Friday, December 21, 2007


Let's just quote Joe Morgenstern from the Wall St. Journal: "The nicest surprise of the week -- not just nice but amazing -- is a comedy called "Ira and Abby." The film was directed by Robert Cary from a stunningly funny script by Jennifer Westfeldt, who plays Abby to Chris Messina's Ira. (She co-wrote and played the title role in "Kissing Jessica Stein.") To do rough justice to this special treat in not much space, let me first stipulate that it evokes any number of Woody Allen films, thanks to its therapy-centric characters and its Upper West Side milieu. But it also evokes the precision and panache of Feydeau farces, and the giddiness of the classic screwball genre, thanks to Ira and Abby's roundelays of marriage and divorce in a madcap relationship marked by skittering skepticism about the wisdom of marriage, and the nature of love.


t's funny, it's touching, it's cool, and it's "the feel-good movie of the season." (NY Daily News) Written by ex-stripper Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking), JUNO knows how to hit all the right notes. Ellen Page (Hard Candy) stars as the title character, a smart-alec teen confronting an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate Paulie (Michael Cera, Superbad). With the help of her best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), Juno finds her unborn child a "perfect" set of parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), longing to adopt.


Documentarian Rob Stewart dives into shark-filled seas to disprove fear-based stereotypes and raise awareness of the world's dwindling shark population. But he ventures into dangerous waters when he battles shark poachers in this award-winning film. With renegade conservationist Paul Watson, Stewart exposes the criminal and highly profitable harvesting of shark fins, risking his life and facing a corrupt court system for his efforts. "Sharkwater aims to be nothing less than the 'Uncle Tom’s Cabin' of aquatic conservation: propaganda with teeth," says the New York Times.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


The Coen brothers have assembled a brilliant cast with Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin to bring this sinister, simmering, Southwestern tale to the screen. Brolin is a young hunter who stumbles on a stash of cash; Jones is the honest sheriff who tries to make things right; and Bardem is the personification of evil; in this story of a drug deal gone bad.

National Board of Review Winner, Best Film of the Year


The new documentary about the 1968 single-handed non-stop Around the World Race. In 1966 Francis Chichester amazed the sailing world with his single-handed circumnavigation, the first man to ever do it while staying south of the three great capes: Cape Horn, Cape Leeuwin (Australia) and the Cape of Good Hope, But he made a stop. Two years later a small group of intrepid seaman sought to better Chichester, and take home a cash prize offered by the London Sunday Times. Focusing on the story of Donald Crowhurst, seduced by the chance for fame and glory, and combining actual on-board footage from race participants with interviews and archival footage, the movie tells a tense, compelling story of ambition gone wrong.


Leonardo DiCaprio’s effort to follow up on last year’s An Inconvenient Truth. There’s more talk and fewer visual aids in this new documentary, but it adds positive prescriptions and a wealth of additional information for those who would do something to stop the world from going to hell in a handbag.