See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Back to the Future Parts I-III
Once upon the 1980s, a young Republican in a life-vest, with the help of his science friend, traveled back in time, where he had to prevent his mother's sexual advances and instead steer her towards Crispin Glover's dick. He succeeded, but accidentally transformed the future into Planet Las Vegas, which sounds cool, but was actually kinda shitty. So he went all the way back to the Wild West, where Mary Steenburgen lives, and managed to set the timeline back on track and everyone learned that it's never really a good idea to steal plutonium from angry Libyans. Costarring Huey Lewis and Flea. BOBBY ROBERTS Laurelhurst Theater.
Neill Blomkamp has become our generation's definitive sci-fi auteur. The problem is he can't tell a story to save his fucking life. BEN COLEMAN Various Theaters.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
In horror movies, and sometimes in life, a girl alone at night is a victim. Shadows are ominous, noises are frightening. The night doesn't belong to her. Which is just part of why Ana Lily Amirpour's debut feature is so exhilarating. The Girl (Sheila Vand) is a taciturn, hijab-clad vampire in a tiny Iranian town called Bad City, gliding through the deserted streets like a not-so-friendly ghost. The night is her domain, though the men she encounters might assume otherwise. The Girl does what she wants, and usually what she wants is to drink somebody. ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.
In conjunction with the Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 exhibit at Portland Art Museum, the NW Film Center explores the cinema of Italy since the decline of neorealism in the early 1950s. See "Luci, Motore, Azione!", March 4. NED LANNAMANN NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
A movie about a guy on a really bad hike. He's hiking in a post-apocalyptic era. You can tell because the film's color is desaturated—that's what that filter means, right? Anything that sounds cool in the synopsis (like the fact that people have technologically adapted themselves beyond normal human capabilities) comes from a long voiceover delivered at the beginning. None of this cool-sounding stuff appears in the film. Instead we just have to watch a guy slowly come undone from desperation and loneliness, spliced in with images of his life before his really bad hike. SUZETTE SMITH NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
POWFest (Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival)
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
A monthly series "showing vintage and contemporary films that are obscure, neglected, and from the fringe." This month: Five shorts from members of the Dublin & Iranian Experimental Film Society. Hollywood Theatre.
A double-feature paying tribute to the crime-fighting women of the 1970s, with an episode of Angie Dickinson's Police Woman followed by the "Angels in Chains" episode of Charlie's Angels. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Run All Night
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The Second Best
Exotic Marigold Hotel
A movie by retirees, for retirees. See review in the Willamette Week. Various Theaters.
Sex Workers Film Series
A series offering "the best films by and about sex workers." This month: Portrait of Jason. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.
Strangers on a Train
Remember in Throw Momma from the Train, when Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal switch murders, and DeVito kills Crystal's ex-wife, forcing Crystal to murder the mean old woman from Goonies? Remember how DeVito got the idea from an old black and white Hitchcock movie, in which two strangers meet on a train and decide to "criss cross" each other's murders? That's this movie! It is screening in 35mm. NED LANNAMANN Academy Theater.
What We Do in the Shadows
A mockumentary (wait, keep reading) about vampire roommates (just a little further) from the Flight of the Conchords brain trust. Blissfully, consistently silly throughout (Jemaine Clement's virile Coppola posturing gets funnier with every frame) with some knowingly wobbly effects by Peter Jackson's gang that only enhance the giggles. ANDREW WRIGHT Cinema 21.
I'm not totally sure, but I'm pretty sure that Barri (producer Sophia Takal) is the most annoying person in New York. That's problematic, considering that she and her fiancé Noah (writer/director Lawrence Michael Levine) are the focus of this bizarre mash-up of an indie relationship dramedy and throwback amateur-sleuth caper that comes complete with a winkingly ham-handed soundtrack. Barri and Noah are the type of protagonists you hope will die, which almost completely miffs up the perfectly diverting premise of Wild Canaries, which is made periodically less annoying by the additions of Alia Shawkat, Jason Ritter, and Annie Parisse. But if you can stifle your legitimately boner-killing dislike of Barri's babyishness (I literally thought her character had a traumatic brain injury for the first 10 minutes), it's not half bad. Takal in attendance on Fri March 13. MARJORIE SKINNER Laurelhurst Theater.
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
The Wrecking Crew
"The Wrecking Crew" was the informal name of a group of LA studio musicians who played on an unfathomable number of hits in the 1960s, including those by the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Sonny and Cher, Lee Hazlewood, the Monkees, Herb Alpert, and a ton more. Here's an alternate version of California rock 'n' roll history, told by those who actually played it. Director Denny Tedesco is the son of legendary studio guitarist Tommy Tedesco, who along with bassist Carol Kaye, drummer Hal Blaine, and others, were responsible for an embarrassing number of hits. A movie like this sinks or swims depending on how many of those songs they could secure the rights to. The Wrecking Crew got 'em all, and despite jumbling the chronology, it undeniably swims; hearing this fantastic music with fresh ears will blow you away. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre, VOD.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, March 13-Thursday, March 19, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.