Best of the Northwest Film & Video Festival 10 films showing off the best of the latest Northwest Film Center's Film & Video Festival. Whitsell Auditorium

BEST OF DENNIS NYBACK See Destination Fun, pg. 15. Clinton St. Theater

Bewitched To say that director/writer Nora Ephron's new incarnation of the TV show Bewitched is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen is an insult to the other movies I've accused of being big pieces of shit. Poor Nicole Kidman stars as Isabel Bigelow, a real-life witch who wants a shot at living life the way mortals do. Poor Will Ferrell stars as Jack Wyatt, a has-been actor who's starring as "Darren" in a TV remake of Bewitched. After discovering the untrained Isabel, Jack shoves her into the Samantha role, and promptly falls in love with her. Complications ensue when you discover you're sitting through the worst movie ever made, and you forgot to bring along a knife with which to slit your wrists. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Bring Your Dog to the Movies Day The Clinton St. hosts 90 minutes of classic films about dogs, and the first 50 dogs to arrive will be able to accompany their owners into the theater to enjoy the show. Plus: Free organic dog biscuits. Also plus: Probably a lot of dog shit. Clinton Street Theater

Dark Water See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Devil in a Blue Dress Denzel Washington, as private detective Easy Rawlins, gets caught up in scandal and mystery in 1948 L.A. PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Do the Right Thing Hey, remember when Spike Lee made good movies? Refresh your memory with this, Lee's great film from 1989 about a racially tense NYC neighborhood on the hottest day of the summer. PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Eros See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

Fantastic 4 See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Fiorile Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's film retells the story of a Tuscan family that was originally known as the Benedetti ("blessed"), before becoming the Maledetti ("cursed"). Then they moved to America, said the hell with it, and changed it to "Smith." Guild

Heights Heights is completely indefensible as a genuinely quirky or intelligent film, despite its pretensions to the contrary (which are legion). This does not, however, keep it from being totally awesome. Premise: In preparation for an exhibit in New York City, a famous gay photographer asks his assistant to interview all of his former models. Said photographer, who never actually appears in the film, is notorious for fucking all of his subjects, so these interviews open a big ol' can of hot, slutty worms. There's a little too much screen time devoted to Elizabeth Banks' bland, blonde rich-girl character (Banks is, essentially, Parker Posey lite), but otherwise this is a fun film, full of pretty people doing trashy things. (Alison Hallett) Howl's Moving Castle The latest from genius Japanese anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. A young girl, Sophie, is transformed into a hunched, wrinkled old woman--confused and frightened, she hobbles out to the misty countryside, hoping to find Howl, an enigmatic young wizard who might be able to help her. To proselytize: Go see it, right now. To use what sounds like hyperbole, but isn't: It's amazing. (Erik Henriksen) The Journey of Natty Gann A Depression-era girl (Meredith Salenger) rides the rails to meet up with her father in California. Featuring John Cusack! And Scatman Crothers! Pix Patisserie

Jungle Fever Spike Lee's 1991 film about interracial relationships. Featuring Samuel L. Jackson as a crackhead! PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Kicking & Screaming Unlike its very funny star, Will Ferrell, Kicking & Screaming isn't very funny. Kicking offers family friendly jokes and trite morals--there's hardly ever an excuse for Ferrell to indulge in his madcap, absurdist, self-deprecating comedy. No, here Ferrell has other priorities: Namely, trying to invigorate a tired clich of a plot, which has a coach making a bunch of adorable loser kids into adorable winner kids. (With its bland suburban setting, whitewashed characters, and annoying kids, Kicking was apparently made only so Beaverton's families can take a two-hour break from their real life existences of bland suburbia, whitewashed neighbors, and annoying kids.) (Erik Henriksen) Avalon , Kennedy School

Kung Fu Hustle The latest from Hong Kong's superstar director and star Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Hustle is all over the map: It's part slapstick, part hokey drama, part action extravaganza, and part cartoon--and Chow blends all of these seemingly disparate parts to make a nearly perfect comedy. (Erik Henriksen) Avalon , Laurelhurst
, Kennedy School

