Eugene Weekly : Movies : 11.06.08



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

Big Lebowski, The: The Coen brothers’ culty favorite about bowling, a certain cocktail, nihilsts, kidnapping, mistaken identity and more celebrates its 10th anniversary. Begins Nov. 13. David Minor Theater. Free. 

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)

French Film Festival: The UO Cultural Forum brings six films from The Tournées Festival, beginning with Frontier(s) (11:45 pm Thursday, Nov. 6, Bijou), a horror film in which a group of armed robbers flees Paris in an attempt to escape a right-wing regime. What they find in a small town is even scarier. Also showing this week are Notre Musique (7 pm Tuesday, Nov. 11, 100 Willamette, UO), Jean-Luc Godard’s rumination on or indictment of (depending which reviewer you prefer) war, and Before I Forget (7 pm Thursday, Nov. 13, 100 Willamette, UO), which called “one of the loveliest, most direct and most devastating pictures about aging.” Free. 

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. PG13. 110 min. David Minor Theater.

Ghost Town: Beautifully dry British actor Ricky Gervais (The Office) stars as a man who dies for seven minutes, and finds that, as a result, he can see and talk to ghosts — who all want things. Greg Kinnear costars as the central undead man. PG13. 102 min. Movies 12.

House: Horror flick based on a book by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker about a couple who find, in an odd hotel, a nasty killer who makes crazy claims and demands. R. 101 min. Cinemark.

In Bruges: Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star in playwright Martin McDonagh’s directorial debut, a slightly sweet, somewhat philosophical, totally sailor-mouthed tale of two hitmen sent to hide out in the Belgian town of Bruges. A mixup of genre and tone, it’s nonetheless diverting and amusing, and Farrell, as the more distressed of the pair, is surprisingly sympathetic. R. 107 min. David Minor Theater. (2/28)

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. Cinemark. See review this issue.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Soul Men: Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac are two former backup singers reunited — reluctantly — to perform in honor of the man they used to sing behind. R. 103 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Traitor: This dude-heavy flick stars Guy Pearce as an FBI agent investigating a former officer (the always impressive Don Cheadle) who has a habit of turning up just when something big is going down. PG13. Movies 12.

What Just Happened?: Robert De Niro stars in this adaptation of a producer’s memoir about juggling real life and working life in Hollywood. Barry Levinson directs; the cast includes Robin Wright Penn, Catherine Keener, upcoming It Girl Kristen Stewart and Michael Wincott (not playing a villain for once). R. 110 min. Bijou. See review this issue.



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.

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. Movies 12. (9/18)

Changeling: The latest from Clint Eastwood tells the true story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), whose son was kidnapped. When he’s returned  months later, she realizes the boy brought to her is not her child — but the LAPD doesn’t like being made to look bad and won’t admit the mistake. With John Malkovich. R. 141 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. Movies 12. (10/16)

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. 

Haunting of Molly Hartley, The: As her 18th birthday approaches, Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett) has to deal with being the new girl at school — and with nightmares about the time her mother tried to kill her. Is Molly going crazy? Is there something else at stake? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. 

High School Musical 3: Senior Year: The earnestness practically drips off the screen in the preview for this movie, which brings the cable-TV smash into theaters for OMG! Senior year! With Zac Efron and the rest of the fresh-faced teen stars. G. 112 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

House Bunny, The: Playboy bunny Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) gets booted from the mansion and finds herself helping the members of a sorority that’s in danger of losing its house. She teaches them about makeup! They teach her about individuality! Please, Hollywood. Stop that. PG13. 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.

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.

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)

Pride and Glory: Edward Norton stars as a troubled cop assigned to investigate a series of killings that his brother-in-law (Colin Farrell) may have something to do with. “It follows the well-worn pathways of countless police dramas before it,” says Roger Ebert. R. 130 min. VRC Stadium 15. (10/30)

RocknRolla: The latest from Guy Ritchie is a complicated gangster yarn in which two crooks (Idris Elba and Gerard Butler) steal some money from a Russian property dealer and a London crime boss. I think. It’s a little convoluted, but it sounds like fun. With Thandie Newton and Mark Strong. R. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Saw V: Two detectives butt heads while investigating the continued Jigsaw murders. Hey, didn’t that guy die in a previous movie? Guess not. R. 92 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. 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.

Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller directs this wildly funny if somewhat meandery send-up of actors and war movies; he also stars (with Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.) as one of the primadonna actors whose director (Steve Coogan) decides to impart a bit of realism to his Vietnam film — by dropping his stars into the jungle and filming their reactions. R. 107 min. Movies 12. (8/21)

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. (10/23)

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)

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. 


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