The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
Ray Harryhausen's 1958 masterpiece showcases not only his technical skills, but also the boundless imagination that inspired 1,000 careers—including those of James Cameron, George Lucas, and Tim Burton. H. PERRY HORTON Academy Theater.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
From a distance, it's hard to tell how much celebrity suffering is theater. Asif Kapadia's shattering documentary Amy certainly qualifies as theater in its own right, piecing together great amounts of archival, never-before-seen video footage of late musician Amy Winehouse with dramatic effectiveness. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.
The Art of Reinvention: Paul Thomas Anderson & His Influences
All seven of Paul Thomas Anderson's features, paired with 14 films by directors that influenced him, either explicitly or indirectly. The series illuminates Anderson from all sides, providing some much-welcome context to some of his more inscrutable pieces. The devastating bleakness that characterizes his work is threaded throughout, of course, but we're reminded of the long, sustained passages of giddy hilarity in them, too. See "Motorcycles and Milkshakes," Film, July 22. NED LANNAMANN NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Church of Film
The screening series presents Invasion, "the lost masterpiece of Argentinian cinema." Clinton Street Theater.
Diary of a Teenage Girl
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Elijah Hasan: Three the Hard Way
Three short films from the Portland filmmaker. Hollywood Theatre.
The End of the Tour
When a writer means as much to you as David Foster Wallace means to so many, you really don't need to see him impersonated on-screen by that dude whose dick you saw in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. For the rest of us, though—the more moderate fans who marvel at Wallace's essays and short stories, even as our copies of Infinite Jest remain permanently dog-eared at page 281—there's much to appreciate about The End of the Tour. This is a movie about two writers navigating the strange power dynamic that comes when one person is charged with representing another on the page—a dynamic that's further complicated when the profilee is orders of magnitude smarter and more talented than the profiler, and both of them know it. ALISON HALLETT Hollywood Theatre.
See My, What a Busy Week!, this issue. Laurelhurst Theater.
Even among the legions of characters in long underwear, the Fantastic Four have always stood apart, both for their squabbling family dynamics and an endearingly retro squareness. The latest attempt to move the team to the big screen captures, well, exactly neither of those aspects, with results that are too bloody and dour for kids (heads start popping off towards the end, GWAR-style), too laissez-faire for continuity geeks, and too uninspired for everybody else. ANDREW WRIGHT Various Theaters.
After a creepy fucker like Gordo shows up at your front door, bearing a suspiciously wrapped gift, you might never answer the door again. The Gift's writer, director, and star Joel Edgerton is that redheaded weirdo on the doorstep, staring in like an overeager puppy at the home of Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall). Unlike frothy '80s stalk-porn like Fatal Attraction, The Gift is a slow-seething psychological thriller that takes its characters through unexpected layer peels as their triangle gets ever pricklier. COURTNEY FERGUSON Various Theaters.
Hitman: Agent 47
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Short documentaries made by students in the NW Documentary Workshop, with proceeds benefiting NW Documentary programs. More at nwdocumentary.org. Clinton Street Theater.
The Look of Silence
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre, Liberty Theatre.
Love & Mercy
Although the Beach Boys became one of the most successful enterprises in popular music, their only truly significant work is confined to two records: 1966's Pet Sounds and its famously aborted (though eventually released) follow-up, Smile, which began production in late '66 and was shelved in '67. That's the period dramatized in the better parts of Love & Mercy: Paul Dano pulls off the idiosyncrasies of the young Wilson perfectly. By comparison, a parallel arc with John Cusack portraying Brian Wilson in his 40s—an overmedicated, incapacitated man-child at the mercy of despotic pseudo-psychiatrist Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti)—can't help but feel dull. MORGAN TROPER Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
Magic Mike XXL
Sequels need to trade off the success of the first film, so they need a similar story. But they also have to at least pretend to offer something new. In dance, a cappella, or cheerleading movies, this usually means rounding up everybody from the first movie, then sending them to a national competition of some sort—one last hurrah, but for real this time. So I wasn't very enthusiastic when I heard we were getting a sequel to 2012's excellent Magic Mike. Do we need to see this same cast of beefheads grind on each other some more, I wondered, but with higher stakes? Does anyone need more of this? Answers: Yes and OMG YES. FUCK YES. SO MUCH. ELINOR JONES Laurelhurst Theater.
Make Mine Country
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
This remake of a TV show that isn't particularly beloved comes at a peculiar time—surrounded on all sides by superior espionage thrillers/comedies, like Kingsman: The Secret Service, Spy, and Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation. And I can't imagine you'll need U.N.C.L.E. to tide you over until the new James Bond movie, Spectre, comes out in November. But here it is. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
The very first time we see Tom Cruise in Rogue Nation, he is running—at which point he leaps onto the wing of a taxiing aircraft, runs up the wing, and manages to cling to the fuselage just in time for the plane to scream into the sky. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Movies in Black & White
A series that brings people together to "watch movies and talk about race, featuring guest panelists from the worlds of film, art, and comedy." This time around: Straight Outta Compton. Hollywood Theatre.
