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December 29th, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth (see 2006 New York Film Festival)
The Dead Girl- Directed by Karen Moncrieff.
Different people react to the murder of Krista (Brittany Murphy) including her mother, Melora (Marcia Gay Harden), Ruth (Mary Beth Hurt), a mother who discovers evidence that her son killed Krista, and Arden (Toni Collette) who discovers Krista's body. Despite strong performances from Marcia Gay Harden, Toni Collete and Mary Beth Hurt, the script doesn't flesh out any of the characters enough for you to care about them. The shifts in chronology after each vignette causes confusion and it's rather disappointing that the different characters don't actually come together, as if they were each in their own separate movies. If you're looking for a truly haunting, well-written film which also deals with how people react to the discovery of a dead girl's body, rent the underrated River's Edge. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Low. Released by First Look Pictures. Opens at the Angelika Film Center. Please check out the following interviews:
Writer/director Karen Moncrieff and co-star Mary Beth Hurt
Marcia Gay Harden
The Tiger and the Snow- Directed by Roberto Benigni.
Attilio (Benigni), a poet, travels to war-torn Iraq to rescue the woman he loves, Vittoria (Nicoletta Braschi). Too many scenes feel unfocused with awkwardly stilted dialogue. As usual, Benigni also casts his real wife, the radiant Nicoletta Braschi. The intentionally surreal scenes come across as rather silly and cheesy. Jean Reno doesn't have much to do in the role of Faud, an Arabic poet who Vittoria interviews in Iraq. Unfortunately, much of the film lacks the charm, humor and wit of Begigni's classic Life is Beautiful, which he also wrote/directed and starred in. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: Low. Released by Strand Releasing. Opens at the Quad Cinema.

December 27th, 2006

Notes on a Scandal- Directed by Richard Eyre.
Sheba (Cate Blanchett), a high school teacher, confides in Barbara (Judi Dench), a colleague and neighbor who witnesses her secret affair with one of her students, Steven (Andrew Simpson). Mesmerizing! A superbly-crafted film. Thoroughly absorbing and grips you from the start. The musical score by Phillip Glass adds even more tension. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett give Oscar-worthy performances. Based on the novel by Zoe Heller. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Please check out the following interviews with the cast and crew:
Director Richard Eyre/actor Andrew Simpson
Writer Patrick Marber
Cate Blanchett
Bill Nighy

Perfume- Directed by Tom Tykwer.
During the 18th Century, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), a young man with a strong sense of smell, murders women to collect their odor and create the world's most powerful fragrance with Giuseppi Baldini (Dustin Hoffman) as his mentor. Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman) investigates the serial killings to prevent his daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood) from being the next victim. Based on the novel by Patrick Suskind. A dark, creepy film which occasionally feels tedious, unfocused and somewhat lacks suspense given that the audience knows who the killer is from the very beginning. Yet, it's mildly compelling with lush cinematography and terrific set/costume design. Dustin Hoffman's brief scenes are quite refreshing. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Paramount Pictures. Please check out the following interviews:
Director Tom Tykwer
Ben Whishaw

December 25th, 2006

Children of Men- Directed by Alfonso Cuar?n.
In the year 2027, when procreation is strictly prohibited, Theo (Owen), a peace activist, embarks on a mission to save Kee (Ashitey), a pregnant black woman. A provocative and fascinating premise, but none of the characters are truly memorable because of a weak script by 5 different writers including Alfonso Cuar?n. The screenplay simply doesn't allow for any of the actors to truly shine, even Michael Caine and Julianne Moore who have small roles. Cuar?n does a decent job of creating a grim, dull futuristic world, but it's not as imaginative as it could have been. But why must all of the characters be dull as well? Much of the film is reminiscent of the underrated film Equilibrium, but with less surprises. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Universal Pictures.

