New releases 11/6/18

Top Hits
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee historical [1970s] drama, John David Washington. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “And beyond its stranger-than-fiction, somewhat embellished real-life story — the actual Ron Stallworth actually did infiltrate the Klan, and wrote a book about it — ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is a furious, funny, blunt and brilliant confrontation with the truth. It’s an alarm clock ringing in the midst of a historical nightmare, and also a symphony, the rare piece of political popular art that works in all three dimensions.” Read more…)

Christopher Robin (animation/adventure, Ewan McGregor. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 60. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “And once ‘Christopher Robin’ softens its insufferable, needlessly cynical conception of the title character, it offers more or less what a Pooh reboot should: a lot of nostalgia, a bit of humor [Brad Garrett’s vocal deadpanning as Eeyore is a standout] and tactile computer animation that, even for the effects-jaded, makes it look as if the actors are interacting with real stuffed animals.” Read more…)

Destination Wedding (romance, Winona Ryder. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 46. Jeannette Catsoulis does not like “Destination Wedding.” From her review in The New York Times: “All right, then, let’s rip off the Band-Aid: ‘Destination Wedding’ is torture. And not just because this would-be romantic comedy is grating, cheap-looking and a mighty drag: it also turns two seasoned, likable actors into characters you’ll want to throttle long before the credits roll.” Read more…)

Incredibles 2 (Pixar animated feature, Craig T. Nelson. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “And, like his superheroes, [director Brad] Bird is extraordinarily good at destruction, which is very much in evidence in the virtuosic, often delightful ‘Incredibles 2,’ which picks up narratively where the last movie left off. It’s still a fantasy 1962 or thereabouts as the boxy cars, clothing and midcentury modern flourishes suggest, but advances in computer animation make everything — from downy hair to brick buildings — look far sharper and more fine-grained. Here, you can almost count the stubble on Bob’s unshaven face and trace the swirls in the billowing, churning dust clouds that form after an explosion.” Read more…)

Papillon (action/adventure, Charlie Hunnam. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 52. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “But much like the original, the remake of ‘Papillon’ isn’t interested in questions of innocence and guilt or jurisprudence. Instead it’s about tough men toughing it out in tough conditions while laughing — or stoically staring or occasionally trembling — in the face of death. The grim reaper has taken up permanent residence here, and is emblematized by a looming guillotine and personified by the guards, the dandified warden and the corpses that are hauled off like sacks of garbage.” Read more…)

Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (animated feature, Adwale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 52.)
Loving Pablo (true crime/romance, Penelope Cruz. Rotten Tomatoes: 29%. Metacritic: 42.)

New Blu-Ray
BlacKkKlansman
Incredibles 2
Out of the Past

New Foreign DVDs
The Cakemaker (Israel, drama, Roy Miller. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Sad and sweet, and with a rare lyricism, ‘The Cakemaker’ believes in a love that neither nationality, sexual orientation nor religious belief can deter. Some may find its reticence off-putting or even irritating, but at heart it’s just a tender love triangle with a ghost in the middle.” Read more…)

12 Days (France, documentary, mental health system. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 81. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “An uneasy calm suffuses ’12 Days,’ a documentary set at the juncture of personal liberty and the law. An opening title card offers some context: Since 2013, patients in France who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals must be ‘presented to a freedom and detention judge’ within 12 days and then, if needed, every six months. That’s pretty much all the background that the director Raymond Depardon provides in this movie, which suggests that the line between mental illness and health is sometimes determined by who tells your story and how. For those who have long been silenced — and often remain so — being able to tell those stories is clearly monumental.” Read more…)

La Boyita (Argentina, coming-of-age, Mirella Pascual. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 83.)

 New British
Poldark: Season 4 (drama/history series, Aidan Turner)

New TV
Who Is America: Season 1 (comedy/politics, Sacha baron Cohen. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. Metacritic: 59.)
Succession: Season 1 (HBO drama, Brian Cox. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 70.)

New Documentaries
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (cinema history, LGBTQ history. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 67. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ wears a lot of hats, none of which quite fits. A salacious tell-all about the hidden sex lives of postwar movie stars; a peek at the underbelly of the repressive moral dictates of the studio system; a breezy biography of a self-described Hollywood prostitute and procurer; and a psychosexual study of a possibly damaged victim of extreme childhood abuse.” Read more…)

Big Sonia (bio, Holocaust, inspiration. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 71. From Teo Bugbee’s New York Times review: “Sonia Warshawski, a Holocaust survivor who lives in Kansas City, Kan., is the star and subject of the documentary ‘Big Sonia’ — now 91, she’s had time to accumulate character. When we meet Sonia, her tailor shop is the last remaining business in a deserted mall. She parks her Oldsmobile in a no-parking zone every morning. She loves leopard print, marveling that it never goes out of style. But between shop duties, speaking engagements and gefilte fish preparation, Sonia recounts her memories as a witness to senseless murders, including the death of her own mother in the gas chambers.” Read more…)

Mr. Capra Goes to War (cinema history, World War II, Frank Capra’s WW2 documentaries)
12 Days (France, documentary, mental health system)
The Early Films of William Ferris: 1968-75 (music, Mississippi)

 New Children’s DVDs
Incredibles 2 (Pixar animated feature, Craig T. Nelson)
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (animated feature, Adwale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)