New releases 4/18/17

Top Hits
Split (thriller, James McAvoy. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. Metacritic: 62. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “At once solemn and preposterous, sinister and sentimental, efficient and overwrought, ‘Split’ represents something of a return to form for its writer and director, M. Night Shyamalan. Or maybe I should say a return to formula. The movie, shot in and around Philadelphia, Mr. Shyamalan’s hometown, proceeds nimbly and with suave misdirection toward a pair of rug-pulling final twists that an attentive viewer will probably be able to anticipate. It’s not exactly a Choose Your Own Adventure, but you can opt either for the pleasure of surprise at the end or for the satisfaction of working out the puzzle as you go along.” Read more…)

The Founder (McDonalds founder bio-pic, Michael Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 66. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Ray Kroc, the whirling center of ‘The Founder,’ doesn’t come across as a meat-and-potatoes man — much less a mogul destined to peddle burgers and fries. As played by Michael Keaton, an actor who generates terrific centrifugal force, Ray seems more like a guy who fuels up on 10 cups of coffee before calling it a night with a bottle of Scotch. ‘The Founder’ never figures out what makes him spin and run and keep on running, but it does give you Mr. Keaton zinging around like the Road Runner. His kinetic performance doesn’t enhance the movie; it is the movie.” Read more…)

Sleepless (action, Jamie Foxx. Rotten Tomatoes: 18%. Metacritic: 33. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “At least since the 2009 film ‘Taken,’ the dad-to-the-rescue action movie has been a staple of the winter release calendar. ‘Sleepless,’ a sort-of-remake of the French thriller ‘Sleepless Night,’ represents Jamie Foxx’s foray into late-midcareer Neesonism.” Read more…)

Ocean Waves (Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “[Studio Ghibli’s] 1993 film, ‘Ocean Waves,’ was produced for television and initially conceived as a slight break from time-consuming meticulousness. A tale of young love, adapted from a novel by Saeko Himuro, it was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, who supervised junior staff artists. The undertaking proved to be as quality-conscious as that of any of the studio’s other works. Now released in the United States for the first time, it is a fascinating variant on Ghibli’s house style.” Read more…

New Blu-Ray
Split
Ocean Waves

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
The Migrants (1974, Tennessee William drama made for TV, Cloris Leachman)

New Documentaries
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank (art, photography, filmmaking, Robert Frank. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Laura Israel’s new film is called ‘Don’t Blink—Robert Frank,’ and it’s at once a welcome admonition and an efficient motto. This compact, fast-moving portrait of the artist proceeds through a flurry of images, many of them gleaned from Mr. Frank’s long and prodigious career. The man himself, barreling through his early 90s with a mixture of impatience, resignation and good humor, has spent a lifetime looking, mostly at North American people and landscapes, but also somehow inward, using cameras as instruments of documentation and introspection.” Read more…)

Before the Flood (National Geographic, environmental issues, climate change, Leonardo DiCaprio. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 63. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Even if you subscribe to the view that a problem isn’t a problem until a Hollywood celebrity tells you it is, ‘Before the Flood’ feels out of phase. It’s a documentary in which Leonardo DiCaprio sounds the alarm abou global warming, something that could not possibly have escaped anyone’s attention in recent years and is at this point probably beyond discussion: Either you think climate change is real or you don’t, and the battle lines aren’t likely to be shifted by an earnest movie star.” Read more (and maybe read the comments criticizing the review, too)…)

New Childrens’ DVDs

Ocean Waves (Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli)

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