Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

ENTER THE DRAGON Nice try, Wolverine!

ENTER THE DRAGON Nice try, Wolverine!

recommended Back to the Future
"If you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" Academy Theater.

The Bling Ring
With its monotonous succession of nightclubs, elegantly overexposed housing developments, and fancy closets, The Bling Ring is a disappointingly unambitious retelling of the fame-hungry Bling Ring's gossip-related crimes. As Sofia Coppola's camera lingers over her protagonists' vanity and self-infatuation, it's clear she's fascinated by the motivations of their real-life counterparts—and, presumably, with the sociological implications that their crimes underscore. Problem is, Coppola never manages to translate that fascination into something greater than a sumptuously composed episode of TMZ. ZAC PENNINGTON Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.

The Conjuring
"The Amityville Horror"—a debatably true story based on the demonic possession of a family's house on Long Island in the mid-'70s—inspired at least 10 books and as many films. James Wan's The Conjuring, a new film based on the "true story" of a similar occurrence, markets itself as the precursor to the more-famous tale: both cases were the subject of investigations by the controversial mom 'n' pop paranormal investigation team Ed and Lorraine Warren. And, just as the accounts of the two hauntings share copious similarities, every startle and creep of The Conjuring references a ghost tale you've seen or heard before. That said, it has plenty of frightening moments. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

recommended Crystal Fairy
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Dancing Outlaw I & II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood
A "hilarious and slightly exploitative peek into 20th century Appalachian life," screening as part of the NW Film Center's Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series. Hotel deLuxe.

recommended Enter the Dragon
RIP, Jim Kelly. Laurelhurst Theater.

The Fantastic World of Juan Orol
As billed, The Fantastic World of Juan Orol is Mexico's answer to Tim Burton's Ed Wood. As you'd expect from a B-movie about B-movies, the mileage you get from Fantastic World will depend on your affection for the low-budget cinema of yesteryear. The problem is that shlock artists like Orol tend to make the same mistakes over and over again—so as a biopic, this film has miserable pacing. But it's a splendid love letter to Latin filmmaking all the same. BEN COLEMAN Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Fruitvale Station
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Gems of the Czech New Wave
Vra Chytilová's 1966 film Daisies, presented via a recently restored 35mm print, and Jií Menzel's 1966 Closely Watched Trains, presented via an archival print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Single or double feature... your czoice! Whitsell Auditorium.

Hava Nagila
A doc about the "infectious Jewish party song" that has "transcended its origins and become a worldwide hit." Like Peter Falk! Clinton Street Theater.

I'm So Excited!
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

The Look of Love
Michael Winterbottom's film about "the rise and fall of British nudie theater impresario Paul Raymond," played by Steve Coogan. Not screened for critics. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Men in Suits
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn's follow-up to 2011's very nearly perfect Drive is very far from perfect. If one element of Drive stuck in audiences' memories, it was its hazy, druggy atmosphere: Ryan Gosling, then a nameless driver, staring into the distance, or gazing lovingly at Carey Mulligan, when he wasn't dispensing righteous bursts of violence. In Only God Forgives, that equation has been switched; the violence takes the forefront and is usually the opposite of righteous. Going for levels of horrific gore and lurid blood that he hasn't reveled in since his Pusher trilogy, Refn zooms in, tighter and tighter, on his characters' psychological and physical mutilations. A friend I saw Only God Forgives with described the experience as "excruciating." I didn't offer a defense. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Pacific Rim
In anyone else's hands, Pacific Rim would've been a generic blockbuster; in Guillermo del Toro's, it's something thrilling and fun and weird. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Reel Feminism
A film series sponsored by In Other Words Feminist Community Center. This month's film: Desert Flower. Clinton Street Theater.

R.I.P.D.
Spending a sunny Sunday afternoon alone at this movie was a low point of my 2013—a year spent growing out my bangs and getting a divorce. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.

recommended Scarface
"Why don' jou try stickin' jou head up jou ass—see if it feets." Hollywood Theatre.

Scarface (1932)
The original Scarface—i.e., the one no one remembers. They don't make, like, any dorm room posters for this one. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Stories We Tell
With Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley takes on the art of documentary—and not only makes something human and impactful, but folds the genre in on itself. Ostensibly, Stories is a study of Polley's family, centered on her mother Diane, who died of cancer when Polley was 11. With almost cold calculation, Polley puts virtually everyone in her family—siblings, father, aunts, family friends—into the hot seat and tasks them with telling "the whole story": what Diane was like, what her relationship with her father was like, and far into the plot-thickening beyond. MARJORIE SKINNER Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended The To Do List
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

The Wolverine
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

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