New releases 5/17/22

Top Hits
Licorice Pizza (comedy/drama, Alana Haim. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 90, Must See. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “‘Licorice Pizza,’ a shaggy, fitfully brilliant romp from Paul Thomas Anderson, takes place in a 1973 dream of bared midriffs and swinging hair, failures and pretenders. It’s set in Encino, a Los Angeles outpost in the shadow of Hollywood and the birthplace of such films as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Boogie Nights,’ Anderson’s 1997 breakout about a striver’s passage into pornographic stardom.” Read more…)

The Cursed (horror, Boyd Holbrook. Rotten Tomatoes: 74%. Metacritic: 62. From Noel Murray’s Los Angeles Times review: “A unique take on werewolf folk tales, the arty monster movie ‘The Cursed’ journeys to late 19th century Europe for a story that ties a persistent evil to the enduring stain of bigotry. A true auteur project for genre-hopping filmmaker Sean Ellis — who wrote, directed, co-produced and serves as the cinematographer — this period piece is slow-paced yet peppered with enough gory attacks and smartly staged scare sequences to appeal to horror connoisseurs.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray &Ultra HD 4K
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure Blu-ray (1985, comedy/family, Paul Reubens.) Rotten Tomatoes: 87%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 47. From Vincent Canby’s 1985 New York Times review [requires log-in}: “For the record, ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ is the story of what happens when Pee-wee’s bicycle is stolen and he sets out to find it, a journey that takes him to San Antonio and, finally, to the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, Calif. You have been warned.” Read more…)

Walker Blu-ray (1987, historically-based drama, Ed Harris. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. From Vincent Canby’s 1987 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Taking the true story of William Walker, the American adventurer who once ruled as the self-declared president of Nicaragua [1856-57], the director Alex Cox and the writer Rudy Wurlitzer have made ‘Walker,’ a hip, cool, political satire that’s almost as lunatic as the title character. The main difference is that the film intends to be funny while Walker, all five egocentric, puritanical feet of him, was fatally humorless.” Read more…)

Licorice Pizza

New British DVDs
Ridley Road (1960s period drama, Agnes O’Casey. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 71. From Mike Hale’s New York Times review: “It might seem as if there couldn’t be any nook or cranny of British history that hasn’t received its own television costume drama by now. But ‘Ridley Road,’ premiering Sunday on PBS’s ‘Masterpiece,’ finds some new and interesting territory. It’s set in London, with side trips to Manchester and the countryside of Kent, in 1962, just as the Swinging Sixties are getting into gear. But music and fashion are strictly in the background. In the foreground are the members of an organized, street-level Jewish resistance to the then-flourishing British neo-Nazi movement.” Read more…)

Martin Clune’s Wild Life (nature series w/British actor Martin Clune as host)

New TV
Succession: Season 3 (HBO drama series, Brian Cox. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 92.)