New releases 3/27/18

Top Hits
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (action, Mark Hamill. Rotten Romatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 85. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Evil is ascendant. The Resistance — an intrepid, multi-everything group whose leaders include a battle-tested woman warrior — has been fighting the good fight for years but is outnumbered and occasionally outmaneuvered. Yes, the latest ‘Star Wars’ installment is here, and, lo, it is a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment. Remarkably, it has visual wit and a human touch, no small achievement for a seemingly indestructible machine that revved up 40 years ago and shows no signs of sputtering out [ever].” Read more…)

God Help The Girl (pop musical, Emily Browning. Rotten Romatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 58. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “If the music of the Scottish indie-pop group Belle and Sebastian sets your teeth on edge, then prepare for extreme dental discomfort after watching ‘God Help the Girl,’ the directing debut of one of the band’s founders, Stuart Murdoch. So lightweight it could fly right off the screen, this wispy summertime musical may be set in Glasgow [Mr. Murdoch’s hometown, and my own], but that’s as Scottish as it gets. Delivered mainly by an Australian and two English sidekicks, the dialogue needs no subtitles, and the conspicuous absence of rain — in Glasgow, summer simply means cheerier umbrellas — further erases any sense of grit.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
King of Jazz (1930, musical, Paul Whiteman. From J. Hoberman’s New York Times review on the restoration of “King of Jazz”: “A significant movie restoration not only can return a film’s patina of newness but its place in film history as well. That may be the case when the musical revue ‘King of Jazz’ [1930], brought back to something of its original splendor, emerges from the vaults in the soft, shimmering red and green tones of early Technicolor… An old-fashioned prestige picture, ‘King of Jazz’ required a newfangled prestige restoration that was thought by some close to the project to be among the most expensive ever… The first reviews were generally positive. The New York Times critic Mordaunt Hall praised the director John Murray Anderson, a Broadway producer and first-time filmmaker, calling ‘King of Jazz’ a ‘marvel of camera wizardry, joyous color schemes, charming costumes and seductive lighting effects.’ But, released six months after the stock market crash, with a glut of musical revues, ‘King of Jazz,’ which cost around $2 million and was likely Universal’s most expensive production to date, did poorly at the box office.” Read more…)

Highway Dragnet (1954, film noir, Richard Conte. From the 1954 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Highway Dragnet’ is a second-rate whodunit; a sluggish sort of murder melodrama with Richard Conte doing his best to make believe he is a vagabond wanted for the slaying of a blonde dead-fall in Las Vegas.”)

New Documentaries
Mr. Robot: Season 3 (sci-fi/cyber-thriller series, Rami Malek. Rotten Romatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 82.)