Beware of a Holy Whore
A film crew and actors go wild when they're left without a director or supplies in Spain. Beware: this film contains the crotch-tingling music of Leonard Cohen. PSU Smith Memorial Union Rm 225

* Brothers In Arms See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

Bush's Brain
Non-existent, you say? Not true. This film examines Karl Rove, the man that the filmmakers have dubbed "the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain of today's Presidential politics." Cinema 21

Carnival of Souls
On the list of scary places, carnivals are number one with a bullet. And this one doesn't even have the comic relief of carnies--instead, it has souls and dead people. AAHH! Ghosts! Dead people! Old Town Pizza

* Christo's Valley Curtain
Footage and expository on prolific artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work. The first film documents the Valley Curtain project, where Christo strung a 500-ft bright orange curtain across the Rife Gap in Colorado. The second film takes a look at the two artists work as a whole, highlighting their major projects. See pg. 9 Whitsell Auditorium

Cold Lampin'
A local experimental film that puts together three different scenes made by three different film crews. Billy Ray's Neighborhood Dive

Criminal See review this issue.

Danny Deckchair
The Aussies make comedies like IHOP makes pancakes: big, fluffy, and swimming in syrup. Rhys Ifans plays Danny, who catches wind of a plot by his girlfriend to ditch him; he then decides (with little explanation) to tie enormous balloons to his deckchair and float away, eventually drifting to a perfect little town far from the city where he fits right in. The problems come with the film's tired, heavy-handed "appearances are deceiving" moral, which falls pretty flat after a while, even though a wacky sort of sweetness and lush scenery still manage to keep Deckchair buoyant--even when it dips (and nearly crashes) into formulaic romantic comedy territory. (Michael Svoboda)

* Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut
If you're only going to see one movie this year--or ever, really--about vaguely sinister men in bunny costumes, superhero teenagers, and warping the space/time continuum, make this the one. (Erik Henriksen) Hollywood Theatre

* Garden State
First time writer/director Zach Braff (from NBC's sitcom Scrubs) plays Andrew "Large" Largeman, a struggling L.A. actor who returns to his New Jersey home for his paraplegic mother's funeral. Large's less than cheery homecoming is uplifted by Sam (Natalie Portman), a compulsive liar who lives with her mother and a house full of hamsters. (M. William Helfrich)

* Gozu See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater

* Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Dumb, dumb, dumb and dumb... but funny. A movie for stoners about stoners, like these two high guys who see a commercial for White Castle and set out on a quest to nab some sliders. (Michael Svoboda) Kennedy School

Heart Attack Island Film Tour See My, What A Busy Week! Meow Meow

* Hero
The Chinese martial arts drama Hero blows away everything else currently playing--and possibly any other film released this year. It's that good. Hero's story is deceptively simple--before China united as one empire, warring kingdoms fought for power. One of those areas had a king (Daoming Chen) intent on unifying China--a goal that was met with dissent. Enter Nameless (Jet Li), who has done what many thought impossible: killed three deadly assassins--Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), and Sky (Donnie Yen). As the king questions Nameless, Nameless' deeds unfold in flashbacks that prove far more complex than they first appear. Hero's captivating story is tempered by astounding performances from Wai, Cheung, and Yen, but the real shock to American audiences will be Jet Li's deep performance and the violent beauty of the film's ethereal fight sequences. (Erik Henriksen)

* High Fidelity
A romantic comedy for guys: John Cusack plays the cynically introspective Rob Gordon, the owner of a small record store. For various reasons, he has shit luck with women--basically, he's a jerk, but he's not altogether clueless about his jerkiness. He struggles and obsesses and makes lists that he thinks define his life, but he's no closer to understanding women than he was in the fifth grade. Featuring Jack Black, and based on Nick Hornby's popular novel of the same name. (Kathleen Wilson) Pix Patisserie

* The Hunting of the President
A remarkable documentary that provides a forensic report about how Bill Clinton's personal enemies managed to orchestrate a massive media and political blitz against him. From Whitewater to womanizing, Clinton was attacked on more fronts than 1939 France. By simplifying each component of these personal and political attacks to their genesis--such as when Ken Starr is appointed by a highly partisan panel of judges--the film lays out a far-reaching network of connections and coincidences. At the same time, it manages to steer clear from fringe conspiracy theories by simply setting out the facts and letting the story tell itself. Plus, it's always heartwarming to see America's greatest president again! We miss you, Bill! (Phil Busse) Fox Tower 10

* Ju-On
Japan's Ju-On eschews America's stale horror formulas, creating instead a pervasive feel of metaphysical creepiness. Ju-On's story begins with a social worker (Megumi Okina) who checks up on a family. What she finds is a house full of creaking noises and sinister shadows, and when she opens up a sealed closet, she unwittingly unleashes the vengeful spirits of a very disturbing little boy and his terrifying mother--who, we soon discover, were brutally murdered in the house. Now, all who enter the house are subject to a full-on haunting. Add a big black floating mass of pure evil hovering over people's beds, and you've got some seriously scary shit. (Confusing, yes... but definitely scary.) (Michael Svoboda)

* The Lady Killer of Rome
Director Elio Petri's 1961 thriller about an antiques dealer who may have murdered his mistress. The film plays out like a tense chess game, the suspect doing his best to outwit a cunning police detective. Whitsell Auditorium

Lucky Day
A 2002 Argentinan film about a young woman, Elsa, eking out a life working odd jobs and stealing. In a moment of whimsy, she remembers an old Italian boyfriend and takes a trip to Rome, which oddly enough mirrors a journey her grandfather made decades earlier. Guild Theater

* 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. (Jennifer Maerz)

Numbered Days
A traveling Italian plumber watches a man his own age die on a train of a heart attack. The shocking event sparks him into action, and the man quits his job, looking for the finer things in life--before he suddenly croaks, too. Whitsell Auditorium

* Open Water
Open Water is less of a horror movie than a tense and fascinatingly fatalistic philosophical treatise. With sharks. Susan and Daniel are your all too average 21st-Century couple, so beleaguered by their high powered lives that they're unable to relax, even while vacationing in the Bahamas. Things perk up, however, when the two take a crowded scuba boat to the middle of the ocean--and due to a very unfortunate series of accidents, are left floating alone in the briny blue.

* Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
Reiterating the fact that Fox News proclaims itself to be "fair and balanced" before demonstrating that it most definitely isn't, Outfoxed uses sarcasm and comic setups to keep the heady dissection of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the far-reaching influence of his Fox News Network punchy and engaging, with the result approaching high-minded slapstick. (Phil Busse) Clinton Street Theater

Joining the prestigious ranks of Exorcist: The Beginning and Alien vs. Predator, Paparazzi is yet another late-summer release that wasn't screened for critics. Why? Perhaps it's because producer Mel Gibson is scared that you won't go see it if you read what critics have to say about this revenge flick (which follows a celebrity's vendetta against an overly-aggressive photographer). Then again, maybe it's just so damn good that Gibson wants to surprise everyone with its greatness. Yeah. That's probably it.

Pennies From Heaven
A Steve Martin musical set in the Great Depression. If that's not good enough for you, the film also stars Christopher Walken--who, surprisingly, can sing and dance like a motherfucker on fire. Laurelhurst

Prey for Rock and Roll
This Gina Gershon car wreck is a compilation of everything that sucks about the entertainment industry--bad posturing, sappy clichés, and using a big name and the right stylist to market your crappy product to the masses. (Jennifer Maerz) Guild Theater

Resident Evil: apocalypse
All too often, so-called "filmmakers" forget what movies should really be about: zombies, powerful guns, loud soundtracks, big explosions, and gratuitious shots of a near-naked Milla Jovovich. If the above aspects of this film aren't enough to immediately get your ass into the theater, watch for our film short next week.

* Riding Giants
This fascinating exploration of the culture of big-wave surfing by the director of the skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys is distinguished first by the quality of its footage. I have no idea how director Stacy Peralta and his crew managed to get on top of the water the way they do, but the actual surfing in this movie is heroic. It's a cliché to say that surfers live to surf, but after seeing this film, it's a lot easier to understand why. (Sean Nelson)

* Running Fence
A film cataloging the epic "Running Fence" project by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, wherein they ran an 18-foot high white nylon fence 24 miles across the Sonoma and Marin County Hills in California, and into the sea. Christo and Jeanne-Claude will introduce the film. See pg. 9 Whitsell Auditorium

* Rushmore
From the same whiz-kid director (Wes Anderson) who delivered the brilliant Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums, this film manages to subtly pull the wry humor from the very real pain of a teenager's broken heart. Max is a precocious--but academically failing--15-year old who overachieves in extra-curricular activities, starting a go-kart team and directing an over-the-top pyrotechnic high school play about the Vietnam War. When he eventually falls for his hottie-hot smarty-pants teacher (and builds her an aquarium, after she comments on how much she likes her fish bowl), she falls for a man, well, closer to her own age--Bill Murray. (Phil Busse) Blind Onion

Suspect Zero
Aaron Eckhart plays Agent Mackelway, who's demoted to a tiny FBI office in Arizona where he's immediately contacted by serial killer Benjamin O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley)--a serial killer who only kills... wait for it... OTHER SERIAL KILLERS! Mack, along with his completely useless partner/former lover (Carrie-Anne Moss), races against time to catch this serial killing serial killer. Now, maybe I wouldn't make a good FBI agent, but if I found out somebody was bumping off serial killers, my first reaction would be "AWESOME!" Makes everyone's life easier, right? And that's the main problem with Suspect Zero. Sure, it's got the same discombobulating flashy visual style as a Seven or Silence of the Lambs, but it lacks any of the narrative drive. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

* THX 1138 See review this issue.

