New releases 3/12/19

Top Hits
Green Book (Oscar-winning drama, Mahershala Ali. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 69. “Green Book” is an Oscar winner with a substantial amount of critical dissent. Judge for yourself! From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Green Book’ is a road movie set in 1962, long before Apple or Google Maps or Waze, but as it makes its way from New York to Alabama and back, you might nonetheless imagine a little GPS voice in your ear telling you what’s up ahead. There is virtually no milestone in this tale of interracial male friendship that you won’t see coming from a long way off, including scenes that seem too corny or misguided for any movie in its right mind to contemplate. ‘Siri, please tell me they’re not going there.’ Oh, but they are.” Read more…)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (fantasy, Eddie Redmayne. Rotten Tomatoes: 37%. Metacritic: 52. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The movie is chockablock with stuff: titular creatures [if not nearly enough], attractive people, scampering extras, eye-catching locations, tragic flashbacks, teary confessions and largely bloodless, spectacular violence. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and it’s suffocating.” Read more…)

Piercing (thriller, Christopher Abbott. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 63. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “A grisly comedic thriller written and directed by Nicolas Pesce [his 2016 horror film “The Eyes of My Mother” got some positive notes], ‘Piercing’ has an audaciousness that largely lies in splitting the difference between viewer interest and viewer exasperation. A movie that begins with a father [Christopher Abbott] standing over his newborn’s crib holding an ice pick behind his back can’t be said to be pulling any introductory punches.” Read more…)

Tyrel (drama/comedy, Jason Mitchell. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 71. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Bilge Ebiri’s Times review: “The narrative setup of a racially charged weekend trip, not to mention the sight of [actor Caleb Landry] Jones playing yet another weirdo who likes to wrestle people, will naturally prompt memories of Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out.’ But that would not be an entirely apt comparison. Tyler isn’t so much a victim as he is an odd man out who, fueled by his gathering discomfort and inebriation, further loses his bearings. But race is certainly an undercurrent here, informing and at times exacerbating Tyler’s feelings of alienation. And [actor Jason] Mitchell plays him perfectly, capturing the character’s bemusement and embarrassment, his desperation and, later, his surly, slurry dismissiveness.” Read more…)

Don’t Come Back From the Moon (drama/sci-fi, Rashida Jones. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 63. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Gentle, wistful and often quite beautiful, Bruce Thierry Cheung’s ‘Don’t Come Back From the Moon’ is a dreamlike meditation on abandoned children and dying locations. Set amid the arid emptiness of California’s Salton Sea, its almost alien landscape in perfect harmony with the movie’s title, the filament of story unfolds through the teenage eyes and low-key narration of Mickey [Jeffrey Wahlberg]. His small community, he tells us, was once a holiday destination, but the lake is shrinking and the last factory has closed.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Green Book
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

New Foreign DVDs
Daughter of Mine (Italy, drama, Valeria Golino. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Ardent and primal, ‘Daughter of Mine’ addresses complicated ideas with head-clearing simplicity. Vladan Radovic’s camera is pushy and bold, thrusting into intimate encounters and angry squabbles alike, exposing the layers of hurt and guilt that both bind and alienate the two women. The director, Laura Bispuri, is interested in the accommodations women make independent of the laws or judgment of men, but mainly she questions what it means to be a good mother.” Read more…)

Unknown Soldier (Finland, war drama, Eero Aho.)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950, film noir/gangster, James Cagney. From a 1950 New York Times review signed only by “H.H.T.” [requires log-in]: “All the snarling, mangling, triple-crossing and exterminating on the screen of the Strand yesterday morning adds up to one thing—James Cagney is back in town and right in the same old crime groove. In ‘Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,’ adapted from Horace McCoy’s novel and produced by the star’s brother, William, Mr. Cagney is taking up where he left off in last season’s ‘White Heat.’ Not nearly as rewardingly, however. The new picture has a slick veneer, some lively episodes and a couple of neat secondary performances, but as a whole comes off as a poor man’s carbon copy of “The Asphalt Jungle.'” Read more…)

The Kid Brother (1927, silent comedy, Harold Lloyd)

New TV
Modern Family: Season 6 (comedy series, Sofia Vergara)