Yeesh, there sure are a lot of new movies out this weekend. Choose wisely and you will be well rewarded.

2006_11_arts_penguinfeet.jpgIn a shameless bid for our "penguins are cute" bias, Warner Brothers releases the animated Happy Feet about singing and tap dancing Emperor Penguins. If only furry black and white birds who rap to Stevie Wonder beats weren't so darn adorable! If you're still in Arrested Development withdrawal, the hilarious Will Arnett stars in Bob Odenkirk's Let's Go to Prison about a career criminal (Dax Shepard) seeking revenge on the son of the judge who sent him to the clink. It looks a bit like Oz on laughing gas. Director Richard Linklater and writer Eric Schlosser took Schlosser's best-selling nonfiction about our country's dependence on quickie meals and turned it into a fictional thriller, Fast Food Nation. From the illegal immigrants processing the beef to the marketing gurus concocting the flavors in a chemical lab, this is a flick that may put you off your Whopper for awhile.

It really was only a matter of time before Christopher Guest turned his satirical eye on the over the top pageantry of the Oscar race, as he has in For Your Consideration. Unfortunately, while Guest's usual cast of regulars are fun as always, the overall premise isn't nearly as hilarious as dog shows or small town theatricals. Two stand out highlights are Fred Willard's Entertainment Tonight-style reporter who sports a faux-hawk hairstyle and Maureen O'Hara's disintegration from down-to-earth actress to Botoxed freak show. Another highly anticipated ensemble drama out this week is Emilio Estevez's period film, Bobby, about the assassination in '66 of Senator Robert Kennedy. It's tough to carry off movies with this many actors vying for screen time, and so far the reviews have been mixed.

Isn't love grand? Two movies out this weekend think so--Candy and Flannel Pajamas. The Australian film Candy stars ingenue du jour Abbie Cornish and Brooklyn's own Heath Ledger as burned out junkies who live on their obsessive love and the dole in Australia. Based on a best-selling novel, these two want to be romantic bohemians but their f'ed up romance is pretty bleak. A film that's not for the faint of heart. Flannel Pajamas on the other hand is a little less crazy, though still a sad story about a promising and then dissolving marriage in Manhattan. However, Justin Kirk and Julianne Nicholson (who Gothamist interviewed this week) give stellar dramatic performances in this intimate and affecting story.

For midnight movie purists a real treat, the IFC Center will begin hosting screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show one weekend every other month. 30 years ago, the camp-tastic audience participation experience was born at the Waverly Theater on 6th Avenue at Third Street and now both the Chelsea Clearview and IFC Center will be sharing the honor of hosting these midnight performances. Dammit Janet, you better be there on Friday or Saturday night.

BAMCinématek is hosting a mini-retrospective of independent director Jim McKay starting this weekend in honor of his new film, Angel Rodriguez, which stars Rachel Griffiths. McKay makes finely drawn, character studies of very New York denizens from the soon-to-be-unemployed Brooklyn diner workers in Everyday People to the adrift Crown Heights teen girls in Our Song. He puts our city on the screen in very thought-provoking ways and will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A at Saturday's 6:50 pm screening of Angel Rodriguez.

If there's only two or three things you know about French director Jean-Luc Godard, it should be that his classic film Two or Three Things I Know About Her rocks. The 1966 movie begins a short run with a new 35 mm print at Film Forum on Friday and if you've never enjoyed this meditation on consumerism, metaphorical prostitution and modern existential angst you can't really call yourself a cinephile. It's perfect for a windy Saturday afternoon screening followed by passionate debate over espressos.

Gothamist Pick:
There's been much speculation about Daniel Craig's fitness to take over the martini shaker for the James Bond franchise. But ever since his turn as the conflicted gangster in Layer Cake, it seemed like he could deliver the goods in the remake of Casino Royale, out this weekend. There's been good buzz so far, especially about the chemistry between Craig and the French brunette bombshell Eva Green who plays Bond's one and only lady love, Vesper Lynd. Also the idea of the cool and collected 007 figuring out the spy game on his first mission sounds like a fun premise. Bring it on, Bond baby.