Eugene Weekly : Movies : 4.30.09



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

Battle for Terra: Animated flick involves a peaceful civiliazion invaded by humans fleeing a war and environmental catastrophe. Can the Terrans and humanity learn to live together? With the voices of Evan Rachel Wood and Luke Wilson. PG. 85 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Bombies: PBS documentary screens following a presentation on “Our Unexploded Bombs: Laos’ Modern Crisis,” about the many “bomblets” that remain in Laos, injuring or killing people, frequently children. 7 pm Sunday, May 3, Spencer Creek Grange. Free.

Dalai Lama Renaissance: Harrison Ford narrates this documentary, in which 40 Western thinkers travel to meet the Dalai Lama in hopes of solving the problem of world peace. Screenings will be followd by a Q&A with Amit Goswami, who is featured in the film. Noon Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3, Bijou.

Directed by Steven Spielberg: The UO film series continues with The Goonies (April 30) and Koi Mil Gaya (May 7). Both are preceded by a short talk from a UO grad student. 6 pm Thursdays, 110 Willamette, UO. Free.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Bit odd to use the Christmas Carol gimmick in the middle of spring, but anyway: At his brother’s wedding, perpetual bachelor Connor (Matthew McConaughey) finds himself visited by the ghost of his uncle (Michael Douglas), who sends the ghosts of the title to keep Connor from screwing up with his childhood love (Jennifer Garner). PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29: Kevin Rafferty’s lively documentary focuses tightly on the famous 1968 game between rivals Harvard and Yale, and the men who played it, but manages to look beyond the campus boundaries as well as the former football players reflect on the era in which their unforgettable game played out. PG. 105 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Hunger: English video artist Steve McQueen (as opposed to the other one) directs this visceral film about imprisoned IRA members in the early 1980s. Reviewers note, almost without fail, the difficulty of watching McQueen’s harrowing film, but most find it ultimately worthwhile: “I’ve seen Hunger three times, and with each screening, the spectacle of violence, suffering, and pain becomes more awful and more awe-inspiring,” J. Hoberman wrote in The Village Voice. Not rated. 96 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Heckler’s Night: Mock loudly and cheerfully as the Goat screens Death Race 2000. Awesome. 7 pm Wednesday, April 29, Wandering Goat. Free.

Lives of Artists, The: New film series featuring documentaries about contemporary visual artists begins with the short film “Conversations With Jean-Michel Basquiai” and the feature doc Universe of Keith Haring. 5 pm and 7:20 pm Thursday, May 7. Screenings continue through May 9; see next week’s paper for details.

Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation: The latest version of the adults-only festival makes its way to town. Bijou.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: If I chant, “This will not suck. This will not suck” to myself repeatedly, will that make it true? Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine in the (an?) origin story involving Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) and former hobbit Dominic Monaghan as Bolt. PG13. 107 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Twelve Rounds: When a detective (John Cena) stops a thief, the thief’s girlfriend is killed. After escaping from prison, the “criminal mastermind” sets 12 tasks that the cop must complete lest his fiancée meet the same fate. Directed by Renny Harlin. PG13. Movies 12.


Adventureland: Greg Mottola (Superbad) directs a slightly oddball ensemble (including Ryan Reynolds, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig) in this story about a college grad whose job search lands him at the titular amusement park. R. 107 min. Bijou. (4/9)

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. Movies 12.

Defiance: In this WWII flick from Edward Zwick (Glory), Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell play brothers who fight back against the Nazis, hiding out in the forest and protecting refugees. R. 137 min. Movies 12. (1/22)

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. David Minor Theater. (12/31/08)

Duplicity: Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) directs Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in this tale of battling, romantically involved spies who get together to try to play a pair of battling corporations (led by Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti). PG13. 125 min. Movies 12.

Earth: James Earl Jones narrates this Disney nature documentary, which focuses on three animal mothers (elephant, polar bear and humpback whale) and their offspring. So pretty, the trailer makes me well up (though that has a lot to do with the heartstring-tugging use of Sigur Rós, of course). G. 96 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Fast and Furious: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return to the hot-cars-and-hot-chicks franchise that spawned their careers. If the title looks familiar, well, there is a difference: The original film was The Fast and the Furious. Perhaps the lack of “the”s this time indicates it’s trimmed down and goes even faster? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Fighting: Channing Tatum plays a dude who becomes a superstar fighting on NYC’s “corrupt bare-knuckle circuit.” Those words are in quotes because they come directly from the description. (I’m just trying to be as straightforward and literal as the movie’s title.) PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. Movies 12. (1/15)

Hannah Montana: The Movie: The inescapable teen returns to theaters with a movies about getting away from fame for a while. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 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. Movies 12.

Hotel for Dogs: Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew) is one of two siblings who have to give up their dog when they’re taken into a foster home — but the resilient kids turn an empty building into a dog hotel for their dog and others. PG. Movies 12.

Knowing: Nicolas Cage’s son finds, in a time capsule, a strange and cryptic list of numbers written by a girl 50 years ago — and it turns out to list the date of every major catastrophe to happen to the world since. Some dates haven’t happened yet. Alex Proyas (The Crow) directs; Rose Byrne costars. PG13. 122 min. Cinemark.

Monsters Vs. Aliens: When aliens attack, an unlikely gaggle of monsters — a blob (Seth Rogen), a giant woman (Reese Witherspoon), a genius cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and “The Missing Link” (Will Arnett) — have to save the world. In 3D. PG. 94 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (4/2)

New in Town: Renee Zellweger learns to love Minnesota ­ and Harry Connick Jr. — in a terrible-looking fish-out-of-water romantic comedy. PG13. 96 min. Movies 12.

Obsessed: Where to start with this women-against-women stalker-lady flick, in which Ali Larter gets a little too attached to Idris Elba, and Beyonce fights back? Actually, I think that’s enough said. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop: It’s all there in the title. And probably in the preview. PG. Movies 12.

Seventeen Again: Would Zac Efron really grow up into Chandler Bing? Er, I mean Matthew Perry? That’s just one thing to consider in this comedy, in which washed-up former high-school hot stuff Mike O’Donnell (Perry) finds himself in his 17-year-old body again. With Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon and Michelle Trachtenberg. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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. David Minor Theater. (12/18/08)

Soloist, The: Joe Wright (Atonement) directs this based-on-a-true-story film about a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) and the writer (Robert Downey Jr.) who recognizes the musician’s gift. The plot is gift-wrapped Oscar bait, but things started to look less shiny when the film was delayed from last fall. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

State of Play: Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland) remakes the 2003 British TV series, moving it to the U.S., where a congressman’s research assistant is murdered, and an old friend (Russell Crowe) is on the story. With Helen Mirren as Crowe’s editor, Rachel McAdams as his partner and Ben Affleck as the maybe not-so-perfect congressman. PG13. 132 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (4/23)

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. Movies 12. 

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. David Minor Theater.


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