New releases 5/10/22

Top Hits
Dog (comedy, Channing Tatum. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 61. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Road comedies that pair an animal and a movie star are a minor genre unto themselves. The best examples, in my opinion, involve Clint Eastwood and an orangutan named Clyde, though the recent one with Eastwood and a rooster wasn’t bad. Channing Tatum is a different kind of screen presence — sweeter, chattier, bulkier — and in ‘Dog,’ which he directed with Reid Carolin, he amiably shares the screen with [spoiler alert!] a dog.” Read more…)

Martyr’s Lane (horror, Denise Gough. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, Certified Fresh. From Phil Hoad’s Guardian review: “This is a supernatural mystery set in fusty parish England rather than pure horror – though its visual vocabulary becomes increasingly gothic as it progresses; Ruth Platt’s third film is at first almost too subtle for its own good. As Leah’s new friend directs her to small objects around the house and grounds, including minuscule letter-bearing dice, Platt’s storytelling is high-risk, almost obscure, leaving viewers much to infer. Partly it’s because it is told from the point of view of a child with a tactile fetish for trinkets; but it actually means ‘Martyrs Lane’ is highly atmospheric, a diaphanous world of billowing curtains, lamplight circles and luminous stained glass.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Playground (France, drama, Maya Vanderbeque. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 86, Must See. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “This is the first feature from the writer-director Laura Wandel, and it’s a knockout, as flawlessly constructed as it is harrowing. By the time the first scene has ended, Wandel has set the anxious mood, introduced her characters, established the visual design and created a richly inhabited world that’s disturbingly familiar.” Read more…)

Kandisha (France, horror, Mathilde Lamusse. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 59. From From Erik Piepenberg’s New York Times review: “‘Kandisha’ is the latest film from Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, whose 2007 debut “Inside” was a face of the grisly genre known as the New French Extremity. Here they tone down the bloodletting with a story that explores feminism and post-colonialism with a supernatural spin. It‘s scary, even though the film sometimes detours into broad-brush teens vs. monster territory.” Read more…)

Gagarine (France, drama, Lyna Khoudri. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 74. From Beatrice Loayza’s New York Times review: “In August of 2019, Cité Gagarine — a once-aspirational housing project located in the eastern suburbs of Paris, one of the last strongholds of the French Communist Party — was demolished as a crowd of its former residents watched from a distance. In ‘Gagarine,’ by the filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh, this real-life moment is re-envisioned with a heavy dose of magical realism, foregrounding the dreams of a new generation that build upon the structure’s utopian roots.“ Read more…)

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (France, 1955, drama, Danielle Darrieux. From Bosley Crowther’s 1959 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Why in the world there should ever have been any question raised about the morality of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover,’ which opened at the Little Carnegie yesterday, is beyond this observer’s comprehension.This old-fashioned French film version of the outspoken D. H. Lawrence novel, which was something of a shocker thirty years ago, is no more illustrative of lewdness or disregard for moral rectitude than have been any number of licensed movies going back to ‘The Dangerous Age.’” Read more…)

Julietta (France, 1953, comedy/romance, Dany Robin. From Bosley Crowther’s 1957 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Since the French film ‘Julietta,’ which came to the Paris yesterday, is strictly a ‘summer picture,’ they couldn’t have hit a better day to put it in the theatre. The cooling system was working fine.As for ‘Julietta,’ it is a thoroughly flimsy bagatelle about a fellow confronted with a problem of juggling two dames in his home at the same time.” Read more…)

Miklós Jancsó Collection:
The Round-Up (Hungary, 1966, period drama)
The Red and the White (Hungary, 1967, period drama)
The Confrontation (Hungary, 1969, political drama)
Winter Wind (Hungary, political drama)
Red Psalm (Hungary, 1971, 1890s period drama)
Electra, My Love (Hungary, 1974, adaptation of Greek play)

New British DVDs
Secrets of the Six Wives (drama/reenactment/history, Lucy Worsley. From Margaret Lyons’ capsule New York Times review: “The historian and TV host Lucy Worsley profiles the six wives of Henry VIII in this new three-part mini-series. The show includes Worsley in period garb, joining in the dramatic re-enactments, and also popping up to offer fun facts as though she’s the most enthusiastic social studies teacher ever.” Read more…)

New TV
The Good Fight: Season 5 (legal drama, Christine Baranski)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Desert Hearts (1985, groundbreaking lesbian romance, Helen Shaver. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 67. From Clayton Dillard’s Slant review upon the movie’s theatrical re-release in 2017: “Deitch shoots with an eye for wide-open spaces but also configures numerous interior scenes around their Sirkian potential to reveal smaller clusters of prejudice within larger societal structures. As in All That Heaven Allows, the central lovers’ blossoming attraction is configured around the gaze and thoughts of others.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (movie history, sex, Mamie Van Doren. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 64. From Jade Budowski’s Decider review: “While things could easily feel tedious and slip into the salacious, ‘Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies’ manages to balance its more lighthearted, smirking sequences with genuinely intriguing and important social and political commentary. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or do anything particularly exciting, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. We get all the information we might hope for and then some, plus some wonderfully unfiltered interviews with icons from both on-screen and off.” Read more…)