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Marwencol (NR)

Cinema Guild

The subject of Jeff Malmberg's quietly affecting documentary is Mark Hogancamp, an ex-military man beaten nearly to death outside a bar in 2000. With the part of his brain that stores and processes memories severely damaged, Mark starts his life over while dealing with the drunken mess he became prior to the attack. Alienated from most social interactions, Mark pours his fears and fantasies into Marwencol, a 1/6-scale model of a World War II village in which he stars as protector to the town's female citizens/Barbie dolls. Marwencol was conceived as an unusual "therapy," but in his tenuous psychological state, Mark often can't distinguish between his fantasy town and the "real world." We see a man forced to redevelop his personality from scratch, forcibly accelerated when Marwencol is "discovered" by a chic New York arts magazine. — Daniel Barnes

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Stan Lee's Superhumans: Season One (PG)

History Channel

I forever respect Stan Lee for his contributions to popular culture, but the man will slap his name on anything. Stripperella? With each endorsement to which he lends his stamp of approval, his brand gets less reliable. And while his History Channel show, Stan Lee's Superhumans, isn't as bad as, say, the upcoming Governator will be, it's a stretch to have him hosting wraparound segments of basically an extreme edition of That's Incredible! We tag along with Daniel Smith, the "most flexible man in the world," as he meets people who can conduct electricity, have quick and precise aim, have mastered Bruce Lee's One-Inch Punch, and so on. It's fun enough semi-educational viewing, an audio-visual carnival freakshow filtered through the bombastic musings of the Spider-Man creator. But only if you're a "true believer" will this not get old and tired. — Louis Fowler

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Heartless (NR)

MPI Home Video

Enigmatic filmmaker Philip Ridley has made three undiscovered masterpieces: 1990's vampire-based religious study The Reflecting Skin; 1995's violent religious study The Passion of Darkly Noon; and, now, the dramatic Faustian-hoodie religious study Heartless. It's arguably his most fully realized and accessible film. Jim Sturgess is Jamie, a young photographer who leads a quiet life with his mother in a violent London neighborhood. Due to a heart-shaped birthmark that covers most of his body, he's reserved and gentle and a total outsider. When his mother is set on fire by demonic thugs, he makes a deal with, possibly, the Devil, to make Mom proud: The birthmark will disappear, and he'll create a little chaos here and there. Beautifully haunting and surprisingly moving, Heartless is a challenging treatise on faith and madness, not in that order. — Louis Fowler

  • Marwencol, Stan Lee's Superhumans, Heartless

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