Set in 1987, there's a sense of bittersweet nostalgia throughout Adventureland. It's a film that's witty and dark enough to distance itself from the sappy clichés of the coming-of-age genre, but heartfelt enough to feel more genuine and insightful than the usual comedy where someone shouting "Boner!" counts as a punchline. (That said, someone does shout "Boner!" in Adventureland, and it's really funny when he does.) ERIK HENRIKSEN Laurelhurst Theater.
Angels & Demons
It's not exactly inaccurate to say that the Vatican hates Dan Brown's guts. Brown is the author of such unrealistic and fluffy pop jewels as The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and since both pretend to accurately portray the life, history, and secrets of the Vatican, the Vatican therefore kind of hates Dan Brown's guts. They also kind of hate the guts of Ron Howard for directing the screen version of The Da Vinci Code, and by association, actor Tom Hanks for starring as the film's bookworm protagonist, Robert Langdon. However, in an odd turn of events, the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, deigned to actually review the screen version of Angels & Demons, and as it turns out? They didn't hate its guts very much. In fact, they kind of, sort of, moderately enjoyed it (somewhat). And even more shockingly? For once, I find myself kind of agreeing with the Vatican. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
Back to the Future
"No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley!" Fifth Avenue Cinema.
The Best of the Northwest Film & Video Festival
Never mind the moments of tooth-gnashing, the pretentiously ironic pretension, or the fact that at least three of these filmmakers seem to think cute accordion music is the key to success. (Too much Amelie?) This best-of collection, mostly stuffed with with gauzy naïveté, is studded with surprise jewels, like Portrait of a Woman 1947-2007, a time-lapse animation using 60 years of photographs, and Nickel And Dimin' it With Buddy, a friendly peek into the life of a homeless Portlander. The Northwest Film Center's selection brings enough charm to the table to make it worth the ride—just be sure to bring your mittens for those face-palm inducing rough spots. WILL "THE INTERN" RADIK
The Brothers Bloom
Describing a movie as "quirky" more or less amounts to a critical bitch-slap these days, right up there with calling something "precious" or "twee." But it wasn't always so, and with the fantastic The Brothers Bloom, writer/director Rian Johnson (who previously helmed 2005's creepily original noir Brick) revisits an earlier cinematic era—one in which eccentricity is interesting and quirkiness has yet to become synonymous with Natalie Portman in a helmet. ALISON HALLETT Bridgeport Village Stadium 18, Fox Tower 10.
It's a story you haven't heard before—because it hasn't been told. Simply gathering enough footage for this 85-minute feature was a life-threatening task for the Democratic Voice of Burma, a band of reporters working covertly to document and disseminate evidence of their government's brutality. Director Anders Østergaard pieces together their shaky, lo-fi recordings into a chronicle of Burma's democratic protests in 2007. Forgive the reenactments that fill in gaps in the narrative, and immerse yourself in the bigger picture: Just the fact that you get to see this is a feat. JANE "THE INTERN" CARLEN Fox Tower 10.
Cinelayan Film Festival
Two films from the Philippines, Minsan Lang Sila Bata (Children Only Once) and Riles (Life on the Tracks). More info and specific showtimes: cinelayan.net. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Classic Concerts: The Beatles
The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. Clinton Street Theater.
The BBC's Planet Earth is one of the most amazing documentary programs ever recorded, featuring nature footage the likes of which has literally never been seen before. Disney's Earth is a highlights reel culled from the BBC show, edited for maximum adorableness. (Baby polar bears! Baby elephants! Baby duckies! Etc.) And while it's hard to believe that anything to which the phrase "maximum adorableness" can be applied could possibly go awry, Earth manages, thanks to lazy editing, folksy narration, and a criminally melodramatic score. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.
Fado has been called Portugal's blues music, though it has been around longer than the United States itself. In his documentary on the genre, legendary Spanish director Carlos Saura completes an informal trilogy started 15 years ago with the lauded doc Flamenco and continued with the fictional Tango. It's perhaps with a loss of nerve that Saura breaks up his true story here with rather silly dance scenes which feel like stray satellite feeds from MTV Portugal. The lingering impression? A passionately bright idea gone horribly Euro-trash. ANDREW STOUT Hollywood Theatre.
Filmusik: Missile to the Moon
The 1958 sci-fi flick gets accompanied by a live soundtrack and voiceovers. Hollywood Theatre.
The Girlfriend Experience
As he clinically observes the contortions of the pretty young people who profit off the rich, Steven Soderbergh makes a rare cinematic acknowledgement: Beauty often promises what it can't deliver. High-end escort Chelsea (Sasha Grey) has systematically turned herself into a commodity, selling a willingness to be whatever her client wants her to be. Is her blankness the result of self-preservation or all-consuming self-absorption? Is there a real person behind the pretty face and body? Soderbergh asks these questions again and again in this enigmatic little film—and Grey just smiles distantly and touches her hair, revealing nothing. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.
Grindhouse Film Festival Double Feature
See My, What a Busy Week! Clinton Street Theater.
See review. Various Theaters
The 1961 Paul Newman flick. Screening on Saturday, June 5 accompanied by Miles Davis concert footage from 1991 and live jazz in the lobby. Cinema 21.
Land of the Lost
See review. Various Theaters
The Lemon Tree
Salma is a Palestinian widow who quietly tends her late father's lemon grove until the Israeli defense minister deems the trees a security risk. This pretty, sad film is about her fight to keep her grove, and made my heart ache a bit for both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. LOGAN SACHON Hollywood Theatre.
That sparkly dude from Twilight plays Salvador Dalí! What the eff? Living Room Theaters.
A film in which Jennifer Aniston lets a creepy loser (Steve Zahn) touch her butt. As it shuttles back and forth from wacky slapstick to heartfelt, quirky romcom, sometimes Management hits its mark—but all in all, it's like choking down a free continental breakfast at a chintzy motel. NED LANNAMANN Living Room Theaters.
Three years after his death, a kid named Melvin teams up with a nerdy college student to avenge his own death, setting the "dynamic dork duo on a mind-blowing streak of throat-ripping, vomit-spewing, head-decapitating, and much, much more." Clinton Street Theater.
My Life in Ruins
A new chick flick starring that whats-her-name from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and directed by the dude responsible for Richie Rich and Miss Congeniality. Not screened for critics. Various Theaters.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
It's all eye-rollingly silly, but while the first Night at the Museum was a strident, obnoxious mess, at least Smithsonian achieves a fevered level of madcap goofiness. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
"A documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them." Not screened for critics. Cinema 21.
Observe and Report
The fact that Observe and Report is relentlessly funny, and not simply grotesquely offensive, is a testament to the comedic talents onboard—director Jody Hill reprises the deadpan, detail-oriented tone he created in The Foot Fist Way, while actors like Patton Oswalt and Human Giant's Aziz Ansari make welcome cameos. It's star Seth Rogen, though, who injects the film with its improbable levity. By all rights, his mall cop character Ronnie Barnhardt is a dimwitted, gun-obsessed, casually racist sociopath who should be completely repellent—yet he is, at times, oddly charming, even when he's shooting smack in one of the mall's bathroom stalls. ALISON HALLETT Academy Theater, Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater.
See review. Fox Tower 10.
Portland Underground Film Festival: Summer of 69
The new film directed by Clinton Street Theater owner Seth Sonstein, Summer of 69 kicks off the fifth Portland Underground Film Festival (PUFF). 69 follows George (Ian Karmel) as he attempts to hook up with the girl of his dreams, encountering "hookers, drugs, boobs, bike gangs, bunny rabbits, and a really nice basket." Q&A with Sonstein and Karmel following the screening, which in turn is followed by an afterparty at Aalto Lounge (3356 SE Belmont). For more on PUFF, see next week's Mercury or hit clintonsttheater.com. Clinton Street Theater
Rock 'n' Roll High School
It's a 30th anniversary screening of the 1979 musical comedy featuring the Ramones, and to celebrate, Rock 'n' Roll High School star P.J. Soles will be in attendance to introduce the film, sign autographs, and do a post-screening Q&A. She'll also appear at Movie Madness (4320 SE Belmont) on Sunday, June 7 from 1-3 pm to sign autographs. Cinema 21.
Filmmaker James Benning's "strand of 43 single-takes of trains chugging up and down tracks and in and out of frame." More info: cinemaproject.org. Cinema Project Microcinema.
Rudo y Cursi
Reuniting Y Tu Mamá También team Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, Rudo y Cursi is basically a lighthearted version of a VH1 Behind the Music episode that's entertaining if periodically excruciating. Bernal and Luna play brothers from a poor rural town who are both improbably discovered and swept into the world of professional soccer. Like MC Hammer and Britney Spears before them, the brothers quickly fumble their success, falling prey to various forms of excess. The graver issues at hand (poverty, drug and domestic abuse, gambling addiction) are somewhat swept past in favor of charm, which makes for a pleasant if shallow romp. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10.
Shoot the Piano Player
See I'm Going Out. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
State of Play
Schlubby newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe, looking as schlubby as it's possible for Russell Crowe to look) is of the old school: He can't refer to blogs without sneering, and he warns a source that if they don't listen to him, they'll fall prey to "the bloodsuckers and bloggers." But despite his pride and skill, McAffrey's fictional Washington, DC, paper is spiraling downward, with a recent takeover by a media conglomerate and a newfound focus on the web and eye-catching graphics. The subgenre of thrillers about intrepid journalists is a small one, sure—and for all I know, maybe these movies are only truly thrilling for those few of us who still work in print journalism. But I suspect not: When they're done right (as State of Play mostly is, despite its melodramatic ending) they pack an authoritative, heady punch. ERIK HENRIKSEN Academy Theater, Edgefield, Laurelhurst Theater, Valley Theater.
It's not that Salvation is terrible—there have been worse movies this summer, and there'll certainly be more—but it is flat, clunky, and depressingly underwhelming. The lousiest part is that it's also full of good ideas: Set the story in the future, in the midst of humanity's war against hyper-advanced machines? Good idea! (Too bad the war turns out to be totally lame.) Cast Christian Bale as John Connor, "the prophesized leader of the resistance"? Good idea! (Alas, prophecy or no, it turns out future John Connor just isn't a very cool character.) Hire a supporting cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Anton Yelchin, and Helena Bonham Carter? Good idea! (The number of interesting things these actors are allowed to do? Zero!) Give some terminators wheels and turn 'em into badass robo-motorcycles? Good idea! (But brace yourself for stupid "hydro-terminators" that slither around underwater, and a giant, lumbering mecha-terminator that looks like it accidentally wandered over from the set of Transformers.) ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
This, the fourth film in the 007 series, is arguably the quintessential Bond. Perhaps the best part of the film, however, comes seven minutes in, with Tom Jones' unbelievable title music: "They calllll him the winnerrr who takes alllllll," Jones belts out over the brass section. "Then he strikes...like Thuuhunnnderbaalllllllll." Makes me quiver, every time. MATT DAVIS Laurelhurst Theater.
In the inevitable argument over who would win in a hypothetical fight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, I stump for Tyson. This has less to do with technical analysis than a lizard brain recognition of a fighter whose physical strength is fueled by a deeply ingrained, skinless ferocity—he is simply the most frightening human being I can contemplate having to face in hand-to-hand combat. It makes an odd sense that in James Toback's disarming new documentary, Tyson, his subject's full range of emotion reverberates as close to the surface as his murderousness did in the ring. Here Tyson expresses pain with as much honesty as he inflicted it, with a surprisingly unguarded level of candor and eloquence. It seems strange the first time Tyson cries on camera, and when he does it again afterward, you never quite get used to it. MARJORIE SKINNER City Center 12, Fox Tower 10.
At this point, squealing "Pixar has done it again!" is a cliché too weary for even my lazy ass to use—and worse, it's not even true. 'Cause actually, Pixar just keeps getting better. Exhibit A: The first half-hour of Up, which boasts more heartfelt emotion and subtle nuance than most films hold in their entire runtime. Exhibit B: What happens after those 30 minutes—Up keeps going, and the places it goes are nothing short of astounding. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
What's New Pussycat?
1965's Woody Allen-penned comedy starring Peter Sellers and Peter O'Toole. Pix Patisserie (North).
The Wild Child
See I'm Going Out. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Women of Cyprus
"Maria, a Greek Cypriot, and Zehra, a Turkish Cypriot, cross to opposite sides of the green line, which has divided Cyprus since the war of 1974." Directors Vassiliki Katrivanou and Bushra Azzouz in attendance for a post-film discussion. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.