New releases 4/20/21

Top Hits
Body Brokers (drama, Jack Kilmer. Rotten Tomatoes: 64%. Metacritic: 64. From Noel Murray’s Los Angeles Times review: “‘Body Brokers’ is too fascinating and deeply felt to dismiss. For every bluntly melodramatic moment, there are three or four that are bracingly real, detailing Utah’s disillusionment as he realizes not all of his ‘helpers’ are on the up-and-up. The plot here is too plain, but the details are vivid and the outrage palpable. If nothing else, this movie is one hell of an education.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on “The Exorcist” (filmmaking, movie history, William Friedkin. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 75. From Glenn Kenny’s RogerEbert.com review: “If you’ve read the great director’s memoir or seen him introducing his films at rep houses, you know that Friedkin, now 85, is operating in a kind of avuncular mode. An autodidact raised in poverty in Chicago, he is remarkably erudite in conversation, or ‘conversation,’ and from the very beginning the correspondences he makes between the formation of his own aesthetic and the way “fate” conspired to lead him to direct ‘The Exorcist’ are dazzling.” Read more…)

There’s Always Tomorrow (1955, romantic melodrama, Barbara Stanwyck. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1956 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Have mercy on Dad. That’s the thesis of Universal’s ‘There’s Always Tomorrow,’ a little tale of domestic relations that came to the Palace yesterday. Here is the situation:Fred MacMurray is comfortably wed to Joan Bennett. He has a nice business, three blossoming children and a tidy home. But his family takes him for granted—treats him slightly worse than a dog. Then along comes Barbara Stanwyck, an old sweetheart—successful, unattached. She is nostalgic, sympathetic. Naturally, Dad falls. What happens next is cut to order—routine procedure, as they say.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Spiral: Seasons 7 & 8 (France, mystery series, Caroline Proust)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
History Is Made at Night (1937, drama, Criterion Collection, Charles Boyer. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Frank S. Nugent’s 1937 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Walter Wanger’s ‘History Is Made at Night,’ which the gentle week-end zephyrs wafted into the Rivoli, is as unreasonably likable a film as we have chuckled over and snorted at this season… As a literary exercise, it is nothing short of multidexterous: a farce with one hand, melodrama with the next, comedy with a third, tragedy a fourth. We have no idea what the average would be. Only an extremely clever cast could have kept the story within credible limits. And that is the picture’s saving virtue: it has an ingratiating group of players, each carrying out his assignment to the letter.” Read more…)

So Proudly We Hail (1943, World War II, Claudette Colbert. From Bosley Crowther’s 1943 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “For the basic fault in this picture is that it sets up the illusion of place but fails to maintain it with the illusion of genuine people there. And so we behold the horror of Bataan through a transparency, through the studiously disheveled glamour of the Misses Colbert, Goddard and Lake.” Read more…)