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Much Ado About Nothing

No stars. Black-and-white, high-definition video. No set designers because the movie is set in the director’s actual Los Angeles home. Obviously, not the usual elements of a movie adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy. Nor the way Hollywood productions are assembled. It’s more redolent of financially flimsy independent work. But those Desperation Row movies don’t customarily get distributed by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, as Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is. Of course, virtually by definition, indies lack the reputational heft Whedon can summon.

The East

Brit Marling, the actress and writer who has been the guiding force behind he independent dramas Another Earth, Sound of My Voice, and now The East (directed by friends from her college days at Georgetown) has developed a following possessed of an almost cult-like fervor. (Ironic, given that two of her films have been about cults.)

Monsters University

There’s not much to dispute anymore: Disney has pretty much killed Pixar. The animation company that gave new life to what had been a children’s genre with films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Up has been on a downward spiral ever since the Mouse bought it out. It took a little while for the projects that had been initiated and produced fully by Pixar to make it through the pipeline, but the first one officially branded “Disney•Pixar” was Cars, easily the worst of the Pixar films I’ve seen. (I hear Cars 2 was even worse.)

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