Banff Mountain Film Festival: The UO Outdoor Program hosts the touring version of the international film competition — which screens mountain-centric films that range from documentaries to spoofs — for the 12th year in a row. This year’s selections include a film about tracing the literary footsteps of Farley Mowat; Take a Seat, about a guy, a tandem bike and his quest to find strangers to peddle with him; and Ten: A Cameraman’s Tale, a behind-the-scenes look at freeride filmmaking. 7 pm Thursday, April 22, and Friday, April 23 (different schedule each night), McDonald Theatre. $12, $10 stu.
Behind the Lens: Ongoing DIVA/LCC seminar continues its April series of the films of Elia Kazan with 1957’s A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau in the story of a drifter discovered by a radio producer in rural Arkansas. 7 pm Tuesday, April 20, DIVA. $3.
Brutal Beauty: Derby girls are badass, and the proof is abundant in Chip Mabry’s documentary about Portland’s Rose City Rollers. One season provides structure for the film, as an underdog team tries to win it all and the all-star travel team sets their sights on nationals. Unrated. David Minor Theater.
Cop Out: Which is more interesting: Kevin Smith’s buddy cop movie, or Kevin Smith’s Twitter freakout about critics not liking his buddy cop movie? Your mileage may vary. Stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Made more money than any of Smith’s previous films. Dear universe, stop bashing Zack and Miri. I liked that one. Movies 12.
Death at a Funeral: Yes, that title looks familiar. This is a wide-release remake of the smaller 2007 British flick about the family secrets (and misplaced bodies, according to IMDb.com); it’s now directed by Neil LaBute (oh dear) and stars Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Tracy Morgan, James Marsden, Martin Lawrence and Regina Hall. Peter Dinklage sticks around from the first version. R. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
From Paris With Love: Poor, pretty Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays James, who has a great life as an ambassadorial aide in France — until he gets promoted and paired with Charlie Wax (John Travolta), a “trigger-happy, wisecracking loose cannon” who might be the only way for James to survive being the target of a crime ring. Directed by the dude who made Taken. That explains a lot. R. Movies 12.
It’s Still Elementary: Documentary shows as part of a series of screenings and panels about the impact of homophobia in education. At 6 pm, a panel discusses Sexual & Gender Minority Access to Education; the film, about the students and teachers from It’s Elementary (which gave adults lessons on how to talk to kids about gay people), screens at 7 pm Tuesday, April 20, 175 Knight Law, UO. Free.
Kick-Ass: To my disappointment, this film is not entirely about Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), the pint-size ass-kicker who starred in the first red-band trailer, but about Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson), a kid who decides he’s going to be a superhero. Lack of superpowers isn’t going to stop him. Nerd power quotient: It’s based on a comic by Mark Millar (Wanted), directed by Matthew Vaugn (Stardust) and co-stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad’s McLovin’) and Nicolas Cage (who named his son after Superman). R. 117 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
My Fair Lady: The classic Audrey Hepburn film about the transformation of a Cockney girl into a high-society lady screens at 1pm Wednesday, April 21, Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield. Free.
North Face: In 1936 Germany, a team of hikers take on the north face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps; the state wants to raise its reputation in the world. The climbers have their own agendas — and so do two Austrians also trying to reach the top. “The result is terrifically suspenseful even if one already knows the outcome,” said J.R. Jones in the Chicago Reader. Not rated. 126 min. Bijou.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: High schooler Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) has his life changed right up when he finds out Poseidon is his pops. At Camp Half Blood, he meets other demigods and winds up on quite an adventure. I mean, it’s no small potatoes when your nemesis comes from the Underworld. PG. Movies 12.
Pirate Radio: Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) directs the story of eight British DJs who unlawfully broadcast rock ‘n’ roll from a boat in the North Atlantic in the 1960s. With Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Night, Rhys Ifans and Nick Frost. R. David Minor Theater. (11/19/09)
Runaways, The: Kristen Stewart is Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning is Cherie Currie, and reviews are mixed of this biopic about the ’70s teen rock queens behind “Cherry Bomb” — and their “Svengali-like” manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon, outstanding in Revolutionary Road). Directed by Flora Sigismondi. R. 109 min. VRC Stadium 15.
Super High Me: Comedian Doug Benson, inspired by Super Size Me, decides to go without pot for a month — then spend an entire month high as a kite and see what effects the endless inhaling has on his body and mental state. The film mixes Benson’s experiment with his stand-up routine and a bit of history about California’s drug laws; it’s all a bit muddled, but it’s also relatively funny. 9:30pm Tuesday, April 20, as part of the 4/20 party at David Minor Theater. (5/1/08)
Sustainable Table: Mischa Hedges’ documentary involved nine months of traveling the West Coast, talking to farmers, nutritionists, activists and others in order to explore the flaws in our food system. 7 pm Thursday, April 15, Memorial Union Journey Room, OSU, Corvallis. Free.
Town Called Panic, A: The first stop-motion animated feature selected to show at Cannes, this fantastically odd French film follows three toy figurines, Horse, Cowboy and Indian, as stranger and stranger things happen around their country house. Bizarre, outlandishly funny and endlessly, inventive, Panic is the oddest thing I’ve seen in years. Not rated. 75 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Video Slam: April entries to the monthly short video contest screen; audience members select the winner, which will be included in a year-end best-of slam. 7 pm Wednesday, April 21, DIVA. Free. See divacenter.org for details on submitting videos.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted.
Alice in Wonderland: It should’ve been perfect: Burton, Depp, Alice! But the elements don’t quite mesh (and the 3D is mostly color-muting and distracting) in Burton’s semi-sequel, in which an older Alice (Mia Wasikowska) tumbles back into Wonderland, where she’s needed to slay the Jabberwock. (The Frumious Bandersnatch is much cooler; what’s original about making the Jabberwock into a dragon?) Nice turns from all, but a slight disappointment. PG. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Avatar: James Cameron’s latest multi-hundred-million gamble — a sci-fi tale about an ex-Marine whose consciousness is put into an alien body, leading to all kinds of conflict and realizations about the worlds — is so ideologically slippery, everyone who’s seen it has a convincing argument for why their take is the right one. It’s pretty, and it’s tired. Academy Awards: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects. PG13. Movies 12. (12/24)
Big Lebowski, The: Dude! Revisit now-Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges’ superb turn in the Coen brothers classic. David Minor Theater.
Blind Side, The: Sandra Bullock stars as a rich Southern lady who takes in a homeless African-American kid who becomes a star footbal player. Tell me you see the problems with this. “What The Blind Side offers is a kind of liberal Hollywood version of conservative values: all rock-solid valor, all the time,” said Entertainment Weekly. Academy Award: Sandra Bullock, Best Actress. PG-13. Movies 12. (1/7)
Book of Eli, The: Bring on the apocalypse, man. Between this, Legion and … some other movies about the end of the world, we’re clearly in the middle of a trendlike thing. Anyway. Denzel Washington kicks ass and carries a bible as the one man who carries a hope for the future. With Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. R. Movies 12.
Bounty Hunter, The: Just don’t. Jennifer Aniston as a bail-jumper? Gerard Butler as her bounty hunter ex who’s gotta bring her back? Do you believe in any of this? Do you believe this movie should’ve been made? PG13. 110 min. Eight percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Clash of the Titans: Kraken or no kraken, Sam Worthington in a skirt or Liam Neeson with funny facial hair, the fact is, this movie is directed by the guy who made the moderately abysmal The Incredible Hulk. Just keep that in mind. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Date Night: Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are a totally ordinary couple whose date night runs out of control when they steal a table at a fancy restaurant. With James Franco and Mila Kunis as the couple whose table it was, and Mark Wahlberg as a dude who doesn’t wear a lot of shirts. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Dear John: I’ve no idea why Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog) is directing this schmaltzy-seeming adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. None. The becoming-ubiquitous Amanda Seyfried plays an idealistic college girl who falls in love with a soldier (Channing Tatum) when he’s home on leave. PG13. Movies 12.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: This adaptation of the bestselling book follows a poor kid having a crap time in middle school. So, like most of us, then. “A jaunty and forthright production,” said Entertainment Weekly. PG. Cinemark.
Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson (Rushmore) steps into the animated world with this adaptation of the Roald Dahl book about a thieving Fox (George Clooney) who gets himself in a battle with three nasty farmers (the leader of whom is voiced by Michael Gambon). Anderson’s stop-motion world is delightful, but the film feels a little distant. PG. 88 min. David Minor Theater. (12/3)
Ghost Writer: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall star in the latest from director Roman Polanski, about a ghostwriter hired to complete the memoir of a former British prime minister. “A dark pearl of a movie,” said the L.A. Times. Not rated. Cinemark.
Green Zone: It stars Matt Damon and is directed by Paul Greengrass, but this isn’t a Bourne movie; it’s a story about the early days of the war in Iraq. Damon plays a man sent to find WMDs. How well do you expect that’s going to go? R. 115 min. VRC Stadium 15.
Greenberg: Ben Stiller stars, in writer-director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale)’s latest, as a fortyish, do-nothing fellow whose attempts to reconnect with old friends fall somewhat flat — while the time he spends with his brother’s (younger) assistant (Greta Gerwig) seems to have potential. R. Bijou. (3/25)
Hot Tub Time Machine: Four dudes (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke) get wasted, get in a hot tub, pass out — and wake up in 1986 (does John Cusack get to re-do his old movie roles?). “It’s fun, it’s sad, and it’s kind of sad that it’s so much fun,” wrote A.O. Scott in The New York Times. R. 100 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
How to Train Your Dragon: I hear from trustworthy sources that this movie is 100 percent great. It’s about a young Viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who thinks he’d rather befriend dragons, his people’s longtime enemies, than kill them. Good call, kid. That’s a cute dragon you got there. PG. 98 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The: The latest film from Terry Gilliam arrives under a dark banner; it includes Heath Ledger’s last role. The fantastical film tells the story of a traveling theater owner who made a deal with the devil a very long time ago, and another deal less long ago — one that’s about to cause some problems. PG-13. 122 min. Movies 12. (1/14)
It’s Complicated: Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give) — recently the subject of a fawning and grating NYT Magazine profile — tells yet another story of the romantic problems of the rich and middle aged. Here, Meryl Streep is caught between her amorous ex (Alec Baldwin) and her architect (Steve Martin). R. Movies 12.
Last Song, The: Miley Cyrus stars as a sullen teen sent to spend the summer with her estranged, nice-guy pops (Greg Kinnear), though she’d rather stay in the big city. They find something to bond over, and everyone’s hearts grow two sizes that summer. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Letters to God: A sweet kid with cancer writes daily letters to God; the letters wind up changing the life of a cranky postman. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Repo Men: Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are the men who pay you a call when you don’t pay the bill for your fancy, expensive designer organs. When Jude gets a new heart, he finds himself on the other side of the chase. R. 111 min. Movies 12.
Sherlock Holmes: Guy Ritchie (Snatch) turns out what’s said to be a steampunky Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.), in which Holmes is kind of a badass and has a hot Watson (Jude Law), an entertaining nemesis (Mark Strong) and a mystery to solve — that threatens all of England, of course. With Rachel McAdams. PG-13. David Minor Theater. Movies 12. (12/31)
Spy Next Door, The: Jackie Chan defends neighborhood kids from some bad spies. With George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus and Amber Valletta. PG. Movies 12.
Valentine’s Day: People in L.A. live crazily overlapping lives. I learned that from Short Cuts and Crash. Here comes Valentine’s Day, in which couples experience the ups and downs of love, to reiterate this fact! The cast of Garry Marshall’s film includes Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Patrick Dempsey and his Gray’s Anatomy costar Eric Dane, Queen Latifiah, Taylor Swift and more. PG-13. Movies 12.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
David Minor Theater
David Minor Theater and Pub 762-1700 | 180 E. 5th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall