Film Shorts 


OPening

ALL ABOUT EVE

ALL THE PRETTY HORSES

BAD BLOOD

BAMBOOZLED

BLUE

CAST AWAY

CHAC: THE RAIN GOD

CHOCOLAT

DRACULA 2000

FAMILY MAN

IDIOTS

MALENA

MISS CONGENIALITY

QUILLS

RED

SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE

TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES

WHITE

YOU CAN COUNT ON ME


MOVIES & EVENTS

102 Dalmatians
102 Dalmatians is almost as good as 101 Dalmatians. 102 Dalmatians was really funny but pretty boring, because it seemed really long. The parts that were good were really good, but the parts that were bad were really bad. For example, the movie wasn't very exciting because almost half of it was dating and talking about stupid stuff. (Sam & Maggie, age 9) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Hilltop, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza

The 6th Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a goose-steppin' kraut who gets his Aryan panties in a bunch when scientists clone his Nazi rat bastard ass. Avalon Theatre, Edgefield Powerstation, Koin Center, Laurelhurst Theater, Lloyd Mall, Mission Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

* All About Eve
Don't miss the 50th anniversary of this hilariously cynical satire of the Broadway theater. Anne Baxter stars as an aspiring starlet who claws her way up the ladder on the back of aging starlet Bette Davis. And don't worry! Straight people will like it, too! Cinema 21

All the Pretty Horses
What could possibly have prompted Columbia to invest millions buying the rights to Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, pick up a box-office star in Matt Damon, and a hot new director in Billy Bob Thornton, and then sell off the domestic distribution to Miramax? Why has Miramax in turn slipped it into theaters on Christmas Day with minimal fanfare? Could it have anything to do with the year that Thornton spent "fine-tuning" his edit, or the assurance on their part that most reviews would turn out negative (as have the advance ones)? Whatever the reasons, it might be worthwhile to slip away from the family on Christmas Day and find out; contemplating the obnoxious greed and belligerent, stupefying ignorance that is Hollywood is always more entertaining than being stuck with your family's far more tawdry dysfunctions. (Bruce Reid) Century Eastport 16, Oak Grove 8 Theater

Around the Fire
One-time showing of a movie about lots of hippe bands (String Cheese Incident, Living Daylights, and Vinyl) and some other hippies growing up listening to them. John Comerford, producer and writer of the show, will be at the screening and answering questions about the film alfterwards. There will also be some other hippe bands playing an hour before the movie starts, and a trivia contest (?) afterwards, quizzing the audience on their knowledge of hippies. (Katia Dunn) Mission Theater

Bad Blood
Director Leo Carax follows up Boy Meets Girl with this mixture of romance and French crime thriller. Alex sets out to steal a serum for a virus that kills people who "make love without love," but gets sidetracked by the feminine wiles of Juliet Binoche. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Bamboozled
Spike Lee's most ambitious race film yet, and, as a consequence, his worst film to date--is about a 21st-century minstrel show that becomes a huge hit for a small upstart TV network. The film is terrible at every level--monological instead of democratic, preachy instead of complex, and, worst of all, it dances to the ring of the cash register. See review this issue. (Charles Mudede) Cinema 21

Bedazzled
Brendan Fraser makes faustian deals with the devil (all tits and ass and Elizabeth Hurley)! Kennedy School Theatre, Kiggins Theater

* Best In Show
Christopher Guest's latest with Eugene Levy follows several dog owners on their quest for the blue ribbon at the 2000 Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A well-executed, ridiculous little film lovingly mining ridiculous little people's ridiculous little lives. Cinemagic, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Mall, Tigard Cinemas

Billy Elliot
An ADORABLE film about a SWEET boy who wants to DANCE instead of mine coal. Century Eastport 16, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Mall

Blue
Part of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy. Juliet Binoche stars as a woman who loses her husband (a composer) and daughter to an accident, and how she eventually liberates herself from grief. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Cast Away
It's become pretty much apparent that director Robert Zemeckis can't tell a story to save his life. Forrest Gump? Stinker. What Lies Beneath? Stinker, stinker! And Contact? Jesus Pete! What a stinker! And while his newest concoction Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks, doesn't exactly deserve stinker status, it still highlights Zemeckis' problems as a director. Have you seen the trailer for this movie? Then you have seen the ENTIRE movie, from opening to final shot. Admittedly, there are some engrossing moments (which interestingly involve Tom Hanks writhing in pain), but other than watching its main character puzzling through dire predictaments, there is little reason to care if this guy gets off his island or not. Plus, Helen Hunt is in it. Ughhh!! (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

Chac: The Rain God
This long-lost 1974 film about spiritual struggle among rural Mexican villagers in desperate need of rain is well served by director Rolando Klein's decision to use conventional filmmaking techniques instead of those favored by documentaries. By forcing the villagers who made up his cast to hit their marks and utter their lines in multiple takes, Klein managed to draw assured, layered performances from his entire cast. Man-made interiors and caves are equally, beautifully lit, and Klein's sound crew captured obscure dialects during filming that would have been almost impossible to add later. The only thing missing is a story that matches the assured beauty of Chac's component parts. (Tom Spurgeon) Cinema 21

* Charlie's Angels
I swore it could never be done, but somehow they've taken one of the worst shows in TV history, put in two of the worst actors in Hollywood (Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz), and come up with a comedic gem--and dare I say it?--one of the most hilarious films of the year. In this updated version of the TV show, director McG tips his hat to the classic T&A detective show of the '70s and then has a field day tearing each of its conventions down. The cast is uniformly terrific, especially Cameron Diaz, who plays her role like a giggly, girlish sociopath. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Lloyd Cinemas, Washington Square Center

Chocolat
Today I'm not weak. The film critic in me has control over my emotions; it can and will repress my wolflike desire to fill this review with hungry words that praise the celestial beauty of Juliette Binoche. That being said, the movie itself is unremarkable, and has absolutely nothing new to offer: Yes, organized religion is oppressive; yes, uncouth village drunks beat their wives; yes, Gypsies love to play Duke Ellington's "Caravan" on their guitars. As for South America, of course it has many mysteries, and Europe, senescent and dreary Europe, has no mysteries at all. Finally, women are more spirited, more earthy, than men. These are not new themes. We have seen them in one form or another in movies ranging from Like Water for Chocolate to Pleasantville. (Charles Mudede) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 21, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Cinemas

A Christmas Story
Little Ralphie's epic struggle to get a Red Ryder B-B gun is hilariously depicted in this Christmas classic based on the book by Jean Shepherd. And btw, it's Darren McGavin's greatest role besides. Laurelhurst Theater

The Contender
In this Hollywood version of the Lewinsky affair (with the Clinton character recast as a woman), the Democrats make all the great speeches you wish they'd made during the 104th Congress and the Republicans are as simply evil and as plainly hypocritical as you wish they were. The Contender plays like it was funded by the DNC and scripted by a college sophomore taking her first Intro to Women's Studies class. (Josh Feit) Edgefield Powerstation, Kiggins Theater, Koin Center, Laurelhurst Theater

* Dame Darcy Night
Yes, that really says Dame Darcy! One of the most incredible contemporary comic artists (known best for her intricately gothic series Meatcake) and filmmakers IN ALL OF HUMANITY. Her brand new, feature film is having its world premiere right here in little ol' Portland! If it's anything like Risque Reverie, it'll be a sneaky, antique-looking gem, like Man Ray put to motion pictures. Unfortunately, la grand Dame will not be joining us tonight, but hey! You didn't want to overdo it on the excitement, anyway, right? (Julianne Shepherd) Dante's

Dracula 2000
Are long capes and Hungarian accents still considered sexy by anyone? Still, here's the one holiday movie guaranteed not to even try to improve your morals, character, or feelings of goodwill. Though "presented" by Wes Craven, this film is directed by Patrick Lussier, who is best known in the industry for editing 16 episodes of MacGyver. 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, Westgate, Wilsonville

Dude, Where's My Car?
Two potheads wake up after a night of partying and can't locate their car. But, ya know, it's funny... these kind of people can always seem to locate their pot... 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center

Dungeons & Dragons
Straight world: Please, please just turn away. Geeks like me: If you know the difference between a drow and an orc, it's too late for you anyway. It doesn't matter that this movie is wretchedly incomprehensible, or that it was made at least 15 years too late; the promise of seeing mages and Beholders and the Thieves' Guild and a deadly labyrinth is just too tempting, if only so we can go and harrumph our way through the whole thing. And let's finally face the facts, shall we? We're geeks by nature, we belong to this stuff; Dungeons & Dragons is really only as embarrassing and unbearable and uncool as we are. (Evan Sult) Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center

The Emperor's New Groove
The new Disney animated feature in which a greedy emperor is turned into a nude llama to learn some humility. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater, Tigard-Joy Theater, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, Westgate, Wilsonville

The Family Man
The first half of this movie is funny. Nicholas Cage, a fastidious, fabulously wealthy arbitrageur, is magicked into a lower-middle-class schlumph. I shall not soon forget his reaction when he opens his schlumph closet, and his schlumph mother-in-law and father-in-law are priceless. There's a moment in a bowling alley where I saw a glimmer of hope for the second half; it could have been a still funny and tender riff on the thought that happiness, like bowling, is a skill that can be learned and practiced. But no, instead we have to have some goopy gush about the path not taken and falling snowflakes. Don Cheadle is good. Josef Sommer is good. There's no law that says you can't walk out after the first half. (Barley Blair) Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Eastgate, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

* Girl on the Bridge
A ravishing, breezily paced tale of amour fou, Girl on the Bridge stars Daniel Auteuil as a Svengali-like knife-thrower who meets his perfect foil in Vanessa Paradis' Adele. What makes the film great, though, is Leconte's feel for the effect of place on people: The roads are beckoning, Monte Carlo is impulsive, and Istanbul is confusion itself. Auteuil is never less than his dour self, and Paradis--a gap-toothed woman, it's worth noting--is stunning throughout. Laurelhurst Theater

Godzilla 2000
A floating rock washes up which contains a UFO which also happens to contain a monster named Gora! Gora gets all in Godzilla's shit, which forces Big G to burn Gora's ass off with his atomic ray. (Wm. Steven Humprey) Kennedy School Theatre

Goya in Bordeaux
A dull, laughably pretentious attempt to portray the painter's twilight reminiscences, Goya in Bordeaux marks a definite nadir in Carlos Saura's career. The elder, barrel-bellied Goya smugly pontificates to his daughter about the tragedies and obligations of being an artist; his younger self mulls over the compromises inherent in being a court painter and the agonies of loving a notorious mistress. Neither appears smart enough to paint a bathroom wall, let alone the masterpieces that are liberally scattered throughout the film. Laurelhurst Theater

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
In this movie, the Grinch has a huge house with a telephone, a pulley, and trap doors. In the old cartoon he doesn't have any of that stuff. If you watch this you will find out where the Grinch came from, and why he hates Christmas. Like always, Jim Carrey is FABULOUS! He is sooo funny--you couldn't find a better actor to play the part. On the other hand, the actor who played Cindy Lou Who was not very good--she was pretty corny. The Grinch was funny but not as good as I thought it would be. (Sam Lachow, 10-years old) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

I'm the One that I Want
Margaret Cho isn't a particularly insightful comic, but she sure knows how to go after a laugh. What's funny here is gleefully, howlingly funny. Her personal emancipation, however, doesn't quite flow freely from the rest of her material; the show strains whenever she stops to hit a nail on the head. (Steve Wiecking) Hollywood Theatre

* The Idiots
Don't deny it. You were there. Flocking to see Dancer in the Dark, with Björk flailing about. In the back row crying your eyes out...I know. I was there too. Now, drop what you're doing and go see the second film in Von Trier's "afflicted woman" trilogy, 1998's The Idiots. The film follows a bunch of snot-nosed, self-absorbed Danes running around town pretending to be mentally handicapped. In protest of "middle-class bourgeoisie society," they've quit their jobs, moved into a house together, and spend their days searching for their "inner idiots." All the while, Von Trier follows them around with a single camera to produce this quasi-documentary, "Dogma 95" nightmare. Watching The Idiots is a little like driving past a bloody car wreck: you're totally horrified, kind of laughing, incredibly sad, but you can't help looking on. It removes any thoughts Dancer in the Dark may have planted in your head about Von Trier's sensitive melodramatic soul, affirming Von Trier as the biggest megalomaniacal asshole to be making films since Werner Herzog. However, much like his German predecessor, there is no denying the genius and the beauty behind the asshole façade. (Pablo de Ocampo) Clinton Street Theatre

Legend of the Drunken Master
Miramax attempts to make a little more money by dubbing Jackie Chan's Drunken Master II into English, and then re-releasing it. Avalon Theatre

Little Nicky
Adam Sandler stars as the son of Satan in the 35th Devil-themed film of the year. Could it be that the true millennium is really scheduled for New Years Eve, 2001-like the Quakers said? God help us! Lloyd Mall

The Little Vampire
The Little Vampire is a magical and funny movie but I wouldn't recommend it to children under seven because it is pretty scary. The movie is about a kid that finds vampires and helps them find a certain stone so they can turn into humans. The only thing stopping them is the vampire killer. He is a pretty freaky guy and his truck is freaky, too. It has lights all over it because the vampires are scared of light. It also has a cross on it and a coffin on the side. The vampires do all they can to defeat the vampire killer and get the stone before he does. (Sam Lachow, age 9) Koin Center

Malena
Director Giuseppe Tornatore spun childhood nostalgia into international box-office gold with Cinema Paradiso (1988). With Malena, he tries to repeat that success by making an art-house Porky's set in Sicily during World War II. Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro), not even a teenager but wanting to grow up quick, starts hanging out with the older kids who ogle Malena (Monica Bellucci), a beautiful woman whose husband is off at war. Actually, the whole town ogles Malena, to the point where she's been unfairly painted as the town slut. Renato thinks he's different from the townsfolk, but she's never more than his masturbatory fantasy; a fact made distastefully literal by the end of the film. Pretty cinematography and a pretty girl do not make up for the ugly, voyeuristic core of this film. (Andy Spletzer)

Meet Me in St. Louis
A brand new print of the classic flick. Hollywood Theatre

* Meet the Parents
Jewish complications ensue when Ben Stiller meets the pop of his new g-friend, Robert DeNiro. Century Eastport 16

Men Of Honor
A biopic about the first black underwater salvage expert that soaks Robert De Niro, sinks China Gooding, and drowns the audience with every cliche of the military movie genre, never mind that they all contradict each other. (Barley Blair) City Center 12

Miss Congeniality
If a movie about the F.B.I. infiltrating a beauty pageant stars Sandra Bullock and Michael Caine, but all anyone is looking forward to is William Shatner's hammy turn as a tacky host, isn't it time for Hollywood to rethink its priorities? On the upside, perhaps this role as a beauty pageant contestant will persuade Miss Bullock to finally invest in some mustache bleach. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

* The Nightmare Before Christmas
This movie is truly a wonderful thing. The animation is incredible, the visualization is fine, and the story-about the forces of Dark and Light as played out by Halloween and Christmas--is easy to follow when drunk. But the songs, by the great Danny Elfman, are the real reason to see the film. The Halloween re-release certainly feels like wanton capitalism, but we'll forgive them. (Jamie Hook) Koin Center

Nurse Betty
Betty (Renée Zellweger), a diner waitress, settles comfortably into a thick confusion after accidentally witnessing her sleazy drug-dealer husband's murder. After watching these relentless caricatures strut around for 112 minutes, it's difficult to keep caring, and to keep rooting for Betty in earnest. (Min Liao) Kennedy School Theatre, Koin Center

A Perfect Storm
Plot: Fishermen fight storm in hopes of getting home to some pussy. Perks: Awesome special effects: 50-foot sea swells, water rescues, hurricane clouds etc. Downers: Canned dialogue, excessive machismo, totally stupid ending. Recommendation: If you're looking for a marijuana freak-out, smoke some and head to this flick. If you're looking for an Academy Award Nominee, forget it. (Katie Shimer) Movie House

Place Vendome
Paris' la Place Vendôme was the brainchild of everyone's favorite ultra-chic monarch, Louis XIV. Situated at the center of Paris, la Place Vendôme forms a tightly guarded enclave, accessible only from two small avenues on either end. Given the givens, I would much rather watch this film than hang around in the real Place Vendôme for a couple of hours; certainly my class standing would not be welcomed by those filthy, aristocratic frogs! Nicole Garcia's film may not be a historical analysis of Parisian society, but two hours of watching Catherine Denueve do her work will surely be worth your time. (Pablo de Ocampo) Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre

Proof of Life
Meg Ryan is moderately unhappy wife Alice Bowman, and when her husband is kidnapped by the Liberation of Army of Tecala, it's going to take every ounce of Russell Crowe's rugged good looks and subdued masculinity to bring him back alive! Things actually get worse as his wife then finds herself enveloped by the intoxicating Aussie sex appeal of the seasoned professional in charge of negotiating his rescue. (Jason Pagano) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

Quills
Quills is loosely (very loosely) based upon the latter years of the Marquis de Sade's life. Shortly after the French Revolution, de Sade resides locked away in the Charenton mental hospital where he is allowed, briefly, to continue writing his pornographic prose. Though meant for private consumption only, the writings are secreted out of Charenton by the laundry maid, Madeleine (Kate Winslet), and their popularity on the streets of France causes outraged apoplexy among the powers that be. Unfortunately, the film seeks to rehabilitate de Sade's image into that of Brave Soldier in the Noble Battle against Hypocrisy. Which not only flattens and dulls the film's subject, it also makes for one hell of a hypocritical movie in its own right. See review this issue. (Bruce Reid)

Rattle and Hum
It was a sad day indeed when we received the following news at the Mercury offices from the Hollywood Theatre: a good print of Prince's Purple Rain could not be found and so they are substituting it with the U2 concert film Rattle and Hum. Now, we love the Hollywood almost more than life itself, but replacing Purple Rain with Rattle and Hum is like replacing a filet mignon with a dead donkey. Sorry, but that's the way we feel.Hollywood Theatre

Red
Part of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy. A young model forges an unusual relationship with a retired judge who enjoys eavesdropping on telephone conversations. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Red Planet
Humankind seems to be absolutely screwed for this one reason: When in trouble, we send Val Kilmer to save us. Even if you can grin-and-bear that we would we send a half-dozen nitwits and a malfunctioning robot to colonize Mars, the action never really kicks in. Lloyd Mall

Remember the Titans
Denzel Washington coaches a bi-racial high school football team. Will they win the big game? Or more importantly, will they have any nudie locker room scenes? Avalon Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Lloyd Mall, Mission Theater

* Requiem for a Dream
The yuks keep flying in this Disney-produced user's manual for heroin addiction. Cinemagic

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Why waste time dabbling in the waters of those fancy foreigners with their unintelligible offerings (Teletubbies, Pokemon, etc.) or those epileptic fit-inducing upstarts who employ every cheap trick involving violence, sex, and subliminal messaging (everything on Fox Kids, for example). And you know full well that the Rugrats have been, are, and for some time to come will be the bearers of the formula for success. (Kudzai Mudede) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

Scrooged
Bill Murray stars in this fairly dumb and depressing comedy based on A Christmas Carol. It ain't no Caddy Shack! Kennedy School Theatre

* Shadow of the Vampire
John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe star as director F.W. Murnau, and actor Max Schreck in this period piece about the filming of the classic silent horror flickNosferatu. Opens Dec 29.

Space Cowboys
Three old retired Air Force pilots want one last ride into outer space. Christ! Isn't it bad enough that these old farts always get the beautiful young chicks in the movies? And now they want to go into space, too? Forget it, Grandpa! It's off to the nursing home for you! Avalon Theatre, Bagdad Theater, Kiggins Theater, Koin Center, Laurelhurst Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

The Films of Steve Gevurtz
It's your last chance to see the latest masterpieces of indie film super star Steve Gevurtz: A Little Close, Liz Has Hands, and Flicker. Inchmeal

This is Spinal Tap
Smell the glove once again with David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls, in a new 35mm print of what is possibly the funniest movie ever made. Bagdad Theater, Hollywood Theatre

* A Time for Drunken Horses
Even if Iranians don't celebrate Christmas, this movie is bound to be a holiday classic. Sure, it doesn't have the gooey sentimentality of "It's A Wonderful Life," but it does have sweeping panoramas of the snowy and rugged Iranian border. After his father is killed by a mine, a stoic teenage boy is forced to smuggle tires and whatnots across the border in order to earn enough money to pay for his siblings schoolbooks and an operation for his dying, invalid brother (hello, Tiny Tim, anyone?). Nominated by the Academy for Best Foreign Film, it will keep you by the short hairs.

Unbreakable
Given a blank check after The Sixth Sense, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has returned the studio's largesse by delivering one of the worst films of the year. (Bruce Reid) 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza

* Urbania
Urbania is is an attempt to mingle urban legends with one man's suppressed memories of a nasty attack. Dan Futterman plays Charlie as a man teasing out a life in Manhattan, super-attuned to the con and churn and chatter of urban sprawl: his eyes flit from one part of the frame to another as he stalks through a long, dark night of the soul. Charlie is bitter, funny, and often cruel, and Shear's visual style is assured throughout. The story finally doesn't deliver on its earlier promise, shifting into a more simplistic resolution than necessary, but I marveled at much of Urbania's comic and visual daring. (Ray Pride) Cinemagic

* Vertical Limit
Despite Hollywood's sad attempt to re-create a version of reality, Vertical Limit is actually a fantasy-filled fishing story blown entirely out of proportion. Not only does it star Chris O'Donnell, it also throws out tragedy after tragedy, and you don't feel bad about laughing at it. (Another bonus point!) You become trapped inside this product of a demented imagination, and soon, watching it becomes surprisingly fulfilling. (Megan Seling) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

What Women Want
Mel Gibson stars as a man who can hear women's innermost thoughts in this feminist remake of the David Cronenberg sci-fi thriller Scanners. Broadway Metroplex, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Eastgate, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

White
Part of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy. A Polish hairdresser is losing his wife because of his impotence, and plots a way to insure justice is served. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
It's your standard story: Boy meets Chocolate Baron, Boy offends Chocolate Baron, Boy inherits Chocolate Factory. Laurelhurst Theater

* You Can Count on Me
This is the sort of well-crafted, nutritious drama that gets critics burned out on adrenalized hoopla all tied up in knots. It's fine work, featuring Laura Linney's best performance since "Congo" (or maybe even before) as a single mom in the quaint burg of Scottsville. Her pothead drifter of a brother, also well played by Mark Ruffalo, shows up, spurring an eventual, earnest realization of the importance of family. Matthew Broderick has an amusing role as Linney's new boss, who says things like "I like paperwork." The latest product of the Culkin Family Factory Farm for Cuteness, Rory, plays the precocious eight-year-old. Playwright Kenneth Lonergan has, for his first film, created a movie for grown-ups that hardly ever surprises, but somehow that's okay. (Marc Mohan) Fox Tower 10

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