New releases 8/12/14

Top Hits

The Railway Man (drama, Colin Firth. Rotten Tomatoes: 66%. Metacritic: 59. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “What place is there nowadays for a solid, old-fashioned movie about war, remembrance and reconciliation? That question occurred to me while watching The Railway Man, an unabashedly stodgy, high-minded film in the David Lean tradition [without the grandeur], starring Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who served and suffered during World War II.” Read more…)

Locke (thriller/action, Tom Hardy. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 81. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “A movie about a man in lockdown — emotionally, psychologically, existentially — Locke asks you to spend 85 minutes in intimate quarters with Tom Hardy, who’s mostly seen in medium close-up behind a steering wheel. In recent years, moviegoers have had ample opportunities to explore his beautiful mug in films like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, in which he wore a bleach job and wounded mien as a British spy who, while doing his dirty work as a so-called scalp hunter falls tragically in love. It was ideal casting because part of what makes Mr. Hardy pop, even in a relatively modest role, is how his somewhat blunt, swaggering, at times inflated physicality — in general, he registers as being bigger than he is — works in expressive counterpoint to his soft, yielding face.” Read more…)

Filth (thriller, James McAvoy. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 56. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “James McAvoy goes whole hog in Filth, an adaptation of a 1998 novel by Irvine Welsh, the Scottish author of Trainspotting. And by whole hog, I mean exactly that. His character, Bruce Robertson, who narrates the film, is an Edinburgh police detective sergeant on a catastrophic downward spiral. As he loses his sanity, he suggests a wounded wild boar on the rampage, dragging his entrails behind him as he charges around in circles. Compared with this maniac, the rotten policeman of two Bad Lieutenant films is a garden-variety bad boy.” Read more…)

Muppets Most Wanted (family, Tina Fey. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 61. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The United States government today called on Walt Disney Pictures to delay or cancel the release of Muppets Most Wanted on national security grounds. Or at least, it should have. Not only might this movie annoy Russia, with whom the American government is already nose-to-nose over Crimea, but it could also cause any European allies being courted by President Obama to unfriend him and the rest of the country.” Read more…)

Disneynature: Bears (nature doc, John C. Reilly [narrator]. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 68. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The photography, though no doubt dangerous and time-consuming to achieve, is not overtly dazzling, but a salmon hunt and an early avalanche prologue are impressive. Despite the bracing beauty of the wilderness, and the respite provided by cubs at play, the movie is primarily a sobering treatise on survival.” Read more…)

God’s Not Dead (drama, Kevin Sorbo. Rotten Tomatoes: 17%. Metacritic: 16.)

New Blu-Ray
Dom Hemingway (comedy crime drama, Jude Law, not available on DVD. Rotten Tomatoes: 58%. Metacritic: 55. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “There is, perhaps, only so much to say about a movie that opens with a man delivering a soliloquy about his penis. When you first see the title character of Dom Hemingway, a violent British comedy about a gangster who talks the hard-boiled talk with verve and gutter lyricism, he’s speaking and staring into the camera. His arms are stretched out to the side, Christlike, and while the camera doesn’t show the full monty, the shot is wide enough for you to see that Jude Law has packed on a few pounds to play this flamboyant tough guy and hasn’t taken a Gillette to his chest.” Read more…)

Muppets Most Wanted
Disneynature: Bears

New Television
The Blacklist: Season 1 (mystery, James Spader)

New Documentaries
Disneynature: Bears (ursine nature doc, John C. Reilly [narrator]. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 68. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The photography, though no doubt dangerous and time-consuming to achieve, is not overtly dazzling, but a salmon hunt and an early avalanche prologue are impressive. Despite the bracing beauty of the wilderness, and the respite provided by cubs at play, the movie is primarily a sobering treatise on survival.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Muppets Most Wanted (family, Tina Fey, in Top Hits: 79%. Metacritic: 61. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The United States government today called on Walt Disney Pictures to delay or cancel the release of Muppets Most Wanted on national security grounds. Or at least, it should have. Not only might this movie annoy Russia, with whom the American government is already nose-to-nose over Crimea, but it could also cause any European allies being courted by President Obama to unfriend him and the rest of the country.” Read more…)

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