Grace and Frankie Returns with a Wedding, RuPaul, and 50,000 Vibrators


The premise of Netflix dramedy Grace and Frankie is incredible: After their husbands (who are business partners at a law firm) reveal their decades-long affair and their plans to come out to the world as romantic partners, frenemies Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) move into a beach house in La Jolla, California, and begin to navigate their new lives as roommates, septuagenarian divorcees, and unexpected best friends. Fonda and Tomlin have already proven their onscreen chemistry (they starred in the iconic 1980 film 9 to 5 alongside Dolly Parton), and showrunner Marta Kauffmann has also proven her abilities as co-creator of the '90s sitcom Friends.

It's a formula that worked well for four seasons, and the fifth season—which is out now on Netflix—shows that Grace and Frankie (and its titular stars) are continuing to improve with age, despite a few small hiccups. When Season 5 begins, Grace and Frankie have just escaped from their retirement community on a stolen golf cart and returned to their oceanfront home to learn it's just been sold. I won't give any spoilers, but this season you can look forward to a trip to a spa/cult, a visit to a leather bar, a proposal, a debacle involving 50,000 vibrators, and a cameo from RuPaul. Unfortunately, the show falters in its dismissive, stereotypical depictions of queer millennial culture, along with a weird time-warp in the finale.

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Someone With Measles Went to a Blazers Game — But Still No Reported Cases in Oregon


The Moda Center is the most recent Portland location to have a reported measles exposure.

A person infected with the measles attended a Jan 11 Portland Trail Blazers game, the Multnomah County Health Department is reporting. While there are no reported cases in Multnomah County yet, it increases the likelihood that a recent Vancouver, Washington outbreak could spread across the state line.

Clark County Public Health first reported a known case of the measles in the Vancouver area on Jan 4, and the number of confirmed cases had grown to 19 on Friday. The cases are affecting unvaccinated children in Clark County, which has the lowest measles vaccination rate in Washington state.

In Multnomah County, 92 percent of K-12 students have all of their mandatory vaccines, including the measles vaccination, but that number is significantly lower for some individual schools in the county. If a student attending one of those schools got the measles, which is highly contagious, the disease could easily spread to other unvaccinated students.

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CBD + Sports: Muscle Recovery Done Right

If you’re an athlete, you’re used to muscle soreness. That deep tissue pain is actually your body repairing the muscle fibers you damaged during exercise. This pain marks the beautiful moment when your workout pays off and your muscles become stronger than they were yesterday. Make this pain worth your while.

CBD helps your muscles heal quickly and keeps soreness to a minimum, so you can spend more time in the gym and less time in the ice bath.

Legal Weed Means Less Smuggling at the Southern Border


It’s gearing up to be a banner year for legalized weed, but that doesn’t mean we can ease up on fighting prohibitionists. That means it’s time for another installment of our series “Prohibition Arguments, Cannalyzed™”—in which we dissect stupid anti-cannabis arguments by using words and common sense. Here’s a favorite one cited by those who sport MAGA hats.
ARGUMENT: “If you legalize cannabis, it just helps criminal gangs like MS-13 smuggle even more cannabis into the country. It’s another reason we need that wall!”

Nope. Legal weed won’t mean more smuggling from the Southern border. That’s always been an argument based on faulty logic. Why would someone smuggle in a product—especially one of far lesser quality that hasn’t been tested for pesticides, mold, or purity—into a market that now has that same tested product in abundance? Especially since cannabis is an agricultural product that is best when fresh, and, when legal, is handled with greater care than a smuggled one could ever be? That’s akin to passing up freshly baked scones from your neighborhood bakery because you have a guy who can get you potentially moldy, eight-month-old Little Debbies that were flattened between two heavy pallets.

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Hamberders: Your Weekly Food and Drink News Wrap-Up

Meg Nanna

As we recklessly and inevitably swerve into Constitutional Crisis Land, our very smart and not dumb president greeted the NCAA’s Clemson Tigers championship football team this week with a White House feast of pizza and “hamberders” from Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burder King. In the meantime, Portland’s food and drink makers and creators were very busy distracting us all from the worst dumbest things that make America America.

