New Releases 7/5/22

Top Hits

Everything Everywhere All at Once –  (science fiction/comedy, Michelle Yeoh) Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 81 Must-See, NYT Critic’s Pick. ‘“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” an exuberant swirl of genre anarchy directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The filmmakers — who work under the name Daniels and who are best known for the wonderfully unclassifiable “Swiss Army Man” (starring Daniel Radcliffe as a flatulent corpse) — are happy to defy the laws of probability, plausibility and coherence. This movie’s plot is as full of twists and kinks as the pot of noodles that appears in an early scene. Spoiling it would be impossible. Summarizing it would take forever — literally!” – Read more…

Downton Abbey: A New Era – (British, drama, Elizabeth McGovern, Dame Maggie Smith) Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, Certified Fresh; Metacritic: 63. “The stately series that began its story with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 has now arrived at the tail end of the 1920s. The choppy waters of modernity are materializing on the horizon. To stay afloat, this amiable sequel decides to ever so slightly democratize itself: The upstairs-downstairs division that has long separated the estate’s masters from their servants begins to leak.” – Read more…

Mosquito State – (drama/horror, Beau Knapp) Rotten Tomatoes: 62%. Metacritic: 56. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “From its gorgeous opening credits to a peculiarly poignant and lyrical finale, this mesmerically slow-moving tale [directed by Filip Jan Rymsza and written by Rymsza and Mario Zermeno] works to forge a fragile link between psychic and societal breakdowns. Richard may be an algorithm savant, but his colleagues refuse to listen when his computer model warns of looming market instability. Holed up in his cavernous penthouse, all brutalist décor and dim lighting, he fumes, consoled only by the buzzing mosquito whose bites are transforming his body and whose offspring are rapidly colonizing his home.” Read more…

See for Me – (mystery, Laura Vandervoort) Rotten Tomatoes:80%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 59. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Ever since Audrey Hepburn tiptoed around three home-invading thugs in “Wait Until Dark” (1967), the blind-person-in-peril narrative has been something of an entertainment staple. And while Randall Okita’s “See For Me” offers the novelty of a disabled character who is rather less than morally upstanding, this uninvolving thriller is as lacking in tension as credibility.” Read more…

An American Pickle – (time travel comedy, Seth Rogen) Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 58. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘An American Pickle,” a time-travel farce directed by Brandon Trost and adapted from a New Yorker story by Simon Rich, marinates crisp almost-timeliness in the mild brine of nostalgia. It’s not too salty or too sour, and it’s neither self-consciously artisanal nor aggressively, weirdly authentic. The subject, more or less, is what it means to be Jewish, and given how contentious that topic can become — can I get an oy vey? — the movie finds an agreeable, occasionally touching vein of humor.” Read more…

New Blu-Ray & 4K Ultra HD Discs

The Last Waltz – 4K UltraHD & Blu-Ray (1978, concert documentary dir. by Martin Scorsese, The Band) Rotten Tomatoes: 98%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 88. From Janet Maslin’s 1978 New York Times review [requiores log-in]: “Martin Scorsese had the makings of a better-than-average concert movie at his disposal when he made ‘The Last Waltz,’ but the film is full of evidence that Mr. Scorsese had something more ambitious in mind. One exquisitely edited sequence of the Band performing “The Weight,” filmed on a soundstage by cameras that sway and rotate with the music, infuses the interaction of a rock band with more joy and lyricism than any other rock film has ever approached. A guest appearance at the concert by the singer Van Morrison, now paunchy and balding but triumphantly galvanizing just the same, makes for a moment rich with both euphoria and regret.” Read more…

New Foreign DVDs

The Worst Person In the World – (Norway, comedy, Renate Reinsve) Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 90, Must See. New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scot’s Times review: “Most of ‘The Worst Person in the World’ follows Julie through the delights and frustrations of two significant relationships: with Aksel [Anders Danielsen Lie], a graphic novelist in his 40s; and with Eivind [Herbert Nordrum], a barista closer to her own age. To the extent that this is the tale of a young woman choosing between alternative suitors, it suggests romantic comedy, a genre Trier both subverts and satisfies.” Read more…

The Rose Maker – (France, comedy, Catherine Frot) Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 63. From Teo Bugbee’s New York Times review: “The director Pierre Pinaud doesn’t strain the high jinks for belly laughs, nor does he push for tears when it comes to forging the cross-class bonds between his characters. It’s a relaxed film, one that allows the audience to sit back and, if not smell the roses, then at least appreciate them. Just as they are for Eve, the flowers are this film’s raison d’être — a reminder that glimpsing beauty is reason enough.” Read more…

New Documentaries

Alaskan Nets – (Documentary) Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. “To say that the story of Alaskan Nets is fascinating is an understatement. There’s a lot at play for these students, more than just a basketball team’s journey to the top. For Harasimowicz and his crew, there’s no guarantee that the Chiefs will make it to the championships. Along with being needed for their family’s fishing business, Metlakatla is a remote location. The team must take multi-day trips to compete against other schools — often sleeping in the opposing team’s libraries and gyms. Then there are the harsh realities of living in that area of Alaska as two former Chiefs are killed in a diving accident. These sobering events are not lost on the players and their futures…Alaskan Nets shows all this vividly and engagingly.” – Read more…

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)

Virgin Suicides – (1999, Criterion Collection, drama, Kirsten Dunst) Rotten Tomatoes: 78%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 76
“Ms. Coppola has carefully preserved the spirit of her source and, for the most part, succeeded in her efforts to find a visual idiom appropriate to the lush melancholy of the novel’s language. Edward Lachman, the director of photography, shoots the bright colors of the 1970’s as if through a layer of gauze. His dimmed, fuzzy tones suggest the darkening shades of memory.” – Read more…