New releases 9/11/18

Top Hits
Ocean’s 8 (action, Sandra Bullock. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 61. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The party gets started early in ‘Ocean’s 8,’ a frothy female-driven caper. Stuffed with talented, beautiful women playing naughty, this is the latest addition to the cycle that was once about an improbably suave thief, Danny Ocean [George Clooney], and his mostly male band of charming accomplices. Danny is now out of the picture, and Sandra Bullock has stepped in to play his sister, Debbie Ocean, who’s soon overseeing her own con with a knowing smile and the usual suspects, including a partner in crime, a hacker, a pickpocket and a distraction, played with fizz and delectable timing by Anne Hathaway.” Read more…)

Hearts Beat Loud (drama/music, Nick Offerman. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 65. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A bubble gum movie with a soundtrack to match, Brett Haley’s ‘Hearts Beat Loud’ doesn’t try very hard to sell itself or press its point. How could it, with Nick Offerman as one of the two leads? The man has made a career [primarily as a misanthropic government worker on ‘Parks and Recreation’] of leaning back and asking the audience to come to him, and, by and large, we have.” Read more…)

Goldstone (Australia, crime/thriller, Aaron Pedersen. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 78. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Given how few people live in the tiny mining outpost of ‘Goldstone,’ the abundance of wickedness is astonishing. Yet this parched Outback western, awash in noirish mannerisms and a sunstroke-inducing palette, harbors a robust social conscience beneath its hotbed of bribery and sex trafficking.” Read more…)

Superfly (action/remake, Trevor Jackson. Rotten Tomatoes: 52%. Metacritic: 52. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The American Dream is invoked several times in ‘Superfly.’ The mentions come from the movie’s lead character, and from a song on the soundtrack. These days, it seems, the phrase is often used ironically. It’s all about the accumulation of wealth and a sybaritic lifestyle. There’s no spiritual dimension, no sense of genuine civic aspiration. Within those cynically defined contemporary parameters, Youngblood Priest [Trevor Jackson, dressed to the nines and sporting what one character derides as ‘Morris Day hair’] is doing well.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Oceans 8
From Beyond (H.P. Lovecraft horror, Jeffrey Combs. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. From Vincent Canby’s 1986 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘From Beyond’ … is funny in the way of pulp fiction condescended to by superior intellects and special-effects experts. ‘From Beyond’ is an updated adaptation of an old H. P. Lovecraft tale about those malignant creatures that share our world, unseen, existing in their fourth dimension just waiting to get back into ours. With the help of computer technology and something called a ”resonator,” Dr. Pretorious has provided the means by which these beings can return.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Cold Water (France, 1994, Olivier Assayas coming-of-age drama, Virginie Ledoyen. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From J. Hoberman’s New York Times review on the occasion of its first U.S. release in 2018: “Nodding to François Truffaut’s ‘The 400 Blows’ and Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Pierrot le Fou,’ ‘Cold Water” is a self-aware descendant of the French New Wave. Like Truffaut and Godard, [director Olivier] Assayas turned from critic to filmmaker after a stint with Cahiers du Cinéma; the French-Hungarian actor Laszlo Szabo, a frequent supporting player in New Wave films, has a scene here as Gilles’s father. But ‘Cold Water,’ which Mr. Assayas has characterized in some ways as being autobiographical, is even more forcefully a post-New Wave generational statement.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
For a Good Time, Call… (2011, comedy, Ari Graynor. Rotten Tomatoes: 56%. Metacritic: 55. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘For a Good Time, Call …’ doesn’t aspire to be more than a broad, sloppy, old-fashioned sitcom with a sexy gimmick. But it is quite funny, and at the screening I attended, the loudest laughs came from young women in the audience. There are the usual sitcom intrusions and ridiculous plot twists.” Read more…)

The Tree of Life (2011, drama, Criterion Collection, Jessica Chastain. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 85. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review [requires log-in]: “The Day of Judgment, prophesied for last weekend, has apparently been postponed, but moviegoers eager for rapture can find consolation — to say nothing of awe, amazement and grist for endless argument — in ‘The Tree of Life,’ Terrence Malick’s new film, which contemplates human existence from the standpoint of eternity. Recently showered with temporal glory at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d’Or, this movie, Mr. Malick’s fifth feature in 38 years, folds eons of cosmic and terrestrial history into less than two and a half hours. Its most provocative sequences envision the origin of the universe, the development of life on earth [including a few soulful dinosaurs] and then, more concisely and less literally, the end of time, when the dead of all the ages shall rise and walk around on a heavenly beach.” Read more…)

New TV
This Is Us: Season 2 (comedy/drama, Milo Ventimiglia. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%.)

New Documentaries
Filmworker (cinema history, movie making, Stanley Kubrick. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 73. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Intrigued by Kubrick’s exacting and innovative methods — for example, shooting ‘Barry Lyndon’ as much as possible with candles, torches and sunlight — [actor and documentary subject Leon] Vitali set off to study the craft of moviemaking. His quest led him back to Kubrick, just as the director was starting to work on his 1980 film, ‘The Shining.’ In short order, Mr. Vitali became a casting consultant [he auditioned child actors for the role of Danny Torrance] and then a factotum for Kubrick. In ‘Filmworker,’ a documentary directed by Tony Zierra, Mr. Vitali tells his story.” Read more…)

That Summer (Edith & Edie Beale, Grey Gardens from a different perspective. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “‘That Summer,’ a new documentary directed by Goran Hugo Olsson, sheds further light on the Beales with footage shot before the making of ‘Grey Gardens.’ The photographer Peter Beard, whose camera appreciated both the wilds of Africa and the supermodels and superstars of the 1960s and ’70s, opens the film from his Montauk home. Now 80, he pages through a coffee-table book of his own photography and reminisces.” Read more…)