★ MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday-Thursday, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.
★ 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Every once in a while, the Hollywood Theatre busts out a shockingly pristine 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey—and for cinephiles, seeing Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece on the big screen, sitting in a sold-out and awed audience, is about as good as moviegoing gets. Now the Hollywood is showing 2001 again, but this time with a brand new print—one that’s been photochemically restored by none other than celluloid fanatic Christopher Nolan, who’ll start pontificating about how much better film is than digital given the slightest provocation. (Seriously. Across the pond, his ears probably just pricked up, somehow knowing we mentioned it.) Rather than discuss the extensive restoration process, Nolan’s using this spruced-up 2001 to remind people how much better movies can look when projected from actual film. “[The restoration discussion] tends to obfuscate the greater truth, which is that photochemical is a much higher-quality image format,” Nolan told Variety. “Showing people prints in the cinema is the way you best make that point, and if you could choose one movie to try to show that to people, it would be 2001.” ERIK HENRIKSEN Hollywood Theatre.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
You need to be at Ant-Man and the Wasp ON TIME. The sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man comes in hard on a tender, relevant flashback that shouldn’t be missed. The scene’s weird placement suggests it was added at the last minute to catch-up confused audiences: While Ant-Man and the Wasp is fun, funny, and exciting, it also runs the risk of being incomprehensible to those uninitiated in the ways of Marvel. The 20th(!) film in Marvel’s decade-long franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp will delight loyal fans with obscure superhero references, but it’ll also completely lose anyone who haven’t seen the majority of the 19 Marvel films that have preceded it. SUZETTE SMITH Various Theaters.
A rare screening of Wang Xiaoshuai’s 2001 award-winning drama, which survived less than 25 days in American theaters and was completely banned in China for four years—not for violence or sexuality, but for its frank look at class struggle in the country. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
CHASING EVEL: THE ROBBIE KNIEVEL STORY
Jesse James Miller’s documentary about the life of daredevil Robbie Knievel and the toll on his life taken by both stunts and the time spent toiling in the shadow of his father. Director in attendance. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
Pixar’s Coco handles the subject of death with humor, lightness, and depth. The “Coco” in question is the oldest living relative of the film’s young protagonist, Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), but the story is driven by Miguel’s passion for becoming a musician—and the conflicted relationship he has with his family, who label music as “bad” for reasons he has yet to learn. JENNI MOORE Champoeg State Heritage Area.
GAUGUIN: VOYAGE DE TAHITI
Édouard Deluc presents this story of famed artist Paul Gauguin, who believed himself underappreciated in his time (1891) and thus stormed out of Europe in a pouty huff (leaving behind a wife and five kids) to find inspiration and rejuvenation in Tahiti. In his case, “inspiration and rejuvenation” meant having frequent sex with a 13-year-old girl, painting her naked, and getting drunk on the self-congratulation of how “exotic” he was being. Maybe instead of watching Vincent Cassel waste his time in this shitbag’s wrinkled skin, bring up Netflix and watch (or rewatch) Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette special, especially if you’re interested in examining the detrimental social effects of superficially celebrating bad men’s acclaimed art. Fox Tower 10.
★ GRINDHOUSE FILM FESTIVAL: THE CAR
The Hollywood Theatre’s monthly celebration of the down-and-dirty side of ’70s cinema presents a rare 35mm print of 1977’s The Car, a film that might have gotten lost in the dust of Star Wars and Smokey and the Bandit were it not for the ahead-of-its-time concept of demonically possessed homicidal automobiles (Stephen King’s Christine wouldn’t take over the world for another six years), and the clever bit of promotional hucksterism that saw Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey personally bless the star of the film—not Thanos’ dad James Brolin (who does decent work as a beleagured small-town sheriff who must singlehandedly defeat said mass-murdering car), but the film’s remarkably malevolent-looking 1971 Lincoln Continental. As with most grindhouse fare, it’s never as exciting (or good) as your mind’s eye wants it to be, but for a dusty, ugly, no-holds-barred mutation of Spielberg’s debut Duel, it hits the spot. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Surely this edition of Top Down: Rooftop Cinema won’t be packed full of highly stoned Chappelle fans softly giggling to their favorite lines in a rippling five-second radius both before and after they’re recited onscreen. But if it is, it won’t be the jokes you’ll want to pay attention to—it’ll be the quiet times between punchlines, when a weeded mind will wander, and you can practically hear the musings occurring inside the myriad collection of blown heads: “Could you imagine Swole Dave being in this movie now?” “Jesus Christ, remember Jim Breuer? I wonder why we never got a Goat Boy movie....” “So that’s where BooThisMan.gif came from!” BOBBY ROBERTS Portland State University Parking Structure 2.
If you’re not comfortable with the very real possibility that you’ll be drenched in sweat and cowering in the fetal position by the end of Hereditary, perhaps this is one cinematic experience you should skip. But you’d be missing out—writer/director Ari Aster’s feature debut might be one of the most beautiful and nauseating horror movies ever made. CIARA DOLAN Various Theaters.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
Dracula’s back—and he’s hitting the beach! Or fucking whatever the fuck, we’re not looking it up. Various Theaters.
★ INCREDIBLES 2
What Incredibles 2 sacrifices in cohesion and heart it makes up for with action and comedy, enhanced by director Brad Bird using animation to do things that live action just can’t. He opens Incredibles 2 with back-to-back set pieces that quickly put the previous film’s finale in the rearview; he closes the film with a team-based triumph that any three X-Men flicks combined couldn’t compete with; and when he goes for the gag (which is often), it feels like Chuck Jones-era Looney Tunes via classic-era Simpsons. Incredibles 2 isn’t as good or affecting as the original, but it is prettier, louder, faster, and funnier. BOBBY ROBERTS Various Theaters.
INGMAR BERGMAN: A CENTENARY CELEBRATION
This is the final weekend of NW Film Center’s tribute to an absolute legend of cinema, Ingmar Bergman, including one of his most personal films (Fanny and Alexander), as well as lesser-seen triumphs, all digitally restored by Janus Films and the Swedish Film Institute. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
Robin Williams was a treasure, as seen by how readily people still hitch up in their chests at the mere mention of his name. His ability to lend gravitas to any role, no matter how silly, was evidence of a near-bottomless well of sincerity and humanity packed into one very hairy body. Unfortunately, this gift wasn’t always judiciously used by storytellers, resulting in many severely imbalanced, cloying cinematic messes. This happened a lot in the ’90s, with Steven Spielberg’s Hook, Chris Columbus’ Bicentennial Man, Barry Levinson’s Toys, Francis Ford Coppola’s Jack, and Joe Johnston’s shrieky, cacophonous Jumanji, which at least has the good sense to trample as fast as it can past its flat, annoying characters with frequent, destructive bursts of not-quite-ready-for-prime-time CGI. Many a self-described ’90s kid holds this garbage close to their heart. They also think Space Jam is good. What I’m really saying here is that ’90s kids—and their lukewarm nostalgia—are not to be trusted. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
This is a movie bursting with bugfuck shitbird INSANE ideas, but to its credit, it commits to all of them. Here is a list of things in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that you will think I am making up to fuck with you, but I assure you, I am not: A Scooby Doo mansion full of seeeeecrets! Multiple baby dinosaurs engaging in multiple cuddling scenarios! Evil Russians buying weaponized dinosaurs! (Timely!) Elder abuse! A jailbreak that relies on a head-butting Pachycephalosaurus?? Murrrrderrrrrr. A Trump-quoting mercenary who collects dinosaur teeth... so he can make himself a pretty necklace! A CLONE?!?!?! ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
★ LEAVE NO TRACE
If you lived in Portland in 2004, you remember it: The discovery that, for years, a father and daughter had been living in Forest Park in an undetected campsite. They were eventually found and housed by the authorities, but soon disappeared again. The story inspired a novel, My Abandonment, written by Reed College creative writing professor Peter Rock, and that book has been adapted into a compassionate, graceful movie by Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik. NED LANNAMANN Cinema 21, Hollywood Theatre.
MAQUIA: WHEN THE PROMISED FLOWER BLOOMS
A special screening of Mari Okada’s unique anime fantasy that blends the themes of longing, motherhood, and melancholy with gorgeous visuals. And also robot dragons. Century Clackamas Town Center, Hollywood Theatre, Wilsonville Town Center 9.
Both Nancy the character (Andrea Riseborough) and Nancy the film live in a vacuum where it doesn’t actually matter what’s true and what isn’t. The focus is more on the sadness that inspires people to lie, both to each other and to themselves. Yet while Nancy’s drama can feel real and intense, the film’s ultimately more frustrating than mysterious. Very little actually happens! CIARA DOLAN Fox Tower 10.
★ OLLIN: SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM SERIES
A film series presented by the Latino Network, “dedicated to exploring social justice themes through film” and featuring post-screening panel discussions. This week’s film: Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America, Rodrigo H. Vila’s 2013 documentary about the life and influence of the woman who helped popularize the nueva canción music and social movements. Hollywood Theatre.
THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING
Mila Turajli’s latest documentary is part family memoir and part Serbian history, starting with the end of Tito’s regime and ending in the present day, using Turajli’s mother’s public political activism as the focal lens. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
★ RE-RUN THEATER: CRIME STORY & WISEGUY
How the hell does Re-run Theater follow up yet another successfully wine-cooler-drunk and pastel-as-hell ViceFest celebration? By changing the channel to something way grimier: back-to-back episodes of Wiseguy and Crime Story. Once Miami Vice proved cop shows were a great vehicle for lending the boob tube a little cinematic credibility, networks were like, “We need more of that shit!” Miami Vice producer Michael Mann was happy to oblige via his ’60s-set serial drama Crime Story, starring Dennis Farina as a cop named... fuck, I forget what his name was, but he was basically just Dennis Farina, which is enough. Simultaneously, a mafia show called Wiseguy hit screens, which was supposed to be centered on well-coiffed slab of balsa Ken Wahl, but quickly became Kevin Spacey’s big break, as he instantly stole the whole series as a malevolently creepy deviant (ahem). One could make the case you don’t get to NYPD Blue or The Sopranos without either of these shows—don’t expect that level of quality. But for a pair of ’80s-era cash-ins, there’s a lot to like. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
It’s in Skyscraper—the latest in a streak of big-budget high-concept Dwayne Johnson blockbusters—that he finally claims Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mantle. Not in terms of body count or catch phrases, which are relics of another era. (Sorry, The Expendables.) What Skyscraper represents is an absurd action movie that simply couldn’t justify its existence without Johnson’s presence. He’s an enormous charisma engine; drop him into a shiny plastic shell, and suddenly you’ve got a vehicle. BEN COLEMAN Various Theaters.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
Ever since Disney gave George Lucas a $4 billion check in exchange for all things Star Wars, the squallingest sections of fandom have repeated the same whining complaints whenever a new Star War happens: “It’s pandering fan service!” “They’re milking our nostalgia!” “They’re turning Star Wars into Marvel!” This cynical cacophony usually comes from pissbabies who don’t remotely know what the fuck they’re talking about, but get this: All of those things are 100 percent true for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And yet: It’s fitting that Solo, a film about a charming dipshit who succeeds despite his dumbassery, is still a very entertaining movie! Much like its plot, Solo shouldn’t work. It doesn’t work. It wins anyway. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater, OMSI Empirical Theater.
★ SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
It says a lot about the regressive state of America in 2018 that perhaps the only effective way to inject a pro-union theme into a movie is to cloak it in an outrageous, surrealist, science-fiction-tinged dark comedy. Not that Sorry to Bother You restricts itself to a single “message”—writer/director Boots Riley, of hip-hop group the Coup, has made a dense, dizzy pageant of social commentary and sheer what-the-fuckery. It’s an angry screed against racism, capitalism, violence as entertainment, and economic inequality, but it’s also hilarious and wholly unique. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
★ SPIRITED AWAY
Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography is an embarrassment of riches, each movie an almost-perfectly sculpted work of magic, wonder, action, and emotion. Spirited Away is the master at his most whimsical—but what separates Miyazaki from most storytellers is that he can (and often does) wield whimsy like a scalpel. Something as airy and light as Spirited Away would be not much more than an empty confection in even the best director’s hands. But Miyazaki, working without a script (!), weaves a modern fairy tale so affecting that for many, his story of a 10-year-old girl on a mystical journey to free her parents is still the best—and most human—animated film ever made. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
★ THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
If Three Identical Strangers were a book, it would be the kind of page-turner you devour in a single weekend. Unlike most paperback potboilers, though, Three Identical Strangers’ bizarre, emotional rollercoaster lingers with you—and not merely because it all actually happened. Tim Wardle’s documentary ends up taking viewers to a very dark place, and, even as it remains a compulsively watchable and digestible experience, it refuses to offer the kind of clear-cut resolution we demand from mysteries. NED LANNAMANN Living Room Theaters.
UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB
God, how awesome would it be if it turned out this was the pee tape? It won’t be, it’ll just be another low-budget by-the-numbers slash-’em-up cranked out of the Blumhouse sausage factory. But, man, what if.... Various Theaters.
For many film fans (aficionados, snobs, jerks, insert your descriptor of choice here,) Alfred Hitchcock ceased being a person decades ago, and instead became a cinematic religion, his silhouette as important as the shape of the cross or Superman’s emblem. Consensus on his best film is almost never reached among that zealous flock, but they can agree which film lays bare the man behind the icon: Vertigo, an icy, immaculate depiction of the fetishistic mess that was Hitchcock’s brain, which he might as well have just simply poured into a projector. Screens in 70mm. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
A documentary that answers more questions than I knew I had about Whitney Houston’s life, from her religious upbringing to how she was groomed by her musical family, and from her meteoric rise to the top of the charts to her spectacularly sad struggle with drugs—a struggle that, unfortunately, overlapped with parenthood. It’s a lot, and Whitney’s two-hour runtime can feel padded with superfluous info and context, even when it doesn’t have a ton to do with its subject. (Sit down, Berlin Wall!) The real meat is found in the extensive, heartfelt interviews with Houston’s family members, including the evil enabler Bobby Brown (boo, hiss), as well as touching, never-before-seen footage of Houston herself, being very human. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Was Fred Rogers—the writer, producer, and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—really a soft-spoken, sweet-tempered man? Spoiler alert: Yes, he was! Finally, one single thing has escaped your childhood without scandal! SUZETTE SMITH Cinema 21, Cinemagic, Hollywood Theatre.
Nope. No drug use going on at this screening. No, sir. Academy Theater.