The Class: This French film, nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, stars its multitalented co-writer as a teacher in a French public school who engages in what some have called a verbal fencing match with his bright, fearless students. Shot in a documentary style, Laurent Cantet’s film has earned glowing reviews. PG13. 128 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Doubt: John Patrick Shanley directs this adaptation of his prizewinning play about a nun and the priest she believes is paying too much attention to a student. Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. PG13. Movies 12. (12/31/08)
Once: John Carney’s movie takes “lyrical” to a different level with the gentle, engrossing story of two musicians who find an unexpected connection on the streets of Dublin. Threaded with lovely songs composed by the movie’s leads, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once is an exceptional accomplishment of intimate filmmaking. Academy Award: Best Song (“Falling Slowly”). R. 85 min. 6:30 pm Tuesday, March 17, Azul/Koho Bistro. Free. (7/26/07)
Heckler’s Night: Enjoy the Pacific Northwest scenery — and mock loudly as the Goat screens First Blood. 7 pm Wednesday, March 18, Wandering Goat. Free.
Last House on the Left, The: When two girls are attacked by escaped convincts, they manage to get away to one girl’s house — where their attackers have also taken shelter. Why is the talented Garret Dillahunt in this needless remake of a Wes Craven flick that was already a remake of something else? R. 100 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Miss March: A dude in a coma wakes up to find that his once pure-as-the-driven-snow girlfriend is now a Playboy centerfold. No! Way! So of course he has to get her back, because … oh, I’m not wasting one more second on this. R. VRC Stadium 15.
Race to Witch Mountain: Disney heads back to Witch Mountain with the Rock, er, Dwayne Johnson, who plays the taxi driver who gets caught up with two kids (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) who are actually aliens. The fate of the world is at stake, I’m sure! PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Role Models: The latest from David Wain (Stella, The Ten) concerns two men (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) forced to do some unexpected growing up when they find they’ve got to take part in a mentoring program — or go to jail. Costarring McLovin (er, Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and the always fantastic Jane Lynch. R. 99 min. David Minor Theater.
Uninvited, The: Elizabeth Banks is the creepy new stepmom-to-be of the angel-faced Emily Browning (A Series of Unfortunate Events), who’s convinced Banks has something to do with her mother’s recent death. PG13. Movies 12.
Video Slam: Monthly event invites video artists to submit short videos of up to 10 minutes for a competition that follows the format of the poetry slam. 7 pm Sunday, March 15, DIVA. Free.
Academy Award-Winning Short Films: This year’s Oscar-nominated short films, both animated and live-action, in their only local screening. The winners were “La Maison en Petits Cubes” (animated) and “Spielzeugland” (live action), but all the nominees should be worth watching. Live action: 7:10 pm Friday, March 13; 5:15 pm & 9 pm Saturday, March 14; 1 pm Sunday, March 22. Animated: 5:15 pm & 9 pm Friday, March 13; 7:10 pm Saturday, March 14; 3:30 pm Sunday, March 22. $6 per screening. diva.proscenia.net
Bedtime Stories: Adam Sandler’s world goes wacky when the tales he spins for his niece and nephew start to come true — or so he thinks. It’s not all up to him, though. PG. Movies 12. (12/31/08)
Bolt: Wacky adventures ensue when a dog who thinks he’s a superhero — he’s never been off the set of his TV show — finds himself loose in New York. With the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. PG. 96 min. Movies 12.
Bride Wars: Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson play friends who really can’t be that great of friends, seeing as they get into a raging catfight over their mutual favorite wedding location. This preview is almost as embarrassing as the one for Confessions of a Shopaholic. What gives? PG. Movies 12.
Choke: Writer-director-actor Clark Gregg adapts Chuck Palahniuk’s novel full of sex addicts, scammers and complicated mother-son relationships into a funny, unexpectedly sweet film about connection and, er, getting your shit together. Sorta. Star Sam Rockwell is fantastic; great supporting cast includes Kelly Macdonald and Anjelica Huston. R. 92 min. David Minor Theater. (9/25)
Confessions of a Shopaholic: Isla Fischer and Hugh Dancy put some cuteness in this adaptation of Sophie Kinsella’s bestselling novel, in which a shopaholic finds herself with a job writing a financial advice column. Oooh, the irony! PG. VRC Stadium 15.
Coraline: Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) adapts Neil Gaiman’s creepy, fantastic story about a girl who finds, behind a door in the wall, a fantatic parallel world — complete with her Other Mother, who has buttons for eyes. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The: David Fincher (Fight Club) takes a different direction with this story of a man (Brad Pitt) who is born at the age of 80 and ages backwards throughout his life. Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and costarring Cate Blanchett. PG13. 159 min. Academy Awards: Best Art Direction, Makeup, Visual Effects. Cinemark. (12/31/08)
Friday the 13th: Directed by the guy who remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, who’s apparently making a career of gory do-overs. Pretty young folks find Camp Crystal Lake, get dead. You know how it goes. R. Cinemark.
