Eugene Weekly : Movies : 1.22.09



Films open the Friday following date of EW publication unless otherwise noted. See archived movie reviews.

Opening or returning:

Dark Knight, The: Christopher Nolan’s second take on the alter ego of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), who has a new nemesis in the Joker (Heath Ledger, earning whispers of a posthumous Oscar nod), is both an enthrallingly entertaining summer action movie and a complicated moral tangle. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. PG13.152 min. Movies 12. (7/24/08)

Day the Earth Stood Still, The: Keanu Reeves stars as an alien whose arrival on earth seems like pretty bad news for humanity. Cool effects! Jennifer Connelly! High hopes! Lukewarm reception. PG13. 92 min. Movies 12.

Directed by Steven Spielberg: Film series begins with E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, which needs no introduction here but will be preceded by a brief talk from a UO grad student. 6 pm Thursday, Jan. 29, 180 PLC, UO. Free.

Frost/Nixon: Ron Howard directs this look at the 1977 interview in which David Frost (Michael Sheen, still resembling Tony Blair after his role in The Queen) took on Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in a televised battle of wits. “Involving, engrossing cinema,” said the L.A. Times. R. 122 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Heckler’s Night: Mock along with the rest of the audience as the Goat screens Mortal Kombat. 7 pm Wednesday, Jan. 28, Wandering Goat. Free.

Inkheart: Brendan Fraser continues his odd trend of appearing in kid-friendly fare with this story of a girl and her father and a family ability to read things out of books. A nasty fellow (played by Andy Serkis) gets out, of course. With Helen Mirren and Paul Bettany. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Persepolis: Marjane Satrapi’s fantastic graphic novel memoir makes its way to the screen directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud — and seems to leap straight from the page. Moving, smart, funny and compelling, the story follows young Marjane as she grows up in troubled, tumultuous Iran, then goes to Vienna as a teen to escape the fundamentalist rule. PG13. 95 min. 7 pm Sunday, Jan. 25, Wandering Goat. Free. (1/31/08)

Rachel Getting Married: Anne Hathaway’s getting all the glory, but it’s the entire cast that comes together to make this movie ­ about a recovering addict whose appearance at her sister’s wedding is the catalyst for a lot of confrontation — something special. Imperfect and a bit clichéd in parts, but still worth seeing. R. 113 min. Bijou. (11/6)

Repo: The Genetic Opera: This horror musical about a repo man who collects unpaid-for organs — a nasty job, but he’s got to take care of his sick daughter — has one of the stranger casts in recent history: Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Paul Sorvino and Sarah Brightman. And Paris Hilton, just for good measure. R. 98 min. David Minor Theater.

Revolutionary Road: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (who won a Golden Globe for this role) reunite, years after Titanic, in this adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel about the demise of a marriage in 1950s suburbia. Sam Mendes directs, returning to the American ‘burbs years after American Beauty. “It is honorably and brutally unnerving,” said The New Yorker. R. 119 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Squeegee Bandit: Sándor Lau’s documentary explores the life of Starfish, a Maori man in Auckland, New Zealand, who struggles to make ends meet by window-washing at interesections, and wrestles with demons in the rest of his life. A worthwhile look at an unfamiliar segment of a lesser-seen part of the world. 7 pm Friday, Jan. 23, and Satuday, Jan. 24, DIVA. Q&A with Lau to follow each screening. $5.

Swedish Film Series: The series continues with Elvira Madigan, a film based on the true story of a Swedish army officer and his relationship with a Danish circus performer. Directed by Bo Widerberg. 91 min. 7 pm Friday, Jan. 23, 177 Lawrence, UO.

Transporter 3: Jason Statham continues filling his pockets by playing Frank Martin, who, um, transports stuff. Excuse me: He transports a hot woman. Again. Also, it may be dangerous. And he may fall for her. Seriously, should I keep going? PG13. 100 min. Movies 12.

Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans: Whoa, weird. Michael Sheen’s second film to open in Eugene this weekend (the other being the slightly more hotly anticipated Frost/Nixon) is the third in the series about vampires and werewolves; Sheen is Lucian, a werewolf, who faces off with vampire Viktor (Bill Nighy) while romancing Viktor’s daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra, picking up the hotness where Kate Beckinsale left off). R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Wrestler, The: Darren Aronofsky continues making films that seem exactly the opposite of anything he’s done before (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) with this rough-and-tumble story of a pro wrestler (Mickey Rourke, in a Golden Globe-winning role) and his relationships with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and his daughter. R. 105 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.



Appaloosa: Ed Harris directs and stars as Virgil Cole, a lawman hired (with Viggo Mortensen’s Everett Hitch) to bring “vigilante entrepreneur” Jeremy Irons to justice. Renée Zellweger costars as just about everyone’s love interest at one time or another. Solid and effective work from the director of Pollock. R. 116 min. David Minor Theater. (10/9/08)

Australia: The latest from Baz Luhrman (Moulin Rouge!) concerns an uppercrust Englishwoman (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a farm in northern Australia before WWII. With the help of a cattle driver (Hugh Jackman), she protects it from a takeover, but bigger problems are on the way. PG13. 165 min. Movies 12. (12/4/08)

Bedtime Stories: Adam Sandler’s world goes wacky when the tales he spins for his niece and nephew start to come true — or so he thinks. It’s not all up to him, though. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

Beverly Hills Chihuahua: A Taco Bell commercial stretched out to feature length with a paper-thin plot about a rich girl (er, dog, voiced by Drew Barrymore) who needs to get home from scary Mexico? Ugh. PG. Movies 12.

Bride Wars: Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson play friends who really can’t be that great of friends, seeing as they get into a raging catfight over their mutual favorite wedding location. This preview is almost as embarrassing as the one for Confessions of a Shopaholic. What gives? PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Burn After Reading: The Coen brothers follow up the dark No Country For Old Men with this comedy about an ex-CIA spy’s memoir that falls into the hands of a couple of gym employees. With George Clooney, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt. R. 96 min. David Minor Theater. (9/18/08)

Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The: David Fincher (Fight Club) takes a different direction with this story of a man (Brad Pitt) who is born at the age of 80 and ages backwards throughout his life. Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and costarring Cate Blanchett. PG13. 159 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

Defiance: In this WWII flick from Edward Zwick (Glory), Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell play brothers who fight back against the Nazis, hiding out in the forest and protecting refugees. R. 137 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Four Christmases: Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are a couple whose sneaky evasions of family holiday duties backfire when … oh, it’s complicated. But then they have to visit ALL their parents! What fate could be worse? PG13. A paltry 82 min. Movies 12.

Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a bigoted veteran who finds himself in a reluctant friendship with a Hmong kid and his family. “A rueful comedy of enlightenment,” said The New Yorker. R. 116 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (1/15/08)

Hotel for Dogs: Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew) is one of two siblings who have to give up their dog when they’re taken into a foster home — but the resilient kids turn an empty building into a dog hotel for their dog and others. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Last Chance Harvey: Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson star in the grown-up love story of a grumpy fella and a lonely woman, each with their own troubles, who come together in a London airport bar. PG13. 92 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: The critters that escaped from New York in 2005’s Madagascar return for the inevitable sequel — though it’s getting better reviews than sequels usually do. With the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and David Schwimmer. PG. 89 min. Movies 12.

Marley and Me: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are the owners of one very badly behaved dog in this adaptation of John Grogan’s bestselling book. Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada). PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

Milk: Gus Van Sant’s biopic about Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the country’s first openly gay elected official, is earning glowing reviews; “Milk is a marvel,” says The New York Times, while The Village Voice says, “Milk is so immediate that it’s impossible to separate the movie’s moment from this one.” With Josh Brolin, James Franco and Diego Luna. R. 128 min. Bijou. (12/11/08)

My Bloody Valentine 3D: The lone survivor of a coal-mine accident keeps waking up from his coma to kill people; the guy who caused the accident returns, in an obvious moment of brilliance, to the small town where it all went wrong — on the same day the terrible things all happened! No way! R. 101 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Notorious: P. Diddy produced this biopic about the Notorious B.I.G., played by Jamal Woolard. “A rock-solid biopic,” said Variety. With Derek Luke and Angela Bassett. R. 100 min. Cinemark.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop: It’s all there in the title. And probably in the preview. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Quantum of Solace: Daniel Craig returns in the first real Bond sequel; this picks up shortly after the end of Casino Royale, and Bond is still stinging from that movie’s close. Actually, if you’ve seen Casino recently, it’ll be a blessing (because you’ll remember what it has to do with this muddled tale) and a curse (because you’ll remember how much better it was). PG13. 106 min. Movies 12. (11/20/08)

Reader, The: Kate Winslet plays a woman having an affair with a 15-year-old; years later, it becomes clear that the affair was likely not the worst of the former S.S. guard’s actions. Directed by Stephen Daldry and written by David Hare, who last worked together on The Hours. R. 123 min. Cinemark. (1/8)

Role Models: The latest from David Wain (Stella, The Ten) concerns two men (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) forced to do some unexpected growing up when they find they’ve got to take part in a mentoring program — or go to jail. Costarring McLovin (er, Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and the always fantastic Jane Lynch. R. 99 min. Movies 12. 

Slumdog Millionaire: The latest from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) is a Mumbai-set fairy tale about life and the pursuit of love and happiness via Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (it’s not quite as simple as that maybe sounds). Slumdog is long on setting and its tangled plot is creative, but it’s short on emotional resonance, though its young actors are solid. R. 120 min. Bijou. (12/18/08)

Tale of Despereaux, The: A tiny, heroic mouse with big ears undertakes a complicated journey in a medieval world. Based on the Newbery Medal-winning book by Kate DiCamillo, and starring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane and Dustin Hoffman. G. Movies 12.

Twilight: That sound you hear is the screams of Twilight fans whose beloved novel (by Stephenie Meyer) is arriving in cinematic form. It’s the story of vampire Edward (Robert Pattison), his human beloved, Bella (Kristen Stewart), and their extremely-chaste-yet-beset-by-inhuman-trials romance. PG13. 122 min. Cinemark. (11/26/08)

Unborn, The: Signs and portents lead a young woman to discover she had a twin who died in the womb — and who wants to be born, like, now. There’s also a family curse. Of course. With Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman and Idris Elba. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Valkyrie: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) directs this WWII flick about Claus von Stoffenberg (Tom Cruise) and a plot to murder Adolf Hitler. With Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard and Terence Stamp. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

Yes Man: Jim Carrey is the man who says “Yes.” And he says it to all sorts of things. Not even the moment when he and costar Zooey Deschanel dress up in Harry Potter costumes can save this film from its own blandness. PG13. 104 min. VRC Stadium 15. (12/24/08)

Zack and Miri Make a Porno: The latest from Kevin Smith concerns two longtime friends (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) who figure they might be able to solve their money problems by making an adult film. No big deal, right? Unless you start realizing you actually like the other person. R. 101 min. Movies 12. (11/13/08)


Use the links provided below for specific show times.

Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th

David Minor Theater
David Minor Theater and Pub 762-1700 | 180 E. 5th

Regal Cinemas
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center

Cinemark Theaters
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall