New Releases 10/16/12

Top Hits
Moonrise Kingdom (drama/whimsy, Bruce Willis. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 84.  A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Wes Anderson makes films about small worlds in which big things happen: love, heartbreak, calamities, death. In his latest, the wondrous storybook tale Moonrise Kingdom, a girl and a boy, both 12, run off to a remote inlet on an island where most of the adults seem disappointed and more than a little sad. The girl and the boy are very serious — about love, their plans, books, life itself — and often act older than their age. She wears bright blue eyeliner; he puffs on a corncob pipe. You wonder what their hurry is, given that here adulthood, with its quarrels, regrets and anguished pillow talk, can feel as dangerous as the storm that’s hurtling toward the island, ready to blow it all down.” Read more…)

That’s My Boy (comedy, Adam Sandler. Rotten Tomatoes: 21%. Metacritic: 31. From David DeWitt’s New York Times review: “That’s My Boy is a pretty wretched movie if you want to activate your brain cells, but its busily plotted second half approaches involving. It leads to a big payoff wedding, after all, and it has a large ensemble for support, including Leighton Meester, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice [as himself], a funny James Caan, a cameo by Susan Sarandon and plenty of game-for-the-shame adult players like Peggy Stewart, as a politely naughty grandmother.” Read more…)

Neil Young: Journeys (Jonathan Demme-directed music doc. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’ Times review: “Thunder rumbling up from the center of the earth with scraggly flashes of lightning amid fire and flood: that describes the sound of Neil Young’s amplified guitar in Jonathan Demme’s compelling new concert film, Neil Young Journeys. The roar from below evokes huge chunks of rock displaced in a continual blasting operation. Heard over this man-made earthquake, Mr. Young’s passionate cracked whine assumes an oracular power. As always in his singing and songwriting, time weighs heavily. The cantankerous old man and the lost little boy are one and the same.” Read more…)

 

The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (Beatles’ TV special remastered. Rotten Tomatoes: 58%.)

New Blu-Ray
Moonrise Kingdom
That’s My Boy

New Foreign
The Forgiveness of Blood (Albania, drama, Tristan Halilaj. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 73. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The murder in The Forgiveness of Blood gives its somber world a touch of florid red, but not so deep as to stain the screen. The American director Joshua Marston, who shot the film in Albania, doesn’t show the knife doing its work but instead focuses on the attenuated violence that comes after, rippling out and expanding until it engulfs all the characters. The Albanian tradition of blood feuds partly inspired Mr. Marston to make this story, yet what gives it shape are the more familiar conventions of the classic art film, including narrative ambiguity, ellipses and silence.” Read more…)

Turn Me On, Dammit (Norway, comedy, Helene Bergsholm. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 70. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Our first glimpse of Alma (Helene Bergsholm), the hormonal 15-year-old heroine of Turn Me On, Dammit, is from above, as she masturbates ecstatically on her living-room floor. In her ear, the chipper voice of a phone-sex worker eggs her on — Alma is one of his regulars at Wild Wet Dreams — while the family dog watches impassively. Establishing its affectionately deadpan tone from the get-go, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen’s low-key Norwegian comedy takes coming-of-age literally.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs
The Slender Thread (1965, drama, Sidney Poitier. From A.H. Weiler’s 1965 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The producers of The Slender Thread, the dark tale that unwound yesterday at the Victoria, Festival and Murray Hill Theaters, have spun an often awesome, compelling but occasionally banal soap opera study stemming from the chillingly final statistic, ‘every two minutes someone attempts suicide in the United States’ that hangs in Seattle’s Crisis Clinic. Despite the obvious attribute of exposing the clinic’s largely unheralded good works, the performances of the principals and the film’s naturalistic dialogue are more memorable than the story itself. The Slender Thread makes its dramatic statement long before it unwinds in denouement.” Read more…)

The Sterile Cuckoo (1969, drama/romance, Liza Minnelli. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. From Vincent Canby’s 1969 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Quite clearly, Pookie Adams is a marvelous role, full of tough-sweet humor, and Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Vincente Minnelli and the late Judy Garland, turns it into one of the most appealing performances of the season, a triumph limited only by the squashy movie that encases it.” Read more…)

New British
The Ice House (thriller, Daniel Craig)

New TV
Mad Men: Season 5

New Documentaries
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (art, Marina Abramovic. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 75. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The Artist Is Present, the centerpiece of an identically named 2010 retrospective of work by the performance artist Marina Abramovic at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was one of those rare events that breach the wall dividing the art world from popular culture. Over 90 days — from the beginning of March through the end of May — hundreds of thousands of people streamed through MoMA, lining up [sometimes after camping out on 53rd Street the night before] for the opportunity to see Ms. Abramovic face to face. She sat in a plain wooden chair, gazing straight ahead, silently, into the eyes of whichever museum patron happened to be seated across from her. The effect, as recorded by Matthew Akers in his documentary Marina Abramovic the Artist Is Present, was galvanic. Many spectators cried during their encounter with Ms. Abramovic, and tears could often be seen in her eyes as well.” Read more…)

2016: Obama’s America (right wing political doc, Dinesh D’Souza. Rotten Tomatoes: 28%. Metacritic: 40. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “Dinesh D’Souza — the author of the best seller The Roots of Obama’s Rage and a former American Enterprise Institute fellow — is not a fan of President Obama. The strident documentary 2016: Obama’s America  [co-directed with John Sullivan] builds on Mr. D’Souza’s 2010 cover article for Forbes, which asserts that Mr. Obama pursues his father’s left-leaning, ‘anticolonial’ ideals. Here they are presented as flaws consistent with the senior Obama’s multiple relationships, alcoholism and fatal auto accident in 1982.” Read more…)

New Music DVDs
Neil Young: Journeys (Jonathan Demme-directed music doc, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’ Times review: “Thunder rumbling up from the center of the earth with scraggly flashes of lightning amid fire and flood: that describes the sound of Neil Young’s amplified guitar in Jonathan Demme’s compelling new concert film, Neil Young Journeys. The roar from below evokes huge chunks of rock displaced in a continual blasting operation. Heard over this man-made earthquake, Mr. Young’s passionate cracked whine assumes an oracular power. As always in his singing and songwriting, time weighs heavily. The cantankerous old man and the lost little boy are one and the same.” Read more…)

The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (Beatles’ TV special remastered, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 58%.)

New Children’s DVDs
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Dreamworks animated feature. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 59.)
Scooby-Doo: 13 Spooky Tales