Criminal follows Rodrigo (Diego Luna), a petty conman who teams up with Richard (John C. Reilly), a conman who's equally petty, but far more skilled. Through various complicated connections, the duo becomes embroiled in a deal involving a counterfeit print of an extremely valuable piece of collectors' currency. While Criminal is pretty lightweight, it's made far more enjoyable by its performances and wholly worthwhile finale. (Justin Sanders) Cinemagic
* A Dirty Shame
John Waters uses his usual subtlety (ha!) and nuance (double ha!) to take on the world of sex addiction. By day, the uptight Sylvia (Tracey Ullman) works at the family owned convenience store, and by night she attempts to keep her daughter, Caprice (Selma Blair), out of sight. (Caprice--who once had the stage name of "Ursula Udders"--has had her breasts enlarged to mountainous proportions.) But on her way to work one day, Sylvia accidentally gets whacked on the head... unleashing her dormant sex addiction. (Michael Svoboda) Fox Tower 10
* Fame: The Sing-Along
A "sing-along" version of one of the most painfully hilarious movies of the '80s, Fame. Join Coco, Bruno, the obviously gay Leroy, Ralph, Doris and Montgomery (who grew up to be Dr. Romano on E.R. ) as they waste their pubescence in an exclusive New York school for performance art. "Hey you kids! Get off my cab!" (Oh, and this one-time screening starts at 11 pm at the Clinton Street on Friday Oct 8, and is a benefit for the "No on 36" campaign.) (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Clinton Street Theater
A documentary that goes inside the motorcycle racing world, spanning five continents, 16 races, and featuring 24 of the world's top riders. Check out the nonstop action, not to mention the cool bikes. Brought to you by the Sang-Froid Riding Club. Laurelhurst
Feminist Film Series
This week: Rachel's Daughters: Searching for the Causes of Breast Cancer, a film by two filmmakers who attempt to learn about breast cancer after they discover that their daughter has it. PSU Smith Memorial Union Rm 238
Julianne Moore plays Telly, a woman who can't get over her young son's sudden disappearance--especially when everyone around her starts telling her that her son never existed. Faced with being put in an institution, J.MO starts running. She runs through the streets of New York, through airplane hangers, through dream sequences, and though this bland, convoluted mess that's more of a recycled X-Files episode than a feature film. (Michael Svoboda) Regal Cinemas, etc.
Friday Night Lights See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Fright Night
For those of you who've been waiting to relive this classic Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell vampire movieÉ well, here's your chance. Laurelhurst
Ghost In the Shell 2: Innocence
First, the good news: this may possibly be the best-looking anime film to date. Unfortunately, writer/director Mamoru Oshii allows the plot (in which hulking cyborg cop Bateau faces off against a wave of murderous sexbots) to be overwhelmed by a slew of cockamamie musings on the nature of existence that wouldn't float in a late-night dorm room smokeout. From the retina out, Innocence is something close to a masterpiece. Between the ears, it's a different story. (Andrew Wright) Hollywood Theatre
* Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry
Although director George Butler has stated that he doesn't intend his latest documentary to be political propaganda, it's nearly impossible not to view Going Upriver as a persuasive advertisement for the moral and intellectual fiber of John Kerry. Given the emotional thrust of the movie--it documents Kerry's metamorphosis from brave soldier to forthright activist--Kerry inevitably emerges as the very man needed to lead America. Told via news footage from the Vietnam War, old film clips of heart-tugging speeches, and chilling photographs, the film lays out a chronology for Kerry's transformation--and, ultimately, takes measure of his moral depth. (Phil Busse) Fox Tower 10
A film about refugees in Hungary who are entangled in governmental red tape, with an underground smuggling ring providing their only hope. Preceded by The Sixth Section, which follows the attempts of Mexican immigrants in upstate New York to rebuild their Mexican hometown. Guild Theater
Head In the Clouds
Stuart Townsend plays Guy, an Irishman who follows Gilda (Charlize Theron) around Western Europe during the WWII era, hoping desperately that she'll continue to throw him a bone(r). In the end, however, his passion against oppression and tyranny outweighs his passion for getting laid, and he leaves Gilda in Paris to go fight in the War. Years later he returns to find her shacking up with a wealthy, torturous Nazi general, a betrayal that stuns him but hardly phases us, the viewers, considering what we already know about her... or thought we did, for it is at this point that Head in the Clouds takes a surprising and admirable turn. In a quick and fluid twist, it makes us question all our preconceived notions of Gilda, culminating with a turn of events that is shocking, emotionally wrenching, and completely plausible. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10
The Chinese martial arts drama Hero blows away everything else currently playing--and possibly any other film released this year. It's that good. Hero's story is deceptively simple--before China united as one empire, warring kingdoms fought for power. One of those areas had a king (Daoming Chen) intent on unifying China--a goal that was met with dissent. Enter Nameless (Jet Li), who has done what many thought impossible: killed three deadly assassins--Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), and Sky (Donnie Yen). As the king questions Nameless, Nameless' deeds unfold in flashbacks that prove far more complex than they first appear. (Erik Henriksen) City Center 12, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Wilsonville
* I ♥ Huckabees See review this issue. Pioneer Place Stadium 6
"Hostile bureaucrats" try to thwart Christo as he insists on surrounding islands in Florida with 6.5 million square feet of bright pink woven polypropylene fabric. Maybe those "hostile bureaucrats" were on to something--like maybe how there might be a better use for 6.5 million square feet of bright pink woven polypropylene fabric. Like maybe using it for anything else other than surrounding islands with it. Whitsell Auditorium
Japan's Ju-On eschews America's stale horror formulas, creating instead a pervasive feel of metaphysical creepiness. Add a big black floating mass of pure evil hovering over people's beds, and you've got some seriously scary shit. (Confusing, yes... but definitely scary.) (Michael Svoboda) Laurelhurst
The story of firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) is told through flashbacks as he reflects on his career... while, of course, trapped in a 20-story blaze. A TV movie-like film that's far more concerned with squeezing tears from the audience than presenting any sort of realistic portrayal of the harried lives of firefighters. (Michael Svoboda) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Land and Freedom
A young communist leaves Liverpool to fight fascism in Spain. When he's injured, he leaves for Barcelona and joins another anti-fascist group, but eventually becomes disheartened. Directed by Ken Loach. PSU Smith Memorial Union Rm 225
The Last Shot
A comedy about a filmmaker (Matthew Broderick) as he tries to make a movie. It features a whole lot of character actors (Alec Baldwin, Toni Collette, Tony Shalhoub, Calista Flockhart, and Ray Liotta), and it wasn't screened for critics--which means that should you choose to go, you'll be blindly wagering your hard-earned eight bucks on the dubious talents of Calista Flockhart. Fox Tower 10
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Roger Corman's original tale of a nerd and his man-eating plant. Old Town Pizza
* Mad Max
In a post-apocalyptic era, gas is the most desired commodity on the planet, with packs of miniature Eddie Van Halen look-alikes roaming a dusty desertscape and fighting to fill their tanks with the liquid gold. With Californians stealing our natural resources, the movie regains a certain significance--where are you when we need you, Mel? (Off making The Passion 2: The Vengeance, no doubt.) (Phil Busse) Blind Onion
The Magic Flute
Another installment in the Ingmar Bergman film series. Originally made for Swedish TV, this 1975 examination of the opera world is a favorite among Bergman fans. It also inspired 1983's groundbreaking The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, in which a villain named McCreep stole the Smurfs' magic flute. Guild Theater
Maria Full of Grace
There are a lot of reasons to appreciate Maria Full of Grace not the least of which are its subtly beautiful cinematography and its impeccable performances. Unfortunately, the film--which follows a 17 year-old Columbian girl, Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno), as she decides to become a "mule," ingesting pellets full of heroin and smuggling them into the U.S. --doesn't really have much to say, other than being a mule really sucks. Profound, that. (Erik Henriksen) Hollywood Theatre
Mean Creek opens with Sam (Culkin kid #0037, Rory) getting the shit kicked out of him by the school bully, George (Josh Peck). In response, Sam's older brother (Trevor Morgan) and his troubled friend (Scott Mechlowicz) hatch a plan for revenge. Director Jacob Aaron Estes treats his lame plot with such over-the-top somber reverence it's impossible to take it seriously. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10
* The Motorcycle Diaries
A duo of anonymous (to me) medical school friends (Rodrigo de la Serna and Gael Garcia Bernal) ride, push, and carry their motorcycle across Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Peru, generally achieving the kind of good times/bad times adventure balance that all great road trip stories thrive on. After traveling thousands of miles, the friends arrive at a leper colony in Peru to engage in residencies as part of their medical training. Here, it's made clear just who Bernal's playing: Ernesto Guevara. This is when I realized everything I had been watching was not just a fun buddy road trip flick, but a loving exploration of Guevara's experiences with his land and the people that led a young, budding revolutionary down the path of epic social change. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10
* Napoleon Dynamite
There are plenty of laughs to mine from the pseudo-tortured lives of realistically nerdy, unpopular, and just plain odd 14- to 18-year-olds, and as Napoleon Dynamite proves, young geek alienation is just as fun to parody as its grownup counterparts. (Jennifer Maerz) Regal Cinemas, etc.
Northwest Labor Arts Forum
A screening of three short films having to do, appropriately enough, with labor. Artists at Work follows employed artists' projects after the New Deal; Restoring C.S. Price examines the life and work of the Oregon painter; The Builders of Timberline tells the story of those who built Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge. Whitsell Auditorium
On the Waterfront
Marlon Brando is a dockworker who signs up for the government investigation committee when a fellow dockworker dies... and almost ends up dead himself. Cinema 21
Outpost in Morocco
A playboy legionnaire (George Raft) goes to Morocco, and crazy shit--rebellion, love, patriotism, etc. --ensues. Not to be confused with Once Upon A Time in Mexico, where a playboy mariachi (Antonio Banderas) goes to Mexico, and crazy shit--rebellion, love, patriotism, etc. --ensues. Cafe Nola
Oakland arts collective Idiot Machine presents this "interactive documentary" that, according to their press release, examines "do-it-yourself street art, American subculture, and friendship that incorporates interactive multi-media." Alright. Whatever. Brooklyn Bay
A romantic comedy set in Chile in 1962, about a photographer and his friends. The Northwest Film Center insists that this film is a "sumptuous visual treat." Oddly enough, that same phrase is on another film's poster: "Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah star in a sumptuous visual treat." Guild Theater
* Presidential Debate
KA-POW! John "The Contenda" Kerry lays some UNFORGIVIN' SMACK down on George "Battlin'" Bush! Kennedy School, Mission Theater, Sabala's Mt Tabor Theatre
Raise Your Voice See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.
Saints and Sinners See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre
* The Seventh Seal
Max Von Sydow is a knight returning from the crusades when he discovers (whoopsy!) the plague is decimating Europe. Lest he croak himself, Max challenges Death to a contest where his own life is the prize. Whitsell Auditorium
Following their Shrek formula, DreamWorks loads up Shark Tale with an all-star cast... but instead of utilizing it, the film uses puns--yep, puns--for its humor. The fish shop at "Old Wavy." They drink "Coral-Cola" and eat "Kelpy Kremes." They use "shell phones." I'll stop there, but the movie never does. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Shaun of the Dead
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is the very definition of a normal guy. In his late 20s, he's bright, yet hardly motivated. Working at a monotonous, unfulfilling job, he comes home to a suburban house that he shares with his slacker friend Ed (Nick Frost); besides playing PlayStation 2 and kicking it with Ed at their neighborhood pub, Shaun's biggest hassle is accepting the end of his relationship with Liz (Kate Ashfield), who's starting to perceive Shaun as the useless layabout he's in danger of becoming. And then the zombies show up, and Shaun of the Dead goes from being merely enjoyable to something flat-out brilliant. A sharp, clever, and gory horror-comedy that manages to be as scary as it is hilarious, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead shows all the marks of becoming a classic (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The year is 1939, and Jude Law is Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan--an aerial ace called into action when gigantic, clanking robots invade downtown New York. He soon learns the robots are part of a larger plan involving the disappearance of world famous scientists--a case that's being investigated by Joe's former love, plucky reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow). (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc.
Tart/Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
This edition of Holocene's "swank soiree where the queer girls play" is a benefit for the Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and it'll feature trailers and clips from this year's fest, contests for passes, and ass-shakin' beats from DJs Beyonda, Dré, and Harmony. Holocene
An ex-SNL star (Jimmy Fallon) hops in a tricked-out cab driven by an ex-hiphop star (Queen Latifah) and shouts "Quick! Take me to career obscurity!" Regal Cinemas, etc.
Team America: World Police (Sneak preview)
The geniuses behind South Park take on the evil forces of Jerry Bruckheimer, Bush's war on terror, and Michael Moore and Janeane Garofalo... with an all-marionette cast! Check out our review next week. Division Street, Lloyd Cinemas, Tigard Cinemas
Thérèse: The Story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Thérèse's mom dies when she's a kid, then her surrogate mom abandons her, then she goes insane, and then, she falls in love with God. Whatever makes insanity more bearable... City Center 12, Lloyd Cinemas
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Let's see what the IMDB has to say about this: "Geneviève, 17, lives with her widow mother, who owns an umbrella shop in Cherbourg. She and Guy, an auto mechanic, are in love and want to marry. But her mother does not agree... agre... a..." Zzzzzz.... Pix Patisserie
* Unconstitutional/Unprecedented (Double feature)
If you haven't been satisfyingly scared by a horror movie recently, try this on for size. Scare the beejezus out of your date by subjecting them to the horrors of Unconstitutional, a panic-inducing documentary examining the evils of the USA Patriot Act. It is almost unbearably chilling, a little hysterical, and dour. It will crush your little, passionately liberal heart into hopeless powder. Following this apocalyptic karate chop to the throat is Unprecedented, about the 2000 presidential election and all of its attendant drama. A lot less sexy than the first film, the doc periodically spirals into the absurd, capturing the befuddling and silly arguments about dimpled chads and the like very thoroughly. It's much less rousing than Unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean you should bail the theater. Go see this double header if you're inspired by anger and fear. It may not be the most fun you ever have, but it's kind of important. (Marjorie Skinner) Clinton Street Theater