21 Jump Street
Even while pop culture is devouring its own tail, it manages to shit out an occasional gem. 21 Jump Street is that gem—a far, far more entertaining film than it has any business being. Neither a gritty reimagining™ nor a full-on parody, it's mostly just a silly take on reliving high school that manages both laughs and, occasionally, a disturbing amount of earnestness. VINCE MANCINI Various Theaters.
Aguirre: The Wrath of God & Fitzcarraldo
A free Werner Herzog double feature and a bunch of good cart food? Fuck the fact it's like 13 degrees outside. THIS GETS A STAR. Cartopia.
Being Flynn is based on the undeniably compelling events first described in writer Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Paul Weitz's adaptation, though, is largely told in a sort of transformational-cinema shorthand, where a job at a homeless shelter signals a growing maturity, and a hit off a crack pipe signposts an addiction, soon to be addressed by an NA meeting montage. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.
"I'm becoming... Brundlefly. Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?" Laurelhurst Theater.
The Gates of Hell
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
When it comes to action movies, there's a thin, sinewy line between awesome and ridiculous, with the deciding factor often being the filmmaker's refusal to blink. The Grey, the latest contribution to the halls of gonad cinema from director Joe Carnahan, is a brawny, often majestic survivalist saga that can't quite work up the resolve to let its images drive the story. Although the primal force of its central conflict is something to behold—when it's cooking, it's the most compelling man vs. nature movie since William Friedkin's Sorcerer—it ultimately ends up feeling rather self-conscious about its own two-fisted bleakness. ANDREW WRIGHT Laurelhurst Theater.
The Hunger Games
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
By casting Jason Segel and Ed Helms in the leading roles, I'd assumed that Jeff, Who Lives at Home—the latest from mumblecore poster boys Jay and Mark Duplass—was aiming to draw in the type of dude who quotes The Hangover at sports bars. Then the trailer, with its brown tones, indie rock, and film-fest cred suggested it was reaching for glasses-wearing art students. But by turning out to be neither very funny nor very creative, this movie isn't what either clichéd example would hope for. Still, where it lands—a sweet, simple look at a messed-up-in-a-plain-way family—is, if nothing else, kinda pleasant. ELINOR JONES Century Clackamas Town Center, Fox Tower 10.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters.
The Lady Vanishes
We're gonna Hitchcock it up and down the block. Hollywood Theatre.
Last Days Here
See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater.
See Film, this issue. Cinema 21.
A white American goes native in central Africa while studying the Bayaka Pygmy tribe in Oka!, director Lavinia Currier's adaptation of the real-life account of ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno. Unfortunately, the result is aimless and dull, with gangly British sitcom actor Kris Marshall as a Sarno stand-in and a completely incomprehensible, hallucinatory final stretch. Did Sarno die? Was Africa all a dream?! You won't care. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.
For the two of you who can't get enough Portlandia (hi Fred! hi Carrie!), here's "a collection of Portlandia-inspired skits made by Portland residents." Hollywood Theatre.
A low-budget horror flick starring Christian Slater. Whoa! Christian Slater! Still alive! Hollywood Theatre.
Old "very special" episodes of Family Ties and Mr. Belvedere (please be the AIDS episode!) along with PSAs from the likes of Pee-Wee Herman and He-Man. Hollywood Theatre.
Rocco and His Brothers
Luchino Visconti's 1960 "chronicle of family loyalty and disintegration." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Directed by Lasse Hallström and based on a bestselling novel by Paul Torday, this inoffensive tale of a wise but eccentric Arab sheik's quest to import salmon to his Yemeni homeland is exotic but uncontroversial, at least to Western audiences. Kristin Scott Thomas shines as a multitasking PR powerhouse, but the poor chemistry of leads Emily Blunt and Ewan MacGregor renders central plotlines bloodless. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10.
Sing-Along Hedwig and the
Huh. Hollywood Theatre.
Sound of Noise
"A tone-deaf cop works to track down a group of guerilla percussionists whose anarchic public performances are terrorizing the city." Sure, okay! Living Room Theaters.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
An extended dose of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (To many, Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker schtick is supremely annoying; to others, it's the cutting edge of comedy.) While the show, by definition, changes gears every 10 minutes, the film is one long, increasingly wrong ride that leaves the viewer a little exhausted. Much like a box of whip-its, a few quick hits is boneheaded fun; doing the whole thing kind of crosses the line into depressing. MARJORIE SKINNER Mission Theater, St. Johns Theater and Pub.
David Lynch's TV series on the big screen. Hollywood Theatre.
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 Kennedy School, Laurelhurst Theater, Lloyd Mall 8, Oak Grove 8 Cinemas.
Madonna is not very good at directing movies. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.