12 O'Clock Boys
A documentary about Baltimore's "hundred-person-strong squadron of dirt bike racers who love to choke up the streets and cause a ruckus." Clinton Street Theater.
"Something has attached itself to him." Academy Theater.
The Hollywood's series features B-movies, with the audience marking down clichés on a custom-made bingo card. This time around: Sylvester Stallone and George P. Cosmatos' Cobra. Hollywood Theatre.
Best in Show
"We met at Starbucks. Not at the same Starbucks. But we saw each other at different Starbucks, across the street from each other." Laurelhurst Theater.
A drama about young people in and out of love. Also starring Clark Gregg from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—so hey, no matter what, it has to be better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Clinton Street Theater.
A controversial, four-and-a-half-hour-long German miniseries set in WWII, split into two movies for American audiences. Living Room Theaters.
Spike Jonze's latest, in which a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his phone's artificially intelligent operating system (Scarlett Johansson), might be his best yet. Hacky film critics are going to write about how Her is a film about our relationship with technology, but it isn't. Her is a film about our relationships. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Stupid movies can be glorious things, but I, Frankenstein delivers inanity with such literal and figurative stone-facedness that it drains nearly all the fun from its insane premise: grumpy-but-sexy Frankenstein's Monster (Aaron Eckhart) gets adopted by Leonore, Queen of the Gargoyles (Miranda Otto), who, with her coterie of crouching, glowering, winged underlings, is waging a centuries-long war against Naberius (Bill Nighy), an evil demon and a proud member of the one percent. I, Frankenstein mostly consists of a flurry of CGI battles that take place in an unnamed, unpopulated city; presumably, all the non-gargoyle residents have moved away due to either the exploding demons or the heavy fog of dullness. Featuring entirely too many cues lifted from the Underworld movies, a series that miraculously managed to make a dreary affair out of watching Kate Beckinsale fight werewolves and vampires while wearing a skintight catsuit. I, HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
IBM: A Self-Portrait
Albert and David Maysles' 1964 visit to the "headquarters of then-burgeoning IBM, interviewing average workers, executives, and everyone in between." Followed by Luc Moullet's Toujours Plus and Toujours Moins. Screens as part of the NW Film Center and Yale Union's Production/Distribution series. Whitsell Auditorium.
In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-wai is perhaps most famous for In the Mood for Love, held up as a pillar of aesthetic accomplishment. Its moody pacing and gorgeous appearance launched fashion trends and inspired ample fodder for the inspirational benefit of all that came after it, not to mention helping to solidify Hong Kong's international reputation as China's stylish answer to Paris. MARJORIE SKINNER Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Kiss the Water
A documentary/"meditative reflection" about Scottish fishing fly-maker Megan Boyd. Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Disney has a horse in this race (Get a Horse!, currently playing in front of Frozen), which usually means they cream the competition in the Oscar-nominated animated short films. The four other animated films in the program are charming and well done and kinda bloodless (for blood, look to the live-action shorts). The best of the lot is Room on the Broom, a kid-friendly British entry about inter-species cooperation, with voice work from Simon Pegg and Gillian Anderson. It's adorable! COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters.
Oscar-Nominated Short Films
The Oscar-nominated live-action shorts are consistent, year to year; you're going to see Short Films About Big Issues. True to form, this year's spate is chockablock with thinky themes that run the gamut from whimsically poignant to rapey awful. There is one light-hearted entry from Finland, Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?, about a family's comically frantic attempts to attend a wedding. But it's the suspenseful Just Before Losing Everything that's the most cohesive and gripping, with a mother and her two children escaping an abusive husband. COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters.
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Portland Black Film Festival
The second Portland Black Film Festival, curated by writer and filmmaker David Walker (BadAzz MoFo, Darius Logan: Super Justice Force) and featuring "films that are either directed by African Americans or deal with being black in America"—including 12 O'Clock Boys, Beat Street, Sidewalk Stories, a Soul Train compilation, and Purple Rain. More at hollywoodtheatre.org. Hollywood Theatre.
The 37th Portland International Film Festival runs from Thurs Feb 6 through Sat Feb 22. For more info, see next week's Mercury and nwfilm.org. Cinema 21, OMSI Empirical Theater, Whitsell Auditorium.
Run Run Shaw Tribute
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
A fly-on-the-wall look at "the flagship luxury department store Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas, during the 1982 holiday season." Screens as part of the NW Film Center and Yale Union's Production/Distribution series. Whitsell Auditorium.
That Awkward Moment
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Walking With Dinosaurs
Maybe eat a brownie first. DENIS C. THERIAULT Various Theaters.
A documentary about the workers at Beijing's World Park, "a bizarre cross-cultural melange of Las Vegas and Epcot Center." Fifth Avenue Cinema.