New releases 1/12/21

Top Hits
Jungleland (boxing drama, Charlie Hunnam. Rotten Tomatoes: 74%. Metacritic: 53. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Steely Dan once famously mocked ‘show business kids makin’ movies of themselves.’ If ‘Jungleland,’ directed by Max Winkler, son of the actor Henry, is any indication, those kids should stick to that pursuit because they don’t have a clue about other people.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Babylon Berlin: Season 3 (Germany, pre-World War II German drama series, Volker Bruch. From Mike Hale’s New York Times Critic’s Notebook article: “Parallels to our current situation can probably be found everywhere if you look hard enough, but the picture in ‘Babylon Berlin’ of honest cops trying to do their jobs while the social order collapses around them is certainly apt. While the incipient fascists, as well as the writers of ‘Demons of Passion,’ look forward to perfecting the human race in machine-like terms, one character after another — an obsessive forensics technician, an overextended detective — snaps and melts down in violent rage.” Read more…)

New TV
Star Trek: Picard: Season 1 (Star Trek franchise series, Patrick Stewart. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 76. From Mike Hale’s New York Times TV review: “‘Picard,’ the second streaming ‘Star Trek’ series [after ‘Discovery’], is a peak-TV experience, and it immediately feels — on the surface, at least — as if it could be the franchise’s best small-screen offering.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Our Time Machine (art, family, Alzheimer’s. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 84. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Directed by S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun, ‘Our Time Machine’ shows Maleonn, an energetic and still boyish-looking fellow now in his 40s, enlisting his parents as collaborators in a multidisciplinary work called “Papa’s Time Machine.” The work is a tribute to his parents and also a way to preserve portions of the past, which are slipping away from Ma Ke as dementia erodes his memory.” Read more…)

Epicentro (Cuba, documentary, Cold War, imperialism. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 70. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Epicentro’ takes a similarly free-form approach to exploring vestiges of imperialism in Cuba, a country Sauper portrays as having been picked apart by Spain, the United States and finally privileged tourists — including Sauper himself. The connections he draws are unexpected and frequently fascinating, although in this film the synthesis isn’t as clear as in the others.” Read more…)