Eugene Weekly : Movies : 9.24.09




Behaviors of the Backpacker: Eugenean Sándor Lau’s film about his 300-mile walk across New Zealand gets an encore screening following a sold-out Eugene Celebration show. 7:30 pm Friday, Sept. 25, DIVA. 

Dante’s Inferno: Sandow Birk presents this animated version of Dante’s classic, for which he was art director, writer and producer. Here, Dante is “a slacker in a hoodie” voiced by Dermot Mulroney. The handmade film is in the style of “an apocalyptic graphic novel crossed with  Victorian-era toy theater.” Hey, that sounds nifty! 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 1, 180 PLC, UO. Free.

Fame: They’re gonna live forever! But they’ll be different! This isn’t a remake, but a reinvention. Which I suspect means they got to modernize Irene Cara’s evilly catchy songs. But it’s still about competition, talent and relationships at a New York performing arts high school. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Goods, The: Live Hard, Sell Hard: The underrated Jeremy Piven stars in this flick about … honestly, I can’t really tell what it’s about. But Piven’s character finds love while trying to save a car dealership from bankruptcy. Whatever. It’s Jeremy Piven. He’s funny. R. 90 min. Movies 12.

Films of Werner Herzog, The: LCC and DIVA join forces to show Fitzcarraldo (1 pm), about a would-be rubber baron in Peru, and My Best Fiend (4 pm), a documentary about Herzog’s relationship with Klaus Kinski, Sunday, Sept. 27, DIVA. $5 for both. 

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell: The Hangover II? Based on Tucker Max’s book of the same name, this classy, progressive film is about a dude who convinces his buddy to go to a “legendary” strip club for his bachelor party. Mayhem ensues. There are barely words for how uninteresting this sounds. R, duh. VRC Stadium 15.

Lorna’s Silence: The latest film from the Dardenne brothers (L’enfant) is about Lorna (Arta Dobroshi), who has simple goals: She wants to open a snack bar with her boyfriend. But she’s married a junkie in order to get Belgian citizenship, and now the fellow who arranged the marriage has her marrying a Russian who also wants to be Belgian. First the junkie must be out of the picture, of course. Lean, intimate, realistic and bleak, it’s not an easy film, but it’s absolutely worth watching. R. Bijou. See review this issue.

Observe and Report: Seth Rogen stars as a mall cop (another one? Really?) who must take down a flasher, try to charm the makeup-counter woman he adores (Anna Faris) and beat the local cops at their own job. Er, I think. R. Movies 12. (4/16)

Pandorum: Two disoriented astronauts (Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster) wake up on what seems to be a stranded, abandoned spaceship. What’s gone wrong, and what’s at stake? Something about this gives me Event Horizon flashbacks, except it appears the scope may be larger. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Surrogates: In the future, we all control perfect robot versions of ourselves instead of running about in the world with our flawed flesh and blood. And then someone figures out how to kill a person through their surrogate. But don’t worry! Bruce Willis is on the case. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Ugly Truth, The: Any theories about why Katherine Heigl is once again playing a TV show employee? This charmer pairs her with Gerard Butler as a bad-boy TV personality who thinks he knows everything about the difference between men and woman. You got that “charmer” was being used sarcastically, right? R. Movies 12.

Wizard of Oz, The: How I know we’re living in the future: You young’uns no longer have to wait for the one time each year that The Wizard of Oz is on TV. (No, I’m not that old; yes, I remember this!) Go see Dorothy and her friends and enemies like you’ve probably never seen them before. David Minor Theater.

World’s Greatest Dad: Failed writer turned high school poetry teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) is struggling with everything in his life when a horrible tragedy suddenly becomes a chance to remake his life. He’s just got to stomach the incredible lies he’ll have to tell to maintain his story. Bobcat Goldthwait’s black comedy doesn’t have as much bite as it could, but it definitely has its moments. R. Bijou. See review this issue.

Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted.



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. David Minor Theater. (4/9)

Aliens in the Attic: A gaggle of kids on vacation (with their parents, who are oblivious) gotta fight off the alien critters that — shocker! — want to take over the world. PG. Movies 12.

All About Steve: This “comedy” is currently sitting pretty with a 5 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a crossword puzzle constructor (Sandra Bullock) who becomes obsessed with a man (Bradley Cooper) after she goes on one blind date with him. Words used to describe this: “Dreadful.” “Lunkheaded.” “Grimly unfunny.” PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Blood Creek: An independent, unrated horror movie about a haunted barn, a mad dead farmer and a deadly dare. Movies 12. 

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Portland critics were abuzz about this animated kids’ movie, which is apparently far more charming than the previews led us all to believe. Based on the book of the same name, it’s about a town where food, rather than the more ordinary forms of precipitation, falls from the sky. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

District 9: Producer Peter Jackson gets top billing, but this sci-fi film about aliens taking refuge in South Africa is actually the feature-film debut of director Neill Blomkamp. The buzz is beyond good; Blomkamp is already being dubbed one to watch. R. 112 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/20)

Funny People: Judd Apatow’s latest stars Adam Sandler as a comedian who’s received a dispiriting diagnosis: he’s dying. Enter Seth Rogen as a younger funny guy Sandler’s character takes under his crumped wing as part protégé, part employee. With Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman and Erica Bana. R. Movies 12. (8/6)

Gamer: Gerard Butler plays a character in a massive multiplayer game; he’s controlled by a teenager who’s a sort of superstar among gamers, but the nasty game overlord (Michael C. Hall) wil keep them both down. If you miss it, just wait a few weeks for the rather similar Bruce Willis flick Surrogates. R. Cinemark. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The penultimate Potter tale is a touch complicated: Voldemort is at work in the wizarding and Muggle worlds. Dumbledore needs Harry’s help in many things, including recruiting a new professor to Hogwarts. Students are being attacked, and an old book is full of unexpected information. PG. Cinemark. (7/16)

I Can Do Bad All By Myself: In Tyler Perry’s latest film, Madea (Perry) hands off two juvenile delinquents to their hard-drinking aunt, whose world is being changed by the man who’s moved into her basement. With Taraji P. Henson and Adam Rodriguez. PG13. Cinemark.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The scrappy critters from Ice Age return: two are having a baby, one might be losing his edge and another needs to be rescued. And then there’s that troubling flying squirrel from the preview… PG13. Movies 12.

Informant, The: The latest from Steven Soderbergh stars Matt Damon as an employee of an agri-business firm who turns informer — sort of; the whistle-blower isn’t entirely forthcoming, it seems. Maybe. Maybe he’s just a little strange. It’s “a return to form for Soderbergh,” says The New Yorker. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

Inglorious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s long-anticipated WWII movie stars Brad Pitt as the leader of a group of Jewish soldiers who “engage in targeted acts of retribution” against the Third Reich. “Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun,” said The Village Voice. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/27)

Jennifer’s Body: Diablo Cody (Juno) wrote this horror flick about a really hot high school girl (Megan Fox) who turns into a literal maneater. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) is her less sultry best friend, who has to save the boys of their town. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Julie & Julia: Julie Powell’s book about cooking her way through Julia Child’s masterpiece comes to screens as a two-part story: One part follows Powell in her Queens apartment, the other Child in France. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (8/13)

Love Happens: A superstar therapist (Aaron Eckhart) finally meets the woman (Jennifer Aniston) who might be able to help him help himself. I’m sorry, did anyone else just stifle a slight gag reflex? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

My One and Only: Renee Zellweger stars as a woman who, in 1953, leaves her husband and heads off on a road trip with her teenage sons. The film is based on “incidents in the life” of George Hamilton, here a teen and aspiring writer. “An affectionate period piece,” says The New York Times. PG13. VRC Stadium 15.

Nine: A small community of rag dolls come to life in a post-apocalyptic world, where strange machines threaten their existence. This astonishing-looking animated film is directed by Shane Acker (who previously made a short with the same name). With the voices of Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (9/17)

On the Waterfront: Academy Award-winning 1954 film features extraordinary performances by Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger in Elia Kazan’s gritty tale of New York dockworkers and union violence. NR. David Minor Theater.

Orphan: Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard star as parents devastated by the loss of an unborn child. The kid they take in doesn’t exactly make things better. R. Movies 12.

Paper Heart: A sorta-documentary (or is it a mockumentary) about Charlene Yi, who doesn’t believe in love. So she goes on a quest, talking to strangers about love, and then she meets Michael Cera, wh just might change her mind. “A quasi-documentary about love that is sweet, true and perhaps a little deceptive,” says Roger Ebert. PG13. 89 min. Bijou.

Proposal, The: “High-powered” publishing exec Sandra Bullock makes her put-upon assistant (Ryan Reynolds) get engaged to her so she can stay in the U.S. As much as I’m starting to like Reynolds, this is too much ick — and contrived nonsense — for one film. PG13. Movies 12.

Séraphine: This French film tells the (based on a true) story of Séraphine de Senlis (Yolande Moreau), a devout housekeeper whose artistic talent was discovered by a German art critic who was also the first Picasso buyer. The film won seven Cesars, the French equivalent of the Oscars. Not rated. 121 min. Bijou. (9/10)

Sorority Row: Sorority sisters accidentally kill one of their own; someone subsequently wants them dead. So … I Know What You Did Last Year on Campus? R. VRC Stadium 15.

Star Trek: Even the most crotchety critics are loving J.J. Abrams’ take on the maiden voyage of the Enterprise — and the rivalry-turned-friendship of young James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto). With Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Eric Bana. PG13. 126 min. Movies 12. (5/14)

Time Traveler’s Wife, The: Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana star in this adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling book about a man cursed with a genetic anomaly that sends him skipping, uncontrollably, through time — and the woman who loves him despite that. PG13.107 min. Cinemark.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen: A selection of comments: Roger Ebert: “a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments.” Detroit News: “A great grinding garbage disposal of a movie.” Dark Horizons: “The male teenage cinematic equivalent of snorting cocaine off a hooker’s ass.” Chicago Tribune: “like listening to rocks in a clothes dryer for 2 1/2 hours.” I think you get the point. PG13. 149 min. Movies 12.

Up: In the latest film from Pixar, a crotchety old balloon salesman sends his house into the sky (via balloons, of course) to escape from it all — only to find that he has an unwanted stowaway on his porch. The praise is already flowing — and deserved. PG. Movies 12. (6/4)

Whiteout: Kate Beckinsale plays a U.S. Marshall sent to Antarctica to investigate a death — but she only has days before the long, dark winter really settles in. R. Cinemark.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: My efforts to will this movie into not sucking proved mostly fruitless. Sure, Jackman is fine, Schreiber makes a good Sabretooth (if one utterly unlike the one in earlier films), and for about 10 minutes, Ryan Reynolds is a fantastic Deadpool, but the poor effects, silly plot and shallow writing don’t give me much else to care about. PG13. 107 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