Film Shorts 

15 Minutes
Robert DeNiro demonstrates how much time someone will waste if you give them enough money in this derivative film about the influence of the media on the criminal justice system. 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Wilsonville

3000 Miles to Graceland
This movie should be avoided like a sex change operation paid for by the Romanian National Health Service. It's bland and predictable; director Demian Lichtenstein's music video-style cinematography is a sublime irritation; and it appears that whole "starring Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell" thing wasn't a cynical prank after all. Why the hell do studios pay seven million apiece to the likes of these two to gun down their movie in broad daylight, when for 20 million Keanu Reeves can make it look like an accident? (Kudzai Mudede) 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Koin Center, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate

Almost Famous
Cameron Crowe's film about groupies, Lester Bangs, and learning to ROCK in the '70s. 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. Koin Center

* 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. Bagdad Theater, Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, St. John's Theater

* The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges redeems his sad excuse for an acting career with this single scene: The camera watches, a fly on the ceiling, as he lays prostate on the living room rug listening to audio tapes from bowling matches, the crashing pins putting him into a Zen-like euphoria. His character, the Dude, personifies an entire sub-population of washed-up '70s stoners and losers. With their oh-so-usual touches of genius, the Coen Brothers paint another dark and uproarious portrait of Americana. (Phil Busse) Kennedy School Theatre

Blow Dry
Fortunately, this film stars Rachel Griffiths. Unfortunately, its release has been pushed back six times--not a good sign. Fortunately, it also stars Alan Rickman. Unfortunately, it's about a hairdressing competition. Fox Tower 10

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) Cinema 99, Evergreen Parkway, Kiggins Theater, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center

* Chinatown
Seedy characters. Back room deals. Plots tucked secretly within plots. Roman Polanski sets the gold standard for noir films. Diehard L.A. Laker fan Jack Nicholson is at his sputtering best as a private eye caught in an Orange County water scandal. (Phil Busse) Cinema 21

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) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

* Chunhyang
In the movie Chunhyang, a nobleman, secretly married across class lines, is separated from his wife, Chunhyang. Her virtue assailed, she resists, even under threat of death. Will the noble return in time? The pleasure of such a tale is in the telling, and this movie tells it wonderfully. (Barley Blair) Fox Tower 10

Company Man
Douglas McGrath co-wrote Bullets Over Broadway with Woody Allen and had small roles in Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown and Small Time Crooks. His obvious inspiration, then, for this leaden farce about hijinks in Castro's Cuba, is Bananas. McGrath, in addition to co-writing and -directing, plays Quimp, a mostly meek grammarian who ends up becoming the CIA's man in Havana in 1959. The details are relatively unimportant, since very few people will ever see this smarmy, unfunny film, despite co-stars like Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro, Alan Cumming as Bautista and Anthony LaPaglia as Castro. Woody gets a few chuckles as the bureau chief with a longing for Paris. See review this issue. (Marc Mohan) City Center 12, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Mall

* 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) 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

* Diamonds, Guns and Rice: Sierra Leone and the Women's Peace Movement
Co-produced by PSU prof of psychology Jan Haaken, a chilling documentary about the civil war that has ripped at the seams this tiny west African nation. A montage of unblinking interviews, news reels and poetry, the film pieces together a both a disturbing and strangely uplifting portrait of the role that women have played in holding together the everything from their families all the way up to the very fabric of their culture and government. PSU

Down To Earth
I could write a million words on this stupid film. And not words filled with bile but sheer delight! Directed by the men who gave us American Pie, and starring comedian Chris Rock, Down to Earth, which is based on Warren Beatty's Heaven Can Wait, which in turn was based on some old film I've never seen, is the most original race comedy ever! The story? A black bike messenger is suddenly killed by a truck and goes up to heaven. The angels, who look like mafia hit men, realize that the death was premature, and so return the brother back to earth in a body once owned by a white billionaire (who is a second-rate Bill Gates). With this white, bloated body he must win the heart of a beautiful soul sister from the hood. Need I say more? Simply amazing. (Charles Mudede) 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

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... Edgefield Powerstation

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. Avalon, Laurelhurst Theater

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) Edgefield Powerstation

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. (Barley Blair) Cinema 99, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Wilsonville

Get Over It
Girlfriend says to long-time boyfriend, "Get over it!" Best friend says to ex-boyfriend when he tries to date best friend's sister, "Get over it!" Best friend's sister says to older brother when he tries to attack best friend, "Get over it!" Audience says to foot for seeing such a dumb movie and kicking themselves in the ass, "Get over it!" Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Tigard Cinemas

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) Hollywood Theatre

Hannibal
Hannibal is a mess; an overblown, audacious, painstakingly long, gratuitous mess. Hannibal Lecter in his second outing is an annoying little old man, the sort you'd just love to push down a flight of stairs. Worse still he's a limey, a fish-and-chip-worshiping limey! That the man has killed over 15 Americans isn't a case for the fucking FBI; it's a case for immigration! Stick the INS on him and by lunch he'll be deported, disenfranchised, and the concern of only Miss Moneypenny and about 50 thousand tea ladies. (Kudzai Mudede) 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, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Heartbreakers
That weasly bitch Jennifer Love Hewitt kidnapped down-to-earth, sweet, skateboarding, earnest, talented, funny Jason Lee and forced him to be in a movie with her! And to make it worse, THEY MAKE OUT! Broken hearts, indeed. Century Eastport 16

* Honky Tonk Dirt
A disarmingly charming documentary about local street musician Lucky Buster. See review this issue. Clinton Street Theatre

* The House of Mirth
British director Terence Davies' The House of Mirth, starring Gillian Anderson and Dan Aykroyd, adapts Edith Wharton's 1905 novel about New York high society--the tragic story of a beautiful young woman looking to marry a rich husband and finding herself torn between her need for financial security and her desire for personal integrity. Koin Center

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) Avalon

* In the Mood for Love
The most achingly beautiful film in years. Jilted spouses always find themselves circling one painful step away from seeking comfort in each other's arms. Every moment of this film snaps with perfection. Fox Tower 10

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) Laurelhurst Theater

Meet the Parents
Jewish complications ensue when Ben Stiller meets grumpy father-in-law Bobby DeNiro. Avalon Theatre, Mt. Hood Theater

The Mexican
In their first foray into the "blatant metaphor" genre, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts star in this tale of a cursed "pistol" that kills the one who "pulls" its "trigger." 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

Monkey Bone
All you need to know of this film is that it stars both Brendan Fraser and a cartoon monkey, and that at about 40 minutes in, the cartoon monkey has taken over control of Brendan Fraser's body. That's it. Directed by Henry Selick, of The Nightmare Before Christmas? Based on Kaja Blackley's graphic novel, Dark Town? Unimportant. Brendan Fraser. Cartoon monkey. Focus on them, rather than set yourself up for a disappointment of a movie that could have done much better than farting monkey dolls. (Jason Pagano) Cinema 99, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV

* 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. (Andy Spletzer) Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Tigard Cinemas

Pollock
Another attempt from the film industry to mine the romantic lie of Bohemian life. This is actor Ed Harris' directorial debut (he also stars), and seems too hurried to establish the iconic events of painter Jackson Pollock's life--see Pollock urinate in Peggy Guggenheim's fireplace, see Pollock overturn the Thanksgiving table, see Pollock accidentally discover drip painting--instead of letting any of these moments achieve any natural resolution. City Center 12, Fox Tower 10

* The Prisoner
The Mission is spotlighting this terrific cult television series starring Patrick McGoohan as a retired spy who finds himself imprisoned in a very mysterious village. A guaranteed marijuana freakout! Mission Theater

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, this 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) Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

* Raiders of the Lost Ark
Boy finds Ark, Boy loses Ark, Nazis have their skin melted off by angry god. Eastgate

Recess: School's Out
I loved the movie Recess: School's Out. It is full of exciting and hilarious scenes. It takes place when T.J. and his friends just get out of school for the summer. T.J. is excited until all his friends go to different camps; he is so bored until he sees strange things happening at his school. So he gets his friends from their camps together to uncover the mystery. It's funny because in the movie (and in the TV show), everybody does the same thing at recess. For example, there is a King of Recess, there are kids that dig holes, and the kindergartners always run around doing pesky stuff. I advise people to go to this movie. (Sam Lachow, age 10) 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Jesus Christ, can you just shut up? I'm trying to watch a fucking movie here! This is not the Life of Brian, people. Clinton Street Theatre

