New Releases 9/22/15

Top Hits
Pitch_Perfect_2Pitch Perfect 2 (singing drama, Anna Kendrick. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 63. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Pitch Perfect’ was a charming campus comedy with humor that was naughty and sweet and had a sharp sense of the pop-culture moment. Its success has allowed [or perhaps forced] this installment to be bigger, louder and wilder, with new, sometimes redundant characters, celebrity cameos — Snoop Dogg! Jake Tapper! The Green Bay Packers! — and artificially elevated dramatic stakes. Some of the underdog appeal is gone, but a victory lap can be its own kind of fun, and more is not necessarily something to complain about, especially when what there is more of is Fat Amy.” Read more…)

Heaven Knows What (searing drama, Arielle Holmes. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “The characters of the junkie chronicle ‘Heaven Knows What’ lead their lives in the open, which is to say on the streets of New York. Whenever a couple of them are arguing — which is frequently — you glimpse passers-by steering their way around the commotion with the practiced resolve of New Yorkers trying to mind their own business. At the very least, the directors, Josh and Benny Safdie, have created a small, beautiful classic of street theater by rendering these public disputes within a vibrant Manhattan setting through ingenious photography.” Read more…)

The Turning (Australia, short stories, Cate Blanchett. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%.)

New Blu-Ray
Pitch Perfect 2

New Foreign
Mister_JohnsonMister Johnson (Australia, drama, Maynard Eziashi. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. From Janet Maslin’s 1991 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “[Director Bruce] Beresford’s film acknowledges the boundless optimism of its leading character even as it watches him paint himself into a corner. Prodded by his grandiose airs into living well above his means, Johnson must fall back on a variety of half-devious ways of making ends meet. This forces him to swindle the very Englishmen he admires most, although he manages even to embezzle and steal in semi-affectionate ways. But neither Johnson’s chicanery nor the Englishmen’s reactions are stereotypical in any way. One of the things Mr. Beresford has done best, in films like ‘Breaker Morant’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ is to regard easily misunderstood situations in unexpectedly generous ways.” Read more…)