New releases 11/7/17

Top Hits
Cars 3 (animated Pixar feature, Owen Wilson. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 59. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “The conventional reviewers’ wisdom about Pixar’s ‘Cars’ movies is that they are colorful and engaging but hardly as breathtaking as much of the other output from that animation studio. There are some who think Pixar should aim for awe-inspiring every time, because why not? Then there are crankier critics who will point out that driverless talking cars just aren’t terribly interesting, and can be a little goofy. ‘Cars 3,’ directed by Brian Fee from a script by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich [the story is credited to a whole other pit crew that includes Mr. Fee], isn’t going to win any converts among those with an animus toward talking cars. But if you can roll with it, the movie is both breezy fun and a pain-free life lesson delivery vehicle.” Read more…)

Your Name (anime animated feature, Michael Sinterniklaas [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 79. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “It isn’t until well into “Your Name,” a wistfully lovely Japanese tale about fate and time, that its two teenage characters meet. By that point, Mitsuha (a girl yearning to leave her small town) and Taki (a boy in Tokyo) have come to know each other as well as two people can. For reasons they don’t understand, each’s consciousness has been temporarily jumping into the other’s physical shell, only to jump back. This happens at night, which means that Mitsuha regularly wakes up in Taki’s body, and he wakes up in hers, a swap that he likes to confirm by fondling his (her) breasts.” Read more…)

Ingrid Goes West (comedy, Aubrey Plaza. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 71. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Ingrid Goes West’ comes close to saying something sharp about how social media promotes envy and the illusion of connectivity, but when a comedy chooses such an obvious target, it should have the courtesy to aim from an oblique angle.” Read more…)

Killing Ground (action thriller,Hariet Dyer. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 59. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review; “‘Killing Ground’ features a man and a woman who make head-slappingly dumb choices as they flee from a pair of killers who are just as inept. Yet in the end, the most regrettable decision may be that of audience members who fork over money to see the movie.” Read more…)

The Journey (drama, Timothy Spall. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 53. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “Wishful thinking predominates in Nick Hamm’s drama ‘The Journey,’ an imaginary account of a conversation between former giants in Northern Ireland’s Troubles: the Rev. Ian Paisley, who spearheaded the Democratic Unionist Party [he died in 2014], and Martin McGuinness, a Sinn Fein leader [who died in March]… Though the script tilts to the didactic, the performances are absolutely delicious, with Mr. Meaney droll and understated and Mr. Spall fiery and derisive, yet not above a joke.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Willard (1971, horror, Bruce Davison)

New Foreign DVDs
The Tower: Tales from a Vanished Land (Germany, mini-series drama, Jan Josef Leifers)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Philadelphia Story (1940, Criterion edition, romantic comedy classic, Katharine Hepburn. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “All those folks who wrote Santa Claus asking him to send them a sleek new custom-built comedy with fast lines and the very finest in Hollywood fittings got their wish just one day late with the opening of ‘The Philadelphia Story’ yesterday at the Music Hall. For this present, which really comes via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, has just about everything that a blue-chip comedy should have—a witty, romantic script derived by Donald Ogden Stewart out of Philip Barry’s successful play; the flavor of high-society elegance, in which the patrons invariably luxuriate, and a splendid cast of performers headed by Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. If it doesn’t play out this year and well along into next they should turn the Music Hall into a shooting gallery.” Read more…)

Strange Illusion (1945, Edgar Ulmer-directed drama, James Lydon)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Willard (1971, horror, Bruce Davison. From Vincent Canby’s 1971 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Willard,’ which opened yesterday at the Penthouse Theater, attempts to be the kind of horror film that allows us to share the satisfaction of Willard’s revenge, as he goes around the neighborhood letting his rats run opportunely loose, while simultaneously sharing—with pleasure—the terror of his victims. The movie, however, persists in crossing its lines of stimulation, resulting in a series of little short-circuits that effectively limit pleasure to an occasional line or bit of business.” Read more…)

Girlfriends (1978, drama, Melane Mayron)

New British
Dreamchild (1985, historic Alice in Wonderland drama, Nicola Cowper. From Stephen Holden’s 1985 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The collision of fading Victorianism with the rough-and-tumble world of American enterprise is a running theme throughout Gavin Millar’s ‘Dreamchild,’ a small sentimental gem of a movie that is at heart a cinematic memory play.” Read more…)

Poldark: Season 3 (costume drama, Aidan Turner. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
The Crown: Season 1 (drama, Claire Foy. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 81.)

New Television
Westworld: Season 1 (HBO sci-fi series based on Michael Crichton book, Anthony Hopkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 74.)

New Gay & Lesbian
A Date for Mad Mary (drama/romance, Charleigh Bailey. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%.)

New Children DVDs
Cars 3 (animated Pixar feature, Owen Wilson [voice])

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