Back-Up Plan, The: Jennifer Lopez stars as a woman who opts for artificial insemination after years of not meeting the right man. Naturally, as soon as she’s pregnant, she meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin, aka that dude from the short-lived, cheesily enjoyable vampire show Moonlight), who’s surprisingly game for going the distance. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Banff Mountain Film Festival: The UO Outdoor Program hosts the touring version of the international film competition — which screens mountain-centric films that range from documentaries to spoofs — for the 12th year in a row. This year’s selections include a film about tracing the literary footsteps of Farley Mowat; Take a Seat, about a guy, a tandem bike and his quest to find strangers peddle with him; and Ten: A Cameraman’s Tale, a behind-the-scenes look at freeride filmmaking. 7 pm Thursday, April 22, and Friday, April 23 (different schedule each night), McDonald Theatre. $12, $10 stu.
Behind the Lens: Ongoing DIVA/LCC seminar continues its April series with 1951’s Diary of a Country Priest, directed by Robert Bresson. The film stars Claude Laydu as a young priest whose first parish is less than welcoming. 7 pm Tuesday, April 27, DIVA. $3.
Crazies, The: Timothy Olyphant (forever Seth Bullock from the peerless Deadwood, in my mind) and Radha Mitchell star in this remake of the George Romero film about a small Midwestern town that goes nuts after something gets into the water. R. Movies 12.
Crazy Heart: Jeff Bridges stars as a worn-out, alcoholic country singer-songwriter. His former protégé (Colin Farrell) is a superstar, but he’s playing in bowling alleys. A sweet-faced, much younger journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) sparks changes in the ol’ feller; Robert Duvall has a nice turn as his best friend. Academy Awards: Jeff Bridges, Best Actor; Best Original Song. R. David Minor Theater. (2/11)
DisOrient Film Festival: The fifth incarnation of this grassroots festival comes to the Bijou and the UO with feature screenings, workshops, short film programs and more. Films include “Lt. Watada,” about former EW cover subject Ehren Watada; Mr. Sadman, a comedy about a man who works as Saddam Hussein’s body double; and Operation Babylift, a documentary about the journey of several dozen of the 2,500 children airlifted out of South Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. Events take place April 24-25 at the Bijou and other locations. For full schedule, see www.disorientfilm.org
Fiddler on the Roof: The 1971 adaptation of the classic Broadway musical screens at 1 pm Wednesday, April 28, Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield. Free.
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The: This Swedish adaptation of the bestselling (and also Swedish) novel is relatively effective as a thriller, if you can forgive it a pile of cinematic clichés. Noomi Rapace is superb as Lisbeth, the titular girl, who teams up with a disgraced journalist to solve a lingering family mystery that works in abuse, Nazism and other nastiness to disappointingly shallow ends. Looks good, though. R. 152 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Losers, The: A team of mercenaries double-crossed by a rogue CIA agent looks to get revenge. Starring the appealing combo of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans and Idris Elba, among others. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Most Dangerous Man in America, The: Documentary explores the story of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. “The movie is an act of hero worship, but it inadvertently suggests that, without a necessary touch of grandiosity, Ellsberg might never have acted as bravely as he did,” wrote David Denby in The New Yorker. Not rated. Bijou. See review this issue.
Oceans: The Disney folks who brought you Earth (cue the Sigur Ros and cute polar bears!) dive under the sea for a complementary peek at the creatures who live there. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Our Family Wedding: Two families clash and come together as their just-out-of-college kids (America Ferrera and Lance Gross) plan a trip down the aisle. With Forest Whitaker, Taye Diggs and Regina King. PG13. Movies 12.
Remember Me: Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson probably didn’t make many new fans with this poor-little-rich-kid romance, in which his troubled character falls for Emilie de Ravin despite her father (Chris Cooper)’s reservations. Let me just mention that this film takes place in the summer of 2001. In New York City. And it doesn’t end on a happy note. PG13. Movies 12.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted.
Alice in Wonderland: It should’ve been perfect: Burton, Depp, Alice! But the elements don’t quite mesh (and the 3D is mostly color-muting and distracting) in Burton’s semi-sequel, in which an older Alice (Mia Wasikowska) tumbles back into Wonderland, where she’s needed to slay the Jabberwock. (The Frumious Bandersnatch is much cooler; what’s original about making the Jabberwock into a dragon?) Nice turns from all, but a slight disappointment. PG. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Avatar: James Cameron’s latest multi-hundred-million gamble — a sci-fi tale about an ex-Marine whose consciousness is put into an alien body, leading to all kinds of conflict and realizations about the worlds — is so ideologically slippery, everyone who’s seen it has a convincing argument for why their take is the right one. It’s pretty, and it’s tired. Academy Awards: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects. PG13. Movies 12. David Minor Theater. (12/24)
Big Lebowski, The: Dude! Revisit now-Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges’ superb turn in the Coen brothers classic. David Minor Theater.
Book of Eli, The: Bring on the apocalypse, man. Between this, Legion and … some other movies about the end of the world, we’re clearly in the middle of a trendlike thing. Anyway. Denzel Washington kicks ass and carries a bible as the one man who carries a hope for the future. With Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. R. Movies 12.
