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Film Shorts

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MOVIES & EVENTS

28 DAYS
Sandra Bullock is an alcoholic whose behavior lands her in Serenity Glen, a touchy-feely rehab center filled with the requisite, cuddly goofs and embittered oddballs. Bullock carries an ultimately phony movie with something resembling humanity. Division Street

ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER
"You are more authentic the more you are closer to what you've dreamed you are," says Agrado (Antonia San Juan), a silicone-laden, transgendered ex-prostitute in Pedro Almodovar's new film All About My Mother. Agrado's self-description is one of several such sentiments in the movie to acknowledge the strength that lies behind dreams and their lowly, more practical sister's deception and artifice. With his usual command of color and urgent flamboyancy, Almodovar creates a heartbreaking work that pays tribute not only to his biological mother, but to the art of cinema itself, and the maternal hand it has in shaping the improvisations of anyone trying to make the world match the scope of their reveries. Hollywood Theatre

*AMERICAN MOVIE
A documentary about the trials and tribulations of a poor, midwestern guy laboring under the burden of a heavy mullet. Needless to say, it rocks. Bagdad Theater

AMERICAN PSYCHO
Though based on the much-reviled book by Bret Easton Ellis, the movie is actually pretty good. Really. Set at the height of the Reagan '80s, Psycho deftly satirizes the deadening effect of unchecked corporate wealth and power. (Andy Spletzer) Laurelhurst Theater

BATTLEFIELD EARTH
So John Travolta is this 10-foot-tall alien who wants every living human to take the Scientology test. When the humans balk, it's goodnight planet...until a few rebels rise up against his tyranny and fight back, that is. As anyone who has seen the trailer to this howling dog can attest, it might be time for Travolta to fade back into obscurity. Division Street, Eastgate, Evergreen Parkway, HillTop

BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE
Martin Lawrence is back, and he's got a big old prosthetic ass. Where do I sign? 82nd Avenue, Broadway Metroplex, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater

BOSSA NOVA
Watching this simple tale of a small group of people becoming entangled with one another is a task of sweet, comic relaxation. Set against the shocking mountains of Rio De Janeiro, everything leads to romance in this Latin film; everyone and everything is beautiful. Even the hospital room has a sweeping view of the Brazilian coast. The strong acting proves this story's good nature. (Paula Gilovich) Movie House

CENTER STAGE
Teenybopper dance movies are such a delicate, easily bruised genre that it hardly seems fair to judge them using the unwieldy tools of the critic. Center Stage, Hollywood's newest celebration of dance ("Dance!"), offers the usual story of underdog versus system, the strictures of ballet versus the creativity of modern dance, and love expressed via high art. It's campy, it's corny, and it's the feel-good movie of the year. (Traci Vogel) Century Eastport 16, Division Street, HillTop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Lasse Hallstrom's understanding that our decisions are hardly ever black or white makes him a keen choice for director of his latest project, an adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules. A sprawling homage to David Copperfield, the story charts the maturation of beloved orphan Homer Wells (Toby Maguire), who learns about the crushing ambiguities of living from several unique characters, foremost among them the paternal Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine), the orphanage director who doubles as the town's clandestine, caring abortionist. It's unusual for a major film release to touch on the subject of abortion, let alone with the plain spoken grace that Hallstrom and Irving (adapting his own work) bring to the material. Though Irving's adaptation has integrity, it is unable to envelop us with the dazzling juggling of years and characters that makes the book such a luminous accomplishment, and this limited scope is a weakness that mars an otherwise touching film. Avalon Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

*CROUPIER
A croupier (you know, the guy who runs the roulette wheel) gets sucked into the world of crime in this pulp-noirish thriller. See review this issue. Koin Center

DINOSAUR
A heroic muddle of pre-history, computer animation, and talking monkeys, this entertaining flicker posits that dinosaurs might have survived if only they'd learned to work together. If you're the kind of person who wished Jurassic Park had dispensed with all that plot and character crap and just made with the giant reptiles, this might be the one for you. Century Eastport 16, HillTop, Lake Twin Cinema, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater

ERIN BROCKOVICH
Despite indie superstar director Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich is just what it is: another big-budget Hollywood film starring Julia Roberts. In fact, because this is a Hollywood film, we suddenly notice aspects of Soderbergh's filmmaking that are harder to detect when he has complete control over his material: namely, how brilliant he is working with supporting actors, most notably men. In this case, it's Aaron Eckhart and Albert Finney. Without this, all you have left is a stupid plot and the dentiglorious spectacle that is Julia Roberts. (Charles Mudede) Avalon Theatre, Bagdad Theater, Kennedy School Theatre, Kiggins Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV

AN EVENING WITH BILL BROWN
Bill Brown is a documentary filmmaker from Texas known for his wonderful cinematography and narrative style. Northwest Film Guild will show four of his works including Roswell (1994), Hub City (1995), Secret Bridges (1997), and his newest film Confederation Park (1999). Northwest Film Center

