13 Going on 30
It's 1987 and 13-year-old Jenna wants nothing more than to grow up and become the editor of her favorite fashion mag, Poise. In her way is a group of horrid junior high bitches, and her fat neighbor who carries a Casio and a huge crush. After a particularly traumatic experience, Lil' Jenna uses "wishing dust" to become Big Jenna--a 30-year-old knockout with a closet full of shoes, a hot boyfriend, and her dream job. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Avalon

America's Heart and Soul
America's Heart and Soul is a coffee-table movie. From its generic, patronizing title to its sound-bite, human-interest-story segments, it is meant to be looked at, its images and basic ideas admired, but never really watched or studied. Disney's reintroduction to the documentary is a kind of catalog illustration of right-wing talking points, filled with all the best and coolest-sounding things about cute, plucky poor people who never let adversity get them down, and artists/hobbyists who perform the kinds of activities that appeal to the SUV crowd. Director Louis Schwartzberg never rests on one subject too long, giving the audience just enough time to register a brief, one-note colorization of each person. (Adam Hart) Fox Tower 10

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Will Farrell plays a 1970s newscaster in his latest over-the-top laff-fest. Oak Grove 8 Theater

Bajo California: The Limit of Time
After an unforeseeable tragedy, Damian (Damián Alcázar) journeys to his homeland in this 1998 Mexican film that's billed as "a spritual odyssey/road movie." Whitsell Auditorium

* Before Sunset See review this issue.

Chronicles of Riddick
The good news? This sequel to Pitch Black is almost worth admission price for the set decoration and special effects alone. Geiger-inspired, the set, costumes and CG are sweeping affairs, loaded with tons of beautiful, interesting detail. Unfortunately, though, effects can't make up for the fact that Vin Diesel sucks and the script is pure crap. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

The Clearing See review this issue.

* Coffee and Cigarettes
Based upon the existentialist's perennial props--coffee, cigarettes--it's easy to assume Coffee and Cigarettes will fulfill the circular non-aspirations of '90s slacker art films. A collection of black-and-white shorts directed by Jim Jarmusch (some of which were in fact filmed in the '80s and '90s), it follows a formula similar to his 1991 film A Night on Earth: concretize the mise en scene (here, conversation over coffee and cigarettes) and flow in the players, for a portfolio in character interaction and bare direction. It's a meditation on the extraordinary in the mundane--and, at first, it seems the emphasis is "mundane." But, starting with the short starring Tom Waits and Iggy Pop, magic starts to happen. As the scripts unloosen, tension between players becomes more genuine, recurring topics emerge, the magnetic pull of coffee and cigarettes is pondered, and the film attains a hypnotic shiplike sway. (Julianne Shepherd)

* The Control Room
According to Jehane Noujaim, the director of Control Room (which concerns Al Jazeera's coverage of the early stages of the Iraq War II), the idea of setting up a satellite news agency in Qatar came from an American think tank that believed it would help modernize the Arab world, and that a modernized Arab world would be less hostile to America and its interests. The thinkers were correct in the sense that the news agency--Al Jazeera--has helped modernize the Arab world, but not in the way they imagined. American intellectuals/humanists often confuse Americanization not only with modernization but also with globalization, but Americanization is centered whereas globalization is decentered. And this is what Control Room is really about: the decentering of the West and the formation of the multiple capitals, information sources, and news stations that are outside of its diminishing borders. (Charles Mudede)

* The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is a summer blockbuster--an all-purpose film, meant to entertain you and me and popcorn-huffing Middle Americans and apocalypse-watchers and the Jake Gyllenhaal Fan Club alike--and in the interim, hopefully earn back some of the 100 million clams it dropped on special-effecting the Empire State Building to freeze up and bend over. But that's just gravy. The Day After Tomorrow is, in actuality, a two-hour-long, stern visual memo from director Roland Emmerich to George W. Bush RE: his absentee environmental policies, and it couldn't be more awesome. Okay, it could be more awesome--but it's more interesting than you might expect. (Julianne Shepherd)

The Dividing Hour
A horror film about four bank robbers who, in mid-getaway, get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Taken in by some rural folk, the criminals soon realize there's some paranormal shit going down--most notably, the farmers' refrigerator restocks itself when food's taken out. The Refrigerator of Doom is about the creepiest thing The Dividing Hour has to offer; in the meantime, the actors drag out their scenes and do their best to be annoying until the film plods its way to a predictable climax. It's a lot more tedious and a lot less original than it thinks itself to be, though there is some entertainment in watching the filmmakers shamelessly rip off early Tarantino, Raimi, and Jackson before tossing in some Deliverance riffs and a dash of New Age-y sappiness. (Erik Henriksen) Sabala's Mt Tabor Theatre

* Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Happy Gilmore is the absurd story of an underdog beating a chumpy jock competitor, and the same goes for Dodgeball. In fact, these two movies share almost the exact same premise, and some of the same jokes. In Dodgeball, Vince Vaughn is trying to save his hometown gym, Average Joe's, from the evil clutches of corporate gym owner White Goodman (Ben Stiller) by beating him in a dodgeball tournament. In Happy, Adam Sandler is trying to save his Grandma's house from his evil golf competitor Shooter McGavin. Really, the only variance between the two movies is a slight difference in characterization and style; Vince Vaughn is playing on a team instead of in a solo sport, and Happy Gilmore is, overall, a little bit funnier. (Katie Shimer)

* Eating Raoul
A conservative Los Angeles couple suddenly become mass murderers when they devise a plan to lure rich heathenous swingers back to their apartment, kill them, and take their money. Everything goes along perfectly until a cat burglar named Raoul breaks into their apartment and demands a cut of the stolen dough. Blind Onion

* Enemy Mine
In terms of cheesy '80s sci-fi flicks, Enemy Mine is awesome. When Dennis Quaid crashes on a hostile alien world, he meets up with a lizard-like member of the alien race he's at war with (Louis Gosset Jr.). At first, they're bitter enemies... then they become reluctant allies... and then the alien somehow gets pregnant! Holy shit! (Erik Henriksen) Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Whereas the last Michel Gondry/Charlie Kaufman collaboration, Human Nature, eventually crumbled under its own quirkiness (considerably helped along by the staggering blandness of Tim Robbins), Eternal Sunshine finds director and scribe fitting perfectly together. This is a film that travels far beyond most of our imaginations. It is also one of the most beautifully assembled romances you will ever see. (Bradley Steinbacher) Cinemagic

* Fahrenheit 9/11
While Bush triple-bogies the Iraq situation, Michael Moore hits a hole in one.

Garfield: The Movie
Sure, this movie is bad, but maybe not as bad as you'd think. Bill Murray sounds great as Garfield, and amazingly, the script doesn't compromise on making him an asshole. He's self-centered and mean, and even has a couple pretty adult jokes. Now, if they had just fleshed Jon's (Breckin Meyer) relationship with Garfield into something substantial and not perfunctory for the insipid plot (which isn't worth relating, trust me), and if Jennifer Love Hewitt wasn't in the movie at all, and if there hadn't been a blatant product placement for Pepsi, Wendy's, and Ford Trucks in EVERY OTHER scene... why, Garfield might almost have been slightly okay. (Justin Sanders)

* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
First of all, how did the director of the super-hot hetero/homoerotic sex romp Y Tu Mamà Tambièn end up working the new Harry Potter pic? Though the producers' answers are standard press-junket fare--"works great with kids," "a visually exciting director"--the choice to bring Alfonso Cuaron aboard the Potter juggernaut was a risky and inspired move. Happily for all, it paid off with the strongest installment yet. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

* I'm Not Scared
The advertising slogan for Gabriel Salvatore's I'm Not Scared, 'Who can you trust when everyone's a suspect?' lends a poignant and desperate resonance to the film's unsettling plot. In an isolated village in southern Italy, 10-year-old Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano) gradually uncovers an inhumane and jarring secret about his family. Michele's distrust of the people around him grows, and the young actor skillfully expresses the revelatory pain that arrives with the betrayal of unflinching childhood trust. Intense, subtle performances make it difficult to keep a critically objective distance as the film works to articulate a painful and eventually cathartic conflict between the loving abandon of childhood and fearful confusion of growth. (Evan James) Laurelhurst

* Independent Filmmaker Lecture Series
This Saturday kicks off the first week of the Independent Filmmaker Lecture Series, an open format screening, discussion, and Q & A. Local legend Matt McCormick will screen two films, his experimental documentary The Subconcious Art of Graffiti Removal, about how removing graffiti has actually given birth to a new art form, and The Vyrotonin Decision made with pieces of 16 mm television advertising clips from the '70s. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* Kill Bill Vol. 2
So the question most Kill Bill lovers are asking is, "How in the hell is Tarantino going to top the hilariously bloody finale of Vol. 1?" The answer: He can't. Therefore, Vol. 2 takes a fairly strong detour from the pop cultured, chopsocky love-in of Tarantino's first outing. Instead of the audience being treated to more amputations, this installment focuses more on the inner life of the Bride and Bill. While the first installment explored the expense of revenge, the second focuses on how the darkness of revenge has its roots in the deepest of loves. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

* King Arthur See review this issue. Oak Grove 8 Theater

* Life of Brian See review this issue. Cinema 21

* The Lost Boys See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater

* Love Me If You Dare
A standout. A boy and girl grow to adulthood, bound together by an escalating game of dares. Will they consummate the romance that lies behind the game? Strikingly designed and shot, this film is by turns comedic, tense, and frightening. Inevitably reminiscent of Amèlie, but with a much darker worldview. (Mike Whybark) Hollywood Theatre

M*A*S*H
The 1970 Robert Altman film that follows the wacky doctors of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War. While M*A*S*H inspired the eternally running sitcom, the film features a wildly different cast--so get ready to shatter your cherished, life-long perceptions of what Hawkeye and Hot Lips O'Houlihan look like. (But don't get too worried--the guy who plays Radar is the same!) Laurelhurst

* Mean Girls
Mean Girls is no Heathers--it lacks the surreal quality of the teenage years, the quality that's found a strange but correct analogue in supernatural teen dramas like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch--but it's pretty good. Really, when you think about what sort of crap is out there for teenagers, about how teenagers live and interact and what Hollywood thinks is at stake for them (Chasing Liberty, anyone?), Mean Girls starts to look great. It's funny, lively, and smart, with a couple of characters who seem realer than not, and had I seen it as a teenager it might have changed something for me. (Emily Hall)

* Monster Road
A documentary about quirky claymation animator Bruce Bickford, Monster Road is a subtle, understated film that somehow manages to encompass themes of life, death, happiness, expression, and why Bill Gates has yet to turn his mansion into a major claymation studio. Told through interviews with Bickford and his Alzheimer's-stricken father, the film is interspersed with surreal clips from Bickford's imaginative films and maintains a floaty, ethereal quality throughout; both the Bickfords and the film itself are softly affecting even in their most pedestrian sequences. Brett Ingram's directorial focus is affectionate, if meandering, yet the film maintains just enough distance to let the Bickfords' personalities come to the forefront. In a film focusing on themes such as these, that's a respectful technique that eventually pays off for the audience, and, one senses, for the Bickfords as well. (Erik Henriksen) Clinton Street Theater

* Morning Sun
Rarely seen archival footage and snippets from China's Communist propaganda films constitute the bulk of this historical take on the country's revolutionary times. In a condensed view spanning three decades, the audience can marvel at how leaders incarcerated millions and threw culture into a blender. Guild Theater

