★ Bubba Ho-Tep
Throughout history, cinema has told many great stories—stories that revolutionize cultures, that meditate upon emotion and philosophy, that attempt to define what it means to be this thing we call “human.” All of those stories are shit compared to Bubba Ho-Tep, a film in which Elvis (Bruce Campbell) and JFK (Ossie Davis) fight an evil mummy in a retirement home. ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.
The Dark Crystal
Following The Empire Strikes Back (specifically the realization of Yoda, who gave the best performance in that film), creative genius Jim Henson saw his chance to go for broke and realize one of his biggest dreams: a big budget, straight-faced, pseudo-realistic muppet epic. Unfortunately, The Dark Crystal falls short as a story—it’s dumb and boring, two things a fantasy film should never be. But it excels as a testament to the unparalleled levels of craft and care Henson’s crew put into making the film. You don’t watch because of its quality as a fairy tale. You watch because it’s Henson at his visual peak. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
★ Jules and Jim
In honor of Jeanne Moreau’s passing, the Hollywood screens François Truffaut’s 1962 classic named for the two male sides of a World War I-era love triangle, but the film completely belongs to Moreau, achieving its place in film history because of her arresting performance, and Truffaut’s then-innovative (and still engrossing) means of documenting it. Hollywood Theatre.
If movies about benignly dysfunctional families are a fast-track to crying for you, prepare yourself for Gillian Robespierre’s Landline, which stars Edie Falco and Jenny Slate. This thing reduced me to a puddle—but as any enthusiastic movie crier can attest, while it may have looked horrible from the outside, I was actually having a really good time. And you will too, especially if you also loved Robespierre’s last film, Obvious Child. MEGAN BURBANK Various Theaters.
Carly Rae Jepsen is in this movie. Well, her voice is. Nobody’s in the movie because it’s yet another rubbery looking CG animated things for kids, although this one’s from France, so maybe there’ll be something visually interesting about it. Anyway, my point is: Carly Rae Jepsen is a nice person. She makes great pop music. She should be a monster star. But no, here she is, third banana in some anonymous cartoon turtleheading out the ass-end of an August wasteland. If you care about your kid, skip this shit and make ‘em really listen to E•MO•TION instead. It’s good, and good for them. BOBBY ROBERTS Various Theaters.
★ Logan Lucky
“I just don’t think movies matter as much anymore, culturally,” infamously unpredictable filmmaker Steven Soderbergh told the Guardian in 2013—one of the many legit reasons he gave when he announced he was quitting movies forever. So naturally, four years later, the infamously unpredictable Soderbergh has a new comedy—Logan Lucky, a movie that aims to undermine Hollywood’s traditional distribution model, a movie whose screenwriter may or may not exist, and, most importantly, a movie that’s a goddamn delight. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
Opens Wed, Aug 30. See review in next week’s Mercury. Various Theaters.
Repressed Cinema: Little Shop of Horrors
This isn’t the Rick Moranis and Steve Martin musical version of Little Shop—this is a rare 16mm print of the 1960 Roger Corman original, which is cheaper and darker. It’s still a comedy, of course—there’s no way this works as legitimate horror—but know that it’s a little meaner, and a lot less melodic, before you purchase that ticket. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
★ Spring Breakers
Here are some of the problems you may have with director Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers: (1) The young college gals depicted in the film invite degradation upon themselves with voracious, proud abandon. (2) Plotwise, there’s probably less here than meets the eye. (3) Spring Breakers may make you come to the sudden, surprising realization you have a big stick up your ass. This is one hell of a polarizing film, and as someone who’s sick of stale Hollywood product, I loved it. Part of NW Film’s Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series, preceded by a local short film. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Hotel DeLuxe.
★ Stand by Me
I never understood why Oregonians built an entire cottage industry around worshipping the annoyingly shrill and hyperactive ’80s “classic” The Goonies when just one year after that cloying mess of a film opened, Stand by Me was released—a smaller-scale Oregon adventure with a much better story, starring much better actors, playing much deeper characters, striking emotional notes much more varied than Goonies’ two-tone dirge of “AAAAAH” and “EWWWWW!” But if I had to guess why Stand by Me—despite being a better film than The Goonies in every measurable aspect—doesn’t have annual festivals in its name, it’s probably because Lard-Ass hosting tours of the barf-o-rama tent and the watering hole where Wil Wheaton had leeches stuck to his balls doesn’t make for a great tourist trap. BOBBY ROBERTS Clinton Street Theater.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, August 25-Thursday, August 31, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.