Bigger, Stronger, Faster*: Director Chris Bell explores the American win-at-all-costs mentality that leads to steroid use, taking as his jumping-off point the muscle-bound bodies of his two brothers. “It’ll shake up your beliefs not just about steroids but about competition, hypocrisy, body obsession and American notions of masculinity,” said Newsweek. PG13. 106 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Hancock: Grumpy, drunken, superpowered Hancock (Will Smith, aka Mr. July) has a habit of wreaking considerable destuction when saving lives. But a PR guy (Jason Bateman) somehow shows Hancock that he does have a softer side. He can be better! At least I think that’s what he says in the ads. PG13. 92 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. Opens Wednesday, July 2.
Kit Kittredge: American Girl: The insanely popular book series comes to life in the form of perky young Abigail Breslin, who stars as aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge, who needs to save her family’s home and prove that the baddies behind a string of robberies aren’t who the cops think they are. G. 101 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. Opens Wednesday, July 2.
Made of Honor: Even Dr. McDreamy, Patrick Dempsey, as the guy who figures out too late that he’s in love with his best friend (Michelle Monaghan) isn’t enough to make this look anything but embarrassing. PG13. 101 min. Movies 12.
My Blueberry Nights: Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wei’s (In the Mood for Love) 2007 film never got a real release here, so catch it quick! Norah Jones stars as a young woman who sets out on a road trip to get over a breakup; along the way she meets a host of characters, including those played by Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman and David Strathairn. “A stylish and sweet film,” said The Oregonian’s Shawn Levy. PG13. 90 min. Movies 12.
Running Film Festival: Get in the Olympic Trials spirit (or stay in it) with this three-day festival, which begins with two sets of films: at 2:30 pm, catch “Once a Runner,” a trailer promoting a “faux movie”; “The Olympic Militia,” followed by a Q&A with director Gabe Jennings; “Big Heart Little Man,” a meditation on competitive greatness; and Showdown: The Race for the 2007 U.S. Cross-Country Championship. At 5 pm, see “Chasing Bolt,” about Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, and The Long Green Line, a feature documentary about cross-country running followed by a Q&A with the director, Matthew Arnold, and two of the team members. 150 Columbia, UO. $12 per screening.
WALL-E: The latest from the geniuses at Pixar is about a lonely trash-cleaning robot on what’s left of Earth. A sleek robot named EVE discovers, when she visits the deserted planet, that WALL-E’s figured out something important, so off to the stars (and the humans) she races, a besotted WALL-E in pursuit. “One of the best movies of the year,” said Richard Roeper. G. 97 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Wanted: If anything this summer looks like as much fun as Iron Man and Hellboy II, it’s this Angelina Jolie-starring assassin flick, which — bonus! — is directed by Timur Bekmanbetov, who was behind the underseen Night Watch. Jolie and Morgan Freeman are part of the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins; the delightful James McAvoy is the former office drone who gets recruited after his estranged father is killed. Sweet. R. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Who Killed the Electric Car?: Director Chris Paine explores the life and untimely death of the electric car, focusing on the GM EV1, which hit the streets in 1996 and vanished a few years later. Paine’s timely, fascinating documentary makes a compelling case for laying the blame on corporate and governmental interests. PG. 7:30 pm July 2, Bijou. Online archives.
Baby Mama: When successful businesswoman Kate (Tiny Fey) finds that she can’t conceive the kid she wants, she hires Angie (Amy Poehler) as her surrogate. It’s a clash of personalities and more when Angie shows up on Kate’s doorstep. “An essentially sweet-natured picture that doesn’t go as far as it could,” says Salon.com. PG13. 96 min. Movies 12.
Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian: When the Pevensie children find themselves back in Narnia, it’s just a year later for them — and 1300 years later for the magical land, now under the control of an evil foreigner. Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund (with help, of course) must help get the true king back on Narnia’s throne. PG. 144 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (5/22)
Eighty-eight Minutes: College professor slash forensic psychiatrist (seriously, you still reading after that?) Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) deals with a death threat that claims he has 88 minutes to live; three grumpy folks might be behind the threat. R. 108 min (isn’t that cheating?). Movies 12.
Fall, The: In a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, an injured stuntman (Lee Pace) weaves a multi-layered fantastic tale for a young girl (Catinca Untaru). Director Tarsem (The Cell, but don’t hold that against him) filmed in countless locations around the world to create an unforgettably beautiful story about connection — and the way a story depends not only on who’s telling it, but who’s listening. R. 117 min. Bijou. (6/29)
Forbidden Kingdom: When an American teenager finds a lost relic of the legendary Monkey King, he also finds himself sent back in time to join a band of warriors fighting to free said king. The important bits? Jackie Chan and Jet Li costar, and Wo Ping (Crouching Tiger; The Matrix) handles the fight sequences. Awesome. PG13. Movies 12.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: The Apatow Onslaught continues with this romantic comedy about a guy (Jason Segel, who also wrote the screenplay) who tries get away from it all after his famous girlfriend (the fantabulous Kristen Bell) dumps him — only to find that she, and her strange new boyfriend, are at the same Hawaiian resort. With Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and a lot of other funny people. R. 112 min. Movies 12. (4/24)
Get Smart: Steve Carell is newly promoted former CONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart, sent on a mission to save the world from agents of KAOS; Anne Hathaway is his sidekick (who one suspects may be slightly more competent), Agent 99. This adaptation of the 1960s TV show also gives us Terence Stamp as a baddie and The Rock as a superspy. PG13. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Happening, The: Are you willing to give M. Night Shyamalan another chance? His followup to Lady in the Water is about a couple (Mark Wahlberg and the very likable Zooey Deschanel) trying to survive after some sort of … er .. happening. From what I hear, it’s ecological in nature. Run! Global warming is chasing you! R. 91 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (6/19)
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay: John Cho and Kal Penn revisit their hilarious stoner characters from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. When they sneak a bong onboard a flight to Amsterdam, our heroes are suspected of terrorism. And, needless to say, all manner of wackiness ensues. R. 102 min. Movies 12. (5/1)
Horton Hears a Who: The Dr. Seuss classic gets the animated treatment from the creators of Ice Age, with Jim Carrey as Horton and Steve Carell as the mayor of Who-ville, the tiny world on a speck that Horton discovers and defends from his fellow animals, who think he’s gone nuts. G. 110 min. Movies 12.
Incredible Hulk, The: Edward Norton slips into the torn pants recently worn by Eric Bana in this reinvention of the Hulk franchise. Norton’s Hulk is trying to find a cure, but warmongers want to use his powers for evil. With Tim Roth and Liv Tyler. PG13. 114 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: It’s the only mainstream movie opening this weekend! It’s got Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett and Shia LeBoeuf and sassy Raiders of the Lost Ark dame Karen Allen! Also, it takes place 19 years after the underrated third film in a world facing the possibility of nuclear annihilation. That’s about all I’ve got. That and a big plastic Indy whip. PG13. 124 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (5/29)
Iron Man: The first major summer flick (summer? Huh?) stars Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who devises a suit that gives him the superheroic ability to take down baddies who misuse his destructive technology. Awesome. With Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (5/8)
Jumper: Adapted from a novel by Steven Gould, this film follows “jumpers” who can leap through space and time. Among these lucky few are Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell; Samuel L. Jackson provides the tension as a fella who doesn’t approve of these crazy hijinks. Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity). PG13. 88 min. Movies 12.
Kung Fu Panda: Jack Black — or at least his voice — stars as Po the Panda, a waiter whose love for kung fu serves him well when it turns out there’s a prophecy about him saving the world from some powerful enemies. With the voices of Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. PG. 88 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Love Guru, The: Mike Myers pulls another wacky character out of his bag of tricks; this one’s an American, raised overseas by, um, gurus, who returns to his native land to make it big in the self-help business. With Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake and Ben Kingsley. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Nim’s Island: Moppet-of-the-moment Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a girl who lives with her scientist father (Gerard Butler) on an island and has a literary heroine whose life is rather similar. When Nim’s father disappears, life brings Nim and her favorite author together to find him. With Jodie Foster. PG. 95 min. Movies 12.
Sex and the City: High heels and ugly dresses (c’mon, you know Carrie wears some truly dreadful stuff) take it to the big screen in what New York magazine calls “a joyful wallow.” Plot? You want plot? I’m thinking some boy trouble, some mild strife, maybe a happy ending or two for Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). R. 148 min. VRC Stadium 15.
Shutter: Remake of a Thai thriller stars Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor as a young couple who see strange things in some photos they develop after a horrible accident. PG13. 85 min. Movies 12.
Strangers, The: Scary masked folks invade the meant-to-be-romantic post-wedding getaway of troubled couple Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman). R. 90 min. Movies 12.
Twenty-one: An unconventional math professor (Kevin Spacey) recruits his brightest students (among them Kate Bosworth and Jim Sturgess) to count cards in Vegas, leading to tuiton money for them and, one assumes, mad loot for the boss. Until things get complicated. PG13. 123 min. Movies 12.
What Happens in Vegas: Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star as a couple that gets rather spontaneously wed in Vegas, then realizes they hate each other — only to wind up stuck together when he puts her quarter in a slot machine and hits the jackpot. PG13. 99 min. Movies 12.
You Don’t Mess With the Zohan: Adam Sandler plays an Israeli commando who really wants to be a hairstylist in this gently mocking and fun comedy from the minds of Sandler, Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog). PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (6/12)
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