New releases 5/27/14

Top Hits
Cheap Thrills (black comedy, Pat Healy. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 63. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “The actors play Cheap Thrills straight, but you should watch it as a twisted comedy. Those who do will be rewarded, especially by the film’s outlandish final image. Craig [Pat Healy] is in the midst of a bad day, having been fired and received an eviction notice hours apart, and he’s wondering how he will support his wife and newborn son. In a bar, he encounters an old friend, Vince (Ethan Embry), and the two of them fall in with a couple [David Koechner and Sara Paxton] with odd tastes and an apparently limitless amount of money.” Read more…)

Gambit (crime comedy, Colin Firth. Rotten Tomatoes: 19%. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Silently slipped into a single theater like a heist in reverse, Gambit is getting the sort of American release you might not expect given its cast and a screenplay written, at some point in the film’s hot-potato history, by the Coen brothers. This nominal remake of the 1966 art caper that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine has all the fizz of flat soda, but it’s not catastrophically worse than any number of films that open widely.’ Read more…)

Endless Love (romance, Alex Pettyfer. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 63. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “There’s a promising edge to the opening of Endless Love, which begins with a young man, David [Alex Pettyfer], speaking in voice-over about a young woman, Jade [Gabriella Wilde]. It’s a high school graduation somewhere in Atlanta, and as the camera picks Jade out of the celebrating crowd, David reminisces about how he’s been watching her for years. From the way he talks, he seems to have been watching her closely. Closely enough to suggest that he’s been long nurturing a passion, perhaps an obsession — something deep, troubling and real. Shallow, timorous and unbelievable, alas, end up being more like it.” Read more…)

Journey to the West (martial arts/comedy, Qi Shu. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 68. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “One rule of comedy is to make it big. Instead of a single pie to the face, try a fusillade and a slippery shoving match. Rather than a couple of anchormen trading insults, why not a street fight? And when it comes to a battle royal, you really can’t top Buddha for administering a beat down. That final example comes from a memorable climactic battle in Journey to the West, the latest, buoyantly cartoonish comedy from the Hong Kong star Stephen Chow. Returning to the same 16th-century adventure that fueled A Chinese Odyssey, which 20 years ago featured this multitalented comedian as the Monkey King, Mr. Chow energizes his new film with computer animation that, when the timing’s right, brings a playfully elastic sense of scale.” read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Who Framed Roger Rabbit

New TV
Person of Interest: Season 1 (high-tech espionage series, Jim Caviezel. Rotten Tomatoes: 62%. Metacritic: 65.)