Film Shorts 

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) Avalon Theatre, Hollywood Theatre

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. Lloyd Mall

After the Truth
The story of a German lawyer who, when faced with defending an SS officer, accepts in order to better understand the holocaust. Hollywood Theatre

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) Washington Square Center

Anti-Trust
Tim Robbins plays a thinly veiled Bill Gates in this high tech software/corporate esionage thriller. Needless to say, I'm all for anyone that wants to take a stab at Bill Gates, but this film just can't seem to hit the mark. Anti-trust is so neither here nor there that I am inclined to not even take issue with its intentions... but, what the hell, I'm all for criticizing intentions. The Hollywood big budget treatment (complete with the cavalcade of everyone's favorite beautiful young stars and a never-ending stream of the usual product placements) voids any statement that could be made by the "CEO of software corporation as enemy" plot. Like when you smiled at the closing of Meg Ryan's store in You've Got Mail, just because she used AOL and went to Starbucks every day. For fairness' sake, let me also say this: If you just want to see superstar hotties Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cooke and Claire Forlani act out this tangled web of deceit, romance, and suspense, and you don't want to think about the evils of corporations, then forget it...you'll probably enjoy Anti-trust quite a bit. (Pablo de Ocampo) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway

* Beau Travail
Claire Denis' latest film about men in the French Foreign Legion performing rituals in the desert. Loosely based on Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Laurelhurst Theater

* Before Night Falls
The real life story of Cuban writer Reynaldo Arenas from his childhood in Cuba to joining Fidel Castro's revolutionaries to later being persecuted for homosexuality. A politcal film which centers on one man's loneliness. Cinema 21

* 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, Lloyd Mall

Billy Elliot
An ADORABLE film about a SWEET boy who wants to DANCE instead of mine coal. Koin Center, Lloyd Mall

Cast Away
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, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

* 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) Avalon Theatre, Bagdad Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

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, City Center 12, Fox Tower 10, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza

Crazy
A documentary about the role of music in soldiers lives, with interviews with soldiers from Cambodia, Lebanon, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Legendary warrior Chow Yun Fat can never declare his love for fellow martial-arts expert Michelle Yeoh. Instead, he entrusts her with Green Destiny, his nearly magical sword. But in the dark of night a hooded thief steals it, which leads to a fight held mostly in midair. An attempt to wed emotionally reticent drama with the exhilarating freedom of Hong Kong-genre filmmaking, but director Ang Lee can't quite pull off the combination; for too long a time, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's shifting gears only jam. The film finds its rhythm and earns the accolades it has received once it leaves the stars behind and gives its heart over to the young and engaging Zhang Ziyi, as the aristocratic daughter of privilege who opts instead for the dangerous yet thrilling occupation of thief. (Bruce Reid) Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas

Double Take
The "7-Up Yours" guy and that fellow from the UPN show with Theo Huxtable get in some deep doo-doo and run off to Mexico. 82nd Avenue, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza

* The Dybbuk
In a Polish shtetl, two children are bethrothed to one another at childbirth, but are separated as adults. Hollywood Theatre

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, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, 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. (Barley Blair) 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Westgate, Wilsonville

Finding Forrester
A kid from the Bronx excels at both basketball and composition, befriends a hermit writer, undergoes a crisis from which the writer must extract him, thereby helping the writer overcome his own reclusive blah blah blah. Sean Connery wrote the Great American Novel and he never goes out now, except he will go out to watch a baseball game--well, he always used to watch baseball. Well yes, he watches basketball out the window now, but then he and his brother---oh, did I forget to say he had a brother? Well, he had one, and anyway, F. Murray Abraham tried to publish a critical book---no, F. Murray Abraham isn't the brother, he's a teacher. Yes, he's teaching at the school where the kid--well, okay, I guess I should have said that the kid gets into this snobby day school.... It goes on like that. (Barley Blair) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza

The Gift
The Gift is about a woman, Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett), who has a special and unusual gift: She's psychic. She uses this gift to help the community. Then! She starts seeing bad stuff. A murder occurs. She uses her gift to solve the murder. It's just plain weird that Blanchett took this role; she's a beautiful lead in any film, but she does not save films. And she especially can't save this one. (Paula Gilovich) 82nd Avenue, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas

* A Hard Day's Night
A Film Review for Those Who Love the Beatles: Of course you're going to go see A Hard Day's Night, the wonderful movie about the Beatles made by Richard Lester in 1964 and rereleased in a glorious new print, as crisp and tasty as fresh lettuce--you'd be daft not to. (Barley Blair) A Film Review for Those Who Hate the Beatles: Look. If you want to keep encouraging corporate America to keep beating the dead horse that is the Beatles, thereby forcing the rest of us to endure countless hours of radio air-time devoted to these barely passable musical hacks, then by all means do so. But may I invite you to rot in hell. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Koin Center

* High Fidelity
A romantic comedy for guys: John Cusack plays the cynically introspective Rob Gordon, the owner of a small record store. For various reasons, he has shit luck with women. Basically, he's a jerk, but he's not altogether clueless about his jerkiness. He struggles and obsesses and makes lists that he thinks define his life, but he's no closer to understanding women than he was in the fifth grade-which happens to be when he got dumped for the first time. Based on the popular novel of the same name. (Kathleen Wilson) Laurelhurst Theater

Jewish Reflections: A Program of Shorts
Short films by a host of international directors on the subject of Judaism. Hollywood Theatre

John Lee Hooker: That's My Story
Did you knowt that John Lee Hooker is 84 now? Geez, you should probably see this documentary on one of the great blues musicians before he dies. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Little Nicky
Adam Sandler stars as the son of Satan in the 35th Devil-themed film of the year. Edgefield Powerstation, Lloyd Mall

Meet the Parents
Jewish complications ensue when Ben Stiller meets grumpy father-in-law Bobby DeNiro. Avalon Theatre, Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

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, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Tigard-Joy Theater, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

The New Klezmorim: Voices Inside the Revival of Yiddish Music
Punk can go around bragging that it's "not dead" after a couple of stupid decades, but klezmer music has survived for centuries. Whatever! This documentary takes you to the heart of the KlezKanada festival, where klezmer-lovers gather to make and appreciate this hauntingly beautiful, traditional Yiddish music. (Just don't forget the underground, where klezmer's been alive and well all along with awesome groups like Hasidic New Wave and the Klezmatics!) (Julianne Shepherd) Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Set in Depression-era Mississippi, George Clooney stars as Everett Ulysses McGill, a suave and well-groomed petty criminal doing hard time on a chain gang. Shackled to Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), he convinces them to join him in escaping by promising to split a fortune in buried treasure with them. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a road movie, and in acknowledgment of that, the Coen brothers claim it was based on the granddaddy of all road pictures, The Odyssey, by Homer. But the true inspiration for the movie is the music. T-Bone Burnett has collected all sorts of music from the era and from the region, and it's a joy to hear so much bluegrass in a major motion picture. The buoyant music and ham-handed performances are enough to lift anyone's spirits. (Andy Spletzer) Century Eastport 16, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Tigard Cinemas

Panic
Nothing is particularly revolutionary about this movie. But it's more effective than previous movies with the same notion. It is deeply disturbing because it rings so true to real life. Panic demonstrates how easy it is to brainwash people into apathy, and echoes the same messages brought up in all those Death-by-Suburbia movies like Fight Club and The Virgin Suicides, except it doesn't hit you over the head. Panic is Fight Club on a much smaller, more poignant scale: one person's intimate psychology. Hollywood Theatre

Pay it Forward
After having been instructed by his social studies teacher to make the world a more benevolent place, Haley Joel Osment starts at the bottom, where the bums live amid burning oil cans, of course. About five minutes into his effort, Osment thinks he's failed and that the world is, in fact, shit. It's a performance that'll probably earn somebody an Oscar, but it just made me feel like kicking a kid in the teeth. (Kathleen Wilson) Laurelhurst Theater

The Pledge
Sean Penn's third directorial effort stars Jack Nicholson as a retiring police detective obsessed with solving the rape-murder of a seven-year-old girl. I've always hated those people that obsess over a band's first album or an artist's early years, but I must admit, neither of Penn's recent works have been able to live up to his first film, The Indian Runner. Nicholson gives a better-than-average "Jack Nicholson" performance, but he has become so much of a caricature of himself that it's hard to enjoy his acting anymore. A cast of lesser-known actors make The Pledge far more sincere and engrossing as a narrative; it even has Charles Bronson acting . . . who knew? I'd go track down a copy of The Indian Runner. (Pablo de Ocampo) Cinema 99, Division Street, Eastgate, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, 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. (Bruce Reid) Koin Center

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

* Red76 Film Scoring Series
It's a rare chance to see great Portland musicians score silent films. The first night, see Der Golem, a series of shorts by George Melies, and Monkey's Teeth. On night two, featured works include Microcosmos, Andy Warhol's Kiss, and Swamp Thing, with hand-painted frames by Portland's own Philip Cooper. See Up & Coming Medicine Hat Gallery

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, Edgefield Powerstation, Lloyd Mall

