This Week in Film…

Our Picks for the Week of Friday, December 2 — Thursday, December 8

Darwin's Nightmare photoDarwin’s Nightmare photo 2004 (c) coop99

Darwin's Nightmare posterDarwin’s Nightmare

Synopsis: When the Nile perch, a voracious predator, was introduced into Africa’s Lake Victoria as a scientific experiment, the new fish extinguished most of the native species, but multiplied so fast its white fillets are today exported around the world. Huge cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo: Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent. This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance among an army of local fishermen, World Bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.

“I could make the same kind of movie in Sierra Leone, only the fish would be diamonds, in Honduras, bananas, and in Libya, Nigeria or Angola, crude oil.” — Director Hubert Sauper

Official Site | Now Playing at E Street Cinemas.

Winner of 16 international film awards and our pick of the week.

Written & Directed by Hubert Sauper. Documentary. Rated NR. Synopsis provided by Celluloid Dreams.

Aeon Flux posterAeon Flux

I really wanted to tell you to go and see this film. I also wanted to tell you that Aeon Flux was amazing and did justice to the its roots as a highly praised animated series on MTV. However, Paramount Pictures never released a screening for critics and, as we all know, that usually means that this will be film will be a real rotten tomato. So, I am not recommending this film, I am actually telling you to see this film at your own risk. As a fan of the original animated series, I’m going to try to forget that this film was ever made.

Synopsis: In this futuristic sci-fi thriller set 400 years in the future, Charlize Theron stars as Aeon Flux, the top underground operative at war with the totalitarian regime governing what appears to be a perfect society. But is this perfect life hiding a perfect lie? Aeon is on the front lines of a rebellion that will reveal a world of secrets.

Official Site | Metacritic Reviews | View the Trailer

Starring Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwaite, Amelia Warner, and Caroline Chikezie. Directed by Karyn Kusama. Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi, Suspense/Thriller. Rated PG13. Synopsis provided by Paramount Pictures.

Still Playing & Recommended:

Capote, Good Night & Good Luck, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Jesus is Magic, Machuca, Paradise Now, Pride & Prejudice, The Squid and the Whale, Walk the Line

This Week In Film…

Our Picks for the Week of Friday, November 25 — Thursday, December 1

The Ice Harvest posterThe Ice Harvest

It’s Christmas Eve in rainy, icebound Wichita, Kansas, and this year Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavenaugh (Billy Bob Thornton), have just successfully embezzled $2,147,000 from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid).

Even so, the real prize for Charlie would be the stunning Renata (Connie Nielsen), who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie’s fondest Christmas wish is to slip out of town with Renata. But, as daylight fades and a storm whirls, everyone from Charlie’s drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten (Oliver Platt) to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie’s Christmas stocking. For Charlie, the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with nonstop twists and turns, both on the ice and off.

Official Site | Metacritic Reviews | View the Trailer

Starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Nielsen, Randy Quaid, and Oliver Platt. Directed by Harold Ramis. Rated R. Synopsis provided by Focus Features.

Pulse posterPulse

Often referred to as one of the scariest films ever made, PULSE tells the story of a group of young friends rocked by the sudden suicide of one of their own, and his subsequent, ghostly reappearance in grainy computer and video images. Is their friend trying to contact them from beyond the grave, or is there something much more sinister afoot? The mysterious floppy disk they find in the dead man’s apartment may provide a clue, but instead launches a program that seems to present odd, ethereal transmissions of people engaged in solitary activities in their apartments. But there is something not quite right in the appearance and behavior of these lonely souls. Soon, there are more strange deaths and disappearances within the group, terrifying rooms sealed in red tape, and the appearance of more ghosts as the city of Tokyo‚Äîand the world‚Äîis slowly drained of life.

Predating many of the Japanese horror (J-horror) films that have been re-made for American audiences (including The Grudge, Dark Water), PULSE was originally purchased by Miramax in 2001 to make way for a re-make. Eschewing gore and easy shocks for a harrowing tone unique to his cinema, writer/director Kiyoshi Kurosawa has made a dense and complex film whose metaphysical and psychological resonance will last long after the chills have subsided.

Official Site | Metacritic Reviews | View the Trailer

Now Playing at E Street Cinemas.

Starring Haruhiko Kato, Kumiko Aso, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka, and Masatoshi Matsuo. Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Horror. Rated NR . Synopsis provided by Magnolia Pictures.

Also Opening this Week:

In the Mix, Just Friends, Rent, Yours Mine & Ours

Still Playing & Recommended:

Capote, Good Night & Good Luck, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Jesus is Magic, Machuca, Paradise Now, Pride & Prejudice, The Squid and the Whale, Walk the Line

This Week In Film…

Friday, November 18 – Thursday, November 24


Walk the Line
Synopsis: He picked cotton, sold door to door, and served in the Air Force. He was a voice of rebellion that changed the face of rock and roll. An outlaw before today’s rebels were born – and an icon they would never forget. He did all this before turning 30. And his name was Johnny Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix).

“Walk the Line” explores the early years of the music legend, an artist who transcended musical boundaries to touch people around the globe. As his music changed the world, Cash‚Äôs own world was rocked by the woman who became the love of his life: June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). [View Trailer]

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Patrick, Ginnifer Goodwin, Larry Bagby. Directed by James Mangold. Rated PG-13. Synopsis provided by 20th Century Fox.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The actors have grown, and so has their Metacritic score. Hogwarts! It looks like this years Harry Potter might be the best yet. Ralph Fiennes (remember it’s pronounced Raif) is added to the cast as Harry’s arch enemy Lord Voldemort. [View Trailer]

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes. Directed by Mike Newell. Rated PG-13.

Jesus is Magic
The film comprises Sarah Silverman’s performance before a live audience interwoven with stylish musical numbers and backstage intrigue. Comedians Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn also make appearances along with Silverman’s band, The Silver Men. Known as one of the funniest and most provocative people in comedy, Silverman has been compared to the legendary Lenny Bruce. Despite the current political climate, she takes on such pitch-black topics as September 11th, unwanted body hair and the Holocaust and spins them into decidedly un-PC comedic gold. [Read the Review]

Starring Sarah Silverman, La’vin Kiyano, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, Laura Silverman. Rated NR. Synopsis provided by Cinemasource.

MACHUCA at Avalon Theatre
This film explores growing friendships and the essence of chilhood during social and economic upheaval in 1973 Santiago, Chile. A timely release considering the wake of the recent riots and protests within that region. [Read Full Story]

Starring Matias Quer, Ariel Mateluna, Manuela Martelli, Ernesto Malbr?°n. Directed by Andr?©s Woods. Rated NR.

Machuca at Avalon Theatre

Machuca photophoto courtesy of Menemsha Films

Machuca, a common surname in Chile, meaning “One who is beaten but perseveres,” is also the fitting title of the new film by Chilean-born and NYU schooled filmmaker Andr?©s Woods.

Andr?©s Wood tells a story of class distinction, rift, and social upheaval in this tale of friendship during Chile’s brief socialist period culminating in the events that took place during the military coup in 1973 Santiago, Chile.

Pedro Machuca, played by Ariel Mateluna, is a poor boy who was brought into an upper-class private school in 1973 Santiago, Chile and befriends well-to-do classmate Gonzalo, played by Matias Quer. The characters become immersed in each others lives and view the others personal tragedies and obstacles as well as finding escape through their own friendship.

Pedro’s neighbor Silvana, played by Manuella Martelli, both taunts and fondly follows both boys in their young adventures.

As all the friendships grow the political climate, as well the events that are taking place in their personal lives, worsen. The bridge between both of their worlds crumbles and the events of the day produce a powerful moral challenge for all three children.

Wood explains, in reflection to the perspective of his story that, “Children experience events, but they do not judge. They simply live, and bear witness.”

In conjunction with the release of this film the Avalon Theatre is hosting a weekend of opening events listed below:

Friday, November 18, 8:00 PM: John Dinges, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents. Dinges will discuss MACHUCA’s portrayal of the political environment in Chile during the 1970’s.

Sunday, November 20, 3:00 PM: Alex Foxley, Economic counselor at Embassy of Chile and graduate of St. George’s College in Chile (1974-1981), will join Reverend Joe Eldridge, chaplain at American University and co-founder of Washington Office of Latin America, to discuss the role of religion in Chile’s social development during Allende’s democratic rule and then under military dictatorship.

This Week In Film…

Friday, November 11 – Thursday, November 17

In the future we will have reviews — for now we’re just letting you know the movies that we think are worth watching.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang photo
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This is the movie to see this weekend! According to the Washington Post’s Weekend Section, this movie, “contains macabre humor and violence, profanity, sexual situations and nudity.” That alone is enough reason to see this movie, but if you want more, I’ll give you more. Here’s the synopsis from Warner Bros.:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang posterHarry Lockhart (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) is basically a decent guy. Sure, he’s a petty thief who skates through life on a shaky cocktail of dog-eared charm and cockeyed optimism, but he wants to do the right thing. He just doesn’t know how, exactly.

Harry’s perpetual bad luck takes a turn for the better when he and his partner are doing some after-hours Christmas “shopping” at a New York City toy store and the security alarm breaks up the party. (Yeah, it sounds like trouble, but keep reading.) In making his frantic getaway from the cops, Harry inadvertently stumbles into an audition for a Hollywood detective movie, and faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the producer flies him to Los Angeles for a screen test. Continue reading →

This Week In Film…

Friday, November 4 – Thursday, November 10

In the future we will have reviews — for now we’re just letting you know the movies that we think are worth watching.


The Critics have been raving about this movie and the amazing performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything less than brilliant from him and I have been looking forward to this movie for some time now. [View Trailer]

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr, Mark Pellegrino, Bruce Greenwood. Directed by Bennet Miller. Rated R.

Paradise Now
This independent film is about a couple of suicide bombers — who have been friends since childhood — on a mission to Tel Aviv to sacrifice their future for a cause they barely understand. This film is sure to be controversial to some due to its humanizing of suicide bombers, however, the Palestinian director has also been praised by critics for maintaining a nonpartisan stance. Filming on location in the West Bank should add to authenticity and emotions. [View Trailer]

Starring Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hiam Abbass, Amer Hlehel. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Rated PG-13.

Many of us have been anxiously waiting for this movie to be released. Though reviews have been mixed, there’s not much that could keep me from seeing this film. [View Trailer]

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Laz Alonso and Matthew Atherton. Directed by Sam Mendes. Rated R.

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