New Releases 5/12/15

Top Hits
Still Alice (drama, Julianne Moore. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 72. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Still Alice’ is a movie that addresses a nightmarish circumstance with calm, compassionate sensitivity. Based on Lisa Genova’s novel and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, it follows the deterioration of a Columbia linguistics professor who learns she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice Howland [Julianne Moore], along with her husband and three children, must endure a cruel and absurd ordeal that has no real chance of growing easier. With what seems like shocking rapidity — the film’s chronology is appropriately fuzzy — Alice slides from a witty, intelligent, capable adult into a fragile and confused shadow of her former self.” Read more…)

Blackhat (thriller/action, Chris Hemsworth. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 51. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Michael Mann’s thriller ‘Blackhat,’ a story about the intersection of bodies and machines, is a spectacular work of unhinged moviemaking. By turns brutal and sentimental, lovely and lurid, as serious as the grave and blissfully preposterous, it combines a truckload of plot with many of the obsessions, tropes, sights and sounds that distinguish his other movies, from kinetic gun battles to cool beauties gazing into the distance in sunglasses. Here those beauties are a pair of improbable computer savants, played by Chris Hemsworth and Tang Wei, who race, jet and furiously bang on keyboards across the globe while chasing villainy, lines of code and millions in loot.” Read more…)

Two Men in Town (thriller/drama, Forest Whitaker. Rotten Tomatoes: 40%. Metacritic: 56. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “[Parolee] William’s [Forest Whitaker] struggle is at the center of ‘Two Men in Town,’ a somber, slow-moving drama directed by Rachid Bouchareb. The film, a remake of a 1973 French policier starring Alain Delon and Jean Gabin, is above all a showcase for a superb group of actors. Brenda Blethyn as the parole officer and Harvey Keitel the sheriff are the bickering faces of legal authority, each one a prickly blend of toughness and compassion. Luis Guzmán as the bad old buddy and Dolores Heredia as the kind new love interest are expectedly excellent. Above all, Forest Whitaker, as shrewd and graceful as ever, conveys William’s infinite sorrow and simmering anger.” Read more…)

Fifty Shades of Grey (erotic romance, Dakota Johnson. Rotten Tomatoes: 25%. Metacritic: 46. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “It dabbles in romantic comedy and splashes around in melodrama, but the one thing it can’t be — the thing the novel so trashily and triumphantly is — is pornography. Ms. Taylor-Johnson’s sex scenes are not that much different from other R-rated sex scenes, though there are more of them and more hardware is involved.” Read more…)

Extraterrestrial (horror/sci-fi, Brittany Allen. Rotten Tomatoes: 32%. Metacritic: 38. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “You would never mistake the horror movie ‘Extraterrestrial’ for the Steven Spielberg classic ‘E.T. the Extraterrestrial,’ but you might be surprised by the number of scenes this picture borrows from other movies: the threatened woman in the phone booth, from the first ‘Matrix’; furtive, emaciated, long-armed aliens, as in ‘Dark Skies’ and countless other films; ‘Paranormal Activity’ – style snatches of ‘found’ video. A character grabs a carving knife at one point, and, you guessed it, there are young people imperiled in a cabin in the woods.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Blackhat

New Classics (pre-1960)
The Male Animal (1942, comedy, Henry Fonda. From Bosley Crowther’s 1942 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “In so many motion pictures does brawn get the break over brain that it is indeed encouraging when the bookworm finally turns. And that is the charming thing which happens, very neatly and comically, in the Warners exceptional screen translation of the James Thurber-Elliott Nugent play, ‘The Male Animal.’ Here, at last—here at the Strand—is a college comedy in which the fellow who scored the touchdown doesn’t get the girl, in which the pre-game football rally is beautifully satirized and the hero turns out to be a young, bespectacled, married prof. Heaven only knows what this picture will do to the old formula. The Warners are flaunting tradition in a most entertaining way.” Read more…)

New Television
The Flash: Complete Series