Culture » Film

Generation Iron, Vampire Academy, Josh (Against the Grain)



Generation Iron (PG-13)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

In the spirit of the groundbreaking '70s documentary Pumping Iron, the critically acclaimed look into the sport of body-building that launched a then-unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger unto the world, comes Generation Iron, an engrossing update that follows a handful of hopefuls training to become the next Mr. Olympia. Narrated by Mickey Rourke, this doc plunges the viewer into the routines that push these guys to the brink of absolute perfection, as well as into their home lives, where their loved ones deal with the stringent control the men must exude to reach that title. Topics such as food, steroids and failure are not left untouched, giving these men a third dimension that goes way above the meathead stereotype. These are real people with inspirational stories, who have found a way to stand apart from the rest of the world. — Louis Fowler


Vampire Academy (PG-13)

Anchor Bay

The only aspect of teen girlhood that Vampire Academy gets right is the refusal to stop talking. From the exposition-stuffed opening minutes to the unconvincing plea for sequels in the closing scenes, director Mark Waters (Mean Girls) and his brother, writer Daniel Waters (Heathers), attempt to explain six volumes of an ongoing YA book series using flashbacks, clunky dialogue and breathless voiceover from protagonist Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch). In a nutshell, Rose is in training to become the protector of a princess who happens to be her bestie. They attend St. Vladimir's Academy, the center of gravity in a larger conspiracy to take out the princess. The movie sets up a muddled system of rules only to ignore them, while highly edited action scenes fail to inspire more than a 'meh.' For all the chatter, Vampire Academy has nothing to say. — Justin Strout


Josh (Against the Grain) (NR)

Virgil Films

Fatima is a dedicated teacher, living and thriving in Karachi, whose world is torn apart when her nanny Nusrat disappears into thin air. As she goes on a personal quest to find answers, she soon learns that no one, even her family, will help — they're afraid of the oppressive world that will not only come down on her, but on them as well. It's a scary, alien society filled with poverty, sexism and fear that delves deeper into the social strata of Pakistan than any film in recent cinema history. Besides the historical reasons why this world is the way it is, it also explores how today's youth will deal with and question this past as they seek a future without fear. Josh (Against the Grain) might seem a little one-sided at first, especially to Western audiences, but the points it strives to make should manage to shake us from our protective little worlds. — Louis Fowler

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