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My Dog Tulip (NR)

New Yorker Video/Release date: July 26

Paul and Sandra Fierlinger's animated take on J.R. Ackerley's memoir — about the special bond between a sad old Englishman and his Alsatian bitch — is a singular testament to true companionship, canine or otherwise. "Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs," Ackerley wrote, and the book that so lucidly elaborates on this aphorism becomes a film so unsentimental that it might seem like a shock to its genre. Featuring the voices of Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini, and reportedly the first animated feature to be entirely hand-drawn with paperless computer technology, My Dog Tulip has a fine array of unique credentials. Most important is that it's both a complete delight for dog lovers and a complete surprise for people who might not be into movies that delight dog-lovers. — Jonathan Kiefer

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Hungry Years (NR)

Last Ditch Pictures/Currently availableon iTunes

They mercilessly skewered the hack-filled, behind-the-scenes world of reality television in 2006's Special Needs, and now the brother-sister duo of Isaak and Eva James are back with Hungry Years. It's an insanely hilarious, and just as damning, look at the empty-souled, empty-headed and empty-gestured lives of various New York City activists who are so obsessive about their causes that they do more harm than good. Following the adventures of a neurotic "restricted calorie nutritionist" as she journeys outside her numerous self-imposed comfort zones, the Jameses create a brutally honest portrayal of people desperate to find some meaning in their lives without any type of self-awareness to go with it. This is the funniest movie I've seen this year, and further proof that the Jameses are this country's greatest untapped comedy resource. — Louis Fowler

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Tekken (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

The way that studios and distributors pick films to play theatrically confounds me. Worthless action flicks like The Mechanic or Sucker Punch get wide releases, but a truly entertaining gem like Tekken — based on the classic fighting video game — gets relegated to the straight-to-DVD bin. It's a damn shame. Set in a post-apocalyptic 2039, totalitarian corporations rule the world, and the strongest is the Tekken Corporation, which also runs an annual fighting tournament. A well-trained street urchin fights his way past a handful of colorful opponents, edging to the top of the Tekken food chain in a justified effort to kill the head honcho, with numerous complications ensuing, all of which are solved with kicking. However, unlike most movies based on fighting video games, the makers actually crafted an engaging story to go with it, making Tekken the true king of this genre's ring. — Louis Fowler


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