New releases 10/9/18

Top Hits
Eighth Grade (coming-of-age, Elsie Fisher. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 90. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “There are few more poignant, exasperating creatures than teenage girls. [I speak from personal experience.] And rarely are they as heart-pangingly real as the girl fumbling through the sharp, smart comedy ‘Eighth Grade.’ Like a lot of people, Kayla (the wonderful Elsie Fisher), spends a lot of time tethered to a cellphone that serves as her touchingly imperfect portal to the world. Day and deep into night, she scrolls through screen after screen of images — celebrities, cartoons, celebrity cartoons, stranger selfies — sprinkled with hashtags, online handles, candy-colored effects and emojis.” Read more…)

Skyscraper (action, Dwayne Johnson. Rotten Tomatoes: 46%. Metacritic: 51. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “At one point in the insistently, nay, proudly ridiculous thriller ‘Skyscraper’ the hero played by Dwayne Johnson assures the audience what it’s known from the start: ‘This is stupid.’ It’s hard not to wonder if the writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber built the entire movie around this redundant truism. And why not? All he had to do was pad it with some recycling, bank on his relationship with Mr. Johnson — they worked together on ‘Central Intelligence,’ as mocking a title as Hollywood has produced — and Mr. Thurber had his elevator pitch: ‘The Towering Inferno’ meets ‘Die Hard’ but in China. Box-office domination was guaranteed as soon as the seven-figure deal was signed.” Read more…)

Gold Star (drama, Robert Vaughn. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. From Frank Scheck’s Hollywood Reporter review: “A clearly personal effort for its director/screenwriter/star, Victoria Negri’s debut feature is notable for the powerful supporting turn by the late Robert Vaughn in his final screen appearance. Delivering a mostly silent performance as the stroke-afflicted father of Negri’s central character, the veteran actor embodies the anguish of a once vital man reduced to pointing at words as his sole means of communication.” Read more…)

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (drama/comedy based on true story, Joaquin Phoenix. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 66. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “If you’ve ever hung out with an incorrigible drunk, then you’ll immediately appreciate the dramatic beats of ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,’ Gus Van Sant’s cleverly volatile, infuriatingly random take on the disabled alcoholic cartoonist John Callahan. Self-pitying or smug, jaunty or crestfallen, callous or contrite, the movie’s fitful tone is fully yoked to Joaquin Phoenix’s sodden-to-sober lead performance.” Read more…)

Hotel Artemis (thriller, Sterling K. Brown. Rotten Tomatoes: 57%. Metacritic: 58. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “There’s a lot of genre flourish packed into a relatively tidy running time in ‘Hotel Artemis,’ the directorial feature debut from the screenwriter Drew Pearce. Extrapolating from a droll “hotel for criminals only” concept recently seen in a sequence from 2014’s ‘John Wick,’ this movie makes the locale a combination hotel/hospital, sets the story a decade in the future, adds appropriately advanced technology, and surrounds it with a rioting Los Angeles populace up in arms over the privatization of water.” Read more…)

Hotel Transylvania 3 (animated feature, Adam Sandler [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. Metacritic: 54. From Glenn Kenny’s new York Times review: “The scenes of Dracula befuddled by a mobile phone were familiar; those in which the vampire’s garlic ‘intolerance’ preludes a flatulence joke predictable. Returning a third time as director, Genndy Tartakovsky lends his usual graphic savvy, providing a not-quite-saving grace.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Skyscraper
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

New British DVDs
Killing Eve: Season 1 (spy/action series, Sandra Oh. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 83.)
A Month In the Country (1987, drama, Kenneth Branagh)

New Documentaries
Dark Money (politics, campaign finance. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 72. From Manohla Dargis ‘New York Times review: “In her documentary ‘Dark Money,’ Kimberly Reed sets out to shine a light on obscure groups that, with deep-pocketed anonymous donors, have meddled in Montana elections. Scanning the recent past, she explores how and why both the state and citizens fought this meddling, as well as the ominous forces behind it. That killer clown postcard turned out to be bankrolled by dark money, which the Republican state senator Llew Jones defines here as ‘advertising where you don’t know who’s paying for the ads.’ He wonderingly asks: ‘Who’s paying for this? What are they attempting to buy?'” Read more…)

Life on Parole (prison policy, rehabilitation)
Imagine/Gimme Some Truth (John Lennon, music, making music)

New Music DVDs
Imagine/Gimme Some Truth (John Lennon, music, making music)

Children’s DVDs
Hotel Transylvania 3 (animated feature, Adam Sandler [voice])