Bright Star: Jane Campion (The Piano)’s new period drama stars the astounding Ben Whishaw (Perfume, Brideshead Revisited) as John Keats, and tells the story of the intense love affair he had with the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). “Bright Star satisfies a hunger we may not have known we had,” wrote the L.A. Times’ Kenneth Turan. PG. Bijou.
Couples Retreat: Four Midwestern couples — among them Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell and Malin Ackerman — head off on a group retreat to a couples resort where couples therapy turns out to be necessary. Directed by Peter Billingsley, aka that kid from A Christmas Story. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Edge of Never, The: Documentary tells the story of 15-year-old Kye, who is urged by a skiing icon to take on the ski route in Chamonix, France, that killed his father, an extreme skiing legend, years before. 7 pm & 9:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 10, David Minor Theater. $15.
Eugene International Film Festival: The annual event returns to the VRC Regal cinema with more than 75 shorts and features from around the world, including several from the Northwest. Screenings begin at 3 pm Friday, Oct. 9, and continue through Sunday evening; for complete schedule, see www.eugenefilmfest.org. Tickets range from $8 per screening to $75 weekend pass.
(500) Days of Summer: Oh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If only this movie were as good as you are in it. A quirky sorta-romance with a carefully created indie aesthetic, Marc Webb’s feature debut has a lot of charming offerings, but suffers from an ill-defined female character, played as if from a distance by Zooey Deschanel. PG-13. 95 min. Movies 12. (8/6)
G-Force: Talking guinea pigs save the world! Or whatever. Is this just an entire film capitalizing on the animation used to create that creepy-eyed creature in the godawful Bedtime Stories? PG. Movies 12.
G.I. Joe: Oh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, why are you in this movie? It’s based on toys, not screened for critics, and the trailers make people laugh. I think some stuff blows up, too. Movies 12.
Horror and the Horrific: Four-week UO film series kicks off with Halloween, 6 pm Thursday, Oct. 15, 180 PLC, UO. Free.
Journey to India, A: The UO’s Mills International Center hosts this series, which continues with Outsourced, which stars Josh Hamilton as a call center manager who has to travel to India to train his replacement when his job is outsourced (6 pm Thursday, Oct. 8), and Devdas, a film about two children who grow into star-crossed lovers (6 pm Thursday, Oct. 15). Mills International Center, EMU, UO. Free.
Psycho: The original, not Gus Van Sant’s shot-by-shot remake of Hitchcock’s classic film. David Minor Theater.
September Issue, The: R.J. Cutler (The War Room)’s new documentary follows legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour and her team as they create the magazine’s September issue, which in 2007 was a four-pound beast. “A slight, if often riveting, behind-the-scenes documentary,” said the L.A. Times. PG13. Bijou.
Young@Heart: This BBC-funded documentary follows the Young@Heart Chorus as they prepare for a performance in their hometown of Northampton, Mass., working on songs you might not expect a group of octogenarians to perform and dealing with the issues that arise for people of a certain age. PG. 107 min. 2 pm Thursday, Oct. 15, Campbell Community Center. Free. (5/15/08)
Aliens in the Attic: A gaggle of kids on vacation (with their parents, who are oblivious) gotta fight off the alien critters that — shocker! — want to take over the world. PG. Movies 12.
All About Steve: This “comedy” is currently sitting pretty with a 5 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a crossword puzzle constructor (Sandra Bullock) who becomes obsessed with a man (Bradley Cooper) after she goes on one blind date with him. Words used to describe this: “Dreadful.” “Lunkheaded.” “Grimly unfunny.” PG13. Movies 12.
Capitalism: A Love Story: Michael Moore’s latest, a look at the still-ongoing financial crisis, is getting mixed reviews; to some it’s an “emotional attack” and “scattershot and lazy,” while others think it’s moving and energizing. R. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Portland critics were abuzz about this animated kids’ movie, which is apparently far more charming than the previews led us all to believe. Based on the book of the same name, it’s about a town where food, rather than the more ordinary forms of precipitation, falls from the sky. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
District 9: Producer Peter Jackson gets top billing, but this sci-fi film about aliens taking refuge in South Africa is actually the feature-film debut of director Neill Blomkamp. The buzz is beyond good; Blomkamp is already being dubbed one to watch. R. 112 min. Cinemark. (8/20)
Fame: They’re gonna live forever! But they’ll be different! This isn’t a remake, but a reinvention. Which I suspect means they got to modernize Irene Cara’s evilly catchy songs. But it’s still about competition, talent and relationships at a New York performing arts high school. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Hangover, The: This summer’s dirty-fun buzz movie stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinakis and Ed Helms as three guys who have no idea what happened at the bachelor party last night. Where’d that guy’s tooth go? Where’d the baby come from? It’s a really good time finding out. Movies 12. (6/11)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The penultimate Potter tale is a touch complicated: Voldemort is at work in the wizarding and Muggle worlds. Dumbledore needs Harry’s help in many things, including recruiting a new professor to Hogwarts. Students are being attacked, and an old book is full of unexpected information. PG. Cinemark. (7/16)
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell: The Hangover II? Based on Tucker Max’s book of the same name, this classy, progressive film is about a dude who convinces his buddy to go to a “legendary” strip club for his bachelor party. Mayhem ensues. There are barely words for how uninteresting this sounds. R, duh. VRC Stadium 15.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The scrappy critters from Ice Age return: two are having a baby, one might be losing his edge and another needs to be rescued. And then there’s that troubling flying squirrel from the preview… PG13. Movies 12.
