Eugene Weekly : Movies : 4.3.08



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

Academy Award Nominated Short Films: 2007’s Oscar-nominated shorts show over two weekends at DIVA — and shouldn’t be missed. From the familiar themes of “Peter and the Wolf” to the creepy trainjackers of “Madame Tutli-Putli,” and the sly office worker of “Tanghi Argentini” to the uninhibited kids of “The Subsititute,” this collection of shorts from the world over (but, notably, none from the U.S.) offers charm and beauty in spades. Live action shorts at 7 pm, animated shorts show at 9:45 pm April 5, DIVA. $6 per screening. (Reviewed 3/20)

Ballets Russes: Documentary by Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller and Gary Weimberg uses archival film clips and contemporary reviews to look at a most interesting portion of the history of classical ballet: the 20th century competition between two dance companies formed to fill the empty shoes of ballet impressario Serge Diaghilev. Delightful. NR. 12:30 pm April 6, Bijou. Free. Online archives.

Chicago 10: 1968: Unpopular war, brutal police response to protest, dictatorial judges and millions desperate for change. Combined archival footage and animation make Chicago 10 required viewing for Americans living through today’s eerie similarities. R. 103 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Doomsday: Neil Marshall (The Descent) directs this futuristic film about a country walled off in response to a deadly virus — and the team (led by Rhona Mitra, working the Kate Beckinsale in Underworld angle) that must venture back into that country to find a cure when the virus appears elsewhere. R. 105 min. Movies 12.

First Sunday: Ice Cube and Tracy Morgan star as hapless criminals trying to come up with a chunk of cash in order to keep one’s son from being taken. So they decide to rob a church. Do you think all goes well? PG13. 98 min. Movies 12.

Great Directors Series: New series screens and discusses two films by renowned directors, beginning with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the directing/writing/producing team known as “The Archers.” Seminar is led by Thomas Blank. 1 pm April 6, DIVA. Seminar is free, but advance sign-up is required at 344-3482 or

JFK: Director Oliver Stone challenges Warren Commission findings on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination with a screenplay based on books by Jim Garrison and Jim Marrs. Eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. R. 189 min. Shows with “360 Vision,” a short film about the King family lawsuit against federal conspirators, as part of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, 7 pm April 4, 180 PLC, UO. Free.

Leatherheads: George Clooney directs and stars in this romantic comedy set in the 1920s against the start of the pro football league. With Jon Krazinski (The Office) as a golden-boy quarterback and Renee Zellweger as the reporter determined to prove he’s not as perfect as he seems. PG13. 113 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Nim’s Island: Moppet-of-the-moment Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a girl who lives with her scientist father (Gerard Butler) on an island and has a literary heroine whose life is rather similar. When Nim’s father disappears, life brings Nim and her favorite author together to find him. With Jodie Foster. PG. 95 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Paranoid Park: The latest from Gus Van Sant is a dreamy, thoughtful adaptation of Blake Nelson’s young adult novel about a teen skater who’s having a hard time dealing with his part in a terrible accident. Non-professional stars (for the most part), familiar settings and a disarming atmosphere combine for an unexpectedly affecting film. R. 78 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Ruins, The: The ruins are alive … with creepy plant life. At least that’s what it looks like in previews for this horror flick, adapted by Scott B. Smith from his own novel. Two reasons to see this, really: Shawn Ashmore (Iceman in the X-Men movies) and Jena Malone, who deserves better roles (doesn’t anyone remember Saved!?). R. 97 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Shine a Light: Martin Scorsese directs this Rolling Stones concert film, shot at NYC’s Beacon Theater in 2006 by a “legendary team of cinematographers.” PG. 120 min. VRC Stadium 15.

Untraceable: Another movie about the horrors of technology! Goodness! This time, a nasty, tech-savvy internet criminal is killing people at a speed determined by the number of hits his ghoulish website gets. Diane Lane and Colin Hanks are gonna get the bad guy, though. An awful lot seems to go on in the preview for this one. R. 110 min. Movies 12.

