Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are convincingly badass as a couple of hired guns who come to the aid of a small town in New Mexico territory that's threatened by a corrupt, murderous rancher. Jeremy Irons oozes menace as the bad guy, and the hatchet-faced Renée Zellweger isn't completely awful as the default love interest, the only woman in this tiny shit-town who isn't a whore. (...Or is she?) Adapted from one of Robert B. Parker's eleventy-thousand novels, Appaloosa contains enough guns, horses, and billowing clouds of dust to populate every Western for the next 10 years. You've seen this movie before, but it's a really good one. NED LANNAMANN 99W Drive-In, Broadway Metroplex, Century Clackamas Town Center, City Center 12.
Remember that movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman? Where Susan and Dustin's daughter (and Jake's fiance) dies, and Dustin holds onto Jake as a way to hold onto the dead daughter? But then eventually, Jake has to move on and makeout with Ellen Pompeo? August Evening is like that, but with a undocumented chicken farm worker and his daughter-in-law! It is also in Spanish, and the actors are not as famous. So if you liked that movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and you like foreign movies that are very slow and also very pretty, you will probably like August Evening. LOGAN SACHON Hollywood Theatre.
Black Mama, White Mama
Convicts Pam Grier and Margaret Markov get chained together in this 1972 blaxploitation classic. Broadway Metroplex.
Body of Lies
Body of Lies stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, and it's set among the terror threats and deeds of radical Muslims. But while Lies feels more authentic and nuanced than most big-budget action flicks—it points out, for example, that fighting terrorism is probably necessary, and in the same breath, adds that it's also an undoubtedly futile fight—at the film's core, it still doesn't do much more than use the tumultuous Middle East as a backdrop for the sort of hammy spy thriller that Tom Clancy might write on a good day. By the final third of the film—when a terrorist pulverizes a captured American's fingers with a hammer and says, "This is Guantánamo!"—the film's more or less a lost cause, though I guess it deserves some brownie points for trying. ERIK HENRIKSEN Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Eastport 16, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Evergreen Parkway 13, Pioneer Place Stadium 6, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas.
The Boned Age
No, not an adult take on The Flintsones, this is "30 minutes of snowboarding madness." Clinton Street Theater.
Burn After Reading
Like a Jason Bourne flick filtered through Dr. Strangelove, the Coen Brothers' great Burn After Reading more or less serves as an excuse for the Coens to play around with the clichés and charms of the espionage genre, while also having fun with the same sort of sad, aimless, and fantastically funny characters that usually populate their films. Also, the plot involves a self-powered dildo machine. ERIK HENRIKSEN Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, St. Johns Twin Cinema and Pub, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza 10.
Bobby Hacker's Cars III, screening with other short films from Hacker. For more info, see I'm Going Out, pg. 41. Kelly's Olympian.
See review. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Fox Tower 10, Hilltop 9, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas.
The Devil's Backbone
Guillermo del Toro's excellent mix of drama and horror from 2001 has a way cooler title in its original Spanish: El Espinazo del Diablo. The Press Club.
Free for All
Feeling a bit too optimistic about the future, poised as we are on the cusp of a blessed Obama victory? Then check out this documentary about "disturbing trends in the American electoral system." DEBBIE DOWNER Clinton Street Theater.
In Hamlet 2, the ordinarily very funny Steve Coogan (Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, 24 Hour Party People) plays Dana Marschz, a loser whose dreams of being an actor have given way to becoming a lousy high school theater teacher. Marschz is so dull that his wife (Catherine Keener) begs him to start drinking again, even though he's a recovering alcoholic. Anyway, when the school threatens to cut the drama program, Marschz writes a play and casts his rough-and-tumble students. The play—a sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet that features Jesus and a time machine—is astonishingly bad, but it quickly becomes a lightning rod of controversy. Hamlet 2 is appealingly off-kilter, but it feels choppy, like large segments ended up on the cutting room floor, and the film doesn't do Coogan justice. NED LANNAMANN Laurelhurst Theater.
