Eugene Weekly : Movies : 12.10.09




Box, The: Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly continues to perplex fans with his third film, a thriller about a couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) whose lives seem normal enough — until Frank Langella shows up on their doorstep with a troubling proposition. “If you make a preposterous movie that isn’t boring, I count that as some kind of a triumph,” said Roger Ebert. PG13. Movies 12.

Changing Brains: The UO Brain Development Laboratory presents a new DVD about the effects of experience on brain development. Event includes children’s activities and a Q&A with producer Helen Neville. 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, Cozmic Pizza. Free.

Chel White: DIVA hosts a retrospective of the work of Portland filmmaker and “cinematic poet” Chel White, whose films have shown at festivals worldwide. His recent film “A Painful Glimpse Into My Writing Process (In Less Than 60 Seconds)” is based on an essay by poet Scott Poole. 7 pm Friday, Dec. 11, DIVA. $6.

Damned United, The: Peter Morgan (The Queen) scripted this British soccer story, which focused on manager Brian Clough (Michael Sheen, whom The Oregonian says is “absolutely remarkable”), an abrasive, outspoken fellow who gets a chance to coach the country’s best team. With Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent and Colm Meaney. R. Bijou. See review this issue.

Frost/Nixon: Ron Howard directs this look at the 1977 interview in which David Frost (Michael Sheen) took on Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in a televised battle of wits. “Involving, engrossing cinema,” said the L.A. Times. R. 122 min. 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, Campbell Community Center, 155 High. Free.  (1/29)

Heckler’s Night: The Goat gets out Red Dawn for this week’s Heckler’s Night selection. See it now, before the (totally unnecessary yet doubtless quite amusing) remake comes out! (OK, so you’ve got a while before that happens.) 7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16, Wandering Goat. Free.

Horse Boy, The: This documentary follows Rowan Isaacson, a young boy with autism who has a link with his family’s horse. When the work of healers and shamans seems to improve Rowan’s symptoms, his family looks for a place that combines horses and shamans, and takes the boy to Mongolia. “A lyrical and stirring meditation on the mystery of autism,” said Entertainment Weekly. Bijou.

Ingredients: Documentary exploring the growing local food movement highlights many Oregon chefs and farmers, including Greg Higgins, Cory Schreiber and Nostrana’s Cathy Whims. 2 pm Saturday, Dec. 12, 130 Peavy Hall, OSU, Corvallis. $10; proceeds benefit Ten Rivers Food Web.

Invictus: Morgan Freeman tackles a South African accent to play Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s latest based-on-a-true-story film, about Mandela’s effort to unite his nation “through the universal language of sport” — in this case, rugby. Matt Damon plays the rugby team captain. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. 

It’s a Wonderful Life: You know what happens in Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday classic: depressed George Bailey (James Stewart) gets shown what the world would be like without him. David Minor Theater. 

Occupation 101: This documentary, which explores the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shows as part of a fundraiser to send local student Michael King to the Gaza Freedom March later this month. 8:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, Cozmic Pizza. Sug. don.

Princess and the Frog, The: The latest princess film from Disney sets the classic story in New Orleans, where Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) meets a frog (Keith David) who, naturally, has a secret. Or a past. Or both. As frogs do, I suppose. G. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Rise: Fly fishing adventure movie screens as a fundraiser for the Southern Oregon Casting for Recovery retreat, an annual event for breast cancer survivors. 5:30 pm and 7 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, David Minor Theater. $10.

Secret of Oz, The: The International Workers of the World present this screening of a documentary about world banking and the story behind government debt. 7 pm Tuesday, Dec. 15, Cozmic Pizza. Free.

Stepfather, The: A young man (Penn Badgley) comes home from military school to find that his mother’s new boyfriend (Dylan Walsh) has moved in — and maybe isn’t so cool as mom (Sela Ward) thinks he is. PG13. Movies 12.

Films open the Friday following EW publication date unless otherwise noted.


An Education: Relative newcomer Carey Mulligan has rightly been called “luminous” in her role as Jenny, an eager-to-grow-up 16-year-old in 1960s England who meets a much older man. David (Peter Sarsgaard) introduces her to the world she dreams of inhabiting. He changes her life, but not in the expected way, and not for the expected reasons. PG-13. 95 min. Bijou. (11/19)

Antichrist: Charlotte Gainsbourge and Willem Dafoe star in the latest from Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves), a provcative and violent story about a couple who try to deal with grief in an isolated cabin — only to find things get a lot worse. Not rated. Bijou. (12/3) 

Armored: Matt Dillon, Jean Reno and Laurence Fisburne are three armored-car company employees who decide to steal from their company. And then someone tries to help, and messes everything up. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Blind Side, The: Sandra Bullock stars as a rich Southern lady who takes in a homeless African-American kid who becomes a star footbal player. Tell me you see the problems with this. “What The Blind Side offers is a kind of liberal Hollywood version of conservative values: all rock-solid valor, all the time,” said Entertainment Weekly. PG-13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Boondock Saints II: All Saints’ Day: The sequel to the cultish 2000 Boondock Saints reunites the vigilante MacManus brothers (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus); the rest of the cast includes the fantastic Clifton Collins Jr. and reliable Julie Benz (Dexter), but reviews are calling it style over substance. R. VRC Stadium 15.

Brothers: Jim Sheridan (In America) directs this story about Grace (Natalie Portman), whose husband Sam (Tobey Maguire) is presumed dead in Iraq. His brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) steps in to help; a connection is made; Sam returns, and things get complicated. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. 

Capitalism: A Love Story: Michael Moore’s latest, a look at the still-ongoing financial crisis, is getting mixed reviews; to some it’s an “emotional attack” and “scattershot and lazy,” while others think it’s moving and energizing. R. Movies 12. (10/8)

Christmas Carol, A: Robert Zemeckis turns his 3-D obsessed attention to the classic holiday story. I’m assuming this will have less dick jokes than did Beowulf. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Couples Retreat: Four Midwestern couples — among them Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell and Malin Ackerman — head off on a group retreat to a couples resort where couples therapy turns out to be necessary. Directed by Peter Billingsley, aka that kid from A Christmas Story. PG13. Movies 12.

Everybody’s Fine: Robert De Niro is the pops in a friendly family flick about parents and their adult children. With Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and — say it ain’t so! — Sam Rockwell, who should do more Moons and less stuff like this. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. 

Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson (Rushmore) steps into the animated world with this adaptation of the Roald Dahl book about a thieving Fox (George Clooney) who gets himself in a battle with three nasty farmers (the leader of whom is voiced by Michael Gambon). Anderson’s stop-motion world is delightful, but the film feels a little distant. PG. 88 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (12/3) 

Fourth Kind, The: People are disappearing from a small town in Alaska; are aliens really to blame? Milla Jovovich keeps appearing in poorly-received thrillers and horror flicks; how do we stop this? PG13. Movies 12.

Funny People: Judd Apatow’s latest stars Adam Sandler as a comedian who’s received a dispiriting diagnosis: he’s dying. Enter Seth Rogen as a younger funny guy Sandler’s character takes under his crumped wing as part protégé, part employee. With Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman and Erica Bana. R. David Minor Theater. (8/6)

G-Force: Talking guinea pigs save the world! Or whatever. Is this just an entire film capitalizing on the animation used to create that creepy-eyed creature in the godawful Bedtime Stories? PG. Movies 12.

Inglorious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino’s long-anticipated WWII movie stars Brad Pitt as the leader of a group of Jewish soldiers who “engage in targeted acts of retribution” against the Third Reich. “Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun,” said The Village Voice. R. Movies 12. (8/27)

Invention of Lying, The: Ricky Gervais (BBC’s The Office) stars as the man who brings lying to a world in which everyone always tells the truth — and finds fame and fortune in the process. ‘Course, things probably go wrong after that. With Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Jeffrey Tambor. PG13. Movies 12.

Julie & Julia: Julie Powell’s book about cooking her way through Julia Child’s masterpiece comes to screens as a two-part story: One part follows Powell in her Queens apartment, the other Child in France. David Minor Theater. Movies 12. (8/13)

New Moon: The Twilight saga continues with this adaptation of the series’ soggiest book, in which Bella, devastated with Edward’s departure, takes up with an old friend with a secret, and resorts to being an adrenaline junkie ‘cause it makes her hear Edward’s voice. Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen join the cast as the creepy vampire Volturi; Chris Weitz takes the reins from Catherine Hardwicke. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

New York, I Love You: Slight, sometimes sweet string of short pieces from a variety of filmmakers shows one side of New York, but doesn’t get very adventurous. Bijou. (11/25)

Ninja Assassin: Doesn’t the title kind of say it all? He’s a ninja! And an assassin! And there’s a secret society, and a government conspiracy, and a gorgeous woman who needs saving … “Even diehard fans of the genre would be advised to skip this one,” said the not-pulling-punches A.O. Scott on At the Movies. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Old Dogs: Two middle-aged dudes have to — gasp! shock! — handle a pair of twins. Mayhem supposedly results. Listen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Don’t give these people — the ones who try to spoon-feed you such schlock — your money. They don’t deserve it. Go buy a couple of lattes instead. You might get more giggles from them. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Planet 51: In this animated tale, Dwayne Johnson voices an astronaut who finds, after landing on a strange planet, that not only is he not alone — he’s not normal. He’s the alien to the alien creatures who live there, and who really fear alien invasion. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Shorts: The latest family flick from Robert Rodriguez is about what happens when a kid who lives in a town where everything is the same gets his hands on a magical, wish-granting rock. PG. 89 minutes. Movies 12.

Star Trek: Even the most crotchety critics enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ take on the maiden voyage of the Enterprise — and the rivalry-turned-friendship of young James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto). With Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Eric Bana. PG13. 126 min. David Minor Theater. (5/14)

Surrogates: In the future, we all control perfect robot versions of ourselves instead of running about in the world with our flawed flesh and blood. And then someone figures out how to kill a person through their surrogate. But don’t worry! Bruce Willis is on the case. PG13. Movies 12.

2012: Roland Emmerich continues his series of films in which the world is destroyed (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) with this disastertastic absurdity starring John Cusack as a dad trying to keep his family together while the word dissolves around them. (This summary entirely based on conjecture from the preview.) Look, it’s just there for the special effects and we all know it, right? Why are you going? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (11/25)

Up: In the latest film from Pixar, a crotchety old balloon salesman sends his house into the sky (via balloons, of course) to escape from it all — only to find that he has an unwanted stowaway on his porch. The praise is already flowing — and deserved. PG. Movies 12. (6/4)

Whiteout: Kate Beckinsale plays a U.S. Marshall sent to Antarctica to investigate a death — but she only has days before the long, dark winter really settles in. R. Movies 12.

Zombieland: Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) goes back to the amusement park (OK, so the films aren’t related, but it is kinda funny) in this zombie flick that costars Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone (Superbad) and … Abigail Breslin? Little Miss Sunshine fights zombies? I’m in. R. Movies 12.



Use the links provided below for specific show times.

Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th

David Minor Theater
David Minor Theater and Pub 762-1700 | 180 E. 5th

Regal Cinemas
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center

Cinemark Theaters
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall