by J.R. Jones
Like Ron Howard's The Dilemma earlier this year, Moneyball is a Hollywood movie too smart to be marketed effectively, which may be the reason its 15-second TV spot is an ungainly marriage of critics' blurbs and disconnected one-liners. If you've got more than 15 seconds to spare and you want to get an idea what the movie is actually about, check out our long review. We also have a recommended review of Tsui Hark's mystery thriller Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.
New movies reviewed this week include: Autoerotic, the latest from Joe Swanberg; Dolphin Tale, a family flick about a porpoise with a prosthesis; A Good Man, which follows choreographer Bill T. Jones as he creates a dance piece about Abraham Lincoln to premiere at the 2009 Ravinia Festival; Killer Elite, an international action flick with Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert De Niro; Love Crime, a French suspense movie with Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier; Restless, the latest from Gus Van Sant; and Screen Dances: Films by Nadia Oussenko, a program of dance shorts by the local filmmaker, screening Friday and Saturday at Chicago Filmmakers.
Best bets for repertory: Jacques Tourneur's Cat People (1942), Thursday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Robert Parrish's Cry Danger (1951), Saturday afternoon and and Monday night at Gene Siskel Film Center; Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces (1970), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Jacques Feyder's The Kiss (1929), Wednesday at Northbrook Public Libary, with live piano accompaniment by Dave Drazin; Sergei Eisenstein's Potemkin (1925), tonight at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art; and Barbara Loden's Wanda (1971), Saturday afternoon and Wednesday night at Film Center.