The ABCs of Death
An anthology horror flick. Is it better than The 123s of Crappy Anthology Horror Flicks? Your call! Hollywood Theatre.
The Big Chill
"I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex." Fifth Avenue Cinema.
"I'm everyone... and no one. Everywhere... nowhere. Call me... Darkman." Laurelhurst Theater.
Dead Man Down
A generic-looking thriller starring Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard. Not screened for critics. Poor Colin. Various Theaters.
Somewhere deep in Emperor, there's a great movie waiting to be filmed. The idea of a film set during the American occupation of Japan at the very end of World War II is rife with drama, and the fact that Emperor tells a true story makes it even more of a shame that the movie turned out to be so mediocre. General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) is the sleuth at the heart of a drawing-room mystery; the whodunit, though, is about whether Emperor Hirohito demanded the bombing of Pearl Harbor or whether the command came from government employees. The problem here is primarily Fox, who seems 500 percent creepier since his Lost days; his inability to present any emotion at all hobbles Emperor's many flashback sequences. Only Tommy Lee Jones is at all interesting as the fame-hungry General Douglas MacArthur, and his scenes are far too few to make a difference. PAUL CONSTANT Living Room Theaters, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema.
The Ghost of Piramida
The new film about from Danish indie rockers Efterklang, documenting their visit "to the abandoned Russian mining town where [their 2012 album Piramida's] inception began back in the summer of 2011." Dig a Pony.
A Good Day to Die Hard
I've seen a bunch of Twitter and Facebook comments about how terrible this film is. Everyone hates it! Like, REALLY, REALLY HATES IT. Which is making me second-guess how good I thought it was. Instead of questioning myself, though, instead of thinking I'm the problem, I have one question for the haters: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT? A Good Day to Die Hard is great! There are massive explosions and crazy white terrorists! Glass shatters, bullets fly. There's a car chase that just might be the longest car chase in cinematic history since The Blues Brothers. John McClane makes corny jokes (as always), and someone in his family is pissed at him (as always), and the bad guys get what they deserve (as always). It's everything a Die Hard movie should be! MEGAN SELING Various Theaters.
Greedy Lying Bastards
An agit-prop doc profiling those who deny the existence of climate change. Not screened for critics, which is lame. Century Eastport 16, Living Room Theaters.
Jack the Giant Slayer
I am entirely in favor of the current trend of reframing familiar fairy tales as big budget, bludgeoning blockbusters. So what if it still hasn't been done very well? That's scarcely the point—these movies contain monsters, swords, magic, and knights in armor. My inner child goes a long way to forgiving the shortcomings of these loud, usually thoughtless films—and while Bryan Singer's loud, thoughtless Jack the Giant Slayer has many shortcomings indeed, I'm more or less okay with them. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
John Dies at the End
The new film from Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, The Beastmaster) has a gleefully deranged sense of gory humor, a completely unpredictable plot, and an appearance by Paul Giamatti (GIAMATTI!!!), but in all, it's a disappointing muddle. There are long stretches of tedium and incoherence, and the jokes aren't as sharp as they should be. Here's what I think happens: Two friends take a magic drug called "soy sauce" that enables them to see monsters and demons invisible to everyone else, so they become warriors against the forces of darkness. Perhaps meant to ape crappy late-night-cable horror flicks, John Dies at the End ends up just feeling crappy. NED LANNAMANN Laurelhurst Theater.
"Here was a guy who really represented the rough and tumble of New York. And he was just haunted and damned by one hell of a personality." So says Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, at the outset of Koch. Neil Barsky's documentary about the larger-than-life man who served as New York City's mayor from 1978 to 1989 focuses on that era, crafting not only a portrait of Ed Koch, but also—as if the two can be separated—of New York during some of its most tumultuous years. ERIK HENRIKSEN Living Room Theaters.
Kung Fu Theater
See My, What a Busy Week! Hollywood Theatre.
The Last Command
1928's Oscar-winning silent film, presented by the Columbia River Theatre Organ Society and with live musical accompaniment. From an organ. In case that wasn't clear. Hollywood Theatre.
The Last Exorcism Part II
So I guess they were lying about The Last Exorcism being about the last exorcism, huh? Anyway, here's another crappy horror flick that wasn't screened for critics. Various Theaters.
That Cher movie your mom loves. Clinton Street Theater.
"A revered Spanish monk, Ambrosio, struggles with repressed feelings." Way to go, pervert monk. Living Room Theaters.
Oz the Great and Powerful
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
A Pistol for Ringo
The spaghetti western from 1965, featuring a score by Ennio Morricone. Clinton Street Theater.
Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival (POW Fest)
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
Rendezvous with French Cinema
Six contemporary French films, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films: Augustine, Granny's Funeral, Journal de France, Rich Is the Wolf, Suicide Shop, and Thérèse Desqueyroux. Guess which one stars Audrey Tautou? Trick question! IT'S ALL OF THEM! Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Whitsell Auditorium.
Twilight Zone! Twilight Zone! Twilight Zone!
Three episodes on 16mm: "Penny for Your Thoughts," "Fugitive," and "Eye of the Beholder." Hollywood Theatre.
West of Memphis
See review this issue. Cinema 21.