This week at the movies, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that the new releases are seriously scrapping the bottom of the quality bucket. How many weeks now has it been that we've had this complaint? The good news is that, as per usual, there's load of other fascinating movie related events In New York to sink your teeth into with relish.

Someday soon someone should tally up the release record of the old but still chugging along Miramax label versus the new Harvey and Bob banner, Weinstein Co. This week however would not be the best bout as the match up is Doogal (a dopey Weinstein Co. animation about a dog saving the world that includes tons of A Lister voices like Judi Dench, Whoopi Goldberg, Ian McKellan and Jon Stewart) and the art house staple that Miramax used to be famous for Tsotsi about an African man who accidentally kidnaps a baby. Both look weak though not nearly as worthless as either Madea's Family Reunion, the newest Tyler Perry project where Perry cross-dresses as the sass talking matriarch Madea, or Running Scared with the very dumb but still sort of cute Paul Walker. If we had to see something new in theaters, there's Little Fish with Cate Blanchett as a recovering drug addict, and co-stars Sam Neil and Hugo Weaving (the gold standard for Australian actor casts).

Some alternate options to the cineplex: There's a Richard Pryor tribute at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens all weekend. They'll be screening three Pryor films as well as hosting panel discussions with actress Lonette McKee, comedian Paul Mooney and author Mel Watkins about Pryor's continuing impact on African American comedy. Tickets cost between $18 - $12 for individual screenings but there's also a combination ticket available for all three events costing $30 for the general public and $20 for museum members and students with ID.

On Saturday morning take the kid in your life, or maybe just your inner child, to see Mary Poppins at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side at 11 am. Be reminded that all the ills of the world can be solved by some tap dancing chimney sweeps, a well-placed merry-go-round horse race and some singing penguin waiters. At Cinema Village in the East Village, you can catch screenings of the Academy Award nominated short subjects in animation and live action and be that person at your Oscar party who actually has an opinion about these under seen nominees.

John Waters new hands crossed Greg Gorman.jpgGothamist Pick:
Just when you think you know something about provocateur director and Baltimore's favorite son, John Waters, he continues to surprise. Who would've thought he was a great admirer of the novelist, screenwriter and director Marguerite Duras? Apparently the programers at the French Institute Alliance Française knew, as they've invited Waters to be a part of the Meet the Director portion of their tribute to Duras. On Tuesday, Feb 28 at 7 pm, Waters will introduce Duras' film, Le camion (starring Duras and Gérard Depardieu), as well as show excerpts from his films where he parodies her style. Following the film, Waters will chat with critic and programmer Kent Jones from Film Comment.

Florence Gould Hall // 55 East 59th St // $8 members, $12 general // 7 pm