Bella: A bad day for two people — one a former soccer player, the other a pregnant waitress — results in an unexpected connection. “A heart-tugger with the confidence not to tug too hard,” said Roger Ebert. PG13. 100 min. Cinemark.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Bob Marley: Live in Germany, 1980, on the final tour before Bob Marley’s death. Professionally shot video. Bijou LateNite.
City of Women: Federico Fellini’s 1980 film, about Don Juan trapped in a world of modern women, screens as part of DIVA’s Art House Films and Conversation series, and is followed by a discussion led by Steve Poizat-Newcomb. 7 pm Nov. 18, DIVA. Free.
Halloween: Rob Zombie directs this remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 film, but opts to take a peek into the past that created Michael Myers. R. 109 min. Movies 12.
Jane Austen Book Club, The: A sweet but slightly off adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler’s bestselling novel about six people — three friends, a daughter, two strangers — who form a book group to discuss Jane Austen’s six novels. Austen’s themes resonate throughout the story, and the cast is winning, but the film never reaches above a certain level of charm. PG13. 106 min. Movies 12. (10/4)
Love in the Time of Cholera: Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco, Pushing Tin) directs this adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel about a man who waits more than 50 years for his true love, engaging in many affairs while he waits for her to be free. Starring Javier Bardem and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. R. 139 min. Cinemark.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Piano Dreams: This educational film, co-written by music teacher Suzannah Doyle and former KVAL newscast director Lyris Cooper, explores ways to understand and create music through the stories of two composers with different techniques. Features appearances by several Eugene-area musicians and was filmed in the area. 7 pm Nov. 17, Crescent Valley High School Auditorium, Corvallis. $10, $5 stu., $20 family of four.
Punk’s Not Dead: As punk nears its 30th anniversary, this documentary explores the places where punk still thrives, from recording studios to basements and malls, considering whether a true punk spirit can still exist after punk’s been made into a marketing concept. Not rated. 93 min. Bijou LateNite.
Superbad: Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen both have fingers in this pie, as co-producer and co-writer, respectively. It’s the story of two high school friends, Evan (Michael Cera, Arrested Development) and Seth (Jonah Hill), who are trying — well, in classic teen movie fashion, they’re trying really hard to get laid. They’re about to go off to college; what do you expect? R. 114 min. Movies 12. (8/23)
War Made Easy: This documentary, based on the book by Norman Solomon, takes on government deception and the media’s complicity in the nation’s wars but fails to effectively make many of its points; the film seems to presuppose that you’re already on its side and don’t need too much evidence in order to be even more thoroughly convinced. But it’s hard to fault Solomon and the filmmakers too heavily, as their hearts — and minds — are in the right place. Not rated. 73 min. Bijou.
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. VRC Stadium 15. (10/18)
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (11/8)
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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)
Brave One, The: Jodie Foster plays a New York radio host who is attacked by a group of men who kill her fiancé (Naveen Andrews, from Lost). The experience leaves her shaken and transforms her into a vigilante in Neil Jordan’s dated-seeming film, which fails to fully investigate the questions its story seems to raise. R. 122 min. Movies 12. (9/20)
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. Movies 12.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Darjeeling Limited, The: Wes Anderson returns with this story about three brothers (Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody) on a journey through India. They’re sort of going to find their mom; they’re sort of going to find something spiritual; they’re sort of going to reconnect. But alas, the train sort of goes nowhere — not that that’ll keep Anderson fans from jumping on for the ride. R. 91 min. Bijou. (10/25)
Fred Claus: So what if Santa had a brother? Who happened to be the opposite of the saintly gift-giver: a repo man? That’s the basic premise of this film, but the reason people will see it, I suspect, is for Paul Giamatti in a Santa suit getting in a fight with Vince Vaughn. PG. 116 min. 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)
Into the Wild: Star Emile Hirsch bears a reasonable resemblance to Christopher McCandless, a bright, priveleged 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. (10/18)
Lars and the Real Girl: The remarkable Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) stars as Lars, who meets and brings home Bianca, a life-sized doll he treats as if she were a person. The film’s “daring and delicate blend of apparent irreconcilables will sweep you off your feet if you’re not careful,” said Los Angeles Times. PG13. 106 min. VRC Stadium 15. (11/1)
Lions for Lambs: Heavyweight actors take heavyweight roles in this story of three relatively powerful people — a professor (Robert Redford, who also directs), a senator (Tom Cruise) and a journalist (Meryl Streep) — whose actions and choices will affect the lives of two young men fighting in Afghanistan. R. 90 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Martian Child, The: John Cusack continues to drag his formerly youthful cinematic persona into adulthood with this film about a man who adopts a boy who claims to be from Mars. With Amanda Peet and the always-wonderful Joan Cusack. PG. 108 min. Movies 12.
Mr. Woodcock: This oft-delayed film involves a fellow (Seann William Scott) heading home to stop his mother (Susan Sarandon) from marrying his high school gym teacher (Billy Bob Thorton), who was, shall we say, no saint. PG13. Movies 12.
Nanny Diaries, The: Jersey girl Annie (Scarlett Johansson) is at odds with her mother as to what she should do with her life when an unexpected opportunity arises: She’ll become a nanny for a wealthy family on NYC’s Upper East Side. Working for the very rich turns out not to be quite the escape from real life that she expected. With Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. PG13. 106 min. Movies 12. (8/30)
P2: Horror flicks are beginning to search out new, creative settings for their films, obviously; this one takes place in a parking garage (it’s a level number! Now it all makes sense!). When an over-achiever stays late on Christmas Eve, she winds up at a very different dinner than the one she expected. R. 98 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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)
Saw IV: Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his apprentice are dead, but the nastiness continues during the investigation of his last bunch of murders. But if you’re going to see this one, you don’t need me to tell you that. R. 108 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)
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.
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. Movies 12. (9/13)
Underdog: Jason Lee voices the titular canine, who finds himself superpowered after an incident in the lab of mad scientist Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage). Bad guys have plots, but Underdog has a spaniel to impress! Oh, and the day to save. PG. 84 min. Movies 12.
Wristcutters: A Love Story: Devastated over a breakup, Zia (Patrick Fugit) slits his wrists, only to wake up in a strange afterlife where he makes a few friends and sets out to find his ex, who’s also done herself in. “An odd, touching adventure,” said The New York Times. R. 91 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