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Hellbound: Hellraiser II, 20th Anniversary Edition (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

When I was 10, I first saw Hellbound: Hellraiser II, the bigger-budget, bigger-in-scope sequel to Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Embarrassingly enough, its nightmarish visages of hell freaked me out so much, I slept on the floor of my parents' room that night. Now, 20 years later, while much of the dialogue and acting goes beyond cheesy, the horrifically scary and disturbing images are still there, making this a true genre classic. Pinhead and his Cenobite buddies, the S&M angels of death, are back, taking us to the outer reaches of hell as "final girl" Kirsty returns, this time trying to find her murdered dad in the underworld. It's a freaky trip that is so relentlessly dark, it's still hard to shake. Louis Fowler

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American Teen (PG-13)

Paramount Home Entertainment

The Indy and numerous papers like it gave this documentary a good review back in July, and nowadays a lot of critics are putting it atop of their "Best of 2008" lists. Boy, is this a case of people following the crowd; if anything, it's the most self-indulgent, whiny, irritating film of the year, if not the decade. It follows the pseudo-deep lives and, ugh, emotions of a bunch of grating, self-involved teens attending a small-town high school. From the popular bro-jock and queen bee, to the cry-baby band geek and depressive art-girl, the whole thing feels like a staged MTV pilot that might've found an audience who'd put The Hills to shame. If anything, it's worth a viewing to make yourself feel better that you're so far removed from this life. Louis Fowler

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George Carlin: It's Bad for Ya (NR)

MPI Home Video

This past year, we, as a culture, lost one of our greatest dissenting voices, that of the acerbic George Carlin. His death was a shock, but, unlike many deceased comic geniuses, Carlin left behind an incredible amount of work, including It's Bad for Ya, his 14th and final HBO comedy special. Right from the opening, he starts with "Fuck Lance Armstrong," diving deep into his dislike for being told by media whom to idolize. From there, he keeps after the jugular. Carlin delivers on topics like picturing your grandparents in hell, excessive devotion to children, failure of the "self-esteem movement" and, ironically enough, his own imminent death. It's a fitting, classic send-off for one of the best comedians and social commentators of all time. Louis Fowler


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