BloodRayne: IMDB describes it as an action, fantasy, horror flick "driven by revenge," while The Horror Channel calls filmmaker Uwe Boll "the modern day Ed Wood." You're on your own with this one. Stars Kristiana Loken as Rayne, with support from Michelle Rodgriguez, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen and Billy Zane. R. Cinemark.
Breakfast on Pluto
: Neil Jordan returns to the themes of his "Crying Game" with the story of a misunderstood Irish youth (Cillian Murphy) who finds a career as a transvestite performer in London. Critically acclaimed film also stars Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea. R. Bijou.
Brigade, The: Aleksei Sidorov's 2002 critical and popular tale of the Russian "Mafia." The story follows four best friends as they choose a life of crime. Episode 1 of 15 begins at 9 pm on 1/11 in 111 Pacific, UO. In Russian with English subtitles. Free.
Brokeback Mountain: A rodeo rider (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a ranch hand (Heath Ledger) fall in love in Ang Lee's Western, adapted for the screen by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, based on a story by Annie Proulx. Also stars Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Randy Quaid. A great film; don't miss this one. It's perfect in every way. Very highest recommendations. Cinema World. Cinemark. See review this issue.
Casanova: In Lasse Hallstrom's screen version, the Italian lover Casanova is played by Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain). Sienna Miller plays the woman he wants to want him. Also stars Lena Olin, Oliver Platt and Jeremy Irons. Looks like fun. R. Cinemark.
Glory Road: Directed by James Gartner and based on a true story, the film follows Coach Dan Haskins (Josh Lucas) lead his 1966 Texas Western all-black starting line-up college basketball team to the NCAA national championship title. PG. Sneak at 7:30 pm on 1/7. Cinemark.
Grandma's Boy: Directed by Nicholaus Goossen, this comedy stars Allen Covert as a 35-year old viddeo-game tester who has to move in with his grandma (Doris Roberts) and her roommates (Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight). Expect lots of ageist gags. R. Cinemark.
Hostel: Horror flick about American college backpackers who link up with a new pal to travel in Slovakia. Executive produced by Quentin Tarantino, it's supposedly really scary but humorous. R. Cinemark.
Idiot, The: Directed by Vladimir Bortko, this 2003 screen adaptation of Dostoevsky's famous 19th century novel is appropriately faithful and beautiful. Episode 1 of 8 begins at 6 pm on 1/11 in 111 Pacific, UO. In Russian with English subtitles. Free.
Waiting: Comedy about "frustrated waiters, stingy tippers and dicey food" wants to take away your appetite. Stars Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris and Justin Long. Duh! R. Movies 12.
Capote: Director Bennett Miller and writer Dan Futterman create a moving portrait of writer Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) during the years following grisly Kansas murders that rocked the country. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives an indelible performance, likewise Catherine Keener. Clifton Collins plays Perry Smith, one of the killers befriended by Capote. Very highest recommendations. R. Bijou. Online archive.
Cheaper By the Dozen 2: Steve Martin stars in this sequel to his 2003 family comedy, which also stars Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo and Hilary Duff. Directed by Adam Shankman (The Pacifier). PG. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: One of the most beloved adventure stories written, this is the tale of four siblings who walk into a magic land and meet astonishing creatures who change their lives forever. Based on C.S. Lewis' timeless stories, the film is directed by New Zealander Andrew Adamson. It stars Tilda Swinton, Rupert Everett, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone and children: Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and William Moseley. PG. Cinema World. Cinemark. Online archives.
Corpse Bride, Tim Burton's: Stop-motion animated film set in a 19th century European village is voiced by Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Emily Watson. Movies 12.
Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story: Drama about a father (Kurt Russell) who, for the love of his daughter (Dakota Fanning), sacrifices almost everything to save the life of an injured racehorse and bring the filly back to her former glory. Also stars Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Shue. Rated PG. Movies 12.
Elizabethtown: Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous) directs Orlando Bloom as a young man who's just lost his job, his girlfriend and his father. He meets Kirsten Dunst on a plane. This romantic comedy-drama tells his story of returning home to Kentucky and finding new meaning in his life. PG-13. Movies 12.
Family Stone, The: Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for the holidays. Parents (Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson) and siblings (Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Reaser, Luke Wilson, Ty Giordano) welcome her in their own ways. Also stars Claire Danes. Directed by Thomas G. Bezucha. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Flightplan: Jody Foster stars in this Brian Grazer-produced psychological thriller about a woman whose 6-year old daughter disappears without a trace mid-flight in a state-of-the-art aircraft. Directed by Robert Swenke, film also stars Peter Sarsgaard and Sean Bean. PG-13. Movies 12. Online archives.
Forty-Year Old Virgin: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) has lived a life of involuntary chastity, and his friends are determined to do something about his state. Directed by Judd Apatow, the film stars Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd and others. R. Movies 12. Online archives.
Fun With Dick and Jane: Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni star as middle-class thieves in Dean Parisot's remake of the limp 1977 comedy starring Jane Fonda and George Segal. Also stars Alec Bladwin and Angie Harmon. PG-13. Cinemark. Cinema World.
