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Cinefiles

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High School (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

When I was a teenager, youthful comedies about high schoolers sticking it to the man — using marijuana as a vehicle of comeuppance — were the low-rent rage. And I'll admit, I partook of more than one of them. Now, at an older, more socially responsible 34, I find these movies culturally abhorrent. There was the recently released atrocity Mac and Devin Go to High School from tweeny-rapper Wiz Khalifa. And, now, for the suburban kids, High School, which is proud to present drug-free scholarly success in such a hateful, arrogant manner, it's almost as if the filmmakers made the thing in order to justify the mistakes in their own lives. If grown men want to Cheech and Chong it up, more power to them, but to present it to teenagers in the way High School does — that's just socially irresponsible, and not in the fun way. — Louis Fowler

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Chico & Rita (NR) (Blu-ray)

New Video Group

As loosely structured and intoxicatingly romantic as the classic jazz pervading its soundtrack, Chico & Rita, a surprise Oscar nominee this year for Best Animated Feature, is a simple love story writ majestic by its florid, often steamy style. The story: A composer and a singer make a great pair, become successful, are torn apart by fame but are inextricably intertwined by music and emotion. On Blu-ray, the sights and sounds of 1940s Cuba extend as deeply as Rita's eyes, colliding with the narrative fire of co-director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque). It's slightly slow-moving, and the white subtitles are infuriatingly hard to follow, but the best compliment to the filmmakers' efforts is that after a while neither really matters. Words are hardly needed, anyway, amid the music by Cuban composer Bebo Valdés. — Justin Strout

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Goats (R)

Image Entertainment

White people. Their problems are just sooooooo much more important than everyone else's. The ennui. The malaise. The existential angst that courses through every vein. That feeling needs its own movie, and Goats is it; it's even whiter than Birth of a Nation. The Bieber-haired Ellis (Graham Phillips) is about to embark on a journey of finding himself by attending an upscale private school, leaving behind his trust-fund New Age-obsessed monster of a mother (Vera Farmiga) and her perpetually stoned, goat-herding, desert-trekking landscaper Goatman (a sleepy David Duchovny). They all fight, cry, drink wine, eat mayonnaise sandwiches ... you know, things white people do. And here, they do them so well. It all comes off comically contrived, with so many examples of misplaced self-importance that it might as well have been a bad Prius commercial. — Louis Fowler

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