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The weekend is upon us, readers, which means you might be looking for some culture to consume. Wondering what new movies are worth checking out? Thinking about a night at the theater? Want to look at some fine art and contemplate Life, Death, and Everything? City Paper has you covered. Here’s what we reviewed in this week’s issue:

In film, Tricia Olszewski bravely watched Japanese auteur Takashi Miike’s latest, Yakuza Apocalypse, so you don’t have to. The head-scratching WTF-fest is less a film and more, as Olszewski puts it, “like Miike took a scrapbook of ideas that didn’t make it into his respectable films and dumped them all into this one, with no script, no editing, no point other than to be bonkers.” Meanwhile, it’s Important Issue Film season, everyone, and Noah Gittell has a take-down of one of this season’s most shameless Oscar-baiting films, Freeheld. The film, which is based on the true story of gay New Jersey cop Laurel Hester and her civil rights fight to get her pension transferred to her domestic partner, “works so hard to be important that it forgets to be good.” Your best bet is to cruise on over to the AFI Silver Theatre to check out some horror films at the Spooky Movie Film Fest. Or, save your money and just watch Netflix and chill.

In theater, Chris Klimek has the skinny on the latest offerings from Synetic Theater and the Olney Theatre Center. Synetic’s latest, an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, fails to find its audience and “plays like a collection of outtakes from Synetic’s triumphs.” Olney Theatre Center’s Bad Dog, however, is more of a triumph. The addiction family drama, written by Jennifer Hoppe-House, is “wrenching rather than maudlin,” which “is a testament to the specificity of the writing and the strength of the company director Jeremy B. Cohen has assembled.”

Handout photo by Nicholas Griner