Eugene Weekly : Movies : 1.24.08



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

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem: Honest to goodness, I didn’t even know they were making another AVP until I saw an ad last week. Directors Colin and Greg Strause did visual effects work on 300, which ought to be enough to get a certain audience into theaters to watch the nasty monsters fight. R. 86 min. Movies 12.

Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The: Julian Schnabel’s affecting film puts viewers inside the mind of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Almaric), the French Elle editor whose entire body was paralyzed — except for one eye, via which he blinks to communicate. Gracefully told and beautifully acted, Schabel’s film is one of the best-received of the year. PG13. 112 min. Bijou. See review this issue.

Ethnic Fim Studies Series: Series focuses on “Transnational Capital and Governance” with Life & Debt, Stephanie Black’s film exploring the ways international aid agencies have changed Jamaica’s economy. 6 pm Jan. 31, 240A McKenzie, UO. Free.

Films of Cuba’s Special Period, 1994-2003: Film series presents Guantanamera, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío. In the satirical comedy, a family accompanies the casket of a famous diva on a strange journey to the funeral. 7 pm Jan. 30, 129 McKenzie, UO. Free.

Golden Compass, The: An only slightly above average film based on Philip Pullman’s utterly brilliant novel. In a world much like our own, everyone has an animal companion who’s part of themselves, and one little girl (Dakota Blue Richards) is the key to saving not just her own world, but countless others as well. With Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Sam Elliott. PG13. 113 min. Movies 12. (12/13)

How She Move: Coming of age tale about a young woman whose talent for step dancing helps her continue after her sister’s death. PG13. 98 min. Cinemark.

I’m Not There: Portland filmmaker Todd Haynes’ (Far From Heaven) unconventional Bob Dylan movie is one of the year’s most anticipated — and, for the most part, highly praised. Different actors, including Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale, play incarnations of Dylan over the decades. “One of the most inventive and joyous movies of the year,” said Salon. R. 135 min. Bijou LateNite. (12/6)

Meet the Spartans: Didn’t I just joke, a few weeks ago, that apparently everything must get its own send-up movie now? The latest addition to the bloated category spoofs 300, Britney Spears and, um, You Got Served. PG13. 84 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Michael Clayton: George Clooney plays the title character, a “fixer” at a law firm. When one of his colleagues seems to snap, sabotaging a major case, Clayton is forced to take a good look at what he’s doing. “A terrifically engrossing, tethered-to-the-real-world drama,” said Entertainment Weekly. R. 119 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (10/25)

Rambo: Jon Rambo (oh, you know who plays him) sees his solitary life in Thailand come to a crashing close when two American human rights missionaries (Julie Benz and Paul Schulze) track him down and ask for his help getting into Burma. When they don’t return, Rambo knows what must be done. And it involves cheesy one-liners! R. 93 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Rocky Horror Picture Show, The: Do the time warp again! Catch the long-term 1970s camp cult classic fave with live performance by Forbidden Fruit. R. Bijou LateNite, Friday only.

Swedish Film Series: In Mikael Håfström’s Evil (2006), a young man is expelled for fighting at one school only to end up at a boarding school where the older students control the younger and the teachers turn a blind eye. 7 pm Jan. 25, 177 Lawrence, UO. Free.

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. R. 158 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Untraceable: Another movie about the horrors of technology! Goodness! This time, a nasty, tech-savvy internet criminal is killing people at a speed determined by the number of hits his ghoulish website gets. Diane Lane and Colin Hanks are gonna get the bad guy, though. An awful lot seems to go on in the preview for this one. R. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

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



Across the Universe: Julie Taymor (Titus, Broadway’s The Lion King) puts her ambitious but unsatisfying spin on a love story built around Beatles songs, following a young man (Jim Sturgess) and the girl he falls for (Evan Rachel Wood) amid the tumult of the 1960s. PG13. 131 min. Movies 12. (10/18)

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

American Gangster: Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe face off in the story of 1970s driver turned drug lord Frank Lucas (Washington) and the cop investigating Lucas and his unexpected rise to power. Directed by Ridley Scott. R. 157 min. Movies 12. (11/8)

Atonement: Finally, Joe Wright’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s exceptional — and exceptionally difficult to summarize — novel comes to town. Atonement takes place across years, as the actions of young Briony (Saoirse Ronan) have lengthy, unimagined consequences to the futures of her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and their housekeeper’s son, Robbie (James McAvoy). R. 123 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (1/10)

August Rush: Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers star as a musical young couple whose lovelorn encounter produces a child. Orphaned “by circumstance” (says the description), the boy (Freddie Highmore) grows up to become a musical prodigy. PG. 113 min. Movies 12.

Bee Movie: Not much looks all that sweet about this animated comedy, in which Jerry Seinfeld voices a recent bee college graduate who learns, to his shock, that humans have been stealing bees’ honey for ages and ages. With the voices of Renee Zellweger and Matthew Broderick. PG. 90 min. Movies 12.

