Eugene Weekly : Movies : 9.20.07



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

Eastern Promises: David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) again directs the always-stellar Viggo Mortensen, here playing a mysterious fellow with ties to a London crime family. Naomi Watts is the midwife caught up in the family’s net when she accidentally comes across evidence of their crimes. R. 96 min. VRC Stadium 15.

Good Luck Chuck: Chuck (Dane Cook) has a hex on him: every girl he dates finds true love with the next guy she dates. Enter Cam (Jessica Alba), a klutzy sweetheart Chuck falls for hard. Clearly, he’s got to wiggle out from under his strange curse. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Hot Rod: Andy Samberg (“Lazy Sunday”) leaps from your YouTube window to the big screen, playing Rod, an amateur stuntman whose stepdad is a big jerk. Samberg’s a charmer, but this movie is a total wreck. PG13. 88 min. Movies 12. (8/16)

Invasion, The: In their first pairing of the year (they’ll appear again together in The Golden Compass), Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman star in this remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers as the only people who can stop the creepy, emotion-stealing virus. Directed by Oliver Hirshbiegel. PG13. 93 min. Movies 12.

Resident Evil: Extinction: Alice (Milla Jovovich) is still trying to get rid of that pesky zombie-making virus. For this third film in the series, Alice gets new friends (we suspect they replace those zombified last time out) including Heroes‘ Ali Larter and singer Ashanti. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Sydney White: Sassy Sydney (Amanda Bynes) ditches her ditzy sorority sister for a house full of geeks (and there are seven of them! Get it?) and a chance at taking down the reigning wicked queen of campus. And surely she’s got to win a prince of a guy as well. PG-13. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Talking Heads: A film from Italy, 1980, during the Adrian Belew era and the Remain in Light tour. “Likely the best unofficial Talking Heads film anywhere,” says press material. Not rated. Bijou LateNite.

Ten, The: Director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, also playing) twists up the Ten Commandments in this collection of hit or miss shorts that star a cross-section of young talent, from Gretchen Mol to Liev Schreiber to members of MTV’s awesome (and long-dead) sketch comedy show The State. More conversation piece than total success, the film stretches the boundaries of what’s funny now and then. R. 93 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Video Slam: Monthly event invites video artists to submit short videos of up to 10 minutes for a competition that follows the format of the poetry slam. 4 pm Sept. 23, DIVA. Free. Those wishing to screen DVDs should arrive by 3:30 pm.

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



Balls of Fury: Y’know, there are a couple of scenes in this movie’s trailer that involve Christopher Walken and are actually kind of funny. The rest of it is a bunch of ball jokes. Plot? Super secret underground … ping pong tournament! PG13. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Bourne Ultimatum, The: “I remember everything,” says Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in this film’s action-packed trailer. Director Paul Greengrass and the major players (Joan Allen, Julia Stiles) return to the series’ satisfying third installment, which finds Bourne hunting down his past in stunning locations. PG13. 111 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/9)

Brave One, The: Jodie Foster plays a New York radio host who is attacked by a group of men who kill her fiancé (Naveen Andrews, from Lost). The experience leaves her shaken and transforms her into a vigilante in Neil Jordan’s dated-seeming film, which fails to fully investigate the questions its story seems to raise. R. 122 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Daddy Day Camp: C’mon, Cuba Gooding Jr., don’t you have an Oscar to live up to? Oh, never mind; just keep turning out claptrap like this sequel to Daddy Day Care. Now the daddies take the kids to camp! And things get out of control! No way! PG. 93 min. Movies 12.

Dragon Wars: The good: Dragons! In L.A.! The bad: The plot is a convoluted thing about magical powers, resurrected lovers and a dragon that will be able to ascend into heaven. Also, the biggest names in the cast are Jason Behr (Roswell) and Robert Forster. But still … dragons! In L.A.! Can it be better than Reign of Fire? PG13. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Evan Almighty: Steve Carrell takes the starring role in this sequel to Bruce Almighty. Now, God (Morgan Freeman) wants Evan (Carrell), a former newscaster turned Congressman, to build an ark. Boy, that’s gonna involve a lot of critters. PG. 90 min. Movies 12.

1408: This adaptation of a Steven King short story, which stars John Cusack as a man alone in a horribly haunted hotel room, is getting surprisingly good reviews; Entertainment Weekly said it’s “reassuringly old-school gothic.” With Samuel L. Jackson, directed by Mikael Hâfström. PG13. 94 min. Movies 12.

Hairspray: Based on John Waters’ 1988 cult classic, Hairspray is about teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show — especially one short, plump, cheery girl who loves to dance. With John Travolta in drag. PG. 117 min. Cinemark. (7/26)

Halloween: Rob Zombie directs this remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 film, but opts to take a peek into the past that created Michael Myers. R. 109 min. Cinemark.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Ministry of Magic is in denial about the return of Lord Voldemort, Hogwarts get a nasty new teacher and Harry … Harry’s in one kind of trouble or another throughout the mostly successful and only slightly disappointing fifth HP film. It’s not quite Prisoner of Azkaban, but it’s getting there. PG13. 138 min. Cinemark. (7/19)

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as a couple of firefighters who, for various bureaucratic insurance reasons, claim to be domestic parners — all fun and games until the news gets ahold of the story. I’m sure all related issues are dealt with thoughtfully. Um, right. PG13. 110 min. Movies 12.

