Movies, bleedin’ movies … every new week seems to bring a fresh avalanche of the things. And not just “movies” in the standard sense of checking the show times and risking your life in the parking lot, but also movies on DVD, video games based on movies, books about movies and online activities designed to get you interested in (you guessed it) more movies. How to keep track of it all?

Enter this column, which will be providing an indispensable seven-day forecast of cinema-related doings every week. We’ll be running down everything that looks truly promising, and well enough in advance to structure your frantic illegal-downloading schedule around it. Speaking of which, don’t worry that you’re in for some sort of industry-approved sales pitch. We’ll also be the first to sound the alarm when the planets start lining up in a way that bespeaks terrible catastrophe – like if Keira Knightley launches a fragrance line, for instance, forcing the rest of us to shut off all our communications devices to avoid the vanity-PR equivalent of nuclear winter.

The radiation levels as they currently stand:

Opening This Week In theaters

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day For our money, one of the few highlights of this year’s Oscar ceremony was Amy Adams’ exultant “Wasn’t that fun?” at the end of “Happy Working Song.” It’s about time somebody brought the wide-eyed wonder back to movies, and it’s wonder indeed we experience whenever we get to witness the divine Ms. Adams at work. This period romcom casts her as an American actress who injects a note of excitement into the life of a British governess. Oh, and the title role is played by Frances McDormand. She’s OK, too. (Opens Friday, March 7, at Enzian Theater, Maitland)

10,000 B.C. Roland Emmerich, the director who earned a reputation for hard-nosed realism with Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, gets all prehistoric on us to spin a tale of tribal survival in the time before Jeebus. The version we’ll always revere had Raquel Welch and 990,000 more years. (Opens wide Friday, March 7)

College Road Trip Two Martin Lawrence flicks in as many months? We knew we shouldn’t have stolen from that blind man’s cup. This latest little range-tester has cop Martin accompanying daughter Raven-Symoné on a quest to find the perfect school. It’s just like that episode of The Sopranos, see, except as shot on Planet Suck. (Opens wide Friday, March 7)

The Bank Job Director Roger Donaldson’s oeuvre runs the gamut from No Way Out to Thirteen Days to The World’s Fastest Indian, so there’s no telling what to expect from his interpretation of a true story about a British crime conspiracy that some say reached all the way up to the royal family. Gee, and they always seemed like such an honest bunch. (Opens wide Friday, March 7)


Available Tuesday, March 11:

And Justice for All: Deluxe Edition Weirdest rumor we’ve heard all year: Al Pacino playing a drug lord in the next Bond picture. While you wait to see if that one pans out, reimmerse yourself in the comparatively plausible scenario of a judge discharging a firearm in open court. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Summer Palace An atmosphere of political tumult underlies the sexual awakening of a young Chinese woman. “I’ve never seen so much lovemaking in an aboveground film,” commented The New Yorker’s David Denby, who has obviously never been to AMC West Oaks 14. (Oh, he meant on the screen …) (Universal)

No Country for Old Men We’ve kinda heard of this one, maybe. Think John McCain is in it. (Miramax Home Entertainment; Blu-ray)

Video games

Released Tuesday, March 11:

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates You’ll be hopelessly lost five minutes into the next movie if you don’t start hunkering down with this game right now. (Square Enix, for Nintendo DS)

The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return Yeah, they were available before, and even together. But not for Wii. And anyway, it’s gotta be better than watching the Uwe Boll version. (Sega of America, for Wii)


A Perfect Place Did you know that former Faith No More/Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton supplied zombie voices for the recent I Am Legend? He’s also penned the score to a tragicomic black-and-white short that stars cult thesps Mark Boone Jr. and Bill Moseley. The film and soundtrack are being marketed in a tandem CD/DVD set, and get this – the music goes on twice as long as the 25-minute movie. Oh, that Mike! (Ipecac Recordings)

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