THE FLINTSTONES IN VIVA ROCK VEGAS
Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty: the early years. Yabba dabba don't bother. Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV

FREQUENCY
A hodgepodge about time-travel, ham-radio enthusiasm, the hazards of firefighting, baseball, mother love, and a father-son tag-team tracking down a nurse-butchering psychopath. This utterly confused film is a perfect example of Hollywood's shameless tendency to pillage the graveyard for the spare parts of its own schmaltzy genres. The result is a Frankenstein monster that bumbles and stumbles across the thin emotional terrain of an Americanized (and therefore totally false) idea of nostalgia and redemption. (Rick Levin) 82nd Avenue, HillTop, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV

GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI
When he was young, Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) was saved from a group of street thugs by Louie (John Tormey), a low-level Mafioso who just happened to be passing by. In thanks, Ghost Dog pledged to serve Louie for the rest of his life, as faithful to him as any ancient samurai was to his master. Director Jim Jarmusch infuses Ghost Dog with the deadpan humor of his earliest fifilms. (Charles Mudede) Laurelhurst Theater, Mission Theater

*GLADIATOR
Director Ridley Scott tramps through the standard gladiator movie plot like a tipsy party host, embracing each and every clichè like a dear old friend. War hero General Maximus (Russell Crowe) is stripped of his position by a scheming new Caesar (Joaquin Phoenix). Escaping too late to save his family, Maximus falls into the hands of a slaver (the late Oliver Reed), and with the help of a former love and his rough-but-likable gladiator pals, seeks his revenge by finding glory within the Coliseum. Scott then uses all the technical advantages of modern film making to make the details as lavish as possible. (Tom Spurgeon) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, HillTop, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, Tigard-Joy Theater

GOD'S ARMY
It's bad enough the goddamn Mormons get to have as many wives as they want; do they have to make films, too?!? Century Eastport 16, Movies on TV

*HIGH FIDELITY
A romantic comedy for guys. John Cusack plays the cynically introspective Rob Gordon, the owner of a small record store who, for various reasons, has shit luck with women. He's a jerk, basically, but he's not altogether clueless about his jerkiness. He struggles and obsesses and makes lists that he thinks define his life, but he's no closer to understanding women than he was in the fififth grade-which happens to be when he got dumped for the first time. Based on the popular novel of the same name. (Kathleen Wilson) Century Eastport 16

I DREAMED OF AFRICA
Independent Exposure 5/2000Blackchair Productions' monthly showcase of short film/video/digital cinema by a bevy of indie filmmakers returns this month with its Satellites 2000 edition (May Flowers) and an international lineup that's even more impressive than usual. Between the man hovering over a "wasteland," of flying saucers over (or is it under?) Amsterdam, scratchy tone poems, and gruesome animation (you don't want to miss Hangnail), there's something here for all manner of micro cinematic tastes. Division Street, Evergreen Parkway

KEEPING THE FAITH
Any film that begins with a drunken priest staggering through the streets of New York and tumbling into a garbage pile is automatically fine by me. Edward Norton (who also directed) is the drunken priest and Ben Stiller is a confused rabbi. They love the same girl, a rad chick they hung out with back in the fourth grade. The film is genuinely funny and sweetly romantic as it focuses on all aspects of this not-so-holy trinity. And surprisingly enough, co-star Jenna Elfman doesn't bug. (Kathleen Wilson) Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

LOVE AND BASKETBALL
Boy meets girl. Boy plays hoops with girl. Girl takes boy to hole. Lloyd Mall

THE MAN WITHOUT A WORLD
Eleanor Antin's silent 1999 film is accompanied by the Oregon based After Quartet. One show only! Clinton Street Theatre

*MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2
I loved this movie. I loved the vertiginous helicopter swoops as Tom Cruise scales an impossibly sheer cliff to receive his impossible mission. I loved the profligate back flips in the fight choreography as he takes out villain after glass-jawed villain. I loved the preposterous motorcycle chase/joust. I loved the human touches, too: the love triangle set against the backdrop of global intrigue; the lascivious slo-mo close-ups of Thandie Newton; the villian's Scots accent. But most of all, I loved the giddy sense of hyperbole and spectacle that coarsed through the whole enterprise. It may not last too long after the credits roll, but pleasures like this aren't meant to. Otherwise, they wouldn't need to make part 3. (Sean Nelson) Broadway Metroplex, Century Eastport 16, HillTop, Lake Twin Cinema, Moreland Theater, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater, St. John's Theater

MY DOG SKIP
This is the movie that had Good Morning America's Joel Siegel "sitting up and begging for more." Based on the late Willie Morris' coming-of-age memoir in a sleepy Mississippi town during World War II. Avalon Theatre, Kiggins Theater

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE ARCHIVE
The famous Dennis Nyback archive has some new additions which he will be screening on June 2, including industrial films, animated shorts, classic commercials, and more! Clinton Street Theatre

*THE ORIGINAL ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE SHOW
Forget the big budget film adaptation! These are the real deal. See original Rock and Bullwinkle cartoons, complete with original commercials. Clinton Street Theatre