For instance, this week, the Mercury sent its crackerjack booze reporter to document his friend Tommy’s heroic downing of 25 Jell-O shots without showing any signs of intoxication. They did it “for science,” and science officially says you can’t get drunk from Jell-O shots—at least not 25 (!) of them. At least Tommy can’t. Whomever you are Tommy, thank you for your service.

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A Tale of Two Fyre Festival Documentaries: Cheese Sandwiches, Schadenfreude, and Ja Rule


This week, streaming giants Hulu and Netflix dropped rival documentaries about Fyre Fest—the beautiful disaster that, in April 2017, practically imploded the internet with rich kid schadenfreude after an attendee posted a photo of a sad cheese sandwich. If you're not familiar (or need a refresher), the whole mess began when rapper Ja Rule and young entrepreneur/Fyre Media CEO Billy McFarland announced their plan to host a destination music festival to promote their music booking app.

Then a promotional video dropped featuring über-famous models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid frolicking around an island in the Bahamas that the ad claimed was once owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. It looked like Instagram incarnate—aquamarine waters, piña coladas, adorable beach pigs. Blink-182 and Major Lazer were booked to headline the festival. Attendees (who paid thousands of dollars for their tickets) were promised accommodations in luxury geodesic domes and meals cooked by celebrity chefs, along with water trampolines, yoga on the beach, and $1 million of real treasure and jewels hidden around the island. Instead, they got soggy FEMA tents and the infamous cheese sandwiches.

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Everyone Should Put Weed in Their Butt

Ever since I was a teenager, I've had really bad, horrendously painful cramps. This year, a doctor told me I probably have endometriosis, which is a condition of the uterine lining that can only be diagnosed for sure through a surgery where they go in and actually check. I don't want to do that right now.

In some cases, a hysterectomy can end up being the recommendation. I don't want to do that right now, either.

Before I found out about pot suppositories, I'd tried everything for my horrible periods—Advil, Tylenol, ibuprofen. Nothing touched the pain. We're talking almost 26 years of these horrible cramps. So much pain that when I was young, I would miss school, and now that I'm an adult, it's hard for me to work on those days. There are literally people on disability because of this condition. It's crippling pain. Especially the first day or two of my period. And the worst, for me, is at night. I just don't sleep. I just lie there wanting to cry.

I was reading articles online one day, and they led me into the world of CBD oil, CBD bubble baths, and the thing that really gets people's attention, CBD suppositories.

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The Reel Music Fest Offers Movies for Your Ears

The Ballad of Shirley Collins
The Ballad of Shirley Collins

Each year, the Northwest Film Center rounds up a slew of new and noteworthy music-related films for its Reel Music series—illustrating not just the power of documentary filmmaking as a tool to tell musicians’ stories, but also the ever-changing roles that sound and music play in today’s audiovisual narratives. With fewer films than previous years, this year’s Reel Music is a more focused, manageable batch to navigate, with a handful of must-sees (and a couple you should skip).

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The Hollywood Theatre Is Getting Roma on 70mm


Nearly two months after its initial release on Netflix and in select theaters, Roma—Alfoso Cuarón's just-about-universally praised drama—is coming to Portland in 70mm. The film will play at the Hollywood Theatre from Fri Feb 2-Sun Feb 4.

This is just the latest development in what's been a... unique release pattern for the film. Distributed by Netflix, the film was primarily made available via the streaming service, but at the same time, it also played theatrically in select markets, including Portland. During that initial release, film critics (including me!) were super obnoxious about how you just had to see Roma not at home, but in a good theater—

*pushes up glasses*

because its phenomenal sound and picture really do benefit from the inimitable theatrical experience

*gets wedgie, gets stuffed in a locker*

—but even then, there was yet another way to see it: A few exceedingly rare 70mm film screenings, which Cuarón hyped up as "for sure the most organic way to experience Roma," since 70mm shows "unique details not available on any other version. Being shot in 65mm, these prints bring live detail and contrast only possible using a big format film."

