“The Personal History of David Copperfield” is a fanciful reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. Dev Patel takes the title role in this quirky adaptation, an offbeat but fresh, exuberant and mostly comic take from writer/director Armando Iannucci, the man behind TV’s “Veep.” Purists may balk, but many viewers will be captivated by this version’s unconventional casting and upbeat whimsy.
“Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” is a documentary that’s true to its title. While there are plenty of naked bodies on display, if your interests are prurient, you may be disappointed. The expert talking heads offer a clinical examination of censorship and the role of nudity in mainstream Hollywood, porn excluded. It’s not erotic, it’s academic.
“Cut Throat City” is a very dark, gritty and violent gangster thriller set in New Orleans, the third film directed by rap star RZA. It’s all very familiar, often doesn’t ring true and could have used some tightening in the editing bay. But “Cut Throat City” is involving and has a relevant social undercurrent that makes it hard to dismiss.
“Desert One” is a comprehensive and informative documentary about the courageous but ill-fated special ops attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran in 1980. Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Koppel leaves no stone unturned, and the first-hand accounts she captures are heartbreaking.
“Get Duked” is a wacky horror comedy about some foul mouthed, drug loving delinquent Scottish teens who are forced to participate in a survivalist program in the remote Highlands. Set on their own, they’re hunted like game by a bizarre cult. It often seems forced, but “Get Duked” has a twisted sensibility that may generate laughs for those who enjoy raunchy, irreverent humor.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and drafthouse.com.