New Releases 1/7/14

Top Hits
Closed Circuit (thriller, Eric Bana. Rotten Tomatoes: 40%. Metacritic: 51. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Closed Circuit, a slick, tasty slice of late-summer nonsense from Britain, comes soaked in gunmetal blue and paranoia. The anxiety is well founded: they’re watching us. A lot — especially through the ubiquitous closed-circuit television cameras that dot London like neighborhood constables or plague sores, depending on your view of life in the surveillance state. Millions of these cameras watch over Britain, at least half of which seem as if they’d been tapped for this movie to lord down from lampposts and buildings over the little people below, including a concerned-looking yet manly Eric Bana and an equally fretful, fetching Rebecca Hall.” Read more…)

And While We Were Here (romance/drama, Kate Bosworth. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 46. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “While watching Kat Coiro’s dour marital drama, And While We Were Here, I realized with a mixture of sadness and relief that adultery and erotic discontent, at least in the movies, are not what they used to be. They’ve lost any frisson of the exotic and forbidden. The film, in which Kate Bosworth and Iddo Goldberg play a young married couple who travel to Italy and face the reality of their loveless marriage, is an undisguised homage to Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy and, to a lesser extent, Michelangelo Antonioni’s film L’Avventura.” Read more…)

The Painting (France, animated drama, Jean Barney [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 70. From Anita Gates New York Times review: “Ramo loves Claire, but he is an Alldunn, and she is a Halfie, and their romance is forbidden in the world of Le Tableau, a French animated film now released in English as The Painting. The children’s-story premise is that these people live in a painting, which the artist left unfinished. [In Claire’s case, her face has not been colored in; from the neck up, she looks like a black-and-white Modigliani.]” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Closed Circuit
The Painting
Cabaret (1972, drama/musical, Liza Minnelli. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%.)
Doctor Zhivago (1965, epic, Omar Sharif. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%.)
How the West Was Won (1962, western, James Stewart. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Ben-Hur (1959, historical epic, Charlton Heston. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%.)
A Star Is Born (1954,, drama, Judy Garland. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%.)
A Letter to Three Wives (1949,drama/romance, Jeanne Crain. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%.)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956, thriller, James Stewart. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%.)
The Big Parade (1925, war drama/silent, John Gilbert. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Cavalcade (1933, Noel Coward-scripted epic, Clive Brook. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%.)
Parade’s End (HBO mini-series, romance, drama, Benedict Cumberbatch. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%.)
Girls: Season 1
Girls: Season 2
Veep: Season 1
Magic City: Season 1

New Foreign
The Painting (France, animated drama, Jean Barney [voice], in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 70. From Anita Gates New York Times review: “Ramo loves Claire, but he is an Alldunn, and she is a Halfie, and their romance is forbidden in the world of Le Tableau, a French animated film now released in English as The Painting. The children’s-story premise is that these people live in a painting, which the artist left unfinished. [In Claire’s case, her face has not been colored in; from the neck up, she looks like a black-and-white Modigliani.]” Read more…)

New Classics (pre-1960)
Cavalcade (1933, Noel Coward-scripted epic, Clive Brook. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1933 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “It is a most affecting and impressive picture that the Fox studios have produced from Noel Coward’s stage panorama, Cavalcade. It reached the Gaiety last night and, without having seen the original, one senses the genuine quality of the film and also the advantages that have been taken of the camera’s far-seeing eye. Never for an instant is the story, which takes one through three decades of life in England, lost sight of, notwithstanding the inclusion of remarkable scenes of throngs in war and peace, and it is a relief to observe that the obvious is left to the spectator’s imagination.” Read more…)

New British
Copper: Season 2

New TV
The Following: Season 1

New Documentaries
Inequality for All (economics, poverty, wealth distribution, Robert Reich. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 68. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The concentration of our country’s wealth among the very rich has gone from being an unsettling factoid to a rallying cry, and Jacob Kornbluth’s Inequality for All hands the bullhorn to Robert Reich, the labor secretary under President Bill Clinton. Rather than through a harangue or a lament, Mr. Reich ties together his talking points with a reasonable-sounding analysis and an unassuming warmth sometimes absent from documentaries charting America’s economic woes.” Read more…)