Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Spanish conquistadors invade South America! Exciting! Colonialism and slave trade follow. Sad.
Attack of the Giant Leeches
A film that's pretty much exactly what it sounds like, except they'll be accepting donations to help fund the upcoming leech documentary A Family Affair.
Bright Young Things
This critique on the media's obsession with frivolity was likely scathing when Evelyn Waugh wrote his novel Vile Bodies (upon which the film is based) in 1930. Today, it's pretty stale. (Will Gardner)
Mirroring its stupid title, Cellular's premise is insipid: A woman (Kim Basinger) is kidnapped, manages to make one phone call to a random cell phone (owned by Chris Evans), and she'll die if he loses the signal. (Lance Chess)
Christo In Paris
Just like Shaft In Africa... but with Christo... in Paris.
Through various complicated connections, John C. Reilly and Diego Luna become embroiled in a deal involving a counterfeit print of an extremely valuable piece of collectors' currency. (Justin Sanders)
* The Dark Crystal
A film about freaky-ass Muppets and deformed midgets.
* A Dirty Shame See review this issue.
* Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut
If you're only going to see one movie this year--or ever, really--about vaguely sinister men in bunny costumes, teenaged superheroes, and warping the space/time continuum, make this the one. (Erik Henriksen)
Fanny & Alexander
What happens to two kids when their fun-lovin' theater-manager dad dies and their mom marries a self-righteous bishop?
First Annual Northwest Film Festival for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
If you like deaf people (or movies about them), then this is the event for you! Hit www.pnwfilmfestivals.com/schedule.htm for the complete schedule; festival runs Saturday and Sunday.
Katie Holmes is the President's daughter, and all she wants is to have a normal life when she goes away to college. But something more interesting than that has to happen... right? Right?
The Forgotten See review this issue.
* Garden State
Zach Braff plays Andrew "Large" Largeman, a struggling actor who returns home for his mother's funeral. Large's less than cheery homecoming is uplifted by Sam (Natalie Portman), a compulsive liar who lives with her mother and a house full of hamsters. (M. William Helfrich)
The Chinese martial arts drama Hero blows away everything else currently playing--and possibly any other film this year. (Erik Henriksen)
A weirdly fascinating documentary about Imelda Marcos, the former Philippine First Lady. Director Ramona Diaz captures the woman as simultaneously driven and naive, manipulative and oblivious, and hated and beloved. (Erik Henriksen)
Five video screens showcasing new stuff from local filmmakers--plus music, two bars, pool, and a shit-ton of space to dance.
The premise of a troubled woman meeting with a mild-mannered accountant to reveal her dark secrets is intriguing, but Intimate Strangers fails to hit the right note. (Justin Sanders)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
NW Film Center says: "A suave, psychopathic Roman police inspector (Gian Maria Volonte) slashes the throat of his masochistic mistress (Florinda Bolkan)." Things get crazy when the inspector is assigned to investigate the murder.
Mean Creek opens with Sam (Rory Culkin) getting the shit kicked out of him by the school bully, George (Josh Peck). Revenge ensues. Mean Creek is one of those somber rite-of-passage movies so aware of its oncoming tragic turn of events that it's a little painful; tragic turns become far less tragic when the audience knows to expect them from the opening credits. (Justin Sanders)
A film about David Brower, who campaigned to preserve much of the land in America's national parks. Director Kelly Duane will be in attendance at the Clinton St. Theater for the Friday and Saturday showings.
Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross, a baseball player who retires from the game after scoring his 3000th hit--only to return years later, when it's discovered that he was actually three hits short of the record. Movies can be formulaic and still be funny--this one isn't. (Alison Hallett)
On the Eve of War
A fundraiser/showing of scenes from an uncompleted documentary about what exactly "supporting the troops" means with regard to America's presence in Iraq.
* Open Water
Open Water is less of a horror movie than a tense and fascinatingly fatalistic philosophical treatise. With sharks. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)
Persons of Interest
A Sundance-approved documentary on the Justice Department's dehumanizing post-9/11 immigration policies. Preceded by Juvies, a documentary on a few of the 200,000 American kids tried annually as adults.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
A film about nothing more than hot chicks (Milla Jovovich and Sienna Guillory) shooting zombies. Plus, it has a lovable cyborg zombie that carries around a rocket launcher, and you're a goddamn liar if you say that's not the coolest thing ever. (Erik Henriksen)
* Riding Giants
A fascinating exploration of the culture of big-wave surfing by the director of the skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. (Sean Nelson)
* Shaun of the Dead See review this issue.
* Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
With its dependence on cutting-edge technology and 100-foot tall clanking robots, one might mistake this for a "nerd film." Thankfully, there's so much more; at its core, Sky Captain is a story of innocence and connection... okay, with 100-foot tall robots. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)
A Parisian WWII refugee widow and her children follow a strange young man into the woods to escape the Nazis. "Hanky panky" ensues.
Tarnation See page 6.
The Tenth Victim
A sci-fi satire featuring the Greatest Invention of All Time: a "lethal double-barreled brassiere."
Third Annual PISS Fest See review this issue.
* THX 1138
George Lucas' smart first film about a man (Robert Duvall) attempting to survive in a dystopic future. Also features an assload of bald people. (Erik Henriksen)
We Don't Live Here Anymore
Marital discord with Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Kraus, and Naomi Watts, whose characters are so realistically despicable that it's impossible to enjoy watching them. (Justin Sanders)
We Still Kill the Old Way
A professor decides to investigate two murders that have connections to the Italian Mafia. This can't end well.
An awkward combination of Kurosawa's ponderous Japanese samurai epics and the desperate schizophrenia of an early Jackie Chan flick. (Erik Henriksen)