Bounty Hunter, The: Just don’t. Jennifer Aniston as a bail-jumper? Gerard Butler as her bounty hunter ex who’s gotta bring her back? Do you believe in any of this? Do you believe this movie should’ve been made? PG13. 110 min. Eight percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Clash of the Titans: Kraken or no kraken, Sam Worthington in a skirt or Liam Neeson with funny facial hair, the fact is, this movie is directed by the guy who made the moderately abysmal The Incredible Hulk. Just keep that in mind. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Cop Out: Which is more interesting: Kevin Smith’s buddy cop movie, or Kevin Smith’s Twitter freakout about critics not liking his buddy cop movie? Your mileage may vary. Stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Made more money than any of Smith’s previous films. Dear universe, stop bashing Zack and Miri. I liked that one. Movies 12.
Date Night: Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are a totally ordinary couple whose date night runs out of control when they steal a table at a fancy restaurant. With James Franco and Mila Kunis as the couple whose table it was, and Mark Wahlberg as a dude who doesn’t wear a lot of shirts. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (4/15)
Dear John: I’ve no idea why Lasse Hallström (My Life as a Dog) is directing this schmaltzy-seeming adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. None. The becoming-ubiquitous Amanda Seyfried plays an idealistic college girl who falls in love with a soldier (Channing Tatum) when he’s home on leave. PG13. Movies 12.
Death at a Funeral: Yes, that title looks familiar. This is a wide-release remake of the smaller 2007 British flick about the family secrets (and misplaced bodies, according to IMDb.com); it’s now directed by Neil LaBute (oh dear) and stars Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Tracy Morgan, James Marsden, Martin Lawrence and Regina Hall. Peter Dinklage sticks around from the first version. R. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: This adaptation of the bestselling book follows a poor kid having a crap time in middle school. So, like most of us, then. “A jaunty and forthright production,” said Entertainment Weekly. PG. Cinemark.
Ghost Writer: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall star in the latest from director Roman Polanski, about a ghostwriter hired to complete the memoir of a former British prime minister. “A dark pearl of a movie,” said the L.A. Times. Not rated. Cinemark.
Green Zone: It stars Matt Damon and is directed by Paul Greengrass, but this isn’t a Bourne movie; it’s a story about the early days of the war in Iraq. Damon plays a man sent to find WMDs. How well do you expect that’s going to go? R. 115 min. Movies 12.
Hot Tub Time Machine: Four dudes (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke) get wasted, get in a hot tub, pass out — and wake up in 1986 (does John Cusack get to re-do his old movie roles?). “It’s fun, it’s sad, and it’s kind of sad that it’s so much fun,” wrote A.O. Scott in The New York Times. R. 100 min. VRC Stadium 15.
How to Train Your Dragon: I hear from trustworthy sources that this movie is 100 percent great. It’s about a young Viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who thinks he’d rather befriend dragons, his people’s longtime enemies, than kill them. Good call, kid. That’s a cute dragon you got there. PG. 98 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Kick-Ass: Almost as nasty, pandering and heartless as the last movie based on a Mark Millar comic (Wanted), Kick-Ass is a disappointment on many levels, from its thoughtless gay subplot to the way it sneers at comics-loving kids who dream of having more power than the world allows them. Its redeeming factors are the controversial Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage channeling Adam West), whose warped relationship balances everything the movie otherwise mangles: the relationship between vengeance and cruelty; the way love makes the strangest things seem normal; the way girls can be brutal killers too — and how fucked up all that brutal killing really is. R. 117 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Last Song, The: Miley Cyrus stars as a sullen teen sent to spend the summer with her estranged, nice-guy pops (Greg Kinnear), though she’d rather stay in the big city. They find something to bond over, and everyone’s hearts grow two sizes that summer. Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: High schooler Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) has his life changed right up when he finds out Poseidon is his pops. At Camp Half Blood, he meets other demigods and winds up on quite an adventure. I mean, it’s no small potatoes when your nemesis comes from the Underworld. PG. Movies 12.
Pirate Radio: Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) directs the story of eight British DJs who unlawfully broadcast rock ‘n’ roll from a boat in the North Atlantic in the 1960s. With Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Night, Rhys Ifans and Nick Frost. R. David Minor Theater. (11/19/09)
Repo Men: Jude Law and Forest Whittaker are the men who pay you a call when you don’t pay the bill for your fancy, expensive designer organs. When Jude gets a new heart, he finds himself on the other side of the chase. R. 111 min. Movies 12.
Sherlock Holmes: Guy Ritchie (Snatch) turns out what’s said to be a steampunky Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.), in which Holmes is kind of a badass and has a hot Watson (Jude Law), an entertaining nemesis (Mark Strong) and a mystery to solve — that threatens all of England, of course. With Rachel McAdams. PG-13. David Minor Theater. Movies 12. (12/31)
Spy Next Door, The: Jackie Chan defends neighborhood kids from some bad spies. With George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus and Amber Valletta. PG. Movies 12.
Town Called Panic, A: The first stop-motion animated feature selected to show at Cannes, this fantastically odd French film follows three toy figurines, Horse, Cowboy and Indian, as stranger and stranger things happen around their country house. Bizarre, outlandishly funny and endlessly, oddly inventive, Panic is the oddest thing I’ve seen in years. Not rated. 75 min. Bijou. (4/15)
Valentine’s Day: People in L.A. live crazily overlapping lives. I learned that from Short Cuts and Crash. Here comes Valentine’s Day, in which couples experience the ups and downs of love, to reiterate this fact! The cast of Garry Marshall’s film includes Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Patrick Dempsey and his Gray’s Anatomy costar Eric Dane, Queen Latifiah, Taylor Swift and more. PG-13. Movies 12.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
David Minor Theater
David Minor Theater and Pub 762-1700 | 180 E. 5th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall