Mr. Cronenberg Goes to Hollywood

The Videodrome director turns his eye to toxic celebrity culture in Maps to the Stars.

Movie Reviews & Stories David Cronenberg has always been fixated on bodies. He fused them to television screens in Videodrome, crafted the finest head-explosion scenes of all time in Scanners, and charted every gruesome st ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

Salad Days

A nostalgia trip through D.C. punk.

Movie Reviews & Stories The Washington, D.C., punk scene documented in Scott Crawford’s Salad Days was a hydra of privileged brattiness, tough-guy posturing, earnest disaffection and lofty purpose. It was, as youth m ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by CHRIS STAMM

1971: Movie Review

Investigating the FBI.

Movie Reviews & Stories On March 8, 1971, the night that Joe Frazier fought Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century, a group of activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pa. They found documents proving the FBI a ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by JOHN LOCANTHI

AP Film Studies: Taylor-Made

Liz Taylor’s Portland granddaughter keeps her legacy alive.

Movie Reviews & Stories Elizabeth Taylor was many things during her life, which was spent mostly under the spotlight and in the public eye. She was perhaps the most famous star of Hollywood’s golden age, netting two ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA
 
 

Mr. Cronenberg Goes to Hollywood

The Videodrome director turns his eye to toxic celebrity culture in Maps to the Stars.

Movie Reviews & Stories David Cronenberg has always been fixated on bodies. He fused them to television screens in Videodrome, crafted the finest head-explosion scenes of all time in Scanners, and charted every gruesome st ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

Salad Days

A nostalgia trip through D.C. punk.

Movie Reviews & Stories The Washington, D.C., punk scene documented in Scott Crawford’s Salad Days was a hydra of privileged brattiness, tough-guy posturing, earnest disaffection and lofty purpose. It was, as youth m ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by CHRIS STAMM

1971: Movie Review

Investigating the FBI.

Movie Reviews & Stories On March 8, 1971, the night that Joe Frazier fought Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century, a group of activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pa. They found documents proving the FBI a ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by JOHN LOCANTHI

AP Film Studies: Taylor-Made

Liz Taylor’s Portland granddaughter keeps her legacy alive.

Movie Reviews & Stories Elizabeth Taylor was many things during her life, which was spent mostly under the spotlight and in the public eye. She was perhaps the most famous star of Hollywood’s golden age, netting two ... More

Feb 25, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

If You Really Love PIFF...

Portland’s three weeks of dark and dreary foreign films flies off into the sunset.

Movie Reviews & Stories The Portland International Film Festival comes to an end this week. There are only 10 new films—and some shorts from Spain—showing this week, but this is more of a time to reflect on what ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by WW MOVIE STAFF

The First Annual PIFF Awards

Willamette Week plays judge, jury and award-giver-outer.

Movie Reviews & Stories The Portland International Film Festival comes to a close this week. Normally, this is the time when a jury of expert film critics hands out awards to deeply deserving films. There are some awar ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by WW Staff

AP Film Studies: And The Oscar Goes To…

A rundown of the Best Picture nominees still playing in Portland theaters.

Movie Reviews & Stories This Sunday, Hollywood returns once again for its annual worship of middlebrow cinema, and no matter how much you hate to admit it, you’re watching the Oscars. How else will you know which sto ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night: Movie Review

Love and other things in Bad City.

Movie Reviews & Stories Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is an eclectic cinematic mishmash: an Iranian noir-spaghetti Western-love story…with vampires. And yet, somehow, it all wo ... More

Feb 18, 2015 12:01 am by JOHN LOCANTHI

Dealing With the Fallout

While the first week of PIFF focused on choices, week two finds itself mired in the aftermath of those difficult decisions.

Movie Reviews & Stories Perhaps you’re watching Viggo Mortensen wander through the unforgiving, hallucinogenic wastes of Patagonia in search of his lost daughter. Or you’re listening to testimonials from survivors ... More

Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am by WW Staff

Fifty Shades of Gus

The missing tampon scene from the director that could have been.

Movie Reviews & Stories The much-anticipated film adaptation of the mega-successful erotic fanfic novel Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters this week. Fifty Shades, which entered this world as Twilight fan fiction, has so ... More

Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am by JOHN LOCANTHI

Mommy

Clinging to hope in a hard-living Canada.

Movie Reviews & Stories Xavier Dolan’s Québécois, Cannes Jury Prize-winning opus, Mommy, opens with a weathered but well-manicured hand reaching for a red apple, while what looks to be a child’s undergarments blo ... More

Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am by KAT MERCK

AP Film Studies: Rules of Attraction

Casablanca and the science of love.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’s easy to look at a seemingly mismatched couple and scoff, wondering what the hell such a good-looking person would see in a person of less-desirable genetic stock. Throughout the history ... More

Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Oh, The Choices You’ll Make

You’re on your own, you know what we know, and you are the one to decide where to go for PIFF 2015.

Movie Reviews & Stories What do you do when you open an ill-gotten briefcase to find 50 million kronor (just under $6.1 million in real money) inside? Or when a group of Turkish soldiers hold your fellow villagers as r ... More

Feb 4, 2015 12:01 am by WW Staff

AP Film Studies: Black Thought

Women dominate the Portland Black Film Fest.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’s no secret that cinema is whitewashed. Just look at the lineup of the Portland International Film Fest, which features a whopping two movies from the African continent in a sea of middle ... More

Feb 4, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Beyond the sea.

Movie Reviews & Stories SpongeBob SquarePants is an absurdist red herring of a children’s television show. Sure, it has the requisite fart and poop jokes and the warm, treacly center common to the format, but it al ... More

Feb 4, 2015 12:01 am by JOHN LOCANTHI

Russian Soul

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s epic Leviathan has a heavy heart and light hand.

Movie Reviews & Stories In 2004, Marvin Heemeyer drove an armor-plated bulldozer through 13 buildings, including a newspaper office and the town hall, in his small Colorado town. Heemeyer, a welder, had snapped after ... More

Jan 28, 2015 12:01 am by MITCH LILLIE

A Most Violent Year: Movie Review

Down and out in New York City.

Movie Reviews & Stories Calling A Most Violent Year a period piece is like calling a ruby a rock. Yes, the film takes place in 1981 New York, one of the most crime-ridden years in the city’s history. And yes, directo ... More

Jan 28, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

AP Film Studies: The Passion Of The Spliced

Church of Film worships at the altar of obscure cinema.

Movie Reviews & Stories In 2013, Matthew Lucas and Leslie Napoles quietly started a film club for a few friends to gather, geek out over lesser-known cinema and sip a little wine. Soon, it became a church that worships ... More

Jan 28, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Mr. Turner: Movie Review

Brilliant scenery, with extra spittle.

Movie Reviews & Stories Known as “the painter of light,” J.M.W. Turner created some of the world’s most awe-inspiring artwork. His landscapes are by turns frightful and beautiful, and the same goes for Mr. Turner ... More

Jan 28, 2015 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

Movie Review: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry pays tribute to second-wave feminists.

Movie Reviews & Stories Think back to Beyoncé’s performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards—her rock-solid command of the stage, her spangly leotard, those heart-melting cuts to Blue Ivy on Jay Z’s lap. Recal ... More

Jan 21, 2015 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Woo Woo

How John Woo nearly ruined action films.

Movie Reviews & Stories With 1989’s The Killer and 1992’s Hard Boiled, John Woo made two of cinema’s best-ever action films. In both movies (screening as a double feature at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Hol ... More

Jan 21, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Don’t Shoot

A new documentary examines the history of police brutality in Portland.

Movie Reviews & Stories Long before the Trail Blazers warmed up in “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts, another group of Portlanders wore a very different message across their chests. Thirty years ago, after a man died ... More

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

American Sniper: Movie Review

Shoot first, ask questions never.

Movie Reviews & Stories Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) lies with his gun on a rooftop in Iraq. In his sights is a boy holding a grenade, approaching American troops. It’s up to him: kill a child or see his friends slaug ... More

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

Zero Motivation: Movie Review

Army brats.

Movie Reviews & Stories Israeli comedy Zero Motivation has been breathlessly hailed in reviews and promotional materials as everything from M*A*S*H* meets Orange Is the New Black to an episode of Broad City as directed b ... More

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am by KAT MERCK

AP Film Studies: Homer’s Odyssey

A Homer Groening retrospective reveals an overlooked genius.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’d be fair to assume that when Matt Groening named Homer Simpson after his father, he also gave the cartoon buffoon his dad’s personality. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Beca ... More

Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Selma: Movie Review

With Selma, Ava DuVernay brings the civil rights movement to vivid life.

Movie Reviews & Stories Movies about humanity’s failures tend to flatter their audiences. Look at yesterday’s folly, they say, and be proud of our relatively democratic present. Too rare are movies that shine a r ... More

Jan 7, 2015 12:01 am by CHRIS STAMM

Inherent Vice: Movie Review

Inherent Vice is decadent, depraved and wonderful.

Movie Reviews & Stories In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson scribed a stirring eulogy for the Summer of Love. “We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave,” he wrote. “Five years lat ... More

Jan 7, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Winter Sleep: Movie Review

Iced over.

Movie Reviews & Stories If you’re itching to spend three hours with a misanthropic mansplainer, Winter Sleep is just the ticket. A 196-minute meditation on marriage, class politics and narcissism, Turkish director Nu ... More

Jan 7, 2015 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Anime 101

OMSI unleashes three landmarks of Japanese animation.

Movie Reviews & Stories When most of us think of anime, we imagine gigantic-eyed otaku heroines with mystical powers and tiny skirts. We think of gigantic robots, ultra-cute kitties, Poké Balls, shrill squeals and s ... More

Jan 7, 2015 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

AP Film Studies: Punks In Space

Repo Man’s Alex Cox blasts off with Bill, The Galactic Hero.

