New releases 5/22/18

Top Hits
Red Sparrow (spy thriller, Jennifer Lawrence. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 53. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “In the preposterously entertaining ‘Red Sparrow,’ Jennifer Lawrence plays a Russian ballerina turned murderous spy. And why not? Russian spies are apparently everywhere, and we seem to be in the middle of the Cold War 2.0. Anyone who has ever watched a ballet also knows how terrifyingly capable dancers are, with their steely strength, athleticism and discipline. Ms. Lawrence, best known as the teenage survivalist turned savior Katniss Everdeen in the ‘Hunger Games’ series, has played rough before, so when her character in ‘Red Sparrow’ brutally twists in a knife, it’s almost like old home week.” Read more…)

The 15:17 to Paris (real life action thriller, Anthony Sadler. Rotten Tomatoes: 25%. Metacritic: 45. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “On Aug. 21, 2015, Ayoub El Khazzani boarded a high-speed train en route to Paris, armed with a knife, a pistol, an assault rifle and nearly 300 rounds of ammunition. His attack, apparently inspired by ISIS, was thwarted by the bravery and quick thinking of several passengers, notably three young American tourists: Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone. Their heroism is at the center of Clint Eastwood’s new movie, ‘The 15:17 to Paris,’ a dramatic reconstruction as unassuming and effective as the action it depicts.” Read more…)

Game Night (comedy, Jason Bateman. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 66. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “‘Game Night’ is, for the most part, a conventional, and conventionally vulgar, Contemporary Romantic Comedy With Lessons. Its central couple, Max and Annie, played by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, are avid board-game-and-trivia enthusiasts who are stuck in the fertility department. They’re having trouble conceiving because Max’s sperm are, according to his doctor, insecure. That probably has something to do with Max’s inferiority complex about his older brother Brooks [Kyle Chandler], an ostensible hotshot who decides one evening to take Max and Annie’s weekly couples game night up a notch by staging a kidnapping mystery.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Game Night
Red Sparrow
The 15:17 to Paris

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
The Baby (1972, cult film/psychotic stunner, Anjanette Comer. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%.)

New British
Unforgotten: Season 2 (Brtish mystery, Sanjeev Bhaskar)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott adaptation, Emily Watson)

New Television
Atlanta: Season 1 (drama series, Donald Glover. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 90.)

New Documentaries
GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (war, ethnic history, Judaism, Mel Brooks)
What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library (ethnic history, race, politics, civil liberties, Black Panthers)
Jane (Jane Goodall bio, vintage footage)

New Children’s DVDs
Early Man (Aardman Animations animated feature, Eddie Redmayne [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “My feelings about ‘Early Man’ can be summed up as better late than never. I’m a little sorry that this utterly silly feature from Nick Park and Aardman Animations was not around when I was 7 or 8 years old, or when my children were wearing out the Wallace and Gromit videocassettes that someone had given them for Christmas. Not that anyone could outgrow this kind of movie, which manages to be fresh and delightful even as some of its jokes are so old — how old? So old that the last time I heard them, I fell off my dinosaur I was laughing so hard.” Read more…)