Eugene Weekly : Movies : 2.26.09



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

Academy Award-Winning Short Films: This year’s Oscar-nominated short films, both animated and live-action, in their only local screening. The winners were “La Maison en Petits Cubes” (animated) and “Spielzeugland” (live action), but all the nominees should be worth watching. Live shorts: 5:15 pm and 7:10 pm March 5. Animated shorts: 9 pm March 5. Screenings continue March 6, 7, 13 & 14 (times vary). DIVA. $6 per screening.

Directed by Steven Spielberg: Film series continues with Jurassic Park (Feb. 26) and finishes with Schindler’s List (March 5), both of which will be preceded by a brief talk from a UO grad student. 6 pm Thursdays, 180 PLC, UO. Free.

Ed’s Co-ed: Silent film shot at the UO in 1929 tells the story of a freshman named Ed. 2 pm Sunday, March 1, Downtown Library. Free.

Heckler’s Night: Mock freely as the Goat screens Thunderball. 7 pm Wednesday, March 4, Wandering Goat. Free.

Jonas Brothers 3D Concert Experience: I think this is pretty self-explanatory. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. VRC Stadium 15. ACADEMY AWARDS: SEAN PENN, BEST ACTOR; DUSTIN LANCE BLACK, BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY. (12/11/08)

Queer Film Festival: Annual festival features a Feb. 27 double feature of Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Story, about the hate crime that killed 15-year-old Gunn and the lack of coverage that followed, and Ask Not, which looks at the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; and a March 4 double feature of La Leon, an Argentine drama about a fisherman who is an outsider in his small village, and Sissyboy, about the Portland gender performance troupe of the same name. All showings start at 7 pm, 115 Lawrence, UO. Free.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li: The classic videogame is brought to cinematic life with Michael Clark Duncan, Kristin Kreuk (Smallville’s Lana Lang) and, oh, hey, Chris Klein! Who hasn’t made the best choices since Election, you might say. PG13. VRC Stadium 15.

Swedish Film Series: Series finishes with Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg, the story of a man who moved to Budapest in 1944 to help protect Jews in the ghetto. Directed by Kjell Grede. 90 min. 7 pm Friday, Feb. 27, 177 Lawrence, UO. 

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. Movies 12. (12/31/08)

Waltz with Bashir: Striking animated documentary follows director Ari Folman’s attempts to uncover his memories of participating in the 1982 Lebanon War. An unusual and unforgettable film, extremely personal, beautifully created and with one of the year’s best soundtracks. “A movie so unusual that it overflows any box in which you try to contain it,” said The New Yorker. R. 90 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival: The Cascadia Wildlands Project and the UO Outdoor Program present a collection of outdoor films, including “A River’s Last Breath” and “Run, Rogue, Run.”. 7 pm Thursday, Feb. 26, 177 Lawrence, UO. $7.



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. 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. Movies 12.

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. David Minor Theater. (9/25)

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Isla Fischer and Hugh Dancy put some cuteness in this adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s bestselling novel, in which a shopaholic finds herself with a job writing a financial advice column. Oooh, the irony! PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Coraline: Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) adapts Neil Gaiman’s creepy, fantastic story about a girl who finds, behind a door in the wall, a fantatic parallel world — complete with her Other Mother, who has buttons for eyes. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. ACADEMY AWARDS: BEST ART DIRECTION, MAKEUP, VISUAL EFFECTS. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

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.

Doubt: John Patrick Shanley directs this adaptation of his prizewinning play about a nun and the priest she believes is paying too much attention to a student. Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. PG13. VRC Stadium 15. (12/31/08)

Fired Up!: Two football players think they’re sooooo clever when they realize that if they go to cheer camp, they’ll be surrounded by girls. And hey, they can make the crappy cheerleading squad better, too! The more I read about this, the more I’m embarrassed for everyone involved. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Friday the 13th: Directed by the guy who remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, who’s apparently making a career of gory do-overs. Pretty young folks find Camp Crystal Lake, get dead. You know how it goes. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. VRC Stadium 15. (1/29)

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)

He’s Just Not That Into You: Great cast, embarrassing premise; it’s based, loosely I assume, on the unfortunate book of the same title. However will these lovely young folks ever find troo lurv? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

International, The: Clive Owen and Naomi Watts fight to bring down a bank that’s doing nasty, nasty things with your money. The trailer is so full of clichéd lines it almost hurts, but it’s still Clive Owen, right? Directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Let the Right One In: A gorgeous, snow-muffled, Swedish take on a vampire story, this film has taken its sweet time getting here. Gentle, moody and superbly acted by its young stars, its definitely worth the wait. R. 114 min. Bijou. (2/12)  

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. Movies 12. (12/31/08)

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

Pink Panther 2, The: Steve Martin gets goofy again. Yep. John Cleese comes along for the ride. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Push: Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans star as folks with supernatural abilities who are being hunted by the Division, a government agency which … er … made their families superpowered in the first place? I’m not quite clear on this, but the preview looks nifty, if a bit X-Men like. PG13. 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. Movies 12. (11/6/08)

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. ACADEMY AWARD: KATE WINSLET, BEST ACTRESS. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (1/8)

Seven Pounds: Will Smith reunites with the director of The Pursuit of Happyness for this story about a man with a secret who changes the lives of seven strangers. PG13. 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. EIGHT ACADEMY AWARDS, INCLUDING DANNY BOYLE, BEST DIRECTOR, AND BEST PICTURE. Bijou. Cinemark. (12/18/08)

Taken: If you don’t give back Liam Neeson’s daughter (Maggie Grace), he will hunt you down, and he will kill you. You got that? You sure? I hope this Luc Besson-produced action flick is as much fun as it looks, though it seems to take itself awfully seriously. PG13. 93 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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) has arrived 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. Movies 12. (11/26/08)

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.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Woody Allen’s latest involves a man (Javier Bardem), his crazy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) and two young American women (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall) with whom the couple becomes “amorously entangled.” Sweet and pretty, but a touch on the shallow side. PG13. 96 min. ACADEMY AWARD: PENELOPE CRUZ, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS. David Minor Theater.

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.

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. Movies 12. (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. David Minor Theater. (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