Film Shorts 

Adventures in Wild California
See Califonia by sky, land, and water, and expierence extreme sports while you're at it. OMSI

Along Came A Spider
Along Came a Spider is a prequel to Kiss the Girls. Morgan Freeman plays Dr. Alex Cross, a detective who deals with the most psychotic white men in America. Though Kiss the Girls is the better of the two thrillers, I still enjoyed Along Came a Spider because Morgan Freeman is Morgan Freeman. Avalon, Kiggins Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

* Amores Perros
Amores Perros begins at a screaming dead run and maintains one kind of intensity or another over the next two-and-a-half hours. Pungently translated as Love's a Bitch, Amores Perros comprises three stories of life, love, and aggressively twisted fate in the most polluted metropolis on the planet. Alejandro Gonzàlez Iñàrritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have enrolled in the Tarantino school of storytelling, but Gonzàlez Iñàrritu's own style and vision is so distinctive and assured in this directorial debut that no one should dwell on that point. This is a breakthrough work for Mexican cinema. Laurelhurst Theater

The Animal
Rob Schneider stars as a man about whom nothing is funny, especially when he pretends to be a dolphin or a monkey or a dog. Jesus, world, have we really sunk so low? At least Colleen from Survivor is in it. The day is saved! 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, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Atlantis
The myth of the city of Atlantis is super cool, even to a humorless person like myself. The movie, however, is not. A slow-then-fast and extremely contorted plot are to blame, as is the annoying voice of Michael J. Fox. (Katie Shimer) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard-Joy Theater, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center, Wilsonville

* Blow
Blow is Hollywood all the way to the bank. But despite all its predictability--a young man (Johnny Depp) rises to the top of the international drug trade and then falls to the bottom of the prison system--its portrayal of Mexicans, Central Americans, and middle America is unexpectedly sympathetic. Koin Center

Bread and Roses
In this film by Ken Loach, two Latina sisters work as cleaners in a downtown office building, and fight for the right to unionize. Fox Tower 10

Bridget Jones's Diary
Bridget Jones is a cow. She desires a boyfriend, so she sets her sights on the office cad (Hugh Grant), and then moans when he dumps her. Why do we keep coming back to these romantic comedies? Is it that we secretly hope the Jerk will change into a Good Guy so we can justify our bad choices in life? Is the office cad actually a misunderstood prince? Does this ever happen in real life? Fuck no. And I've got a long line of sisters who can back me up on that: the very same sisters who'll be standing next to me in the ticket line when the next romantic comedy comes along. (Kathleen Wilson) Evergreen Parkway, Koin Center, Lloyd Mall, Washington Square Center

Brief Encounters
Nadya is in hot pursuit of the sexiest scientist in Russia, Maxim. This film was shelved for 20 years because of "moral objections." Rrrrowwrr! Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

The Center of the World
Richard (Peter Sarsgaard), an internet millionaire, hires Florence (Molly Parker), a stripper, to accompany him for a weekend in Las Vegas "to get to know you better," he says. She scoffs, but agrees, adding the following conditions: no talk about feelings, no kissing on the mouth, no penetration, separate rooms, and all contact shall be confined to between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. What ensues is a bold, graphic, often hard-to-watch examination of what passes for love among the ruins of prosperity. Clinton Street Theatre, Laurelhurst 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 said, the movie itself is unremarkable, and has absolutely nothing new to offer. (Charles Mudede) Koin Center, Milwaukie 3 Theater

* Chopper
Based on the true story of killer Mark "Chopper" Read, a criminal takes down a bunch of far dumber criminals. Koin Center

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles
Crocodile Dundee winds up in L.A., gets in a couple of pickles, gets out, and goes home. Nobody gets hurt, nobody dies. If you paid money to see it you won't feel cheated, because one would only pay to see this if they were seeking dependable entertainment. Avalon, Hollywood Theatre

* 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 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) Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Kiggins Theater, Laurelhurst Theater

* Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino stars in this hilariously heart-rending crime caper about a married man and his gay lover who take some bank employees hostage and become the media-darlings of New York. Hollywood Theatre

* Elisabeth Subrin An evening of experimental feminist film with one of the best in the biz. Among tonight's films will be Swallow, which examines fashion and anorexia; Shulie, a fictional "remake" of a documentary about a ground-breaking feminist; and The Fancy, which explores the life of artist Francesca Woodman. Guild Theatre

Evolution
This David Duchovny movie is so confused, banal and cinematically retarded, I'm not sure where to begin. So fuck it, I won't. (Turkey McGoldenstein) 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, Sherwood 10, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

