New Releases 9/8/15

Top Hits
Age_of_AdalineThe Age of Adaline (drama/romance, Blake Lively. Rotten Tomatoes: 54%. Metacritic: 51. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Best known for the television show ‘Gossip Girl’ and her red-carpet appearances, Ms. Lively has done some fine work elsewhere, including in ‘The Town’ and especially ‘Savages.’ Here, though, she delivers a muted, largely opaque performance, an unfortunate choice given that Adaline shows few signs of having lived through two world wars, the space age, the Beatles, the invention of the pill, the civil rights movement, second-wave feminism, punk rock or, really, anything at all.” Read more…)

Boulevard (drama, Robin Williams. Rotten Tomatoes: 51%. Metacritic: 52. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘Boulevard,’ directed by Dito Montiel [‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saint’] from a screenplay by Douglas Soesbe, resists every cliché you might expect it to embrace. It isn’t the story of a repressed homosexual belatedly coming to terms with his sexuality, nor is it the treacly sob story of a lost boy’s redemption by a kind older man. At the same time, it isn’t especially well directed or incisively written, and its ending is frustratingly vague. The main attraction is Mr. Williams’s relentlessly dour performance.” Read more…)

Queen_CountryQueen & Country (drama, Bill Rohan. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “To appreciate ‘Queen and country,’ John Boorman’s gently nostalgic, quasi-autobiographical film about Britain in the early 1950s, it isn’t entirely necessary to have seen his earlier ‘Hope and Glory.’ You should, of course, see it, if you haven’t already: One of a handful of great movies that look at World War II through the eyes of a child, ‘Hope and Glory’ is distinguished by mischievous good humor and by the unashamed acknowledgment that war can be fun as well as horrible… Much as the war did in ‘Hope and Glory,’ the army provides a loose frame around the action here. But Mr. Boorman approaches his story in the relaxed and generous manner of a raconteur, charming the audience rather than pushing us through the machinery of a plot.” Read more…)

The Road Within (comedy, Dev Patel. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 31.)
Head (Connecticut-produced all-puppet horror movie-a camp classic!, Jon Bristol [voice])

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Peter Pan (1956, musical, Mary Martin. This is a video of a live NBC broadcast of the legendary Broadway play version of ‘Peter Pan,’ starring Mary Martin. New York Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson wrote in 1954, “If Mary Martin is satisfied, so are the folks out front. The musical version of ‘Peter Pan,’ which opened at the Winter Garden last evening, is a vastly amusing show. Barrie wrote the libretto. But a lot of the exuberance of Texas has stolen into the legend now. For Miss Martin, looking trim and happy, is the liveliest Peter Pan in the record book.”)

Wild Orchids (1929, romance/drama/silent, Greta Garbo. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1929 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Greta Garbo’s sinuous shadow is to be seen this week at the Capitol in ‘Wild Orchids,’ a pleasingly imaginative picturization of a special screen contribution from the pen of John Colton, who achieved enviable success by his brilliant work in the dramatization of ‘Rain.’ The atmosphere of far-off Java, while permissibly extravagant, is an asset to this story of a husband’s penalty for paying too much attention to business and sport and not quite enough to his alluring wife.” Read more…)

New British
Queen & Country (drama, Bill Rohan, in Top Hits)
Vicious: Season 2 (comedy series, Ian McKellen)

New TV
Elementary: Season 3 (Sherlock Holmes-update mystery series, Jonny Lee Miller)

New Documentaries
Weekend_of_ChampionWeekend of a Champion (auto racing, Jackie Stewart, Roman Polanski. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 63. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “The combination of fast cars, gorgeous men and Monte Carlo sounds a lot like heaven, but Frank Simon’s ‘Weekend of a Champion’ will appeal mostly to motor-racing enthusiasts and movie archaeologists. Covering four days in May 1971, when the director Roman Polanski accompanied the Formula One champion Jackie Stewart to the 29th Monaco Grand Prix, this newly restored and updated documentary offers a minor sidebar to two major careers… Despite dropping the occasional personal tidbit — like Mr. Stewart’s profound dyslexia — this time capsule of ’70s sideburns and shaggy haircuts is no biopic. Rather, it’s a vintage flashbulb moment of two men at the peak of their talents, one on his way to securing his second world championship, and the other between the twin triumphs of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Chinatown.'” Read more…)

Heaven Adores You (music, bio, Elliott Smith. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%.)

New Music
Heaven Adores You (music, bio, Elliott Smith)