New releases 12/25/18

Top Hits
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (drama/romance, Chloë Grace Moretz. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 69. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Navigating troubled culture-war waters with grace, humor and compassion, ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ is a movie that deserves a wide and diverse audience. Based on a young-adult novel by Emily Danforth, the film arrives in theaters without a rating, which is probably just as well. The Motion Picture Association of America has a habit of using the R rating to shoo teenagers away from realistic depictions of their own lives, a prohibition that is easy enough to get around in the age of digital streaming but that nonetheless serves as an official endorsement of evasion and repression.” Read more…)

White Boy Rick (true crime, Matthew McConaughey. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. Metacritic: 59. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Squint and you can sometimes make out the bigger, more complex stories in ‘White Boy Rick,’ including those of a great city violently brought low; of fragile communities left to fail and rot; and of a legal system that seems permanently broken. Too often, though, the movie traffics in genre clichés and the usual suspects, as emissaries of law [mostly white] and disorder [black] swagger and scheme at the opposite ends of the O.K. Corral.” Read more…)

En El Séptimo Día aka On The Seventh Day (lives of undocumented immigrants in Brooklyn, Fernando Cardona. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “‘En el Séptimo Día’ pulls off the tricky feat of feeling utterly natural as it ratchets with the mechanics of drama and suspense. A return to Brooklyn for the filmmaker turned television director Jim McKay — whose terrific Crown Heights coming-of-age movie ‘Our Song’ opened in 2001 — the film doesn’t shy from showing its range of influences or its multiculturalism. The credits and subtitles are in English and Spanish. The nonprofessional cast members are as compelling as any pros.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
White Boy Rick

New Foreign DVDs
Bag of Marbles (France, occupied France/Holocaust drama, Doran Le Clech. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 55. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “This film, directed by Christian Duguay, is the second time the French author Joseph Joffo’s 1973 autobiographical novel, ‘Un Sac de Billes,’ has been adapted into a movie. [The first version, directed by Jacques Doillon in 1975, never found a U.S. release.] Mr. Duguay chooses to frame this story in a period mode highly influenced by Hollywood pictures. Despite the hardships endured by the characters, nearly every shot seems dappled with nostalgia.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Lucky Them (2014, drama, Toni Colette. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 65. From Rachel Saltz’s New York Times review: “In ‘Lucky Them,’ a seen-better-days critic, Ellie Klug [Toni Collette], writes for a seen-better-days magazine that covers alternative rock as if it were the only music in the pop universe. Ellie ignores deadlines and the marketplace, and is burdened by the kind of integrity that looks more like self-destructiveness. [In the real world, she would have been fired years ago.]”)

New Documentary DVDs
Sacred (religion, varied faith traditions. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “The TV journalist Bill Moyers once said of the mythologist Joseph Campbell that he ‘was one of the most spiritual men I ever met, but he didn’t have an ideology or a theology.’ The same might be said of Thomas Lennon, who directed ‘Sacred,’ a kaleidoscopic travelogue depicting demonstrations of faith worldwide. Mr. Lennon [no relation to the ‘Reno 911!’ comedian] enlisted 40 filmmakers in 25 countries to record scenes large and small, and the results are surprisingly cohesive.” Read more…)

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (directed by Wim Wenders, bio, religion. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 63. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “For much of this movie, [director Wim] Wenders frames the pope in a plain medium close-up and invites the man to speak his mind. With his kind face, intelligent gaze, and ready smile, Francis is an amiable and compelling figure. He is not what you would call starry-eyed, though. He shows considerable knowledge of the horrors of the modern world and speaks with simplicity, informed by philosophical inquiry, about what the Roman Catholic Church can do to counter it.” Read more…)

Transformer (bio, transgender identity, Janae, formerly Matt Kroczaleski. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. Metacritic: 78.)

New Gay & Lesbian DVDs
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (drama/romance/gay conversion, Chloe Grace Moretz)