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.
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
The Bride Wore Black
Truffaut's 1968 revenge flick. Hollywood Theatre.
Chico & Rita
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The X-Men are great and all, but let's not fool ourselves: If real teenagers had superpowers, they'd be pretty goddamn insufferable. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters would be a crappy public high school, everyone would have iPhones and video cameras instead of X-Jets and Cerebros, and the superkids themselves would be super annoying. This is what Chronicle is about, and it's about as shrug inducing as it sounds. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
A not-screened-for-critics shark thriller starring Halle Berry as a "shark whisperer." Heh. Laurelhurst Theater.
Essential Northwest: Cuts and Natural Timber Country
Two films about logging, presented as part of the Northwest Film Center's Essential Northwest series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
The Faux Film Festival
The Faux Film Festival returns with its usual shtick of "faux commercials, faux trailers, spoofs, satires, parodies, and mockumentaries." This year's most promising entry seems to be FDR: American Badass, in which Barry Bostwick plays an FDR who fights werewolf nazis. More info: fauxfilm.com. Clinton Street Theater.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games movie is so much better than it needs to be. The franchise is already poised to be the Next Big Thing; had its casting been less thoughtful or its political message diluted, the film still would've broken box office records and moved plenty of tie-in nail polish. But this first installment in a projected trilogy is as smart, compelling, and as politically pointed as any fan of its source material—Suzanne Collins' great novels—could hope. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
In It to Win It
A premiere of Portland's 4,293th web series, which wasn't screened for critics but does feature a promising lineup of comedy talent culled from sketch comedy groups the 3rd Floor and Sweat. Curious Comedy Theater.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A 10-seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway is the unlikely home base of the exceedingly fastidious Jiro Ono, widely known as the world's best sushi chef. David Gelb's worshipful portrait of Ono is blowhard-y at times, but will whet your appetite for both raw fish and work/life balance. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters.
The Kid With a Bike
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
The Oscar-winning film from 1955, starring Ernest Borgnine and written by Paddy Chayefsky. Borgnine will be in attendance; tickets are free if you go to tcm.com/roadtohollywood. FINALLY, A CHANCE TO ASK ERNEST BORGNINE ALL OF YOUR PRESSING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BLACK HOLE. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
People vs. the State of Illusion
A docudrama "that explores the science and power of perception and imagination." Yep, this sounds totally legit. Lloyd Center 10 Cinema.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
A documentary about St. Louis' Pruit-Igoe buildings, a "high-rise public-housing development that went from Great Urban Hope to international disgrace." Screening followed by discussions and presentations from Portland State University urban planning students. Mississippi Studios.
The Raid: Redemption
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Antonioni's Red Desert portrays a bleak industrial future: People struggle with claustrophobic fears while trying to keep jobs in the chemical companies that are themselves suffocating humanity. And being Italian, it's everybody's duty to look stylish staring down the apocalypse. Bizarrely, Richard Harris crops up speaking convincing Italian as Zeller, a sensitive yet thuggish middle manager who is drawn to the film's suicidal adulteress, Giuliana (Monica Vitti). There's rich color dripping from every frame, even the toxic yellow smoke pouring out of factory chimneys, and a striking eroticism prevails, too—all the more powerful for its sophisticated restraint by modern standards. MATT DAVIS Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
An extended dose of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! 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 Bagdad Theater, Mission Theater.
Titanic! Again! Various Theaters.
Twilight Zone: The Movie
1983's lackluster big-screen adaptation of the classic TV show. Laurelhurst Theater.
No, not the bullshit Sarah Palin film, but the Oscar-winning documentary about a no-hope North Memphis high school team turning their fortunes around. A volunteer coach pushes his kids to a winning season, though the victories come with the requisite drama. There are fights, injuries, and academic woes in between the games, and directors Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin mold the tale with as much heart as their subjects exhibit on the field. You think you know how it's going to go, but trust me, Undefeated's climax is a nailbiter. JAMIE S. RICH Fox Tower 10.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Eva (Tilda Swinton) is the mother of Kevin (Ezra Miller), an eeeevil teenager who one day took his archery kit to school and started shooting arrows into people. We Need to Talk About Kevin considers itself capital-D italicized Drama, and Lynne Ramsay's over-stylized direction is pretentious and draggy. Every scene is a naked plea to make the audience feel; stacked one after another, the result is an insulting drone. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.
Wrath of the Titans
See review this issue. Various Theaters.