New Releases 5/26/15

Top Hits
Mortdecai (crime comedy, Johnny Depp. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. Metacritic: 27. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Mr. Depp’s wizardly expertise at disappearing into a character is intact. But what if that character isn’t funny and hasn’t an ounce of charm? Charlie Mortdecai, a bumbling aristocratic bon vivant and sociopath who lives beyond his means and deals in stolen art, is a vehicle for Mr. Depp to turn into a kind of Austin Powers manqué. There is no wink behind the wink because Mr. Depp is so busy showing off.” Read more…)

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (comedy, Rob Corddry. Rotten Tomatoes: 14%. Metacritic: 29. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Who knows what the world will look like in 2025? The goofballs from the smart-dumb 2010 guy comedy ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ are accidentally given an advance peek in the frenzied, chaotic sequel. As could have been predicted, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ is vastly inferior to the first ‘Hot Tub,’ but it’s not stupid so much as desperately frantic.” Read more…)

Seventh Son (fantasy action, Julianne Moore. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. Metacritic: 30. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Every year, in between the big heave known as the fall awards season and that folly we call the Academy Awards, the major movie companies turn into a cinematic slag heap of the bad, the risible and the inexplicable. Even on paper, the latest February throwaway, ‘Seventh Son,’ sounds like a bad idea, even if it does feature the wasted talent of the veteran production designer Dante Ferretti and was directed by Sergei Bodrov, who has a few fine credits to his name. As it turns out, there are those, including this reviewer, who can be seduced into seeing just about anything if it comes with name actors like Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, a herd of digital dragons and the cute guy who plays that incurably know-nothing Jon Snow in the HBO show ‘Game of Thrones.'” Read more…)

Cymbeline (crime drama based on Shakespeare play, Ethan Hawke. Rotten Tomatoes: 30%. Metacritic: 54. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Whatever Mr. Almereyda’s inspiration, his version of ‘Cymbeline’ [which for a while was actually titled ‘Anarchy’] reaffirms that Shakespeare can always survive every interpretive trick, with or without choppers and chrome. As soon becomes evident in this appealing eccentric divertissement, the loudest, flashiest of contemporary appurtenances, from blazing machine guns to gleaming leather jackets, are inevitably outshone by Shakespeare’s words, even in a lesser-known, lesser-loved late play like this.” Read more…)

Cut Bank (thriller, Liam Hemsworth. Rotten Tomatoes: 30%. Metacritic: 44. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Cut Bank is a small Montana town of around 3,000 residents that welcomes visitors with an oversize plaster penguin announcing it is the coldest spot in the United States. This movie’s smart-aleck rehash of much better films by the Coen brothers and David Lynch looks down at Cut Bank as a town of yokels and eccentrics whose misplaced sense of civic pride is embodied by that penguin.” Read more…)

Everly (action thriller, Salma Hayek. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 35.)

New Blu-Ray
Seventh Son

New Television
Ray Donovan: Season 2 (Showtime crime drama, Liev Schreiber. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 73.)

New Documentaries
Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (cinema history, bio, Orson Welles. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 67. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Following his subject from child prodigy to complicated legend, the director, Chuck Workman, touches down so lightly on the mile markers of Welles’s life that he barely leaves an imprint. Artistic triumphs and financial flops, often one and the same, roll by in spotless slices, as do the voices of luminaries, living and dead [John Houseman, how you are missed], who sing Welles’s praises.” Read more…)