1,000 Times Good Night
A relationship drama starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Living Room Theaters, VOD.
20,000 Days on Earth
Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's doozy of a film about the musician/author/actor/screenwriter Nick Cave. Part documentary and part concert film, it boasts heaps of meticulously crafted psychodrama peopled with Cave's real-life family and friends. Over a single fictitious day in the life of the Bad Seeds frontman, we see Cave: working on songs at his home in Brighton; talking to a therapist about his first sexual encounters; practicing with the band; and having searching conversations with friends who mysteriously appear in his car while driving around the city. COURTNEY FERGUSON Cinema 21.
"Something has attached itself to him." Followed by a Q&A with the creative team for Fire and Stone, Dark Horse Comics' multi-comic riff on Aliens, Predator, and Prometheus. Hollywood Theatre, Kennedy School.
"This is clearly an important species we're dealing with, and I don't think that you or I or anybody has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them." Cinetopia Progress Ridge 14.
Army of Darkness
"Lady, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the store." Academy Theater.
Bad Movie Nite
A mystery screening series featuring "some of the cheapest, cheesiest, and most unintentionally hilarious B-movies ever made." Clinton Street Theater.
The Blue Room
Mathieu Amalric plays a weaselly French husband upholding the weaselly French tradition of cheating on one's wife. Amalric, who also directed, chops up the narrative into a confusing but ultimately energetic collage that jumps back and forth through time. We learn that there's been a crime, and some terrific sex, and now both the husband and his mistress are in some sort of trouble. It's a little difficult to get a grasp on, but the 75-minute-long film sails by briskly, and Amalric does a fantastic job of looking super guilty. NED LANNAMANN Living Room Theaters.
The Book of Life
The Book of Life somehow stuffs a love triangle and a story about self-identity into a cosmology shaped heavily by the mythology of Mexico's Day of the Dead. Death, unsurprisingly, looms over the film's three main characters: Manolo the reluctant bullfighter (voiced by Diego Luna), Joaquin the cocky soldier (Channing Tatum), and Maria the scholarly, willful, kung fu-trained anti-princess (Zoe Saldana). But that weight's also been balanced by a surprising amount of lightness and whimsy—thanks to some of the most stunning animation and set design you'll ever see. (As if a kids' movie produced by Guillermo del Toro wouldn't look beautiful.) DENIS C. THERIAULT Various Theaters.
Dear White People
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
DOGS! What's better than dogs? Nothing! Dogs are the greatest creatures that have ever existed or will ever exist on this planet. All movies should feature dogs—or, barring multiple dogs, at least one dog, provided that dog is suitably great. Good news! In The Drop, there's a dog named Rocco! He's a pit bull puppy, and I'm here to tell you that he's great! Sure, there's other stuff that's great about The Drop: a solid, noir-ish script from Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane, subtly sharp direction from Michaël R. Roskam, and fantastic performances from Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and the late James Gandolfini. But the best thing about The Drop is Rocco. ERIK HENRIKSEN Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
Like the claustrophobic, blood-splattered WWII tank in which it's largely set, Fury rumbles on, solidly, brutally doing its job. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
"Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here." Edgefield, Hollywood Theatre, Mission Theater.
Not every movie that features this much blood and this many missing wives is this funny, but the dark, cold humor in Gone Girl nicely complements Gillian Flynn's pulpy plot. The film doubles back on itself, again and again—and as it does, Flynn and director David Fincher wink and poke at the characters and the audience. There's a venomous edge to this story, but the people telling it are hardly reliable narrators. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Grindhouse Film Festival
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic. Academy Theater.
A screening series where the audience texts their best jokes directly onto the screen. For Halloween, the Hollywood has conjured up The Craft, about a bunch of teenage witches who go way beyond playing "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board." Hollywood Theatre.
House on Haunted Hill
The original William Castle horror classic, starring Vincent Price in one of his most iconic roles. NOT THE REMAKE WHERE OWEN WILSON DIES. Hollywood Theatre.
It Happened One Night
A digital restoration of Frank Capra's 1934 film with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Kill the Messenger
It's hard and heartbreaking to watch even the sweetest, most celebratory parts of Kill the Messenger. Because, by now, we know for certain what many of the players in this true tale of mid-1990s journalism and skullduggery did not know: Namely that Gary Webb, a prize-winning reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, was dead fucking on when he nailed the CIA for doing business, back in the 1980s, with the Central American drug traffickers who helped wreck America's inner cities with crack cocaine. And the CIA knew it, too—even as it goaded ego-pricked national journalists, from the likes of the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, into savaging the reputation and minimizing the work of an upstart who'd unflinchingly plumbed America's darkness and somehow scooped all of them in their own backyards. DENIS C. THERIAULT Living Room Theaters.
A digital restoration of Frank Capra's 1937 fantasy. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Love Is Strange
The love between George and Ben (Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, respectively) is perfectly normal. They're gay, but nobody thinks that's strange anymore. (Right? They shouldn't, anyway.) They live a simple life in New York City, and as the film opens, the two are marrying after 39 years as partners. Alas, their decision to marry costs George his job teaching music at a Catholic school, which considers the marriage to be a public stance against the church—at which point the couple are forced to sell their apartment and stay with friends and family while trying to get back on their feet. Even though the relationship between Ben and George is the anchor of the film, these two get precious few scenes together. But when they do, the whole struggle makes sense: They are perfect together. You want them to be together. They make you care about what happens in their ordinary lives. ELINOR JONES Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
Men, Women & Children
Ostensibly based on the novel by Chad Kultgen but actually probably written by your grandmother, Men, Women, & Children bursts with hysterical panic: WATCH as internet pornography renders a teenager IMPOTENT! WINCE as product placement for ashleymadison.com tempts a wife into EXTRAMARITAL INTERCOURSE! GAG as a girl discovers thinspiration—and starves herself into an ectopic pregnancy! SHUDDER as a promising young athlete strays into the sinister realms of VIDEOGAMES! CONDEMN a mother who sells lewd photos of her underage daughter to ONLINE PERVERTS! WEEP as human interaction is destroyed by TEXTING! SCREAM as brazen teens USE TUMBLR! BEHOLD Adam Sandler as he MASTURBATES ALL OVER HIS SON'S COMPUTER! ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
1987's PG-13 horror-comedy, co-written by Shane Black and featuring Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. Director Fred Dekker in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.
Nightmare on Elm Street
1984's pop horror flick. Starring Johnny Depp before Johnny Depp became the world's most irritating person. Laurelhurst Theater.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Portland Film Festival
A selection of shorts—from documentaries to student films—from the second year of the Portland Film Festival. For more, see "Growing Up," Mercury, Aug 20 2014. Clinton Street Theater.
A film series sponsored by In Other Words Feminist Community Center. This month's film: A Knock Out. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.
Buster Keaton's 1924 silent comedy and one of the finest comedies of the era. Hollywood Theatre.
"Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd." Mission Theater.
St. Vincent is contrived. It's contrived in the best way. Do you want to watch Bill Murray act like a sarcastic prick, but secretly have a heart of gold? Do you want him to have an unorthodox-yet-rewarding relationship with a precocious young boy like all the best parts of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Bad Santa, and Bad Words? Do you want these adversarial relationships eventually to lead to understanding? Yeah, St. Vincent is about as procedural of a feel-good Sundance comedy as Law & Order: SVU is a cop show—but when the dialogue is sharp and the acting is perfect, that's a pretty damned fine thing to watch. VINCE MANCINI Various Theaters.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Yes, this screening will be accompanied by a costume contest. Hollywood Theatre.
This atmospheric feature is about a madhouse in the last days of the 19th century. Based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe ("The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether"), Stonehearst Asylum opens with an insane but very pretty, very delicate woman (Kate Beckinsale) being shown to medical students. She breathes like an animal, she pleads for help, she looks like her mind is gone. Later, a young doctor shows up at the gate of a palatial gothic building in the middle of nowhere. Dark clouds are above it, great trees are around it, and a fog clings to its grounds. This is the Stonehearst Asylum, and the doctor is Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess). The man who greets him at the gate is none other than David Thewlis as Mickey Finn. Soon after being introduced to Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley), the master of the asylum, and his patients and methods, Newgate soon discovers that Lamb is not a real doctor. He is actually a madman who recently assumed control of the place. The real doctor, a certain Salt (Michael Caine), is being held with his staff in the dungeon below the asylum. What should Newgate do? Should he run for his life? Should he restore the natural order of things? The result of this is a very entertaining thriller by Brad Anderson. CHARLES MUDEDE VOD.
Stop Making Sense
"Hi. I have a tape I want to play." As far as opening lines go, this flat declaration sounds more like something the weirdo who sat behind me in fourth grade would blurt out than a great rock 'n' roll entrance. For that matter, David Byrne's white Keds and gray high-water slacks, seen padding onstage in the opening shot of Jonathan Demme's 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, constitute a minor revelation themselves in the art of thwarting rock-god clichés. CHAS BOWIE Clinton Street Theater.
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
A digital restoration of Tobe Hooper's classic horror flick from 1974. Hollywood Theatre.
(Un)Fixed Terra Firma: Analog Films from Artist-Run Labs
Cinema Project and the NW Film Center present work from European cooperatives whose members "experiment with or continue to use celluloid as part of their practice." More at cinemaproject.org. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Voices in Action:
Human Rights on Film
The NW Film Center's human rights film series. This week's selections: Big Men, A Quiet Inquisition, Private Violence, Return to Homs, and Watchers of the Sky. More at nwfilm.org. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, October 24-Thursday, October 30, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.