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  • Upgrade

    Upgrade

    ★★★½

    This is a high-concept sci-fi idea in the service of several hyper-kinetic action sequences. It's John Wick with a cyborg twist. It's as if Luc Besson tackled an episode of "Black Mirror." It's ridiculous, and it's an unapologetically entertaining 96-minute thrill ride. The bio-tech gimmicks are given more layers than any of the characters, but Logan Marshall-Green does an entirely adequate job as a store-brand version of Tom Hardy. Recommended if you liked Lucy, Gamer, or Hardcore Henry.

  • 2:22

    2:22

    ★★

    La Jetée, but as adapted by Nicholas Sparks.

  • Good Copy Bad Copy

    Good Copy Bad Copy

    ★★★½

    This is a thoughtful and well made documentary that looks at the subject of copyright from both sides of the law, and with an international scope, to boot. I get jazzed when I hear or see anyone putting the spotlight on the creative aspects of sampling and cut-and-paste technology, and not just toeing the line on piracy and copyright violation. This insightful work explores the topics of hip-hop sampling, remix culture, file-sharing, movie piracy, and the state of the music…

  • 787 Cliparts

    787 Cliparts

    ★★★½

    Simple and satisfying. Watch it on YouTube. It's since been mimicked for TV commercials, and Laric revisited the idea four years later with 2000 Cliparts.

  • Fast Film

    Fast Film

    ★★★½

    Brilliant, and just bursting with inspired ideas. I want to see an entire sub-genre of films made this way.

  • Oh Willy...

    Oh Willy...

    ★★★★

    Wow. Utterly entrancing and some of the most exquisitely detailed felt puppets and props I’ve ever laid eyes on. A masterful stop-motion short. Recommended if you liked Anomalisa, Madame Tutli-Putli, or Balance.

  • A Girl Named Elastika

    A Girl Named Elastika

    ★★★

    I really think the cutesy voice work is just too much, but the excellent animation and sound design make it worth watching.

  • Dot

    Dot

    ★★★½

    Clever small-scale stop-motion animation that brings to mind the work of both Brock Davis and PES. Good stuff!

  • Toys

    Toys

    ★★★½

    At first, this odd Canadian film resembles the whimsical, narration-free kiddie shorts of Charles and Ray Eames (such as Parade from 1952 or Tops from 1969). However, things take a surreal turn at the two-and-a-half minute mark when the whimsy is hijacked by a Marwencol-style miniature war epic.

  • Not About Us

    Not About Us

    ★★★★

    I love everything about this short. Really cool concept. Interesting drawing style. Superb sound design. It’s one of those rare shorts that, after reaching the end, I immediately watched it again. Check it out.

  • Necrology

    Necrology

    ★★★½

    Rush hour commuters were filmed riding an escalator down into New York’s Grand Central Station. The footage was then reversed and paired with a haunting piece by Sibelius to suggest an endless line of souls slowly ascending to heaven.

    It’s surprisingly captivating for such a simple idea, but people watching is always interesting to me. This film is also a great time capsule of late ‘60s fashions. Stick around for the end credits, which are a nice added touch. A necrology is a list of the dead, and Lawder assigns made-up names and roles to all of "the cast."

  • Rabbit

    Rabbit

    ★★★½

    The vintage children’s book style of this unusual and highly entertaining short was inspired by several sheets of educational stickers from the 1950s that director Run Wrake found in a thrift store. While the retro imagery might bring to mind the graphic design of artists like Winston Smith and Frank Kozik, this dark morality tale is able to fully explore the sinister motives of Dick and Jane that are only hinted at in the print work of Kozik or Smith. It’s terrific stuff.