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Henry's Crime

If I’m going to be honest with you, I’ll have to admit that I like this movie a bit more than it actually deserves. Firstly, of course, because it’s set in Buffalo, and was partly filmed here. (You already know that, and if you don’t, get last week’s Artvoice to read up.) Second, because it’s the kind of low-key movie that doesn’t get made much anymore, and certainly never gets into theaters, where everything is marketed at either 17-year-old boys or eight-year-old girls. Think I’m exaggerating? Look at just about every other movie opening this week—and the summer season is just about to start.

Fast Five

There are stupid movies that you enjoy, and stupid movies that just rub you the wrong way. I’ve been thinking about that distinction since seeing this new entry in the Fast and the Furious series, which falls into both camps. Enjoyably stupid movies are made with tongue somewhat in cheek: Yes, the filmmakers are saying, we know this is preposterous and unbelievable, so let’s all just have fun with it. At the other end are the filmmakers who seem to regard their audiences as idiots with wallets, whose understanding of the laws of physics is derived from playing video games. Not having been a fan of the previous films in this series, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it for its spectacular stunts and action scenes. But an awful lot of it is utterly stupid.

I Am

It is enormously tempting simply to say that I Am is a new film from the director of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Patch Adams, Dragonfly, Bruce Almighty, and Evan Almighty, a list that, if you compare the quality of the films to their box office success, can only lead you to despair. I suggest that not as punishment to those who bought tickets for them, thus ensuring that there would be more to come (though it’s a nice thought), but because the audience for those films are the ones most likely to benefit from what this documentary wants to do.

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