2007_02_arts_keaton.jpgJust a thought as we look ahead to this week's new releases. Someone should really take Diane Keaton aside to tell her that this series of increasingly painful looking romantic comedies where she plays an over-the-top meddling mom aren't good for her cinematic legacy. The newest installment is the Mandy Moore romantic comedy, Because I Said So, where Keaton plays a mother desperate to marry off her headstrong youngest daughter. Please Diane, after loving you in Reds or even The Godfather, don't subject us to this.

When paranormal baddies go bump in the night only wide-eyed cute little kids and Kristen Stewart can see them in the new horror movie, The Messengers. Directed by the Hong Kong creep-fest masters The Pang brothers (directors of the original The Eye), this movie should be scarier than the sort of cheesy trailers lead you to believe.

Gothamist has been anxiously awaiting the release of the Edie Sedgwick biopic starring Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce, Factory Girl, which finally makes it to New York theaters on Friday. Will all of that waiting through the legal problems be worth it for this voyeuristic romp through the relationship between Andy Warhol and his It Girl? Another rhetorical movie question: Surely a new movie starring Lando Calrissian (aka Billy Dee Williams) couldn't be all bad? He appears along with Zoe Saldana and Gabrielle Union in Constellation, about the loves and losses of an African American family in the Deep South which comes out this weekend.

One of the great comedies of the '90s starring Bill Murray as a newscaster with a brutal case of deja vu, Groundhog Day will be playing, conveniently enough, on Groundhog Day at Two Boots Pioneer Theater. This is the second year Two Boots has shown this hilarious and touching movie on Feb. 2 and it starts at 7 pm.

Which Marx brother is your favorite? It's a tough call, really. Enjoy a little love from Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo in a delightful double feature at Symphony Space this weekend of Monkey Business and Animal Crackers.

Did you ever hear fairy tales as a child and think, "surely it couldn't have been as rosy as all that." Apparently, French director Jacques Demy was of a similar cynical mindset as his 1972 movie, The Pied Piper shows. Starting a run this weekend at Anthology Film Archives in a new 35 mm print, Demy's companion piece to Donkey Skin follows the story you know from Grimm's (rats, guy with flute as exterminator, kids lured away instead) but includes all of the grimy, pestilent 14th century details.

The Film Society at Lincoln Center is devoting a series to '60s and '70s director Donald Cammell, a contemporary of Kenneth Anger and Nicolas Roeg, who in '96 "shot himself in the top of his head, spending his carefully pre-calculated final 45 minutes observing his own life ebbing away in a mirror held up by his wife." Whoa. Expect his movies like Performance with Mick Jagger or Wild Side starring Joan Chen, Christopher Walken and Anne Heche, to be as intense as Cammell lived his life.

Gothamist Pick:
If you're only exposure to Ralph Nader is from his failed run for the White House in 2000 and 2004, might we recommend this excellent new documentary about his life An Unreasonable Man which starts this weekend at the IFC Center. Long before he was a political liability or a rallying point for the disenfranchised American left, Nader was crusading night and day for public safety in the form of better government regulation. The very concept of every car having a seat belt in it because car accidents can be life threatening is all courtesy of Nader. Sadly, it seems from interviews with his staffers and family members in the film that Nader has sacrificed a personal life for campaigning on our behalf. But according to Nader in this movie all of his sacrifices, and even the public derision after the 2000 election, has all been worth it. To re-look at that period of our history's politics is an interesting exercise for any armchair politico, and this documentary by Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan does a nice job of offering a variety of opinions on this controversial figure. Check it out.