Jules and Jim, Dark Touch, Concussion 


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Jules and Jim (Blu-ray) (NR)


Criterion's famous cleanup crew has done a remarkable job beautifying François Truffaut's classic New Wave love triad, released in 2005 but updated here to include Blu-ray. Featuring rewarding extras like an audio commentary by Jeanne Moreau and a talk with the children of the real-life inspirations for Jules, Jim and Catherine, this set is more than worthy of one of the defining films of a crucial era. And yet ... as time marches on, Jules and Jim's sexual politics can't help but seem ever more distant, as alien in the context of today's gender battles as D.W. Griffith's racial politics would have been to Truffaut. Even its polyamorous plot line, still instinctively celebrated as challenging, feels clumsier and more boorish with each viewing. Of course, that's a minor quibble given such a monumental work. Jules and Jim, like the film, will live forever. — Justin Strout

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Dark Touch (NR)

IFC Films

Dark Touch lives up to its title, in the most uncomfortable of ways. This Irish horror flick is a good mix of early Stephen King (think Carrie or Firestarter) but with a brutally unlikable reasoning for the proceedings, which shocks and horrifies more than the actual death that proceeds. Young Neve has seemingly mustered various telekinetic powers that manifest themselves any time she feels threatened. Extremely withdrawn, she's taken in by foster parents after her mom and dad are killed in a mind-altering rage. As the mystery of Neve's powers and how they came about is explored — I won't give away the ugly explanation here — more deaths are linked to her, as well as various unexplained disturbances. It all leads to a shocking ending that I'm still trying to process. Dark Touch works an unyielding thriller that left me unsettled for days. — Louis Fowler

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Concussion (R)

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Modern-day housewife Abby pretty much has it all: a doting spouse, perfect house, etc. When her head meets-cute with a baseball, however, in what can only be construed as an indie-movie trope, she gets a concussion that leads her into a ridiculous, life-ruining path of supposed sexual liberation and erotic freedom. How does she attain this? By becoming a high-class hooker in Manhattan, bringing in scads of dollars while trying to keep her dirty secret hidden. Are we supposed to be inspired by all this? It's actually a sad, depressive and pathetic exploration of needless and selfish self-destruction, all under the self-serving label of self-discovery. Even worse, Concussion really thinks that it's a groundbreaking, provocative flick, and as it tries to push the boundaries, it becomes a self-parody of an adults-only Lifetime movie. — Louis Fowler


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