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This Must Be the Place, Veep, Eaters 

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click to enlarge This Must Be the Place

This Must Be the Place (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

This Must Be the Place, at first glance, had all the makings of a terrible joke; a movie that would go down in cinema history as a one-note misfire that was practically MST3K-ready. The premise is basically this: An effeminate Robert Smith (of proto-Goth band The Cure) clone comes out of retirement to kill Nazi war criminals. And who is playing the Smith-riff? Why none other than notorious tough-guy actor Sean Penn. I was prepared to just mock this 2011 release to no end. But, about 10 minutes in, I wasn't laughing — I was transfixed. Penn becomes this aging Goth rocker so completely, so internally, that you forget you're even watching an actor. And, as ludicrous as the Nazi war criminal angle is ... it's actually heart-breaking, yet somehow life-affirming. This movie is so outside the norm of anything I've seen before, making it all the more amazingly original and a true must-see. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Veep

Veep (NR)

HBO Studios

As a fan of Brit writer-producer Armando Iannucci's TV work, especially his 2009 political satire In the Loop, I jumped headfirst into the filmmaker's HBO adventure, Veep, starring the brilliant Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as Selina Meyer, the VP of the United States. Co-starring Arrested Development's Tony Hale and In the Loop standout Anna Chlumsky, Veep, on paper, seemed like catnip for lovers of smart TV. On first viewing, however, the show's bitter cynicism outweighed its already lightweight political incisiveness. A second look is benefitted by lowered expectations; fitting for a show so convinced that a center-left America has spent the last few years stuck in a post-2008 depressive rut. Veep's debut season ended stronger than some may remember, making a strong case for its continued life with barbed critiques and (brief) windows into its characters' lives. — Justin Strout

click to enlarge Eaters

Eaters (NR)

Entertainment One

Three words no one ever wants to see at the start of a movie: Uwe Boll Presents. Boll, for those who aren't in the know, is widely regarded as one of the worst filmmakers currently working, a new Ed Wood or tax-shelter artist. (His 2005 Alone in the Dark actually pulls a 1 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes' "Tomatometer.") So whenever he presents something ... let's just say I'm not expecting much. And, with Eaters, that's a pretty good thing. While nowhere near as bad as Boll's own outings, this Italian pickup has a great premise: In the outbreak of a plague that has turned most of the world into zombies, a trio of survivors wander the wasteland, encountering numerous post-apocalyptic weirdos. This is all well and good, but in the hands of directors Marco Ristori and Luca Boni, it's mostly boring and tries way too hard to be different, to the point of inane pretension. — Louis Fowler

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