Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY Swoon.

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY Swoon.

30 Minutes or Less
In 30 Minutes or Less, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer attempts to make a comedy out of the story of two sociopaths who kidnap a pizza boy, strap a bomb to him, and force him to rob a bank (something similar happened in real life, but ended when the bomb guy got his head blown off while he begged the police to help him). It's a dark, intriguing idea, and something I'd want to watch, especially with this cast—which makes it painful to see it drowned in schmucky riffing. Almost immediately, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding that telling a funny story is different than telling a story in which every character tells 50 jokes a minute like Shecky Greene. VINCE MANCINI Various Theaters.

Bellflower
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Colombiana
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Conan the Barbarian
If you're going to make a shitty remake of Conan the Barbarian, you might as well hire a guy who has a long, rich history of shitty remakes. The newest film to be based on Robert E. Howard's muscle-bound Cimmerian thug is directed by Marcus Nispel, the German director whose résumé also includes recent shitty versions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Frankenstein. Here, Nispel has made a meandering, noisy, predictable fantasy movie that wants to possess both the brutal viciousness of the original Conan stories and the plucky, lighthearted air of a Cher video. (Oh, Nispel also directed a few Cher videos, none of which are the Cher videos you remember.) NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Filmusik: Gamera vs. Guiron
Filmusik—the crew that adds live music, sound effects, and voiceovers to classic films—is going all-out with Filmusik: Gamera vs. Guiron. This 1969 Japanese monster flick—in which the knife-headed Guiron fights the giant turtle Gamera—should prove the perfect movie to accompany the efforts of Filmusik's crew, made up of vets from Live Wire! and the Willamette Radio Workshop. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Fright Night
1985's Fright Night wasn't perfect, but it made up for its flaws with solid pacing, a good number of scary-for-their-time thrills, and inspired performances from Chris Sarandon as Jerry the Vampire (yes... Jerry) and Roddy F'ing McDowall as a vampire slayer. As you can probably guess, I dug the hell out of it. So imagine my surprise when a remake from the director of Mr. Woodcock ended up being pretty goddamned fun. Credit largely goes to a lean script from Marti Noxon (Buffy, Angel, Mad Men), who takes the bones of the original plot and decorates them with enough new twists that this new film stands on its own. Noxon and director Craig Gillespie have spackled up the old plot holes (though they missed a few new ones), replaced the goofy old practical effects with goofy new digital ones, and, recognizing that no one is afraid of vamps anymore, jettisoned most of the horror and replaced it with action. (Car chase? Check. 'Spolsions? Yup.) TED DOUGLASS Various Theaters.

recommended The Guard
A new Irish film directed by John Michael McDonagh. Brendan Gleeson plays Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a cop drifting along the surface of small-town crime fighting, lifting drugs from crime scenes and generally pursuing incompetence as the most convenient course of action. Cue the entrance of a relentlessly competent FBI agent (Don Cheadle) who provides an odd-couple foil for the provincial, kinda-racist Gerry. The plot lands somewhere between Hot Fuzz and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans, but like those films, The Guard is defined by a bone-dry sense of humor all its own. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.

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.

Ian Berry Film Festival
"The newest and only installment of the Ian Berry Film Festival," featuring shorts from the local filmmaker/Cinema 21 projectionist. The films—including "excerpts from the new web series 'Tommy Explains It All,'" featuring The Room's Tommy Wiseau, and Brenda Drives, which Werner Herzog called "wonderful"—have been "recently excavated from a chateau in the exotic hills of Mt. Tabor." Cinema 21.

The Interrupters
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

Le Quattro Volte
Don't be fooled! You might think that's Italian for "The Fourth Voltron," but alas, this is actually Michelangelo Frammartino's "four-part meditation on man and nature." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Make Believe
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The Man Who Fell to Earth
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

Our Idiot Brother
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Psychomania
The Grindhouse Film Fest presents the 1973 biker flick. "Get ready for miniskirts, go-go boots, and mind-boggling psychedelic freakout sequences involving frogs," says the press release. Okay! Hollywood Theatre.

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.

recommended Senna
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Steam of Life
A Finnish sauna documentary. FINALLY. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Street Days
Georgia's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is a "lightly humorous yet realistic drama" set in post-Soviet Georgia. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

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 Living Room Theaters.

recommended Terminator 2: Judgment Day
"You broke my arm!" "There's 215 bones in the human body. That's one." Academy Theater.

The Tree
Last time American audiences saw Charlotte Gainsbourg, she was hacking away at her husband's genitals in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist. She's not quite as deranged in her new film, French director Julie Bertuccelli's innocuous, rather silly Australia-set drama The Tree, but all things are relative; she does snuggle with a giant branch in bed at one point, and later gazes up at the Moreton Bay Fig of the title and murmurs "Talk to me." Terrence Malick can pull that kind of thing off, but Bertuccelli is no Malick. JON FROSCH Living Room Theaters.

recommended Video Gong Show
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

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