New releases 5/3/22

Top Hits
Turning Red (pixar animated feature, Sandra Oh. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 83, Must See. From Maya Phillips’ New York Times review: “A quirky Asian teenager transforms into a giant red panda whenever she gets excited … even the premise gives me pause. Which makes the task of reviewing the new Disney/Pixar film ‘Turning Red’ especially tricky. Because that’s the idea behind this sometimes heartwarming but wayward coming-of-age movie, which toes the line between truthfully representing a Chinese family, flaws and all, and indulging stereotypes.” Read more…)

The Outfit (drama/thriller, Mark Rylance. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 69. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The gangsters in ‘The Outfit’ have plenty of tough moves, but none of these guys hold the screen like Mark Rylance when he just stands or stares — or sews. His character, Leonard, is a bespoke tailor who once worked on Savile Row and now practices his trade in an unassuming shop in Chicago. There, he snips and stitches with a bowed head and delicate, precisely articulated movements that express the beauty and grace of Rylance’s art.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray &Ultra HD 4K
Two Days, One Night (Belgium, 2014, social drama, Marion Cotillard. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 89, Must See. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s 2014 Times review: “‘Two Days, One Night’ consists almost entirely of encounters between Sandra and the people who have, through no choice of their own, been given the power to decide her fate. The key to the movie — what makes it moving as well as grueling, thrilling as well as harsh — is that the Dardennes refuse to skip or cut away from a single meeting. Like Sandra, the audience must absorb the emotional impact of each conversation.” Read more…)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968, psychological horror, Criterion Collection, Mia Farrow. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 96, Must See. From New York Times critic Caryn James write-up prior to the film’s 1995 run at Film Forum 2 [requires log-in]: “Familiar though it is, Roman Polanski’s classic horror film can still send shivers through the most jaded viewer. For all its 60’s trappings — most conspicuous in Ms. Farrow’s cropped hair and the way she does nothing all day but fix her husband’s lunch — ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ stands up amazingly well 27 years after it first appeared. In fact, the film looks smarter when you know the ending.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) (Nigeria, drama, Criterion Collection, Jude Akuwudike. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 89. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Devika Girish’s Times review: “The Nigerian feature ‘Eyimofe’ is about many different things — migration, exploitation, misogyny — but it’s primarily about money. Following the lives of two individuals in Lagos, both of whom dream of immigrating to Europe to better their prospects, the film traces a web of Nigerian naira — currency needed for hospital bills, housing bills, lawyer bills, endless bills — that entraps the characters, sucking them in deeper the harder they try to escape.” Read more…)

Round Midnight (France, 1986, drama/jazz/race, Criterion Collection, Dexter Gordon. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Janet Maslin’s 1986 Times review [requires log-in]: “No actor could do what the great jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon does in ‘Round Midnight,’ Bertrand Tavernier’s glowing tribute to the golden age of be-bop. Mr. Gordon, who stars in the film as an expatriate American named Dale Turner, becomes the very embodiment of the music itself. It’s in his heavy-lidded eyes, in his hoarse, smoky voice, in the way his long, graceful fingers seem to be playing silent accompaniment to his conversation.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Leaving Normal (1992, comedy/drama, Christine Lahti. Rotten Tomatoes: 40%. From Janet Maslin’s 1992 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “In the prologue to ‘Leaving Normal,’ a van carrying a family suddenly takes leave of the blacktop and flies off into a starry, special-effects sky. The surreal, exuberant escape promised by that image is something this film obviously aspires to but never manages to achieve. In a star-crossed coincidence of the sort ‘Leaving Normal’ might otherwise celebrate, this story of two runaway women has appeared in the shadow of the much better ‘Thelma and Louise,’ which robs the new film of even novelty value and necessitates unflattering comparisons.” Read more…)

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