Poppy is the kind of irrepressibly chipper person who attempts to start conversations with random strangers; when they act standoffish, she says things like, "I won't bite!" When her bicycle is stolen, she merely laments she didn't have a chance to say good-bye to it. In short, she's the kind of person who is so goddamn cheerful you'd like to smack her in the face. But something happens over the course of Happy-Go-Lucky: Poppy wins you over. Poppy's happiness is something of a mystery; both her sisters are miserable, and her flatmate is snide and sarcastic. But Sally Hawkins' remarkable performance doesn't hit one false note. British director Mike Leigh improvises extensively with his actors before writing a script, and the film, as with all his work, feels spontaneous and true. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.
The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Wha? A crappy looking horror flick that wasn't screened for critics? Why, I never.... Broadway Metroplex, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Hilltop 9, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Town Center 9.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The Disney Channel tween cash-cow hits the big screen. Anticipation for the film is running high among High School Musical fans like "scooterboy07," who posted on IMDB.com that "this movie is AWESOmE!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM ALL!!!!" Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Hilltop 9, Cameo Theatre, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Pioneer Place Stadium 6, Roseway Theater, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Town Center 9.
See review. Fox Tower 10.
Federico Fellini's 1954 classic.
Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine
This new documentary portrait of Bourgeois captures the artist still furiously at work in her 90s, flaunting an intimidating intellect and an enduringly relevant artistic vision. Pieced together from interviews in her studio, the film focuses on how the rapturous and, at times, wounding memories of Bourgeois' childhood still animate her work. In fact, the three titular figures represent her mother (the spider), her father (the tangerine), and the mistress he kept. Interviews with critics and curators Robert Storr and Deborah Wye provide helpful context, but it's Bourgeois who steals the show with her bull-dozing sense of artistic purpose. JOHN MOTLEY Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Man on Wire
In August of 1974, Frenchman Philippe Petit—not content with having walked a tightrope between the twin towers of both Notre Dame and the Sydney Harbour Bridge—decided to try his luck rigging a tightrope between the big daddies of all the world's twin towers, the World Trade Center. James Marsh's new documentary brings Petit's feat to life—an accomplishment that is either breathtakingly stupid or brave. And while I'm usually skeptical of documentaries that switch between B-roll and interview footage, the B-roll in this case is so outrageously implausible that it's more than enough to keep any viewer gripped. If you suffer from vertigo, for example, this movie will make you feel sick. Hell, I don't, and it still did. MATT DAVIS Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Living Room Theaters.
Patti Smith: Dream of Life
See review. Cinema 21.
Stephen King once again proves that nothing—nothing—is scarier than poor spelling. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
See review. Cinema 21.
Pride and Glory
One more movie about mopey policemen, Pride and Glory follows four NYPD cops—brothers Ray and Franny Tierney (Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich), their dad Francis (Jon Voight), and their brother-in-law, Jimmy (Colin Farrell). The plot's overcrowded, everybody spends a lot of time anguishing and moping, and it makes you long for the days of Dirty Harry, when when Hollywood's cops kicked asses, took names, and didn't get bogged down in pondering moral intricacies or trying to get closure on a mysterious traumatic event that happened before the movie started. ERIK HENRIKSEN Broadway Metroplex, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Hilltop 9, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Town Center 9.
You'd think it'd be about Led Zeppelin, but you'd be WRONG. It's a documentary about Hindu and a Muslim who "investigate the 60-year rivalry between their homelands, India and Pakistan." So just to be clear: This film does NOT feature Jimmy Page or Robert Plant. AT ALL.
Rachel Getting Married
Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) is indeed getting married, but it's her sister, Kym (Anne Hathaway)—an ex-model, lifelong drug addict, and alcoholic who's been in and out of institutions since causing a family tragedy as a young teenager—who demands to be the center of attention. Jonathan Demme's latest is a difficult, sometimes tiresome film, but it's also emotionally ambitious, and it offers a modern portrait of family life that depends very little on convention. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10.
Rad & Stunt Rock
A double feature of irony!
For atheists accustomed to the one-way street of religious acceptance (on which I will respect your right to believe what you want to believe, and you will attempt to limit my access to birth control), there is something refreshing about Bill Maher's Religulous, in which the unflappably egomaniacal Maher travels the country interviewing people about their faith, in order to: (A) point out the errors of logic, fact, and history inherent to their worldview, and (B) make fun of them. Alas, the film suffers from two things: a lack of focus, and an abundance of Maher. ALISON HALLETT City Center 12, Fox Tower 10.
See review. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, City Center 12, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Pioneer Place Stadium 6.
Following a sex- and drug-fueled suicide attempt, Mark (Chad Allen) gets sent by his family to a Christian "gay conversion" ranch. Save Me explores such issues as the controversial "ex-gay" movement, addiction, guilt, and acceptance, while a cast of recognizable faces (including Judith Light!) give solid, believable performances. Save Me feels like it would be more at home in the made-for-TV realm, but the film's restraint from being either preachy or overly judgmental is rather refreshing (even if ultimately, it's all a bit too even-handed). Plus, I don't really need to mention what happens when you put a whole bunch of gay guys on a ranch, do I? BRAD BUCKNER Living Room Theaters.
A fifth serving of torture porn. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Hilltop 9, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Pioneer Place Stadium 6, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Town Center 9.
"Wendy, let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. You understand?" Living Room Theaters.
Siren Nation Film Festival
The film portion of the annual festival to promote women in the arts includes screenings of films from New Orleans filmmaker Helen Hill; documentaries on In Other Words bookstore, female rockabilly musicians, and Rhythm King and Her Friends; and The Viva Voce Virus, a film about "a disease from Hollywood's yesteryear" that "makes actors keep mum about their same-sex love affairs." More info: sirennation.com. Hollywood Theatre.
Smashing Pumpkins: If All Goes Wrong
A documentary about the Smashing Pumpkins shot during their 2007 tour. Since it wasn't screened for critics, instead of a review we shall be printing a short snippet of Billy Corgan's poetry, excerpted from his 2004 collection Blinking with Fists: "The way/you look/at me/makes me/lonely/Grinding tears/behind a mask/made of abalone."Awww.
Tim Burton's 1989 superhero flick, in which Mr. Mom battles Jack Torrance and Prince. The Saturday screening will feature a pre-show clusterfuck of animation, standup comedy, filmed performances from AC/DC and Miles Davis (?), and 35mm horror and fantasy trailers. Bagdad Theater.
To See If I'm Smiling
This week's best bet for a fun-filled date night! To See If I'm Smiling is a doc about Israel's female soldiers who're stationed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It's followed by Deadly Playground, a doc about landmines in South Lebanon and the children the affect. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
It's hard to say for sure how liberals, who are certainly director Oliver Stone's intended audience, will react to this light-hearted cinematic indictment of George W. Bush. A lot of them probably can't get enough of seeing Bush mocked and deconstructed, and will therefore love this. But a good number of them, one suspects, will be bored—they'll go in wanting a new, revelatory way of seeing the president and come out having had a few good chuckles amid one long, familiar, flashback that they're very ready not to have happen again. ELI SANDERS Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinemagic, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Pioneer Place Stadium 6, St. Johns Twin Cinema and Pub.
What Just Happened?
See review. Fox Tower 10.
"Just keep your Power Gloves off her, pal!" Pix Patisserie (North).
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
See Film, pg. 41. Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, Century Clackamas Town Center, Century Eastport 16, Cinetopia, City Center 12, Cornelius Stadium Cinemas, Division Street, Evergreen Parkway 13, Hilltop 9, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema, Pioneer Place Stadium 6, Sandy Cinema, Sherwood 10, Tigard 11 Cinemas, Wilsonville Town Center 9.