JACKASS 3D Fact: No film can be bad if it contains a midget, a piñata, and explosives.

PORTLAND LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

Runs Fri Oct 14-Thurs Oct 14 at the Hollywood Theatre and the Broadway Metroplex. For more info, see Film, this issue, Movie Times, and pdxlaff.org.

FILM SHORTS

recommended Buried
Now that advances in CGI have afforded even the most cost-conscious filmmakers the opportunity to expand their horizons and hide the seams, there's something heroic about those who choose not only to work within their limitations, but to handicap themselves even further. The ferociously high-concept Buried—in which a man (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up in a wooden casket underground, with only a half-charged Iraqi-language cell phone and a flickering Zippo for companions—feels like something Hitchcock would have pulled off on a dare during a long weekend, which is nearly the highest praise I can give. Claustrophobes and those prone to ADD probably need not apply, but within its self-determinedly narrow boundaries, it's just about unimpeachable. ANDREW WRIGHT Fox Tower 10.

Cash Crop
There are too many highs and lows in Cash Crop, a slow-paced, rambling documentary about the impact of pot on California's economy. A year and a half's worth of footage of growers, stoners, ranchers, sheriff deputies, hippies, business owners, and cancer patients is mixed together at a stoner's pace with no definite narrative, analysis, or thesis beyond "This is big, dude." The most interesting interviews—like one with a Mendocino sheriff who has to explain to his son why it's not okay to snip buds for $25 an hour as a high-school job—get away from abstract rants and into the nitty-gritty of living in the green economy. Though it provides a curious view into often unseen territory, Cash Crop mostly just hop-skips from issue to issue, leaving stories, questions, and specifics hanging like smoke in the air. SARAH MIRK Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Cell 211
See review this issue. Screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's New Spanish Cinema series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Climate Refugees
Director Michael Nash's documentary about those displaced by global warming. Director in attendance; screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Food of the Gods
1976's pulpy "attack of the giant animals" flick. You know what that means: R.O.U.S.es! Laurelhurst Theater.

Freakonomics
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

recommended Gimme Shelter
Albert and David Maysles' documentary about the fucked up-edness that resulted when the Stones decided to hire the Hell's Angels as their bodyguards and bouncers at Altamont. Good call, guys. Clinton Street Theater.

The Horse Boy
A documentary which "follows one Texas couple and their autistic son as they trek on horseback through Outer Mongolia in an attempt to find healing for their son." Introduced by author Rupert Isaacson, the father of the boy in question. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended It's Kind of a Funny Story
Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) is depressed and wants to end his life. Sort of. Before hurling himself into the East River, the 16-year-old Brooklynite resigns himself to a hospital visit, which results in his temporary institutionalization in an adult psychiatric ward. Settled in for a five-day stay sans belt and shoelaces, Craig is quickly taken under the watchful guise of a bearded Randle P. McMurphy-type named Bobby (Zach Galifianakis, great as always). It's Kind of a Funny Story is a significant departure for co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar); here they deal with a story far more earnest and light, despite its heavy subject matter. If you can look past the film's trivial dismissal of serious mental health issues (schizophrenics yell wacky things, let's laugh at them!), and a certain "Ferris Bueller in the loony bin" narration style, It's Kind of a Funny Story works extremely well. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Various Theaters.

Jackass 3D
The jackasses return! Not screened in time for press; hit portlandmercury.com on Friday, October 15 for our review. Various Theaters.

recommended Life As We Know It
This is a film without surprises. Its characters are squeaky clean, whiter-than-white citizens who only very rarely bake pot brownies or hire a cab driver to babysit. But unpredictability isn't really on the table here. Life isn't a spectacular or brilliant film, but it does demonstrate how achievable it is to make a moving romantic comedy that asks you to suspend your disbelief without insulting your intelligence. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.

Lovely, Still
Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn star in a geriatric romance. Says Rex Reed of the New York Observer, "It has good intentions." Living Room Theaters.

Max Manus
By making the most expensive Norwegian film ever made, the producers of Max Manus must've felt great pressure not to challenge or upset anyone. That could explain how the true story of a resistance fighter in German-occupied Norway ended up so pretty to look at yet so lifeless and familiar. Less biopic than cinematic handjob, Manus recalls a world with no moral gray area where the scrappy Norwegian renegades are flawlessly awesome and Germans are eeeeeevil. It's like a factual Inglourious Basterds with the mentality of Mel Gibson's The Patriot. DAVE BOW Hollywood Theatre.

Moulin Rouge Chanson-Along
Get it? Chanson-along? It's like "sing-along," but en français! Well, sort of! Halfway! Good times, good times, though, that's for sure! It's always good times with Moulin Rouge, especially when we get to chanson along! Hey, that reminds me, who else wants to chew on some razor blades? These ones are kinda rusty, but they should do fine. I got some Drano we can wash 'em down with, too! Good times. Good times! Bagdad Theater.

Never Let Me Go
Mark Romanek's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's low-key sci-fi novel lends a chilly creepiness to its setting, a boarding school where clones (including Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield) are raised and harvested for their organs. But the film doesn't know how to deal with the basic interiority of its most crucial themes. The amount of time the children spend at their boarding school, growing indoctrinated with and accustomed to the purpose of their existence, is given short shrift, and as a result a key concept—how horrific circumstances can come to seem perfectly normal—is jostled to the side by the bigger question of why the hell these attractive, healthy teenagers don't just run away. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.

Nowhere Boy
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

The Peasant and the Priest
A film that "tells the story of two Italian men in their 80s whose ways of life have survived from medieval Italy to the present." Director in attendance; screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Pushing the Elephant
An "intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo." Screens as part of the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Red
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Stone
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Suck My Flick
A night of homemade short films. More info: portlandfilm.org. Curious Comedy Theater.

Whiskey with Vodka
Andreas Dresden's "film within a film" is advertised as a "spirited, knowingly old-school celebration of thespian eccentricity and the volatile chemistry of moviemaking." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.