Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

TWIN PEAKS R.I.P., Laura.

TWIN PEAKS R.I.P., Laura.

Act of Valor
In the not-so-proud history of jingoistic, military-thumping cinema—from Triumph of the Will to The Green BeretsAct of Valor stands alone for its sheer bumbling ineptitude. The film's only selling point is that it stars nameless active-duty Navy SEALs, and though these men are obviously physically impressive (in the course of the film's nearly two hour runtime, they swim, they run, they sneak, and they apparently can't have a bowel movement without being dropped out of a plane first), they are not actors. They're pieces of meat who trip over their tongues whenever emotion is supposed to fall out of their mouths. Compared to Act of Valor, The Expendables looks like The Godfather. PAUL CONSTANT Various Theaters.

recommended B-Movie Bingo
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Better Than Something: Jay Reatard
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater.

Crazy Horse
See review this issue. Cinema 21.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Enter the Dragon
"Never take your eyes off your opponent... even when you bow." Presented by local podcasters Cort and Fatboy and the Mercury. Bagdad Theater.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Do you want to see Ghost Rider pee fire? If your answer is any variation on a word that is not "yes," then you probably shouldn't see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Sure, there's a bunch of other stuff: A puffy, sweaty Nicolas Cage mugging for the camera, a big piece of fiery earth-moving equipment, some prophetical nonsense about the son of Satan. But whatever. Flaming ghost urine. That's all you really need to know. Also, Anthony Stewart Head shows up for about five minutes, collects a paycheck, and dies. Despite that, he manages to give the best performance in the whole damn show. Could someone please put Giles in a good movie? He deserves better than death and demon pee. JOE STRECKERT Various Theaters.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Like most mysteries, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is less about story and more about the grinding mechanics of plot: exposition, process, exposition, process. Dragon Tattoo isn't just any mystery, though: Based on the first book in Stieg Larsson's wildly popular trilogy, this Dragon Tattoo is the latest from David Fincher, and arrives on the heels of his last awards-season effort, The Social Network. Those expecting anything on par with Fincher's best work—The Social Network, Zodiac, Fight Club—should probably lower their expectations closer to Benjamin Button levels. Fincher can be one of our best directors, but he's also one of the least reliable. With Dragon Tattoo, he's made a film that befits its airport paperback origins—if, you know, they showed movies with brutal rape scenes on airplanes. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

Gone
A not-screened-for-critics thriller starring Amanda Seyfried. Various Theaters.

Good Deeds
Tyler Perry's latest, which, according to long-held Tyler Perry tradition, was not shown to critics. Various Theaters.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The Rock takes over for Brendan Fraser and explores... a mysterious island! Alas, the 11-year-old who was assigned to review this for us double booked with his soccer game :( Various Theaters.

recommended Kill List
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Metal Messiah: Born Again Sage
A locally made, low-budget flick that follows a headbanger named Sage Negadeth (played by writer/director Nick Wells, AKA the Phantom Hillbilly) through three decades of devout metal worship. He faces failure, religion, and the horror of being a metalhead in his 30s with no future (it's not my autobiography, I swear). Metal Messiah might be a little too long, but it has a great soundtrack that features classic and original tunes, and a priceless scene where Sage and his cronies create a metal language using band names. (Dio = dude, him; Doro = her, she; Sodom = party; etc.) This is a film made by a true believer, for true believers. ARIS WALES Fifth Avenue Cinema.

Norwegian Wood
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Only a Buck
Jerry Cook's low-budget film from 1986 about a "gadget-loving guy who quits his job as a bored and hassled local television news photographer to make a movie about a guy who quits his job to make a movie." Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Oscar Nominated Live-Action and Animated Shorts
For whatever reason, the Oscar nominated animated shorts are always about a million times more fun than those in the live-action category. That's certainly the case this year—the creativity and energy on display in the animated shorts is largely absent from any film that includes real people in actual locations. ALISON HALLETT Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Portland Women's Film Festival (POW Fest)
POW's focus is on movies created by women, regardless of their subject matter. If you want to see more female directors in Hollywood, you have to support their work. Here's your chance. For more info, see next week's Mercury. ALISON HALLETT Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Predator
"There's something out there, waiting for us, and it ain't no man. We're all gonna die." Laurelhurst Theater.

Project X
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Pusher
The first selection in the Northwest Film Center's "Driven: The Films of Nicolas Winding Refn" series. For more info see next week's Mercury. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Rampart
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Secret World of Arrietty
Forget the '92 BBC miniseries The Borrowers, or John Goodman's '97 adaptation (if you haven't already) of Mary Norton's classic children's book. Studio Ghibli presents a quietly compelling anime version of the story, written by Spirited Away's Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The film masterfully demonstrates the worldview of the borrowers by rapid pullback shots, their small stature fully realized when Arrietty's mother gets trapped in a jar and is unable to escape. It's also filled with special little details—like when Arrietty uses a leaf as an umbrella and flies through the yard trying to avoid an entanglement with a grasshopper—and loud, comical, emotional outbursts by Arrietty's worrisome mother and the cunning housekeeper. Despite the inherent dangers of Arrietty's world, the landscapes look slightly like an impressionistic painting, and the wind is always whistling through the trees. AMY SCOTT Various Theaters.

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Twin Peaks
David Lynch's TV series on the big screen. This week kicks things off with the pilot and, naturally, coffee and pie. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Tyrannosaur
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

recommended Wanderlust
Jennifer Aniston and our sparkly-eyed squeal factory Paul Rudd are Linda and George, a Manhattan couple who goes broke, loses their tiny condo, and heads to Atlanta to find work with George's horrible brother, Rick (Ken Marino). En route they stumble upon Elysium, a hippie commune that (SPOILER ALERT, if you're dumb) changes the way they see the world. Now, you're probably going to want to do what I did when you see Aniston on the poster—i.e., write this movie off because she does NOT make good movies and doesn't need your $9 contribution to her Salty Aging Sorority Girl Pilates Club. (Also because the whole thing looks boring and lame.) But resist that urge, because this movie is, surprisingly, pretty goddamned funny. I was all, "Chuckle chuckle, wait what is happening?" ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.

Young Adult
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody have made a film that's difficult to classify: It's either a comedy with no laughs, a drama with no character movement, or a social critique with no insight. ALISON HALLETT Laurelhurst Theater.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy