Ballad of Jack and Rose Taking up the thin line between familial and romantic love, The Ballad of Jack and Rose is not nearly as creepy or sordid as one might think. Inhabiting an old commune, the handsome, rugged father (Daniel Day-Lewis) and angel-faced adolescent daughter (Camilla Belle) toil in post-hippie paradise while classic folk rock accompanies them on the soundtrack. The ballad is rich with incident--it's touching, anguished, disturbing, strange, and occasionally hilarious. (Marjorie Skinner) Fox Tower 10


Bad Education If Hitchcock's Vertigo collided head-on with a drag queen variety show, the brilliant wreckage would be Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education. (Ryan Dirks) Fox Tower 10


Beauty Shop Queen Latifah gets her own Barbershop spin-off. In the press release, director Bille Woodruff notes that he and Queen Latifah "were both interested in doing something that would have the laughs, but we also wanted to make sure we had other things going on. The comedy is there, but there are other things happening, things that can make you think." Not having seen Beauty Shop, we here at the Mercury are still pretty confident in our assertion that Mr. Woodruff's statement is, most likely, a lie. Regal Cinemas, etc


Born Into Brothels Rare is the documentary that feels too short, but this wrenching look at kids growing up within the squalid red-light sector of India begs for a more detailed exploration. Filmed in an arresting mix of handheld video and Kodachrome stills, the film follows the efforts of co-director/photographer Zana Briski to save the children of Calcutta's sex workers, initially by encouraging their photographic skills, then by navigating through unbelievable levels of bureaucratic quicksand. Briski's struggle is worthy of sainthood, but her resulting document, after an absolutely engrossing first reel, follows a slightly frustrating route. Unintentionally or not, as she concentrates increasingly on getting passports and HIV tests processed, the focus shifts to a more conventional individual vs. the system story, and away from the fairly miraculous day-to-day existence of the kids, where it feels like it belongs. (Andrew Wright) Fox Tower 10


Born to Kill Noir legend Lawrence Tierney plays a cold-blooded killer who offs his girlfriend and her lover, then begins dating the only witness to the crime. Hilarity ensues. Guild Theater


Cradle Will Rock Cradle Will Rock is based on Orson Welles' attempts to produce a leftist musical drama during the commie-scared 1930s. The impressive cast includes Bill Murray, Paul Giamatti, Susan Sarandon, and both of the Cusacks. Pix Patisserie


Deep Throat 1972's sweet tale of a young girl (Linda Lovelace) whose clitoris is located in her throat. Clinton Street Theater


Downfall An epic film taking place in Hitler's Berlin bunker, in the last days before the end of the war and his suicide. Much like taking a short trip into one of the circles of Hell, it's a cement-filled world teeming with Nazis who know they have lost, who are getting drunk, planning their suicides, and painfully watching their Fuhrer descend further into failure, frailty, desperation, and rage. Although nightmarish, it's a fascinating, microscopic portrait of a mere snatch of WWII history, vividly depicting the bleakness of a ruined Berlin. Downfall's characters are horrifying, sympathetic, and irrational--and as fascinating as the film itself. (Marjorie Skinner) Cinema 21


Fever Pitch (Sneak Preview) The ineffably angelic Drew Barrymore is saddled with the incorrigibly grating Jimmy Fallon in this, the latest from the Farrelly Brothers. Tigard Cinemas , Century Eastport 16 , Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing


The Future of Food See "Food Events," page 41. Redwing Coffee & Bakery


Guess Who Apparently, we're all so over racism that the modern classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner--1967's exploration of the complex nature of racism in America--is ready for a comic retelling. Thus, Guess Who, in which Bernie Mac goes apeshit when he realizes that his daughter is dating white guy Simon (Ashton Kutcher). Yes, it's as clumsy, unintelligent, and unfunny as it sounds, and as the final kicker, Guess Who's crammed to the brim with incredibly backward ideas about race and gender. Avoid it at all costs, unless you're what I can only assume is the movie's target audience: A straight white guy who gets off on feeling persecuted. (Alison Hallett) Regal Cinemas, etc


Gunner Palace Documentary filmmaker Michael Tucker spent 10 months living in Iraq, embedded with 400 soldiers stationed at a bombed-out palace in Baghdad. His resultant film, Gunner Palace, is challenging, funny, and poignant--and one of the best documentaries to come out of the war in Iraq. (Alison Hallett) Hollywood Theatre


Hostage Bruce Willis stars as former top LAPD negotiator Jeff Talley, who suffers a breakdown after a hostage situation goes extremely bad. He retires, becoming a police chief in a small town where life's great--until a trio of hoodlums knock over a rich guy's mansion, and takes the family hostage. There's plenty of tension, action, explosions, and more than a pint or two of blood, making Hostage a fun, pulpy flick. (Wm. Steve Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc


Jackpot Records Film Fest See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre


The Killer That Stalked New York The ultimate femme fatale smuggles diamonds into New York while simultaneously spreading an incurable strain of smallpox throughout the city. Guild Theater


Melinda and Melinda Woody Allen's latest has a promising premise: Two playwrights (Larry Pine and Wallace Shawn) discuss the situation of Melinda (Radha Mitchell), an unstable, travel-worn woman who unexpectedly arrives at her friends' Upper East Side apartment. One playwright envisions Melinda's background as a tragedy, while the other invents a comedy. Allen looks at both, and the film delineates the playwrights' respective takes, essentially making two films. Since he's been toying with comedies and tragedies for decades, Allen here has the perfect chance to capitalize on his proficiency in both genres. But while Melinda and Melinda is theoretically two Allen films for the price of one, its sum is far less than even one of Allen's past masterpieces. (Will Gardner) Fox Tower 10 , City Center 12 , Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing


Millions The last thing one would expect from the director of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later is a warm family film, but Danny Boyle's tale of two young brothers (Alexander Nathan Etel and Lewis Owen McGibbon) who find a duffel bag stuffed with cash is remarkably enjoyable. Keeping the money secret from their widower father (James Nesbitt), one boy hallucinates Christian saints who urge him to donate the money, while the other delights in spending the cash. Ultimately, Millions becomes less about the money and more about the boys' splintered family; despite a retarded subplot about a criminal looking for the cash and some unforgivably sappy moments, Millions is definitely worthwhile. (Erik Henriksen) Fox Tower 10


Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Sandra Bullock has made an entire career out of starring in shitty movies. Let's take a moment to scroll through the catalogue: Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control, While You Were Sleeping, Hope Floats, Practical Magic, Miss Congeniality, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and now Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. And even though all these movies are crap, none are movies I would turn off if I came across them on late night television. Why? Because I'm a sap, and Sandra Bullock is charming. And Miss Congeniality 2 is exactly what you'd expect: Sandy + Movie = Cute, Dumb, Funny, and despite its shortcomings, more than a little bit charming. (Katie Shimer) Regal Cinemas, etc


The Naked Kiss Samuel Fuller's 1964 film The Naked Kiss is largely interesting for its awkward handling of then-taboo subjects. Fuller creates a noirish landscape where men have names like "Griff" and "Grant", and women are introduced via a slow camera pan up their legs. Prostitute Kelly (Constance Towers) is the new girl in town, who fucks the town sheriff in the first five minutes and then attempts to reinvent herself by taking a job working at a hospital for crippled children. Her efforts are thwarted by a string of mishaps including an unplanned pregnancy, visitors from her shady past, and a very odd child molestation subplot. (Alison Hallett) Guild


Net Loss: The Storm Over Farmed Salmon Two things can be deduced from the title of this documentary. First, it's part of PSU's "Think Globally, Act Locally" film series, which means the audience will be full of hippies. Second, it's about farmed salmon--which means the hippies will be pissed. Fifth Avenue Cinemas


Reed College's Latino Film Fest The weekend-long Latino Film Fest features a range of films from Latin and South America. Friday has Animaquiladora, a commentary on the sweatshop-like conditions in which many cartoons are produced; Performing the Border, a video essay that examines the global economy's increasing reliance on low-wage female labor; and Punto y Raya, a film about two soldiers stationed on opposite sides of the violence-ridden Colombian and Venezuelan border. Saturday has Exhumaciones-Inhumaciones and Entre Dos Mundos: La Busqueda de La Salud, both of which will be introduced by their director, Guatemalan filmmaker Emiliana Aguilar. Also on Saturday: Madame Satã, a portrait of a gay Brazilian criminal/cabaret star. On Sunday, The Sixth Section documents the New York-based efforts of a community of Mexican immigrants to raise money to rebuild their hometown; Les Papas del Papa is a short film satirizing the Hollywoodization of faith; and El Pueblo Unido--The Struggle for Political, Economic and Social Justice in El Salvador is a documentary focusing on the U.S.'s role in the El Salvadoran civil war. Reed College


The Ring Two I really shouldn't recommend The Ring Two, because it's neither good nor scary. That said, it does have a hilarious scene in which a bunch of CG deer attack a Volkswagen Jetta--and you can bet your sweet ass you aren't going to see that in Million Dollar Baby or Hotel Rwanda. So c'mon! Get your ass to The Ring Two! It has deer! Attacking! (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc


Rock 'N Roll Mamas Fundraiser See "Up & Coming," page 22. Hollywood Theatre


Rosa Luxemburg A German biography of everyone's favorite feminist and communist, Rosa Luxemburg! PSU Smith Memorial Union


