Eugene Weekly : Movies : 10.09.08



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

Body of Lies: Ridley Scott’s latest follows a CIA operative (Leonardo DiCaprio) working to infiltrate a terrorist network — after winning the support of a canny CIA vet (Russell Crowe). Looks annoyingly familiar, but The New Yorker says “it has a throat-gripping urgency and some serious insights.” R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Campaign: When Japan’s ruling party chooses an obscure man to run for office, his life is turned upside down. Part of the Politics and Popcorn movie series. 3 pm Sunday, Oct. 12, Downtown Library. Free.

City of Ember: Bill Murray and Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) star in this adaptation of Jeanne Duprau’s novel about a city that exists in darkness, lit by generators, and has for 200 years. But the generators are failing, and a box in one girl’s closet might hold the key to survival. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Duchess, The: A newly married duchess (Keira Knightley) is tempted to turn to her first love (Dominic Cooper) when her husband (Ralph Fiennes)’s many affairs are rubbed in her face. Knightley’s character “is history with a human face,” says R. 105 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Early African American Film Festival: Three days of films that made an effort to portray African Americans “with the same-shared humaneness and humanity as others of the time in which the films were made,” including Cabin in the Sky (1943), 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 14; Song of Freedom (1936), 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 15; and a double feature of Hallelujah (1929) and Stormy Weather (1943), 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 16. All showings at DIVA; $3-$6 sliding scale each screening. 

Express, The: The true story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American football player to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. With Dennis Quaid as Davis’ coach at Syracuse. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Greater Circulation, The: Antero Alli discusses his “docufiction” feature, which looks at Rainer Maria Rilke writing his “Requiem for a Friend” and then moves 100 years into the future, where a group of actresses stage his piece as performance art. “A marvel of mature emotion and deep wisdom,” says 7 pm Friday, Oct. 10, DIVA. $6.

Pineapple Express: Generally, this comedy (written by the same folks as Superbad) is about a pot dealer, one of his customers and some folks who want to kill them. Mostly. Kinda. Sorta. Directed by David Gordon Green, whose usual fare (All the Real Girls) is a little different. R. 111 min. Movies 12. (8/14)

Quarantine: A young reporter and her cameraman assigned to spend the night with a fire patrol find themselves locked inside an L.A. building from which there is no escape: the CDC wants to control a “strain of rabies” contracted by someone in the building. Mmm hmm. Vampire rabies? R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Ready: The latest winter sports spectaular from Absinthe Films asks, “When the perfect conditions finally materialize, will you be ready to elevate your riding to the next level?” 50 min. 8:30 pm Wednesday, Oct. 8, McDonald Theatre. $7.

Slacker Uprising: Michael Moore’s latest film can be downloaded for free — or you can watch it with a group at one of two screenings this week. The film was shot in the weeks before the 2004 election, as Moore traveled across the country, calling on the Slacker Army to rise up and defeat Bush. Noon Saturday, Oct. 10, Bijou and 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 15, DIVA. Free.

Spark of Life: Locally filmed short about a zombifying energy drink screens followed by performances by The Fauna, Side Project and more. 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 9, Wandering Goat. Free. (Meet in Kesey Square at 6 pm to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday and wander in a “Power of Love” parade to the café.)

Transsiberian: Emily Mortimer gives an impressive performance as half of a couple traveling on the Trans-Siberian Express. A pair of strangers lead her (and her husband, played by Woody Harrelson) down a dangerous road in the cold Russian north. Directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist). R. 111 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

WALL-E: The latest from the geniuses at Pixar is about a lonely trash-cleaning robot on what’s left of Earth. A sleek robot named EVE discovers, when she visits the deserted planet, that WALL-E’s figured out something important, so off to the stars (and the humans) she races, a besotted WALL-E in pursuit. “One of the best movies of the year,” said Richard Roeper. G. 97 min. Movies 12. (7/3)



American Carol, An: Hey, did you hear about how Hollywood is full of liberals? No? Well, here’s David Zucker (Airplane!) with a poorly reviewed conservative comedy about a blowhard documentary director who changes his tune after being visited by three spirits. “It’s the laziness of the writing that most offends,” says The New York Times. PG13. 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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Babylon A.D.: Vin Diesel stars as a mercenary hired to take a package from Eastern Europe to New York City in a post-apocalypic world. There’s more to the package than expected, though. With Michelle Yeoh. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika). PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua: Seriously: Upon being forced to watch the preview for this film, I became convinced that the people who made it must be evil. Now it’s the number one movie in the country. Does this not frighten you? 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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Blindness: Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo star in this adaptation of José Saramago’s novel about a city afflicted with a plague of blindness. The film “feels at once honorably serious and way too pleased with its own soothsaying,” says Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. R. 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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/18)

Choke: Writer-director-actor Clark Gregg adapts Chuck Palahniuk’s novel full of sex addicts, scammers and complicated mother-son relationships into a funny, unexpectedly sweet film about connection and, er, getting your shit together. Sorta. Star Sam Rockwell is fantastic; great supporting cast includes Kelly Macdonald and Anjelica Huston. R. 92 min. Bijou. (9/25)

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. Cinemark. (7/24)

Death Race: Jason Statham (The Transporter) is a falsely convicted criminal (and racing champ) forced to take part in an evil prison warden (Joan Allen)’s brutal race, in which convicts compete … for their lives! With Ian McShane. R. Movies 12.

Eagle Eye: Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are strangers thrown together by the instruction-filled phone calls of a woman who tells them to do all sorts of crazy, dangerous things. What the hell is going on? Will anybody care? Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia). PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Fireproof: “Religious romantic drama” starring Kirk Cameron as a man who’s got to get things sorted with God in order to fix his marriage. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Flash of Genius: Underdog story about the man (Greg Kinnear) who fought back when his windshield-wiper invention was swiped by American automakers. The story is told “in faithful and often moving detail,” says Roger Ebert. With Lauren Graham. PG13. Cinemark.

Get Smart: Steve Carell is newly promoted former CONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart, sent on a mission to save the world from agents of KAOS; Anne Hathaway is his sidekick (who one suspects may be slightly more competent), Agent 99. This adaptation of the 1960s TV show also gives us Terence Stamp as a baddie and The Rock as a superspy. PG13. 110 min. Movies 12.

Hancock: Grumpy, drunken, superpowered Hancock (Will Smith, aka Mr. July) has a habit of wreaking considerable destuction when saving lives. But a PR guy (Jason Bateman) somehow shows Hancock that he does have a softer side. He can be better! At least I think that’s what he says in the ads. PG13. 92 min. Movies 12.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: Simon Pegg stars in this adaptation of Toby Young’s memoir about life as a Vanity Fair employee. With Kirsten Dunst as Pegg’s unreachable love interest. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Humboldt County: Jeremy Strong stars as a straight-laced fellow who finds relaxation and relationships in the title county after a one-night stand with the always entertaining Fairuza Balk. R. 97 min. Bijou. (10/2)

Igor: When Igor gets sick of being an evil scientist’s assistant, he and two companions (a previously dead bunny and a brain in a jar) try to create their own terrible monster. Things go terribly awry — and they need to help save the world! Oddly enough, this cutely macabre animated tale came to life with no help from Tim Burton. Voice of John Cusack, Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Coolidge. PG. 87 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: It’s the only mainstream movie opening this weekend! It’s got Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett and Shia LeBoeuf and sassy Raiders of the Lost Ark dame Karen Allen! Also, it takes place 19 years after the underrated third film in a world facing the possibility of nuclear annihilation. That’s about all I’ve got. That and a big plastic Indy whip. PG13. 124 min. Movies 12. (5/29)

Journey to the Center of the Earth: Brendan Fraser stars as a less-than-traditional scientist who finds himself leading his nephew and a friend into the center of the earth, where there’s … another world! In 3D, which makes all those falling rocks and underground dinosaurs even more exciting. PG. 89 min. Movies 12.

Kung Fu Panda: Jack Black — or at least his voice — stars as Po the Panda, a waiter whose love for kung fu serves him well when it turns out there’s a prophecy about him saving the world from some powerful enemies. With the voices of Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. PG. 88 min. Movies 12.

Lakeview Terrace: Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) directs this fraught tale of a couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) whose intrusive new neighbor (Samuel L. Jackson) disapproves of their relationship. Also, he’s a cop. Which complicates things. R. 110 min. Cinemark.

Mummy, The: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Brendan Fraser goes on his second summer adventure and his third as “explorer” Rick O’Connell. Rick’s got to take down a long-dead emperor (Jet Li) who, one assumes, wants to take over the world (isn’t that what evil emperors do?). PG13. 112 min. Movies 12.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: The trailer for this adaptation of David Levithan and Rachel Cohn’s already too-cute novel looks aggravatingly like a host of other teen flicks, just with a cleaned-up New York club setting. When Norah (Kat Dennings) asks Nick (the reliable Michael Cera) to be her boyfriend for five minutes, it kickstarts an amazing night. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Nights in Rodanthe: Another romance (minus the whole murder angle of Unfaithful) starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, this time as two unhappy people drawn together during a storm. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook). With Mae Whitman and James Franco. PG13. 97 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Religulous: Bill Maher takes aim at organized religion around the world in this documentary directed by Larry Charles (Borat). “A provocation, thinly disguised as a documentary, that succeeds in being almost as funny as it is offensive,” says The Wall Street Journal. R. 101 min. VRC Stadium 15.

Step Brothers: Just what the world doesn’t need: another Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy. This time, the two are immature fellows whose parents get married. They hate each other, and then they love each other, and then they have to save the family. And every single joke in the trailer falls flat. R. Movies 12.


Use the links provided below for specific show times.

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

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

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