New Releases 11/17/15

Top Hits
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (action, Henry Cavill. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 55. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Guy Ritchie makes the kind of enjoyably disreputable movies that are fun to watch until they’re not. He’s a talented flimflam artist and, for the industry, I imagine, a useful one because of how he glosses up schlocky, sketchy projects [his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies and other hyperkinetic baubles], making them seem as if there’s more to their slick surfaces than naked commercialism, agency fees and facile pleasure. It works for him [he keeps getting hired], and sometimes also for us.” Read more…)

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (fantasy/action, Martin Freeman. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 59. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “What this adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’ can’t avoid by its final installment is its predictability and hollow foundations. It’s been said before, but Mr. Jackson himself is still haunted by the past: For all the craft, there’s nothing here like the unity and force of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ which is positively steeped in mythology and features [wonder of wonders] rounder characterization than the scheduled revelations on display here.” Read more…)

The Beatles: 1 (remastered music videos)
The Grateful Dead: Fare Thee Well —Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead (farewell concert, Grateful Dead with special guests)

New Foreign
Tu Dors Nicole (Canada, coming of age story, Julianne Côté. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 79. New York Times Critics Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “‘Tu Dors Nicole,’ the third feature by the Québécois director Stéphane Lafleur, is a movie about wasting time. Is there really such a thing? Or is all of life what might be called ‘a learning experience’ with interludes in which nothing seems to be happening, while a storm brews.” Read more…)

New Classic (pre-1960)
Exit Smiling (1926, silent comedy, Beatrice Lillie)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Problem Child/Problem Child 2 (1990/1991, comedy, John Ritter)

New Documentaries
Meru (mountain climbing in the Himalayas. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 77. New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “To dedicated mountaineers, an unconquered — and believed unconquerable — peak is an irresistible, insistent taunt on their to-do lists. ‘Meru’ is the story of one such peak, the notorious Shark’s Fin atop Mount Meru in India and the pea beneath the mattress of the climber Conrad Anker. Blindingly beautiful and meticulously assembled by the award-winning editor Bob Eisenhardt, ‘Meru’ easily makes you forget that what you are watching is completely bananas. Having failed to reach the summit in 2003, Mr. Anker returned in 2008, accompanied by his longtime climbing partner Jimmy Chin [who directed the film with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi] and the young climber and artist Renan Ozturk.” Read more…)

New Music
The Beatles: 1 (remastered music videos)
The Grateful Dead: Fare Thee Well —Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead (farewell concert, Grateful Dead with special guests)