New Releases 3/31/15

Top Hits
Wild (drama, Reese Witherspoon. Rotten Tomtoes: 90%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The structure of ‘Wild’ is as complicated as its themes. The ‘action’ on the trail — walking, thinking, pitching the tent at night and packing it up in the morning — is punctuated by looping reminiscences of the life that preceded it. What is most audacious about the film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée [‘Dallas Buyers Club’] from a screenplay by Nick Hornby [yes, that Nick Hornby], is how closely it follows and how fully it respects [author Cheryl] Strayed’s free-associative, memory-driven narrative. In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, ‘Wild’ reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs.” Read more…)

Interstellar (science fiction, Matthew McConaughey. Rotten Tomtoes: 72%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth. Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ blended the technological awe of the Apollo era with the trippy hopes and terrors of the Age of Aquarius. George Lucas’s first ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, set not in the speculative future but in the imaginary past, answered the malaise of the ’70s with swashbuckling nostalgia. ‘Interstellar,’ full of visual dazzle, thematic ambition, geek bait and corn (including the literal kind), is a sweeping, futuristic adventure driven by grief, dread and regret.” Read more…)

The Rewrite (romance, Hugh Grant. Rotten Tomtoes: 64%. Metacritic: 51. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘The Rewrite’ the fourth screen collaboration of Hugh Grant and the director and screenwriter Marc Lawrence, is a return to form for the long-running team after the debacle six years ago of ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans?’ By ‘return to form,’ I don’t mean to suggest that their pre-‘Morgans’ films — ‘Two Weeks Notice’ and ‘Music and Lyrics’ — were more than reasonably intelligent romantic comedies buoyed by Mr. Grant’s appeal as a bumbling, sheepish charmer.” Read more…)

The Imitation Game (historical drama, Benedict Cumberbatch. Rotten Tomtoes: 89%. Metacritic: 73. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Imitation Game’ is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing. Alan Turing’s tragically shortened life — he was 41 when he died in 1954 — is a complex and fascinating story, bristling with ideas and present-day implications, and it benefits from the streamlined structure and accessible presentation of modern prestige cinema. The science is not too difficult, the emotions are clear and emphatic, and the truth of history is respected just enough to make room for tidy and engrossing drama.” Read more…)

Wild Card (action, Jason Statham. Rotten Tomtoes: 28%. Metacritic: 40. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Set in the underbelly of Las Vegas and full of dull existential timeouts, ‘Wild Card’ is about second chances. For the ‘security consultant’ played by Jason Statham, that would mean finally escaping the [violent] grind. For the film’s storied screenwriter, William Goldman, it’s the rare privilege of re-adapting his novel ‘Heat’ after its first incarnation in 1986 with Burt Reynolds.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
The Imitation Game

New TV
Silicon Valley: Season 1

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