With the Golden Globes happening this past weekend, everybody catching up on big winners Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line while waiting for the Oscar nominations a week from Tuesday, and movies less than a month old already receiving their second releases (Terrence Malick's The New World reopens today in a slightly shorter version), it might seem like this period between New Year's is still all about the movies of 2005. But in reality, there are some interesting and even anticipated new films opening this week. As huge Albert Brooks fans, we certainly can't wait for Looking for Comedy in the Western World. We've been hearing it's not quite up to par for the comic genius Brooks, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Meanwhile, more serious matters are discussed in the new documentary from Eugene Jarecki, Why We Fight which reportedly makes President Eisenhower look like a peacnik in comparison to our current administration. As we mentioned yesterday and strangely not that surprising, there's a new film all about Craigslist too. If you missed it last night, not to worry: 24 Hours on Craigslist plays at the Two Boots Pioneer through Feb. 1. And if that's not frivolous enough for you or you want a big movie with more teeth, there's always the new sequel Underworld: Evolution. We're not quite sure why this film exists as the most notable elements of the original Underworld were that Kate Beckinsale looks awesome in leather, and somehow this guy convinced her to marry him.

2006_01_mg20_vanpeebles.jpgA Gothamist Pick: The place to be this week is definitely Film Forum as the best-programmed repertory house in New York devotes a week to some quality time with Melvin Van Peebles. No, not Mario (although he shows up too); Melvin. The father. The guy who essentially is responsible for blaxploitation cinema thanks to his 1971 seminal independent feature Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song. The focus of the week is the documentary How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It), which premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary is the first film from recently departed Time Out New York editor-in-chief Joe Angio, and it focuses on the life and career of a Van Peebles the elder, a true renaissance man who has seen success not just as a writer/director and actor, but as a recording artist, a novelist, a Tony-nominated writer and composer of Broadway musicals and more. Each day through next Thursday, How to Eat ... screens in a double-feature (that's right -- two films for the price of one) with another Van Peebles picture, starting this weekend with Sweet Sweetback. Monday you can see Mario's dramatic representation of his father's difficulties in getting Sweet Sweetback made starring the son as the father in Baadasssss!, and Tuesday you can catch the movie that actually first brought Van Peebles wide-notice from Hollywood as a viable commercial entity, Watermelon Man. And as a special bonus, Melvin Van Peebles, Angio and producer Michael Solomon will appear at tongiht's 7:30 screening of How to Eat ....

Midnight Movie Smackdown: Sorry Landmark Sunshine, but we're calling this one a quick TKO. No contest, even. While you're showing the vastly overrated and poorly directed The Aristocrats tonight and tomorrow at midnight, the IFC Center continues its three week old Scorsese at Midnight series with the film that put the brilliant director on the map -- Mean Streets. What better way can you think of to spend a late Friday or Saturday night than to revisit what is still one of the most influential films of the last 30 years on a big screen in the Village. Meanwhile, we can't figure out why in the City That Never Sleeps the Two Boots Pioneer thinks a screening at 10:45 PM qualifies as "Late NIght," but if you're into Bertolucci, Brando and butter (and Maria Schneider -- she just doesn't alliterate well), we'd feel remiss not letting you know that Last Tango in Paris will be showing Saturday night.

Not enough? There are lots of fantastic screenings and series around town this weekend in addition to all those 2005 awards-eligible films you're still trying to see. A few other suggestions can be found after the jump:

Other notable films around town: