American Graffiti: Classic George Lucas tale about a night in 1962 after a small town high-school graduation. Set in pre-Vietnam War America, the film made stars of Richard Dreyfus, Cindy Williams, Ron Howard and lit Lucas’ directorial light. Screens as part of the DIVA/LCC Behind the Lens series at 7 pm Tuesday, Aug. 17, DIVA. $3.
Archaeology Film Fest Series: Best of 2010: Screening selections from this year’s Archaeology Film Festival. This weekend includes Standing With Stones, a documentary that follows an Englishman as he visits many of the UK’s standing stones (7:30 pm Friday, Aug. 13); and Herculaneum, about the excavations in the Roman city, with Paddle Ship “Patris,” Lost in 1868, about a paddle boat made of metal that’s been preserved (7:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 14). All screenings at DIVA. $6.
Back to the Future: Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 classic, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, screens as part of the free Summer in the City event series. PG. 116 min. 9 pm Friday, Aug. 13, Trainsong Park. Free.
City of Lost Children: Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s fantastic, fantastical film is about a circus strongman (Ron Perlman) searching for his little brother with the help of a beautiful child thief (Judith Vittet). Elsewhere in the city, an evil scientist is studying children’s dreams. R. 112 min. Bijou.
Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky: Jan Kounen’s film picks up some time after Anne Fontaine’s Coco Before Chanel, jumping through time as Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) and Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) move forward in their respective fields — and with their attraction to each other. R. 115 min. Bijou.
Date Night: Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are a totally ordinary couple whose date night runs out of control when they steal a table at a fancy restaurant. With James Franco and Mila Kunis as the couple whose table it was, and Mark Wahlberg as a dude who doesn’t wear a lot of shirts. PG13. David Minor Theater. (4/15)
Eat Pray Love: Julia Roberts stars in the adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir about traveling the world to find herself after an unpleasant divorce. PG-13. 133 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Expendables, The: Yet another film about a group of mercenaries trying to accomplish something that would be totally impossible — for any other group of men. And make no mistake: This movie is a frickin’ sausage fest. With Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and Steve Austin. R. 103 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Kick-Ass: Almost as nasty, pandering and heartless as the last movie based on a Mark Millar comic (Wanted), Kick-Ass is a disappointment on many levels, from its thoughtless gay subplot to the way it sneers at comics-loving kids who dream of having more power than the world allows them. Its redeeming factors are the controversial Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage channeling Adam West), whose warped relationship balances everything the movie otherwise mangles: the relationship between vengeance and cruelty; the way love makes the strangest things seem normal; the way girls can be brutal killers too — and how fucked up all that brutal killing really is. R. 117 min. David Minor Theater.
Mother and Child: Karen (Annette Bening) is bitter because she gave her baby up for adoption; Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) is icy and distant because she was given up for adoption; Lucy (Kerry Washington) wants to adopt, which causes stress in her marriage. Pat and drippy, writer-director Rodrigo Garcia’s frustrating film relies on flat characters and coincidence, but Watts and Bening are solid, and Samuel L. Jackson, in a smallish role, is a treat. R. 125 min. Movies 12.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Prince of L.A.? Prince of Europe? Jake Gyllenhaal is offensively miscast as rogue prince (can you be both?) Dastan (DASTAN!) in this action flick based on the video game of the same name. Gemma Arterton (from that second rebooted James Bond movie that was so bad I can’t remember the name) co-stars as Princey-Poo’s love interest. They have this dagger thing. I’m sure it’s irrelevant. PG-13. Movies 12.
