New releases 2/26/19

Top Hits

Mary Queen of Scots (historical costume drama, Saoirse Ronan. Rotten Tomatoes: 62%. Metacritic 60. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Is there room for two queens on a single island? In a single movie? The answers, according to “Mary Queen of Scots,” are “not quite” and “almost.” The monarchs in question are Mary, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her cousin Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. The history books cast them as bitter rivals, but the film imagines them as long-distance frenemies.” Read more…)

Ralph Breaks the Internet (animated feature, John C. Reilly [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 71. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Bilge Ebiri’s Times review: “‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ might look like just another adorable, funny animated family film, but it also connects to our current reality in ways that are downright bone-chilling. This sequel to the 2012 Disney hit ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ — which was set in the virtual world of arcade games, and whose affable lug of a hero was an 8-bit video game villain trying to break free from a lifetime of mindless destruction — sends its protagonists out into the broader internet, where they discover all the pandering, cruelty, addictive behavior and viral shamelessness that we’ve come to associate with online culture.” Read more…)

The Happy Prince (historical drama/bio-pic, Rupert Everett. Rotten Tomatoes: 70%. Metacritic: 64. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A mopey yet gorgeous-looking wallow in the final years of the literary giant Oscar Wilde, “The Happy Prince” staggers around Europe with one eye on the grave and the other on the kinds of sorry mischief an unrepentant hedonist like Wilde could get up to.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs

Trauma (Chile, horror, Catalina Martin)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)

The Midnight Man (1974, mystery, Burt Lancaster. From Michael Barrett at Pop Matters on the recent Kino Lorber DVD release: “Excavated from the Universal vaults and finally released on disc is The Midnight Man (1974), the second and last film directed by its star, Burt Lancaster. His first effort as director-producer-star, The Kentuckian (1955), was a rich, vigorous work of western Americana, violent yet optimistic. This second film, made 20 years later, reflects a wearier outlook of disillusion and regret within the trappings of gumshoe noir. Vietnam and Watergate aren’t mentioned; the only reference to contemporary issues is a college kid’s comment on the generation gap. Still, the zeitgeist of disenchantment and malaise over “the system” hangs around the movie’s neck like a dead Maltese falcon.” Read more…)

To Sleep With Anger (1990, drama, Danny Glover. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. From Vincent Canby’s 1990 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘To Sleep With Anger’ initially pretends to be commonplace, but that is an illusion. It’s a very entertaining, complex film, a comedy of unusual substance that also manages to keep the audience in suspense as to when the comedy might dissolve into some kind of vicious melodrama.” Read more…)

New British DVDs

Mystery Road: Series 1 (Australian mystery series, Judy Davis. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Mike Hale’s Times review: “And while [actor Aaron] Pedersen would be reason enough to watch the moody, flavorful, handsomely photographed show, the thing that really sets “Mystery Road” apart is the actress who signed on to play the outback sergeant Emma James: the great Judy Davis, playing a police officer for the first time in her career and starring in an Australian TV series for the first time in nearly 40 years.” Read more…)

New TV Series

The Good Fight: Season 2 (legal drama, Christine Baranski. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 70.)

New Documentaries

Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3 (the stories behind the plays, literary analysis)