* It’s playing in relatively few theaters in the U.S., but the acclaimed documentary “The Cove” may have already saved the lives of many dolphins in Japan. The film documents a clandestine attempt to expose a regular slaughter of the highly intelligent animals thought by many to be sentient. (As in, self-aware, like humans.) H/t to Christopher Campbell who documents the blogger reaction.
* Are you excited about the Oscars already? Me neither, but those who really want to get into the weeds about the changes in the awards and possibly the ceremony will want to read Steve Pond’s interview of MPAA Executive Director Bruce Davis. It seems the Academy is worried about cash. Who isn’t?
* YouTube is reportedly negotiating with Lionsgate, Warners, and Sony for a possible pay-per-view movie service. You can already see movies on YouTube for free, in chunks of ten minutes. Even in more user-friendly form, I wouldn’t call it an ideal way to watch movies, but having more options is never a bad thing, I suppose.
* If ever there was a guy who’d love David Lynch-influenced musical comedy space westerns, I’d be that guy. But Cory McAlbee’s first entry in that sub-sub- genre, “The American Astronaut” didn’t do a whole lot for me, though he’ knows how to make things look interesting and I liked one of the numbers. Still, give indie filmmaker/musician Cory McAlbee credit for sticking to his musical comedy space western guns while also playing around with formats and self-distributing. As Anne Thompson reminds me, his new entry is a six part serial, “Stingray Sam,” which will be showing in a downtown L.A. movie theater this week and will also be viewable on cell phones.
Here’s the trailer I stole from Ms. Thompson. It works hard to be clever and funny but, except for the part about “I’m not David Hyde Pierce,” I barely cracked a smile as I watched it. Still, McAlbee knows how to create memorable imagery. Maybe you’ll like it better.