Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

PITCH PERFECT Oh, Anna Kendrick. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways, from one to one billion.

PITCH PERFECT Oh, Anna Kendrick. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways, from one to one billion.

recommended B-Movie Bingo
The Hollywood's series features B-movies, with the audience marking down clichés on a custom-made bingo card. This time around: Gladiator Cop, in which policeman Lorenzo Lamas "discovers that he is Alexander the Great reincarnated." Hollywood Theatre.

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
Alex (writer/director Ryan O'Nan) has a beard and sings depressing acoustic guitar songs for disabled children while dressed in a pink moose suit, until he punches one of them in the face. Should I go on? Okay. Jim (Michael Weston) is a children's-instrument-playing stranger who pulls the old tackle and force bond on Alex and tells him they need to go on tour as a duo. Alex says no, but then says YES and they hit the road in a tiny crouton car! The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is a fine tweeché (Twee + cliché! Proud of that one!) take on a never-believable formula—a Wes Anderson sprinkle here, a Judd Apatow twist there, and the same exact script as Coyote Ugly (without the bartender strippers or John Goodman). EMILY NOKES Hollywood Theatre.

The Color of Pomegranates
Sergei Parajanov's biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, told largely without dialogue or camera movement. Is your attention span man enough to handle it? Clinton Street Theater.

The Crow
Shit, man, it's like the Lloyd Center Hot Topic up in here. Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Dangerous Desires: Film Noir Classics
The Northwest Film Center's noir series. This week's films: Caught, High Wall, 99 River Street, Loophole, and The Naked Alibi. More info: "Unusual Suspects" (Mercury, Sept 13), nwfilm.org. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

An Evening with Lawrence Johnson
Selected short works from Portland filmmaker Lawrence Johnson, as well as a live show from performance art group Thringst. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Hotel Transylvania
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Killer Joe
For most people, the term "guilty pleasure" means enjoying something that isn't very good—but I'd rather apply it to a film like William Friedkin's Killer Joe, a scuzzball delight fueled by an uncomfortable morality and an unapologetic sense of its own depravity. There's much in Killer Joe that you shouldn't giggle at, be thrilled by, or do anything but turn away from in revulsion. The fact that Friedkin's expert storytelling makes you reject your own instincts and stick with his desultory crime picture may weigh on your conscience a little, but it's worth the karma points. JAMIE S. RICH Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Liberal Arts
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.

recommended Looper
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended The Master
It's the end of World War II, and ex-sailor Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a goddamn drunk. He's also vengeful, hypersexual, and perhaps (or perhaps not) an involuntary murderer. Something needs to give, and so enters Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), the "master" of a startup religion/self-help cult called "The Cause" (played by Scientology). For Dodd, Quell is the perfect patient/guinea pig; an "animal" who, once his "ancient trauma" is revealed though tests, study, and psychological torture, will hopefully graduate to a higher order of human... the human we were created to be. One is tempted to gleefully approach The Master as the cinematic counterpart to a juicy Vanity Fair hit piece—but upon viewing, one quickly realizes that Paul Thomas Anderson is reaching for much more. Rather than heaping scorn on a pseudo-faith, Anderson's film is a gorgeously filmed rumination on human need: the need to be self-aware, the need to be accepted, the need to be loved. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.

recommended The Perks of Being a Wallflower
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

recommended Pitch Perfect
Bridesmaids' female-driven raunch trickles down to college in Pitch Perfect, a deeply derivative yet totally enjoyable teen movie about a college a capella group. Essentially Glee with swearing and vagina jokes, this movie has about a billion problems, and I don't care about any of them because SONG BATTLES. Bonus: Anna Kendrick is utterly adorable as an angsty wannabe record producer, and Elizabeth Banks is great as a cheerfully bitter contest announcer. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

recommended Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
See Film, this issue. Cinema 21.

Radio Unnameable
A doc about New York DJ Bob Fass, and the first film in the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Sergei Parajanov 1966 drama, based on the book by Mykhailo "Mikey" Kotsiubynsky. It's like Romeo and Juliet, but set in the Carpathians! Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Stars in Shorts
Stars in Shorts is a collection of short films starring famous actors; it is not about famous people wearing shorts. Still, give it a chance! There are some gems. Not Your Time, with Jason Alexander as a failing musical writer, is hilarious and great. Julia Stiles, who I am mad at because of what I perceive she did to Dexter, is annoyingly fantastic in Sexting. In Friend Request Pending, Judi Dench is all cute and old and British about social networking and even though it was cutesy, it was maybe my favorite. Aside from some weird stuff with kids—it's fun for me to be vague about that—this is an enjoyable batch of stories starring an enjoyable batch of actors. Even if they were all wearing pants. ELINOR JONES Hollywood Theatre.

Torse
Since the final run of his company in 2011, discussions of the late choreographer Merce Cunningham have been everywhere. Evidence of this is a screening by Cinema Project this week, who begin their year-long residency at the Yale Union with Charles Atlas' Torse. 1977's Torse is in part a documentation of a difficult Cunningham dance, but it's also a testament to his iconic style—a bridge between ballet and contemporary dance, with the footwork of the former and the upper body of the latter. Cinema Project will screen a newly restored version of the film in HD, all the better to see all the fine movements in tip-top form. JENNA LECHNER YU Contemporary.

recommended Walls of Sound: A Look Inside the House of Records
David Dracon's documentary is about Eugene, Oregon's House of Records, but it could be about any one of the struggling mom-and-pop record stores still valiantly carrying the torch after the music industry's spectacular flame-out. Amongst over-crammed shelves and boxes stuffed with moldering records, the store's clerks and customers talk about why the place matters to 'em. (Short version: You can't hug an MP3, or roll a joint on it.) Appealingly lo-fi and unpretentious, Walls of Sound is worthwhile even if it merely spurs a trip to your neighborhood record store. Director in attendance. NED LANNAMANN Clinton Street Theater.

Won't Back Down
This is one of those movies about inspirational teachers inspiring their students! We did not send anyone to review it because we got distracted watching the "Gangsta's Paradise" video Coolio did for Dangerous Minds. Various Theaters.

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