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March! March to the Penguins!

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Now that March of the Penguins is the second-highest grossing documentary of all time, behind only Fahrenheit 9/11, Laist decided to join the crowd and, penguinlike, plunk down our $11.50 for the polarpalooza. We were not disappointed.

Not only are the penguins the coolest thing in Los Angeles, they will make you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Whatever hardships you may have to endure in your morning commute, they don't compare to having to waddle on ice with your near-freezing, near-starving offspring clinging to your claws. And ladies, it's nice to see a species where the man has the principal responsibility of gestation.

Beyond the moral lessons to be learned in any nature documentary (it's nice to be at the top of the food chain and we should appreciate those who aren't more) March of the Penguins has breathtaking cinematography, a lot of easy humor at the expense of penguins falling on their butts, and a lyrical slowness which Gus Van Sant tried for in Elephant and way overshot. We're boycotting Last Days because his metronome just stopped ticking.

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Penguins hits the pace head on, however. It's just slow enough to be relaxing and let your mind wander, but not so slow that you sleep. We came out of this one enlightened, inspired, and kind of chilled out, if you'll pardon the pun. Filmmaker Luc Jacquet, who has probably lost three toes since he started shooting, deserves the attention and the money these flightless waterfowl are getting.