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In Your Eyes, The Rise and Fall of the Clash, Dead Shadows 

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click to enlarge In Your Eyes

In Your Eyes (NR)

Bellwether Pictures

In Your Eyes is the rare modern film written by pop auteur Joss Whedon (The Avengers) but directed by someone else entirely, in this case relative newcomer Brin Hill. And the day after its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, Whedon announced its next-day VOD availability. (There's a 72-hour rental for $5 at Vimeo.) So in some ways, it's a movie unlike any other. Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David give effortlessly charismatic performances as a pair of supernaturally entwined souls who eventually consume each other's thoughts, and Hill grounds the plot in genuine emotional rawness. But Whedon's heartfelt expression of loneliness — imagine finding someone who's experienced your whole life with you, who's felt what you've felt, without either of you knowing — clearly derives from chat-room romances that were just hitting the mainstream around the mid-'90s, when Whedon wrote the script. Still, any staleness is more than compensated for with wit and naked honesty. — Justin Strout

click to enlarge The Rise and Fall of the Clash

The Rise and Fall of the Clash (NR)

Shout! Factory

The Clash carried with them the nickname, "The only band that matters." If this is true, then let's go ahead and call this the only documentary about the band that matters. This is a warts-and-all travelogue through the band's varied history, from its start as a couple of socially conscious young punks to worldwide success and all the trappings that come with it, to the inevitable break-up and sour feelings that pretty much destroyed the group and sent everyone on their merry way. Filled with plenty of juicy backstage gossip and lots of rumor-busting truths that are finally confirmed, Rise and Fall is right up there with the Sex Pistols' The Filth and the Fury when it comes to insider's views of what killed punk and why it's impossible to ever truly resurrect it. The Clash may never reunite — thanks, Death! — but at least the music still exists, along with this informative back story. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge In Your Eyes

Dead Shadows (NR) (Blu-ray)

Shout! Factory

A French mélange of John Carpenter's entire career, this sci-fi flick is a step-above recent JC-inspired efforts. But with a scant running time of 76 minutes, it doesn't really give audiences the payoff they deserve. Young Chris witnessed the brutal slaughter of his parents during the arrival of Halley's Comet years back. As a new comet hurtles towards the Earth, people start acting strange, particularly in the sex and violence arenas. Chris, who has a near-crippling fear of the dark, has to put on his big-boy skinny jeans and venture out into the deadly streets of Paris, encountering one slimy, slithering alien-possessed human after another. Equal parts Escape from New York, The Fog and The Thing, it's a fantastic attempt by director David Cholewa that's sadly hampered by that seemingly truncated running time. At the end, it feels like kind of an ambiguous cheat. Director's cut, anyone? — Louis Fowler

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