New releases 8/24/21

Top Hits
Riders of Justice (comedy/thriller, Mads Mikkelsen. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 81. From Beatrice Loayza’s New York Times review: “The Danish filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen understands that the most difficult tragedies to process are the inexplicable ones, the kind where there’s no one to blame. This idea is at the core of his gold-hearted, yet gleefully bloody deconstruction of the revenge thriller and the meat-headed masculine urges that typically underscore the genre.” Read more…)

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (animated feature, James Corden. Rotten Tomatoes: 66%. Metacritic: 43. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway’ wants to have its carrot and eat it, too. For anyone who complained that the 2018 live action-animation hybrid ‘Peter Rabbit’ betrayed Beatrix Potter’s whimsical vision, and seemed less concerned with the plunder of Mr. McGregor’s vegetables than with its own raid of corporate music catalogs, the sequel, once again directed by Will Gluck, pre-empts such objections.” Read more…)

The Water Man (drama, David Oyelowo. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 68. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The keen affinity the actor David Oyelowo has for his fellow performers is the best thing about ‘The Water Man,’ his feature directorial debut. Scripted by Emily A. Needell, the picture is a family drama with a supernatural angle, centered on illness.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Perfumes (France, comedy, Emmanuelle Devos. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Tomris Laffly’s Variety review: “Elegantly directed and perceptively written with conventional yet feel-good notes around friendship and second chances, ‘Perfumes’ isn’t primarily about the reserved and haughty artisan Anne, however. Rather, the lovably disheveled Guillaume [Grégory Montel of ‘Call My Agent’] serves as our entry point to Magne’s story, which signposts well in advance how these two polar-opposite, fraught souls would eventually enmesh to save one another, like two lush scents combined to unleash one another’s powers.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
The Black Windmill (mystery/thriller, 1974, Michael Caine. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%. Metacritic: 50. From Nora Sayre’s 1974 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “I feel some pangs about this picture: It’s an admirably professional job, and distinctly entertaining. But the plot scatters into a flurry of devices for chases and escapes, and there are no lunges of astonishment, despite all the athletics.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
The Truffle Hunters (food, foraging, rural Italian culture, gastronomy. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 85. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The history of human gastronomy is full of mysteries. Who figured out that an oyster was something to eat? That fruit juice left sitting around for a while would get you drunk? That a kid would eat the middle of an Oreo first? I am now convinced that these imponderables pale in comparison to the question of the truffle. How did this subterranean fungus, the best specimens of which look like woebegone potatoes, come to be among the most prized and pricey of delicacies?” Read more…)