The latest from Takashi Miike is the definition of a slow burn: Front loaded with portent and exposition, 13 Assassins takes entirely too long to get moving, but once it does, Miike doesn't hold back. He might be trying to make a serious samurai epic, but what it seems like Miike really wants to do is assemble an epic—and epically badass—action flick that just so happens to feature a bunch of pissed-off samurais. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The Best of the Northwest Film & Video Festival
The Northwest Film Center's annual roundup of highlights from their Film & Video Festival. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
The Crater Lake Monster
1977's monster flick, in which a stop-motion creature rises from the deeps of Oregon's Crater Lake. Clinton Street Theater.
The Hangover Part II
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "To experience one raging drug-induced blackout may be regarded as a misfortune; to experience two looks like carelessness." And "carelessness" is the operative word in The Hangover Part II, the fairly unnecessary sequel to the sporadically amusing The Hangover. In the first outing, three oddball pals (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis) black out during a bachelor party, forget everything that happened, and then frantically comb Las Vegas for the missing groom. While the story meandered at times, the upsides were memorable: the leads were likeable, the script sneakily mirrored a pulp mystery, and the film was peppered with bizarro dollops of tigers, hookers, and Mike Tyson. Here, we get more of the same. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
Hobo with a Shotgun
Based on a faux trailer created for the publicity blitz surrounding Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse, Jason Eisener's Hobo with a Shotgun joins the likes of Machete and The Devil's Rejects in the curious subgenre of movies that exist to pay homage to the exploitation flicks of yesteryear. Seemingly aware that he's a little late to the party, Eisener lays the gore on thick with a wink-wink sensibility that is both energizing and hollow—Hobo starts off exhilarating, but turns noxious and empty fast. DAVE BOW Hollywood Theatre.
Judy Moody and the
Not Bummer Summer
Based on the best-selling book series by Megan McDonald, this movie is for people 2 to 6 years old, and should probably not be seen by adults without brain injuries. LIZ ELKINS Various Theaters.
"Yeah, but if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists." Academy Theater.
Kung Fu Panda 2
Jack Black returns to provide the voice of a fat CG panda who does kung fu. There is nothing else to say about this movie. Various Theaters.
The latest in the succession of movies centered around the great fashion designers of the 20th century, L'Amour Fou is a melancholy look at the life (and, to a lesser extent, the career) of Yves Saint-Laurent. Relying primarily on the testimony of a well spoken if not-terribly-riveting Pierre Bergé—Saint-Laurent's lifelong partner in business and love—Fou is surprisingly disconnected from fashion. Clearly hewing to Bergé's perspective, it uses the legendary auction of the couple's immense, breathtaking collection of art and objects as its contemporary tie-in to portray a creative genius wracked by depression. The result is lovely, if somewhat cold. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.
The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition
A big-screen showing of Peter Jackson's extended cut of 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring, preceded by a taped introduction by Jackson. The extended cuts of The Two Towers and Return of the King will screen Tues June 21 and Tues June 28, respectively. Consider yourself informed, dweeb. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center.
Louder Than a Bomb
I'll be honest: I don't like slam poetry. But Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs' documentary about Chicago high school poetry slam champions won over even an open-mic cynic like me. The low-budget doc builds intimate portraits of the tough lives of talented Chicago teens as it follows four teams to the world's largest slam poetry competition. SARAH MIRK Living Room Theaters.
The Man Who Shot
John Ford. John Wayne. Jimmy Stewart. Lee Marvin. You know the drill. Laurelhurst Theater.
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, Hollywood Theatre.
Midnight in Paris
Midnight in Paris is a lightweight fantasy, sure, but it's nothing less than a shocking return to form for Woody Allen, who's pulled himself out of his recent slump of truly awful movies by revisiting the magical whimsy that worked so well in The Purple Rose of Cairo. (That's the one where Jeff Daniels climbs off the movie screen to romance Mia Farrow.) Allen's back in control here, stirring fantasy and reality into something that—despite the film's muddled logic and complete disregard for historical fact—is both comic and winningly romantic. While far from flawless, this is one of the most purely enjoyable films Allen's ever made. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
My Heart Is an Idiot
A callow, self-indulgent documentary about the love life of FOUND magazine's Davy Rothbart, as he moons over a girl in San Francisco and seeks advice from strangers on whether he should break up with the girlfriend on whom he periodically cheats. (YES DAVY, YOU SHOULD.) My Heart Is an Idiot mistakes immaturity for complexity, when in fact the remedy for Rothbart's angst boils down to four simple words: Grow the fuck up. ALISON HALLETT Milepost 5.
Portland Underground Film Festival (PUFF)
See Film, this issue. Clinton Street Theater.
Shorts by Emily Hubley
Short films from animator Emily Hubley, including Pigeon Within, Set Set Spike, and The Toe Tactic, which features the voices of David Cross and Eli Wallach. Director in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.
Duncan Jones' latest, Source Code, shares some thematic similarities with his striking 2009 debut, Moon—this film, it so happens, is also about an isolated guy who's at the mercy of technology and those who wield it—but it has little of the freshness and originality that made Moon remarkable. Despite a few creepy sci-fi touches, Source Code is a vague, competent, and utterly forgettable thriller. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Space, Land, and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm
A documentary about '70s art and architecture collective Ant Farm. Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The Tree of Life
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Wild Wheels & Automorphosis
Automorphosis is a frequently jaw-dropping documentary on customized "art cars." Hundreds of driver interviews and car profiles—look out for locals like Extremo the Clown—form a compelling patchwork of outsider artistry. Preceded by Wild Wheels, another documentary on art cars. DAVE BOW Clinton Street Theater.
Women's Prison Massacre
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
X-Men: First Class
Set amid the nuclear panic of the Cuban Missile Crisis, X-Men: First Class aims to both prequelize a weary franchise and mash up superhero pulp with '60s style. After the mediocrity of the series' third installment, and the eye-scathingly godawful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there's nowhere for the series to go but up, but First Class still takes a fun premise and weighs it down with too many characters (most of 'em scraped from the bottom of Marvel Comics' barrel, like Banshee, an annoying ginger who does nothing but screech at the top of his lungs), uneven CG, and a frantic script. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.