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

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll
Take a trip down to hear the Southern Blues of 80 years ago to hear legendary Sam Phillips at his best. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Save the Last Dance
Finally! A multi-racial Dirty Dancing! A midwestern honky moves to the big city, and hooks up with a smooth talking brutha from the South Side. Are we all clear on this? Great. EVERYBODY DANCE! 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, Wilsonville

September Song
A variety of musicians reinterpret the work of the late, great Kurt Weill, the son of a cantor and one of the fathers of Jewish jazz. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater, Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

* 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 flick Nosferatu. 82nd Avenue, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Mall

Snatch
Guy Ritchie (a.k.a. Mr. Madonna) knows how to use a camera like nobody else. Too bad he doesn't know how to make a film. Snatch is a hollow canister of celluloid. I have to admit, though, it's sure pretty. Full of quick-cuts, clever editing, and huge fistfuls of style, you could just stare at Snatch for hours and marvel at how nice it looks. Unfortunately, once you wipe away the glitter, there isn't much left. The Ritchie technique is clear: heaps of colorful characters walking around in nicely lit areas doing nasty things, throw in a few twists, pile on a few more characters and a lot more nasty things, a couple more twists, and then you're done. Along the way, Ritchie forgot about substance, and he certainly forgot about anything like redemption. This is a dangerously nihilistic film where people are merely amusing, never good, where one may survive, but only by stepping over the bodies. (Jamie S. Rich) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV

Stag Party Special
Since the first caveman made the first beast with two backs with his cave-honey, there has been pornography. It goes hand-in-well-you-know-what with the boil of hormones. Proving that skin flicks never really change, Clinton Street relives its days as a porn house, screen 90 minutes of hard-core and whimsical stag films from 1915-1950. Including Everready Harton, the first hard-core cartoon, and No Help Needed, a voyeurist glimpse into foot fetishes of the 1930s. Clinton Street Theatre

* State and Main
Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and David Paymer descend on a small Vermont town to make a movie, bringing their sophisticated mores with them. The town end is held down by Charles Durning, Clark Gregg, Ricky Jay, Patti LuPone, Matt Malloy, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Julia Stiles... Do you begin to see a problem here? The cast is as fixedly big-city as a traffic jam. Though to tell you the truth, I was laughing too hard to worry about small inaccuracies. David Mamet has said that he was thinking of Preston Sturges when he put this film together, and it's a worthy successor to the Master. (Barley Blair) Century Eastport 16, Fox Tower 10

Sugar and Spice
Oh.my.gawd. The star cheerleader gets pregnant with the quaterback's baby! What WILL she do? Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Eastgate, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

Superbowl on the big screen
Check it out: You can watch the superbowl like every player is gozilla! And it's free. Kennedy School Theatre

Thirteen Days
You may enjoy this movie about the Cuban Missle Crisis, and that's OK, but I want you to hate it too. Here's what's to enjoy: Bruce Greenwood as Jack Kennedy and Steven Culp as Bobby. Kevin Costner's "Boston" accent that left me weak with laughter. Dylan Baker as Robert McNamara, rolling his eyes like a cow whose foot's just been run over by a tractor. That's pretty much it for the enjoyment. And why should you hate such an innocuous piece of fluff? You should hate anything--any work of art, any literature, any fiction, any history--that pretends there is an obvious answer to any serious question. David Self's script tries to fool us into thinking there's some serious moral reckoning at work by providing St. Jack with not one but two bad guys to slay: Curtis LeMay and Adlai Stevenson. Both parts are so glaringly, grotesquely unshaded as to amount to character assassination. (Barley Blair) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

Traffic
Like a search engine laboring for information on "drug trade," "Mexican cartel," and "survival," Traffic pulls together three remotely connected stories about users and dealers, both in high and low places. What makes Traffic the most sophisticated narrative structure so far in this new genre of story-telling is that it does not bother to link stories with overlapping characters, or even around seminal events. Instead, the characters gravitate around keywords: greed, loyalty, self-preservation. The result is a nervous and jumpy, yet broad-based, essay on drugs in North America. (Phil Busse) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, City Center 12, Division Street, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas

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) Avalon, Hollywood Theatre, Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

* 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) Cinema 99, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center

Voice From Heaven
The story of singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a Pakistani Qawwali singer known all over the world. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

Wattstax
The story of the gathering of 100,000 in the African-American community in Los Angeles to commerate the 7th anniversary of the Watts riots. Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

The Wedding Planner
Jennifer Lopez. Need we say more? See review this issue. 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, Westgate, 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. 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

Wonder Boys
Any film that can make an audience stomach Michael Douglas is a minor accomplishment. Curtis Hanson's film does more than that. In fact, it's rather good. 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 OK. (Marc Mohan) Koin Center

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