Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, The: Brad Pitt stars as the legendary outlaw and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, a huge admirer of James. “A haunting retelling of one of the enduring outlaw sagas in American culture,” said Entertainment Weekly. R. 160 min. VRC Stadium 15.
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. Movies 12.
Bonnie and Clyde: Arthur Penn’s Oscar-winning 1967 film about criminals Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) screens as part of DIVA’s Art House Films and Conversations series, with a discussion to follow facilitated by Steve Poizat-Newcomb. 111 min. 7 pm Oct. 21, DIVA. Free.
Comebacks, The: Because there now must be a send-up movie for everything, including inspirational sports movies (don’t those do a pretty decent job of sending themselves up?). You know the drill: Coach, ragtag band of misfits, bad jokes, etc. PG13. 84 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Deep Water: Documentary about the first solo, non-stop, around-the-world yacht race; its nine-person field included an amateur sailor named Donald Crowhurst, who is the film’s focus. “A story … brought bracingly and compellingly back to life,” said The Oregonian. PG. 92 min. Bijou.
Gone Baby Gone: Ben Affleck steps behind the camera to direct his brother Casey (along with Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman) in this story, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), about Boston detectives investigating a kidnapping. R. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Into the Wild: Star Emile Hirsch bears a reasonable resemblance to Christopher McCandless, a bright, privileged young man who took off into Alaska in the early 1990s, but Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s novel doesn’t create an entirely satisfying portrait of the man whose story has been captivating readers for a decade. R. 140 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Led Zeppelin: This first part of a three-hour long performance, shot in Seattle in 1977. (Part 2 shows Nov. 2-4). Bijou LateNite.
Nightmare Before Christmas, The: Tim Burton’s endlessly entertaining, original Halloween/Christmas fable returns yet again in 3D. See if you don’t leave the theater singing. PG. 76 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
No Reservations: Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a perfectionist chef at a fancy Manhattan restaurant whose world is shaken up by the arrival of her niece (Abigail Breslin) and a new sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) with a style in direct opposition to her own. PG. 105 min. Movies 12.
Rendition: Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) directs this timely tale of a woman (Reese Witherspoon) whose Egyptian-born husband disappears from a flight home — and the young CIA analyst (Jake Gyllenhaal) who finds himself in a morally troubling position as a witness to the man’s fate. With Meryl Streep and Peter Saarsgard. R. 122 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour: This kids’ film sounds a bit like Nancy Drew meets The X-Files, with young Sarah (Rissa Walters) returning to her childhood home to find strange things afoot. PG. 88 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Stardust: Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) takes a firm and steady hand to the many plot threads of this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel about a fallen star with an attitude and the many characters seeking her. Wicked and charming, sweet and sly, with a stellar cast and a superb sense of humor. PG13. 128 min. Movies 12. (8/9)
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. Movies 12.
Taiwan Film Festival: Thirteen films exploring “the quality, range and vitality of contemporary Taiwanese filmmaking” screen over three days, including the documentaries Tigerwomen Grow Wings and Vision of Darkness, and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous but slow-moving Three Times. Oct. 18-20, UO’s Lillis and Chiles buildings. For full schedule, see 2007tff.blogspot.com Free.
Things We Lost in the Fire: Susanne Bier (After the Wedding) makes her English-language directorial debut with this story of a widow (Halle Berry) who invites her husband’s troubled best friend (Benicio del Toro) to live with her and her children. R. 119 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Warren Miller’s Playground: The lastest action sports film from Warren Milller includes footage shot in Sweden, Canada, Alaska and Ski Dubai, a resort in the middle of a desert. Featured athletes include Bode Miller, Zach and Reggie Crist, the Burton Smalls Team and more. Admissoin includes a handful of coupons for lift tickets and discounts. 6 pm & 9 pm Oct. 24, McDonald Theatre. $16.50.
Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted. See archived reviews at www.eugeneweekly.com
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
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. Movies 12. (8/9)
Day Watch: The second film in Timur Bekmambetov’s visionary trilogy continues the story of the Night Watch and the Day Watch as they maintain the balance between the forces of light and darkness. One powerful character has joined the dark side, another is the leader of the light, and a lost magical item is the only hope. R. 132 min. Bijou.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age: Director Shekhar Kapur, star Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush all return in this sequel to 1998’s Elizabeth, the movie that confirmed Blanchett as a major star and talent. The Golden Age adds Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh, Samantha Morton as Mary Queen of Scots, and takes place against England’s clash with Spain. PG13. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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. Movies 12. (7/26)
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. Movies 12. (7/19)
Heartbreak Kid, The: Ben Stiller meets the love of his life! Except … not really. Wasn’t this movie called Meet the Parents a few years ago? OK, OK, so this time it’s the girl who’s the problem. And this adaptation of Neil Simon’s 1972 play is directed by the Farrelly Brothers, who struck gold with Stiller and humiliation comedy with There’s Something About Mary. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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.
In the Shadow of the Moon: A nearly-perfect documentary that brings together the surviving Apollo astronauts to tell their stories of visiting another planet. Beautiful, moving and inspired. PG. 100 min. Bijou. (10/11)
In the Valley of Elah: The latest from director Paul Haggis (Crash) is “inspired by true events” and concerns a veteran, his wife and their search for their son, who’s gone missing after returning from Iraq. It’s got a superb cast (Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Charlize Theron) yet never catches fire. R. 121 min. Cinemark. (10/4)
Kingdom, The: “If Frank Capra had ever made a Rambo movie, it would have looked like this,” said Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. Peter Berg directs an interesting cast (Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Chris Cooper) in the story of an FBI team sent to Riyadh to capture a terrorist mastermind. R. 110 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.
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. Movies 12.
Ratatouille: The latest animated film from Pixar is directed by Brad Bird (whose The Iron Giant is too often overlooked) and concerns a big-dreaming rat who wants to be a chef. When he makes a deal with a garbage boy, the culinary world of Paris gets far more than it ever imagined. G. 110 min. Movies 12. (7/12)
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.
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.
Seeker, The: This movie was once called The Dark is Rising, for it was once (and ostensibilty still is) based on Susan Cooper’s wonderful, award-winning series of books. But her books were steeped in Welsh mythology and were decidedly not about an American preteen in a Santa Cruz jacket. Still, powers of light and dark, saving the world, etc. — all good themes for us fantasy fans. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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.
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. (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. Movies 12.
We Own the Night: Family and loyalty clash in James Gray’s film, in which nightclub manager Bobby (Joaquin Phoenix) hides his relationship to a NYC cop family while also keeping a distance from the gangster who operates out of his club. With Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall. R. 105 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Why Did I Get Married?: Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman) directs and costars with Janet Jackson, Jill Scott and others in the story of a group of college friends whose relationships are shaken by one couple’s secrets. PG13. 113 min. Cinemark.
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