Time-Based Art Festival
TBA's presentations of Zoe Beloff's Shadow Land or Light From the Other Side and Lost along with Claire and Don in Slumberland. Shadow Land is based on the life of Elizabeth d'Espérance, an 1890s medium who claimed to produce ghosts, while Lost uses film, slides, and a phonograph to examine forgotten parts of New York, and Slumberland is a mix of 3D slides and 16mm film projection. Guild Theater

Uncovered: The War in Iraq
For all the liberals who complained that Fahrenheit 9/11 was little more than "entertaining propaganda," Uncovered: The War on Iraq should be a real treat. A wholly factual treatment of Bush's backwards promotion of the war on Iraq, Uncovered has nary a propaganda in sight... and it's also the most boring film to come along in a long time. Most of the facts and arguments that Uncovered supposedly uncovers have already been reported in the press, so the only thing that the film establishes is that Bush and his administration are either a group of dim-witted morons or a bunch of devious, conspiratorial goons. But I already knew that, and the only audience this film is going to reach is one that already knows that too. (Manu Berelli)

Vanity Fair
Reese Witherspoon plays cartoon-faced social climber Becky Sharp in this shallow, highly uninteresting screen rendition of the classic novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. As is the case with a lot of Hollywood book adaptations, Vanity Fair assumes you know the whole story--not to mention the deep-seated motivations of each character--and therefore the film doesn't bother to develop any character in any compelling way; evil characters are downright evil, naive characters are completely clueless, and Reese's character seems like a nice governess one minute and a backstabbing, money-grubbing whore the next. In short, if you care about a cunning woman's class struggle in 19th-Century Europe, then for chrissakes exercise a brain cell and put Thackeray's book on hold at the library. (Katie Shimer)

We Don't Live Here Anymore
Mark Ruffalo is Jack, a college professor on summer vacation, living an awful life with his wife (Laura Dern) and two kids somewhere in an undisclosed East Coast location. Peter Kraus is a nearby colleague with more accolades, a better body, and a much hotter wife, Edith (Naomi Watts). Ruffalo's Jack is already engaged in a torrid affair with Edith at the film's outset, but his motivations are hazy. He claims he loves her, but then he also hates his wife (it's hard to love Laura Dern no matter how you slice it), and yet he loves his kids, and when push comes to shove he can't leave them. It's never a boring film, but it's never really fascinating either, largely due to the fact that these characters are so realistically despicable, it's just impossible to enjoy watching them. (Justin Sanders)

* Wicker Park
Wicker Park is the best, most deliciously twisty romantic suspense thriller you'll ever see. Granted, the whole movie is completely implausible (although revealing any of this implausibility would ruin it), but regardless, its an assload of stomach twisting, anxietous, mysterious fun. There are flashbacks, flashforwards, missing persons, and nothing is quite what it seems. Plus, the film has the added bonus of tons of footage with the adorable Josh Hartnett looking pained, and confused, and sad, and loving, and dashingly handsome. (Katie Shimer)

Without a Paddle
Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, and the curiously funny Dax Shepard embark on a trip through the woods after their childhood friend Billy dies. Despite the juvenile plot (and the presence of Matthew Lillard, the most grating and horrible actor working today), Without a Paddle is funnier than you would think. While I have a hard time advising anyone to spend eight bucks to see this, it's refreshing to have around, especially when you're exhausted from watching the news or don't feel like spending your leisure time pondering the depravity of the human race with Outfoxed or Fahrenheit 9/11. (Katie Shimer)

You'll Get Over It
The French really know how to make a gay coming of age movie. The entire charm of You'll Get Over It rests on two elements: first, the film's casual dismissal of sexuality as being significant in any way, and second, the film's teenage cast, all of whom exhibit disproportionate levels of existential maturity. For the French, it seems, the most exciting part of realizing that you're gay is realizing that being gay is really not that important. So you're gay. So what? (Evan James) Hollywood Theatre

While Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano)--a blind samurai who can take out ten 20/20-blessed thugs with a few thunderous swipes of his combo walking stick/samurai sword--is a badass, his movie (also directed by Kitano) isn't quite as cool. An awkward combination of Kurosawa's ponderous Japanese samurai epics and the desperate schizophrenia of an early Jackie Chan flick, Zatoichi attempts too much: It's at once a moving, thoughtful drama, a kickass action movie, and a borderline slapstick comedy... with a few dance routines thrown in. It's not that this makes for a bad film, per se, just an exceedingly uneven one. (Erik Henriksen) Cinemagic

Zhou Yu's Train
Zhou Sun's Zhou Yu's Train is about a woman (Gong Li) who paints pretty things on pottery for a living and has two men, a writer (Tony Leung Ka-fai) and a veterinarian (Zhang Qiang), for lovers. The writer is shy and seduces the artisan with his poetry, but can only offer his lover beautiful words, and the artisan can only offer her lover a beautiful body. The disparity instigates an implosion. The veterinarian rushes into the ruins of that failed relationship and attempts to recover what is left of the emotionally destroyed Gong Li. But the relationship between the veterinarian and the artisan heats up too quickly and explodes into a thousand pieces. (Charles Mudede) Cinema 21