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Holy Rollers (Vivendi Entertainment) — On paper, Holy Rollers sounds like one of those movies that could go wrong in so many different ways it doesn’t seem possible that it won’t. But from the very first frame of Kevin Asch’s debut feature, there’s a feeling in the air that this one just might be different. It is. Holy Rollers is an unexpected treat that rises above its superficial trappings thanks to assured filmmaking, a healthy dose of unforced humor, and a whole lot of actual heart. Read the rest of my review, then buy it on DVD.
Don’t Let Me Drown (Image Entertainment) — It’s hard not to compare Cruz Angeles’ coming-of-age to Raising Victor Vargas, but that’s never a bad thing (except for when it is). In this case, that’s a compliment. Don’t Let Me Drown doesn’t bring anything dramatically new to the table, but it’s a story very well told, and features some exceptional youth performances. Out of the competition films that I saw at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, this one was in the upper tier. Buy it on DVD.
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