tis the season...

There's a chill in the air, leaves are changing, and it means one thing to me - Academy Season!

In other words, screenings, screenings, screenings.

Will keep updating the blog with reviews, but here's what I've seen so far that I recommend highly...

Like its ancestor Hair Jonathan Larson's Broadway sensation Rent spoke to a new generation of angel-headed hipsters. Like Milos Forman's film version of Hair, Chris Columbus' film version of Rent is a brilliantly reimagined, yet fairly faithful version of the stage musical. The players (all but two of which had the gigs on stage) are the dream cast if there ever was one, the cinematography brings warmth even to the coldest scenes, and the direction (surprisingly) is daring, taking risks in many key sequences. Best of all, Rent can finally be enjoyed on a mass level by millions that may not ever make a trip to New York to see a broadway show. Couldn't think of a better message to spread this holiday season.

Neil Jordan's second film colaboration with novelist/screenwriter Pat McCabe (the first being The Butcher Boy is the not-so-serious tale of Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a transgendered Irish bloke who heads to London during the 1960s to embark on an amazing life, with a cast of thousands to share in it. Cillian Murphy (last seen in Red Eye) delivers a heartfelt performance, and the film, with an AMAZING soundrack, is a political statement disguised as entertainment. It's Jordan's best film since The Crying Game hands down.

George Clooney's second turn in the director's chair is an obvious labor of love. Again, picking apart at the truth around the television, this time he explores the important steps CBS took to expose Senator Joseph McCarthy and the HUAC commision's red scare. He's put together an amazing cast, shot the film in beautiful black and white, and with the exception of a little heavy-handedness, he's created a masterful drama. Again, the timing is perfect for a film like this.