Informant, The: The latest from Steven Soderbergh stars Matt Damon as an employee of an agri-business firm who turns informer — sort of; the whistle-blower isn’t entirely forthcoming, it seems. Maybe. Maybe he’s just a little strange. It’s “a return to form for Soderbergh,” says The New Yorker. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Inglorious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s long-anticipated WWII movie stars Brad Pitt as the leader of a group of Jewish soldiers who “engage in targeted acts of retribution” against the Third Reich. “Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun,” said The Village Voice. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/27)
Invention of Lying, The: Ricky Gervais (BBC’s The Office) stars as the man who brings lying to a world in which everyone always tells the truth — and finds fame and fortune in the process. ‘Course, things probably go wrong after that. With Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Jeffrey Tambor. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
It Might Get Loud: Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) directs this documentary about Jack White, Jimmy Page and U2’s the Edge, taking each guitarist to a significant location in his life and setting them to jamming together. “The lore in this documentary will be catnip” to rock geeks, said The New York Times. PG. 97 min. Bijou. (10/1)
Jennifer’s Body: Diablo Cody (Juno) wrote this horror flick about a really hot high school girl (Megan Fox) who turns into a literal maneater. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) is her less sultry best friend, who has to save the boys of their town. R. Cinemark.
Julie & Julia: Julie Powell’s book about cooking her way through Julia Child’s masterpiece comes to screens as a two-part story: One part follows Powell in her Queens apartment, the other Child in France. Cinemark. (8/13)
Love Happens: A superstar therapist (Aaron Eckhart) finally meets the woman (Jennifer Aniston) who might be able to help him help himself. I’m sorry, did anyone else just stifle a slight gag reflex? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Nine: A small community of rag dolls come to life in a post-apocalyptic world, where strange machines threaten their existence. This astonishing-looking animated film is directed by Shane Acker (who previously made a short with the same name). With the voices of Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/17)
Observe and Report: Seth Rogen stars as a mall cop (another one? Really?) who must take down a flasher, try to charm the makeup-counter woman he adores (Anna Faris) and beat the local cops at their own job. Er, I think. R. David Minor Theater. (4/16)
Pandorum: Two disoriented astronauts (Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster) wake up on what seems to be a stranded, abandoned spaceship. What’s gone wrong, and what’s at stake? Something about this gives me Event Horizon flashbacks, except it appears the scope may be larger. R. Cinemark.
Proposal, The: “High-powered” publishing exec Sandra Bullock makes her put-upon assistant (Ryan Reynolds) get engaged to her so she can stay in the U.S. As much as I’m starting to like Reynolds, this is too much ick — and contrived nonsense — for one film. PG13. Movies 12.
Surrogates: In the future, we all control perfect robot versions of ourselves instead of running about in the world with our flawed flesh and blood. And then someone figures out how to kill a person through their surrogate. But don’t worry! Bruce Willis is on the case. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Toy Story 1 & 2 3D: Pixar’s triumphant feature-length debut and its sequel get dressed up in 3D in order to get us all totes psyched for Toy Story 3, which comes out next year. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen: A selection of comments: Roger Ebert: “a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments.” Detroit News: “A great grinding garbage disposal of a movie.” Dark Horizons: “The male teenage cinematic equivalent of snorting cocaine off a hooker’s ass.” Chicago Tribune: “like listening to rocks in a clothes dryer for 2 1/2 hours.” I think you get the point. PG13. 149 min. Movies 12.
Up: In the latest film from Pixar, a crotchety old balloon salesman sends his house into the sky (via balloons, of course) to escape from it all — only to find that he has an unwanted stowaway on his porch. The praise is already flowing — and deserved. PG. Movies 12. (6/4)
Whip It: Ellen Page is a Texas beauty pageantgoer who does pageants for her mom (Marcia Gay Harden). A flyer for roller derby — and Kristen Wiig as a friendly derby girl — change her life entirely. Page is a charmer, as is Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as her best friend, but it’s slightly amazing how a film about this alternative sport manages to get so dressed up in Hollywood predictability. Directed by Drew Barrymore. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Wizard of Oz, The: How I know we’re living in the future: You young’uns no longer have to wait for the one time each year that The Wizard of Oz is on TV. (No, I’m not that old; yes, I remember this!) Go see Dorothy and her friends and enemies like you’ve probably never seen them before. David Minor Theater.
Zombieland: Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) goes back to the amusement park (OK, so the films aren’t related, but it is kinda funny) in this zombie flick that costars Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone (Superbad) and … Abigail Breslin? Little Miss Sunshine fights zombies? I’m in. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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