Frost/Nixon: Ron Howard directs this look at the 1977 interview in which David Frost (Michael Sheen, still resembling Tony Blair after his role in The Queen) took on Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in a televised battle of wits. “Involving, engrossing cinema,” said the L.A. Times. R. 122 min. Movies 12. (1/29)
Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a bigoted veteran who finds himself in a reluctant friendship with a Hmong kid and his family. “A rueful comedy of enlightenment,” said The New Yorker. R. 116 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (1/15)
He’s Just Not That Into You: Great cast, embarrassing premise; it’s based, loosely I assume, on the unfortunate book of the same title. However will these lovely young folks ever find troo lurv? PG13. VRC Stadium 15.
Inkheart: Brendan Fraser continues his odd trend of appearing in kid-friendly fare with this story of a girl and her father and a family ability to read things out of books. A nasty fellow (played by Andy Serkis) gets out, of course. With Helen Mirren and Paul Bettany. PG. Movies 12.
Let the Right One In: A gorgeous, snow-muffled, Swedish take on a vampire story, this film has taken its sweet time getting here. Gentle, moody and superbly acted by its young stars, its definitely worth the wait. R. 114 min. Bijou. (2/12)
Madea Goes to Jail: Tyler Perry directs and stars as Madea, who winds up in jail after a highway chase. There, she warms to a young lawyer’s fiancée. With Derek Luke and, whoa! Keisha Knight Pulliam? Cosby Show alert! PG13. 103 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Marley and Me: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are the owners of one very badly behaved dog in this adaptation of John Grogan’s bestselling book. Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada). PG. Movies 12. (12/31/08)
Milk: Gus Van Sant’s biopic about Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the country’s first openly gay elected official, is earning glowing reviews; “Milk is a marvel,” says The New York Times, while The Village Voice says, “Milk is so immediate that it’s impossible to separate the movie’s moment from this one.” With Josh Brolin, James Franco and Diego Luna. R. 128 min. Movies 12. Academy Awards: Sean Penn, Best Actor; Dustin Lance Black, Best Original Screenplay. (12/11/08)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop: It’s all there in the title. And probably in the preview. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Pink Panther 2, The: Steve Martin gets goofy again. Yep. John Cleese comes along for the ride. PG. Cinemark.
Slumdog Millionaire: The latest from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) is a Mumbai-set fairy tale about life and the pursuit of love and happiness via Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (it’s not quite as simple as that maybe sounds). Slumdog is long on setting and its tangled plot is creative, but it’s short on emotional resonance, though its young actors are solid. R. 120 min. Eight Academy Awards, including Danny Boyle, Best Director, and Best Picture. Bijou. Cinemark. (12/18/08)
Taken: If you don’t give back Liam Neeson’s daughter (Maggie Grace), he will hunt you down, and he will kill you. You got that? You sure? I hope this Luc Besson-produced action flick is as much fun as it looks, though it seems to take itself awfully seriously. PG13. 93 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Twilight: That sound you hear is the screams of Twilight fans whose beloved novel (by Stephenie Meyer) has arrived in cinematic form. It’s the story of vampire Edward (Robert Pattison), his human beloved, Bella (Kristen Stewart), and their extremely-chaste-yet-beset-by-inhuman-trials romance. PG13. 122 min. Movies 12. (11/26/08)
Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans: Whoa, weird. Michael Sheen’s second film to open in Eugene this weekend (the other being the slightly more hotly anticipated Frost/Nixon) is the third in the series about vampires and werewolves; Sheen is Lucian, a werewolf, who faces off with vampire Viktor (Bill Nighy) while romancing Viktor’s daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra, picking up the hotness where Kate Beckinsale left off). R. Cinemark.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Woody Allen’s latest involves a man (Javier Bardem), his crazy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) and two young American women (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall) with whom the couple becomes “amorously entangled.” Sweet and pretty, but a touch on the shallow side. PG13. 96 min. Academy Award: Penelope Cruz, Best Supporting Actress. David Minor Theater.
Watchmen: Zack Snyder (300)’s adaptation of what the commercials trumpet as the most acclaimed graphic novel, like, EVER (er, have they heard of Maus?) is said to be pretty good and pretty faithful to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ book, in which costumed heroes try to solve the murder of one of their own. Among other problems. Color me just the teensiest bit skeptical. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Yes Man: Jim Carrey is the man who says “Yes.” And he says it to all sorts of things. Not even the moment when he and costar Zooey Deschanel dress up in Harry Potter costumes can save this film from its own blandness. PG13. 104 min. Movies 12. (12/24/08)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno: The latest from Kevin Smith concerns two longtime friends (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) who figure they might be able to solve their money problems by making an adult film. No big deal, right? Unless you start realizing you actually like the other person. R. 101 min. David Minor Theater. (11/13/08)
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
David Minor Theater
David Minor Theater and Pub 762-1700 | 180 E. 5th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall