New Releases 2/18/14

Top Hits
Phil Spector (bio-pic, Al Pacino. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 60. From Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times television review [the movie was produced by HBO]: “It’s not a conventional biographical account of his difficult childhood and remarkable career producing songs like ‘Da Doo Ron Ron,’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ and ‘You’ve Lost that Loving Feelin’,’ though lots of his music is on the soundtrack. The movie is essentially a two-person play about Mr. Spector and one of his defense lawyers, Linda Kenney Baden, played by Ms. Mirren. There isn’t much dramatic tension between the two: Linda is at first a skeptic about the case but surrenders to her client’s loopy charisma and finds reasons to believe that he is telling the truth, or that there is, at least, reasonable doubt. It’s a testimony to the actors that they can sustain a story with so little traction.” Read more…)

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Game of Thrones: Season 3 (Metacritic: 90)

New Blu-Ray
Foreign Correspondent (1940, Hitchcock thriller, Joel McCrea. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “They say that the current heroes of Americans, young and old, are the foreign correspondents, those dashing chaps who presumably hop all over Europe, Asia, Africa and points between, hobnobbing with influential persons, catching wars on the wing and rushing madly every few minutes to cable home the latest hot news. If such is the case, then Walter Wanger’s own special Foreign Correspondent, which arrived at the Rivoli last night, should be the particular favorite of a great many wonder-eyed folk. For into it Director Alfred Hitchcock, whose unmistakable stamp the picture bears, has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion and illusion of momentous consequence as the liveliest imagination could conceive.” Read more…)

New Classics (pre-1960)
Foreign Correspondent (1940, Hitchcock thriller, Joel McCrea. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “They say that the current heroes of Americans, young and old, are the foreign correspondents, those dashing chaps who presumably hop all over Europe, Asia, Africa and points between, hobnobbing with influential persons, catching wars on the wing and rushing madly every few minutes to cable home the latest hot news. If such is the case, then Walter Wanger’s own special Foreign Correspondent, which arrived at the Rivoli last night, should be the particular favorite of a great many wonder-eyed folk. For into it Director Alfred Hitchcock, whose unmistakable stamp the picture bears, has packed about as much romantic action, melodramatic hullabaloo, comical diversion and illusion of momentous consequence as the liveliest imagination could conceive.” Read more…)

New TV
Game of Thrones: Season 3 (Metacritic: 90)
Nurse Jackie: Season 5 (Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 66.)