* The Mother
May (Anne Reid) is a recently widowed, 65-year-old woman thrust into the exhausting suburban lives of her children. Lamenting the time she spent wasting away in bleak marital servitude, May advances into a dizzying, lusty affair with her daughter's boyfriend (Daniel Craig). A brief period of unrestrained sexual bliss proceeds, until her daughter discovers what's happening and grudgingly attempts to stuff May back into the comfortable, harmless role of "the mother," setting her up with a geriatric lameoid and urging her to move back to the country. Director Roger Michell takes risks that challenge the audience, addressing mortality, elderly sex, and the passage of time with a naked eye--themes that mainstream cinema usually sanitizes with heavy doses of oversimplified poetic spin. (Evan James) Laurelhurst

* Napoleon Dynamite
There are plenty of laughs to mine from the pseudo-tortured lives of realistically nerdy, unpopular, and just plain odd 14- to 18-year-olds, and as Napoleon Dynamite proves, young geek alienation is just as fun to parody as its grownup counterparts. Twenty-four-year-old writer/director Jared Hess mines the nebulous area between popular chic and weirdo freak, where outcast attributes are both quality, subtle comedy and a charmingly dark part of our collective high school unconscious. Napoleon, played in flawless deadpan by Jon Heder, is your classic high school outcast--tall and lanky with a shock of blond Afro, moon boots, and wire-frame glasses--who doodles pictures of man-beasts and plays tetherball alone on the playground. He's a smart teenager who's frustrated with the world but rarely confident enough to struggle against it, instead living under a veil of quick sarcastic outbursts and eyeing people with a squint. (Jennifer Maerz) Fox Tower 10

* Nosferatu
F. W. Murnau's truly frightening Nosferatu (1922), the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Silent, with English titles and music. Old Town Pizza

The Notebook
The Notebook is based on a book by the biggest hackasaurus scribbling today, Nicholas Sparks. Directed by Nick Cassavettes (talentless son of supremely talented John Cassavettes), this film is utter bullshit--a weepy, obvious, and painfully unromantic romance. The anorexic story: Allie Nelson (Rachel McAdams) and Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) meet cute, date cute, break-up not-so-cute, and re-unite cute. Along the way, there are stints in WWII, flings with widows, proposals from wealthy gentlemen, and family strife. And framing this bluster (since all romances following Titanic must have a frame)? A back story involving an eldery man (James Garner) reading the tale of Allie and Noah to an Alzheimer's patient (Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home. Ugh. (Bradley Steinbacher)

Odds of Recovery
New York-based Su Friedrich will attend this screening of her 2002 film Odds of Recovery which documents her various illnesses and both her Western and alternative attempts at treating them. Also shown will be two of her short films, Gently Down the Stream and But No One. Cinema Project

One Crazy Summer
John Cusack and Demi Moore team up in this 1986 comedy about youngsters running amuck in Nantucket. Sounds pretty crazy, eh? Wait--it gets even crazier! Cusack plays a character named "Hoops McCann"! That's the craziest name ever! Pix Patisserie

Raising Helen
Mothers' Day doesn't have to end! If you can't get enough of that springtime female energy, drag it out by seeing Raising Helen, the latest from cheese-peddlin' director Garry Marshall. It stars Kate Hudson as glamorous party girl Helen, who is entrusted with the custody of her dead sister and brother-in-law's three kids. Not that Helen's deft enough to walk a tightrope, but it does perform a precarious balancing act between the gravity of its plot and its image as pop-culture confection. It's a dynamic that might have worked if it was a darker comedy. (Marjorie Skinner) Mt. Hood Theater

* Saved!
This light-hearted flick is a teen comedy set, strangely enough, in a Southern Christian high school. And while one may assume these types of learning institutions are devoid of the standard public school cruelty, Saved! proves us wrong. After discovering her b-friend is G-A-Y, Mary (Jena Malone) turns to Jesus for help and decides that premarital sex is the answer to her prayers. However, not only does the boyfriend stay gay, Mary finds herself with a bun in the oven. Her pregnancy creates a divide between her Christian ethics and best friend, bitchy class queen Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), who, after learning Mary's secret, sets out on a bitter path of destruction and revenge--all in the name of Christ, of course. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

