47 Meters Down
While vacationing in Mexico, a pair of sisters (Mandy Moore, Claire Holt) try to chase away their romantic blues by climbing inside a rickety cage and getting up close and personal with some boxcar-sized Great Whites. What could go wrong? Oh, many, many things. 47 Meters Down is basically fetish porn for Shark Week junkies, and wastes little time delivering an impressively tense mixture of well-timed shocks, closeups of steadily diminishing air gauges, and moments of no-choice heroism divvied up between the extremely game leads. Unfortunately, the narrative may be a bit too clever for its own good, derailing the movie’s relentless momentum. Still, even if it falls short of the B-movie ingenuity of The Shallows, there are plenty of effective, primal screamy moments here. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.
All Eyez on Me
The unofficial third chapter in a makeshift hip-hop cinematic universe (including 2009’s Notorious and 2015’s Straight Outta Compton), All Eyez on Me aims to answer the question: Will Tupac Shakur’s story be translated into a thought-provoking, poignant look at a poet’s life and death? Or will it be an oversized Lifetime-esque cash-grab shoved into theaters with no press or fan previews? Not to be skeptical or anything, but... Not screened for critics. Various Theaters.
Beatriz at Dinner
Mike White is a master of uncomfortable social comedy, with writing credits on Freaks and Geeks, The Good Girl, and the amazing Chuck & Buck. So when he writes a screenplay (directed by his Chuck & Buck partner Miguel Arteta) about a massage therapist (Salma Hayek) invited to a dinner party by her high-society clients (Connie Britton and David Warshofsky), whose friends are all, unsurprisingly, giant fucking racists? Cringe will be on the menu. It’ll probably be all five courses, in fact. Not screened for critics. Cinema 21.
The Book of Henry
The Book of Henry is such a mushy, misguided disaster that even its irrelevant subplots are inexplicable, the baffling wrong-headedness permeating every frame. Directed with Hallmark-movie superficiality by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) from a phony-sweet screenplay by novelist Gregg Hurwitz, it’s about precocious 11-year-old Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), the sort of quirky movie kid who does the family’s finances while his mother (Naomi Watts)—who works as a diner waitress even though she’s independently wealthy—plays video games. When Henry believes the girl next door (Maddie Ziegler) is being abused by her stepfather (Dean Norris) but can’t get anyone to take action, he devises a plan of his own. The story’s most distasteful elements fall under the “spoiler” category, but brain tumors, emotional manipulation, logistically impossible schemes, and nonsensical character choices are all involved. This is twee, simple-minded button-pushing for dummies. ERIC D. SNIDER Various Theaters.
But I’m a Cheerleader
A screening of Jamie Babbit’s ahead-of-its-time satire, with proceeds benefitting PDX Trans Pride. Clinton Street Theater.
If the first one was Doc Hollywood, and the second one was James Bond, then this one is apparently Days of Thunder? Maybe? It doesn’t really matter what it is, you’re really only going because you presumably have kids of a certain age and those children enjoy watching their toys vroom around the screen making bug eyes at shit. So just pay your money and have your seat and pray for a coma to come and claim your consciousness—it won’t actually come, because praying is pointless, because were there a God he surely abandoned this failed experiment of his long ago—but at least you’ll be distracted! Various Theaters.
Demetri Martin does that whole Zach Braff thing where he writes and directs himself in a comedy about tragedy putting such a quirky young white man in a more nuanced light. Since it’s Martin and not Braff, the results should be worth a look. Then again, is Guitar Playing Prop Comic really that much of a step up from Floating Head Sitcom Doctor? That’s up to you to find out, because we didn’t get to review it. Cinema 21.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson’s adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl story was the film that caused everyone to simultaneously realize all his previous films were quirky stop-motion shoebox diorama comedies. It’s just that he was limiting himself by making them with actual people. Remove the limitation, and you wind up with the most charming, warm, and funny entry in his filmography. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
Funeral Parade of Roses
As with last year’s restoration of John Waters’ fantastic second film Multiple Maniacs, another landmark of queer cinema has been rescued and revived. Released in 1969, Toshio Matsumoto’s debut Funeral Parade of Roses shares similar thematic DNA with its counterpart from Baltimore. Both feature daring sex scenes, a plot involving a love triangle, and moments of shocking violence. But instead of relying on Waters’ in-your-face weirdness, Matsumoto lets his experimental style do the work of setting the audience at unease. A gender-fluid take on Oedipus Rex that takes cues from Jonas Mekas (who’s name-checked in the film), Seijun Suzuki, and Andy Warhol, Funeral is a frenetic hodgepodge of styles and moods. ROBERT HAM Hollywood Theatre.
If you got to grow up with Danny DeVito’s 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, you already know what a charming, funny, and inspirational film this is. And if you didn’t, the Hollywood’s weekend screenings are a great opportunity to catch up with this telekinetic genius (Mara Wilson) who uses her incredible mind and considerable powers for good, despite the negative influence of her shitty adoptive parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman) and her terrible school principal (Pam Ferris). And if you were so inclined to spend a whole day at the movies, this pairs pretty well with Wonder Woman as an empowering, family-friendly double feature. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Repressed Cinema: Hollywood After Dark
This month the Hollywood’s showcase for forgotten underground film features rare 35mm print of 1968’s Hollywood After Dark, a low-budget, sleazy little noir flick that would have (rightfully) been lost in the trash pile of that era except for the fact the female lead in this dark tale of failed morals is RUE McCLANAHAN. Which means there is absolutely nothing stopping you from considering this as a Blanche DuBois origin story and The Golden Girls prequel. Which we strongly recommend you do. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Can you imagine being asked to sell audiences on the idea Audrey Hepburn would seriously even consider shacking up with Humphrey Bogart’s mumble-mouth hang-dog ass? Especially if the other man in the proposed love triangle is young William Holden? But such is the magic and skill of writer/director Billy Wilder in his prime, and the effervescent radiance of Hepburn in hers, transforming what should be a preposterous notion into one of classic Hollywood’s sweetest films. BOBBY ROBERTS Laurelhurst Theater.
Sonic Cinema: Monterey Pop
The Monterey International Pop Music Festival kicked off on June 16, 1967, practically inventing the modern-day music festival as we know it with legendary performances from Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Big Brother and the Holding Company (including Janis Joplin), and the Who. Fifty years later, the Hollywood is screening D.A. Pennebaker’s classic concert documentary to commemorate the historic event. NED LANNAMANN. Hollywood Theatre.
This is Your VCR on Drugs
Seattle’s world-famous Scarecrow Video presents this compilation of their weirdest, highest, and most ridiculous drug-related VHS treasures. Hollywood Theatre.
Wonder Woman is exciting and fun—even though it devolves into typical blockbuster spectacle near its end, I’d recommend it to anyone who loves action films, and there’s also just enough subtext to feed a philosophical mind. How much harm does Wonder Woman do when she strides boldly into war? Is this what power looks like? Is it cool just because she’s a woman? Hopefully these questions will be answered in future films. For now, Wonder Woman is a thrilling start. SUZETTE SMITH Various Theaters.