Beowulf: Robert Zemeckis, working from a screenplay by Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman, directs this version of the story of the warrior Beowulf, with Ray Winstone in the title role and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother. Reviews are good, but it still looks like a video game. PG13. 114 min. Movies 12. (11/21)

Bucket List, The: Jack Nicholson, I expect this kind of thing from. But Morgan Freeman? In this schmalty-sounding flick about two new friends trying to cram all the adventures of a lifetime into a considerably shorter amount of time? Oh, Rob Reiner. Once upon a time, you made a good movie or two. PG13. 97 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Charlie Wilson’s War: Mike Nichols directs from an Aaron Sorkin script this political … drama? comedy? … about a congressman (Tom Hanks) who combined forces with a CIA agent (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and a rich socialite (Julia Roberts) to direct a massive covert operation during the Cold War era. R. 97 min. Movies 12. (1/3)

Cloverfield: It’ll be no surprise to fans of J.J. Abrams’ Lost that the characters in Cloverfield, an Abrams-produced film about a group of friends trying to survive a monstrous attack on Manhattan, have their own MySpace pages — among lord knows how many other sites adding to the movie’s mythos. Though it’s gripping while you’re in the theater, the movie’s flaws start to come to mind once you step back into daylight. PG13. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Control: Best known as a photographer, Anton Corbijn directs this biographical look at Ian Curtis, the troubled singer for Manchester’s Joy Division in the late 1970s. Gorgeously filmed, thick with the band’s songs (often as played by the actors) and reflective, Control costars the wonderful Samantha Morton as Curtis’ wife, on whose book the movie was based. R. 121 min. Bijou LateNite. (1/17)

Dan in Real Life: Poor Dan (Steve Carrell) is an advice columnist with a passel of daughters whose life is further complicated when he falls for his brother’s girlfriend (Juliette Binoche). Also, the brother is played by Dane Cook. PG13. 99 min. Movies 12.

Game Plan, The: The Rock stretches his dramatic skills as a football player faced with a strange challenge: a little girl who claims to be his daughter. PG. Movies 12.

Gone Baby Gone: Ben Affleck steps behind the camera to direct his brother Casey (along with Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman) in this film, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) about Boston detectives investigating a kidnapping. R. 114 min. Movies 12.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/20)

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 (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) who wants to adopt it. “Hilarious and sweet-tempered, perceptive and surprisingly grounded,” said the Los Angeles Times. PG13. 96 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (1/10)

Kite Runner, The: Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) directs this adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel about a writer who is drawn back to the Afghanistan of his youth in order to help an old friend’s son. In flashback, Forster draws wonderful performances from two young actors, but the adult Amir’s storyline hinges too heavily on coincidence. PG13. 127 min. Cinemark. (1/10)

Mad Money: The unexpected trio of Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton star as new friends who decide to rob their employer, a Federal Reserve bank, because the system is keeping them down, man. Directed by Callie Khouri, whom some of us will always love for writing Thelma & Louise. PG13. 104 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: This story about a magical toy store, its owner (Dustin Hoffman) and the young shop employee who might inherit it (Natalie Portman) is written and directed by Zach Helm, who also wrote last year’s Stranger Than Fiction. G. 94 min. Movies 12.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

No Country for Old Men: The latest from the Coen brothers is a near-masterpiece, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel, and it’s earning plenty of acclaim itself. The story involves a small-town sherriff, a deadly drug deal and a psychopathic killer (Javier Bardem). The reviewers say “intense,” “searing,” “an evil delight.” R. 122 min. VRC Stadium 15. (11/29)

Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, The: Those talking side dishes return in the latest Veggie Tales movie, in which three veggie pals set sail into the 17th century and learn what it means to be heroes. G. Cinemark.

Savages, The: Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills) wrote and directed this bleak yet funny film about two siblings — adults yet not really grown up — brought together by the need to take care of their aging, aggravating father. The film slouches a bit in the middle, but great performances from Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman carry it through. R. 113 min. Bijou. (1/17)

Sweeney Todd: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (and Alan Rickman!) star in Tim Burton’s take on the Broadway musical about a murderous barber who’s sworn revenge for what happened to his wife and daughter. “Depp is simply stupendous,” says Rolling Stone. R. 117 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/27)

Thirty Days of Night: Thirty days of darkness in small-town Alaska make the place a haven for things that like the dark in this film, based on the graphic novel of the same name. Starring Josh Hartnett and — ooh! — Danny Huston, who raises the level of anything he’s in. But can he do it here? R. 113 min. Movies 12.

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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Water Horse: Legend of the Deep: It’s nice to see Ben Chaplin (The Truth About Cats and Dogs) again, even if it’s in this too-cute-but-still-charming children’s film about a boy who finds a mysterious eggs that turns into a mythical creature. Directed by Jay Russell (My Dog Skip). PG. VRC Stadium 15.


Use the links provided below for specific show times.

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
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall