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  • Sledgehammer

    Sledgehammer

    ★★

    The acting and production are predictably bad, but the editing … wow. I would describe it as spectacularly bad editing. I think there may be more slow-motion footage than normal speed shots. Cool soundtrack though, and could be a good choice if you’re in the mood for a Z-grade shot-on-video vibe.

  • The Pit

    The Pit

    ★★

    The plot is so absurd it almost makes the movie entertaining, but mostly it’s just slow and annoying.

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  • The New Alchemists

    The New Alchemists

    ★★★★★

    My dad, Marcus Sherman, appears throughout this short documentary from his time at the New Alchemy Institute in the 1970s on Cape Cod. The group worked on various projects that fall under what would now be considered “hippie modernism”, with a focus on sustainable living.

    One of the things my dad worked on, and is shown in the film, was developing low-tech windmills to pump water and generate electricity. This work would lead him to other related projects all over…

  • Chernobyl

    Chernobyl

    ★★★★★

    Bleak as fuck. Some of the best production work in recent memory. The filming, coloring, makeup, costumes, locations – everything contributes to an overall atmosphere that is profoundly grim. It feels like a film-based incarnation of brutalism: raw, spare, and gray.

    The acting is excellent (if you can get past the fact that all these eastern Europeans have British accents). Some characters like the miners or soviet administrators are a bit cartoonish, but I suppose some caricature and simplification is…