New releases 7/12/16

Top Hits
Green_RoomGreen Room (thriller/drama, Anton Yelchin. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 79. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In the opening scene of ‘Green Room,’ the members of the Ain’t Rights, a punk band from the East Coast, wake up in a cornfield somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. The driver fell asleep at the wheel, the van is out of gas, and the hassles escalate after that. A promised gig falls through, a podcast interview becomes a little awkward, and the group’s corporate assets, not counting the van and the gear inside it, add up to around $25 and a few takeout containers of rice and beans. Things will only get worse. There will be guns, machetes, dogs trained to gobble human flesh, and a forest full of scary homegrown fascists.” Read more…)

Miracles from Heaven (family/faith drama, Jennifer Garner. Rotten Tomatoes: 44%. Metacritic: 44. From Ken Jaworski’s New York Times review: “Until it delivers an eye-rolling scene near the end, ‘Miracles From Heaven’ is an unexpectedly effective tear-jerker. More surprising still, that late diversion doesn’t negate much of the movie’s early sincerity.”  Read more…)

I Saw the Light (Hank Williams biopic, Tom Hiddleston. Rotten Tomatoes: 21%. Metacritic: 47. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “‘I Saw the Light’ is the latest movie to try to capture that certain ineluctable something about Williams [1923-1953], the poor Alabama boy turned country-music star who died at 29 and inspired later legends like Bob Dylan. Other big-screen disinterments have tried to do right by Williams, including ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart,’ a 1964 biopic starring George Hamilton, whose singing was dubbed by the teenage Hank Jr. The writer-director of ‘I Saw the Light,’ Marc Abraham, sticks closer to the facts than previous treatments, but perhaps because he’s farther from Williams’s moment, he turns the story into an old-fashioned, hand-tinted postcard that’s as inert as it is pretty.” Read more…)

Everybody Wants Some!! (drama/comedy, Will Brittain. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Everybody Wants Some!!!’ is many things — a baseball caper, a sex farce, a campus romance, a campus bromance — but the film’s real claim to distinction may be that it’s the least suspenseful ticking-clock movie ever. We start out counting down the days and hours over the last long weekend before the beginning of the fall semester at a Texas college, and at the end of the movie [spoiler alert? are you kidding me?] it’s time for class.” Read more…)

The Dresser (drama, Anthony Hopkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 84. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times TV review: “As you watch the new version of ‘The Dresser,’ a durable 20th-century work, a thought born of 21st-century television trends might go through your mind: ‘This would make a dandy TV series.’ Ronald Harwood wrote ‘The Dresser’ as a play in 1980, it made Broadway in 1981, and in 1983 it was adapted into a well-regarded film. It’s a vehicle for two graying actors that gives both a chance for tour-de-force performances, and in the new television version Monday on Starz, a couple of esteemed veterans, Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, get about as much out of the tale as there is to get. Yet against some other recent television offerings — ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Call the Midwife,’ ‘Manhattan,’ ‘Mad Men’ — ‘The Dresser’ today feels like an opportunity that needs fleshing out.” Read more…)

Model Hunger (horror, Lynn Lowry)

New Foreign
Mountains_May_DepartMountains May Depart (China, drama, Zhao Tao. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 79. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Three times in ‘Mountains May Depart,’ the latest from the transformative Chinese director Jia Zhangke, people stand near a river that weaves through the landscape like a snake. In the first instance, three friends light fireworks that send out modest sparks. In the second, only two return to the river, where they ignite a bundle of dynamite. By the third trip, only one of the original three remains, everyone’s life having changed as profoundly as China, a cataclysm that’s expressed by a series of rapid explosions in the river, suggesting a drowning world.” Read more…)

The Dark Horse (New Zealand, drama, Cliff Curtis. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “‘The Dark Horse’ rides on the impassioned performance of Cliff Curtis, the Maori actor who plays Genesis (a.k.a. Gen) Potini, a New Zealand chessmaster with bipolar disorder. With a partially shaved head and many extra pounds, Mr. Curtis is barely recognizable from his roles in ‘Whale Rider’ and ‘Once Were Warriors.’ The film, directed and written by James Napier Robertson, is inspired by Jim Marbrook’s 2003 documentary, ‘Dark Horse,’ which focused on Mr. Potini, a speed-chess player who died in 2011.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Carnival of Souls (1962, Criterion edition cult classic, Candace Hilligoss. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%.)

New British
The Dresser (drama, Anthony Hopkins)