December 22nd, 2006

Night at the Museum (full review)
We Are Marshall-Directed by McG.
When the plane carrying the Marshall University football team, coaches and fans crashes, Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) tries to keep the program alive. Despite the opening title card of "This is a true story", the plot feels to contrived and the characters too clich?d and cardboard for you to truly care about them. Only football fans familiar with that event in 1970 will be engrossed and, perhaps, brought to tears by some scenes. Everyone else, unfortunately, will be bored, especially after sitting through the lengthy running time of 2 hours and 4 minutes. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Good Shepherd-Directed by Robert De Niro.
When Edward (Matt Damon) joins a secret society, Skull and Bones, as well as the OSS which threatens his marriage to Clover (Angelina Jolie). This is supposed to be the story of how the CIA's origins, but that doesn't help to make it entertaining. Perhaps director Robert De Niro was drunk while he filmed this movie because the camera changes angles so many times that it feels nauseating. Moreover, the plot jumps back and forth between so many different time periods without aging the characters well at all. The performance range from bland to unintentionally funny?such as Edward's young son who gives evil glances as if her were the kid from The Omen. With silly drama, barely any action and a running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, this is a very disappointing film given its potential. Entertainment Value: Low, Spiritual Value: None. Released by Universal Pictures.

December 21st, 2006

Venus- Directed by Roger Michell.
Peter O'Toole shines in an Oscar-worthy performance as Maurice, an aging actor who develops a special friendship with Jessie (Jodie Whittaker), a beautiful young girl. Screenwriter Hanif Kureishi deftly combines drama with a little hint of comedy which makes for a very absorbing and poignant film. Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Griffiths are terrific in supporting roles. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Miramax Films. Opens at City Cinemas 1,2,3 and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Interview with writer Hanif Kureishi

Curse of the Golden Flower- Directed by Zhang Yimou.
In Mandarin with subtitles. During the Tang Dynasty, Empress Phoenix (Gong Li) has an affair with her step-son (Liu Ye) who wants to run off with Chan (Li Man) while the Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) hires Chan's father (Ni Dahong) to poisen the Empress. Those who expect exhilirating visuals like in Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers or a moving story like in his recent film, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, will be very disappointed. The set and costume design look colorful and beautiful, but the few action scenes are headache-inducing and the dramatic scenes feel dull and contrived. It overstays its welcome at a running time of 118 minutes. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: None. Released by Sony Pictures Classics. Opens at AMC Empire 25, Sony Lincoln Square, AMC/Loews 72nd St. and Regal Union Square.

December 20th, 2006

Letters from Iwo Jima
Matthew Barney: No Restraint
The Case of the Grinning Cat (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Rocky Balboa

December 15th, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness
Charlotte's Web
Danielson: A Family Movie
The Secret Life of Words
Reminiscing in Tempo
Home of the Brave
Memoirs of My Nervous Illness

December 13th, 2006

El Topo

December 8th, 2006

Ever Again
The Holiday
Unaccompanied Minors
Blood Diamond
Yaji & Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims
Snow Blind
The Empire in Africa
Off the Black
Family Law (see Latin Beat 2006)

December 6th, 2006

Bergman Island
Inland Empire (see 2006 New York Film Festival)

December 1st, 2006

Four Eyed Monsters
The Nativity Story
Highway Courtesans
The Architect
3 Needles (see Canadian Front 2006)
10 Items or Less

November 24th, 2006

This Filthy World
Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds
Our Daily Bread (see 2006 New York Film Festival)

November 22nd, 2006

D?j? Vu
Deck the Halls
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
The Fountain
Opal Dream
Backstage (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)

November 21st, 2006

The History Boys

November 17th, 2006

Casino Royale
Happy Feet
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
Fast Food Nation
For Your Consideration
The Aura (see LatinBeat '06: Recent Films From Latin America)
Encounter Point (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)

November 15th, 2006

Flannel Pajamas
Who the $#%& is Jackson Pollock?

November 10th, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction
Harsh Times
A Good Year
Come Early Morning
The Cave of the Yellow Dog
Copying Beethoven
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
F*ck (see The Gen Art Film Festival 2006)

November 8th, 2006

The Magic Gloves
Iraq in Fragments (see Sundance Institute at BAM 2006)

November 3rd, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Flushed Away
The Great Warming
Volver (see 2006 New York Film Festival)
A Soap

November 1st, 2006


October 27th, 2006

Catch a Fire
Conversations with God
20 Centimeters
Shut Up and Sing
Cocaine Cowboys
Death of a President
Absolute Wilson
The Bridge

October 25th, 2006

Exit: The Right to Die

October 20th, 2006

The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3-D
The Prestige
Flags of Our Fathers
Running with Scissors
Marie Antoinette (see 2006 New York Film Festival)
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple
Sleeping Dogs Lie

