New releases 11/17/20

Top Hits
The Broken Hearts Gallery (rom-com, Geraldine Viswanathan. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 57. From Richard Brody’s New Yorker review: “At a time when romantic comedies are often enfeebled either by sentiment or cynicism, saccharine tones or absurd premises, a new one, ‘The Broken Hearts Gallery,’ written and directed by Natalie Krinsky [and opening on Friday in some place called ‘theatres’], bridges the gap with a high concept. It is, unfortunately, a concept so high that it rarely touches the ground, and its theoretical ingenuity leaves plenty of empty dramatic space to be filled. That work is done by its lead actress, Geraldine Viswanathan, who shows, as she did in previous roles in ‘Blockers’ and ‘Bad Education,’ that she’s among the most talented performers of her generation.” Read more…)

Unhinged (mystery, Russell Crowe. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 40. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “It’s been a while since we’ve seen humans slaughtered as nature intended: on a full-sized movie screen. So, by way of encouraging those brave enough to follow the first major post-lockdown release into an actual theater, Solstice Studios presents ‘Unhinged,’ a psycho-killer story that will leave you feeling as beat-down as its casualties.” Read more…)

Summerland (World war I-era drama, Gemma Arterton. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 56. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A thumb to suck in troubled times, ‘Summerland’ offers a digit of nostalgia that many viewers will latch onto with something approaching relief. Set mainly during World War II, this picturesque debut feature from Jessica Swale is as uninterested in international conflict as Alice (Gemma Arterton), its distracted heroine.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
The Children (horror, includes DVD, 1980, Martin Shakar)

New British DVDs
The Nest (British drama mini-series, Sophie Rundle. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 68.)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Dark Star (1974, sci-fi/comedy, Dan O’Bannon. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. From Janet Maslin’s 1979 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “John Carpenter, the director of ‘Halloween,’ made ‘Dark Star’ in 1974, when ‘Star Wars’ was barely a subatomic particle in George Lucas’s eye. Accordingly, Mr. Carpenter’s space-movie send-up toys with the conventions of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ instead of trying to simulate intergalactic whizzing.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (Werner Herzog-directed documentary, bio, Bruce Chatwin. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 85. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,’ Hamlet says to his friend in the Shakespeare tragedy. Remove the air of derision from the character’s remark, and you have a possible summation of the perspective held by the filmmaker Werner Herzog and the writer and explorer Bruce Chatwin, who were friends and sometimes collaborators. Both artists shared a dogged interest in the people, sights and objects that can be found only in the farthest corners of the world — and in what those people, sights and objects have to show us about what all members of the human race have in common.” Read more…)

Prairie Trilogy (politics, history, socialism. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “These are affectionate and affecting portraits. This socialist was a learned man, a little bit of a romantic, but someone nevertheless devoted to practical solutions to very real problems. These films — which were funded, in part, by the North Dakota A.F.L.-C.I.O. — are moving and still pertinent depictions of the human realities that animate labor struggles.” Read more…)