* Faat Kine
The 78-year-old Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene is considered the dean of African filmmakers, but with this, his first feature in eight years, he demonstrates a light and youthful touch. The title character, a 40-year-old single mother in present-day Dakar (Senegal's capital city), runs a modern gas station with a commanding presence. As a statement on the role of women in contemporary Africa, the movie succeeds because Sembene allows Kine to be less than a paragon for perfect womanhood-her kids are a bit much for her to handle, not to mention her own domineering mother. A relaxed and humanistic movie that touches on the paradoxes of modern existence in a tradition-conscious land, Faat Kine also serves as a mostly inviting travelogue on bustling Dakar. (Marc Mohan) Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

Fast Food, Fast Women
A sophisticated New York romance from the director of Whore 2. If you've ever wondered about (or lived through) the erotic yearnings of the aged, this just might be the film for you. Starring the brilliant Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman). Fox Tower 10

The Golden Bowl
The Golden Bowl is, in part, a drama of manners, and Merchant Ivory's production moves neatly upon the joints and hinges of a repressed society. But the filmmakers seem to think that a well-appointed costume drama with the weight of Henry James behind it doesn't need any creative help to succeed, so the neatness is plodding. People enter rooms, whisper to one another, make out passionately behind closed doors while holding lit candles, and glare portentously at photographs--but the movie remains too damp to make a spark. Fox Tower 10

* Hamlet
This 1964 Russian version of the baleful saga of the Prince of Denmark, part of the Film Center's series on Soviet cinema of the 1960s, falls squarely in the tradition of leading actors who are too old to play the conflicted title role. Nonetheless, Innokenti Smoktunovsky (no wonder he never made it in Hollywood) gives a commendable performance in this predictably stark telling. The real star, though, is the imposing castle used as Elsinore, a truly magnificent structure seemingly, as Spinal Tap would say, "hewn from the living rock." Expansive, widescreen black and white cinematography and an evocative score by Dmitri Shostakovich (!) make up for subtitles that are, shall we say, imperfect. (Marc Mohan) Northwest Film Center at The Guild Theater

* High Art
Ally Sheedy (yes, that Ally Sheedy) stars as fancy-pantsy artist who teaches her young inexperienced breeder protege the ways of lesbo love. Hollywood Theatre

* Himalaya
Himalaya is a groundbreaking, genuine portrait of the Dolpo region of Nepal. The story revolves around Tinle, an old chief who loses his eldest son. What follows is a mesmerizing adventure that evokes the forces of ancestral strife and nature at its most treacherous. Says director Eric Valli: "This film is a love story, a love story between this place, these people, and me. It's very simple." (Kudzai Mudede) Fox Tower 10

* 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. Consequently, she finds herself torn between her need for financial security and her desire for personal integrity. Cinemagic

I Am Twenty (USSR)
Three young people are confronted by one of their dead fathers and must explore the horrors of WWII. Made in 1964, the films director Marlen Khutsiev did extensive reshoots--even changing the actor that played the father--in order to perfect his masterpiece. Northwest Film Center at Whitsell Auditorium

Joe Dirt
David Spade plays a radio DJ searching for his white trash parents. Kid Rock is in this movie. You're not going to see it, are you? Didn't think so. Edgefield Powerstation

Josie and the Pussycats
Regardless of the immoral overtones, the gags are forced, and the acting is TERRIBLE--especially Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie, who exhibits a vast array of emotions as effectively as a clubbed trout. The music is bad, too. And the script. Did I mention you should NOT SEE THIS MOVIE? (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Kiggins Theater

* Journey Into Amazing Caves
The latest IMAX film from the National Science Foundation is a jaw-dropping spelunk into three amazing caves--one in the Grand Canyon, another below the glaciers of Greenland, and a third, completely underwater cave in tropical Mexico. With towering cathedrals of frozen waterfalls, the ice caves are eye-popping and the underwater tunnels are eerie, creepy, yet strangely titillating. The Science Foundation tries to fuse a detective story into the scenery--the team is looking for life forms that may unlock answers to new medicines. But, really, with gratuitous kayaking off waterfall scenes and hair-raising rock climbing shots shown on a five-story screen, it is just glossy, supersized pornography for adventurers. Hum-mina, hum-mina, hum! (Phil Busse) OMSI

* The King is Alive
The vestiges of Dogme are once again aired in this all-star tribute to artistic asceticism which explores the mental and psychological dissolution among a group of multinational (if American, French, and British count as multinational) tourists hoping to mount a production of King Lear in North Africa. Just then, their bus breaks down... See review this issue. Cinema 21

Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come should have been a television sitcom. It has passing moments of interest that should have been juxtaposed with amusing car insurance advertisements. It should have had a laugh track to distract the viewer from the suspicion that there's not an awful lot going on here. And most importantly, it should have been edited down to about 30 minutes in length. A movie about an African American family (played by a superb ensemble cast, LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett, Whoopi Goldberg) from the South, coming together to mourn the death of a despised relative should have been a surer bet. Unfortunately this movie just wasn't nearly developed thoroughly enough. Hollywood Theatre

A Knight's Tale
Closer in spirit to the video game Joust than to the Chaucer book from which it takes its name, this Heath Ledger vehicle makes ample use of '70s anthem rock and other anachronisms to create a really long, boring teenager movie. Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Koin Center, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Sherwood 10, Washington Square Center

* Maurice
A young Brit boy falls in love with another young Brit boy, and the race is on. See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

* Memento
Memento has a lot of starch in it; the film sticks with you for days as you rehearse it over and over in your mind. It's also a movie so good that you almost fear a critical backlash against it. You come out of it feeling almost resentful at how good it is, and given that almost everyone is an aspiring filmmaker these days, this resentment is unvarnished jealousy. But this reviewer is pure of spirit, or at least spite: I may have seen a better film so far this year than Memento, but if I have, I've forgotten it. (D.K. Holm) Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Cinemas, Moreland Theater

Moulin Rouge
You may remember Baz Luhrmann as the director of the absolutely dreamy William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Unfortunately, Moulin Rouge does not fare nearly as well. The film is filled with clever contrivances: Dizzying choreography and sets, visual tips of the hat to the early cinematography of Vincent Whitman (A Trip to the Moon, 1914), a script loosely based on the Greek myth of Orpheus, and co-mingling modern songs by Madonna, Elton John, Nat King Cole, and even Nirvana. All extremely clever ideas--however, it's these same contrivances that turn Moulin Rouge into an overwhelming visual mess. Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Wilsonville

The Mummy Returns
The first 30 minutes of this film are excruciating; the rest is better, thanks mostly to the appearance of John Hannah, but writer/director Stephen Sommers gets trumped by a ceaseless parade of god-awful digital effects. Digital mummy, digital scarabs, digital scorpions, digital armies, digital waterfall, digital river, digital drigible... even the city of London is digital. 82nd Avenue, Cinema 99, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV, Sherwood 10, Vancouver Plaza , Washington Square Center

* 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) Avalon, Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Mission Theater, Mt. Hood Theater

Pearl Harbor
Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor--and that's really what it should be called (like Fellini's Roma or the George Foreman Grill, the vision expressed could only belong to one man)--is everything the preview led you to believe: overlong, overlit, overwrought, and overpaid. It's nationalism porn, delivering all the basest flag-waving heroism with none of the meat and mettle of actual history or conflict. And as with real porn, your blood surges in the heat of the moment--with digital bombing raids over phallic turrets standing in for cum shots--and then, the second it's over you feel dirty for having let yourself watch. (Sean Nelson) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

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. Laurelhurst Theater

Shrek
With fart and poop jokes aplenty, this computer animation flick is like a little boy's dream come true. Mike Myers puts on his Irish accent as the misunderstood Ogre Shrek, and Eddie Murphy ceaselessly yaks as his over-zealous, donkey sidekick. The most horrible actress in the world, Cameron Diaz, succeeds in making her character an inflamed, bloody ear sore that one would rather see squished than find true love and happiness. I found this movie kinda cute, but pretty annoying, while my boyfriend was doubled over in hysterics. Dads, take your sons, but be prepared for a lot of tooting and snickering afterwards. (Katie Shimer) Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza , Westgate, Wilsonville

Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine
The usual Iranian self-referential shtick, with director Farmanara starring as a filmmaker. A lot of Iranian movies are excellent, so don't be put off by this condescending description. Fox Tower 10

Someone Like You
If cuteness becomes a commodity, Ashley Judd will become an enormous, publicly-traded, multinational corporation. Please think twice before you go see this film. Kiggins Theater

* Startup.com
Two web enterpreneurs (former day-traders) start up their own internet business, and realize they've captured lightning in a bottle. They make tons of moolah, and hob-nob with the rich and famous...until everything goes to shit. Will their friendship survive? Though this documentary could've done a better job at fleshing out the characters and the business, Startup.com provides an interesting time capsule and explores how people are too often forced to choose between money and friendship. Clinton Street Theatre

Swordfish
File this one under male adolescent fantasy: Bank heists, explosions, sleek cars, breasts falling slo-mo out of sparkly dresses. John Travolta plays a smug man's man with a horrifically embarrassing goatee. As an ultra-sleek, heartless yet patriotic terrorist, Travolta tries to rekindle the Tarantino magic, but every post-modern attempt to cross-pollinate the bad guys with good morals is little more than a transparent sheen. A few sexy stunts and clever swooping camera shots lend the film some big-action credibility; but the movie fails to live up to the promise of its first chilling minutes. Moreover, in a particularly disturbing development in action film cinema, the audience is forced to watch several extended faux action scenes as Hugh Jackman hacks into a various computer systems. Instead of the fancy footwork of, say, James Bond or the steeled nerves of Steve McQueen, instead we watch the world's greatest hacker (but world's worst typist) bang at his keyboard and cheer on interfacing computers. Has fast typing really become the 21st Century equivalent of jumping from a exploding building? (Phil Busse) 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

The Tailor of Panama
Brit superspy Andy Oxnard (Pierce Brosnan) has been banished to Panama for overindulging his appetites. He sizes up the tense, complicated international scene at the Canal and finds himself a hapless ex-pat British tailor (Geoffrey Rush) to squeeze for information. Boorman's film is far too awkward and self-conscious to allow the audience to sink into spy fantasia; as a result, Brosnan's absurdly dashing spy becomes utterly grotesque, even sickening. (Evan Sult) Koin Center

* Time and Tide
So you won't know what the hell's going on in two-thirds of the film and the dialogue switches from Chinese to Spanish to English faster than the frenzied subtitles can flash by. Who cares? A bodyguard unwittingly teams up with a mercenary, a pregnant heiress squeezes off shots as her baby's head crowns, and blood and bullets spray in all directions as action filmmaker Tsui Hark's Time and Tide provides a thrilling ride through Hong Kong's underworld. If you figure out who the Cockroach was and what the fuck champagne has to do with anything, feel free to let me in on it. (Kathleen Wilson) Cinema 21

Tomb Raider
The masturbation fantasy of a billion preteens is made flesh as Angelina Jolie (the masturbation fantasy of a billion post-teens, ahem) gives corporeal dimension to the video game heroine whose outrageous measurements and minimal garment cover do not deter her from running through ancient temples, kicking evil robots in the "face," and blowing a bunch of shit up. Bla-DOW! 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, Cinema 99, City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Cinemas, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Sherwood 10, St. John's Theater, Tigard Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza, Westgate, Wilsonville

Traffic
What with Hollywood throwing Oscars at director Steven Soderbergh, this film is perhaps the most over-hyped film of the year. By now, 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 one of these three stories is about as challenging as an after-school special, and another a blatant Miami Vice rip-off. 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) Avalon, Edgefield Powerstation, Laurelhurst Theater

What's the Worst that Could Happen?
...You could have to go see this flick by yourself on a beautiful day in a completely packed theater, for instance. Martin Lawrence and Danny Devito square off as arch enemies, and a teeny weeny bit of hilarity ensues. Clackamas Town Center, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Vancouver Plaza, Washington Square Center

when night is falling
Protaganist Camille realizes how little she loves her boyfriend Martn, after the loss of her dog. She seeks solace, companionship and some hot loving with a beauriful, female circus acrobat, Petra. Surreal circus scenes are mesmerizing, as is the film. Hollywood Theatre

* The Widow of St. Pierre
In 1849, on Saint-Pierre, a French-ruled island off the Newfoundland coast, a sailor, after getting drunk and killing a man as a kind of stupid prank, is sentenced to death by guillotine. And the nearest one is far to the south. While waiting for it to arrive, Neel is taken under the wing of "Madame La" Pauline (Juliette Binoche) and a kind of love grows not only between them, but between Neel and the community, as well. You couldn't ask for a more ready-made parable (based on the historical record, yet) of the horror of the death penalty, the inhuman machinery of the state, and the grandeur of the human spirit. Laurelhurst Theater

* With a Friend Like Harry
This Hitchcockian thriller took France by storm last year, winning several Cesar awards (France's version of the Oscar). The blackest hue of comedy tints the tale of Harry (Sergi Lopez), a wealthy bon vivant with an unshakable affinity for Michel (Laurent Lucas). Harry, firm in his belief that Michel's child-strewn, moneyless life could be made more easy, begins to use his influence--and cash--to remove various obstacles to Michel's happiness. A new car here and a case of Champagne there escalates to a predictably absurd degree. The film is plain in comparison to its obvious inspiration, Hitchcock's oeuvre. But a deft French wit, and that oh-so-well-done trick of Euro-allegory (this film is about the difficulty of making art) rise like cream to the top of this film: The first taste is awfully sweet, even if it doesn't linger long. (Jamie Hook) City Center 12, Fox Tower 10

* 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) Cinemagic

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy