New releases 10/23/18

Top Hits
Sorry To Bother You (race satire/drama/comedy, Lakeith Stanfield. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Stick to the script.’ That’s the first rule at the telemarketing firm where Cassius Green, an Oakland striver-slash-stoner, finds a job. Sales reps are supposed to start with ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ which is the title of Boots Riley’s movie about Cassius’s rise, fall and bizarre sideways bounces. Mr. Riley is not sorry at all. If you’re not bothered — also tickled, irked, mystified and provoked — then you’ve fallen asleep on the job. It’s fair to say that ‘Sorry to Bother You’ sticks to its own script, but crucial to add that the script in question flips, swerves, meanders and all but explodes in a flurry of ideas and inspirations.” Read more…)

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (musical/comedy, Amanda Seyfried. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 60. From Wesley Morris’ New York Times review: “Most of the musical sequences are creaky, but not that far from some of what Damien Chazelle was going for with the singing and dancing in ‘La La Land’: passionate amateurism. But that’s some of what made the first movie such a kick. Nobody was Barbra Streisand. None of the songs were Stephen Sondheim’s. You were watching very good actors do karaoke in an Anglo-Nordic telenovela. Now you’re watching them do it in a sequel, which means you’re also watching something more inscrutably sad: karaoke of karaoke.” Read more…)

I Think We’re Alone Now (drama/mystery, Peter Dinklage. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 51. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “A haunting first half can’t offset the absurd ending of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now,’ a post-apocalyptic tale with a late plot twist that feels as if it comes out of left field. And right field. And center field, the stands and the dugout, too.” Read more…)

An Elephant’s Journey (family/adventure, Elizabeth Hurley)

New Blu-Ray
Sorry To Bother You
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

New Foreign DVDs
The Idol (Palestine, drama, Tawfeek Barhom. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 66. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Hany Abu-Assad’s ‘The Idol’ expands on the underdog story of Mohammed Assaf, an acclaimed Palestinian pop singer from the Gaza Strip. Mr. Assaf earned fame by winning ‘Arab Idol’ in 2013 after trekking to auditions in Egypt. As portrayed in this admiring fictionalized feature, he just about has the power of traveling singers of myth, able to cross insurmountable barriers and sway hearts with his honeyed voice. But Mr. Abu-Assad’s pop filmmaking is resolutely simple in its approach and efficiently sentimental.” Read more…)

A Kid (France, family drama, Pierre Deladonchamps)

New Documentaries
Uncle Howard (gay & lesbian history, culture, New York, Howard Brookner, William S. Burroughs. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “‘Uncle Howard’ begins with a scene portraying its director, Aaron Brookner, as a man on a mission. Filmed with a shaky video camera, he follows the poet John Giorno into his apartment, hot on the trail of a cache of films made by Mr. Brookner’s uncle, Howard Brookner. Howard Brookner completed only three features before dying of AIDS in 1989. The first two were documentaries, and he took his subjects seriously enough to spend years with them. He began his 1983 movie, ‘Burroughs,’ about the provocative Beat writer William S. Burroughs, in 1978, while studying film at New York University. Two fellow students, the future filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Tom DiCillo, worked with Howard on that project, and Aaron interviews them extensively here. The movie is a deft sort of dual narrative. It’s the story of Howard’s artistic and personal life, and a story of the stages of Aaron’s discovery of it.” Read more…)

21 x New York (human condition in 21st century western society)