New releases 8/16/16

Top Hits
Angry_BirdsThe Angry Birds Movie (animated feature, Jason Sudeikis. Rotten Tomatoes: 43%. Metacritic: 43. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “As motion pictures adapted from video games go, ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ is leagues superior to, say, 1993’s ‘Super Mario Bros.’ This new movie, which uses the bright, color-rich palette of the smartphone phenom for which it’s named, as well as its hook of nonaeronautic feathered creatures getting around via catapult, is not much beyond a superficially amiable ball of fluff.” Read more…)

The American Side (thriller, Matthew Broderick. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 65. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “The director, Jenna Ricker, who wrote the script with [lead actor Greg] Stuhr, has made a cinephile’s movie, a throwback that delights in homages [to ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ and ‘North by Northwest,’ among others] and an off-kilter sense of period [Charlie is never shown using a cellphone]. If the self-consciousness can be charming, it also prevents ‘The American Side’ from becoming fully its own film. The movie plays like an exercise for the cast members, who labor with the stylized dialogue, and for an audience flattered at catching a reference.” Read more…)

New Foreign
11 Minutes (Poland, drama, Richard Dormer. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 51. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “You could call [director Jerzy] Skolimowski, who is 77, an old dog, and while the multistranded, chronologically intricate narrative conceit of ’11 Minutes’ isn’t exactly a new trick, it’s one he pulls off with devilish panache and startling impact. His career stretches back to the 1960s, with something of a hiatus from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, and it has been characterized by an elusive but unmistakable mixture of gravity and mischief, a deep skepticism about human motives and behavior that always stops short of nihilism.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Good-bye, My Lady (1956, family drama, Walter Brennan)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970, Otto Preminger-directed drama, Liza Minnelli. Rotten Tomatoes: 25%. From Roger Ebert’s 1970 review: “Otto Preminger’s ‘Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon’ is one of his better recent films. It succeeds, among other things, in making human entertainment out of a rather unlikely story. Preminger’s on so many talk shows these days that you probably know the story better than I do, but anyway: It’s about the efforts of three handicapped people to build a new life together. Liza Minnelli has been scarred on the face and arm by acid. Ken Howard suffers strange psychosomatic seizures. Robert Moore is a homosexual paraplegic. So it’s like they don’t have a lot going for them.” Read more…)

New Television
Ray Donovan: Season 3

New Documentaries
Ingrid_BergmanIngrid Bergman—In Her Own Words (cinema history, bio, Ingrid Bergman. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 75. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Directed by Stig Bjorkman, ‘In Her Own Words’ is cinephile catnip. For those who love Bergman, the behind-the-scenes images — many taken by her — are particularly delightful for the glimpses they offer of both her professional life [Hitchcock tooling around in a backyard] and personal [notably, the charming home movies of her life with her second husband, the Italian director Roberto Rossellini]. When she wasn’t performing for the camera — or writing one of her many letters, some read here by Alicia Vikander — Bergman, whose father owned a camera store, was often looking through a lens herself. She seems to have been a relentless moviemaker, particularly of people, from screen comrades to her children, some of whom feel rather more like extras than co-stars.” Read more…)

Requiem for the American Dream (politics, economics, wealth, power, Noam Chomsky. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Daniel M. Gold’s Times review: “But citing Aristotle, Adam Smith and James Madison, among others, [Noam Chomsky] melds history, philosophy and ideology into a sobering vision of a society in an accelerating decline. He never raises his voice in this easy-listening jeremiad. ‘There’s nothing surprising about this,’ he repeats gently in describing what he sees as a 40-year trend of government bent to the will of the superrich at the expense of everyone else. ‘That’s what happens when you put power in the hands of a narrow sector.'” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
The Incredible Journey (Disney classic on DVD for 1st time, 2 dogs & 1 cat. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. From an unsigned 1963 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Leave it to the old master, Walt Disney, to provide an ideal live-action picture for the small fry — say about 3 to 10—with the holidays approaching. For ‘The Incredible Journey,’ arriving yesterday on the circuits, is about as gentle, warm and lovely a color movie as any pet owner could wish at least, for the kids.” Read more…)

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