Scooby Doo 2
Scooby Doo 2 wasn't great, but it was strangely charming--charming enough that I don't feel like attacking it. It's just a kid's movie, after all, and to pick on it would feel like picking on an eight-year-old; Ruben, of American Idol fame makes a cameo, and that makes me want to barf, but other than that it's a sappy, lesson-to-be-learned kid flick. (Megan Seling)

Shrek 2
Shrek 2 can best be described with a shrug. As in: it's fine, no big deal, just what you would expect. It is a harmless home run--uninspired, for the most part (especially when compared to the original), but certainly watchable. This, I'm well aware, is not high praise, but then Shrek 2 is impervious to both praise and derision; safe and cozy thanks to the massive success of its predecessor, the film can just sit back and patiently tally what is sure to be its massive profit. (Bradley Steinbacher)

* Sleepover
Graduating eighth-grade girls are BOY CRAZY! They also HATE EACH OTHER! And that's what this movie is about.

* Spider-Man 2
Picking up two years after the first film, Spider-Man 2 plays to the comics' inimitable strength: nerdy Peter Parker's (Tobey Maguire) daily balancing act of school, part time jobs, and wooing Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), even as he pulls on tights every night as Spider-Man. Unlike the banal first draft, Spider-Man 2 feels lifted right out of the comics; this is great for comic fanboys, who will spend two hours in orgasmic glee, but mainstream audiences will be rewarded as well. This time, director Sam Raimi and Sony demonstrate enough faith in their source material to make the sequel not only a valid adaptation of the comic, but also a legitimate film. Within this are comics' inherent flaws--the film asks the audience to shift between introspection, melodrama, and overblown popcorn summer fare, sometimes within the same scene--but during the rare occasions that Spider-Man 2 falters, it, unlike its predecessor, at least has the self-assurance to risk doing so. (Erik Henriksen)

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
The five seasons are governed by very different generic conventions--meaning it's entirely possible to enjoy one and abhor the next. The opening parable "Summer" is successful, but the next two episodes (a coming-of-age vignette and a cop drama) come up short by comparison. Then "Winter"--by far the most successful segment, and the only full episode to feature director Kim Ki-duk as the main character--explodes into an astounding ode to labor and atonement. (Annie Wagner) Laurelhurst

The Stepford Wives
Sometimes a bad movie hits the spot. One that keeps you entertained despite the plot flaws and crappy acting with cool clothes or a funny sidekick. Not so with The Stepford Wives, a remake of the 1975 film that doesn't even have the courtesy to be diverting as it plummets to its failure. Joanna (Nicole Kidman) and her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) move to Connecticut to escape the big city after Joanna loses her high-powered job and suffers a nervous breakdown. As they settle into their new town of Stepford, they notice that a few things are off. For instance, all the women are housewives and all the housewives are robots. "Hilarity" ensues. (Marjorie Skinner)

Sun Gu Ja: A Century of Korean Pioneers
Utilizing first-hand accounts, archival and family photos and films, and traditional folk music, Sun Gu Ja documents the 100-year history of Korean immigration to the Pacific Northwest. The one-hour film is accompanied by a panel discussion, a traditional Korean drums performance, and a sampling Korean food and drink. Whitsell Auditorium

* Super Size Me
In an inspired bout of artistic commitment, Morgan Spurlock set aside a month during which he ate nothing but McDonald's. The effects of this endeavor were astounding. He put on 30 pounds in 30 days, suffered periods of intense chest pain, shortness of breath, and was told by multiple doctors that if he continued at his unorthodox eating he would die from liver failure within six months. As the movie progresses, a palpable sense of dread mounts, as Spurlock continues to stuff McNuggets and French fries in the face of terrible health reports. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10

The Terminal
Tom Hanks stars as Viktor Navorski, a traveler from the phantom country of Krakozhia who arrives at JFK airport only to discover that, while in the air, his country has fallen into revolution. Because of this, he is officially without a country--which means he must stay inside JFK until matters are settled, eking out a life among weary travelers while battling sloth-like bureaucracy. This is an intriguing premise, I suppose, but it has been thoroughly squandered by Spielberg and his over-eagerness to reach for the sugar. The intention from the outset may have been to capture that old Forrest Gump feeling (a dubious intention, to say the least); however, though The Terminal certainly achieves the raging ineptness of that film, it somehow feels far more insulting. (Bradley Steinbacher)

* Touching the Void
I'm not sure if Joe Simpson and Simon Yates are still active mountaineers, but it is clear that just speaking about their famous climb in this drama-documentary, detailing it in that near-formal language which distinguishes professional mountaineers from amateurs, gives them a pleasure that is satanic in its size and intensity. (Charles Mudede)

* The Triplets of Belleville
An animated French film that speaks nary an intelligible word throughout its entire 80-minute running time, Les Triplettes de Belleville's jaw-dropping artwork alone could have kept me riveted for hours. Physically exaggerated characterizations and dark, dank urban landscapes give the film a particularly strong noir sensibility, and in the void of spoken word, layered sound effects add to the ambience. (Justin Sanders) Laurelhurst

Troy
If you were going to bring an epic tale to life on the big screen, it would be nice if you could find an epic tale to tell. Troy, the latest big budget action/drama/war/romance/ adventure film by hack director Wolfgang Petersen (Perfect Storm, Air Force One, Outbreak) and starring Brad Pitt, has absolutely no idea what story it's trying to unravel. Playing out something like the Cliffs Notes version of Homer's enormous epic poem, The Illiad, on which it's based, Troy attempts to conquer a huge amount of territory, but simply has no battle plan. (Katie Shimer)

* Two Brothers
Jean-Jacques Annaud's great trick is to turn the essential, undeniable, heart-exploding adorability of two tiger cubs into the stuff of proper drama. Annaud handily pulls off that feat by making Sungha and Kumal distinct characters--one is timid and sweet, the other ferocious--and by suffusing their plight with emotions you can only call human. Because this is a movie about animals, he also supplies an endless array of scenes in which beasts suffer and die at the hands of men. And because the animals remind you of your sweet little housecat, you cry. But somewhere in there, you also become invested in the story, which is so primary as to be almost Greek, and is told with techniques so purely cinematic as to confirm the essential power of movies. (Sean Nelson)

Van Helsing
Hugh Jackman plays Van Helsing, a long-haired Nancy-boy, who is paid by the Vatican to run around Europe and kill monsters, and who's eventually sent to Transylvania to kill Dracula. On his journey, he meets up with a sweet piece of ass (Kate Beckinsale) who also wants to kill Dracula because--surprise!--he killed her family. BUT! Unbeknownst to them, Drac has an evil scheme in mind! (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

* Videos from the Resistance
Indymedia's collection of videos of local protests, including harrowing footage of police acting macho, and brutalizing and pepper-spraying protesters--maybe even you! Nocturnal

* What the Fuck Do We Know?
What the #$*! Do We Know?, is a tidy, slick, and thoroughly compelling documentary-infused narrative, which attempts to break the ice of quantum physics without putting us to sleep. The dramatized portions follow a few days in the life of Portland photographer Amanda, affectionately played by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, as she deals with her separation from a cheating husband. These scenes were filmed at various sites around Portland, which adds a certain resonance to the action. Interspersed throughout the narrative, noted quantum physicists break it down, posing huge questions about reality, and our perceptions thereof. They touch on deliciously radical and heretical topics, but stop short of simple explanations, which gives the film a lovely, meditative feel, while simultaneously making you smarter. (Brian Brait) Hollywood Theatre

White Chicks
The Wayans brothers protect the hotel-heiress Hilton--err, Wilson--sisters from a heinous kidnapping plot.

Willy Wonka Sing-a-long
It's your standard story: Boy meets Chocolate Baron, Boy offends Chocolate Baron, Boy inherits Chocolate Factory. A simple story only made better with the orchestral wails of the audience. Kennedy School

Word Wars See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre