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2007-08-19 - 3:10 p.m.

If I didn't have to review it for work, I doubt I would have gone to see Eleventh Hour on my own steam, and I would have been the poorer for it.

As a piece of documentary filmmaking it's pretty basic, and Leo DiCaprio is a kind of mumbly, underwhelming narrator (David Strathairn--as Edward R. Murrow--would have been a more hard-hitting choice...or Leo as Arnie Grape) but its message (we're killing the planet) is important, and its purpose is not just to weep and wail but to offer some interesting and exciting survival scenarios.

The last third of the movie is an inspiring discussion of alternative energy sources, more ecologically sound modes of transportation, city planning, and architecture, and new attitudes towards consumption and public policy.

(There is also a really, really cute penguin scene. Penguins are the new Michael Caine, they're in every movie.)

At the other end of the education/entertainment spectrum, we've got Hot Fuzz, a pretty consistently funny movie that shares its sensibility with the creators' previous work: both ironic and sentimental, very British, kind of gorey, with lots of fast cuts and repetition and non-annoying pop culture references. It goes on a little too long, but worth a rental if you haven't seen it.

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