New releases 11/30/21

Top Hits
Climate of the Hunter (mystery/suspense, Ben Hall. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 68. From Simon Abrams’ RogerEbert.com review: “The most exciting thing about the soapy, psychedelic American vampire psychodrama ‘Climate of the Hunter’ is how weirdly poised it is even during its strangest and/or most crass moments. You will see things in writer/director Mickey Reece’s cult-friendly oddity that will make you question your sanity, and not because they’re so wild, but because they seem to be of a piece with a story that’s both familiar enough and utterly alien.” Read more…)

Malignant (horror, Annabelle Wallis. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 51. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “The acting in ‘Malignant’ might be on the hokey side, but who goes to a James Wan movie for the performances? What we want is gore and goose bumps, and in that regard, ‘Malignant’ doesn’t entirely disappoint. Even if we have to wait until roughly 17 minutes before the finale to experience peak splatter.” Read more…)

Saint Maud (horror, Morfydd Clark. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Folding sexual arousal and religious ecstasy into a single, gasping sensation, ‘Saint Maud,’ the feature debut of the director Rose Glass, burrows into the mind of a lonely young woman and finds psycho-horror gold.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Romeos (Germany, LGBTQ romance, Rick Okon)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Freud (1962, bio-pic, Montgomery Clift. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. New York Times critic Bosley Crowther named “Freud” one of his 10 best movies of 1962, writing, “John Huston’s stark, intense and penetrating biographical film, simply called “Freud,” in which Montgomery Clift gives an eerily illuminating performance in the title role.” Read more…)

Dark of the Sun (1968, action/adventure, Rod Taylor. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. From Renata Adler’s 1968 New York Times review requires log-in]: “‘Dark of the Sun’ is a kind of cross between ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘The Comedians,’ which stars Jim Brown and Rod Taylor in a kind of “I Spy” duet. The movie, which was filmed in Jamaica, is about mercenaries in the Congo who go by train to rescue some diamonds, refugees and Yvette Mimieux from the rebel Simba. It did not seem to me very plausible.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Keyboard Fantasies (music, bio, LGBTQ, Glenn Copeland. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 81. From Cath Clarke’s Guardian review: “Here’s a spirit-lifting documentary about black transgender electronic music pioneer Glenn Copeland. It begins with the story of how he was ‘discovered’ a few years ago, aged 72. At home in Canada, Copeland reads the email he got in 2015 from a record shop owner in Japan: the guy offered to buy any spare copies of Keyboard Fantasies, an album Copeland self-released in 1986 on cassette. At the time he was known as Beverly Glenn-Copeland, and the album is a trippy mix of electronica, folk and new age, overlaid with Copeland’s sumptuous contralto tenor; it’s now seen as his masterpiece.” Read more…)

The Great Buster: A Celebration (bio, cinema history, Buster Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 71. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In his 1949 essay ‘Comedy’s Greatest Era,’ James Agee suggested that ‘Keaton’s face ranked almost with Lincoln’s as an early American archetype; it was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful, yet it was also irreducibly funny.’ To watch ‘The Great Buster: A Celebration’ — Peter Bogdanovich’s affectionate and informative new documentary — is to appreciate Agee’s insight, and also to marvel anew at some of Keaton’s cinematic feats. The film presents a compact, tactful biography and also a valuable explication of the Keatonesque in its most sublime varieties.” Read more…)