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Bellflower: Apocalypse now 

BELLFLOWER

***1/2

DIRECTED BY Evan Glodell

STARS Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman

To paraphrase the late Michael Stipe — no, he's not dead, but R.E.M. is R.I.P. — it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel positively giddy. That's due to the indie release Bellflower, which reportedly was made for a mere $17,000 but makes viewers feel like a million bucks. The beauty of this picture is that it's impossible to predict where it's going to lead from scene to scene. It begins with two best buds, rambunctious Aiden (Tyler Dawson) and reserved Woodrow (Evan Glodell), deciding that if a global apocalypse is just around the corner, waiting to turn the planet into a Mad Max wasteland, then they want to be prepared to emerge as the preeminent badasses in this new world order. To that effect, they spend all their time building fancy vehicles and nifty weapons, only to have Woodrow distracted when he falls for charismatic Milly (Jessie Wiseman). Will the lovebirds' relationship survive the apocalypse? Or will it even survive their own foibles and frustrations? Packed with welcome fresh faces and benefitting from terrific, naturalistic dialogue, Bellflower is a youth picture on a mission, and Glodell, who also wrote and directed the film, is a talent to watch — provided Hollywood comes a-calling and then lets him do his own thing. In short, keep him from squandering his talents on any Alvin and the Chipmunks sequels and we should all be OK.

(Bellflower will be screened as part of the Back Alley Film Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Crownpoint Stadium 12, 9630 Monroe Road. General admission is $8. Full details at www.backalleyfilmseries.com.)

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