October 18th, 2006

51 Birch Street
Hair High
Sweet Land

October 13th, 2006

One Night with the King
Man of the Year
Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
The Ritchie Boys
Deliver Us from Evil
Nearing Grace
Driving Lessons

October 11th, 2006

So Much So Fast

October 6th, 2006

The Departed
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Employee of the Month
Kettle of Fish (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
El Cortez
Little Children (see 2006 New York Film Festival)
Black Gold
49 Up (see 2006 New York Film Festival)

October 4th, 2006

...So Goes the Nation

September 30th, 2006

The Queen

September 29th, 2006

The Guardian
Open Season
School for Scoundrels
The Latin Legends of Comedy
Broken Sky (see NewFest 2006)
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

September 27th, 2006

The Last King of Scotland

September 22nd, 2006

Jackass Number Two
All the King's Men
They're Just My Friends
Los Lonely Boys: Cottonfields and Crossroads
Jesus Camp
American Hardcore
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (see NewFest 2006)
The Science of Sleep

September 20th, 2006

Old Joy (see New Directors/New Films 2006)

S?lo Con Tu Pareja

September 18th, 2006

Colin Fitz Lives!

September 15th, 2006

The Last Kiss
Everyone's Hero
Gridiron Gang
The Black Dahlia
The Ground Truth
Vajra Sky Over Tibet
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
Aurora Borealis
Keeping Mum

September 13th, 2006

Al Franken: God Spoke (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)

September 12th, 2006

Who Needs Sleep?

September 8th, 2006

Iraq for Sale
The Covenant
Man Push Cart
Sherrybaby (see Sundance Institute at BAM '06)
Red Doors
Le Petite Lieutenant (see Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2006)
Rolling Family
I Trust You to Kill Me

September 6th, 2006

Nobelity (NYC Premiere)
Paper Dolls
Saint of 9/11

September 1st, 2006

Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film
Looking for Kitty
Lassie (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
This Film is Not Yet Rated
Mutual Appreciation
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

August 25th, 2006

How to Eat Fried Worms
Queens (see NewFest 2006)
The Quiet
Surviving Eden

August 23rd, 2006


August 18th, 2006

Snakes on a Plane
My First Wedding
Trust the Man
The Illusionist
Poster Boy
10th & Wolf
Pusher II: With Blood on My Hands
Pusher III: I'm the Angel of Death

August 11th, 2006

Step Up
Waltzing Anna
Conversations With Other Women
Half Nelson
The House of Sand
The L.A. Riot Spectacular

August 9th, 2006

World Trade Center
The Trouble With Men and Women

August 4th, 2006

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
The Descent
The Night Listener
My Country, My Country
Shock to the System
The Bridesmaid
The Puffy Chair
Boynton Beach Club

July 28th, 2006

The Ant Bully
Miami Vice
13 Tzameti
Brothers of the Head (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
America: From Freedom to Fascism
Another Gay Movie (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
I Like Killing Flies

July 26th, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine
The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover
Darshan, the Embrace

July 21st, 2006

Lady in the Water
Monster House
Clerks II
Boys Briefs 4
The World According to Shorts
Been Rich All My Life

July 14th, 2006

Little Man
You, Me and Dupree
Mini's First Time
The Groomsmen (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Changing Times (see Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2005)
Time to Leave
The OH in Ohio

July 12th, 2006

Excellent Cadavers

July 7th, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Beowulf & Grendel
Once in a Lifetime (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Kill Your Idols
A Scanner Darkly
Heading South

June 30th, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada
The Blood of My Brother (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Say Uncle

June 28th, 2006

Superman Returns
Strangers With Candy
Who Killed the Electric Car?
The Motel

June 23rd, 2006

Waist Deep
Wassup Rockers
The Road to Guantanamo (see 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
The Hidden Blade (see The 2005 New York Film Festival)
The Great New Wonderful

June 21st, 2006

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man

June 16th, 2006

Nacho Libre
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
The Lake House
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green
Only Human
Lower City (Cidade Baixada)
The Outsider

June 14th, 2006

A/k/a Tommy Chong

June 9th, 2006

Agnes and His Brothers
El Perro
A Prairie Home Companion
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul
The Heart of the Game

