New releases 6/30/20

Top Hits
The Current War (drama, Benedict Cumberbatch. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 55. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “A bucket of Oscar bait that’s been sitting around for some two years, ‘The Current War’ may still find an audience. And it should: The film certainly doesn’t reek of failure. But as its energetic early scenes give way to a sluggish second half, you start to sense how much better this good-enough movie might have been.” Read more…)

The Etruscan Smile (drama, Brian Cox. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 54. From Katie Walsh’ Los Angeles Times review: “Brian Cox brings his Scottish brogue to ‘The Etruscan Smile’ as Rory MacNeil, a role that Cox was seemingly born to play: a rough and wild man from the Hebrides off of Scotland, who gets in touch with his softer side when he’s forced to rekindle a relationship with his estranged son in San Francisco. Cox of HBO’s ‘Succession’ is the glue that holds together this maudlin picture, directed by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, and written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan and Sarah Bellwood, based on a novel by Jose Luis Sampedro.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Deerskin (France, comedy, Jean Dujardin. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 65. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A demented fetish comedy that escalates to startlingly nonchalant violence, ‘Deerskin’ [written and directed by Quentin Dupieux] flickers tantalizingly between awful and awesome. In the first category is Georges’s irrational quest to ensure that his beloved jacket be the only one left in the world; in the second is his sly dexterity in enlisting help to achieve this deranged goal.” Read more…)

Paracelsus (Germany, 1943, biography/drama dir. by G.W. Pabst, Werner Krauss. From Vincent Canby’s 1974 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “[G.W. Pabst’s] best films, including the silent ‘Joyless Street’ with Greta Garbo and ‘The Threepenny Opera’ [1931], are rather uproarious amalgams of stark realism, wild melodrama and pure poetry. Lots of elements in his films look dated today but also there is usually, something that looks totally new and surprising. ‘Paracelsus,’ considering when it was made [1943] and under what conditions, is a remarkably interesting film, though full of not especially well disguised propaganda.” Read more…)

New British DVDs
Beecham House (period drama series, Tom Bateman. Metacritic: 44. From Lucy Mangan’s Guardian review: “Sometimes you just want to gather actors to your breast, crush them close and whisper in their ears that all of this will be over soon. So it is with ITV’s new six-part drama ‘Beecham House’ The first two parts play over consecutive nights – the second episode is on Monday night – which is the equivalent of ripping off a plaster quickly. The remaining parts are to be shown over the following Sunday nights, to let some air get to the wound and hope it heals. Basically, it’s Downton Abbey relocated to late-18th-century Delhi, covering the adventures of John Beecham; the man, the chest, the legend.” Read more…)

Miss Fisher & The Crypt of Tears (mystery, Essie Davis. Rotten Tomatoes: 65.)