Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
**** The opening moments of the new documentary Crip Camp are immediately heartwarming: We see kids with disabilities jumping and rolling with joy as Richie Havens' iconic ad lib Woodstock anthem "Freedom" plays in the background. Before the title card even appears, you're already inspired by Nicole Newnham and James Lebrecht's archival-footage film. The origin story of the disability rights movement in the 1970s has largely gone untold until now: It all began with Camp Jened, a summer getaway in the Catskills for disabled youth, who were encouraged to use the time to explore their interests and identities. Co-director Lebrecht was a camper at Jened, and intentionally used the term "crip" in the title as a way of reclaiming the slur. The camp was also a place where teens and young adults could simply let their guard down: They played baseball, pranked each other, smoked pot with the counselors and sometimes even had sex. But before long, the filmmakers expand their narrative arc by illustrating how people were empowered by their experiences there, particularly Judy Heumann, a former camper who went on to become a disability rights activist and helped pass the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ultimate message is revolution can start with the young, which aligns perfectly with the opening song's theme of liberation. R. ASHER LUBERTO. Netflix.
** With an unruly midnight movie setting unavailable, the time seems ripe for demented schlock at home—like, say, a half-spoof about a serial killer addicted to sticking objects up his butt. Just by themselves, the title and premise of Tyler Cornack's Butt Boy earn your double take. Cornack co-stars as Chip, an IT guy anesthetized by the drudgery of work and family until a prostate exam stirs something deep within (one guess where). Chip's descent into anal fixation is committed and hilarious, but parody isn't the larger aim here. No, Butt Boy aspires to be a straight cat-and-mouse thriller—with Tyler Rice as a dogged, alcoholic detective—that belies the absurd comedic hysteria of the setup. That (perhaps noble) genre aspiration runs the film up against a litany of banal low-budget problems, unbecoming of the insanity you want from a movie called Butt Boy: shaky dramatic acting, unnecessary night driving and a POV imbalance that handicaps suspense. (Nobody wants a Mindhunter episode that's 65 percent BTK interludes.) The execution of Butt Boy is a little like holding court with a one-of-a-kind dirty joke but pausing constantly to insist it's not a joke. The punchline may still kill, but the approach is a little up its own ass. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On Demand.