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An Idiot Abroad (NR)


Ricky Gervais' persona has curdled since his post-Office cult-hero-worship days. Still, there's real genius inside him, as proven on his radio shows, podcasts and the HBO animated version of those podcasts. His most favorable role is head agitator among his closest friends, Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and "bald-headed manc twat" radio producer Karl Pilkington. The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts have been endless wells of amusement thanks to Pilkington's appalling lack of worldview. So when Brit channel Sky1 sent Pilkington and a cameraman around the globe to broaden his horizons, the result was predictably jaw-dropping. To watch Pilkington's dull-eyed reactions to the Taj Mahal or Machu Picchu in Peru, and to hear him complain the entire way, is a marvel — even if it's hard to argue with the need for toilets and a bed. — Justin Strout


Ice Quake (PG)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

"Tonight there's gonna be an Ice Quake! In some Alaskan town! Tonight there's gonna be an Ice Quake! And that Alaskan town is goin' down!" Sorry, Thin Lizzy song parodies about straight-to-DVD disaster movies aside, as I sat down to watch this, I dreaded it would be the same old SyFy channel crap. But, like an avalanche of awesomeness, it turned out to be quite the exciting, inventive low-budget man vs. nature flick. Thanks to climate change, an underground river of frozen methane gas is released, causing earthquakes all over rural Alaska. A brilliant military geologist (Brendan Fehr) luckily finds himself in the middle of it; too bad it's while he's cutting a Christmas tree with the fam. It's a race against time to stop the gas from reaching the atmosphere, with legitimate thrills. Why can't all straight-to-DVD flicks be this good? — Louis Fowler


Don't Let Him In (NR)

Image Entertainment

This may come as a shock, but did you know that the British also have backwoods cannibal psychos? It's true, and it makes me a bit sad. I expected so much better from them. But sure enough, they're the ones who made Don't Let Him In, a grotty-toothed rip-off of The Strangers and Wrong Turn, if it were written by The Smiths. A serial killer known as ... wait for it ... the Tree Surgeon is slashing his way through a small rural town, mutilating bodies and hanging their remains from the limbs of trees in an attempt to create Britain's ugliest mobile. A quartet of arrogant bastards on "holiday" take a trip to the countryside and end up as the Tree Surgeon's latest landscaping project. If I had never seen a movie like this before, I probably would've liked it better. But, really, you're so much better than this, England. Fail Britannia! — Louis Fowler

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