If Hitchcock’s Vertigo collided head-on with a drag queen variety show, the brilliant wreckage would be Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education. RYAN DIRKS Fifth Avenue Cinema.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
Even if the film doesn’t hit all the notes it wants to hit, even if it overstays its welcome while constantly wearing a faint sheen of sweat from trying just a little too hard to be everything to everyone, it’s worth sitting down and taking in all of 1976’s Bingo Long because its collection of talent is still something to behold: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, and Ken Foree? Come on. That’s one stacked cast, and all in their prime, to boot. There are much, much worse ways to spend a weekend afternoon. BOBBY ROBERTS Hollywood Theatre.
Cinema Project: Abstraction, Difference & Presence: The Work of Jean-Paul Kelly
Cinema Project takes its last bow, closing out 13 years of presenting interesting and adventurous avant-garde cinema from around the world. For its final screening, Jean-Paul Kelly will discuss his explorations of materiality and perception. NXT Industries.
A Cure for Wellness
Regardless of how you want to describe it—or what genre you think it fits into—A Cure for Wellness is haunting, gorgeous, and masterfully disgusting. BEN COLEMAN See review, this issue. Various Theaters.
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Hey, look. A movie about Portland and fluoride. Clinton Street Theater.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Of the multiple miracles of modern filmmaking that occur throughout the runtime of Eternal Sunshine—including such feats as “Jim Carrey underplays things,” “Kirsten Dunst isn’t annoying,” and “Michel Gondry doesn’t twee his movie to death”—the most notable is this sci-fi tragedy about a broken relationship is maybe the most poignantly romantic film of the last 25 years. BOBBY ROBERTS Academy Theater.
Fifty Shades Darker
At one point during the screening, the chatty lady behind me blurted out, “OH, SO WE’RE NOT STICKING TO THE BOOK AT ALL.” She sounded mad? So if you care, there you have it. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
ARE YOU A PUSSY? NO! FIST FIGHT TIME. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! PUNCH! FIGHT! WHO’S A BITCH? YOU’RE A BITCH! AND A PUSSY. MEN ARE PUSSIES AND BITCHES. I’M GONNA FIGHT YOU IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY. NUTS DROPPING. AGGRESSIVE BLACK MAN = FUNNY TROPE OR IRONIC REFLECTION? TRACY MORGAN CAN PUNCH TOO. OR ARE RACE RELATIONS IN FIST FIGHT PERHAPS PRESENTING A LARGER SOCIAL MESSAGE? NO! DON’T BE A PUSSY! See review, this issue. Various Theaters.
I Am Not Your Negro
Working off an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin, director Raoul Peck creates a brilliantly absorbing history of American racism, bolstered by Samuel L. Jackson’s impassioned narration. Screens at the Hollywood Theatre as part of the Portland Black Film Festival ANDREW WRIGHT Cinema 21, Hollywood Theatre.
John Wick: Chapter 2
BANG! BANG BANG BANG BANG! BANG. BANG BANG BANG!! John Wick shoots so many bad guys in John Wick: Chapter 2! You probably think you know how many bad guys John Wick is going to shoot. You saw the first John Wick! He shot a lot of bad guys in that! BUT LISTEN. I have been placed on this terrible planet to tell you this one thing: You have no idea how many bad guys John Wick is going to shoot in John Wick: Chapter 2. Take the number you think it’s going to be—it doesn’t matter what it is, it could be 100 or it could be 49,697—and then multiply it by ∞. You are now closer to comprehending how many bad guys John Wick shoots in John Wick: Chapter 2. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
The Lego Batman Movie
Let’s start with the good: There’s finally a Batman movie you can take the kids to! The Lego Batman Movie follows up 2014’s surprisingly wonderful The Lego Movie by focusing on that cinematic universe’s version of Batman, a growling, too-cool-for-school badass voiced by Will Arnett. Like the first Lego Movie, Lego Batman bursts at the edges of the screen: It’s goofy, chipper, fast moving, and colorful, and the antithesis of any other Batman movie made this millennium. Now for the bad: The Lego Batman Movie may be geared a little too much toward kids. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.
The Lure works on a few different levels. On one hand, it’s a sexy Polish horror musical about savage mermaid sisters trying to eat people. (Everybody who’s into that already has their ticket.) But dig a bit deeper and The Lure is what I wish films were more often allowed to be. Agnieszka Smoczyska’s debut is original and beautiful, and it showcases powerful, charismatic women. SUZETTE SMITH See review, this issue. Cinema 21.
Match Cut Movie Club
A mystery screening series: Buy a ticket, be surprised. Past selections have included Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner and Coppola’s The Conversation. More at matchcutmovieclub.com. Living Room Theaters.
Planet Earth II
2016 wasn’t all one unending parade of disappointments and losses suffered in a relentless, soul-crushing chain. There were good things scattered amongst the detritus of our shattered hopes. For instance: Remember that one viral video of a little lizard dude who outran, like, forty bazillion snakes all trying to eat him the fuck up? Remember that? It was basically the best action thriller since Aliens. Well, that video came from Planet Earth II, the sequel to the most amazing nature documentary ever made. The victory of that little lizard dude (one of the only victories 2016 recorded at all) is but one of the compelling tales Sir David Attenborough has in store for the next few Saturdays. BOBBY ROBERTS BBC America.
Portland Black Film Festival
What a wonderful "Happy Black History Month" gift to us from David F. Walker, the Portland Black Film Festival’s curator. "Don’t be afraid of movies that might actually engage you," says Walker. "We have been emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually damaged and injured, especially in the last several months. Here’s an opportunity to start healing ourselves." Also see Pam Grier—and a Whole Lot More—at the Portland Black Film Festival” [Film, Feb 8]; complete schedule at hollywoodtheatre.org. JENNI MOORE Hollywood Theatre.
Portland International Film Festival
Has sitting in the dark and temporarily saying goodbye to reality ever seemed like a better idea? Whatever your leanings may be, the Northwest Film Center’s 40th Annual Portland International Film Festival has you more than covered. Featuring over 160 features and shorts, this year’s PIFF lineup offers healthy, yuge doses of compelling fiction, strange facts, and pure escapism. Also see “PIFF Notes” [Film, Feb 8]; complete schedule at nwfilm.org. ANDREW WRIGHT Laurelhurst Theater, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, February 17-Thursday, February 23, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.