New Releases 11/18/14

Top Hits
22 Jump Street (action comedy, Jonah Hill. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 71. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “More is more and is, at times, just right in ’22 Jump Street,’ an exploding piñata of gags, pratfalls, winking asides, throwaway one-liners and self-reflexive waggery. This is, of course, the sequel to ’21 Jump Street,’ the 2012 hit that borrowed its title and undercover brother shtick from the old television show best known for its hair-gel hottie, Johnny Depp. For a second time, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play lovable undercover cops who — in between dodging danger and jokes that fly almost as fast as they do on ‘The Simpsons’ — insinuate themselves into a juvenile population, whose resistance to these charmers has been rendered completely futile, much like that of the movie’s audience.” Read more…)

And So It Goes (comedy, Diane Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 18%. Metacritic: 48. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “A grump remembers how to care and gets together with his unsettled singing neighbor in Rob Reiner’s jokey and schmaltzy geriatric romance, ‘And So It Goes.’ It’s about as galvanizing as that shrugging title.” Read more…)

If I Stay (romance/drama, Chloe Grace Moretz. Rotten Tomatoes: 36%. Metacritic: 46. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “This summer has been bookended by two movies, both based on young adult best sellers and starring gifted and ambitious actresses, about smart, independent-minded teenage girls finding love in the shadow of death. It is hard to avoid comparing ‘If I Stay,’ which opens on Friday, with ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ but there is also no reason to choose between them. Each one is a cleanly directed, credibly acted machine for the production of tears.” Read more…)

The Wind Rises (Miyazaki animated feature, Joseph Gordon-Levitt [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 83. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “[Japanese animator Hayao] Miyazaki remains enchanted with the idea of being airborne, which animation freely lends itself to, having sent little girls, castles and even swine into flight. ‘The Wind Rises,’ his newest film, tells the fictionalized story of Jiro Horikoshi, a gifted aeronautic engineer who is historically notable — or infamous — for designing deadly warplanes used by Japan in World War II. Mr. Miyazaki’s lyrical chronicle of the inventor’s creative process and his poignant romance reminds us that staying aloft is a fraught endeavor. Yet even in this film about an absorbed artist of the floating world, premonitions of the calamitous events to come cannot be entirely absent.” Read more…)

Into the Storm (tornado/weather disaster action, Richard Armitage. Rotten Tomatoes: 21%. Metacritic: 44. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “A series of tornadoes and laughably poor evacuation decisions batter a town in Steven Quale’s ‘Into the Storm,’ which regales us with voluptuous images of devastation. Per disaster movie tradition, people trade banter, jargon and heart-to-hearts: a crew of storm chasers, a vice principal and his two sons, and other walking targets. But the tornadoes are the stars, and the giveaway is the filmmakers’ pedigree: Mr. Quale and company have logged time in the ‘Final Destination’ franchise, amassing macabre expertise in orchestrating destruction.” Read more…)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (comic book action, Bruce Willis. Rotten Tomatoes: 44%. Metacritic: 46. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “It has been almost a decade since ‘Sin City’ heaved itself on to our movie screens, a dark parade of ugly mugs and uglier behavior. Back in 2005, the film’s worshipful, impeccable realization of Frank Miller’s graphic novels was divertingly original, even if none of its characters looked quite human or breached two dimensions. Little has changed, except perhaps that the novelty has worn off.” Read more…)

Line of Duty (crime/action, Jeremy Ray Valdez)

New Blu-Rays
The Wind Rises
22 Jump Street
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982, drama, Cher. From Vincent Canby’s 1982 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “are some interesting things about Robert Altman’s ‘Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,’ but they have less to do with anything on the screen than with the manner in which the film was produced and with Mr. Altman’s unflagging if misguided faith in the project. Ed Graczyk’s screenplay, based on his flop play as directed by Mr. Altman on Broadway this year, is small, but less likely to be salvaged in the near future than even the Titanic. It’s a sincerely preposterous, bathetic, redneck comedy-drama that sounds as if its author had learned all about life by watching ”Studio One” at his mother’s knee.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
America: Imagine the World Without Her (history, politics, Dinesh D’Souza. Rotten Tomatoes: 8%. Metacritic: 15.)

New Children’s DVDs
The Wind Rises (Miyazaki animated feature, Joseph Gordon-Levitt [voice], in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 83. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “[Japanese animator Hayao] Miyazaki remains enchanted with the idea of being airborne, which animation freely lends itself to, having sent little girls, castles and even swine into flight. ‘The Wind Rises,’ his newest film, tells the fictionalized story of Jiro Horikoshi, a gifted aeronautic engineer who is historically notable — or infamous — for designing deadly warplanes used by Japan in World War II. Mr. Miyazaki’s lyrical chronicle of the inventor’s creative process and his poignant romance reminds us that staying aloft is a fraught endeavor. Yet even in this film about an absorbed artist of the floating world, premonitions of the calamitous events to come cannot be entirely absent.” Read more…)

The Man Who Saved Christmas (holiday feature, Jason Alexander. From Anita Gates’ 2002 New York Times television review [may require log-in]: “America has been in need of a hero from the business world. ‘The Man Who Saved Christmas,’ a good-natured film that has its premiere Sunday night on CBS, offers one: A. C. Gilbert, the toy maker who invented the Erector set. Of course, he made his money shortly before World War I and has been dead for 40 years.” Read more…)