Red Violin, The: Pretentious fantasy follows the fate of an acoustically splendid violin through several centuries and five countries. It ends up on the auction block, where everybody wants it, including the expert hired to research it for the auction house. François Girard directs. R. PG-13. 1 pm Wednesday, Aug. 18, Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield. Free.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Michael Cera stars in Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead)’s adaptation of Brian Lee O’Malley’s charming comic book about a dude who has to defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Anna Kendrick and many more perfectly cast twentysomethings. PG-13. 113 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Winnebago Man: Ben Steinbauer’s documentary looks at Jack Rebney, an unlikely online star thanks to a Winnebago sales video, the outtakes of which are filled with Rebney’s shouting and swearing. “At once scabrously funny and uncomfortably poignant,” said Variety. Unrated. 84 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
A-Team, The: This summer brings both the A-Team film and a Karate Kid reboot. Imaginations, working overtime! Between The Losers and The Expendables, this is, bizarrely, the summer of betrayed fighters. The becoming-ubiquitous Bradley Cooper costars with Liam Neeson, Jessica Biel and District 9’s promising Sharlto Copley. PG-13. Movies 12.
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore: Rogue cat spy Kitty Galore (get it? Huh, do ya?) plans to take down the world’s dogs AND make her feline fellows her subordinates. Puppers and kittehs must unite against her! You, audiences, must unite in avoiding this film! PG. 82 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Charlie St. Cloud: Zac Efron plays the title character, who works in the cemetery where his dead younger brother is buried. But the younger St. Cloud isn’t entirely gone; Charlie can see him. When romance blossoms, Charlie’s loyalties are tested. This is how Efron takes a step toward being a respectable actor? Mmmkay. PG-13. 109 min. Cinemark.
Clash of the Titans: Kraken or no kraken, Sam Worthington in a skirt or Liam Neeson with funny facial hair, the fact is, this movie is directed by the guy who made the moderately abysmal The Incredible Hulk. Just keep that in mind. PG13. David Minor Theater.
Despicable Me: Evil Gru (Steve Carell), who hides his lair in a tidy suburb, is planning to steal the moon. Three orphan girls need a dad. When these parties collide, wackiness is pretty much guaranteed to ensue. PG. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Dinner For Schmucks: Paul Rudd is a successful executive who becomes even more successful when he finds the best idiot (Steve Carell) for his boss’s monthly dinner, at which their underlings compete to invite the most horrifying dinner guests. Directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers). PG-13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Eclipse: The Twilight saga continues with the cinematic adaptation of the least annoying of the four books (still looking forward to some of the batshit crazy stuff in book four, though…) Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) get serious, while werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) gets more serious about butting in — and baby vampires terrorize Seattle. Yes, it’s all absurd. PG-13. 124 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/8)
Ghost Writer: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall star in the latest from director Roman Polanski, about a ghostwriter hired to complete the memoir of a former British prime minister. “A dark pearl of a movie,” said the L.A. Times. Not rated. David Minor Theater.
Grown Ups: Look, there are stupid movies, and then there are full-on assaults on your intelligence. If you want to watch some comics who fear for their relevance make fart jokes and run into trees, be my guest. With Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade. PG-13. 102 min. Cinemark.
Hot Tub Time Machine: Four dudes (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke) get wasted, get in a hot tub, pass out — and wake up in 1986 (does John Cusack get to re-do his old movie roles?). “It’s fun, it’s sad, and it’s kind of sad that it’s so much fun,” wrote A.O. Scott in The New York Times. R. 100 min. David Minor Theater.
How to Train Your Dragon: This movie is 100 percent great. It’s about a young Viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who thinks he’d rather befriend dragons, his people’s longtime enemies, than kill them. Good call, kid. That’s a cute dragon you got there. PG. 98 min. Movies 12.
Inception: The latest from director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) sweeps in on a building wave of expectation. It’s something to do with thieves stealing ideas from dreams. I think. I know it stars the stellar lineup of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Ken Watanabe. PG-13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/22)
Iron Man 2: Despite the annoying replacement of Terrence Howard with (the fantastic, don’t get me wrong) Don Cheadle as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)’s buddy Rhodey — and my own low tolerance for Mickey Rourke in anything — this sequel looks thoroughly, quippily, delightfully enjoyable. Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Pepper Potts; Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson join the fray. PG13. 122 min. Movies 12.
