FFF: Sunday, April 17 

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Noon at Regal Winter Park - 
Bots High (4 Stars) I'd forgotten about Battle Bots until seeing this absorbing documentary about a group of high schoolers from Miami designing and eventually pitting their bots against one another. The film follows three sets of kids as they ready for nationals. The girls have a chip on their collective shoulder about being told girls can't build robots. They can, they do, and they kick ass. -RB

12:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Steve Winwood: English Soul (3 Stars) It may be a slumping dad-rock-doc reeking of aftershave and muted aspiration, but for those who give a damn about old Brummie Winwood and his fairly credentialed past - Traffic, The Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith - English Soul delivers a gimmick-free countryside reminiscence buoyed by commentary from the likes of Eric Clapton and Bob Weir. For others, there's always the joy of watching a musician turn into a coffee table (or Lionel Richie) and just Roll With It. -BM

2:15 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Young Goethe in Love (1 Star) Exploiting the well-documented parallels between 18th-century author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's early life and his first breakthrough novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, co-writer and director Philipp Stölzl takes Tom Stoppard's ingenious reworking of Shakespeare's words into Shakespeare in Love and dumbs it down to the point where the life of Goethe (Alexander Fehling) and his paramour, Lotte (Miriam Stein), is turned into an Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigl rom-com vehicle with pretty dresses. Using a Cliffs Notes foundation of Goethe highlights as plot points, Stölzl fills in the rest with slapstick scenes of Goethe grinning with infatuation and riding across the countryside to be with his great love. -JS

4:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Meek's Cutoff (4 Stars) Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff begins with a long shot of settlers wading through a river in the Oregon desert in the mid-1800s. It goes on forever. Nothing happens at all. Get used to that. Some will find this exercise in micro plotting highly annoying, despite the presence of Michelle Williams as a stubborn prairie wife. But there's something charmingly fill-in-the-blank here, as if Reichardt has merely provided a backdrop and some characters and will leave it to the audience to give them back stories and motivation. My only complaint is that the movie was filmed in 1:33 aspect ratio: the scope of the box on your TV. For a film with such beautiful landscapes, it seems like an almost hostile move. -JS

6:45 p.m. at Regal Winter Park - Incendies (3 Stars) As a stipulation in their mother's will, a French-Canadian brother and sister are obligated to track down the father they thought dead and the brother they never knew they had, a search that leads them through Palestine's war-torn history. Jumping back and forth between generations, Denis Villeneuve's unflinching antiwar drama is so cinematic that it's hard to believe it was adapted from a play. But perceptive audiences may find themselves two to three steps ahead of the story's revelations. -JT

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