The Big Lebowski
See My, What a Busy Week! Bagdad Theater.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams 3D
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Directed by Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt, The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck), the critical consensus on Cedar Rapids seems to be something along the lines of "Frank Capra's 'aw-shucks' earnestness meets the 'edge' of Apatow"—and if that sounds like just about the most mind-numbingly vanilla bullshit you've ever heard of, you're probably giving it too much credit. ZAC PENNINGTON Laurelhurst Theater, Living Room Theaters, Mission Theater.
A Deneuve Dozen
The Northwest Film Center presents a dozen of Catherine Deneuve's films. Series runs through Sunday, May 15. See I'm Going Out, this issue. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditrium.
Fast Five starts with a jailbreak (except the jail is a bus tearing down a desert highway!) and ends with a bank heist (except the money being stolen is inside a giant safe that's being dragged by two cars through downtown Rio at like 80 miles per hour!). In between, there are 16 excellent things, including a fight scene between Vin Diesel and The Rock that plays out like two dump trucks repeatedly slamming into each other. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
For a Few Dollars More
"Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared." Hollywood Theatre.
See My, What a Busy Week! Director in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.
Kids today are too goddamn coddled! Though they may be well versed in recycling and organic gardening, why isn't there a single Montessori school that teaches neck-snapping? The new thriller Hanna not only exposes these flaws in our school system, but does so in the guise of a rich, artsy thriller about a tween assassin on the run from the CIA. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
Jumping the Broom
A comedy in which two African American families "from divergent socioeconomic backgrounds get together one weekend in Martha's Vineyard." We're guessing shenanigans ensue. Bridgeport Village Stadium 18, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Regal Division Street, Lloyd Mall 8.
Given pioneers' near-mythological status, it's easy to forget that it would've sucked to be one of 'em. Sure, adorable li'l Laura Ingalls Wilder might have bonded with her loving family as they built a little house on the prairie, but also... y'know... DONNER PARTY. That frontier life of unrelenting suckitude is excruciatingly well rendered in Meek's Cutoff, the latest from director Kelly Reichardt and writer Jon Raymond, the duo responsible for two other Oregon-set dramas, 2006's excellent Old Joy and 2008's mope-tacular Wendy and Lucy. Here, Reichardt and Raymond tell the harrowing tale of several pioneers—including Solomon and Emily Tetherow (Will Patton and a great Michelle Williams)—who're lost on the unforgiving Oregon Trail. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.
Memories of Overdevelopment
Stoner alert: Miguel Coyula’s pastiche of history through the eyes of a Cuban American man is forcefully trippy. Combining collage, documentary, and poorly acted drama with what-now time sequencing, it explores the damning effects of violent political revolution and tours the Clinton and Bush administrations through the perspective of a survivor who’s been exorcised by America’s intellectual elite. It’s interesting subject matter that gets lost in a cataloging of unbearable girlfriends and laughably pretentious dialogue. There is something admirable in the film's unrelenting self-importance, but it all wears on for far too long. Director in attendance. MARJORIE SKINNER Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Miranda July: Shorts
A program featuring early short films from Miranda July, as well as "various participatory art projects inspired by July's work." Hollywood Theatre.
One Foot in the Gutter
See review this issue. Bagdad Theater.
POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold
There's nothing inherently wrong with companies advertising their products, and documentarian Morgan Spurlock isn't going to try to tell you otherwise. But as advertising becomes ever more pervasive, and the delivery mechanisms more sophisticated, Spurlock set out to shed some light on the way it functions. POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold investigates the often-cloudy intersections of advertising and entertainment. And because we're talking about the filmmaker who famously took on the fast food industry by eating nothing but McDonald's for a month, there's a hook: This documentary about advertising is funded entirely by... advertising. With the same show-don't-tell approach he brought to Super Size Me, Spurlock is determined to create the world's first "documentary blockbuster"—novelty plastic gas station tie-in collectible cups and all. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas.
Portland 24-Hour Film Race
A slew of local short films made in 24 hours or less! Two of the judges hail from ye olde Mercury—Arts Editor Alison Hallett and freelancer Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts. More info: filmracing.com. Hollywood Theatre.
The Princess of Montpensier
A French period romance, not to be confused with the adult film with a very similar title. Review forthcoming. Living Room Theaters.
The Queen Sing-Along
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
Queen to Play
A "stylish and sophisticated dramedy of newfound passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica." Hear that terrifying noise? It's your mother hyperventilating with excitement. Living Room Theaters.
"Be nice." Laurelhurst Theater.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
"Oh, no. Not again." Academy Theater.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Trust is about a 14-year-old girl who’s raped by a much older man she meets on the internet—but she can’t admit that it was rape, because she thinks she’s in love. In the process of confirming every fear parents have about the internet, Trust does shed some light on the rarely discussed subject of how rape victims are treated when there’s no actual assault involved—but the film is so choked with sensationalism and heavy-handedness that it’s more exploitative than illuminating. ALISON HALLETT Clinton Street Theater.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's story of a dying man in Thailand takes place in a rarefied state where folk tales and ghost stories mingle with everyday life. Meditative and mysterious, full of long takes and dreamy ideas, this Cannes favorite is as unpredictable as it is enthralling. JAMIE S. RICH Hollywood Theatre.
Water for Elephants
A romance featuring the impressively unlikeable pairing of Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Various Theaters.
High-school wrestling might be the un-prettiest sport yet devised by humans, a competition in which pasty adolescent boys, bedecked in unflattering singlets, grapple one another while rolling around a gymnasium floor. Win Win doesn't shy away from this distinctly ugly truth. Director Thomas McCarthy's (The Station Agent) film depicts high-school wrestling in all its painful, gangly, bepimpled awkwardness, and the surprising result is one of the best sports movies in recent years. Of course, Win Win isn't exclusively a "sports movie": There's a bunch of family drama centered around the team's star wrestler, Kyle (Alex Shaffer), but it's one of the film's many strengths that it neatly avoids the sulking and brooding of your typical adolescent-in-trouble flicks. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10, Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
The Wrecking Crew
"The Wrecking Crew" was the informal name of a group of LA studio musicians who played on an unfathomable number of hits in the 1960s, including those by the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Sonny and Cher, Lee Hazlewood, the Monkees, Herb Alpert, and a ton more. Here's an alternate version of California rock 'n' roll history, told by those who actually played it. Director Denny Tedesco is the son of legendary studio guitarist Tommy Tedesco, who along with bassist Carol Kaye, drummer Hal Blaine, and others, were responsible for an embarrassing number of hits. A movie like this sinks or swims depending on how many of those songs they could secure the rights to. The Wrecking Crew got 'em all, and despite jumbling the chronology, it undeniably swims; hearing this fantastic music with fresh ears will blow you away. Director in attendance. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.