New releases 2/11/20

Top Hits
Ford V Ferrari (true life drama.action, Matt Damon. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Quick: Who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966? If you know the answer without Googling, then I probably don’t have to sell you on ‘Ford v Ferrari,’ James Mangold’s nimble and crafty reconstruction of a storied moment in the annals of auto racing. You will probably go in prepared to spot torque differentials and historical discrepancies that escaped my notice. [Please let me know what you find.] If, on the other hand, you are [like me] a bit of a motor-sport ignoramus, then you might want to stay away from web-search spoilers and let the film surprise you. It is, all in all, a pleasant surprise.” Read more…)

Doctor Sleep (Stephen King “The Shining” sequel, Ewan McGregor. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 80. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Doctor Sleep,’ Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of the novel by Stephen King, catches up with Danny Torrance, who as a child was terrorized by demons and his own father at a spooky Rocky Mountain hotel. That was in ‘The Shining,’ published by King in 1977 and filmed by Stanley Kubrick in a movie released in 1980. The new film, depending on how you look at it, is a sequel, an update, a corrective or a disaster. King was never a fan of Kubrick’s cold, meticulous gothic, which has nonetheless gathered a sturdy cult following. Flanagan, while hewing more closely to the novelist’s ideas about evil, innocence and addiction, pays tribute to some of Kubrick’s visual signatures.” Read more…)

Wild Nights with Emily (comedy, Molly Shannon. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 74. From Teo Bugbee’s New York Times review: “In Madeleine Olnek’s ‘Wild Nights With Emily,’ the life and work of Emily Dickinson are subject to a delightfully droll — even gay — reinterpretation. For believers in the legend of the hermetic poet who never left her bedroom, it may come as a surprise that the Emily [Molly Shannon] of Olnek’s film is not a melancholic recluse, but the heroine of a romantic comedy. Olnek’s version of events is supported by studies of Dickinson’s poems which revealed that references to possible lovers were covered up.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Ford V Ferrari
Roma

New Foreign DVDs
Roma (Mexico, 2018, drama, Oscar winner, Yalitza Aparicio. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 96. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “In ‘Roma,’ the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón uses a large canvas to tell the story of lives that some might think small. A personal epic set in Mexico City in the early 1970s, it centers on a young indigenous woman who works as a maid for a middle-class white family that’s falling apart. Cuarón uses one household on one street to open up a world, working on a panoramic scale often reserved for war stories, but with the sensibility of a personal diarist. It’s an expansive, emotional portrait of life buffeted by violent forces, and a masterpiece.” Read more…)

First Love (Japan, martial arts, Shota Sometani. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “The ultra-prolific director Takashi Miike already had about 30 films under his belt at the end of the 1990s, when the one-two punch of the art-horror date picture ‘Audition’ and the ultraviolent art-horror gangster movie ‘Dead or Alive’ wowed Western audiences. Now he’s beyond his 100th movie. Not all of his efforts make it to the States but his latest, ‘First Love,’ demonstrates that his energy and inventiveness are still intact.” Read more…)

La Barraca (Mexico, 1945, drama, Domingo Soler)

New Documentaries
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire (racial justice. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “In ‘The Other Side,’ the Italian-born filmmaker Roberto Minervini, who makes movies that exist on the edge of the documentary genre, presented an alarming portrait of life on the margins of Louisiana. He embedded with drug addicts and anti-government extremists who seemed to exist apart from society at large, perhaps oblivious even to the camera’s presence. Viewed one way, ‘What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?’ is a companion piece. Filmed largely in New Orleans in 2017 — with brief detours to Baton Rouge and Jackson, Miss. — it offers an urban-Louisiana counterpart to the rural setting of ‘The Other Side.’ Its subjects are African-American, unlike the men and women of ‘The Other Side,’ who were white.” Read more…)

Toxic Beauty (chemicals, makeup, health. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
McCarthy (bio, politics, Joseph McCarthy)