Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

ICHI THE KILLER GYAAAAAAHHHH

ICHI THE KILLER GYAAAAAAHHHH

30 Minutes or Less
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Adam's Rib
George Cukor's 1949 "screwball, battle-of-the-sexes comedy" with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Presented by School of Film faculty member Amy O'Brien. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Another Earth
An Earth-sized palnet, bearing the exact blue-and-white swirls of our own globe, appears in the sky in writer/director Mike Cahill's Another Earth. It hovers there like an oversized moon, a mirror of our planet hanging in space. No explanation is offered for its presence, nor is any screen time devoted to scientific inevitabilities like gravitational impact—sure, the sudden materialization of an Earth-sized planet coming so close to our own would have cataclysmic effects, but that's not Cahill's point. Later in Another Earth, there's a scene in which a scientist establishes radio contact with the other planet, which people begin calling Earth Two. Through a fuzzy, squawking transmission, the scientist realizes, chillingly, that she is, in fact, talking to herself—a complete, alternate version of herself living on the planet that seems to be identical to Earth in every way. This is a terrific premise for a science-fiction film, but Another Earth isn't that film. Instead, it's just another standard indie drama, rendered in cool blues and arty-grainy video stock. NED LANNAMANN Cinema 21.

Belvedere
"Streaks on the china... never mattered before, who cares! When you drop kicked your jacket... as you came through the door, no one glared!" No, wait. This isn't about Mr. Belvedere at all. It's a Bosnian drama about "a stoic young widow yearning to forget the tragedy of war." Oh. Narrated by Bob Uecker. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Buck
Buck is Buck Brannaman, the real-life horse trainer who inspired Robert Redford's film The Horse Whisperer back in the late '90s. Director Cindy Meehl met him at one of the clinics he teaches, crisscrossing horse country to impart his philosophy. It's a touching transcendence of a childhood marred by physical abuse, and the result is an admiring portrait that should be required viewing for anyone working with horses. MARJORIE SKINNER Laurelhurst Theater.

The Devil's Double
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Final Destination 5
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Five Element Ninjas
Directed by Chang Cheh and starring the Venom Mob—and presented in Shaw Scope, natch—this 35mm screening of 1982's grindhouse classic will contain enough bloody, chop-socky action to delight even the most discriminating kung fu fan. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.

recommended The Future
See Film, this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Guard
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Happy: The Movie
A documentary that asks, "Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? What's your favorite part of Happy Gilmore?" Okay, maybe not that last one. Clinton Street Theater.

The Help
The maladroit love child of Remember the Titans and Eat, Pray, Love, conceived during a drunken and misguided romp behind the bushes at a child's birthday party. Would-be journalist Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelas (Emma Stone) comes home from college wanting to change the world, but instead finds herself writing a cleaning column in the local daily, playing endless rounds of bridge, and hunting for a husband. After hearing one of her friends insist that black servants use separate bathrooms from their white employers, an incensed Skeeter decides to collect and publish the accounts of the help to shove the intolerance of the white richesse right back in their faces. The film wants to be a portrait of racism, bigotry, and child neglect in Civil Rights-era Mississippi. Instead, it is just boring. KATHERINE LONG Various Theaters.

recommended Ichi the Killer
A rare 35mm screning of Takashi Miike's brutal yakuza flick from 2001. Fifth Avenue Cinema.

Magic Trip
Original footage from the Merry Pranksters' famous bus trip, wrapped in some of the silliest effects in the documentary toolbox. The ham-handed presentation ("druggy" visual effects, anyone?) extends even to gossipy interviews with Pranksters who were on the bus—but ultimately, there's no denying that the footage itself is captivating. Plus, young Ken Kesey! (All you transplants have read your Kesey—RIGHT?) He features prominently, including his ultimate decision to bar the gates of his Eugene ranch to his many hippie hangers-on. 7 pm screenings on Fri Aug 12 and Sat Aug 13 include Q&As with Merry Pranksters George Walker and Carolyn Garcia. ALISON HALLETT Hollywood Theatre.

Master Pancake Theater vs. The Breakfast Club
Austin-based comedy group Master Pancake Theater (Alamo Drafthouse approved!) provides live, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style audio commentary for The Breakfast Club. Cinema 21.

The Perfect Host
A thriller/comedy starring Niles from Frasier. Living Room Theaters.

recommended Police Story
Cop-socky! One of Jackie Chan's best. Hotel deLuxe.

Position Among the Stars
Leonard Retel Helmrich's documentary follow-up to The Eye of the Day and Shape of the Moon, examining life in the slums of Jakarta. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Rise of the Planet of the Apes
There's goofiness here, no doubt ("Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!" says that kid who plays Draco Malfoy, all but winking at the camera), but compared to its predecessors, Rise is damn near restrained in its refusal to get too ridiculous with its ridiculous concept. This thing's first third plays out like a bizarre drama (awww, a lovable baby chimp helping an old man with Alzheimer's!), its second like a tense thriller (is it just me, or is that formerly lovable chimp starting to look kinda... sketchy?), and its final third is a sizzle reel of violent, screeching monkey chaos. (EEEEE! EEEEEE! OH SWEET GOD THEY'VE LEARNED HOW TO USE SPEARS! EEEEE! GORILLA VERSUS HELICOPTER! EEEE! EEEEEEE!) I would watch this movie again right this very second. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

The Roomies
A local film written and directed by Jared Yanez that follows Matt (Quinn Allan), who's going through that precipitous period of 20-something ennui when life feels like it could go either way: You'll either turn out okay or die in a gutter, and it feels like each day could be the one that determines how it's going to end. Matt drinks too much, sluts around, smokes pot, and lives on the living room floor of an apartment he shares with his high school chums. We see his attempts to reform: He (rather inexplicably) tries to become a Christian. He tries (and fails) to quit drinking. He gets in touch with his sad feelings (about a comic book project that didn't pan out). It's all pretty stumbling and aimless, with gross jokes, gross roommates, improbable hookups, and a fair amount of vomit. There are strong performances from a few supporting cast members, like Matt's best friend Chase (Geno Romo) and his girlfriend Irene (Katie Mentesana), but the film is too heavy on the navel-gazing and too light on effective, original laughs. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.

recommended Tabloid
In his new documentary Errol Morris finds perhaps his most entrancing subject yet: Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen whose post-pageant life has led her, inexorably and repeatedly, into tabloid scandal. These scandals span continents and decades, and they involve such crazy twists that I'm tempted to avoid all spoilers and just order interested parties to the cinema. But the notion of spoilers doesn't really apply to plot points that played out in the international media, so here's a short, relatively surprise-preserving synopsis: As a young woman, McKinney fell head over heels in love with a young man, a Mormon missionary-in-training who was soon sent overseas. In McKinney's mind, her fiancé had been kidnapped by a cult, and she promptly set about rescuing him—hiring a team of helpers for an international rescue effort that saw McKinney & Co. track her "kidnapped" lover to the UK, which resulted in criminal charges and vast tabloid interest in the "Mormon sex-in-chains case." This is just the tip of the Tabloid iceberg, which cracks and fractures into an array of contradictory narratives. DAVID SCHMADER Fox Tower 10.

recommended Top Secret!
Val Kilmer before the hamburgers. Laurelhurst Theater.

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