Eugene Weekly : Movies : 5.28.09



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

Drag Me to Hell: Sam Raimi returns to the genre in which he made his name with this tale of a young loan officer (Alison Lohman) who crosses the wrong old lady (Lorna Raver) and finds herself under a nasty curse. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Donnie Darko: Richard Kelly’s complex story about a teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his mental illness, with a giant rabbit and a little time travel thrown in. Alternately comic and grim, the film also stars Mary McDonnell as his mother and Jena Malone as the girl he likes. R. David Minor Theater.

Enlighten Up: Filmmaker and yoga practitioner Kate Churchill decides to prove that yoga can change anyone … by immersing a total skeptic named Nick in the practice and culture. But his insistence on looking for facts instead of spiritual theories places them at odds. Not rated. Bijou.

Goodbye Solo: The third film from writer-editor-director Ramin Bahrani is a beautifully made look at an unlikely friendship, and at both the limits and the power of connection. When cranky old William (Red West) gets into the cab of Solo (Souléyman Sy Savané), both their lives are altered. Subtle, unexpectedly affecting and far less hokey than any plot summary makes it sound. Don’t miss it. R. 91 min. Bijou. See review this issue. 

Heckler’s Night: Mock loudly as the Goat screens the wonderful yet absurd Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 7 pm Wednesday, April 29, Wandering Goat. Free.

Hobo Film Festival: This traveling film series, “dedicated to highlighting the history and culture of the American tramp train,” includes the feature-length film Hobo, a handful of short films and the photography of Hans Hansen. 7 pm Wednesday, June 3, New Zone Gallery. $6.

Independent Horror Infestation: Two locally produced horror films screen at the UO: Henry Weintraub’s Melvin, about the titular kid (Leif Fuller), who rises from the grave to enlist a nerdy college kid (Patrick O’Driscoll) to take out the bullies who killed him, and Mister Ooh La La’s Earth Day, in which former eco-crusaders are being targeted — but by whom? The prime suspect is the guy who was kicked out of his terrorist sect for “embracing the forbidden art of women’s hair care,” but we suspect he ain’t the guy. Melvin, 7 pm; Earth Day, 9 pm, both followed by Q&As with the directors, Friday, May 29, 177 Lawrence, UO. Free.

Observe and Report: Seth Rogen stars as a mall cop (another one? Really?) who must take down a flasher, try to charm the makeup-counter woman he adores (Anna Faris) and beat the local cops at their own job. Er, I think. R. Movies 12. (4/16)

Price of Pleasure, The: UO prof Debra Merskin will introduce this documentary about the pornography industry. Porn filmmakers, anti-porn activists and others talk about the role porn has played in their lives in Chyng Sun and Miguel Picker’s film. 7 pm Tuesday, June 2, 221 Allen, UO. Free.

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. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Wrestler, The: Darren Aronofsky continues making films that seem exactly the opposite of anything he’s done before (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) with this rough-and-tumble story of a pro wrestler (Mickey Rourke, in a Golden Globe-winning role) and his relationships with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and his daughter. R. 105 min. 7 pm Sunday, May 31, Wandering Goat. Free.


Adventureland: Greg Mottola (Superbad) directs a slightly oddball ensemble (including Ryan Reynolds, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig) in this story about a college grad whose job search lands him at the titular amusement park. R. 107 min. Movies 12. (4/9)

Angels and Demons: It’s a big Ron Howard-directed, Tom Hanks-starring movie based on a book by the Da Vinci Code guy. Am I wrong in thinking you’re already going, or you probably don’t care? PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Dance Flick: How many genres are left for Hollywood to make spoof flicks of? I hope we’re running out. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Fast and Furious: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return to the hot-cars-and-hot-chicks franchise that spawned their careers. If the title looks familiar, well, there is a difference: The original film was The Fast and the Furious. Perhaps the lack of “the”s this time indicates it’s trimmed down and goes even faster? PG13. Movies 12.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Bit odd to use the Christmas Carol gimmick in the middle of spring, but anyway: At his brother’s wedding, perpetual bachelor Connor (Matthew McConaughey) finds himself visited by the ghost of his uncle (Michael Douglas), who sends the ghosts of the title to keep Connor from screwing up with his childhood love (Jennifer Garner). PG13. VRC Stadium 15.

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. Movies 12. (1/15)

Haunting in Connecticut, The: This horror flick about a haunted house is “based on a chilling true story” and stars the slightly odd (to a pop culture buff) trio of Princess Irulan from Dune, Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Beaver Casablancas from Veronica Mars. PG13. Movies 12.

I Love You, Man: Some people are calling this one a dick flick: Paul Rudd proposes to his girlfriend (Rashida Jones), but then desperately needs to find a male best friend to be his best man. So he goes on a bunch of “man-dates.” With Andy Samberg and the delightful Jason Segel. R. Movies 12. (3/26)

Knowing: Nicolas Cage’s son finds, in a time capsule, a strange and cryptic list of numbers written by a girl 50 years ago — and it turns out to list the date of every major catastrophe to happen to the world since. Some dates haven’t happened yet. Alex Proyas (The Crow) directs; Rose Byrne costars. PG13. 122 min. Movies 12.

Lymelife: Two Culkins (Kieran and Rory) are among the strong ensemble cast in this story of suburban Long Island life in the late ’70s. With Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts and Timothy Hutton. R. Bijou.

My Bloody Valentine 3D: The lone survivor of a coal-mine accident keeps waking up from his coma to kill people; the guy who caused the accident returns, in an obvious moment of brilliance, to the small town where it all went wrong — on the same day the terrible things all happened! No way! R. 101 min. David Minor Theater.

Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian: Ben Stiller returns to the museum in which everything — Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), tiny statues, Lincoln — comes alive at night. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop: It’s all there in the title. And probably in the preview. PG. Movies 12.

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. PG. Movies 12.

Star Trek: J.J. Abrams’ rebooting of the beloved franchise is currently enjoying a nearly perfect Rotten Tomatoes grade — 98 percent! That’s unheard of for a blockbuster! But even crotchety critics are loving the story of 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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (5/14)

Sugar: The latest film from the creators of Half Nelson follows a young baseball player as he moves from the Dominican Republic to the American minor leagues. Sugar trips over a few clichés, but becomes extraordinary in the end. R. 96 min. Bijou. (5/21)

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. David Minor Theater. Movies 12. 

Terminator: Salvation: Christian Bale takes on the role of John Connor, the hopeful savior of humankind. Sam Worthington is Marcus Wright, whose memories don’t match up with his body; Bryce Dallas Howard and Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin also costar. PG13. 115 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: My efforts to will this movie into not sucking proved mostly fruitless. Sure, Jackman is fine, Schreiber makes a good Sabretooth (if one utterly unlike the one in earlier films), and for about 10 minutes, Ryan Reynolds is a fantastic Deadpool, but the poor effects, silly plot and shallow writing don’t give me much else to care about. PG13. 107 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.


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