Get your creepy crawly on with two potentially frightening movies out this weekend. Yet another '80s horror staple is getting the remake treatment with Dave Meyers' The Hitcher. Little do the college couple Grace (the former Mrs. Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush) and Jim (Zachary Knighton) know what's in store for them when they pick up John Ryder by the side of the road. Though it would seem clear from his various bad guy roles in action flicks like The Island and National Treasure, that it's ill advised to piss off Sean Bean. That Brit is one menacing looking dude on screen.
His Dad Tom is one of America's most beloved movie stars but son Colin Hanks is going a slightly more sinister route to cinema fame with his new stalker-in-love movie, Alone With Her. Shot from the point of view of audio/videophile Doug as he watches, then woos and finally attacks Amy (Ana Claudia Talancon), this movie's jolts come from how very easy it is to be a voyeur in our modern life.
There's not a whole lot that's more heartbreaking than orphans, especially grubby but sweet-faced Russian orphans. The Italian, a movie which played at last year's Toronto Film Festival, looks like it will really tug at the ol' heartstrings as little Vanya searches for his mother before being adopted by an Italian couple. Kleenex will not be provided at the theater, so be sure to bring you own.
Curious about what it's like for women soldiers serving out a mandatory service requirement in the Israeli Army? An Israeli movie from 2005, Close To Home explores this dangerous life and will be screening at the Jewish Community Center on Monday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 pm.
After his Golden Globe win this week, it seems even more clear that this year is going to be a big one for Forest Whitaker. The Film Society at Lincoln Center will be honoring the actor this weekend with a short screening series and an on-stage interview with associate programming director Kent Jones. The $40 ticket gets you into the talk on Friday, Jan. 19 at 8:30 pm and then either a screening of The Last King of Scotland, Clint Eastwood's Bird or Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog. Regular $10 tickets for non-members will also be available for the individual screenings.
If you can't get enough of Guillermo del Torro's trippy, gothic visuals in his critical darling Pan's Labyrinth, head over to the Museum of the Moving Image this Friday at 7:30 pm for a special screening of his 1993 vampire movie, Cronos, a part of their ongoing Independence World Cinema showcase. Joe Bob Briggs, the Drive-In movie critic said about it when it first came out, "It's kinda like what PBS would do if they decided to use a zombie flick for a pledge drive." Intriguing.
The American-born, London-based directors Stephen and Timothy Quay have been sharing their imagined mechanical worlds through their music videos (contributing to Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer"), commercials and occasional feature length narrative films (last year's The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes) for years. Now Film Forum will be presenting for one week only a selection of short works by the bizarrely brilliant siblings in a series called Tales of the Brothers Quay. Dream-like with allusions to literature, Eastern European folk stories and repressed sexuality, the Quay's singular work may leave you questioning what exactly happened on screen but still wanting to see more. For more information about the Quays and descriptions of quite a few of the works screening at Film Forum, check out this Senses of Cinema article.
Speaking of bizarre but beautiful imaginations on screen, David Lynch's first film, Eraserhead will be playing for a week at the Museum of Modern Art. It took Lynch five years to make this weird tale of a quiet man with one crazy head of hair whose girl gives birth to...well, we don't want to give any of the brilliance away. Jack Nance, as Henry Spencer, became a Lynch movie regular after starring in this flick and from his odd but totally compelling performance, it's not hard to see why. His petrified stare alone [pictured in the production still at left] is worth the price of admission. Eraserhead is a must-see, haunting film experience for full-on Lynch maniacs as well as those totally unfamiliar with his work.