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By John Moore

Tupac Assassination: Battle For Compton (MVD Visual)
Twenty years after Biggie and Tupac were gunned down 6 months apart from each other, the shootings still hold plenty of allure. Tupac Assassination: Battle For Compton is just the latest documentary about one or both of the notorious killings that tries to suss out the competing conspiracies. In this, the third in a series of Assassination docs, the filmmaker interviews a slew of local and federal law enforcement officers laying out the theory that the musicians were killed by a shadowy group named “The Machine.” Despite some pretty impressive sleuthing, you likely won’t leave this doc with a clear understanding of exactly what happened.

London Town (IFC Films)
Clash singer Joe Strummer, played here admirably enough by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, has a peripheral role in this fictional take of a 15-year discovering punk music and learning to cope with an estranged mom and a single dad who ends up in the hospital, but the spirit of Strummer is all over this movie. Teenager Shay (played brilliantly by Daniel Huttlestone) hears the music of Clash at a crucial point in his life and embraces the fearlessness and rebelliousness of punk rock in the face of some pretty grown up challenges. A few clichés try and drag the movie down, but overall an enjoyable story with a fantastic soundtrack.

It Ain’t Pretty (Candy Factory Films)
The idea for this doc is pretty compelling: the challenges and sexism faced by female big wave surfers in Northern California and their ultimate triumphs. But it takes director Dayla Soul way too long to set up the premise that she almost loses the viewer in the process. If you’re able to stick with it though, the payoff is worth it. Soul spent three years living in the Bay Area gaining the trust of the women profiled here. The film ultimately does a great job of shattering stereotypes and painting a portrait of a group of close knit surfers who overcome big obstacles (mental and physical) to pursue a sport they love.



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