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  • Zama

    Zama

    ★★★★

    What looks like it’s going to be a traditional costume drama is anything but. Irreverent and surreal, Lucrecia Martel’s droll take on the futility of colonialism strolls from absurdity to hopelessness with a strong flavor of queasy paranoia. Zama, a 17th century Spanish judge suffering through an extended appointment in Paraguay, is undermined, mocked, forsaken and humiliated at every turn, and slogs on through it all in a frustrated daze of unsatisfied desires. The soundtrack of jaunty guitar instrumentals perfectly…

  • Filmworker

    Filmworker

    ★★★

    Interesting look at Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick's right-hand man for the final 25 years of his career. This documentary lingers comfortably between two of the currently most fashionable totems of the documentary genre: giving a peek behind the curtain at an obscure figure in the arts, and fan service for a cult personality. Both are fine subjects, but neither tends to be revelatory. Vitali is charismatic, and his unusual career worth noting, but there's nothing particularly significant here outside of film nerdery. It's a high quality production that would fit right in on a cable channel that most people rarely watch.

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    I simply didn't care. Great acting, particularly by Ed Norton and Emma Stone. Early on Stone's character lets loose with an eviscerating speech that summed up my feelings exactly. Then it kept going for over an hour.

  • Krampus

    Krampus

    ★★★½

    After hearing and reading in review after review that Krampus was a fun '80s-ish horror romp not unlike Gremlins, I was not expecting something this unremittingly dark and bleak. Still, I far prefer Daugherty's eclectic and unnerving brand of visual creepiness to the canned horror of James Wan and Blumhouse, and Krampus serves up a quality parade of Christmassy ghoulishness. It just isn't an experience you're likely to be smiling about afterward, and at several points I questioned my choice to invite my 12-year-old daughter to watch it with me. And she's been watching Gremlins since she was six.