New releases 6/8/21

Top Hits
Shoplifters of the World (comedy, Helena Howard. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 52. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘Shoplifters of the World,’ a loving gift to superfans of the English band The Smiths, is, we are told at the beginning, ‘based on true intentions.’ I can’t argue with that: Written and directed by Stephen Kijak [who made the fantastic 2008 documentary ‘Scott Walker: 30 Century Man’], this sweetly nostalgic look at lost boys and lonely girls feels like it comes straight from the heart.” Read more…)

City of Lies (true crime/procedural, Johnny Depp. Rotten Tomatoes: 51%. Metacritic: 44. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “At heart a movie about one man’s self-destructive obsession [Poole was forced to resign two weeks shy of his pension], ‘City of Lies’ has an underlying, unexpected poignancy. The look is grimy and the atmosphere is grim; but what could have been a moody character study or a taut conspiracy thriller is instead a dreary procedural, a misbegotten mush of flashbacks, voice-overs and dead ends.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Center Stage (China, 1992, drama, Maggie Cheung. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Chain Lightning (1950, drama/adventure/romance, Humphrey Bogart. From A. Weiler’s 1950 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Make no mistake about it, Warner Brothers, who obviously want audiences to know where they’re going, are aware that we’re living on a supercharged planet. And, in ‘Chain Lightning,’ which, zipped into the Strand on Saturday, they are proving that they are first on the jet-propelled bandwagon with Hollywood’s initial excursion into the wild blue yonder aboard the propellerless, supersonic aircraft. Like its title, this vehicle moves with exciting speed when it is airborne, but it slows down to a plodding walk as routine as a mailman’s rounds when it hits the ground.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Busting (1974, action, Elliott Gould. From Vincent Canby’s 1974 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “[Peter] Hyams, who wrote and directed ‘Busting,’ brings off something of a feat by making a contemporary cop film that is tough without exploiting the sort of right-wing cynicism that tells us all to go out and buy our own guns. It is also comparatively humane. That is, it acknowledges that when cops and robbers are shooting it out in public places, the bystanders often get hurt.” Read more…)

Crescendo (1970, mystery/suspense, Stefanie Powers)

New Documentaries
Stray (feral dogs in Istanbul. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “As simple as its title and as complex as the city it briefly illuminates, ‘Stray,’ Lo’s sharp-eyed documentary about the street dogs of Istanbul, unspools without narration or anything like a plot. Instead, the restless rhythms of the mutts’ uncertain existence lend a poetic randomness to a movie that’s more contemplative than cute.” Read more…)

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words (politics, legal system, race, bio, Clarence Thomas. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 41. From Jennifer Szalai’s New York Times review: “The producers, Michael Pack and Gina Cappo Pack, spent more than 30 hours interviewing [Justice Clarence] Thomas and his wife, Virginia. Simply getting to watch Thomas expound on his thoughts for an extended length of time constitutes its own kind of novelty — a surprise that begins to wear off when it becomes clear that Thomas will mostly be rehashing the life story he already recounted in his 2007 memoir.” Read more…)

Punk The Capital: Building A Sound Movement (music, popular culture, punk rock)