June 7th, 2006

Animals and More Animals & Ice/Sea

June 2nd, 2006

Olive Films at the Quad:
50 Ways of Saying Fabulous, Slavoj Zizek: The Reality of the Virtual, Woodenhead, Raymundo,Who Killed Pixote?
The Break-Up
District B13
The War Tapes
La Tropical
Favela Rising

May 31st, 2006


May 26th, 2006

The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress
La Moustache
X-Men: The Last Stand

May 25th, 2006 at 7 PM on Cinemax

Favela Rising

May 24th, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth
La Moustache

May 19th, 2006

See No Evil
Over the Hedge
The Da Vinci Code
The King
Twelve and Holding
Mouth to Mouth

May 12th, 2006

Saving Shiloh
Just My Luck
Goal! The Dream Begins
Sketches of Frank Gehry
Giuliani Time
Refuge & Talking with the Dalai Lama
Mendy: A Question of Faith
Dead Man's Shoes
Keeping Up With the Steins

May 10th, 2006

Cartoons: No Laughing Matter?
Russian Dolls

May 5th, 2006

Mission: Impossible III
Crazy Like a Fox
An American Haunting
Down in the Valley
The Proposition
The Promise
Art School Confidential
One Last Thing...
Kiss Me Again
Following Sean

April 28th, 2006

United 93
Stick It
The Lost City
Lady Vengeance
Suite Habana
Guys and Balls
Army of Shadows
The Whore's Son
Akeelah and the Bee

April 26th, 2006

The Death of Mr.Lazarescu
Three Times

April 21st, 2006

Silent Hill
Standing Still
American Dreamz
The Last Dispatch
Mongolian Ping Pong

April 19th, 2006

Sir! No Sir!

April 14th, 2006

The Wild
Scary Movie 4
La Mujer de Mi Hermano (My Brother's Wife)
The Sisters
Hard Candy
Look Both Ways
The Notorious Betty Page
Kinky Boots
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities

April 13th, 2006

Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story

April 12th, 2006

I am a Sex Addict
Sisters in Law

April 7th, 2006

Phat Girlz
Take the Lead
Lucky Number Slevin
On a Clear Day
When Do We Eat?
One Last Ride
95 Miles to Go
Friends with Money

March 31st, 2006

Basic Instinct 2
Ice Age: The Meltdown
The Devil & Daniel Johnston
Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy
Iron Island
Adam & Steve
Awesome: I F*ckin' Shot That!

March 29th, 2006

Yang Ban Xi: The Eight Model Works
Drawing Restraint 9

March 24th, 2006

Inside Man
The Lady in Question is Charles Busch
Mardi Gras: Made in China
The Beauty Academy of Kabul
Lonesome Jim
Summer Storm

March 22nd, 2006

American Gun
Shadow: Dead Riot

March 17th, 2006

V for Vendetta
She's the Man
Beyond Honor
Don't Tell
The Big Question
Take My Eyes
Don't Come Knocking
Thank You For Smoking
Find Me Guilty
The Devil's Miner

March 15th, 2006

Beautiful City

March 10th, 2006

Failure to Launch
The Shaggy Dog
Ask the Dust
The Hills Have Eyes
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
Game 6
Shakespeare Behind Bars
Duck Season

March 3rd, 2006

16 Blocks
Deep Sea 3D
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Woman is the Future of Man
Doing Time for Patsy Cline
Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)

March 1st, 2006

Sorry, Haters
Our Brand is Crisis

February 24th, 2006

Running Scared
Unknown White Male
Little Fish
Workingman's Death

February 22nd, 2006

Street Fight

February 17th, 2006

Eight Below
Battle in Heaven
Sophie Scholl

February 15th, 2006

CSA: Confederate States of America
Desert Wind

February 10th, 2006

The Pink Panther
Curious George
Final Destination 3
A Year Without Love
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Through the Fire
Film Geek
Cowboy del Amor

February 3rd, 2006

A Good Woman
When a Stranger Calls
Something New
What the Bleep!? Down the Rabbit Hole
The Tollbooth
Blossoms of Fire
The Tenants
The World's Fastest Indian
The Three Burials of Melquides Estrada

February 1st, 2006

Who Gets to Call it Art?

January 27th, 2006

Nanny McPhee
Roving Mars (IMAX)
Imagine Me & You
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
La Petite J?rusalem
Breaking News

January 20th, 2006

Underworld: Evolution
On the Outs
Go for Zucker!
End of the Spear
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Why We Fight

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