By Matt Brunson
DIRECTED BY Max Mayer
STARS Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne
Arriving on the scene just in time to feast on (500) Days of Summer's sloppy seconds, Adam is another indie effort about a love affair that may or may not survive until the final reel. Here, it's Hugh Dancy as the dashing lad, unsure in the ways of love, and Rose Byrne as the pretty girl, more realistic about the world in which they live.
The plot device is that Dancy's Adam suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a condition (comparable to autism, some claim) that impedes a person's ability to function in social situations. Thus, Adam learns from Byrne's Beth how to be more comfortable in his own skin, while Beth learns ... well, actually not much, unless you count Adam's lengthy discourses on astronomy. Dancy and Byrne are both appealing, but the rest of writer-director Max Mayer's clumsy film plays like a standard seriocomedy that never explores its unusual angle as fully as we might expect -- or hope.
DIRECTED BY Louie Psihoyos
STARS Richard OBarry, Simon Hutchins
The newest entry in a growing subdivision of the nonfiction genre the preaching-to-the-choir documentary The Cove tracks the efforts of former dolphin trainer Richard O'Barry (who worked on the Flipper TV series in the 1960s) and the Ocean Preservation Society as they seek to halt the continued slaughter of dolphins in Japanese waters.
This gripping movie frequently veers off in several different directions (the exploitation of dolphins in U.S. theme parks like SeaWorld and the mercury levels found in dolphin meat are also addressed), and it too often lacks focus and sometimes even facts. But the scenes centering on the slaughter and the aftermath are horrifying; Michael Vick would doubtless get a hard-on watching them, but most normal people will be properly repulsed.