Land of the Dead Land of the Dead isn't that great compared to George A. Romero's previous zombie classics. Here, Romero imagines a zombie-infested world where the richest survivors (led by a happily amoral Dennis Hopper) live in safety and luxury, while the poor live in ground-level slums, fetching supplies for the rich and fending off the undead. There's fun, and there's gore, and there's Romero's usual mix of horror and biting social commentary. But throughout, there's something more distressing: Optimism. It's a sensation at odds with Romero's typical nihilism, and even his intense fright sequences and pitch-black humor can't counteract a too-easy plot and a sappy ending. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Layer Cake Neophyte director Matthew Vaughn doesn't steer too far from the neo-British gangster/heist film genre with this one, and considering I'm the only person under the age of 31 who didn't like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, I wasn't expecting to enjoy Layer Cake. But I did. Daniel Craig stars as an unnamed London dope distributor (he's credited as "XXXX") who's hoping to retire. His last assignment, of course, is a snafu waiting to happen, and XXXX soon discovers that you can never leave the business--or if you do, it won't be when or how you decide. What distinguishes Layer Cake is that it avoids making its characters caricatures. As a result, the film escapes becoming a Ritchie--or even a Tarantino--knockoff and is content for what it is: A good crime thriller. (Will Gardner) Fox Tower 10 , Westgate

MACTARNAHAN'S OUTDOOR SUMMER CINEMA SERIES Every Friday and Saturday this summer, Mac's presents free films--plus "BBQ, beer, wine, and outdoor libations"--in Pyramid Breweries' Taproom parking lot! This Friday: So I Married an Axe Murderer. This Saturday: Dodgeball. Oh, and bring your own chairs. Pyramid Brewing

Mad Hot Ballroom Enjoy watching this documentary about Puerto Rican children who compete for first place in a do-or-die ballroom dance competition between New York public schools. Witness a little kid who can't speak English woo the crowd with his scandalous Cuban motion. See elementary schoolers dance. Feel simultaneously proud and jealous. (Evan James) Man with the Screaming Brain See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre

Me and You and Everyone We Know A wildly heartbreaking movie that manages to be both sweet and dark in the same breath. Written and directed by ex-Portlander Miranda July (who also stars), Me and You has been on my mind almost nonstop since I saw it. At the heart of the movie are all-too-human individuals creating their own private rituals, rules, and architectures that allow them to create meaningful relationships with other people and the world around them. The characters, all marvelously acted, include a recently divorced shoe salesman, two shy brothers who spend time in adult chat rooms, a young video artist whose day job is driving senior citizens around, and a pair of teenage girls toeing the line sexually with an older man. Every character in the film is flawed and beautiful, lonely and graceful. With nearly every scene packing a dazzling emotional punch, Me and You and Everyone We Know is one of the richest, most delicate, and rewarding movies I've seen in years. (Chas Bowie) Cinema 21

Melinda and Melinda Woody Allen's latest has a promising premise: Two playwrights (Larry Pine and Wallace Shawn) discuss the situation of Melinda (Radha Mitchell), an unstable, travel-worn woman who unexpectedly arrives at her friends' Upper East Side apartment. One playwright envisions Melinda's background as a tragedy, while the other invents a comedy. Allen looks at both, and the film delineates the playwrights' respective takes, essentially making two films. Since he's been toying with comedies and tragedies for decades, Allen here has the perfect chance to capitalize on his proficiency in both genres. But while Melinda and Melinda is theoretically two Allen films for the price of one, its sum is far less than even one of Allen's past masterpieces. (Will Gardner) Fifth Avenue Cinemas

Microcosmos: The Films of Ryan Jeffery One of Portland's multimedia artists, Ryan Jeffery, presents his short films and music videos. Whitsell Auditorium

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith is exactly like spending two hours with two gorgeous-ass boring people, without even a chance of lackluster eye-candy sex. For shit's sake, the super-hunky Brad Pitt (John Smith) and perfectly pouty Angelina Jolie (Jane Smith) don't even bother to hump onscreen. If you've seen the preview, you get the joke. John and Jane Smith are both assassins, although neither knows their spouse is one, too. It's stupid, boring, and totally predictable. (Katie Shimer) Regal Cinemas, etc.

My Summer of Love Ordinarily, I hate teenagers. But when they're two fascinating/evil/sassy/silly British chicks who're caught up in red wine, Ouija boards, and a lesbian love affair, well... that's a different story. (Marjorie Skinner) Mysterious Skin Mysterious Skin is about pedophilia, a topic which is about as played as Columbine. Neil (the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun) and Brian (Brady Corbet) have both been victims of sexual abuse by their creepy baseball coach. Neil is morose because of his past, and goes for a life of clichd and boring hardship. Brian reconciles what happened by believing he's been abducted by aliens. Eventually, the two boys come together and reach some weird sort of peace. (Katie Shimer) Hollywood Theatre

Night of the Shooting Stars This Cannes-approved film from Paolo and Vittorio Taviani depicts a young mother telling her infant child about how she tried to escape from the Nazis. Sounds like a lovely bedtime story. Guild

Oldboy Min-sik Choi stars as the utterly unextraordinary Dae-su Oh, who, without warning or reason, is abducted and imprisoned in a tiny room. Inexplicably waking up on the roof of an apartment building 15 years later, Dae-su discovers he has only five days to unravel the knotted mystery of his imprisonment. Chan-wook Park's brutally euphoric film is an appropriately surreal, bloody, and surprisingly moving story of vicious revenge and shocking mystery. It's not an easy film to watch, but it is a great one. (Erik Henriksen) Hollywood Theatre

Rebound Martin Lawrence plays Coach Roy, a college basketball coach whose temper on the court gets him banned from the league until he can demonstrate compliance. He does this by agreeing to coach a junior high school team, turning the ragtag squad of losers into team players, and everyone transcends to celluloid levels of well adjusted, principle-centered living. Rebound is so cut-and-paste that I'd rather recommend it for use in a commercial screenwriting class than mock its transparency. The plot moves like clockwork, and also refreshing is Rebound's lack of emotional depth: Every conflict is resolved in under a minute, proving that well-worn emotional manipulation techniques can be therapeutic, at least when offered at a machine-gun pace. (Evan James) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (21+) For the first time, the Clinton St. will make beer (from the Clinton St. Brewpub) available for this adults-only Rocky Horror. Clinton Street Theater

Rosewood John Singleton's film about a small town in Florida where racist whites start a war against their black neighbors. Starring Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, and Jon Voight. PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Saving Face Seattle native Alice Wu's amiably low-key debut suffers a bit from the standard crowd-pleasing rom-com conventions, but stays afloat due to some effective wisecracks and the unforced, charming lead performance of the gorgeous Michelle Krusiec. (Andrew Wright) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants seemed to have all the comfortable trappings I've come to expect in vapid tween fodder. Imagine my surprise, then, when halfway through this episodic coming-of-age story a rather startling sentiment began to emerge in my mind: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is fucking delightful--it's a perfectly contrived teen heart-tugger, and a surprisingly enjoyable watch. (Zac Pennington) Regal Cinemas, etc.

The Swamp Lucrecia Martel's film about two decadent Argentinian families surviving an "uncomfortably hot and humid" February in the north of Argentina. Whitsell Auditorium

Twilight Zone Marathon Submitted for your approval: A 12-hour-long marathon of classic Twilight Zone episodes. It's $15, and you need to bring your own chair/sleeping bag/whatever, and there'll also be beer, wine, and various foodstuffs available--plus free popcorn, coffee, and a continental breakfast. Man... 12 hours. That's a lot of Rod Serling. Call 225-4400 for more info or to buy tickets. Garbero's

The Upside of Anger The Upside of Anger makes an all-too-blatant grab for the award-friendly glory road well-plowed by the likes of American Beauty and Terms of Endearment, yet is nearly redeemed by a cast that wrings out every last bit of potential from the formula. After being abandoned by her husband, a brittle housewife (Joan Allen) strikes up a boozy relationship with the scruffy ex-jock next door (Kevin Costner). Since you're going to eventually end up seeing it anyway, best to shrug off the flailing stabs at higher meaning and enjoy it for what it gets right: Two fine, yet often neglected, actors teeing off on a series of telegraphed pitches and repeatedly knocking the damned cover off of it. (Andrew Wright) Laurelhurst

Venzuela Bolivariana: People and Struggle of the Fourth World War A documentary about the Bolivarian Revolution in Venzuela, which according to the filmmakers, transcended national frontiers and contributes to "the fight against neoliberalcapitalism." The screening benefits an Oregon delegation of kids going to Caracas, and music, refreshments, and silent auctions (and possibly a discussion on what the hell "neoliberalcapitalism" is) will precede and follow the film. Musicians Hall

War of the Worlds War of the Worlds is a nearly non-stop barrage of incredible set pieces. The stunning, otherworldly, and almost tangible imagery Spielberg creates leaves little doubt as to either his talent or intentions: He's a goddamn genius, and he wants to scare the shit out you. Which he does, and which makes it suck all the more that ultimately, War of the Worlds adds up to nothing. It's a film that bears all the markings of a truly extraordinary filmmaker--and has all of the meaning and impact of a movie cranked out by anyone else. (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen An unequivocally great music documentary on the SoCal punks the Minutemen. Between archival footage of late vocalist/guitarist D. Boon and the loving recollections of a now-grandfatherly Mike Watt, it's nearly impossible not to be smitten with the subjects, whose insular language fueled the impenetrably personal politics of the band's discography. Ultimately, We Jam Econo is a warm, earnest, easily lovable tribute to one of punk's most earnest and easily lovable bands. (Zac Pennington) Mission Theater