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New releases opening this week: The Act of Killing, In A World... and more

Remember when I said that movies weren't driving the culture any more? You know what I mean - they're not the subject of the national conversation. Christopher Nolan basically made the Occupy movement into domestic terrorists in The Dark Knight Rises, and nobody cared overmuch. But lots and lots of people want to argue about Walter White, the war on drugs, etc., thanks to TV's Breaking Bad. Movies have had their moment as cultural drivers. Now they're good for special effects and small stories. Plus Lee Daniels' The Butler.

Okay, enough with the overstatements. Especially considering the fact that we're in something of a golden age when it comes to documentaries. There's a reason Scott calls The Act of Killing "the only 100% original work of cinema to come out this year." Just go see it, okay?

BUT if you're okay with the small stories thing, you could do worse than In a World.... I had a fun chat with writer-director-star Lake Bell.

I wanted to like The Spectacular Now more than I did, partly because star Miles Teller (in town today!) is so darn likable. Your mileage may vary. Question for discussion: should I have felt weird for wanting to go and get a drink with my lady love after the screening?

Kick Ass 2: Balls to the Wall does not, in fact, feature any balls hitting any walls. (At least, no balls to the wall that I recall, y'all.) Which is surprising, given the amount of violence it does feature. I mean, sure, there are balls being gnawed on by a German Shepherd, but that's not quite the same thing. At any rate, it's not that good, mostly because it doesn't know what it wants to say.

Jobs? Creepy.

Paranoia? Creaky.

Persevere.

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Pear Blossoms Blooming, "Green Comet," Groundhog Day in San Diego

Later sunsets, earlier sunrises

Remember when I said that movies weren't driving the culture any more? You know what I mean - they're not the subject of the national conversation. Christopher Nolan basically made the Occupy movement into domestic terrorists in The Dark Knight Rises, and nobody cared overmuch. But lots and lots of people want to argue about Walter White, the war on drugs, etc., thanks to TV's Breaking Bad. Movies have had their moment as cultural drivers. Now they're good for special effects and small stories. Plus Lee Daniels' The Butler.

Okay, enough with the overstatements. Especially considering the fact that we're in something of a golden age when it comes to documentaries. There's a reason Scott calls The Act of Killing "the only 100% original work of cinema to come out this year." Just go see it, okay?

BUT if you're okay with the small stories thing, you could do worse than In a World.... I had a fun chat with writer-director-star Lake Bell.

I wanted to like The Spectacular Now more than I did, partly because star Miles Teller (in town today!) is so darn likable. Your mileage may vary. Question for discussion: should I have felt weird for wanting to go and get a drink with my lady love after the screening?

Kick Ass 2: Balls to the Wall does not, in fact, feature any balls hitting any walls. (At least, no balls to the wall that I recall, y'all.) Which is surprising, given the amount of violence it does feature. I mean, sure, there are balls being gnawed on by a German Shepherd, but that's not quite the same thing. At any rate, it's not that good, mostly because it doesn't know what it wants to say.

Jobs? Creepy.

Paranoia? Creaky.

Persevere.

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