A predictable, nonsensical, poorly shot, awfully written, badly acted, and entirely tedious cop thriller that uses shock tactics and sentiment to manipulate the audience. I suppose I really should feel a little bit bad saying all this, but Alex Cross will be just fine because people really love Tyler Perry and James Patterson, and lots and lots of them will go see this and it will easily make 100 million billion dollars and everyone involved will get even richer. Ugh. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
A doc about Tim DeChristopher, who bid $1.7 million during an oil and gas lease auction to win 22,000 acres of Utah land—without intending to (A) drill, or (B) pay. Oh snap, Bureau of Land Management! Part of the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See My, What a Busy Week! Academy Theater.
In the spirit of the mondo films of the '60s and '70s, the Italian-made Cannibal Holocaust "documents" a crew of four filmmakers who travel deep into the "Green Inferno" of the Amazon to film two indigenous tribes. The filmmakers never return, and two months later, a famed anthropologist goes in search of the crew—only to discover their horrifying footage. Back in New York, the anthropologist and a team of TV folk view the gory reels and learn what happened to the crew. Cannibal Holocaust is a sadistic romp, overflowing with ugly commentaries about the savagery of the human soul. It's definitely worth checking out, if only for the fact that it gets away with murder. (Literally, with a whole ark-load of animals. R.I.P., giant majestic turtle.) To borrow a line from the film, "It'll rape your senses!" Poor violated senses. COURTNEY FERGUSON Hollywood Theatre.
The Eye Has to Travel
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19. Hollywood Theatre.
Filmusik: Turkish Star Wars
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
In Search of Blind Joe Death:
The Saga of John Fahey
Musician/artist John Fahey was definitely a weirdo, and likely a genius. As a pioneer of "primitive" folk guitar, Fahey's influence stretches across a remarkably disparate range of music. This hour-long documentary presents a thumbnail bio of Fahey—who spent part of his life in Oregon—with a window into his art and his somewhat prickly personality. Via interviews with Chris Funk, Pete Townshend, and Dr. Demento, it leaves more questions than it answers, but it serves as a solid introduction to a man who spent life on the fringes, and found plenty there. Director in attendance; pre-screening live music by Marisa Anderson. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
A documentary about how "even those without wealth and political connections can bend the arc toward greater social justice." Also, weed. Clinton Street Theater.
"It is in the humble opinion of this narrator that strange things happen all the time." Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Night of the Living Dead
Romero's groundbreaking zombie flick. Still the best. Laurelhurst Theater.
Night of the Living Dead &
Return of the Living Dead
A zombie double feature, with Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead and Dan O'Bannon's significantly less classic Return of the Living Dead. Bagdad Theater.
An American documentary about a typically atypical family wracked by everything from the Vietnam War to child abuse, teen pregnancy, poverty, and Wiccaphobia. Rendered in visually beautiful and emotionally aware strokes, it would be a stretch to say this film offers a tremendous amount of hope—but it is a singularly compassionate portrayal of the quirky characters that make our dysfunctional little world go 'round. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre.
One Day on Earth
"The first film made in every country of the world on the same day." Hooray for diversity! Clinton Street Theater.
Paranormal Activity 4
Another Halloween, another crappy Paranormal Activity. Various Theaters.
NW Film Center's annual music/film series continues with a whole lotta docs. Highlights include: Stax Revue: Live in Norway 1967 (Sat Oct 20), a scorching performance film of a tour stop in Oslo, with Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MGs, and more—it's a staggeringly great show. Also, The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharp (Tues Oct 23), a British TV doc on the gospel superstar who helped birth rock 'n' roll. The Days of EJD and Concert Services (Thurs Oct 25) is an exhaustive and exhausting look at Oregon concert promoter Ed Dougherty and the many concerts that he staged at the Salem Armory; it's dry, but an invaluable local history lesson. And 1996's Hype! (Thurs Oct 25) has become a pretty amusing time capsule of the '90s Seattle grunge scene. Lastly, avant-jazz guitarist Marc Ribot performs a live score to the Charlie Chaplin classic The Kid (Mon Oct 22). NED LANNAMANN Mission Theater, Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Split: A Deeper Divide
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
Step Up to the Plate
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
Tai Chi 0
Kung fu! Steampunk! A combination no one asked for! Hollywood Theatre.
Two Works by Chris Marker
Cinema Project presents "two overtly political pieces" from the late Chris Marker, The Sixth Side of the Pentagon and A bientôt j'espère. More info: cinemaproject.org. YU Contemporary.
Wake in Fright
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
War of the Buttons
One more Holocaust movie. Fox Tower 10.
Warren Miller's Flow State
Warren Miller is the Tyler Perry of snow films—that is if Tyler Perry were three times as productive. Flow State is Miller's 63rd feature film (!!), and if you're as passionate about snow sports as he is, you'll forgive the repetition. Traveling from Alaska, Austria, Japan, Norway, and many more gorgeous locales, Miller puts the world's most insane skiers and snowboarders to the most insane tests: heliskiing down vertical cliffs, navigating rocky terrain—even waterskiing in iceberg-filled waters. You have your history lesson from old-timers as well as the origins of freestyling, corny comedy bits, and breathtaking scenery. While not exactly the same as it ever was—it's both prettier and increasingly extreme—snow fiends will be more than satisfied with the result. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Bagdad Theater.
Words of Witness
A film about a 22-year-old woman reporting on an "Egypt in turmoil." Part of the Northwest Film Center's Voices in Action: Human Rights on Film series. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.