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Dave Made a Maze

Bill Watterson’s Dave Made a Maze will receive comparisons to Dan Harmon’s TV show Community.  Their quirky in similar ways, the characters are alike, and there’s an uncanny connection to pop culture in both.  Most importantly, just like in Harmon’s cult hit, Dave Made a Maze is a story of misfits trying to define their self-worth while “adulting” by way of their own arrested development.

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Phoenix Forgotten

Derivative scares are surrounded by boring filler and exposition in Phoenix Forgotten, a feature debut by graphic artist Justin Barber that’s also been stupefyingly blessed by producer Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian).

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Menashe

Menashe acts as both a faithful slice of life of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and an effective character drama from the perspective of a widower.  The resonance is thin though, leaving the audience feeling lukewarm towards Joshua Z Weinstein’s otherwise efficient movie.

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Wind River

By: Nick Ferwerda Set in the snowy mountains of Wyoming on an indian reservation in the town of Wind River, Taylor Sheridan’s dark and thrilling crime drama – also titled Wind River – follows Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a wildlife protection officer, a local gametracker, and a man who had two children with someone from the reservation.  They split soon after their eldest daughter was killed in a murder that would, most likely, never be solved.

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Naked

Marlon Wayans, Michael Tiddes, and Rick Alvarez take a break from spoofing horror flicks (the Haunted House series) and mainstream smut (Fifty Shades of Black) to present Naked, a Netflix Original (and remake of 2000’s Sweden comedy Naken) that borrows the framework of narrative-looping to make a funny and surprisingly sweet movie that you’ll want to watch over and over again.

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Crackerhead

I like Crackerhead, but this latest experimental experience from filmmaker Mike Klassen is making me sweat – it’s a tough movie to review if you can’t crack through Klassen’s poker face.  The film’s flippant facade has anarchy written all over it, but the drive behind Klassen’s directorial decisions and stylistic storytelling suggests a deeper, poignant project.

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Brave New Jersey

Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast War of the Worlds was so convincing, some listeners were persuaded into thinking a martian invasion really was at large.  Brave New Jersey, a quirky small-scale comedy from budding director Jody Lambert, sets a funny fictitious story in this historical footnote, resulting in a sweet and refreshing flick that stays faithful to its period.