THE ROAD TO EL DORADO
From the people who brought you the big piece of cartoon crap The Prince of Egypt,here's yet another similarly big piece of cartoon crap. Avalon Theatre, Kennedy School Theatre

ROAD TRIP
Road Trip takes the 15-minute road-trip sequence from Animal House and expands it to feature length. In this case, "University of Ithaca" college student Josh (Breckin Meyer) accidentally mails his long-distance girlfriend, Tiffany, a videotape of him having sex with another woman forcing him and a trio of college buddies to drive 1,800 miles to recover the tape and save his relationship. Relating the tale of this Odyssean quartet is Benny (Tom Green), the first unreliable narrator figure in what must be the first, humanist, teen sex comedy. Why "humanist"? This genre of comedy is generally predicated on fear and repulsion toward "the other."This movie parades a sea of creepy or scary archetypes past its travelers(the only one missing is a predatory homosexual)--and then allows them nuanced responses. The foot-fetishist and food molester are just creepy,but the large, horny black woman is allowed a dose of humanity, as is the likable, boner-bearing Grandpa. Josh's sidekick E. L. (Seann William Scott)discovers the joys of prostate stimulation, while dorky Kyle (DJ Qualls)wins over an all-black frat house with his dancing before bedding the aforementioned BBW. Repulsion executes a complicated dance with attraction,and we (and by we, I mean oversexed, underaged boys) emerge from the movie theater better people for it. (Eric Fredericksen) Century Eastport 16, HillTop, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
When a movie is titled Rules of Engagement, I'm there. Too bad this one implodes like a giant star after a promising start. The performances of Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Blair Underwood, Guy Pearce, and Anne Archer are sucked into the resulting black hole. In the end, we are left with nothing--absolutely nothing. (Charles Mudede) Avalon Theatre, Kennedy School, Theatre Kiggins Theater, Laurelhurst Theater

SHANGHAI NOON
Even the presence of Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson can't save this revisionist, Western action comedy from the musty odor of the second-rate. Its plot unfolds like a fifth-generation Xerox. Some princess has to be saved from some clumpy, labor-driven railroad/mining concern, and the male leads must shed their current roles and embrace new, dimly-conceived identities. Wilson and his co-star are to be credited for occasionally rising above the material, but there are much better ways to spend a summer afternoon. (Tom Spurgeon) 82nd Avenue, Hill Top, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Oak Grove 8 Theater

SMALL TIME CROOKS
Woody Allen's 2000 entry is one of his unambitious, hoping-only-to-amuse movies. Too bad it's unoriginal, not very amusing, and a near waste of some of this world's greatest comic talent: Tracey Ullman, Elaine May, and Jon Lovitz. Allen casts himself against type as Ray, a poor dopey szchlub married to an equally dim former exotic dancer, Frenchie (Ullman). He plans an ambitious bank heist: He and some buddies buy a storefront two doors down from a bank and run a cookie shop as a front while tunneling underground to reach the bank vault. The heist is a flop, but Frenchie's amazing cookies turn the front operation into a multi-million dollar business. At this point, Allen drags out a series of tired themes (money can't buy happiness or sophistication), the plot conveys some typical twists, and the movie ends. (Eric Fredericksen) Century Eastport 16, Cinemagic, Oak Grove 8 Theater

*SMOKING, DRINKING AND SEX!
The wonderous Jen Lane (editor of Barfly) presents this evening of short films about everyone's favorite subjects. Plus beer! Clinton Street Theatre

*SUNSET BLVD.
After 50 years, Sunset Blvd. is still regarded as a classic of the American cinema. Don't miss this opportunity to see Billy Wilder's directorial masterpiece in pristine condition. Cinema 21

TIME CODE
The screen is cut into quadrants. Four films on one screen. No editing.Story takes place in Hollywood; is about Hollywood. No script. Cast wears synchronized digital watches. Fortunately, the experiment is founded on a formidable story--the four films unfolding simultaneously on screen are all facets of one large narrative, dealing with the quotidian emotional reality of showbiz folk. (Paula Gilovich) Broadway Metroplex

TOPSY-TURVEY
Mike Leigh's tribute to the music of Gilbert & Sullivan. Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

U-571
One of the most important turning points in World War II was the Allied capture of the German code machine, Enigma. U-571 is an attempt to show us modern folks what this dramatic event must have been like. The only thing not historically accurate is the damn story. A British destroyer was responsible for capturing the machine, not Matthew McConaughey! Better you should watch Das Boot. (Juan-Carlos Rodriguez) Century Eastport 16, HillTop, Milwaukie 3 Theater, Movies on TV

WHERE THE HEART IS
Attention Wal-Mart shoppers! Natalie Portman is giving birth on aisle 3! HillTop

WONDER BOYS
Any film that can make an audience stomach Michael Douglas is a minor accomplishment. Curtis Hanson's film does more than that. In fact, it's rather good. Avalon Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater

X
Japanese anime about a young man's quest to save the world. Bring your seizure medication! See review this issue. Cinema 21

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