The Adventures of
Terry Gilliam has always been a madman with a camera, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is one of the most ludicrous things he's ever made, which is really saying something. It also features one of the biggest performances of Robin Williams' career, but if you're playing the King of the Moon, you kinda have to go big. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
As Above, So Below
What's this? Another crappy looking horror flick that wasn't screened for critics? Why, I never.... Various Theaters.
Once a year for 12 years, director Richard Linklater summoned a cast of actors to film Boyhood, an utterly unique story of an utterly conventional American childhood. Boyhood is set in the 21st century, so there are divorced parents and videogames; it's Texas, so there are guns. It unfolds over 12 years, from 2002 to the present, but there are no title cards to tell you that time is passing—instead, the years are ticked off with pop songs and Harry Potter book release parties, new haircuts and new best friends. The story is fictionalized, but the passage of time is real; the nearly three-hour result is an affecting, heartfelt masterpiece. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
A psychedelic, half-animated film that explores a dystopian future in which entertainment companies and fantasy-inducing drugs dominate human existence. Outside of Ari Folman's captivating visuals (he also made the fantastic Waltz with Bashir), the film also raises intriguing questions about our culture's relationship to celebrity and denial. MARJORIE SKINNER Laurelhurst Theater.
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hating Disney purifies my soul and simplifies my worldview, but despite being a mass-market product produced by an evil empire, Guardians of the Galaxy somehow feels like it was made just for me. It's so good! There's no way I'm going to be able to write about it without every word evoking the sound of saliva being sucked over a retainer. Adios, professionalism, you were no match for Chris Pratt and a talking raccoon. VINCE MANCINI Various Theaters.
If I Stay
Chloë Grace Moretz stars in a film in which a young woman has an out-of-body experience, then "must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined." Ten bucks says Chloë Grace Moretz's alternate life is one where she said no to that Carrie remake. Various Theaters.
A screening of John Huston's 1948 noir, screening in memoriam of Lauren Bacall. Hollywood Theatre.
Life After Beth
The premise of Life After Beth is great: A young man (Dane DeHaan) refuses to accept the fact that his girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) is slowly, disgustingly, and undeniably turning into a zombie. Unfortunately, this smirky little comedy fails to offer a single compelling character, and its gags all have an undeniable whiff of self-satisfaction. The whole thing ends up feeling like an elaborate run-around the fact that Aubrey Plaza's not actually a very good actor. ALISON HALLETT Living Room Theaters.
Life of Crime
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
This late '80s sports comedy classic has aged surprisingly well: The Cleveland Indians still suck, Wesley Snipes is an egotistical joke, Charlie Sheen is absolutely believable as a professional dipshit, and it's never a good idea to drink Jobu's rum. Laurelhurst Theater.
May in the Summer
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The November Man
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The One I Love
Mark Duplass plays Ethan, a husband trying to regain the trust of his wife Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) after he cheated on her. Their shrink sends them to an idyllic weekend retreat, in hopes that booze, weed, and sexy solitude will allow Ethan and Sophie to reconnect with the best versions of themselves and each other. But The One I Love makes that hope dangerously literal: Ethan and Sophie are baffled to discover that the guesthouse is inhabited by their exact dopplegangers—except Other Sophie and Other Ethan are funnier, sexier, and more relaxed. Ethan, desperate to reconnect with his wife, is suspicious of her pliable stand-in, but Sophie is susceptible to the charms of a kinder, cooler version of her husband. But for all its potential, the result is off-kilter and frustrating. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.
Portland Film Festival
Chances are you aren't familiar with the Portland Film Festival (pronounced "pff," by me), but you should be. Now in its second year, the festival is endorsed by the mayor's office, has secured a slew of notable venues, and could represent a considerable chunk of Portland's film cred in the future. Right now, however, the festival's programming is schizophrenic—offering a vast, seemingly anything-goes variety of shorts, mid-tier festival regulars, director Q&As, and workshops. While that means some underdog films might gain exposure, a higher emphasis on curation would allow viewers to distinguish the vanity projects from the worthwhile ones. BEN COLEMAN Various Theaters.
Portland Latin American
The annual Portland Latin American Film Festival branches out to monthly screenings with movies from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. This month: Gimme the Power, a documentary about the band Molotov. More at pdxlaff.org. Hollywood Theatre.
I was wrong about Tammy. Partially wrong, anyway. I thought I was in for 90 minutes of fat jokes at Melissa McCarthy's expense. Not because I think it's all McCarthy's capable of, but because I think it's all Hollywood thinks McCarthy is capable of. Plus, I'd seen the trailer, which features McCarthy robbing a restaurant: First she "comically" struggles to hop the counter, and then she demands pie. But Tammy is mercifully light on that sort of thing—it's a pretty sweet movie, actually. It's just not a very funny one. (That's the part I was right about.) ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
The Trip to Italy
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Collector Denis Nyback presents 16mm films of vaudeville acts from 1925 to 1940. Hollywood Theatre.