Movie Reviews & Stories Back in the early ’80s, Liverpudlian director Alex Cox had just finished his debut feature, Repo Man, a twisted punk-rock crime comedy starring Emilio Estevez. But the film had yet to become a ... More

Dec 31, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

The Interview

A better tiger scene than The Hangover!

Movie Reviews & Stories Some people take a strong dislike to Katy Perry. There are a variety of stupid reasons for this, and it’s mostly pointless to argue with anyone who believes such a perspective indicates you’ ... More

Dec 30, 2014 08:01 pm by MARTIN CIZMAR

Movie Review: Point and Shoot

An American in Libya, with a gun in one hand and a camera in the other.

Movie Reviews & Stories In this age of narcissism, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better subject than Matthew VanDyke.  With no filmmaking experience and limited knowledge of the region, the sheltered Baltim ... More

Dec 31, 2014 12:01 am by RUTH BROWN

Best of the Screen

2014 Movie Superlatives.

Movie Reviews & Stories We love top-10 lists as much as the next schmuck. But there’s a lot they may have trouble capturing—the tiny but brilliant cameos, the grossest gags, the ways in which Clint Eastwood and Cam ... More

Dec 24, 2014 12:01 am by WW Staff

Uphill Battle

A heap of holiday releases, reviewed.

Movie Reviews & Stories The holidays can be rough—especially if you’re one of the heroes in this year’s Christmas Day releases. These poor souls endure untold abuses: domineering spouses, police interrogations, wit ... More

Dec 24, 2014 12:01 am by WW Staff

AP Film Studies: The Year In Beer (Theaters)

Top moments at indie movie houses.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’s been a lousy year for multiplexes. Ticket sales are down. On-demand services are on the rise. Mark Wahlberg wants to make more Transformers movies—and be a cop. Annie was leaked, mean ... More

Dec 24, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Mother of the Year

The Babadook transcends horror tropes with genuine emotion.

Movie Reviews & Stories Dressed in a flowing trench coat and tattered black hat, the apparition in the superb Aussie creeper The Babadook immediately lodges itself in your nightmares. First glimpsed in a Edward Gorey-e ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:24 pm by AP KRYZA

Foxcatcher

World’s worst boss.

Movie Reviews & Stories If Michael Scott had been born disgustingly rich, with a crooked beak for a nose, he would’ve been John du Pont. A lot has been made of Steve Carell’s dark turn as the heir to one of the gra ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:29 pm by MATTHEW SINGER

Annie

’Stead of treated, we get tricked.

Movie Reviews & Stories Rebooting a franchise can shed new light on a story. Take Annie: In director Will Gluck’s version, the plucky, white orphan is now a plucky, African-American foster kid, played by 10-year-old ... More

Dec 16, 2014 06:38 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

AP Film Studies: Free Spirit of ’77

Author larry colton on the bizarre Blazers documentary Fast Break.

Movie Reviews & Stories Most sports documentaries focus on athletes in action. Very few feature cartoon butterflies. Even fewer have sitar music. And only one boasts an NBA All-Star on a berry-picking bike odyssey ... More

Dec 17, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Wild: Movie Review

The film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Wild blazes a powerful trail.

Movie Reviews & Stories On the Pacific Crest Trail, hikers speak of the “green tunnel” that greets you in Oregon. This tunnel—lush layers of moss and ferns and Douglas fir—rarely breaks for views and drenches those who enter. As Reese ... More

Dec 9, 2014 06:36 pm by REBECCA JACOBSON

Top Five: Movie Review

Chris Rock makes a true Chris Rock joint.

Movie Reviews & Stories Chris Rock took way too long to play himself in a movie. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say he took far too long to make a movie that sounds like he does. That’s the immediate thing to ... More

Dec 10, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW SINGER

AP Film Studies: Reel Christmas Cheer

The holliest, jolliest movies at beer theaters.

Movie Reviews & Stories In December, resisting Christmas movies is impossible. But this is Portland, dammit, which means you’ve got more options than watching Charlie Brown deal with his manic depression from the sol ... More

Dec 9, 2014 06:47 pm by AP KRYZA

AP Film Studies: True Love

Cary Elwes on The Princess Bride and drinking with André.

Movie Reviews & Stories Presumably due to a bout with being “nearly dead” or interference by the Dread Pirate Roberts, actor Cary Elwes has postponed his Portland visit this week to Dec. 17—making us all, like so ... More

Dec 2, 2014 07:08 pm by AP KRYZA

The Great Invisible: Movie Review

Built to spill.

Movie Reviews & Stories In contrast to its name, The Great Invisible opens with something very much visible: ribbons of copper-colored oil floating in the otherwise shockingly blue Gulf of Mexico, like an exquisite mod ... More

Dec 2, 2014 06:56 pm by KAT MERCK

The Homesman: Movie Review

Wigging out in the Wild West.

Movie Reviews & Stories Mary Bee Cuddy is an eligible bachelorette, and not just for the 1850s. She owns land in the Nebraska Territory, has a fine singing voice and can fry up a delicious chicken dinner. But, as cru ... More

Dec 2, 2014 06:01 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE
 

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