At its worst, cinema verite is aimless pretense masquerading as artistic intent. At its best, it is Detropia, a documentary that adds soul to statistics, going inside the implosion of a once-proud city using a sprawling, haunting approach.
It’s easy to thrill people when they don’t know what’s coming. OK, maybe not easy — paging Mr. Shyamalan — but certainly less difficult than whipping up tension in a film based on a decades-old actual incident, the resolution of which is but a Google search away.
A note for the admittedly small subset of folks who swoon at the storytelling magic of This American Life and tingle at the mere mention of Ira Glass’s name: Sleepwalk with Me is charming public radio entertainment channeled into cinemas.
Right when the film needs to kick into a higher gear, opening the futuristic world up for a sizable climax, it downshifts into a muted, quasi-philosophical think-piece set mostly on a Kansas farmstead.
At the point where the fist pump from The Breakfast Club becomes a plot point, shortly after a near-mute Asian girl who ate her own twin in the womb makes snow angels in another girl’s vomit, Pitch Perfect moves from “potential cult classic” to “recommended for any human who likes funny.”