New releases 6/7/22

Top Hits
The Northman (action/adventure, Alexander Skarsgård. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 82, Must See. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “[Director Robert] Eggers, who wrote the screenplay with the Icelandic novelist and playwright Sjon, has conjured this bloody saga out of the ancient Scandinavian narratives that supplied Shakespeare’s source material. His raw material, you might say, since ‘The Northman’ insists on the primal, brutal, atavistic dimensions of the tale.” Read more…)

The Contractor (action, Chris Pine. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 52. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Written by J.P. Davis and directed by Tarik Saleh, ‘The Contractor’ finds its genre groove once James signs up with the company. As more pieces click into place, the filmmakers heat up the story and the atmosphere, creating a mounting sense of unease.” Read more…)

Marvelous and the Black Hole (comedy, Miya Cech. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 64. From Concepción de León’s New York Times review: “Sammy Ko [Miya Cech], the protagonist of this dark coming-of-age comedy, ticks all the boxes of adolescent angst. She smokes and acts out at school; secretly gives herself tattoos with a rudimentary rig in her bedroom; and lashes out at her father, Angus [Leonardo Nam], for dating so soon after the death of her mother.” Read more…)

Together (comedy, James McAvoy. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 59. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Like an awful herald of what could lie in wait as future filmmakers grapple with our ongoing viral nightmare, Stephen Daldry’s ‘Together’ is an almost punishing watch. That it’s bearable at all is entirely because of the superlative acting skills of James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan as an unnamed couple forced to endure an extended London lockdown. In place of a plot, we get a setup: They can’t stand the sight of each other.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray & 4K Ultra HD Discs
Double Indemnity 4K (1944, film noir, Barbara Stanwyck. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 95, Must See. From Bosley Crowther’s 1944 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The cooling-system in the Paramount Theatre was supplemented yesterday by a screen attraction designed plainly to freeze the marrow in an audience’s bones. ‘Double Indemnity’ is its title, and the extent of its refrigerating effect depends upon one’s personal repercussion to a long dose of calculated suspense. For the sole question in this picture is whether Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray can kill a man with such cool and artistic deception that no one will place the blame on them and then maintain their composure under Edward G. Robinson’s studiously searching eye.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Compartment No. 6 (Russia, drama, Seidi Haarla. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “When the heroine in ‘Compartment No. 6’ gets into a car with a guy who has been giving her nothing but grief, you may silently shriek: What is she thinking? You may also judge her for what looks like a bad decision or damn the filmmaker for putting yet another woman in hackneyed straits. Vulnerable women and dangerous men are clichés, but they’re also turned on their heads in this smart, emotionally nuanced film that rarely goes where you expect.” Read more…)

Introduction (South Korea, drama, Shin Seokho. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 77. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Introduction,’ [South Korean director] Hong Samgsoo’s slender 25th feature, is divided into three parts, each one concerning the same young man. These vignettes show him dealing with various other people, including [separately] his parents, his girlfriend and a movie star. Whether we are watching three parts of the same story, and whether they are arranged chronologically or according to some other principle, aren’t questions that are easily answered.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Fugitive (1947, drama directed by John Ford, Henry Fonda. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1947 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Out of the flood of pictures which opened on Broadway yesterday emerges in monolithic beauty John Ford’s ‘The Fugitive.’ For here, in this strange and haunting picture, now showing on the Victoria’s screen, is imaged a terrifying struggle between strength and weakness in a man’s soul, a thundering modern parable on the indestructibility of faith, a tense and significant conflict between freedom and brute authority. It is difficult to fashion in a few lines an indication of the nature of this film because of its violent eccentricities and its crashing overtones. But it is enough to say, at the moment, that Mr. Ford has accomplished in it a true companion piece to ‘The Informer,’ which he directed some years back.” Read more…)