Eugene Weekly : Movies : 11.26.08



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

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Batman Begins: Christopher Nolan’s bat-franchise reboot put Christian Bale in the batsuit, wisely cast Gary Oldman as policeman Jim Gordon … and was a little tangled when it came to bad guys (excepting the brilliant Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow). But it still got on the right bat-track (Katie Holmes notwithstanding). PG13. 140 min. David Minor Theater.

Family That Preys, The: The latest from actor-director-writer-etc. Tyler Perry stars Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates as old friends who head off on a road trip to sort things out when their families erupt in turmoil as adult children’s foibles come to light. PG13. 111 min. Movies 12.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. Movies 12.

Love Actually: A lovely, mostly British ensemble cast inhabits this sweet (sometimes too sweet, but mostly not) film, a tangle of overlapping love stories that involves the prime minister (Hugh Grant, charming as ever); his sister (Emma Thompson) and her possibly unfaithful husband (Alan Rickman); a love triangle among friends (including Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor) and others. Oh, and Bill Nighy as a washed-up musician. R. 135 min. David Minor Theater.

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. Movies 12. (10/16)

Real Dirt on Farmer John, The: Third-generation Midwest farmer John Peterson works to combine his artistic ways and his on-again, off-again desire to keep working his family’s farm. 5 pm Sunday, Nov. 30, Cozmic Pizza. Donations.

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. R. David Minor Theater (starts 12/2).

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.



Bolt: Wacky adventures ensue when a dog who thinks he’s a superhero — he’s never been off the set of his TV show — finds himself loose in New York. With the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. PG. 96 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The: When his family is transferred from Berlin to the country, Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is confused about everything, especially the nearby “farm” at which his father works. A friendship formed through the farm’s fence leads, inevitably, to tragedy. PG13. 94 min. Cinemark.

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. (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. VRC Stadium 15.

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)

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. Movies 12. 

Happy-Go-Lucky: Sally Hawkins stars as Poppy Cross, whose endless energy and positive attitude are tested by an angry driving instructor and a troubled student. Intriguingly, New York magazine says, “Happy-Go-Lucky is triumphant proof that a creative middle way is always possible.” R. 118 min. Bijou. (11/13)

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. 

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.

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. Movies 12.

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.

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.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (11/20)

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)

Righteous Kill: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino costar as detectives hunting a serial killer who takes out criminals. A connection to a previous case the men solved together complicates things further. R. 100 min. Movies 12.

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.

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. Movies 12.

Synecdoche, New York: The latest from writer-turned-also-director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is as hard to explain as you might expect; it involves a theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who creates a model of Schenectady, N.Y., inside a warehouse in that city, and instructs actors to live out constructed lives within it. Thing get complicated. “A film with the richness of great fiction,” says Roger Ebert. R. 124 min. Bijou. (11/20)

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. David Minor Theater. Movies 12. (8/21)

Twilight: That sound you hear is the building 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. I am biting my tongue lest I say anything more. Yet. PG13. 122 min. Cinemark, VRC Stadium 15, every other theater across the country. 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)

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. VRC Stadium 15. (11/13)


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