New releases 1/23/18

Top Hits
Goodbye Christopher Robin (biopic/A.A. Milne/Winnie the Pooh, Domhnall Gleeson. Rotten Tomatoes: 64%. Metacritic: 54. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “As predictable as mermaid frocks at the Oscars, Hollywood greets the end of the year by suddenly noticing that roughly a third of moviegoers (and three-quarters of art-house audiences) are over 50, most of them women. This annual phenomenon can lead to theaters clogged with old-lady bait, which usually means something British and upper-crusty, preferably with literary roots. A dollop of war, a death or two, and it’s off to the awards races. ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ checks all the boxes.” Read more…)

Thank You For Your Service (drama, Miles Teller. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 68. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “The most relevant movie precursor to ‘Thank You for Your Service,’ an earnest and powerful drama about Iraq veterans returning to Kansas, is not “The Hurt Locker,” or the well-meaning but toothless coming-home dramas released during the Bush years [‘Stop-Loss,’ ‘The Lucky Ones’], or even ‘American Sniper,’ written by Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay for this film, his feature directing debut. It’s ‘Of Men and War,’ a 2015 documentary shot at the Pathway Home in Yountville, Calif., a center designed to reacclimate veterans to civilian life — and also where one of the characters in ‘Thank You for Your Service’ winds up. ‘Of Men and War’ demanded that viewers witness the psychic scars of fighting, measuring them as part of war’s cost along with the dead and more visibly wounded.” Read more…)

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (animated comedy feature, Jason Schwartzman [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 72. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Hot on the heels of ‘The Death of Louis XIV’ comes another candidate for Most Accurately Titled Film of 2017. Tenderhearted readers, fear not; this is neither a documentary nor a live-action depiction. ‘My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea,” written and directed by Dash Shaw, is an eccentric and lively animated fantasy.” Read more…)

Geostorm (action/sci-fi, Gerard Butler. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. Metacritic: 21. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “If I had to spend a global meteorological catastrophe with anyone, I don’t think Gerard Butler would be my first choice. But of course I don’t have a choice. Mr. Butler’s character, Jake Lawson, has a job to do, and so do I. Jake’s is to fix the space-based weather-control system he designed and built, racing against a digital clock that counts down the minutes until ‘geostorm.’ Mine involves counting the minutes until ‘Geostorm’ is over and then offering a comprehensive damage assessment.” Read more…)

Girl Flu (comedy/coming of age, Katee Sackhoff. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Jigsaw (horror/Saw franchise, Matt Passmore. Rotten Tomatoes: 34%. Metacritic: 39.)

New Blu-Ray
Goodbye Christopher Robin
Jigsaw

New Foreign
Félicité (Senegal, drama, Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “‘Félicité,’ written and directed by the Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis, is an unconventional treatment of an emergency. At crucial junctures in Félicité’s desperate scramble to raise funds for her son’s medical care, Mr. Gomis, who wrote the screenplay with Olivier Loustau and Delphine Zingg, expands time instead of compressing it. Félicité still has her job to do, after all. This movie aspires to depict real life, not life as cinema is often inclined to idealize it; by the same token, it is hardly a work of naturalism.” Read more…)

Claude Autant-Lara—Four Romantic Escapades from Occupied France:
Le Mariage De Chifon (1942, Odette Joyeux)
Lettres de Amour (1942, Odette Joyeux)
Douce (1943, Odette Joyeux)
Sylvie et le Fantome (1946,Jacques Tati)
French Lessons (France, 5 gay short films)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Hanging Tree (1959, western, Gary Cooper. From Bosley Crowther’s 1959 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Out in the great Montana country in the Eighteen Seventies, when men were mostly prospectors for gold and women were either grubby housewives or frank purveyors of certain special services, the arrival in a community of a woman who was neither of these was usually cause for excitement, consternation and eventually a brawl. At least, that’s how it is in Martin Jurow’s and Richard Shepherd’s new film, ‘The Hanging Tree,’ an outdoor drama set against a noisy gold camp.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Seven Minutes in Heaven (1986, comedy/drama, Jennifer Connelly. From Eden Ross Lipson’s 1987 New York Times review of the home video release [requires log-in]: “There isn’t a plausible adult in ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven,’ a sweet, almost gooey fantasy of adolescent life. The leading characters are all 15, sophomores in high school, cute and hopelessly hormonal.” Read more…)

New Gay & Lesbian
French Lessons (France, 5 gay short films)