New releases 9/12/17

Top Hits
Beatriz at Dinner (comedy, Salma Hayek. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 68. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The hopeless polarization of American society is both a truism and a taboo. We may be divided by class, race, ideology and any number of other forces, but many of us also cling to the belief — or the delusion — that a larger consensus still holds us together. Failing that, we can at least still be nice to one another when the occasion requires. Can’t we? ‘Beatriz at Dinner,’ a new film directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White, unflinchingly addresses that question, and declines to provide a comforting answer.” Read more…)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (animated feature, Kevin Hart [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 69. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “It’s a frenetic animated film from DreamWorks whose title is really all you need to know. If your child would be amused by seeing the word “underpants” in the name of a movie, this one will entertain. The film, based on Dav Pilkey’s book series, is about two friends, George [voiced by Kevin Hart] and Harold [Thomas Middleditch], who spend their spare time pulling pranks and creating D.I.Y. comic books about Captain Underpants, a superhero whose outfit boldly acknowledges that many superhero costumes in fact are little more than fancy undies.” Read more…)

The Mummy (action/adventure, Tom Cruise. Rotten Tomatoes: 16%. Metacritic: 34. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “You’ve no doubt been told that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. If I followed that rule, I’d be unemployed. But still. There’s no great joy in accentuating the negative. So I will say this in favor of ‘The Mummy’: It is 110 minutes long. That is about 20 minutes shorter than ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ about which I had some unkind things to say a couple of weeks ago. Simple math will tell you how much better this movie is than that one. If you have no choice but to see it — a circumstance I have trouble imagining — you can start in on your drinking that much sooner.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray Discs
The Mummy

New British
Broadchurch: Season 3 (mystery series, David Tennant)
Decline and Fall (comedy series, Jack Whitehall)

New TV
This Is Us: Season 1 (dramedy series, Mandy Moore)
Designated Survivor: Season 1 (political thriller series, Kiefer Sutherland)

New Documentaries
Germans and Jews (anti-semitism, reconciliation. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 73. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “Don’t expect simple answers in ‘Germans & Jews.’ Just prepare for formidable questions. Those are the real reasons to see this incisive documentary. More than 200,000 Jews live in Germany, and according to the film, Berlin has the fastest-growing Jewish population in Europe — startling facts, given the country’s history. The filmmakers speak with individuals there to learn how they reckon with the past, which pervades so many aspects of contemporary German life.” Read more…)

Festival (1967, Newport Folk Festival, music, history, Joan Baez)