Friday Movie Round-up: Local Alternative

Jan 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm

The post-holiday/awards season dumping ground is upon us — just two films hit theaters this week, neither of which are likely to pique the interest of more discerning moviegoers. —-

But there is another option for those disinterested in Hollywood’s recent crop of lame comedies (Paul Blart Mall Cop is really No. 1 at the box office?) and lifeless thrillers (The Unborn, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, etc.): Cincinnati World Cinema hosts LunaFest, a “Best of Fest” collection of short films by female filmmakers who delve into subject matter rarely seen in the often narrow-minded, diversity-challenged multiplex.

Culled from more than 600 entries worldwide, the fest’s 10 shorts include Weekend, a brief, enigmatic story set at a county house in Lisbon, Portugal; Grappling Girls, an incisive documentary about female high school wrestlers; My First Crush, a crafty, animated ode to the awkward travails of young love; and 34x25x36, a thought-provoking documentary set in a Los Angeles mannequin factory.

As usual, CWC complements its programming with post-screening discussions, this time featuring four accomplished, multitalented area filmmakers: Amy Cunningham, Melissa Godoy, Sara Mahle and Andrea Torrice.

LunaFest screens 7 p.m. Jan. 27-28 in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Fath Auditorium. $10; $8 for students and CAM members. 859-781-8151.

Opening films:

INKHEART — Based on Cornelia Funke’s 2003 fantasy novel for kids, director Ian Softley makes a half-hearted adaptation that’s further diminished by Brendan Fraser's signature Boy Scout performance as Mo Flochart. (Read full-length review here.) (Opens wide today.) — Cole Smithey (Rated PG.) Grade: C-

UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANSRise of the Lycans, the third movie in the Underworld series, is actually a prequel to the first two, providing back-story to the class warfare among the upper ruling class (the vampires) and the animalistic slaves (the werewolves) without spending much time or thought on the pesky humans on the periphery. (Read full-length review here.) (Opens wide today.) — tt stern-enzi (Rated R.) Grade: D