New releases 7/5/16

Top Hits
Family_FangThe Family Fang (comedy/drama, Jason Bateman. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 67. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “‘The Family Fang,’ adapted from the Kevin Wilson novel, with a script by David Lindsay-Abaire, tells the story of another unhappy family. It turns on siblings, Annie[Nicole Kidman] and Baxter [Jason Bateman, who also directed], raised by wolves. Specifically, Caleb [Christopher Walken] and Camille [Maryann Plunkett], performance artists who once upon a time used their children in improvised public events. For Caleb and Camille — who referred to their kids as Child A and Child B — art came before everything, including health and safety.” Read more…)

By the Sea (drama/romance, Angelina Jolie. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 44. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Meta with a vengeance, ‘By the Sea’ stars Angeline Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt as itinerant married artists who are suffering, beautifully, through a rough patch. Any resemblance to real life is strictly coincidental and completely intentional. At first luxurious blush it’s a jet-setting marital melodrama, one of those he-said, she-said [and wept] encounter sessions decked with designer shades, to-die-for digs and millionaire tears. More interestingly, the movie, which Ms. Jolie Pitt wrote and directed, is a knowing or at least a ticklishly amusing demonstration of celebrity and its relay of gazes from one of the most looked-at women in the world.” Read more…)

The Adderall Diaries (thriller, James Franco. Rotten Tomatoes: 19%. Metacritic: 42. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A father and son duke it out over who is the bigger victim in ‘The Adderall Diaries,’ Pamela Romanowsky’s misbegotten adaptation of the 2009 memoir by Stephen Elliott. Packed with unconvincing pain and unsexy couplings, the [seemingly deliberately] befuddled story dives into the questionable memories of Stephen [James Franco], ), a spectacularly narcissistic writer. Newly lauded for a tell-all autobiography, Stephen is stunned when the father he claimed was dead (Ed Harris) shows up at a book reading to harangue him for wallowing in a misremembered past.” Read more…)

Only Yesterday (Japan, animated feature, Daisy Ridley [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 90. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Isao Takahata, an Academy Award nominee and one of the twin pillars of the anime giant Studio Ghibli, brings the cleareyed grace of his animation to the lovely memoiristic story of a 27-year-old woman in ‘Only Yesterday.’ As the woman, Taeko, goes on a vacation in the country that brings back grade-school memories, Mr. Takahata finds a poignancy in milestones and ordinary moments alike, showing her sense of self deepening over time.” Read more…)

Boy & The World (Brazil, animated feature. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “Alê Abreu’s ‘Boy and the World’ unleashes the exuberance of a child on the harsh realities of Brazil today. It’s both the best children’s animated film this year since ‘Inside Out’ — you might call it ‘Outside In’ — and, unexpectedly, a more stirring depiction of the deadening modern megalopolis than most heal-the-world documentaries.” Read more…)

600 Miles (drama/thriller, Tim Roth. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%.)

New Foreign
MermaidThe Mermaid (Hong Kong, fantasy/action, Jelly Lin. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 69. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “‘The Mermaid’ is no ordinary fantastical rom-com though, encompassing as it does weaponized sea urchins, incredibly delicious roasted chickens, man-octopus self-mutilation and other comic oddities. The slapstick is incredible, but that’s only one aspect of the movie’s spectacular humor: The relentlessly absurdist scene in which Liu Xuan tries to convince two police officers that he was kidnapped by a mermaid is probably the funniest thing that’ll play on a screen this year, and maybe next.” Read more…)

Boy & The World (Brazil, animated feature. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “Alê Abreu’s ‘Boy and the World’ unleashes the exuberance of a child on the harsh realities of Brazil today. It’s both the best children’s animated film this year since ‘Inside Out’ — you might call it ‘Outside In’ — and, unexpectedly, a more stirring depiction of the deadening modern megalopolis than most heal-the-world documentaries.” Read more…)

Only Yesterday (Japan, animated feature, Daisy Ridley [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 90. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Isao Takahata, an Academy Award nominee and one of the twin pillars of the anime giant Studio Ghibli, brings the cleareyed grace of his animation to the lovely memoiristic story of a 27-year-old woman in ‘Only Yesterday.’ As the woman, Taeko, goes on a vacation in the country that brings back grade-school memories, Mr. Takahata finds a poignancy in milestones and ordinary moments alike, showing her sense of self deepening over time.” Read more…)

New British
The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series (Part 1, Shakespeare, Richard II, Henry IV: Part 1, Henry IV: Part 2, Henry V)

New TV
House of Cards: Season 4 (political drama, Kevin Spacey. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 76.)

New Documentaries
Sinner_In_MeccaA Sinner in Mecca (culture, religion, gay & lesbian issues. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Andy Webster’s Times review: “There is no doubting the courage and conviction of the New York documentarian Parvex Sharma. In ‘A Jihad for Love,’ from 2008, he interviewed devout gay Muslims worldwide. In ‘A Sinner in Mecca,’ Mr. Sharma, who is also gay and Muslim, takes viewers on his 2011 hajj, or pilgrimage, to Islam’s most sacred sites. The journey is fraught with risks: In Saudi Arabia, being gay can mean execution, public lashings or imprisonment. And yet Mr. Sharma has created a swirling, fascinating travelogue and a stirring celebration of devotion.” Read more…)

New Gay & Lesbian DVDs7
A Sinner in Mecca (culture, religion, gay & lesbian issues. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Andy Webster’s Times review: “There is no doubting the courage and conviction of the New York documentarian Parvex Sharma. In ‘A Jihad for Love,’ from 2008, he interviewed devout gay Muslims worldwide. In ‘A Sinner in Mecca,’ Mr. Sharma, who is also gay and Muslim, takes viewers on his 2011 hajj, or pilgrimage, to Islam’s most sacred sites. The journey is fraught with risks: In Saudi Arabia, being gay can mean execution, public lashings or imprisonment. And yet Mr. Sharma has created a swirling, fascinating travelogue and a stirring celebration of devotion.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Boy & The World (Brazil, animated feature. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “Alê Abreu’s ‘Boy and the World’ unleashes the exuberance of a child on the harsh realities of Brazil today. It’s both the best children’s animated film this year since ‘Inside Out’ — you might call it ‘Outside In’ — and, unexpectedly, a more stirring depiction of the deadening modern megalopolis than most heal-the-world documentaries.” Read more…)

Only Yesterday (Japan, animated feature, Daisy Ridley [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 90. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Isao Takahata, an Academy Award nominee and one of the twin pillars of the anime giant Studio Ghibli, brings the cleareyed grace of his animation to the lovely memoiristic story of a 27-year-old woman in ‘Only Yesterday.’ As the woman, Taeko, goes on a vacation in the country that brings back grade-school memories, Mr. Takahata finds a poignancy in milestones and ordinary moments alike, showing her sense of self deepening over time.” Read more…)