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Strangers with Candy (R)  -  -  - Directed by Paul Dinello  - TH!NKFilm  -  - When I learned that the film adaptation of the Comedy - Central cult series "Strangers with Candy" had been - completed but shelved for a little over a year, my first - inclination was to think that maybe the test audiences - didn't "get" it. The show's sense of humor was always a - very profane form of absurdist surrealism that would - often go overhead. Eventually, though, the film was - released in a tiny theatrical run. Having viewed the - finished product, I can openly wonder if it should have - stayed on the shelf. Sure, the deviant underbelly of the - Jerri Blank character is there, but it's just plain not funny. - Too many of the jokes, many of which were recycled - from the show, fall flat.  Louis Fowler -
  • Strangers with Candy (R)

    Directed by Paul Dinello

    TH!NKFilm

    When I learned that the film adaptation of the Comedy Central cult series "Strangers with Candy" had been completed but shelved for a little over a year, my first inclination was to think that maybe the test audiences didn't "get" it. The show's sense of humor was always a very profane form of absurdist surrealism that would often go overhead. Eventually, though, the film was released in a tiny theatrical run. Having viewed the finished product, I can openly wonder if it should have stayed on the shelf. Sure, the deviant underbelly of the Jerri Blank character is there, but it's just plain not funny. Too many of the jokes, many of which were recycled from the show, fall flat. Louis Fowler

Wordplay (PG)  -  - Directed by Patrick Creadon  - IFC Films  -  - For over 25 years, large groups of crossword puzzle fans - have gathered to compete for cash and notoriety in a - national event to see who's the world's greatest puzzle- - solver. It's a sub-culture that I'll admit I never knew - existed, but watching these mental athletes is a real - white-knuckler that draws out intense human drama - perhaps more than you'd expect from this sport. In - addition to following the contestants, the film goes - behind the scenes of the making of the New York - Times crossword  one of the hardest in the world - which is a much more exhausting job than you'd - think. Wordplay is a real undiscovered gem that - would go great on a double bill with the kids-in-a- - spelling-bee nail-biter Spellbound. - Louis Fowler
  • Wordplay (PG)

    Directed by Patrick Creadon

    IFC Films

    For over 25 years, large groups of crossword puzzle fans have gathered to compete for cash and notoriety in a national event to see who's the world's greatest puzzle- solver. It's a sub-culture that I'll admit I never knew existed, but watching these mental athletes is a real white-knuckler that draws out intense human drama perhaps more than you'd expect from this sport. In addition to following the contestants, the film goes behind the scenes of the making of the New York Times crossword one of the hardest in the world which is a much more exhausting job than you'd think. Wordplay is a real undiscovered gem that would go great on a double bill with the kids-in-a- spelling-bee nail-biter Spellbound. Louis Fowler

Maniac Cop (R)  -  - Directed by William Lustig  - Synapse Films  -  - Growing up, I bought a copy of Maniac Cop at a - garage sale, and, consequently, wore the tape out, - playing it until it finally snapped. One of the best cult - films ever made, Maniac Cop is a horror fan's - dream come true: Not only does it star genre legends - Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell, but it was directed by - William Lustig and written by underrated genius - screensmith Larry Cohen. The story preys on one of - society's fears: A hulking cop, seemingly returned from - the dead, stalks the streets of New York, slaughtering - the innocent and creating such a panic that no one - knows who to turn to for help. It's a fun, B-movie - masterpiece that is finally getting its due. - Louis Fowler
  • Maniac Cop (R)

    Directed by William Lustig

    Synapse Films

    Growing up, I bought a copy of Maniac Cop at a garage sale, and, consequently, wore the tape out, playing it until it finally snapped. One of the best cult films ever made, Maniac Cop is a horror fan's dream come true: Not only does it star genre legends Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell, but it was directed by William Lustig and written by underrated genius screensmith Larry Cohen. The story preys on one of society's fears: A hulking cop, seemingly returned from the dead, stalks the streets of New York, slaughtering the innocent and creating such a panic that no one knows who to turn to for help. It's a fun, B-movie masterpiece that is finally getting its due. Louis Fowler

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