New Releases 09/24/13

Top Hits
Iron Man 3 (superhero action, Robert Downey Jr. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 62. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Right before I saw Iron Man 3, a publicist implored the several hundred attendees — professionals and civilians jammed into a multiplex box and throbbing with excitement — not to reveal any crucial information about the movie to anyone else. After the final credits rolled, and I staggered toward the exit, the booms of explosions still ringing in my ears, I wondered what I could possibly divulge that would spoil the pleasure of an innocent ticket buyer. After all, originality isn’t the point of a product like Iron Man 3, which, despite the needless addition of 3-D and negligible differences in quips, gadgets, villains and the type of stuff blown up, plays out much like the first two movies.” Read more…)

Disconnect (drama, Jason Bateman. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 64. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “How [Disconnect], directed by Henry-Alex Rubin [the documentary Murderball]  from a screenplay by Andrew Stern, will be received probably depends on the age and digital sophistication of the viewer. Those proficient with Facebook, Twitter, Skype, webcams and smartphones may find Disconnect too obvious and blithely dismiss its alarmist attitude as fuddy-duddy. And moviegoers weary of the schematic everything-is-connected school of films like Crash, Babel and Short Cuts may blanch at the recycling of the convention, even though this film’s theme is connectivity and its discontents. But those struggling to keep up with changing technology may shudder at the portrayal of cruelty unleashed by bullies and thieves who blithely hide behind disguises, dig up personal information with a few keystrokes and destroy people.” Read more…)

Redemption (action, Jason Statham. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 43. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Can a saintly nun save the soul of a macho thug? Will their mutual attraction be consummated? And if it is, will we get to watch? Such questions are toyed with clumsily in Redemption, the splashy, scatterbrained directorial debut of Steven Knight, the screenwriter of David Cronenberg’s acclaimed crime thriller Eastern Promises.” Read more…)

My Brother the Devil (UK, drama, Said Taghmaoui. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Death is always hovering just out of sight in My Brother the Devil, but there’s nothing deadening about this engaging first feature from the Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker Sally El Hosaini. Quite the reverse. Invigorating and unpredictable, the story [also by Ms. Hosaini] tracks the forced maturation of two British-born Arab brothers living in an East London tower block.” Read more…)

The Story of Film: An Odyssey (5-disc history of cinema doc. From A.O. Scott’s 2012 New York Times Critic’s Notebook article: “A glance at the nominees for best picture at this year’s Oscars [The Artist, Hugo, War Horse] will confirm that the movies, a forward-looking medium tumbling headlong into a digital future, find themselves in a moment of retrospection. It is not just that a majority of the nominees take place in lovingly imagined and carefully costumed versions of the past — that in itself is hardly new — but also that several look back with affection at earlier phases in the history of cinema…. A more scholarly version of this double impulse — a history-minded cinephilia that is at once elegiac and celebratory, passionate and skeptical — informs The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Presented in eight chapters and clocking in at 900 minutes, this sprawling documentary, which takes up residence on Wednesday at the Museum of Modern Art, is notable for its epic ambition and for its conciseness. Cinema may be a relatively young art form, but its rapid evolution and global reach make its history dauntingly complex.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Iron Man 3

New Foreign
In the House (France, drama, Kristin Scott Thomas. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 72.From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “There is no other French actor — maybe no other actor in the world — who can match Fabrice Luchini’s knack for portraying the erotic, intellectual and social neuroses of a certain type of highly civilized man. At one point in François Ozon’s new movie, In the House, Mr. Luchini’s character, a high school teacher named Germain, attends a Woody Allen movie with his wife, Jeanne, a gallerist played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Though the movie [Match Point] is one in which Mr. Allen himself does not appear, it is clear enough that Germain might be one of his lost alter egos, a character ensnared by his own desires and a willful inability to distinguish reality from fantasy.” Read more…)

Detective Montalbano Ep. 23 & 24 (Italy, mystery series, Luca Zingaretti)
Detective Montalbano Ep. 25 & 26 (Italy, mystery series, Luca Zingaretti)

New British
My Brother the Devil (UK, drama, Said Taghmaoui, in Top Hits. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Death is always hovering just out of sight in My Brother the Devil, but there’s nothing deadening about this engaging first feature from the Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker Sally El Hosaini. Quite the reverse. Invigorating and unpredictable, the story [also by Ms. Hosaini] tracks the forced maturation of two British-born Arab brothers living in an East London tower block.” Read more…)

Foyle’s War Set 7
Trial & Retribution: Set 6

New Documentaries
The Story of Film (5-disc history of cinema, in Top Hits. From A.O. Scott’s 2012 New York Times Critic’s Notebook article: “A glance at the nominees for best picture at this year’s Oscars [The Artist, Hugo, War Horse] will confirm that the movies, a forward-looking medium tumbling headlong into a digital future, find themselves in a moment of retrospection. It is not just that a majority of the nominees take place in lovingly imagined and carefully costumed versions of the past — that in itself is hardly new — but also that several look back with affection at earlier phases in the history of cinema…. A more scholarly version of this double impulse — a history-minded cinephilia that is at once elegiac and celebratory, passionate and skeptical — informs The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Presented in eight chapters and clocking in at 900 minutes, this sprawling documentary, which takes up residence on Wednesday at the Museum of Modern Art, is notable for its epic ambition and for its conciseness. Cinema may be a relatively young art form, but its rapid evolution and global reach make its history dauntingly complex.” Read more…)