Movie Diary 5/31/2016

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, 2016). Andy Samberg and his comedy pals create another feature, and while this one lacks the je ne sais quoi of Hot Rod, it does have some funny bits. Surely the rockumentary parody must’ve seemed a little stale to these guys though, right? (full review 6/3)

The Night Stalker (Megan Griffiths, 2016). The serial-killer creep Richard Ramirez (Lou Diamond Phillips) is interviewed by a lawyer (Bellamy Young) many years after his crimes. As in her film Eden, Griffiths keeps the screws on tight (with the exception of a couple of obligatory-feeling scenes of overt violence), and the movie gains interest as it goes along. Plus, Phillips is in a scary groove. Shows at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Finding Babel (David Novack, 2015). Good doc about the writer Isaac Babel, a victim of Soviet brutality. Includes an interview with the onetime Godard actress Marina Vlady. Shows at SIFF.

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