Good Night and Good Luck: Edward R. Murrow did more to make television a serious news venue than almost any other journalist. George Clooney's film is set in 1953, when the CBS newsman (played by David Strathairn) battled powerful Senator Joseph McCarthy (shown only in archival shots and speaking his own words).. McCarthy's witch hunting tactics were on display in the House Un-American Activities Committee, and Clooney wants us to remember Murrow's courage. As The New York Times puts it: "Murrow, a war hero in his own right, recognized McCarthyism as a domestic echo of Nazism." This may be the best movie of the year. Very highest recommendations. PG. Bijou. Online archives.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Starring Daniel Radcliffe. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, this episode finds Harry's friends trying to help him through difficult times, as evidence of the presence of Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) appears. Voldemort was last seen 13 years ago, the night he murdered Harry's parents. PG-13. Cinemark. Online archives.
Jarhead: Screen adaptation of Marine Anthony Swofford's memoir of his disorienting experiences in the Gulf War stars Jake Gyllenhaal as "Swoff," Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard. Directed by Sam Mendes. Highest recommendations. R. Movies 12. Online archives.
Just Friends: When Chris (Ryan Reynolds) returns to his 10-year high school reunion, he's hoping his best friend (Amy Samart) will be more than friends. PG-13. Movies 12.
Just Like Heaven: Romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo is set in San Francisco, where both claim a charming apartment is theirs alone. When she discovers she can walk through walls, they determine to solve the mystery. Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday). PG-13. Movies 12.
King Kong: Peter Jackson's highly anticipated re-imagining of the original film stars Naomi Watts as an actress, Jack Black as an adventurous filmmaker, and Adrien Brody as a playwright. Their troubles begin when they capture a giant ape and bring him to the city. Love this movie! Very highest recommendations. PG-13. Cinemark. Cinema World. Online archives.
Legend of Zorro, The: The original masked man again played by Antonio Banderas is now working to gain statehood for California. (Huh?) Catherine Zeta-Jones and director Martin Campbell from the original return as well. Action adventure with a flair. PG-13. Movies 12.
Memoirs of a Geisha: Rob Marshall (Chicago) directs the screen version of the 1997 Arthur Golden novel, which is about a poor girl who becomes the most celebrated geisha of her time. The film stars the beautiful and talented Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh, with Ken Watanabe as the leading man. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Munich: Steven Spielberg's already controversial film about the secret Mossad assassins who tracked down the masked Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Screenplay by Tony Kushner (Angels in America), film stars Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz and Ciaran Hinds. Very highest recommendations. R. Cinemark. See review this issue.
North Country: Niki Caro (Whale Rider) delivers this powerful story of Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) and her struggle against sexual harassment in the mines of northern Minnesota. Also stars Sissy Spacek, Elle Peterson, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean. Rated R. Movies 12.
Producers, The: Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprise their award-winning Broadway performances in this adaptation by Susan Stroman of Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan show, which was based on Mel Brook's movie, which was based on an earlier movie. So the material is familiar. But, hey, this movie also stars Will Ferrell, Uma Thurman and Andrea Martin. PG-13. Cinemark.
Ringer, The: Comedy directed by Barry Blaustein stars Johnny Knoxville as a gambler posing as a contestant in the Special Olympics, which he plans to fix. Also stars Brian Ciox, Katherine Heigl. PG-13. Cinemark.
Rumor Has It: This family comedy romance directed by Rob Reiner stars Jennifer Aniston, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Kevin Costner and Mena Suvari. I love it when Aniston wails, "We're the Robinsons," refering to the love affair between Dustin Hoffman and Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) in Mike Nichols' 1967 great film, The Graduate. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Squid and the Whale, The: Writer, director Noah Baumbach's heartfelt film about divorce stars Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline. Funny, poignant, and subtle, the film is one of the best of the year. Highest recommendations. R. Bijou. Online archives.
Walk the Line: The new Johnny Cash biopic stars the excellent Joaquin Phoenix as the singer, songwriter known as the Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon (with dark hair) as singer, songwriter June Carter Cash, his second wife and partner for 35 years. Directed by James Mangold. Highest recommendations for this musical love story. PG-13. Cinemark. Online archives.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: Nick Park's and Steve Box's outstanding creations, an eccentric inventor named Wallace and his long-suffering, silent but faithful dog, Gromit, finally reach the big screen in their first feature-length film. The mystery of a vegetable-ravaging "beast" must be solved to save the village's Giant Vegetable Competition, and our intrepid hero Wallace (voice by Peter Sallis) is just the man for the job. Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Careter) and Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes) co-star. Most excellent, divine comedy. G. Movies 12.
Wolf Creek: Supposedly based on actual Australian homicides, the film is directed by Greg McLean and stars Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi and Nathan Phillips as backpackers in the outback who run into some hell-bent crazies. R. Cinemark.
Zathura: Like the 1995 hit Jumanji, this tale of two brothers (Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bob) who find a peculiar board game in their basement and find out the game is true is far-fetched but fun. Jon Favreau directs, and film also stars Tim Robbins, Kristen Stewart. PG. Movies 12.
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