Most distributors are steering clear of the holiday weekend, and with the studios having made their Star-Spangled offerings last Wednesday (the Terminator and Magic Mike sequels), there are just eight reviews in today’s New York Times.
The best reviewed are docs. A.O. Scott calls Debra Granik’s STRAY DOG “perfect viewing for Independence Day – a chance to get acquainted with the resilient, kind and independent spirit of a fellow citizen and the people he loves.” In a somewhat less gushy, but still overwhelmingly positive review of Asif Kapadia’s AMY, Manohla Dargis hails it as “an intensely intimate experience” and a “shattering biographical portrait.” Of Matthew Heineman’s CARTEL LAND, Dargis writes of the director’s “terrific eye” and “nerves of steel,” while bemoaning his missing point-of view.
On the narrative front, Stephen Holden’s reviews continue to be the place where usable pull quotes go to die. Ken Loach’s JIMMY’S HALL is “a likable period piece” and Ami Canaan’s JACKIE & RYAN, um, “uses a terrific score of bluegrass and old-timey songs,” I guess. He liked them both. I think. (This guy must drive publicists crazy.)
Capsule review for “comic gorefest” STUNG references a dead dog at the hands (er, stingers) of mutant wasps, ensuring that I will never, ever see it.
Happy 4th of July, everybody!