Witless Protection: Larry the Cable Guy stars as a small-town sheriff who accidentally gets caught between the Mob and the FBI when he “kidnaps” a woman (Ivana Milicevic) who turns out to be in witness protection. PG13. 97 min. Movies 12.

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



Alvin and the Chipmunks: What’s next? A live-action Care Bears movie starring Jason Lee? (He’s in this and Underdog, for those not keeping track.) Those wacky little creatures with the high-pitched voices will surely cause him some trouble in this newest bit of family fare. With, um, David Cross. Now I’m confused. PG. Movies 12.

Band’s Visit, The: First-time feature director Eran Kolirin (who also wrote the screenplay) has a deft, gentle hand with this nuanced, thoughtful story about an Egyptian band that finds themselves adrift for a night in a small town in Israel. Funny and sweet in turns, the film rests lightly on the shoulders of its leads, including the dazzling Ronit Elkabetz as an Israeli restaurant owner. PG13. 84 min. Bijou. (3/20)

Be Kind Rewind: Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) playful, creative new film looks like a total joy. Mos Def and Jack Black star as friends facing a dilemma when one of them becomes magnetized and erases all the tapes in the store where his friend works. Bingo! They’ll make new versions of the films. PG13. 101 min. Movies 12. (2/28)

Definitely, Maybe: Manhattan papa Will (Ryan Reynolds) answers his daughter’s (Abigail Breslin) questions about how her now-divorcing parents met and fell in love with a complicated story about growing up — but of course it’s the tot who helps him figure out how to grow even farther. PG13. Movies 12.

Drillbit Taylor: When three high school kids get sick of being picked on, they hire Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson), who pretends to be a teacher in order to keep an eye on his young clients. There’s brand-name talent behind the scenes (producer Judd Apatow produces, co-writer Seth Rogen) but the lack of early reviews doesn’t bode well. PG13. 102 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Enchanted: Beautiful princesses! Handsome princes! And … midtown Manhattan? Amy Adams (Junebug), James Marsters (X-Men) and Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) star in this charming fairy tale in the real world, which follows Princess Giselle (Adams) after a wicked witch banishes her from her magical kingdom. PG. 107 min. Movies 12. (1/3)

Eye, The: Jessica Alba plays an accomplished violinist, blind since birth, who discovers after cornea transplant surgery that she can see death … before it happens! With Alessandro Nivola and Parker Posey. PG13. Movies 12.

Great Debaters, The: Denzel Washington (who also directs) stars in the (based-on-a-true) story of a debate coach in the segregated South who leads his Texas college team to a face-off with Harvard. PG13. 123 min. Movies 12.

Horton Hears a Who: The Dr. Seuss classic gets the animated treatment from the creators of Ice Age, with Jim Carrey as Horton and Steve Carell as the mayor of Who-ville, the tiny world on a speck that Horton discovers and defends from his fellow animals, who think he’s gone nuts. G. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Jumper: Adapted from a novel by Steven Gould, this film follows “jumpers” who can leap through space and time. Among these lucky few are Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell; Samuel L. Jackson provides the tension as a fella who doesn’t approve of these crazy hijinks. Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity). PG13. 88 min. Cinemark.

Juno: Director Jason Reitman’s turned out another buzzworthy movie, this time with a screenplay by newcomer Diablo Cody. Ellen Page (who was outstanding in Hard Candy) plays a pregnant teenager dealing with herself, her future, her parents, the best friend who fathered the kid and the couple who wants to adopt it. “Hilarious and sweet-tempered, perceptive and surprisingly grounded,” said the Los Angeles Times. ACADEMY AWARD: BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY. PG13. 96 min. Cinemark. (1/10)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: Frances McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, who (in 1939 London) finds herself a job as a “social secretary” after being dismissed from her governess position. Over 24 hours, Miss Pettigrew and Delysia Lafosse (the wonderful Amy Adams) change each others’ lives — and those of the three men circling Delysia (Lee Pace, Ciaran Hinds and Mark Strong). PG13. 92 min. VRC Stadium 15. (3/13)

National Treasure: Book of Secrets: Nicolas Cage returns for more adventure and hijinks — something to do with the president’s secret book (hey, this sounds like Crooked Little Vein!) and clearing his family’s name; did great-great grandpa have something to do with Lincoln’s assassination? With Helen Mirren. PG. Movies 12.