Never Let Me Go
Mark Romanek's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's low-key sci-fi novel lends a chilly creepiness to its setting, a boarding school where clones (including Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield) are raised and harvested for their organs. But the film doesn't know how to deal with the basic interiority of its most crucial themes. The amount of time the children spend at their boarding school, growing indoctrinated with and accustomed to the purpose of their existence, is given short shrift, and as a result a key concept—how horrific circumstances can come to seem perfectly normal—is jostled to the side by the bigger question of why the hell these attractive, healthy teenagers don't just run away. ALISON HALLETT Fifth Avenue Cinema.
It is just barely the end of WWII, and survivors are washing up from the camps, living proof of everything the German people want to pretend never happened. Among these is Nelly (Nina Hoss), a woman who was shot in the face and left for dead. Reconstructive surgery leaves her beautiful but unrecognizable, and she ferrets out the husband whose betrayal led to her arrest—not out of revenge so much as a stumbling, fugue-state of shock, unable to process that the life ripped away from her is irretrievable. His inability to recognize her reflects the mass denial that surrounds them, and the film becomes a tragic allegory for a nation at wits' end, filmed with a Hitchcockian moodiness that transcends the less believable moments in the plot. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.
The suburbia of 1982's funny, scary, smart Poltergeist is populated with ominous trees, badass tequila worms (wait, I guess that was in the second one), and mischievous interior-decorating spirits. You might've forgotten how awesome this flick is. Screens as part of the PDX Drive-in Movie Spectacular; more at expocenter.org. COURTNEY FERGUSON Portland Expo Center.
POWFest's film series, featuring films "made by women that address issues of gender equality and the varied nature of women's lived experiences." This month's showcase features Zeinabu Irene Davis' Compensation, a film featuring "two unique African American love stories between a deaf woman and a hearing man." Clinton Street Theater.
An array of animations by eight different directors—like Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells) and Joann Sfar (Le Chat du Rabbin)—swirling within a larger arc directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King). Despite being based on a collection of philosophical essays by Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet feels aimed at kids, so it's too bad Gibran's dense philosophies work terribly as dialogue coming from Mustafa (voiced by Liam Neeson). (I know what you're thinking, but it's not Simba's dad.) But while Allers' arc feels dated and dumb, it's impossible to discount the shorter animated masterpieces within, so long as you can consider them separately from The Prophet's larger (and garbage) plot. See this film in the unlikely event that you're with your woo-woo friends and have some edibles on hand. Otherwise don't. SUZETTE SMITH Fox Tower 10.
Maybe the single gayest horror film ever made, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is presented by drag clown Carla Rossi and preceded by a brand new "Kruegerian" short film. Hollywood Theatre.
Before you even knew what anime was, you were watching anime. It was all up in your eyeballs in the form of shows like Speed Racer and Star Blazers, and if you liked that stuff, you were probably all over Ultraman, too. This month's installment of Re-run Theater presents all those old-school favorites, including vintage toy ads between the episodes. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Ricki and the Flash
Should you find yourself in a situation where viewing Ricki and the Flash is unavoidable, prepare yourself by watching the trailer. While the trailer is the nadir of human artistic accomplishment, lo these 200,000 years, it does serve as an effective inoculation against the movie itself. Pin your eyelids open so you can't blink, and let it enter you. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
She's Funny That Way
Peter Bogdonavich directs this rare thing in modern film: A screwball comedy. Starring Owen Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, and Imogen Poots, who barely beats out Rhys Ifans for "weirdest name in the cast." Living Room Theaters, On Demand.
What's this? Another crappy horror movie that wasn't screened for critics? Why, I never.... Various Theaters
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
"Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human." Screens as part of the PDX Drive-in Movie Spectacular; more at expocenter.org. Portland Expo Center.
Straight Outta Compton
In one of Straight Outta Compton's most powerful shots, two men walk toward a police line. Held between them are a blue and a red bandana, knotted together, signifying unity in the face of a common enemy. It's part of a scene that recreates the chaos of the Rodney King riots, the political event that cuts closest to the heart of what N.W.A. represented, and continues to represent, as the country stumbles along a crooked path of institutionalized oppression. It's depressing how relevant "Fuck tha Police" still is, and that makes Straight Outta Compton essential viewing. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters
Good movies can sometimes give off a hum—a feeling that the energy and chemistry on screen can't be constrained by the edges of the frame. Tangerine fits this description and then some, creating a kinetic rush with enough spillover juice to light up LA for a year. While chock-full of innovations both welcome (a story about transgender characters, played by transgender performers) and potentially eye-strainingly worrisome (the movie was shot entirely on tricked-out, stabilized iPhones), the main takeaway is just how alive it seems. ANDREW WRIGHT Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.
The Thief of Bagdad
Douglas Fairbanks' 1924 silent fantasy classic is a dreamlike spin on tales from the Arabian Nights with Fairbanks at his rascally, athletic best. While this beautiful, long film isn't as iconic as the groundbreaking 1940 remake, it has every right to be. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
Top Down: Rooftop Cinema
The NW Film Center's rooftop screening series, held on top of the Hotel deLuxe's parking garage. Screening Thurs Aug 20 is Strangers on a Train; screening Thurs Aug 27 is Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. More at nwfilm.org. Hotel deLuxe.
Amy Schumer fans should take heart: I'm with you. As far as I'm concerned, she's a national treasure, so it's weird to see her sharp-edged humor dulled by a movie that essentially hews to a classic boy-meets-girl-plus-problem format. MEGAN BURBANK Various Theaters
See My, What a Busy Week!, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.