New releases 11/29/16

Top Hits
dont_breatheDon’t Breathe (horror, Jane Levy. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 71. From Anita Gates’ New York Times review: “People who go to see movies like ‘Don’t Breathe’ — some of them, anyway — tend to laugh when people are killed onscreen. And when people believed to be dead open their eyes. Even I laughed when the watchdog, which the three attractive young thieves had drugged into slumber, appeared in the hallway, growling. Ha! Guess he woke up, dudes.” Read more…)

Pete’s Dragon (family/fantasy, Bryce Dallas Howard. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 71. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The director David Lowery’s independent film pedigree [his previous feature was the accomplished, although self-serious, outlaw romance ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’] suggests that he would apply a singular perspective to this material. But “Pete’s Dragon” is largely as impersonal as it is fleet.” Read more…)

Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles. Metacritic: 78. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “The performer is often only the public face of a well-known song; its body is formed in the studio. That part of the creative process is explored in the richly detailed PBS series ‘Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music,’ an eight-parter that begins Monday, Nov. 14.” Read more…)

bfgThe BFG (Roald Dahl family/fantasy, Ruby Barnhill. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. Metacritic: 646. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The BFG’ — it stands for ‘big friendly giant’ — is a small, friendly movie, an attempt to reconcile the scale and dazzle of modern filmmaking with the quiet, mischievous charm of Roald Dahl’s book. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by his frequent collaborator Melissa Mathison [who died in November], it chronicles the relationship between the title character [Mark Rylance] and a young orphan named Sophie [Ruby Barnhill].” Read more…)

Dough (comedy, Jonathan Pryce. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 46. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Take an aging white Jewish baker, add a young black Muslim immigrant, and what do you have? The ingredients for a pleasant but pat story in which bridges are built across religious, racial and generational divides in a way that happens far more often in feel-good movies than in real life.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Pete’s Dragon
The BFG

New British
Brief Encounters: Season 1 (British dramedy series, Penelope Wilton. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “It’s 1982, and times are hard in England. How does a woman help shore up the family finances? In the delicious British dramedy ‘Brief Encounters’ … the answer for several entrepreneurs is selling lingerie and sex toys to repressed women at Tupperware-like parties. The six-episode series may feel more 1950s than 1980s, but the results are often hilarious.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles)
Alex de Renzy: Three Documentaries (drugs, sex industry, early 1970s cinema verite)

New Music
Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles)

New Children’s DVDs
Pete’s Dragon (family/fantasy, Bryce Dallas Howard)
The BFG (Roald Dahl family/fantasy, Ruby Barnhill)