO

• Monday, Mar. 24: MULHOLLAND DRIVE

Music: The Shellye Valauskas Experience on Thurs., Feb. 27, at 8 PM

Shellye_Dean_Bruce_at_BV_010512The Shellye Valauskas Experience plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 27. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

It’s Shellye’s Birthday Bash. Join The Shellye Valauskas Experience to celebrate her birthday. Very special guest: Cake! (And not the band Cake.) Plus other special guests—not that anyone could follow a slice of birthday cake.

Shellye Valauskas is a sweet songwriter who cares for catchy rhythms and hooks. Her CD “Box It Up,” recorded with her band The Shellye Valauskas Experience, is a box of secrets, surprises and delights. By the time she formed the band, vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon.

As her songwriting collaborator and bandmate, she enlisted ace guitarist Dean Falcone, who’s served the Connecticut music scene since the early ’80s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts, his own Dean and the Dragsters, and a host of others. Valauskas’ and Falcone’s shared love for the intelligent, heartwarming yet punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann, as well as the burgeoning Americana movement, helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Watch The Shellye Valauskas Experience perform their song “Box It Up” at the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2012, courtesy of Dave Kelsey’s Golden Microphone Films:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Monday.Mar. 3. FILM SCREENING: “BEING JOHN MALKOVICH”

• Wednesday, Mar. 5. SHORT STORY READING: PAUL BECKMAN, DOUG MATHEWSON

• Thursday, Mar. 6. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Monday, Mar. 10. FILM SCREENING: “BABEL”

• Monday, Mar. 17. FILM SCREENING: “MEMENTO”

• Monday. Mar. 24. FILM SCREENING: “MULHOLLAND DRIVE”

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

 

Music: The Luck Pushers deconstruct pop on Wed., Feb. 26, at 8 PM

Luck_PushersThe Luck Pushers will perform at the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

In 2013, The Luck Pushers formed to perform music for YOU and, let’s face it for themselves: Music addicts Shawn Persinger, Mark Schwartz and jef are discovering along with their audiences the joyful journey of seeing how many different hats they can comfortably wear in terms of musical styles. The formed under the premise of performing as your favorite live Karaoke band, but immediately expanded to regular gigs playing Country Music and exploring the deconstruction—and resurrection?—of pop songs old and new in some avant-garde way.

Persinger has been teaching guitar since forever and is now famous with his publication The 50 Greatest Guitar Books. Schwartz is a dentist and kindred WHO fanatic with jef, their drummer, who fronted his band in Poland, Ə, (yes, that’s a schwa!) as a vocalist in the late 90’s.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Monday.Mar. 3. FILM SCREENING: “BEING JOHN MALKOVICH”

• Wednesday, Mar. 5. SHORT STORY READING: PAUL BECKMAN, DOUG MATHEWSON

• Thursday, Mar. 6. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Monday, Mar. 10. FILM SCREENING: “BABEL”

• Monday, Mar. 17. FILM SCREENING: “MEMENTO”

• Monday. Mar. 24. FILM SCREENING: “MULHOLLAND DRIVE”

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

 

New Releases 2/18/14

Top Hits
Phil Spector (bio-pic, Al Pacino. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 60. From Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times television review [the movie was produced by HBO]: “It’s not a conventional biographical account of his difficult childhood and remarkable career producing songs like ‘Da Doo Ron Ron,’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ and ‘You’ve Lost that Loving Feelin’,’ though lots of his music is on the soundtrack. The movie is essentially a two-person play about Mr. Spector and one of his defense lawyers, Linda Kenney Baden, played by Ms. Mirren. There isn’t much dramatic tension between the two: Linda is at first a skeptic about the case but surrenders to her client’s loopy charisma and finds reasons to believe that he is telling the truth, or that there is, at least, reasonable doubt. It’s a testimony to the actors that they can sustain a story with so little traction.” Read more…)

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Game of Thrones: Season 3 (Metacritic: 90)

New Blu-Ray
Foreign Correspondent (1940, Hitchcock thriller, Joel McCrea. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “They say that the current heroes of Americans, young and old, are the foreign correspondents, those dashing chaps who presumably hop all over Europe, Asia, Africa and points between, hobnobbing with influential persons, catching wars on the wing and rushing madly every few minutes to cable home the latest hot news. If such is the case, then Walter Wanger’s own special Foreign Correspondent, which arrived at the Rivoli last night, should be the particular favorite of a great many wonder-eyed folk. For into it Director Alfred Hitchcock, whose unmistakable stamp the picture bears, has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion and illusion of momentous consequence as the liveliest imagination could conceive.” Read more…)

New Classics (pre-1960)
Foreign Correspondent (1940, Hitchcock thriller, Joel McCrea. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “They say that the current heroes of Americans, young and old, are the foreign correspondents, those dashing chaps who presumably hop all over Europe, Asia, Africa and points between, hobnobbing with influential persons, catching wars on the wing and rushing madly every few minutes to cable home the latest hot news. If such is the case, then Walter Wanger’s own special Foreign Correspondent, which arrived at the Rivoli last night, should be the particular favorite of a great many wonder-eyed folk. For into it Director Alfred Hitchcock, whose unmistakable stamp the picture bears, has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion and illusion of momentous consequence as the liveliest imagination could conceive.” Read more…)

New TV
Game of Thrones: Season 3 (Metacritic: 90)
Nurse Jackie: Season 5 (Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 66.)