Ah January. That lovely first month of the year which big Hollywood uses as its annual dumping ground. The Awards eligibility period is over, and now is the time to catch-up on all those films being talked about that came out at the same time over the past few weeks. Still, New Yorkers are lucky as we retain many filmgoing options. Sure you can check-out the latest video game adaptation from hackmeister Uwe Boll, but if you heard about last year's Alone in the Dark, chances are you'll want to stay away from the first major Razzie contender of 2006, Bloodrayne. There's also the Adam Sandler produced Grandma's Boy which we're sure somebody will find funny.

But you also never know what diamonds in the rough you might find this month. Gore fans and critics alike apparently are loving the latest from Eli Roth, Hostel. Those who love examining the continued gentrification of New York might be interested in Kill the Poor from veteran TV director Alan Taylor and a script by Daniel Handler, better known by most as Lemony Snicket. Your best bet this weekend, however, may be the Holocaust drama Fateless, opening at Film Forum tomorrow.

2006_01_mg05_2046.jpgA Gothamist Pick: Our suggestion to you this weekend would be to move in to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. While we aren't the biggest fans of Capote (as we explained during the New York Film Festival, we found the acting brilliant but the filmmaking boring), it's still worth seeing (Saturday at 6:30 PM), especially since MMI will give viewers the chance to question director Bennett Miller after the screening. Meanwhile, on Friday at 7:30 and Sunday at 6:30, MMI will screen what was one of the best films of 2005, Wong Kar-wai's hypnotic 2046. We enthusiastically encourage you to catch 2046 on a screen larger than your television's.

And as if those two selections weren't enough, this weekend also marks the beginning of MMI's annual New York Film Critics Circle series, this year titled "Foreign Affairs" and focusing on "the idea of being 'foreign,' of literally or metaphorically visiting another country." The series begins with two not-to-be-missed classics: Alain Renais' Hiroshima Mon Amour (Sat. & Sun. at 2 PM) and Carol Reed's The Third Man (Sat. & Sun at 4 PM).

Midnight Movie Smackdown: The Two Boots Pioneer eschews the "Midnight" label by programming "Pioneer Late Nights" on Friday and Saturday at 10:45 PM, but the selections are certainly notable. On Friday night, the Pioneer has Die You Zombie Bastards! which bills itself as, "The world's first ever serial killer super-hero zombie rock n' roll road movie romance!" Then on Saturday is Bernardo Bertolucci's infamous Last Tango in Paris. The Pioneer wants you to get in the spirit of the film, so if you bring a stick of butter, they'll give you a free buttered popcorn.

Of course, the Pioneer's creativity doesn't completely overshadow our weekly main event between the IFC Center and the Landmark Sunshine. Both theaters offer quintessential examples of 1970s New York cinema this weekend: De Niro vs. Pacino; Scorsese vs. Lumet; Taxi Driver vs. Dog Day Afternoon. The Sunshine offers-up Al Pacino at his absolute best in the classic bank robbery standoff Dog Day Afternoon. Meanwhile, the IFC Center has Taxi Driver, kicking off a series of "Scorsese at Midnight". (The rest of January will include Raging Bull, Mean Streets and After Hours.)

Other screenings of note

  • Two very different Stanley Kubrick films screen at roughly the same time tomorrow. MoMA will be showing Barry Lyndon at 7:30 PM while at 7 PM the Two Boots Pioneer shows Dr. Strangelove.
  • Makor Film kicks-off a month-long series "On Your Marx" this Saturday night with possibly the best of all the Marx Bros. comedies, Duck Soup.
  • Film Forum begins the final full week of its "Essential Hitchcock" series with one of the most essential of them all: Vertigo screens all day tomorrow and Saturday.