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In the wake of Hulu’s series “Pam and Tommy,” it feels apt for Pamela Anderson to tell her story without talk show hosts interjecting jokes about her breasts. Coinciding with the release of Anderson’s memoir, “Love, Pamela,” the documentary “Pamela, a Love Story” strips Anderson down without sexualizing her, something that has been woefully missing from her narrative. Years of the “Baywatch” star’s diaries, VHS tapes and personal photos provide unpolished snapshots of her life, leaving audiences with a rough portrait of the person behind the packaging. Director Ryan White (“Good Night Oppy”) pieces together Anderson’s life chronologically, though all roads seem to lead back to her ex-husband Tommy Lee. Their short-lived relationship blemishes so much of Anderson’s story, which is punctuated by comments from the pair’s two adult sons. It’s not a happy story. Rather, it’s the tale of a woman who has repeatedly had her agency taken away and who now, in her 50s, is trying to figure out how to live for herself instead of living to be loved. (As Anderson puts it, “Basically, you’re just a thing owned by the world.”) The story feels repetitive at times, with the documentary’s subject shown to have succumbed to the same romantic troubles over and over. But ’tis the season for celebrity tell-alls, and Anderson’s tender journey dukes it out with the best of them. TV-MA. Available on Netflix. Contains nudity, strong language, discussion of sexual and physical violence, and alcohol use. 112 minutes.
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Two young children wake up alone in their suburban home. What could go wrong? Add in a possible head injury, the disappearance of all the home’s windows and doors, and a mysterious, unnamed entity, and you have the new microbudget horror film “Skinamarink.” The feature directorial debut of queer Canadian filmmaker Kyle Edward Ball, the film follows 6-year-old Kaylee (Dali Rose) and her 4-year-old brother, Kevin (Lucas Paul). Their mother is away, and the pair seem to have been abandoned by their father. They occupy themselves in the empty, now-sealed-off house by playing with toys and watching old cartoons. As time passes, the uneasiness grows, and they become aware of a malevolent presence in their parents’ room. Ball never frames the actors’ faces, and leaves much of the violence to the imagination. “Skinamarink” plays out slowly, and the camera moves only when necessary to build tension. The monotonous pacing is intercut with disturbing images and unsettling sequences. The climax of the film is particularly excruciating to watch, highlighting themes of neglect and child abuse that had until then stayed just below the surface. Shot for $15,000 in the writer-director’s childhood home, “Skinamarink” relies on ambiance and static images to conjure up nontraditional scares. In its limited theatrical release in January, the film grossed $1.8 million after a festival run in 2022. Streamed at home, “Skinamarink” is best enjoyed alone, late at night, in a room as dark and liminal as those featured in the film. Unrated. Available on Shudder. Contains violence, bloody images, gore, mature thematic material, disturbing images and an unseen threat, all involving children. 110 minutes.
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In the thriller “Blood,” Michelle Monaghan plays a recovering addict whose young son (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) develops a taste for blood after his dog returns from a disturbing encounter in the woods and bites him. The film by Brad Anderson (“The Machinist”) “steers a middle course between dysfunctional domestic drama and supernatural horror,” according to Variety. “That balance doesn’t completely work. But solid performances and some strong, occasionally unpleasant content make this an involving if not entirely satisfying watch.” Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 108 minutes.
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Featuring interviews with Jane Fonda, Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, Joey Soloway, Karyn Kusama, David Simon and other film industry veterans, the documentary “Body Parts” examines on-screen sex and desire from a woman’s perspective. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “At its best, ‘Body Parts’ pulls back the curtain on sex-scene-making. Interviews with body doubles, visual effects specialists and intimacy coordinators reveal the nuts and bolts behind the sultriest movie moments. But the film doesn’t, unfortunately, stay in this realm. It zigs and zags through a dizzying number of topics, folding its findings into the politics of pleasure, the #MeToo movement and an unearned triumphant narrative of women’s empowerment.” Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 86 minutes.
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In the 2009 art documentary “Kentridge and Dumas in Conversation,” contemporary South African artists William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas sit down for a series of conversations, in and outside of their studios, about their art. Unrated. Available on Ovid. 72 minutes.
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Frank Grillo plays a former special-forces operative caught in the middle of a dispute between the corrupt governor of Oklahoma (Eric Dane) and an enforcer from a Mexican drug cartel (Beau Knapp) in the violent thriller “Little Dixie.” R. Available on multiple streaming platforms. Contains strong violence and bloody images, pervasive crude language, some sexuality and brief nudity. 101 minutes.
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A Black couple (Cleopatra Coleman of “Infinity Pool” and Y’lan Noel of “Insecure”) decide to take action when they learn that their White neighbor (Justin Hartley), a policeman, has shot an apparently unarmed teenager in the darkly satirical film “A Lot of Nothing.” Variety says that first-time filmmaker Mo McRae “fashions a high-wire juggling act of a debut, in which half the breathless, uneasy entertainment value comes from wondering when it will all come tumbling down. That it eventually does, therefore – in a final act that overworks some unnecessarily soapy twists – feels slightly inevitable. But it can’t undo the sly, stylish first impression McRae makes: Ironically, considering it revolves around a kidnapping, this is a film that takes no prisoners.” Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 104 minutes.
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In “Next Exit,” two strangers (Katie Parker of “Absentia” and Rahul Kohli of “The Haunting of Bly Manor”) embark on a cross-country trip to participate in a study by a scientist (Karen Gillan) who claims to be able to track people into the afterlife. According to the New York Times, “Their trek sometimes taps the tragicomic feel of a soul-baring late-night conversation in a bar.” Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 106 minutes.
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The Australian coming-of-age drama “Ocean Boy” centers on the relationship between a 13-year-old boy (Rasmus King) and his reprobate father (Luke Hemsworth), a fugitive from justice. Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 102 minutes.
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The biopic “On Wings of Eagles” tells the true story of Eric Liddell (Joseph Fiennes), a Scottish sprinter – and supporting character in “Chariots of Fire” – who won a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics and went on to become a missionary. PG. Available on Tubi. Contains some violent images. 108 minutes.
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Executive produced by Lee Daniels, “The Reading” is a supernatural thriller starring Mo’Nique as a woman who hosts a seance as a publicity stunt for the book she has written about the murder of her family, only to discover that the medium she hires (Chasity Sereal) is able to make a genuine connection with the afterlife. Unrated. Available on BET Plus. 96 minutes.
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“She Is Love” is a romantic drama starring Haley Bennett (“Cyrano”) and Sam Riley (“Control”) as a divorced couple who reconnect 10 years after their breakup. Set in a hotel, the film by British director Jamie Adams looks as if it was shot “under lockdown/bubble conditions,” according to the Guardian, which calls the film a “waste of great talent, sadly.” Unrated. Available on multiple streaming platforms. 82 minutes.
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“Rowdy: Kyle Busch” is a documentary tracking the career of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, featuring interviews with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and other well-known figures from the world of motorsports. TV-16. Available on Freevee. 101 minutes.
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