Saints and Soldiers Saints and Soldiers is a slickly produced, entertaining-in-a-TV-movie-sort-of-way WWII flick. More interesting, however, is looking at Saints as a model of a Mormon-themed film trying to reach/convert a wider audience... while subtly disguising its Mormon underpinnings. It's fascinating stuff--and watching a WWII firefight is always more fun than answering the door to real missionaries, right? (Erik Henriksen) Westgate , Lloyd Mall , Movies on TV


Schultze Gets the Blues Gently funny, this film is full of the sort of geriatric humor that ensues from putting a fat old German guy in an unfamiliar environment. (Marjorie Skinner) Fox Tower 10


Silent Waters I watched this film two and a half times. Not because it's so awesome, but because the last half is awesome--the first half so dull that I couldn't make myself pay enough attention to be able to completely understand the second half. As for the plot, a mother in Pakistan doesn't want to go to the well. (Of course, you don't find out why until the second half, when the film reveals a fascinating, horrifying picture of the rift between Islamist extremists and Muslims, its consequences, the subsequent rift between the mother and her Jihadist son, and it even turns out she has a pretty good reason not to go to the well.) If you have the fortitude to attenuate the first half, you will be rewarded for the effort--so hang in there. (Marjorie Skinner) Hollywood Theatre


Sin City See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc


Structural Ethnographies: Sharon Lockhart See "Arts Rodeo," page 37. Cinema Project @ New American Art Union


Student Film Screening Students of the Northwest Film Center show their stuff. Old Town Pizza


Today and Tomorrow A cautionary tale of an Argentinian would-be actress who turns to prostitution to pay the bills. Whitsell Auditorium


Travelers and Magicians This charming, philosophical film takes place in Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom in Middle of Nowhere, Asia. A pleasant clash of modern attitude and traditional wisdom, Travelers and Magicians is a subtly engaging film with a quiet, simple message, leaving just enough give in its construction for the viewer to conclude their own version of the point. (Marjorie Skinner) Laurelhurst


True Romance Quentin Tarantino wrote this classic film starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, and blood. Laurelhurst


Union Station Chief Lieutenant "Tough Willy" Calhoun (William Holden) teams up with a beautiful secretary (Nancy Olsen) to track down the kidnappers of a tycoon's blind daughter. The action flows from train cars to underground tunnels in this shadowy classic, which teeters between a crime drama, a love story, and a politically incorrect treatise on police ethics. Union Station is a beautiful black and white postcard from an era when audiences could guiltlessly indulge in on-screen police heroes who disregard victims' rights, beat the shit out of tight-lipped criminals and knock back stiff cocktails while they calmly calculate their next move. (Ryan Dirks) Guild


The Upside of Anger The Upside of Anger makes an all-too-blatant grab for the award-friendly glory road well plowed by the likes of American Beauty and Terms of Endearment, yet is nearly redeemed by a cast that wrings out every last bit of potential from the formula. After being abandoned by her husband, a brittle housewife (Joan Allen, deliriously bitchy and never better) strikes up a boozy relationship with the scruffy ex-jock next door (Kevin Costner, finally at ease in his relaxed-fit Dockers, and with a shambling affability that makes his years adrift in the egocentric waterworld even more of a shame). Despite the xeroxed plot and a horribly misguided ending, filmmaker Mike Binder's film looks to have some serious legs (the preview audience went gonzo at every single wisecrack and heartstring pluck, to a degree I've rarely seen). Since you're going to eventually end up seeing it anyway, best to shrug off the flailing stabs at higher meaning and enjoy it for what it gets right: Two fine, yet often neglected, actors teeing off on a series of telegraphed pitches and repeatedly knocking the damned cover off of it. (Andrew Wright) Lloyd Cinemas , City Center 12 , Sherwood 10, Evergreen Parkway , Pioneer Place Stadium 6 , Tigard Cinemas , Century Eastport 16 , Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing


Voltron Gets Busy See "My, What A Busy Week!," page 17. Noir


Walk on Water If you only see one obscure foreign film this year, it should be this one. Walk On Water follows Eyal (Lior Ashkenazi), a member of the Israeli special forces who is ordered to find and kill an aging Nazi. Eyal befriends the Nazi's two adult grandchildren, Axel and Pia (Knut Berger and Caroline Peters), posing as a tour guide to gain their trust. Winsome Pia and hottie Axl are the two cutest darn Germans I've ever seen, and their guilelessness lies in stark contrast to guarded, emotionally crippled Eyal. The plot sacrifices some credibility to its message, but to good end, exploring both the Israeli construction of masculinity and the double-edged sword that is Israel and race. (Alison Hallett) Fox Tower 10


What the Fuck Do We Know? It's the cult-tastic movie of the year! Umpqua Bank


Whisky This comedy about two brothers and the lies they tell won the 2004 International Critics' Prize at Cannes. Whitsell Auditorium