Steve McQueen stars in this 1958 horror classic about ravenous slime bent on consuming the planet. Of all the things that escaped the 1950s to resonate through the history of pop culture, this film’s legacy is one of the most potent. You don’t even have to have seen it to buy into it. You just have to be willing to tap into that childlike mental state that suggests the floor is lava, there are monsters under the bed, and amorphous gelatin from outer space is gonna find you and eat you the fuck up. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
The Bye Bye Man
A PG-13 horror movie released in January, with a press screening after the Mercury's deadline. Draw your own conclusions. Various Theaters.
Friday the 13th Double Feature
Every time the 13th day of any month lands on a Friday, people’s thoughts turn to Jason, that charming murderer of oversexed ’80s teens. This Friday is just such a Friday, and the Hollywood wants to scratch that killing itch with back-to-back 35mm screenings of the first two films in the looooooooooong-running slasher series—neither of which are much like the Jason movies you probably have in your head. Friday the 13th Part 2 features Jason rocking a burlap sack and a jaunty jog when chasing camp counselors, and he’s only in the original Friday the 13th for maybe about 20 seconds. But: Young Kevin Bacon gets his shit wrecked with something pointy, so there’s that. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
King: A Filmed Record—From Montgomery to Memphis
A digital restoration of Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1970 documentary, using testimonials from well-known supporters (including James Earl Jones, Ruby Dee, and Paul Newman) to supplement the mountain of archival footage tracing the man’s arc from regional activist in the ’50s to leader of the Civil Rights movement in 1968. Hollywood Theatre.
“See, it’s called Monster Trucks because not only is it about a monster truck, but there’s a monster in the truck! Get it! It’s a ‘monster truck!’ Ha! Yeah, I thought it was pretty clever, t—wait. Wait. I get to write a Star Wars movie now? Really? Oh shit, Episode IX? Who’s directing it? Oh, the guy who ended Jurassic World by having Bryce Dallas Howard in heels outrun a T-rex? How could any of this possibly go wrong? And to think it all started right here, with my genius screenplay for Monster Trucks, a movie about a monster in a truck!” —Derek Connolly, screenwriter, Monster Trucks. Various Theaters.
The latest based-on-a-true-story thriller from Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg is about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and, in the proud tradition of Underworld: Blood Wars, is the second film of 2017 to not be screened for critics. Various Theaters.
Queer Commons: Summer Storm
This month’s installment of the Hollywood’s queer-focused series is Summer Storm, about a pair of best friends on the school rowing team who spend a summer on the cusp of an important realization for the both of them. Hollywood Theatre.
Rebellion & Revolution: The Battle of Algiers
Where’s the line? When a reality TV villain wins the presidency, and news reads like dystopian science fiction, the line between fiction and reality gets blurry. And when—and if—we manage to unplug, entertainment gets dicey: Is it okay to enjoy HBO’s soap operas while the world goes to shit? Where’s the line between letting ourselves engage with art and forcing ourselves to pay attention to the real world? The truth, of course, is that there is no line—art feeds on reality, and reality is affected by art. Which brings us to the Hollywood Theatre’s timely film series Rebellion & Revolution: Insurgent Cinema. This week: The 1966 Italian neorealist saga The Battle of Algiers. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.
Almost 40 years in, Northwest Film Center’s annual Reel Music film festival continues its methodology of “more is more,” cramming two-plus weeks with more music documentaries than any person can realistically see. More at nwfilm.org. NED LANNAMANN NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
Silence, which is perhaps Scorsese’s most overtly religious movie, is self-recommending: It’s a nearly three-hour film about Portuguese missionaries in post-feudal Japan, and a slow meditation on the nature of one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Based on that description, you’re either all in or all out. If you’re in, you’re lucky, because Scorsese has some really interesting questions to pose to you. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
Hey, it’s Jamie Foxx! Been awhile since we saw Jamie Foxx, hasn’t it? Looks like he’s in “badass undercover compromised cop” mode in this movie, like he was back in 2005 when he made Miami Vice with Michael Mann. Which is—if I may—a really misunderstood, highly underrated, good fuckin’ crime flick. Actually, yunno what? Maybe you go see this remake of a (probably better) French movie getting dumped in theaters without any press screenings in the middle of January, sure—or maybe you track down a copy of Miami Vice and rediscover one of the better thrillers of the 2000s, and the last legitimately good thing Michael Mann ever made. BOBBY ROBERTS Various Theaters.
Sonic Cinema: Sad Vacation
The Hollywood’s music film series presents a documentary about the infamous “romance” of Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious, featuring interviews with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls, Walter Lure of the Heatbreakers, Howie Pyro of D Generation, Kenny Gordon of Pure Hell, and more. Hollywood Theatre.
Studio Ghibli Film Retrospective
People talk about Pixar when they discuss artistic and financial dominance in the film industry, but Pixar ain’t got shit on Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s animation empire responsible for roughly 73 percent of all the world’s current magic. From January 12-22, OMSI’s Empirical Theater devotes its screen to Ghibli’s features and little-seen shorts, including Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso, and more. Of all the film festivals that will hit Portland in 2017, this one’s gonna be hard to top. More at omsi.edu. OMSI Empirical Theater.
Underworld: Blood Wars
Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth entry in the dimly lit vampires-vs-werewolves franchise, is the first one where I generally understood what was happening. It's still a mediocre rehearsal of genre conventions, and pointless—the story hinges on everyone trying to extract information from someone who doesn't have it—but at least it's coherent. Super-vamp Selene (Kate Beckinsale), though considered a traitor for reasons I do not recall but which seemed valid, is summoned to vampire HQ to help train soldiers to fight the newly revitalized werewolf army. That's if the vampires can stop fighting among themselves, which they can't. Vampire hunk David (Theo James) is on Selene's side; ambitious coven leader Semira (Lara Pulver) schemes campily with her lover/stooge Varga (Bradley James); all are unaware of the double- and triple-crosses that await them. Directed by first-timer Anna Foerster, the action is negligible, the dialogue forgettable, the thrills rare and fleeting. Can't wait for part six! ERIC D. SNIDERVarious Theaters.