New Releases 3/3/15

Top Hits
Foxcatcher (drama, Steve Carell. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “In ‘Foxcatcher,’ an eerie horror story about one American have and one have-not, a startlingly transformed Steve Carell plays John Eleuthère du Pont, the chemical company heir. A dabbler extraordinaire and apparent fantasist whose family fortune was partly created on battlefields across the world — as a producer of gun powder, dynamite and plutonium — the real du Pont collected monumental amounts of shells, birds and stamps as well as guns and, as the wealthy can do, other human beings. Among the most remarkable of these was an Olympic wrestler, Mark Schultz, who, as embodied by Channing Tatum, is the latest in a seemingly never-ending line of poetic male primitives.” Read more…)

The Captive (thriller, Ryan Reynolds. Rotten Tomatoes: 27%. Metacritic: 36. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Unfolding over eight years, this latest mystery from Atom Egoyan returns us to the snowy setting, secretive characters, looping timeline and endangered-child plot of his 1997 masterpiece, ‘The Sweet Hereafter.’ This time, however, the infuriatingly vague and downright strange story banishes the haunting delicacy of mood that Mr. Egoyan has conjured so successfully in the past. The girl’s abduction is straightforward enough — plucked from the truck where her father, Matthew [Ryan Reynolds], has left her while he runs an errand — but almost everything after verges on absurd.” Read more…)

Horns (fantasy/horror, Daniel Radcliffe. Rotten Tomatoes: 41%. Metacritic: 46. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In spite of its Halloween opening, ‘Horns,’ directed by Alexandre Aja and adapted by Keith Bunin from a novel by Joe Hill, is not exactly a horror movie. It is nasty and creepy, for sure, with snakes and devils and a horrible murder, but not especially scary in the traditional sense. Gruesome occurrences are more likely to be mined for laughs than for gasps of terror, and the supernatural developments are played out in a mood of metaphysical melodrama.” Read more…)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (action/fantasy, Jennifer Lawrence. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 64. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Each ‘Hunger Games’ movie makes so much noise — it’s where the deafening clamor of commerce meets the roar of true fan love — that it’s a wonder you can detect the human heartbeat under the tumult. But it’s there, thumping and sometimes racing in a franchise that, more than most industrial movies and even putative indies, speaks to both its audience and its time. There’s heart in the vague yet stirring liberation story that comes to the fore in this chapter and that’s echoed in real-life struggles around the world. And it’s there, of course, in Katniss, the backwoods savior who, as played with guileless appeal by Jennifer Lawrence, is mounting an attack on the forces of oppression.” Read more…)

Hateship Loveship (drama/romance, Kristen Wiig. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%. Metacritic: 59. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In the first moments of our acquaintance with Johanna Parry — before the opening titles of ‘Hateship Loveship’ appear on screen, and before the first notes of music have sounded — we know some important things about her. We note her kindness as she grants an old woman’s dying wish, and also her practicality and physical strength. Other people will perceive Johanna as drab, passive and unworldly, a person to be quietly mocked or carelessly ignored, but the first shots of Liza Johnson’s new film, adapted from a story by the Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro, provide important evidence to the contrary.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray

New TV
Outlander: Season 1 Vol. 1 (time travel/action/fantasy series, Caitriona Balfe)

New Documentaries
Code Black (American healthcare system, Los Angeles ER. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 77. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Idealism and reality collide in ‘Code Black,’ Dr. Ryan McGarry’s impassioned record of his training in the embattled emergency room of the Los Angeles County General Hospital. Whether talking to the camera or one another, Dr. McGarry and his fellow residents offer a perspective that’s overwhelmingly young, principled, caring and frustrated. Their ardent and photogenic accord is one of the film’s weaknesses — elder physicians have only slivers of screen time — but also an inarguable boon, giving their daily skirmishes with America’s battered health care system a fiery momentum that pulls you along.” Read more…)

Watchers of the Sky (genocide, war, conflict, Samantha Power. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 85. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The human-rights pioneer Raphael Lemkin once wrote an especially dire note to self: ‘Do not cease to exist.’ They were the words of a man consumed by his mission to secure legislation against genocide, to the detriment of his health, as mentioned in Edet Belzberg’s ‘Watchers of the Sky.’ The story of Lemkin — an indefatigable petitioner of the United Nations, driven by the Armenian massacres and his own family’s slaughter in World War II — is the spine of this sprawling, big-hearted examination of genocide.” read more…)

New Music
Mondo Fuzz ( Austin, TX underground rock scene, sent to us by filmmaker Andy Ray Lemon as a gesture of solidarity with an independent video store!)

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