Karate Kid, The: Cranky kid Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) has a hard time adjusting to life in China — an impossible crush, a gaggle of bullies — until he befriends the maintenance man (Jackie Chan), who has a not-so-secret talent. PG. Movies 12.
Kids Are All Right, The: The latest film from Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) stars Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple whose two kids (the charming Mia Wasikwoska and Josh Hutcherson) get in contact with the man who was the sperm donor for both of them (Mark Ruffalo). Though Bening’s Nic gets the short end of the character stick, Kids is for the most part a warm and complex story about a loving, complicated, modern family. R. 104 min. VRC Stadium 15. (8/5)
Killers: Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher play a newlywed couple whose perfect life gets complicated when Spencer (Kutcher) reveals that, oh, yeah, he’s actually a spy. How many more of these movies can we tolerate? Was it necessary to make Mr. and Mrs. Smith: The Knockoff? PG13. Movies 12.
Knight and Day: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are the unlikely pair at the center of this summer action flick, in which Cruise is a superspy who winds up with Diaz in tow. PG. 122 min. Movies 12. (6/24)
Letters to Juliet: Does Amanda Seyfried sleep? She’s in everything lately, including this sweetly cheesetastic (I’m going by the preview here, OK?) film about a young American who volunteers to reply to letters left for Juliet at a wall in Verona. One recipient of such a letter (Vanessa Redgrave) is inspired to search out her long-lost love. PG. Movies 12.
Marmaduke: Owen Wilson voices the big dog from the comic strip. With Fergie, Lee Pace, William H. Macy, George Lopez, Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Judy Greer. PG. Movies 12.
Other Guys, The: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are paper-pusher policemen who try to cop the style of their bad-ass, attention-grabbing colleagues (Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson). Things go poorly. With Steve Coogan, Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton. 107 min. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Ramona and Beezus: Adapting Beverly Cleary’s iconic books about Ramona and her big sister Beezus, and filming them somewhere that’s not Cleary’s Portland neighborhood? How could they? G. Movies 12.
Runaways, The: Kristen Stewart is Joan Jett, Dakota Fanning is Cherie Currie, and reviews are mixed of this biopic about the ’70s teen rock queens behind “Cherry Bomb” — and their “Svengali-like” manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon, who was outstanding in Revolutionary Road). Directed by Flora Sigismondi. R. 109 min. David Minor Theater
Salt: Angelina Jolie is a badass again. What more could you need to know? She’s a sleeper spy! She has to prove she’s not trying to assassinate the president! The movie will surely have even more exclamation points than this small paragraph! PG13. 99 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/29)
Sex and the City 2: I can’t even talk about this. Seriously. Movies 12.
Shrek Forever After: Supposedly, this is really seriously truly going to be the last Shrek movie. So that’s something. Shrek’s adventures this time involve getting himself sent to an opposite-world in which his friends aren’t his friends, and — more importantly for the plot — Fiona (Cameron Diaz) wants nothing to do with him. PG. Movies 12.
Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The: College kid Dave (the charming Jay Baruchel) finds himself swept into a battle between good and evil (I assume; these things always involve such battles) when a sorcerer (Nicolas Cage in a terrifying wig) crosses his path. PG. Cinemark.
Step Up 3D: Street dancers + NYU kid (shorthand for spoiled and well-intentioned, obviously) + OMG DANCING IN 3D = you’re going to pay the 3D upcharge for this? 97 min. PG-13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Toy Story 3: Andy’s all grown up, and his toys — Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest — face an uncertain future in the third Toy Story film, which has some, but not all, of the charms of the first. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (6/24)
Winter’s Bone: Jennifer Lawrence delivers a striking performance as 17-year-old Ree Dolly, who needs to find her wayward father, and in a hurry. But her two siblings need her, and the rules and ways among her less than law-abiding extended family will make Ree’s search ever more difficult. Harrowing and compassionate, Debra Granik’s new film is a must-see. R. 100 min. Bijou. (8/5)
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