Diary of the Dead: The latest zombie flick from George A. Romero focuses on filmmakers working on a documentary about zombies (and government suppression of the existence of the zombies). “Romero, even behind the curve, makes other genre filmmakers look like fraidy-cats,” says New York magazine’s David Edelstein. R. Bijou.
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.
Four Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days: This spectacular, painful to watch Romanian film, set in 1987, focuses on two college rommates and their complicated, horrible, trying experience obtaining a black-market abortion. Filmmaker Cristian Mungiu has created a beautiful, horrifying film about life under totalitarianism, about freedom and about the decisions a person makes in life. Not to be missed. Not rated. 113 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
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.
Progressive Rock: Yes, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and more appear in this collection of classic live performances. Part of the In-Concert series. Bijou LateNite.
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.
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.
Superhero Movie: The Scary Movie send-uppers turn their attention to spandex-clad superheroes. PG13. 85 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.
Zula Patrol: Five episodes of the animated space adventure series show on the big screen. 10 am March 29, Cinemark.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted. See archived reviews at www.eugeneweekly.com
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)
Bank Job, The: Jason Statham (The Transporter) and Saffron Burrows star in this film based on the 1971 robbery at Lloyds Bank in London. To the thieves’ surprise, the box they steal has more than just cash in it. “Shapes up as one of the liveliest entertainments of the year,” said Andrew Sarris in The New York Observer. R. 110 min. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
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)
Cloverfield: Though it’s gripping while you’re in the theater, this J.J. Abrams-produced monster flick about a beast that destroys Manhattan starts to seem flawed and somewhat silly once you step back into daylight. PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.
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)
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.
I Am Legend: Will Smith does the all-by-his-lonesome thing in a New York City left not exactly empty after a manmade virus devastates the globe. During the day, he tries to find other survivors; at night, he tries to survive the creatures that are what’s left of humanity. PG13. 100 min. Movies 12. (12/20)
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)
Meet the Browns: Multihyphenate Tyler Perry directed, wrote and stars in his latest film, which is about a Chicago single mother (the recently underseen Angela Bassett) who finds a father she never knew has died — and that his whole small-town Southern family is waiting for her in Georgia. PG13. 100 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Other Boleyn Girl, The: In this film, based on Phllippa Gregory’s novel, Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) Boleyn are sent by their family to lure the attentions of the king of England (Eric Bana). Court intrigue, family drama and other period-piece standards fill out the sisters’ stories as they fight for love and power. PG13. 115 min. 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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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.
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.
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.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall