New releases 5/23/17

Top Hits
Get Out (thriller/social comment, Daniel Kaluuya. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%. Metacritic: 84. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “In ‘Get Out,’ an exhilaratingly smart and scary freakout about a black man in a white nightmare, the laughs come easily and then go in for the kill. The writer and director, Jordan Peele [of the comedy sketch show ‘Key & Peele’], knows how to make shadowy streets into menacing ones and turn silences into warnings from the abyss. His greatest stroke in “Get Out,” though, is to have hitched these genre elements to an evil that isn’t obscured by a hockey mask, but instead throws open its arms with a warm smile while enthusiastically [and strangely] expressing its love for President Obama.” Read more…)

The Great Wall (action/martial arts, Matt Damon. Rotten Tomatoes: 35%. Metacritic: 42. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Snarling digital monsters, a glowering Matt Damon and battalions of unfaltering Chinese warriors mix it up in ‘The Great Wall,’ a painless, overstuffed spectacle that works overtime as a testament to China’s might. Set once upon a time, the movie spins a legend that never was: Every 60 years, slavering creatures emerge from beyond to sharpen their teeth on human bones and stuff their bellies on meat. The whole thing plays out as if it had been thought up by someone who, while watching ‘Game of Thrones’ and smoking a bowl, started riffing on walls, China and production money.” Read more…)

Logan (comic book action, Hugh Jackman. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 77. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “‘Logan’ is good enough that you might forget it’s a comic-book movie. It’s another entry in the tireless X-Men saga but doesn’t play like a retread or an ad for the next installment; instead, it plays, looks and sounds like a movie — an old-school meets new-school pulp filled with intimations of mortality, and raw, ugly violence. Once again, Hugh Jackman has saddled up to play the Wolverine, a mutant who also goes by Logan, and has always been the most satisfying character in the series.” Read more…)

My Life as a Zucchini (animated feature, Will Forte [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 85. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Also, because ‘My Life as a Zucchini’ is an animated film — a loving work of stop-motion cartoon handicraft and a long-shot Oscar nominee — it is more charming than grim. The orphan at large in the world is a fixture of folklore and literature as well as social-service case files, and Mr. Barras’s film, with its bigheaded, asymmetrical modeling-clay figures and off-kilter picture-book backdrops, explores a harsh situation with gentle whimsy.” Read more…)

Rock Dog (animated feature, J.K. Simmons. Rotten Tomatoes: 39%. Metacritic: 48. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The title character of ‘Rock Dog’ isn’t likely to end up on anyone’s Top 5 list of animated heroes, but the film does have a thoroughly enjoyable rocker in it. And an appealingly nasty wolf, too… The film, based on a Chinese graphic novel and directed by Ash Brannon, keeps its animation simple and its story lines clear, which makes it reliable fare for the 10-and-younger set.” Read more…)

XX (female-directed horror anthology, Natalie Brown. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 64.)

New Blu-Ray
Get Out
The Great Wall

New Foreign DVDs
Dheepan (France, drama, Antonythasan Jesuthasan. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Jacques Audiard’s ‘Dheepan,’ which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes a year ago, arrives in North American theaters having lost none of the timeliness that was widely noted last May. Screening in the South of France a few months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as the Syrian refugee problem intensified across Europe, this story of a makeshift family, tossed from a distant war zone into a French housing project, looked to many festival observers less like a work of cinematic art than like a news bulletin. A year later, as the threat of terrorism and the humanitarian challenge of migration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have precipitated something of a European identity crisis, Mr. Audiard’s film has acquired an almost prophetic aura. But while it certainly belongs to a long tradition of muscular, topical screen entertainment — its DNA bears traces of pre- and post-dictatorship Latin American cinema, of the early films of Costa-Gavras, of Old and New Hollywood agitprop — ‘Dheepan’ has more than headlines on its mind.” Read more…)

New British
Dark Angel (Victorian-era drama, Joanne Froggatt)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Midnight Movie Double Bill:
What’s the Matter With Helen? (1971, horror/thriller, Shelley Winters. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%.)
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972, horror/thriller, Shelley Winters. Rotten Tomatoes: 57%.)

New Children’s DVDs
My Life as a Zucchini (animated feature, Will Forte [voice])

Rock Dog (animated feature, J.K. Simmons)

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