* The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
The bald and super-muscled Gordon Liu Jiahui plays a Chinese peasant on the run from Manchu oppressors who seeks refuge in the Shaolin Temple. Once inside the temple, the hero must pass through a series of torturous and increasingly challenging obstacles before he can emerge as a monk. See Grindhouse Film Festival, page 49. Hollywood Theatre

After the Sunset
A substandard heist film starring homophobic humor and cleavage shots, co-starring Salma Hayek and Pierce Brosnan. Cat and mouse games and opaquely obvious clichés abound, insulting all but the most idiotic of viewers. (Marjorie Skinner) Regal Cinemas, etc.

The new remake of the '60s free-love classic Alfie is also moderately fun while it lasts, but only because of the juggernaut charm of its leading stud, Jude Law. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Broadway Metroplex, Vancouver Plaza

As Tears Go By
See Dreams + Desire: The Films of Wong Kar-Wai, page 51. Guild Theater

Being Caribou
Two newlyweds follow caribou across the Yukon. Worst. Honeymoon. Ever. (Unless they both really like caribou... wink, wink.) Screens with the short Termites. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Hollywood Theatre

* The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges bowls, says "Hey, man," in a whiney voice, spills White Russian all over himself, and squirts White Russian up Julianne Moore's coot. Blind Onion

* Breakfast at Tiffany's
Based on the book by Truman Capote, Audrey Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, and pretty much sets the standard for any actor who ever wanted to be tragic, whimsical, endearing, and classy all at once. Laurelhurst

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
In Bridget Jones: The Unnecessary Sequel, pathetic, ruddy-faced, obese loser Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) gets pissed off at her dashing lawyer beau, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). They break up, Bridget whines, smokes, stuffs her fat face, and almost hooks up with Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). Then we get back to the Bridget/Darcy romantic crap and basically end up right where we were at the end of Bridget Jones's Diary: The Unnecessary Original. (Katie Shimer) Regal Cinemas, etc.

* British Advertising Awards
British commercials have it all over the Americans! They've got nudity, cruelty, gut-busting humor, and most notably, a lot of rational arguments. I actually think I might quit smoking after seeing the amount of fatty plaque that could build up in my arteries by the time I'm 30; and after seeing the British child abuse commercials, I've been persuaded to stop hitting kids. And while the Film Center's melange of Brit ads wasn't quite as funny as I expected it to be, at least I learned with great certainty the UK number for directory assistance: 118-118. (Katie Shimer) Guild Theater, Whitsell Auditorium

* Chungking Express
An examination of two lovelorn policemen--both recently broken up, and both dealing with their losses in different ways amongst the splatters of neon in director Wong Kar-Wai's Hong Kong. See Dreams + Desire: The Films of Wong Kar-Wai, page 51. Guild Theater

Crackpot Crafters Showcase
Experimental filmmakers create camera-less cinema by drawing on, scratching, and painting celluloid. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

Dennis Quaid gets poisoned and tries to find out whodunnit! (After The Day After Tomorrow, whoever dunnit deserves a medal.) Old Town Pizza

* Death Race 2000
See My, What A Busy Week! page 11. Clinton Street Theater

* A Dirty Shame
John Waters uses his usual subtlety and nuance to take on the world of sex addiction. If you're a Waters fan, you won't be disappointed. If you're not, well... you've been warned. (Michael Svoboda) Laurelhurst

Enduring Love
Joe (Daniel Craig) and Claire (Samantha Morton) have their picnic interrupted by a runaway hot air balloon. Noticing its pilot futilely straining to rescue a 10-year-old inside the basket, Joe races to help ground the balloon. Shortly, other men (including passerby Jed, played by Rhys Ifans) join in the struggle, with little success. Immediately following that stunning opening, Enduring Love starts to lose air; the potentially intriguing story of Joe's post-traumatic stress is trumped by a stalker plot involving Jed. (Will Gardner) Hollywood Theatre

Feminist Film Series
This week: Macho and The F-Word. Macho follows the formation of Men Against Violence, a group inspired by the sex abuse scandal involving Nicaraguan Sandinista leader and ex-President Daniel Ortega. The F-Word focuses on the stigma of the word "feminism" for some women. PSU Smith Memorial Union

The Grudge
Takashi Shimizu redirects his Japanese hit Ju-On into The Grudge, but this haunted house tale stumbles by shifting to a mostly American cast, and the original's pervasive sense of tension has been lost in translation. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

In America
Director Jim Sheridan always turns up the emotion in his films, but at least his earlier movies took place in faraway Ireland. When all this emotion is suddenly close to home and out of its usual cultural environment, it's rather obnoxious and exasperating. (Charles Mudede) Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* The Incredibles
Before you write off Pixar's latest family friendly mega-blockbuster, realize that writer/director Brad Bird and Pixar have made a film so good that criticizing it becomes an exercise in nitpicking. (Erik Henriksen) Everywhere. Resistance is futile.

* Invincible Pole Fighter
When a family's decimated by a Mongol ambush, its survivors must fight--with poles!--to both survive and seek vengeance! Features amazing action sequences, a ton of pole-fightin', and a finale that's guaranteed to make your teeth hurt. Take some aspirin with you. See Grindhouse Film Festival, page 49. Hollywood Theatre

Jus' Call Me Tjarra
A documentary about a fisherman in South Africa. Screens with the short The Woman and the Sea. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* Lady Snowblood
A fucking awesome movie about a woman (Meiko Kaji) who is born and raised to enact vengeance upon those who killed her family. Seriously--it's so fucking awesome that all you'll be able to think as you watch it is "This is fucking awesome!" See Grindhouse Film Festival, page 49. Hollywood Theatre

The Machinist See review this issue. Cinema 21

The Manson Family
A reenactment of sorts that begins with a promising aim: To tell the story of the infamous Manson Family through the perspective of the members themselves. However, apparently the filmmakers didn't bother researching any further than the widely available materials on the subject--The Manson Family regurgitates precisely the same interpretation of the family members that has been stereotyped for decades. (Marjorie Skinner) Clinton Street Theater

* Master of the Flying Guilllotine
The Master of the Flying Guillotine may look like just another old blind coot, in actuality, he's a high-kickin' get-up-and-go grampa who has a flying hat he uses to chop off his enemies' heads! So after receiving news that two of his disciples have been done in by a one-armed boxer, he gets madder than a poodle in a pigpen and storms off to get revenge! See Grindhouse Film Festival, page 49. Hollywood Theatre

Mining? No Thanks!
Canadians try to mine Peruvian land, to the chagrin of the area's residents. The Mercury's money is on the Peruvians--they could kick them mounties' maple syrup-lovin' asses! Screens with the short Water Thieves. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* The Motorcycle Diaries
A duo of medical school friends (Rodrigo de la Serna and Gael Garcia Bernal) ride, push, and carry their motorcycle across Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Peru, generally achieving the kind of good times/bad times adventure balance that all great road trip stories thrive on. After traveling thousands of miles, it's made clear just who Bernal's playing: Ernesto Guevara. (Justin Sanders) City Center 12, Fox Tower 10

My Mother Likes Women
So what? Oh... you mean she likes women that way! Three sisters panic when their mother hooks up, homo-style. Hollywood Theatre

National Treasure See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Pale Male
A documentary about a red-tailed hawk living above Central Park in New York. Screens with the short Temperate Rain Forest. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

The Polar Express
Simply said, this is a movie about a train going to the North Pole for Christmas, with more Tom Hanks than you can shake a Bosom Buddy at. If that's your bag, then go see this sugary, sugary sugar plum. Otherwise, I'm sure Tiny Tim needs his crutch kicked out from under him, Ebenezer. (Lance Chess) Regal Cinemas, etc.

The familiar warm fuzzy that is Ray is pretty much exactly what one has come to expect from the biopic genre: a breezing over of the moments in an extraordinary person's life, all cut-up and mixed about to form some semblance of a "happy ending," with enough tips of the hat to allow every member of the audience a knowing nod of recognition. (Zac Pennington) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Red Lights
A French noir about a husband and wife who, while on a road trip with their kids, decide to part ways after the husband gets totally drunk and insists on driving. After their separation, things get worse. Sounds more like a slice-of-life flick than a film noir, but whatever. Fox Tower 10

First time director and sicko James Wan's Saw is in the same vein as Seven, about an evil, maniacal fuck who's out to teach people a lesson. While the film succeeds in scaring the living shit out of you, it does have some failures--including a bunch of characters you don't care about, a predictable if not entirely obvious ending, and a tendency to take the carnage so far that you might end up laughing. (Katie Shimer) Division Street, Lloyd Cinemas, Vancouver Plaza

Seed of Chucky
This endearingly retarded film has Chucky (voiced by Brad Douriff) and Tiffany (voiced by Jennifer Tilly) having a plastic newborn with an ambiguous doll crotch--appropriately, he's named Glen/Glenda (voiced by Lord of the Rings' adorable hobbit, Billy Boyd). Conveniently, the newly-formed fam ends up at the home of bouncy-chested Jennifer Tilly (played by bouncy-chested Jennifer Tilly) and have to kill personal assistants and rappers. If you aren't a die-hard Chucky fan like me--well, first, screw you, and second, you might want to consider waiting for Seed to hit DVD. (Jenna Roadman) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Seeds of Change
Canadians go to Costa Rica to learn farming techniques. Soon afterward, maple syrup-flavored lettuce revolutionizes salads everywhere. Screens with the short Recreating Eden. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

Self Serve
An installation-based video showcase, brought to you by the Northwest Film & Video Festival. Backspace

* Shaun of the Dead
A sharp, clever, and gory horror-comedy that manages to be as scary as it is hilarious, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead shows all the marks of becoming a classic (and yeah, I know that sounds clichéd--but in this case, it's actually true). (Erik Henriksen) Avalon, Cinemagic, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst, Mission Theater, St. Johns Pub, Valley Theater

* Shogun Assassin
An adorable toddler and his masterless samurai pop go out for vengeance against the corrupt shogunate. Features heart-warming father/son bonding and enough severed limbs to fill a dump truck. See Grindhouse Film Festival, page 49. Hollywood Theatre

Paul Giamatti plays Miles, a would-be writer who accompanies his best friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church) on a weeklong trip through California's wine country for a final bachelor's hurrah before Jack's upcoming wedding. While Sideways is enjoyable, it's ultimately unsatisfying--we watch as Miles and Jack are stripped of all their illusions, but we never find out what they're replaced with. (Alison Hallett) City Center 12, Fox Tower 10, Lloyd Cinemas

Sin Embargo: Never the Less
A documentary examining the recycling and material usage of Cubans. Screens with the shorts Think Twice and Mini Cine Tupy. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Stander See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

* Thanksgiving Kung Fu Marathon
Check our next issue for the specific films playing, but this is the way to spend Thanksgiving. C'mon. What else are you gonna do? Cram your face with gluey stuffing and watery mashed potatoes alongside your overbearing yet emotionally closed-off family? Clinton Street Theater

* Tromadance PDX
Consists of short film submissions, a Troma feature each night, and bands (Friday has Monkeyfur, Dratz!!!, and Jr. Pvt. Detective; Saturday has Dr. Theopolis). And Lloyd Kaufman, head of Troma Films, will be there! Sabala's Mt Tabor Theatre

A panic-inducing documentary examining the evils of the US Patriot Act. Screens with Fox vs. Franken, a documentary about the trade marking of phrases (like "fair and balanced" and "Bill O'Reilly-centric sexual harassment"). (Marjorie Skinner) Guild Theater

Set in the muggy swamps of rural Georgia, Undertow has a vision of the deep, impoverished south that is both tender and sinister. The opening scene conspires to have the main character, Chris (Jamie Bell), jump off a shed and land directly on a rusty nail. Green revels in such squirmy delights-Chris' little brother, Tim (Devon Allen), eats paint and whatever other toxins he can get his hands on, then vomits them up. He's dying by his own volition, but his widower dad, John (Dermot Mulroney), thinks he's just an unhealthy kid. This quirky three-piece family could have carried the movie themselves, but instead Green brings in evil Uncle Deel (Josh Lucas), and everything gets a little more mediocre. (Justin Wescoat Sanders) Fox Tower 10

Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Ken Burns' latest made-for-PBS documentary, about the first black world heavyweight champion. Whitsell Auditorium

Unholy Rollers
See My, What A Busy Week! page 11. Clinton Street Theater

The Venus Theory
A film about global warming that asks if we could ever get as hot as the planet Venus. Screens with the shorts Think Twice and Turn to the Wind. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* Vera Drake
Besides working as a maid, factory worker, and homemaker for her husband and two grown children in '50s London, the beatifically portrayed Vera (Imelda Staunton) performs illegal abortions. When disaster strikes a teenaged patient and Vera gets pinched, the devastation she faces puts the finishing touches on the film's masterful, horrifying recreation. Vera Drake is a remarkable film, with gripping (if occasionally frustrating) acting, and my god is it scary. (Marjorie Skinner) Fox Tower 10

Vultures: The Flying Dustbins
A documentary about vultures, complete with "side-splitting animation" and "tongue-in-cheek narration"! Screens with the short The Great Ball Game. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

Wildlife Warriors
A film about Denmark's eco-friendly army. Sounds like they're a bunch of pansy-ass hippies to us... hey, let's invade Denmark! It'll be easy? Who's with us? Seriously, probably like five or six of us could do it.... Screens with the short Wake Up Call. Selections of the Portland International Nature and Environmental Film Festival. Fifth Avenue Cinemas

* The Yes Men
Artist activists Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum--AKA the Yes Men--specialize in what they call "identity correction," crashing lectures and conferences around the world, sarcastically representing what they feel are the true motives of the organizations--like the WTO--they impersonate. (Marjorie Skinner) Laurelhurst, Mission Theater