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Alamar (NR)

Film Movement

Cinematographer Pedro González-Rubio makes his solo directorial debut with a quietly dazzling film that swims very comfortably between the worlds of dream and documentary. A father and his 5-year-old son spend a summer fishing and watching wildlife near the coral reefs of Mexico's Banco Chinchorro Reserve. Soon the boy will go live with his mother in Rome; but first, there's a gentle, indelible lesson on how to be at home in the wider world. This exquisite naturalism could be a culture shock for the showbiz-acclimated, but patience is rewarded with wisdom, intimacy and amazement. The film celebrates the futile, but also rewarding, labor of hoping for reconciliation between the impermanent and the timeless. It also includes the musical sand-animated Spanish short film No Corras Tanto, a stylistically more elaborate but like-minded companion piece. — Jonathan Kiefer

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Bitter Feast (NR)

Dark Sky Films

I occasionally write restaurant reviews, but I'm not very good at it and I know why: I like everything. From the lowliest Chicken McNugget to the priciest slice of Kobe beef, I'm probably gonna think it's delicious. If I were a bit more of a jerk, I'd find Joe Maggio's brilliant Bitter Feast scarier. James LeGros delivers a blisteringly dead-on portrayal of celeb chef Peter Gray, whose culinary empire is crumbling around him. He takes out his rage on a pretentiously bitter food-blogger, chaining and torturing him on his sprawling, secluded country estate, giving him a brutally painful crash-course in real food criticism. The aspect of Bitter Feast that separates it from other foodie flicks is that this is no wry, black comedy that happens to take place in a kitchen; this is a bloody rare horror movie, an original twist on an already delicious idea. — Louis Fowler

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Twelve (R)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Our culture loves to see little rich kids get taken down a peg. A mixture of revenge fantasy and closeted envy, this current spate of media proudly showing the dirty, grimy side of over-privileged, little-snot life usually creates camp-angsty melodramas. To that sorry collection, let's go ahead and add Joel Schumacher — yes, I'm as surprised as you are that he still is directing — and Twelve. It's about the most handsome drug dealer you've ever seen (Chace Crawford, the poor man's Ashton Kutcher) and his ins-and-outs with the upper-class party-youth of New York City. The focus is on the hot new drug "twelve," handled by rapper 50 Cent. Once you get past the fresh-scrubbed sheen that never fully allows you to believe the proceedings, Twelve is actually a stupid, extended episode of a nameless CW teen-drama, and it's heavy-handed and exploitative. — Louis Fowler


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