All for Free
The final film in the Northwest Film Center's Global Lens series, All for Free is a 2006 film from Croatia about a man who, after all his friends are killed, decides to "buy a mobile tavern and travel from town to town, giving away free drinks to everyone he meets." See? Alcohol does too solve problems! TOLD YOU SO, DAD. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review. Fox Tower 10.
The Bet Collector
Set in the Philippines, where the numbers game Jueteng is both widespread and illegal—a national black market sport—The Bet Collector focuses on Amy (Gina Pareño), a middle-aged storekeeper who walks the streets of her town, gossiping and collecting pesos to bet on other people's behalf. Amy's own life is a game of survival played with faith and belief against considerable odds, and Pareño conveys her character's daily struggles with an emotional matter-of-factness that brings out the quiet heroism in making life's daily bet. Tropical backdrop aside, this is a film about claustrophobia and possibility in even the most mundane of lives. MATT DAVIS Northwest Film Ceter's Whitsell Auditorium.
Butch Cassidy and the
"Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?" Pix Patisserie (North).
An Evening with Rose Bond
Artist Rose Bond talks about several of her installation pieces, which explore "the intersection of high art and low art, film and architecture, and interior/exterior installation." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Blaxploitation classic Foxy Brown is the latest great film to screen as part of the Independent Film Revival series at Broadway Metroplex, and this'll be a fun one: The inimitable Pam Grier is at the top of her game in this 1974 story of a (you guessed it) hot, tough chick out for revenge. Foxy, indeed. ERIK HENRIKSEN Broadway Metroplex.
See review. Clinton Street Theater.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
After finding limited success in the '90s with films such as Jingle All the Way and Houseguest, a struggling standup comedian ventures into the world of adult cinem—oh, wait. Sorry. Our mistake. Laurelhurst Theater.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
See review. Cinema 21.
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot is a few things: a documentary about a bunch of high school kids, a valentine to New York, and a series of music videos. Overall, it's more or less Hoop Dreams, tightened up and spliced to a soundtrack of Jay-Z, Freeway, N.W.A., and Lil Wayne. Unsurprisingly, director Adam Yauch, AKA the Beastie Boys' MCA, also sneaks a few Beasties tracks into the mix; surprisingly, Yauch proves to be a pretty good documentarian as he profiles nine high school kids (including Lake Oswego's Kevin Love and Medford's Kyle Singler) as they gear up to play in the annual "Elite 24" game at Harlem's Rucker Park. It's an all-star game for basketball prodigies who've been offered sneaker contracts at age 13, who're obsessively tracked by sports freaks, and who balance, with bravado and nervousness, the great expectations placed upon them. As a doc about these kids' challenges, Gunnin' definitely works—but as a series of highlight reels, it kills. Watching these kids play, both at Rucker and via grainy, astonishing VHS footage from their high school games, is like watching a lineup of AND1 players wipe the floor with your dad's pick-up team at the Y. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.
See review. Various Theaters.
Kit Kittredge: American Girl
Kit Kittredge is one of those American Girl dolls that cost like 11 million dollars, with each doll representing a certain period in American history. Kit's a nine-year-old Depression-era kid with journalistic aspirations, and Abigail Breslin plays her with a plucky earnestness and an excellent blonde dye job. Or wig. Halfway through the movie, as I was groaning for the millionth time, I remembered that I was not the target audience for this film, but that pre-adolescent girls and their mothers are probably going to love it. With her cute clothes, cute hair, and cute dog (It's a Depression dog! He panhandles!), Kit's the Annie of a new generation—minus the songs, thank God. The movie's plot—about hobos, unfair hobo persecution, and hobo profiling—is unintentionally funny, but the great supporting cast (Stanley Tucci's world-weary sideshow magician is excellent) certainly doesn't hurt. KIALA KAZEBEE Various Theaters.
Let the Wind Blow
An Indian film from 2004 in which two friends "weigh their options for the future against the reality of life on the streets of Mumbai." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Michelangelo Antonioni's revered 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson. Jáce Gáce.
Planet of the Apes
A brand spankin' new 35mm print of the 1968 sci-fi classic. Hollywood Theatre.
Saturday Night Fever
So summer got a slow start, but now that it's here in earnest, let's fucking roll with it. And there are few better ways to spend a July night than watching a free movie under the stars. Saturday Night Fever-starring the amazing disco tracks of the Bee Gees, not to mention John Travolta's white polyester suit-screens tonight at Plan B, where it'll be followed by beats from DJ RodoX. So: free movie? Check. Booze? Check. Music? Check. Hi, summer. Good to have you back. ERIK HENRIKSEN Plan B.
The 1978 version with the Godfather as Superman's pops. Living Room Theaters.
Team America: World Police
Old Town Computers and Backspace are hosting a night of Team America: World Police, the best film in which puppets shit on each other. They will interrupt the movie at 10 pm to show a live internet streaming of the fireworks downtown—because nerds prefer a simulation to the real thing, even if it is literally a couple blocks away. There'll also be a wienie roast (with vegan options) and a beer garden. SAHAR BAHARLOO Backspace.
I could lay all of Wall-E out, plot point by plot point; I could describe each of the film's astonishing vistas; I could delve into its brilliantly conceived, densely packed imagery; I could attest to how emotionally and intellectually engaging it is, from its haunting, melancholic opening to its end credits. I could bring up how unconventional the film is (its stars are robots, and there's a good half hour before anything even vaguely resembling spoken dialogue appears), or I could point out that, of all the major Hollywood releases I've seen, I can think of few that trump Wall-E for sheer audacity. But all that's too broad, so I'll simplify: Pixar's latest is likely one of the best films of the year, and it'll also likely become known as one of the best science-fiction films ever made. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Wanted is based, albeit extremely loosely, on Mark Millar's gleefully misanthropic comic of the same name. (Unlike those lab rats who eventually learn to quit pressing the lever that delivers the electroshocks, I still believe in the possibility of books I like being turned into movies that I like. Clearly, I am an idiot.) Of course, anyone whose judgment isn't clouded by lust for eminently doable star James McAvoy and/or an affection for the comics has certainly already discerned from its trailer that Wanted is spectacularly terrible, a brainless celebration of stylized violence that's fatally hamstrung by its own moral squeamishness. The ultimate indication of Wanted's irredeemability is that after two hours of wincing through this mess, McAvoy's face started to look a lot less pretty. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
The make-believe land of Turaquistan is Iraq, the occupying force (the Tamerlane Corporation, which is waging "the first war ever to be 100 percent outsourced to private enterprise") is America, and John Cusack is us: As Brand Hauser, he's a Tamerlane operative who's in bed with the military industrial complex (even though deep down, he feels really bad about it). "Look," he says to Marisa Tomei's liberal reporter, who writes for The Nation, natch. "We've already kicked the shit outta this place. What're we supposed to do? Turn our backs on all the entrepreneurial possibilities?" As a series of gags—some great, most not—War, Inc. is pretty impressive, if only because its happily preachy sentiments are admirable in spirit, if not execution. As an actual film, though, let alone a satire, it's just sloppy, twice as long as it needs to be, and disappointingly sentimental in its third act. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.
When Did You Last See
Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent are two fine actors, and they mostly succeed at making When Did You Last See Your Father? worth watching. They don't get much help, though, from director Anand Tucker (Shopgirl), who does his damnedest to turn Blake Morrison's memoir, set in 1989 England, into a cheesy Hallmark special. Nearly every plot point is melodramatically accompanied by Barrington Pheloung's tear-jerky score, and Tucker spends more time symbolically framing shots through glass and reflections than a first-year film school student. In related news, there's actually someone named Barrington Pheloung. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10.