Director: Aaron Schneider USA, 2009 Back when Saturday Night Live was still funny, Robert Duvall appeared in a sketch called "Who's More Grizzled," where contestants on a game show riff on subjects to show their grizzled-ness. Of course, Mr. Duvall won handily. No one does old and...

Director: Arvin Chen Taiwan, 2010 Taipei is a gorgeous city at night. Writer/Director Arvin Chen obviously knows this, and reveals this (poorly kept) secret to the world in his debut feature Au Revoir Taipei. This unrelentingly adorable film focuses on a single night in the titular city,...

Director: Teddy Chen Hong Kong, 2009 Bodyguards and Assassins is a long film. Too long. It's about 45 minutes too long. It's also overwrought. There's a lot of grown men crying about pride and integrity. Things that matter to a lot of people, but not stuff we...

The Wild Hunt Director: Alexandre Franchi Canada, 2009 Geexploitation has been a Hollywood trademark for years. From "Revenge of the Nerds" to "Superbad" to "Fanboys," even when geeks are the heroes they are still tragi-comic characters with barely a single dimension to their name. Geeks are not real...

This week's recommended picks! Go to the website for the Seattle International Film Festival for more details. Some Days Are Better Than Others Four Portlanders with different -- yet very Portland, Oregon-esque -- lives spend their days trying to find meaningful human connections. The sell here is...

Director: Nick Stringer United Kingdom, 2009 [caption id="attachment_43896" align="alignnone" width="700"] Newborn Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchling on the beach in Juno, FL.[/caption] I am a Loggerhead turtle. I break out of shell and sand. I traverse the land to reach the sea. The crabs and gulls see me as prey, but I am determined, I must satiate this driving hunger that permeates my being, I must continue forward. It is along the Gulf Stream that I navigate. Heading north on my float-sum raft with companions in the shape of sea horses and fish that have camouflage exteriors to mimic the vessel we reside upon. I am still soft shelled. I need to grow and rest. A strange stillness envelopes our journey. We have been driven off course into a timeless Sargasso sea. Within moments a great beast obliterates our raft, tossing apart what kept alive my companions. I am alone now. I must use my arms to regain my sense of direction. I search and search. I swim through swamps of black sludge that sticks to my body. I pass the carcass of a turtle just like me, hollow in the eyes, covered in thick oil. I pass beautiful shinny float-sum. I am so hungry I eat it, but it does not break apart. It does not taste like anything. Ahead of me I see translucent orbs with beaded strands swaying in a breeze created by the creatures. Their movement is hypnotic. Their movement entices me, fuels my hunger. Is that a fish I see, encased in their arms, encased in death? I can't tell, all I know is that I must eat this tantalizing creature. The first bite releases delicious chewy sustenance. In this consumption I am aware that eons of ancestors developed a tolerance to the poison, to make food out of an enemy. I again am hopeful. I know I can find my way out of this limbo. Back in the Gulf Stream. How long has it been? I am older now. Larger, but still not as large as the magnificent humpback whale. Or the sleek blue shark. I trail behind them on my own journey, but I am curious about where they go. How long have they been making this voyage? In the North Sea the sky above the roof of the ocean sends down torrents of water droplets. It sends down thousands of hands that thrust apart portions of the surface, making waves, colliding with each other. I am too small to fight this energy. I give up and allow the current to take me towards the imposing rocky pillars of the shore. Tranquility again. I swim away from the stone island, in a sea that is rapidly cooling. I makes me sleepy, as though I could just rest forever. But at night, I see the magnetic beacon. The shimmery curtain of light in the sky. I reminds me of my journey. Of the path I need to continue to follow. Back south I have broken free of the Gulf Stream and head towards the warm waters of the Azores. In this place I can truly rest and build up my strength. Among the schools of fish and coral, are others like me. Some have been here a long time. Some are just arriving. I see their shapes floating by and wonder what their paths were like. I burrow into the sandy floor and sleep.

Directors: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass USA, 2010 Brothers, and Cyrus co-directors, Jay and Mark Duplass have not shied away from their stated intent to make ‘genre films.’ It’s an odd conceit from a duo who’ve been lumped in with the for-better-or-worse-entitled ‘mumblecore’ movement; a style more...

Director: Jo Baier Cast: Julien Boisselier, Joachim Krol, Hannelore Hoger, Ulrich Noethen, Armelle Deutsch, Chloé Stefani, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Roger Casamajor, Sven Pippig, Sandra Huller Country: Germany Year: 2009 Henry Of Navarre is a historical dramatization that attempts to document the period of Henry IV's ascension to the throne and the religious wars which preceeded it. But despite the film's loftiest intentions, a weak script and an even weaker crew burden it to the point of no recovery. All of the characters in the film are just that -- characters -- and they fulfill their general beings with mind-blowing one-dimensionality. Take, for instance, Henry Of Navarre (Henry IV) himself. While generally loved throughout his reign, Henry is shown in the film as completely without fault -- a point that is accentuated by the fact that he is surrounded by a slew of ridiculously worthless characters. Those characters include Catherine de Medici, mother of the three kings prior to Henry IV. She is known in history for her ruthlessnesss, but the only quality she possesses in the film is cruelty; she might as well have been Cruella de Vil, with less style. Her youngest son, Henry III, is probably the most complex character in the film, and even he is a caricature of a helpless homosexual king who keeps eccentric company. But it's obvious that character development means little, since new characters spring up inconsequentially and main characters die off without warning. Their deaths are alluded to but never shown (not that viewers are saved from their breathily expelled "last words," however).

Mao’s Last Dancer Director: Bruce Beresford Australia, 2009 Based on his bestselling autobiography, the dramatized story of Li Cunxin escaping from Communist China is not a particularly unique one. Handpicked from a dusty village in rural China, a young Li is forced to abandon his family and attend...

Prince Of Tears is a historical drama directed by well-known Hong Kong film director, Yonfan. A look into 1950s Taiwan, the film documents a young family during an era when Communists -- and suspected Communists -- were questioned and detained by the Taiwanese government. It...