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) Kennedy School Theatre

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! Division Street, Kiggins Theater, Movies on TV

Saving Silverman
Jason Biggs is about to marry "the wrong girl," and his two rowdy buddies (Jack Black and Steve Zahn) will stop at nothzzzzzzzzzzzz. Trapped in a shamelessly derivative mess that retreads the nun-lovin' fun of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, they struggle to answer the question, "Women: Manipulative and emasculating, or vapid and pliable?" Judging by Silverman's sizable kitsch insurance policy, the accountant who approved this one knew it would take an omnipresent Neil Diamond to ensure the assloads of box office returns this film will undoubtedly make. You've seen this one before, sadly. (Jason Pagano) City Center 12, Movies on TV, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

* See Spot Run
See Spot Run was a great movie about a dog named Agent 11 who was trained by the F.B.I. since he was a puppy. Agent 11 is trying to catch these bad Mafia guys. The head Mafia guy hires these two other Mafia guys to kill Agent 11 but he escapes and winds up staying with the main character played by David Arquette. David is babysitting this little kid and they all have wacky adventures trying to avoid being killed by the Mafia guys. The funniest part was David Arquette doing his great George Jefferson breakdance. (Maggie Brown, age 10) 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, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

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. The 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. (Jamie S. Rich) Koin Center, Lloyd Cinemas

Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation
The impressarios of independent animation return with "a whole shitload of new films" that, unfortunately, struggle to provide even a quarter-shitload of humor beyond the same old sex, drug, and grandparent gags that dominate this year's offerings. As always, if you're really, really high, it will undoubtedly be the funniest shit you've seen all night. (Jason Pagano) Cinema 21

* 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) Koin Center

Sweet November
Sometimes the soiling of a film comes with one stroke, one inconsequential scene that because it was left unedited, the whole film is denied. I argue that Sweet November should be denied by all of you on this basis: Keanu Reeves, the workaholic ad exec, is trying to perform his American duty of reinventing the hot dog. In this scene, Keanu is running on his treadmill, sweating bullets in his modern apartment and thinking, like he always is, of hot dogs. He pops off his mill jerkily and bounds toward the microwave. Keanu pops it open and then hunts and spears the microwaved hot dog with a fork. And then, sweaty Keanu puts the sweaty hot dog in his mouth. That's when it was over for me. (Paula Gilovich) 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

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. (Barley Blair) Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Washington Square Center

* 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. (Phil Busse) Fox Tower 10

Traffic
What with Hollywood throwing Oscars at director Steven Soderbergh, this film is perhaps the most over-hyped film of the year. Unless you've been hiding up Richard Gere's butt, you know the scoop: With jumpy camera movements and "edgy" editing, the film braids together three loosely connected stories about the, gasp, drug war. What you may not have heard, though, is that these stories are about as challenging as an after-school special. The only truly lasting quality of the film is Benicio Del Toro, whose unflinching performance explores the conflicts between loyalty and self-preservation. (Phil Busse) 82nd Avenue, Century Eastport 16, Division Street, Koin Center, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Cinemas, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate

* 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) Mt. Hood Theater

Water Drops and Burning Rocks
François Ozon picks at the bones of German aberrant R. W. von Fassbinder. 50-year-old German businessman Leopold falls in love with 19-year-old Franz. Then they end up in a fight, AND it's the '70s. Bummer. Clinton Street Theatre

The Wedding Planner
Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) is the baddest-assest Wedding Planner that ever there was. The sad truth, though, is that poor gorgeous Mary can't seem to find a date! One day, outta nowhere, a runaway dumpster is just about to mow Mary down, and who's there to save her, but Matthew McCon! Before you know it they're dancing under the stars, then he vanishes, only to magically reappear as howdid you know? the groom-to-be of Mary's latest client! O. My. Gawd! Clackamas Town Center, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center

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. Avalon, Cinema 99, Mission Theater

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. (Marc Mohan) Koin Center

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