The cast of Continuum

The Seven Five

I’m not sure if the phrase “the balls on this guy!” is ever uttered in this engrossing, fast-paced documentary about police corruption in New York, but it certainly applies to the man at its center, former officer Mike Dowd. Dowd’s brazen conduct while on the job in the most dangerous precinct in America—East New York in the early ’80s—was borderline insane, and his first-person accounts in the film seem at least as proud as they are contrite. It’s those interviews that make The Seven Five so compulsively watchable, and it doesn’t stop with Dowd himself: His ex-partners detail their exploits and their own mixed feelings, while a Dominican drug lord who had the cops on his payroll provides further comic relief. All that said, it’s not a funny story: The movie doesn’t set Dowd up as a hero by any means, though he’s happy to do that himself. [Josh Modell]

Continuum

Although it finished its fourth (and final) season last October, and came to Netflix not long after that, I didn’t get around to knocking out the last six episodes of this Canadian time travel thriller until late last night. And I do mean all six episodes; once the show got its hooks back into me, it didn’t let go, dragging me (and its characters) toward a climax that was satisfying, uplifting, and heartbreaking in equal parts, bleary-eyed consequences be damned. Supporting its sci-fi nerd candy with a nasty political hook—ostensibly heroic time-shifted cop Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is the protector of a corrupt and broken future, while the murderous, history-hopping terrorists she hunts espouse radical ideas like “Corporations shouldn’t be allowed to own people and strip them for parts”—Continuum was always a little bit smarter, a little bit more nuanced, than its mid-budget appearance would suggest. The whole series is available on U.S. Netflix at the moment, so if you’re in the mood for something a little high-concept—a major plotline centers on a dweeby tech genius (Erik Knudsen) struggling to stop himself from growing up to be a supervillain Steve Jobs, as played by The X-Files master of sinister looming, William B. Davis—you could do far, far worse. [William Hughes]

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Slice Harvester: A Memoir In Pizza

When The A.V. Club went on break for the holidays I devoted a fair amount of my time off to kicking back, drinking coffee, and reading. Though I breezed through a small stack of books during the break, the one that I consumed the quickest was Colin Atrophy Hagendorf’s Slice Harvester: A Memoir In Pizza. Based on the blog of the same name, Hagendorf set out to eat a slice of plain cheese pizza from every pizzeria on the island of Manhattan. While the blog itself spent more time discussing the nuances of each slice, the book takes small excerpts from his reviews and uses them as jumping-off points to discuss his life outside of pie. The result is an exploration of growing up in the punk scene, getting sober, finding love, and how something as simple as eating hundreds of slices of pizza can be the catalyst for personal growth. [David Anthony]

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