The end result was a flurry of mixed messaging, with some viewers left confused as to where and how they were "supposed" to see the "best" version of Roma. (All this was heaven, meanwhile, for bickering film dweebs, who live for insufferable debates like these.) On the upside, there were multiple ways to see Cuarón's remarkable film; on the downside, the discussion over how to see Roma sometimes overshadowed discussions about the film itself.

Chances are, if you're a film buff, or a Cuarón fan, or someone who tries to win your office's annual Oscars pool, you've already seen Roma, one way or another. But if you haven't—or if, like me, you've already seen it and just want to experience it again—this 70mm booking is an opportunity you shouldn't miss. It'll look and sound fantastic. But it's also worth remembering that ultimately, the important thing is just that people see Roma, however they're able. Roma is a bright and sad and thrilling and heartbreaking thing, and no matter how you see it, you'll be better off for having done so.

Artist Repertory’s Teenage Dick Starts Childish, Ends Furious


Richard III is a weird-ass play. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy; it’s not human enough to be a tragedy. It’s the fourth, final play in Shakespeare’s first historical series, in which he argued that the ancestors of the reigning Tudor queen, Elizabeth I, did a very good thing by killing Richard III because he was a York a bad guy who deserved to die.

But in playwright Mike Lew’s modern adaption, Teenage Dick, the scheming rings a lot truer. The remodel takes Shakespeare’s story of a royal hunchback whose murderous intentions are fixed on acquiring the throne of England and translates it into the tale of a brooding teenager with cerebral palsy, whose eyes are set on becoming class president.

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Duster's Return Feels Like the Tail End of an Epic Cross-Dissolve

DUSTER Tues 1/22 Mississippi Studios
DUSTER Tues 1/22 Mississippi Studios

Many of indie rock’s critical darlings were floating in outer space in 2000. Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Grandaddy, and Sigur Rós released landmark albums that played like astronaut dreams, their sounds stretched between past and present, heaven and earth, day and night. Duster’s millennial offering, Contemporary Movement, was similarly inclined toward the stars, but the San Jose trio’s melancholic slowcore evoked earthbound gazing.

The album, Duster’s final statement before quietly fading away, is a soundtrack for sitting in midnight traffic and staring at the moon. Like a tired mind softly humming with a vague desire for whatever is beyond the mind, Duster’s unhurried compositions never fully clarify or cohere; voices hide behind dense washes of guitar, verses reach toward choruses that aren’t there, songs end abruptly before they can be caught, tagged, and filed away.

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Submit Your Stoner Film to SPLIFF and Win Lots of Cash!


Hey, stoner, I’ve found your winter project.

It’s not going to be hard, but it will require you to get off the couch, gather a gaggle of friends, and hit “record” on a camcorder. Actually, you know what? You could probably stay on the couch and do it.

This project will keep you warm and active, and you can be high as a kite while doing it. And get this: There’s $10,000 in cash prizes just sitting on the table.

The Mercury and its sister paper The Stranger are known for their amateur porn festival, HUMP! Hundreds of filmmakers have won thousands of dollars taking it all off for HUMP! and in fact, it’s been so successful for so many years, we’re starting a second short-film festival, this one for stoners. That’s where you come in.

The inaugural SPLIFF Film Festival ( will give away three $2,000 first-place prizes in these categories: Trippiest Film, Funniest Film, and Stupidest Film. Plus, there’s a GRAND PRIZE of $5,000.

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The 30 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Jan 18-20

This weekend is most definitely not playing around. Not when you have The Man Who Was Aaron Burr coming through, not when The Woman Who Wanted You to Take Her Wife is setting up shop at Mississippi Studios for a pair of shows, not when a Flautist Named Cautious is blowing your mind with bedroom music from the future, and not when Dolly Parton's Birthday gets the two-night celebration she deserves. That's barely the tip of the entertainment iceberg wrecking this weekend (Minority Retort! Pickathon Party! ReelMusic! Eggs & Hip-Hop!) so hit the links below and load your plate accordingly

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
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Erik Henriksen Tells You What to Watch This Weekend™

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Welcome to Erik Henriksen Tells You What to Watch This Weekend™, a weekly post in which I, Erik Henriksen, tell you what you should watch this weekend! I will continue doing this post until you have watched everything you should watch.

I regret to inform you that we're still in stupid January, which is a garbage month for garbage people, and a month that's generally full of new movies that are garbage. Which hey, reminds me! Have you heard about M. Nighty Shyamalan's Glass?

Glass is a pretty-but-emptily-ponderous mess, its sole accomplishment being a near-total waste of whatever goodwill Shyamalan had left after spending the better part of a decade as a punchline. As an act of pure regression, it is nearly flawless, with all his worst filmmaking instincts shamelessly indulged—especially his crippling, all-consuming addiction to "The Twist."

So speaketh Mercury Calendar Editor Bobby Roberts, and I see no reason not to trust his keen judgment on this matter.

In brighter news, the Northwest Film Center's annual Reel Music series starts up today, with the Mercury's Ned Lannamann, Ciara Dolan, and Robert Ham taking a look at the music-centric offerings. Read more about Reel Film here.

And then there's Destroyer, the latest from Karyn Kasuma. As Lannamann writes,

Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, The Invitation) directs this bleak, bleary LA noir about a damaged cop (Nicole Kidman, under layers of de-prettifying makeup) tracking down the leader of a crime ring in which she spent months undercover. Told through fractured timelines, Destroyer occasionally clicks as a feminist interpolation of typically male-dominated anti-hero detective tropes, and there are some truly electric moments, including a bank-heist shootout and a cameo from Bradley Whitford as—what else?—a shitweasel lawyer. But Kusama makes this a character study foremost, at the expense of the supporting characters and the story’s more interesting genre elements.

As far as streaming goes, you've got not one but two documentaries about 2017's disastrous Fyre Festival (more on those soon!), and in terms of repertory screenings, you have Mean Girls at the Academy Theater and some Miyazaki films at OMSI—Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, The Cat Returns, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, and my favorite, Princess Mononoke. Hey! Maybe things aren't so garbage-y after all!

(Things are still garbage-y.)

(But Princess Mononoke's great.)

Read more of the Mercury’s award-winning* movies and TV coverage! For movie times, click here.

*Not actually award-winning

Good Morning, News: President Reportedly Told Cohen to Lie to Congress (UPDATED), and Other "Trump Crimes of the Day"

Stay up to date on Portland news and politics. Looking for fun? Here are the best Things to Do in Portland today.

In my defense, I didnt want Cohen telling the truth to Congress.
"In my defense, I didn't want Cohen telling the truth to Congress." Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Come on baby just party with me, let loose and set your body free. Leave your situations at the door, so when you step inside jump on the floor. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Democrats are rightly furious after a Buzzfeed article reported that the president ordered his fixer Michael Cohen to lie to congress about Trump's pre-election real estate deal with Russia. If true, many are calling this his most serious crime to date (and that's really saying something). UPDATE 7 pm: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued a very rare statement saying that "specific statements... regarding Michael Cohen's testimony" made in the original Buzzfeed article are "not accurate." Buzzfeed has asked the special counsel to reveal which statements he is disputing and, for now, are standing by their story.

According to the government, Trump's horribly cruel child separation policy took 2,700 migrant children from their parents—but now we're learning that it could have affected thousands more.

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Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 3: Wild Child

Peter Lovera
I know it feels like January out there, but trust me, Pickathon season is just about to start heating up. The lineup announcement party takes place this weekend, and here to get you in the mood is the latest video from our Pickathon Starlight Series, in which we spotlight the nocturnal after-hours performances of the Starlight Stage, filmed late at night after the main stages call it a day. Today's episode features Austin, Texas band Wild Child and their sultry rendition of "Expectations."

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