New releases 3/3/20

Top Hits
Dark Waters (true life corporate crime thriller, Mark Ruffalo. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 72. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Outrage mixes with despair in ‘Dark Waters,’ an unsettling, slow-drip thriller about big business and the people who become its collateral damage. It’s a fictional take on a true, ghastly story about a synthetic polymer that was discovered by a chemist at DuPont, which branded it Teflon.” Read more…)

Playmobil the Movie (animated feature, Adam Lambert [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 17%. Metacritic: 25. From Peter Bradshaw’s Guardian review: “The Lego Movie franchise has been one of the funniest, smartest things in the cinema and even the Angry Birds movies were pretty good – so hopes were counterintuitively pretty high for ‘Playmobil: The Movie.’ Disappointingly, it is a borderline dopey, sentimental children’s adventure mostly without the wit and spark that converted grownups and kids to the Lego films.” Read more…)

Queen & Slim (crime/romance, Daniel Kaluuya. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Queen & Slim’ is full of violence and danger, but it isn’t a hectic, plot-driven caper. Its mood is dreamy, sometimes almost languorous, at least as invested in the aesthetics of life on the run as it is in the politics of black lives. Not that the two are separable. The image of Queen and Slim that is reproduced on protest T-shirts and murals shows them striking stylized poses in borrowed clothes, leaning against the vintage Pontiac that carries them on the second half of their journey.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Queen & Slim
Dark Waters

New Foreign
By the Grace of God (France, crime/drama based on pedophile priests controversy, Melvil Poupaud. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “Ozon’s approach in ‘By the Grace of God’ is not plain, but it is straightforward. The movie is not replete with what you’d call stylistic flourishes — although when one character ascends a spiral staircase, Ozon doesn’t restrain himself from doing as he always does in this situation, which is to include an overhead shot of the structure. And Ozon exerts his command of cinematic language throughout, in ways that are less immediately obvious. He crafts a film that is engrossing from the start, while building to something greater and more emotionally encompassing.” Read more…)

Max & The Junkmen (France, 1971, crime/romance, Michel Piccoli. From A.O. Scott’s 2012 New York Times review on the film’s belated American opening [requires log-in]: “Shot [by René Mathelin] in harsh, grainy color in grubby, workaday locations in and around Paris, ‘Max et les Ferrailleurs,’ adapted from a novel by Claude Néron, has the matter-of-fact look and careful pace of a precinct-house procedural. The film’s central crime is the robbery of a bank branch by a gang of small-timers, and most of the cops are beleaguered, cynical bureaucrats.” Read more…)

Line of Demarcation (France, 1966, French occupation, Jean Seberg)

New British DVDs
Perfect Friday (1971, crime/comedy, Ursula Andress. From Vincent Canby’s 1970 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “In ‘Perfect Friday,’ [director Peter] Hall and his script writers observe all the conventions of the genre, up to and including the final obligatory twist that must always be a variation on failure. It’s this obligation to fail that makes the caper movie, ultimately, so tiresome. Without it, the movie is left open-ended, without shape, but with it, the movie can only hope to be a basic exercise.Within these very important limitations, Mr. Hall has made an intelligent and quietly funny film about three eccentrics, who are as attractively written as they are played.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street (bio, film history, gay & lesbian, Mark Patton. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 61. From Michael Ordoña’s Los Angeles Times review: “Horror movies usually end with the hero facing down the big, bad demon that has haunted him or her for the previous 90 minutes. For ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’ star Mark Patton, it took 30 years, but that catharsis finally happened in real life. The new documentary ‘Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street,’ directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, was there.” Read more…)