Baby, it's cold outside—go see a movie, why dontcha? Werewolves, comic books and hot girls who prowl the streets of Bucharest in high heel boots should be the stuff of great geek cinema. Unfortunately, Blood and Chocolate, a new movie starring Agnes Bruckner as a werewolf girl trying to get along with the pack is utterly laughable. And not even in a good, kitchy, throw popcorn at the screen and giggle with your friends sort of way. Avoid this one at all costs, as though a rabid pack of Olivier Martinezs were chasing you through the street. Another movie that's hopefully funny on purpose rather than by accident, Epic Movie strives to spoof every bloated popular movie that's come out lately. Of course punch line bombshell Carmen Electra is in it, but so is Kal Penn, Jennifer Coolidge and Crispin Glover of all people, so it could be fun for some chuckles.
For those who can watch the lovely Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 anytime, day or night (yeah, you know who you are!), she has a new romantic comedy flick out this weekend, Catch and Release. Set in Boulder, Colorado, Garner plays a grieving girl whose fiancee has just died on his bachelor party fishing trip. Surprisingly sweet with winning performances from Garner, Juliette Lewis and a smokin' hot Timothy Olyphant, Catch and Release is a solid movie that's worth seeing if chick flicks are your cup o' tea. Garner's real life hubbie, Ben Affleck has a new movie out this weekend too, the shoot-'em-up hitmen caper Smoking Aces. The cast is an odd mix of good actors (Jeremy Piven and Jason Bateman) intermixed with musicians trying to cross over (Common and Alicia Keys), so the finished product could hit or miss.
Another movie about Kazakhstan though this one doesn't star Borat, Nomad is a historical epic about warring tribes in the area bordering China, Tibet and Russia that hits theaters this weekend. Or get your fill of violent outlaws from the American West in Seraphim Falls, a drama which stars Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan doing their best American accents.
Fans of Martin Scorsese's Oscar nominated work in The Departed really ought to check out the Hong Kong original which screenwriter Will Monahan based his Academy Award nominated script on. The IFC Center will be showing Infernal Affairs on Friday and Saturday night at midnight. Leo and Matt can be great and all, but if you haven't seen Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Andy Lau in action, you're seriously missing out.
If the mid-January doldrums have you longing for the open road, a screening of the '70s classic Easy Rider could be just what the doctor ordered. Showing Friday at 10:40 pm at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, you can imagine you're on a big bike next to Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as they head to New Orleans to visit the best whorehouse in the South.
If the only thing you know about Iran and its amazing cultural history is that our President seems to be itching to declare war there, make a point of seeing some films in the Film Society's series devoted to Iranian director, Bahman Farmanara. One of the first directors from Iran to get wide international distribution during the country's New Wave cinema movement, Farmanara spent a number of years living in Canada and distributing movie after his third film was banned. After returning to Iran to deal with the family business, Farmanara continued to work on movies on the side until finally the country's censorship board allowed him to make a new feature in 2000, Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine. "Storm Warnings: The Films of Bahman Farmanara" features work from throughout his career, including his acclaimed features from the '70s like Prince Ehtejab and then more recent autobiographical musings about mortality like A Little Kiss. Also, the Film Society will be screening a documentary about the Iranian New Wave, Dr. Jamsheed Akrami’s The Lost Cinema to put Farmanara's work in context.
The lingering legacy of the Nazi regime is something Germans still struggle with. Film Forum will be screening two very powerful films, a fictional short and a documentary, starting this week about the Holocaust. German documentarian Malte Ludin examines his family's relationship to the Nazis and his father's role in the war in Two or Three Things I Know About Him. Born at the tale end of the war in Slovakia where his father was stationed as the Nazi ambassador in the occupied country, Ludin interviews a number of his siblings, digs into official records and stares at photos of his Dad posed next to Hitler in an attempt to understand how much his father knew about the real consequences of his actions in Bratislava. Well-directed and unflinching, this documentary examines the Holocaust from the unusual position of the children of the perpetrators. Proceeding the documentary is Torte Bluma, which stars the always amazing Stellan Skarsgård as a Nazi commandant at Treblinka.