Never Back Down: Is it just me, ot does this film looks like an excuse to shoot a lot of badass fight scenes? (With a story loosely draped around them, of course.) The new kid in school gets, er, schooled by the resident bullly, who’s got a hot girlfriend. But if he masters mixed martial arts, the new guy might turn the tables. PG13. 112 min. VRC Stadium 15.

Run, Fatboy, Run: Five years after leaving his lovely bride-to-be Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar, totally ordinary, slightly overweight Dennis (the fantastic Simon Pegg, of Shaun of the Dead) has come to his senses and realized he made a mistake. But his life is a mess, and Libby’s got a fit new love who’s about to run a marathon. So, naturally, Dennis decides to run it too. Pegg is always fantastic, but David Schwimmer directing? Hmm. PG13. 95 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Semi-Pro: Will Farrell continues to make millions playing idiots; here he’s the coach-player-owner of the Flint Tropics, an American Basketball Association team dreaming of joining the NBA. Thing is, they suck, and wrestling bears isn’t going to make them any better. With Andre Benjamin and Woody Harrelson. R. Movies 12.

Shutter: Remake of a Thai thriller stars Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor as a young couple who see strange things in some photos they develop after a horrible accident. PG13. 85 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Spiderwick Chronicles, The: Adaptation of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s books about a young boy (Freddie Highmore, playing twins) who finds that there’s much more than meets the eye to an old family estate. Black has a knack for a different kind of fairy tale; let’s hope the movie can translate that to the screen. With Mary-Louise Parker. PG. Cinemark.

Stop-Loss: Director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) takes on the military policy that keeps soldiers in the service longer than they expect with ths story of a sergeant (Ryan Phillippe) who finds, once he gets home, that the powers that be want to send him back already. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ciaran Hinds. “The first major movie of the new year that touches greatness,” says Rolling Stone. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Superhero Movie: The Scary Movie send-uppers turn their attention to spandex-clad superheroes. PG13. 85 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Ten Thousand B.C.: Director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) directs a set-ages-ago story about a young hunter and the lovely woman he’ll stop at nothing to save from “mysterious warlords.” Other key phrases from the studio’s synopsis include “ultimate fate,” “tyrannical god” and “empire beyond imagination.” Did I mention our hero’s name is D’Leh? PG13. 109 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

There Will Be Blood: Oscar-nominated Daniel Day-Lewis stars in Paul Thomas Anderson’s (Magnolia) dark film about an evil oilman who heads to a California town, where a preacher (Paul Dano) accepts his presence on the condition that the oilman will help fund a church. “A force beyond categories,” said Roger Ebert. ACADEMY AWARDS: BEST ACTOR (DANIEL DAY-LEWIS), BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY. R. 158 min. Movies 12. (1/31)

Twenty-one: An unconventional math professor (Kevin Spacey) recruits his brightest students (among them Kate Bosworth and Jim Sturgess) to count cards in Vegas, leading to tuiton money for them and, one assumes, mad loot for the boss. Until things get complicated. PG13. 123 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Twenty-seven Dresses: Current It Girl Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) stars in this always a bridesmaid, never a bride story of Jane, whose sister gets the guy Jane’s in love with. But with James Marsden (Enchanted) around, you’ve got to assume Jane’s not going to have a totally unhappy ending. PG. 107 min. Movies 12.

Vantage Point: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker and Sigourney Weaver are just half the people — and perspectives — in this thriller about an assassination attempt made on the American president (William Hurt) as he gives a speech about the war on terror. I think the real story might be, uh, complicated? PG13. 90 min. 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