New releases 6/7/16

Top Hits
Hail_CaesarHail, Caesar! (Coen Brothers comedy, George Clooney. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 72. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “If this were anyone other than the Coens you might think that success and a couple of Oscars had mellowed them. Not likely. ‘Hail, Caesar!’ is one of those diversions that they turn out in between masterworks and duds. It’s a typically sly, off-center comedy, once again set against the machinery of the motion-picture business. And, as usual with the Coens, it has more going on than there might seem, including in its wrangling over God and ideology, art and entertainment.” Read more…)

The Confirmation (comedy/family, Clive Owen. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 65. A New York Times Critic’s pick. From Andy Webster’s Times review: “The pleasures are modest but rewarding in Bob Nelson’s character study ‘The Confirmation.’ The story is seemingly simple: A handyman, Walt [Clive Owen], whose drinking cost him his marriage, has a weekend with his 8-year-old son, Anthony (Jaeden Lieberher), while his ex (Maria Bello) is on a church-sponsored couples retreat with her new man (Matthew Modine).” Read more…)

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (action, James Badge Dale. Rotten Tomatoes: 51%. Metacritic: 48. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Slipped into ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,’ among the torrential bullets and convulsive mayhem, is a protracted advertisement for a Mercedes-Benz S.U.V. A dramatization of the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Libya that resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the movie is a pummeling slog — 45 minutes of setup and an eternity of relentless combat. So it’s a relief when the director Michael Bay, amid this bleak fusillade, provides a little zigzagging action-movie-style relief. You can’t help but admire how well the truck holds up with its wheels aflame, like a 21st-century chariot of fire.” Read more…)

AnomalisaAnomalisa (stop motion animated drama, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “The sad and stingingly painful ‘Anomalisa,’ a beautiful big-screen whatsit, features a throng of whiners, malcontents and depressives along with one bright soul who hasn’t let disappointment break her. They’re a funny, odd group. Some register as generically prickly, full of vinegar and spit [a few may just be tired after a day’s work]; others sag, as if deflating one breath at a time under an unfathomable weight. And while some carry their burden quietly and alone, others insist on sharing it, like those people who take deep, accusatory sighs when you bump into them on the subway.” Read more…)

Zootopia (Disney animated feature, Ginnifer Goodwin. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “Easter is still weeks away, but pet stores may find that the added demand for rabbits the holiday brings will come early this year thanks to the irresistible ‘Zootopia,’ an animated movie with an intrepid bunny named Judy Hopps at its core. Her fox sidekick, Nick Wilde, is mighty enjoyable, too. This film, action-packed and filled with enough savvy jokes that adults should consider slipping into the theater even if they don’t have an accompanying child, is set in a world where animals have transcended the carnivore-and-prey dichotomy and now live together more or less harmoniously.” Read more…)

The Funhouse Massacre (horror, Jere Burns. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%.)
Short Films by [mf] (short film collection by New Haven photograher/filmmaker Mike Franzman)

New Blu-Ray
Hail, Caesar!

New Foreign
A_WarA War (Denmark, war drama, Pilou Asbæk. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 81. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The motion-picture battle cries of heroism and machismo don’t ring out in the Academy Award nominee ‘A War,’ Tobias Lindholm’s 21st-century Danish variation on the conflict film. Instead, the perils of peacekeeping are the foremost concerns for a commander, Claus, and his troops, in a methodical movie that pivots from the backwaters of Afghanistan to a courtroom in Denmark.” Read more…)

The Eagle: Seasons 2 & 3 (Denmark, detective series, Jens Albinus)
The Complete Lady Snowblood:
Lady Snowblood (Japan, 1973, action, Meiko Kaji. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (Japan, 1974,action, Meiko Kaji)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
ChaseThe Chase (1946, film noir, Robert Cummings. From an unsigned 1946 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Granting the theory, maintained in certain quarters, about moviegoers being ‘teen-aged mentally, it is doubtful whether even the more mature will easily thread through the maze of “The Chase.” For this strange and often engrossing melodrama, which came to the Globe on Saturday, besides being almost strangled by its complex plot limps to an irritatingly obvious denouement.” Read more…)

The Beast with Five Fingers (1947, horror/mystery, Peter Lorre. From Bosley Crowther’s 1946 New York Times recview [requires log-in]: “The meticulous Warner Brothers, apparently careful not to miss any of the standard ingredients, have endowed ‘The Beast With Five Fingers’ with psychological, whodunit, romantic and comedy twists. But this Christmas film package, which was opened at the Victoria yesterday, hardly is a thing of joy. For, taking its title literally, the producers, obviously respecting the tradition of ‘The Invisible Man,’ herein have a ghoulish hand scaring the daylights out of the residents of a villa in northern Italy. And, if audiences are reasonably tolerant, chances are this thriller will scare them too.” Read more…)

The Sisters (1938, melodrama, Bette Davis)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Reuben, Reuben (1983, drama, Tom Conti. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Vincent Canby’s 1983 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “character of Gowan McGland is pure Peter DeVries, and ”Rebuen, Reuben,” adapted from the DeVries novel by Julius J. Epsteinand directed by Robert Ellis Miller, is one of the most buoyantly satiric fables yet made from a DeVries work. It’s a small, unpushy movie of rare wit.” Read more…)

New British
The Fall: Series 2 (psychological thriller series, Gillian Anderson)

New Television
Vinyl: Season 1 (1970’s period rock music drama, Bobby Cannavale. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 71.)

New Children’s DVDs
ZootopiaZootopia (Disney animated feature, Ginnifer Goodwin. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “Easter is still weeks away, but pet stores may find that the added demand for rabbits the holiday brings will come early this year thanks to the irresistible ‘Zootopia,’ an animated movie with an intrepid bunny named Judy Hopps at its core. Her fox sidekick, Nick Wilde, is mighty enjoyable, too. This film, action-packed and filled with enough savvy jokes that adults should consider slipping into the theater even if they don’t have an accompanying child, is set in a world where animals have transcended the carnivore-and-prey dichotomy and now live together more or less harmoniously.” Read more…)

The Boy and the Beast (Japanese animate  feature [with English soundtrack, Bryn Apprill [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 65. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “Mamoru Hosoda’s anime fantasy ‘The Boy and the Beat’ is a curious hybrid with a foot in two realms. It begins vividly, in a gritty and monochromatic rendering of the Shibuya district in Tokyo, where a 9-year-old runaway, Ren, scrapes by. When Ren discovers a mystical portal, he is transported to Jutengai, a world that will look familiar to fans of the Jack Kirby comic book Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth.” Read more…)