New Releases – 8/2/22

Top Hits

Let Them All Talk (Comedy, Meryl Streep, Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 72)

“Yet “Let Them All Talk” offers enough surprises of tone, pleasures of mood, and piquantly composed images to carry the film through with a sort of visual music, compensating for the dramatic thinness without overcoming it.” Read more…

No Sudden Move (Drama, Don Cheadle, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 76)

“No Sudden Move,” from a script by Ed Solomon (who wrote all three “Bill & Ted” movies), is for the most part a tight and twisty against-the-clock crime caper with an obvious debt to Elmore Leonard (and a family resemblance to Soderbergh’s great Detroit-set thriller “Out of Sight”). It also has things to say — at times a little too speechily — about race, real estate, capitalism and power.” Read more…

New Foreign

Fire in the Mountains (India, Vinamrata Rai; Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, IMDb: 7/10, NYT Critic’s Pick)

“…Its criticisms of patriarchal authority, bureaucratic corruption and superstition in rural India are sharp and unsparing, but its political themes are embedded in a humanism that is at once expansive and specific. The characters don’t deliver a message; their lives are the message.”  Read more…

A Tale of Love and Desire (France/Tunisia, drama, Sami Outalbali; Rotten Tomatoes: 100%, IMDb: 6.8/10)

“Intellectually rich even if jumbled, “Tale” plays like a spiritual continuation of Bouzid’s 2015 debut, “As I Open My Eyes,” in the prominence of Arab music, its political undertones related to the Arab Spring, and because it also focuses on a defiant young woman named Farah with vaguely similar characteristics. Both pieces convey a yearning for an individual and collective freedom that begins with control over one’s own body as a means of expression.” Read more…

New Documentary

Fanny: The Right to Rock (documentary, feat. Bonnie Raitt; Rotten Tomatoes: 100%, IMDb: 7.6/10)

“What the movie showcases best from its subjects, then, is the humor and ease of women who have survived a lifetime of setbacks and strife. Fanny has already proven itself — what’s left is for us to enjoy its growing catalog.” Read more…

Marx Can Wait (documentary, Italy; Rotten Tomatoes: 100%, IMDb: 7.6/10, NYT Critic’s Pick)

“Sometime in the late 1960s, Camillo Bellocchio confided in his twin brother, Marco, that he was unhappy with the way his life was going. Marco, already a well-known filmmaker and a committed leftist, counseled Camillo, who was managing a gym, to throw himself into radical politics and seek solace in the “historical optimism” of the revolutionary proletariat. Camillo doubted that his anguish could be healed through political engagement. “Marx can wait,” he told his brother. Not long after, Camillo died by suicide. He was 29.” Read more…

The Torch (documentary, Buddy Guy; Rotten Tomatoes: 77%, IMDb: 6.6/10, NYT Critic’s Pick)

“Directed by Jim Farrell, “The Torch” takes an unusual tack. It’s as much about Guy’s sense of mission as it is about his stunning musicianship. It begins with Guy on acoustic guitar, singing of how his mother identified him as a blues man when he was only 2 years old. Then we’re at Guy’s Chicago nightclub, Legends, following a young man into the club. He appears to be a fan, but he’s there to play. He’s Quinn Sullivan, a youthful protégé of Guy’s. He’s one of several musicians to whom Guy is passing the torch of the movie’s title.” Read more…

New 4K Ultra HD & Blu-Ray

Boogie Nights (1997, drama, Mark Wahlberg; Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 7.9/10) Blu-ray

From Janet Maslin’s 1997 NYT review: “Everything about “Boogie Nights” is interestingly unexpected, even the few seconds of darkness before the film’s neon title blasts onto the screen. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, whose display of talent is as big and exuberant as skywriting, seems to mean this as a way of telling viewers to brace themselves. Good advice.” Read more…

Raging Bull (Criterion Collection, drama, Robert DeNiro; Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 89) 4K Ultra HD

From Vincent Canby’s 1980 NYT review: “Taking as his starting point the troubled life of Jake La Motta, the tough New York City kid who slugged his way to the world middleweight boxing championship in 1948 and then went on to lose almost everything, Martin Scorsese (”Mean Streets,” ”Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” ”Taxi Driver”) has made his most ambitious film as well as his finest. Though ”Raging Bull” has only three principal characters, it is a big film, its territory being the landscape of the soul.” Read more…

New TV

The Art of Crime/L’Art du Crime: First Five Seasons (French tv crime series, Philippe Duclos; IMDb: 7.1/10)

“…the real draw, other than the art, is Paris. How they got to shoot inside the Louvre (because if that’s not the actual Louvre then Hollywood needs to bang down the door of the production designers) must be a modern miracle. And the shots in the Garnier Opera House are stunning. The setting in the Loire valley’s Amboise Castle made me want to hop on a plane right away. The cinematography throughout the series is stunning. Each season seemed to use a different team.

There is nothing hard hitting about “The Art of the Crime;” it’s just an enjoyable puzzle for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.” Read more…

Unpregnant (HBO, dramedy, Haley Lu Richardson; Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 6.1/10)

“Unpregnant,” directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, never quite reaches the sharp comic style of those other raucous movies, but it distinguishes itself in its destination. As the girls navigate their journey, it’s easy to read their absurd snafus as a metaphor for the obstacles to women’s health care.” Read more…

 

New Cult

Blood Bath aka Track of the Vampire (1966, horror, William Campbell; IMDb: 5.2/10)

“Okay, technically Corman didn’t direct it but Corman’s aura is all over the film and it’s such a fun curiosity that it’s hard not to completely adore the film even in its most awful moments.

In the film, William Campbell stars as Sordi, a painter who invites models to his bell tower studio where he kills them, covers them in wax and paints their portraits. There’s a storyline involving reincarnation, both his and that of Dorean (Lori Saunders). He kills a friend of Dorean’s, Daisy (Playboy Playmate Marissa Mathes), and Daisy’s sister (Sandra Knight). Indie horror icon Sid Haig is even here as one of a group of artists who come to the rescue. As one might expect given Corman’s involvement, there’s a bit of a twist in how everything actually plays out.

While certainly not anywhere near the best film to have Corman’s name attached to it, Blood Bath is still an awful lot of fun and a quality B-movie. ” Read more…