Knocked Up: Judd Apatow follows The 40-Year-Old Virgin with a sweet yet still raunchy comedy about the unwanted pregnancy that occurs when up-and-coming journalist Alison (Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy) has a one-night stand with slacker Ben (Seth Rogen). R. 129 min. Movies 12. (6/7)

Mr. Bean’s Holiday: Good old Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson)! You either adore him, or you find him not at all funny. Here, a French vacation turns out to be full of mishaps and mistaken identity. Is Mr. Bean a kidnapper, a filmmaker or neither? G. 87 minutes. Cinemark.

Mr. Woodcock: This oft-delayed film involves a fellow (Seann William Scott) heading home to stop his mother (Susan Sarandon) from marrying his high school gym teacher (Billy Bob Thorton), who was, shall we say, no saint. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

My Best Friend: Director Patrice Leconte leads Daniel Auteuil (Caché) and Dany Boon (The Valet) through a sometimes-slapsticky, sometimes-sweet story of grown men — one a friendless gallery owner, one a friendly taxi driver — making friends. What sounds simple is mildly complicated and unexpectedly charming. In French with English subtitles. PG13. 94 min. Bijou. (9/6)

Nanny Diaries, The: Jersey girl Annie (Scarlett Johansson) is at odds with her mother as to what she should do with her life when an unexpected opportunity arises: She’ll become a nanny for a wealthy family on NYC’s Upper East Side. Working for the very rich turns out not to be quite the escape from real life that she expected. With Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. PG13. 106 min. VRC Stadium 15. (8/30)

No End in Sight: Charles Ferguson’s searing, elegant documentary chronicles a timeline of failures surrounding the planning and management of the war in Iraq. Ferguson has placed news we’ve seen before into a precise timeline, filled in with fascinating interviews, that paints a damning portrait of ignorance and incompetence on the part of the Bush administration. Not rated. 102 min. Bijou. (9/13)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: Captain Jack and crew are back for the third – and what one might hope is the final — Pirates movie (which has something to do with saving Jack from the Land of the Dead and facing off with the Dutch East India Company). A warning to soda buyers: It’s two hours and 48 minutes long. PG13. Movies 12.

Rush Hour 3: Did I forget this one when I made my list of this summer’s needless sequels? Did I mention I blame director Brett Ratner for the murky mess that was last year’s X-Men 3? Does it matter? Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, questionable jokes and action humor: you know what you’re getting. PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.

Shoot ‘Em Up: Will it be an engrossing action piece, or all flash and no substance? Clive Owen stars in director Michael Davis’ film about a “mysterious loner” who teams up with a stunning woman (Monica Belucci) to protect a baby from an evil Paul Giamatti. R. 87 min. VRC Stadium 15.

Shrek the Third: When Shrek’s father-in-law kicks the bucket, the ogre finds himself the reluctant king of Far Far Away. His only hope of getting out of the job? His wife’s slacker cousin. PG. 92 min. Movies 12.

Simpsons Movie, The: Well, our Springfield didn’t get the premiere, but in the film maybe we’ll still see some hints that we are the real Simpsons Springfield? Still no idea what it’s about, but does it matter? PG13. 87 min. Movies 12.

Stardust: Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) takes a firm and steady hand to the many plot threads of this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel. The result is wicked and charming, sweet and sly, with a stellar cast (Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro) and a superb sense of humor. Oh, the story? A young man promises a young lady he’ll fetch her a falling star — but he’s not the only one searching out the young woman who fell from the sky. PG13. 128 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/9)

Superbad: Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen both have fingers in this pie, as co-producer and co-writer, respectively. It’s the story of two high school friends, Evan (Michael Cera, Arrested Development) and Seth (Jonah Hill), who are trying — well, in classic teen movie fashion, they’re trying really hard to get laid. They’re about to go off to college; what do you expect? R. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/23)

Surf’s Up: The young, talented, possibly misguided Shia LaBeouf voices Cody Maverick, a teenage penguin surfer entering his first pro competition. A documentary crew’s filming his every move, which might — sort of — explain that “based on a true story” joke in the preview. PG. 85 min. Movies 12.

3:10 to Yuma: Russell Crowe and Christian Bale costar in this solid Western from director James Mangold (Walk the Line). Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard that was made into a film in 1957, the film follows a vicious outlaw (Crowe) and the Civil War vet (Bale) who’s volunteered to get the thief to the train that’ll take him to trial. R. 117 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/13)

Transformers: It wouldn’t be summer without a Michael Bay film, right? Hot on the heels of those other ’80s toys the Ninja Turtles, the Transformers arrive, bigger and flashier than ever. Earth, it seems, will be the battleground for the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. With Shia LaBeouf (Holes) and Megan Fox. PG13. 144 min. Cinemark.

Waitress: Keri Russell (Felicity) is a wonderful surprise in writer-director Adrienne Shelly’s bittersweet small-town story about love, hope, pies — and finding strength where you least expect it. Shelly’s perfectly cast last film is a beautiful balancing act of emotions. PG13. 107 min. Movies 12. (5/24)

Wet Hot American Summer: Comedian David Wain’s goofball take on the lives of summer camp counselors circa 1981 stars a generous handful of funny folk, including Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, David Hyde Pierece and Amy Poehler, in what Entertainment Weekly called “A loving and meticulous re-creation of the last moment before American youth culture went permanently ironic.” R. 97 min. Bijou LateNite.



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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
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