Eugene Weekly : Movies : 10.16.08



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

Bangkok Dangerous: A remorseless hitman! A ruthless crime boss! A punk pickpocket! And, of course, a beautiful shopgirl. You know where this is going.  It’s almost the Mad Libs of action movies. Starring Nicolas Cage. R. 100 min. Movies 12.

Children of Winter: The latest sport-tastic movie from Warren Miller Entertainment features “elecrifying global destinations!” Including Oregon, as it turns out. 6 pm and 9 pm Thursday, Oct. 23, McDonald Theatre. $16.50.

Disaster Movie: Is anyone else starting to find this mind-numbingly uncreative “spoof” flicks insulting? All kinds of disasters befall people! No WAY! Alas, way. PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.

Elegy: In Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me)’s new film, based on a Philip Roth novella, Ben Kingsley is a commitment-shy professor who falls in love with a student (Penelope Cruz) considerably younger than he is. “A soberingly eloquent expression of what our lives are all about, whether we want to think about them or not,” says The New York Observer. R. 108 min. Bijou. See review this issue

For the Bible Tells Me So: Award-winning documentary explores the history of church-sanctioned homophobia, finding that it’s based on a misinterpretation of the Bible. It “gets at the historical distortions of the Good Book as well as the ease with which holy writings have been used in America to propagate hate,” says Newsday. 1 pm Sunday, Oct. 19, Bijou.

Henry Poole is Here: Luke Wilson stars as the title character, a man whose life seems perfect until a routine checkup reveals all is not as great as it looks. His attempt to live out his last days alone leads him to meet a neighbor who discovers a “miracle.” With George Lopez, Cheryl Hines and Radha Mitchell. PG. 100 min. Movies 12.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss: An almost-thirtysomething (Scoot McNairy) is encouraged by his roommate to post an online ad in search of a woman to spend New Year’s Eve with. With his unlikely date (Sara Simmonds), he wanders L.A. as the midnight hour approaches. The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane wrote, “To praise the beauty of this film is not enough; what lends it tension is that it’s wrapped around people for whom beauty is at best an anachronism and at worst an embarrassing joke.” Wow. Not rated. 90 min. Bijou.

Jaws: Early Steven Spielberg film has lost some of its shock value as Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Schneider and others try to kill a giant renegade shark terrorizing Amity Island. Shows as part of the UO’s Directed by Steven Spielberg film series. PG. 6 pm Thursday, Oct. 23, 180 PLC, UO. Free.

Mamma Mia!: Get the song outta my head! Oh, too late. Anyway, the giant hit Broadway musical becomes a giant film starring Meryl Streep as the mother whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried of Veronica Mars) wants to find out who her father is: Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan or Stellan Skarsgard. Oh, and there’s some Abba. PG13. 108 min. Movies 12.

Max Payne: Mark Wahlberg stars as the title character — from the videogame of the same name — who’s working to solve murders and get over his family’s deaths. With Mila Kunis. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

My Country, My Country: Laura Poitras’ Oscar-nominated documentary looks, via the story of an Iraqi doctor, at whether U.S. occupation can actually bring democracy to Iraq. 3 pm Sunday, Oct. 19, Downtown Library. Free.

Secret Life of Bees, The: Dakota Fanning plays Lily, a girl whose relationship with her father (Paul Bettany) is strained. She splits with her caretaker (Jennifer Hudson) to a small town, where she’ll meet wonderful people and learn about her dead mother’s past. Does this sound like an Oprah book to anyone else? Maybe it was. PG13. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Sex Drive: A fairly literally titled teenage road trip where the goal is sex with a hot chick from the Internet. I bet that goes well. Starring Josh Zuckerman, James Marsden, Seth Green and Clark Duke. R. 109 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Animated film sits between Attack of the Clones and, um… oh yeah: Revenge of the Sith. (I really had to think about that.) Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda and other familiar faces — and a young Padawan named Ahsoka — face off against the Sith while the Separatists and Galactic Empire battle for the fate of the galaxy. PG. 90 min. Movies 12.

Taiwan Film Festival: Annual event kicks off with The Gangster’s God, which explores the men who take part in a scorching ritual at the annual Lantern Festival (followed by a discussion with the filmmaker), at 5:30 pm, and Summer’s Tail, about a teen songwriter, her best friend and their love interests (followed by a discussion with the star), at 8 pm Thursday, Oct. 23, 100 Willamette, UO. A reception with the star and composer of Summer’s Tail is at 6:45 pm. Free.

Video Slam: Monthly event invites video artists to submit short videos of up to 10 minutes for a competition that follows the format of the poetry slam. 7 pm Sunday, Oct. 19, DIVA. Free.

W: Oliver Stone’s new biopic looks at the life of our current commander-in-chief (played by Josh Brolin). The Hollywood Reporter says Stone “goes out of his way to give Bush a fair hearing,” but others disagree. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.



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. (10/9)

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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.

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. VRC Stadium 15. (9/18)

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. See review this issue.

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.

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.

Early African American Film Festival: Featuring 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.” Final day screens a double feature of Hallelujah (1929) and Stormy Weather (1943), 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, DIVA. $3-$6 sliding scale. 

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.

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. 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.

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.

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. See review this issue.

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. VRC Stadium 15.

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.

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.

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. (10/9)

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)


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