Prom King, 2010

Prom King, 2010

It is said that neophyte filmmakers should stick to things they know. It is clear that Christopher Schaap, the writer/director/star of the new film “Prom King, 2010” knows a thing or two about the mavericks that came before him. It may be bit premature to put Schaap in the same league as John Cassavetes and John Sayles, but this New York-based filmmaker’s debut should be as exciting to cinephiles as “Shadows” was in 1959 or “Return of the Secaucus 7” was in 1980.

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Rating: A+
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Hedgehog

Hedgehog

Director Lindsey Copeland’s second feature “Hedgehog” fails one of the most basic tenets of storytelling. If you can’t make your lead character likable, at least make them compelling. And if you can’t make them compelling, at least make them interesting. And if you can’t make them interesting, at least make it worth our while to follow them.

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Rating: C
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Forgotten Man

One of the wonderful things about attending film festivals is discovering new films you might not have ever gotten the opportunity to see otherwise. Discovering a new film from a first-time director, with lesser-known actors and one somewhat familiar face, is even better. And when that film is pretty damn good? Well, that’s why you get in to a racket like film criticism in the first place.

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The Founder

The Founder

Once thought to have been a serious contender for 2016 awards consideration, “The Founder” seemingly had everything going for it: a director who had previously lead Sandra Bullock to Oscar glory, a lead actor who had starred in the two previous Best Picture winners, a rogue’s gallery of supporting actors any filmmaker would give their left arm for, and a topic which features probably the most famous eatery in the world. Yet, the film never quite equals the sum of its parts, in large part to the singular problem that it’s rather hard to make a compelling film about a complete asshole.

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Rating: B
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KEDi

On its surface, Cedya Torun’s wonderful documentary “KEDi” is about several street cats in Istanbul. And on its surface, “KEDi” will surely please those who value slice-of-life glimpses of cats in foreign lands. It is an extremely well crafted work from a first-time filmmaker who knows how to effectually engage audiences.

If that’s all the film was about.

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Rating: A
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Songs from the Big Chair: 2014 Super Deluxe Edition

It’s been a while, but we here at FilmJerk get the chance to catch up on things happening around the music world. Sometimes we miss out on some exciting new things, such as the opportunity to introduce people to Fitz and the Tantrums before breaking big, but when given the chance to revisit one of the best albums of the 1980s by one of the best bands from the 1980s, we drop everything to give it a listen.

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Rating: A+
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