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The Woodmans (NR)

Lorber Films

Veteran PBS director C. Scott Willis' documentary on photographer Francesca Woodman, whose nude self-portraits gathered a cult following upon her suicide in 1981 at age 22, has a rumbling darkness that suggests not only the power of art, but of ambition. Raised by artist parents, Francesca hit the art-school ground running, lapping fellow students and even professors. But, as shown in her journal entries, she was impatient waiting for a success she felt entitled to. Willis has a clear reverence for his subject, and makes Mr. and Mrs. Woodman sympathetic instead of morbid. They feel no responsibility for her suicide, and it says a lot about the discipline behind the Woodmans, and the film itself, that unearned sentimentality is hardly welcome. — Justin Strout

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The FP (R)

Image Entertainment

When trailers for this wannabe-Troma-esque, post-apocalyptic comedy (?) started running, it reminded me of the kind of trashy sci-fi you'd see on USA's Up All Night at 3 a.m. in the early '90s. I expected a fun little diversion, but within minutes it was obvious that the joke — two gangs seeking control of a rural wasteland, battling it out via an old Dance Dance Revolution machine — is going to wear thin. And it does. Even worse is the constant use of the n-word and mocking of hip-hop culture. It's a total shame that for all the inventive ways this movie could have gone, it went for the easy joke. — Louis Fowler

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Monster Brawl (NR)

Image Entertainment

You know those geeky conversations with nerd friends where you pit two fictional characters in an imagined fight to see who would win? The fun horror-comedy Monster Brawl transforms that whole argument into an 89-minute title bout of monsters while former Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley commentates and Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart hoots from the sidelines. See a Cyclops pile-drive a witch! There's no plot, no story here; just monsters wrestling each other. But writer/director Jesse Thomas Cook makes it all so exciting and comical that you want it to keep going, even if it was a body-slamming $49.95 on Pay-Per-View. — Louis Fowler


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