Huh. This should be fun. Bagdad Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater, St. Johns Theater and Pub.
The Hollywood's series features B-movies, with the audience marking down clichés on a custom-made bingo card. This time around: SFX Retaliator, starring Chris "Son of Robert" Mitchum and Linda Blair. Hollywood Theatre.
Back to the Future
"No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley!" Presented by podcasters Cort and Fatboy. And the Mercury! Bagdad Theater.
Beauty Is Embarrassing
See review this issue. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes
Yet another low-budget, found-footage horror flick—this one following a crew of obnoxious documentarians in search of Sasquatch. From its lazy concept to its copout of an ending, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes is bland and uninspired. Granted, I was seven when I saw it, but I'm still pretty sure Harry and the Hendersons was scarier than this. ERIK HENRIKSEN Laurelhurst Theater.
A documentary about a middle school's chess team... that wasn't screened for critics? Goddammit. This sounds awesome, at least. Fox Tower 10.
Cell Count has a few patchy bits—all you haters will be grumbling about the ending—but it's nicely shot, staged, acted (it features local favorites John Breen and Sean McGrath), and the practical effects are great. With little money and a lot of atmosphere, Cell Count stages its body horror in a sterile, fluorescent-soaked medical clinic where sufferers of a mysterious disease are given experimental treatments, "the Cure." But the six patients (and two inmates) soon discover the cure is worse than the disease. With echoes of your favorite John Carpenter and Ridley Scott joints, Cell Count's got enough viscera and production values to make it a bloody winner. COURTNEY FERGUSON Living Room Theaters.
David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas has long been considered unfilmable, and make no mistake: It still is. The new movie by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer is very much an adaptation, borrowing the basic outline of Mitchell's book to create something entirely its own. The film juggles six characters with six distinct storylines, set in time periods ranging from the 1830s to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Given the audacity of its undertaking, Cloud Atlas is remarkably cohesive. Some storylines resonate more than others, but they're all efficiently told. But for all the energy and flair this adaptation possesses, it's so focused on pulling off the logistics of adapting Mitchell's novel that there isn't room for much depth. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's 2011 noir set in Russia. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Filmusik: Turkish Star Wars
Some movies are so bad they're good. And some movies are so bad they pass through being good and go back to being bad. The Man Who Saves the World (colloquially known as Turkish Star Wars) rolls over that particular odometer so many times it's hard to say where it ends up. Filmusik has done an admirable job then, in transmogrifying this Anatolian fever dream into an enjoyable 90 minutes of augmented cinema. Filmusik's shtick is to run the film silently and recreate the audio live: They pretty much fill the Hollywood Theatre stage with actors, an orchestra, and things to punch, and while the setup sounds clunky, it works. At a recent preview screening, voice acting was just good enough and just bad enough that I forgot it wasn't coming from the film. The sound effects were great and largely practical: boots and knives and coconuts for the horses. I asked one cast member why they had a cabbage, and she told me it was for "when the bear-things get their arms ripped off," which is totally a thing that happens. BEN COLEMAN Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Getting to Know YouTube
Local presenters help you to "climb into YouTube's deepest caverns of collective consciousness and unearth hidden treasures, stretching the boundaries of what tubes and you were meant for." Okay! Hollywood Theatre.
Albert and David Maysles 1975 doc. Screens in honor of Edith Bouvier Beale's birthday, "complete with cake and hors d'oeuvres." Costumes are encouraged. Clinton Street Theater.
The House I Live In
Despite the Drug War's $1 trillion in spending, abuse and addiction rates remain largely unchanged. Meanwhile, the nation-wrecking fallout is everywhere—in hollowed-out African American neighborhoods, in education budgets starved to fund our addiction to a vengeful jurisprudence, and in stuffed, for-profit prisons whose owners reliably buy elected officials committed to the status quo. No, this isn't a new story. But it's not bullshit to say it's never been told better, or more effectively, than in Eugene Jarecki's damning documentary. DENIS C. THERIAULT Fox Tower 10.
How's Your News: Election 2012
Portland-based How's Your News? creator Arthur Bradford has revived his interview-based series featuring on-the-street reporters with various cognitive disabilities to tackle this year's Republican and Democratic national conventions. With Election 2012, fans are reunited with star reporters Sue, Jeremy, and Robert, who tackle huge political stars with the same genuine lack of pretense they've always brought to what is a consistently unexpected, hilarious, and revealing journalistic exercise. Simultaneously in the midst and outside of of the media circus, Election's best moments occur before interviews, as various personalities either brush them off or instantly engage, revealing rarely seen sides of their characters. (Rudy Giuliani, Diane Sawyer, and Jared Leto come off okay, Anne Coulter not so much, and Stephen Baldwin takes the crown for biggest bully/douche.) Thus far, the film's been circulating online, but we get the hometown advantage with a benefit screening featuring cocktails and a Q&A. MARJORIE SKINNER Someday Lounge.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Chantal Akerman's 1975, three-hour-long film follows Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig) through three days of her life. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
John Woo's jaw-dropping 1989 action classic starring Chow Yun-fat? Yes. Clinton Street Theater.
The Man With the Iron Fists
A kung fu flick directed by RZA and starring EVERYONE—even Russell Crowe! Not screened for critics, because there is no god. Various Theaters.
The Master of Suspense: The First Annual Hitchcock Festival
See Film, this issue. Cinema 21.
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The Short Films of Jim Blashfield
"Eclectic animated and live-action experimental films" from of Portland filmmaker Jim Blashfield. Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.