Keep On Keepin’ On

Too much of a good thing.

Movie Reviews & Stories There’s nothing inherently bad about a happy film. But there’s nothing inherently good, either. That’s the case with Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary about jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and hi ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:19 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Theory of Everything

Relatively speaking.

Movie Reviews & Stories A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s 30-year marriage to Jane Wilde, The Theory of Everything fits a tad too snugly into the biopic tradition. Anyone who’s seen Errol Morris’ expressionist ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:21 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Insane in the Ukraine

The psychedelic mania of Ivan Kupalo.

Movie Reviews & Stories With imagery that makes Dali’s surrealism look like a kids’ coloring book—pig-riding demons, bleeding bread, slain children—and enough psychedelic color washes to give Dario Argento a ... More

Nov 19, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA
 
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Keep On Keepin’ On

Too much of a good thing.

Movie Reviews & Stories There’s nothing inherently bad about a happy film. But there’s nothing inherently good, either. That’s the case with Keep On Keepin’ On, a documentary about jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and hi ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:19 pm by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Theory of Everything

Relatively speaking.

Movie Reviews & Stories A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s 30-year marriage to Jane Wilde, The Theory of Everything fits a tad too snugly into the biopic tradition. Anyone who’s seen Errol Morris’ expressionist ... More

Nov 18, 2014 08:21 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Insane in the Ukraine

The psychedelic mania of Ivan Kupalo.

Movie Reviews & Stories With imagery that makes Dali’s surrealism look like a kids’ coloring book—pig-riding demons, bleeding bread, slain children—and enough psychedelic color washes to give Dario Argento a ... More

Nov 19, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Rosewater

Jon Stewart goes to Iran.

Movie Reviews & Stories Rosewater is a torture film in which suffering is beside the point—it’s a lovely romp in the fields of tyranny. Gael García Bernal, who plays unjustly imprisoned Iranian-Canadian journalist ... More

Nov 11, 2014 07:04 pm by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Force Majeure

On thin ice.

Movie Reviews & Stories The family of four lies on the bed, limbs intertwined. They’re Swedish. So of course they’re gorgeous—they look ripped from a Hanna Andersson catalog, down to their matching thermal underw ... More

Nov 11, 2014 07:07 pm by REBECCA JACOBSON

Willamette Whoops

Remembering 40 years of misguided film criticism.

Movie Reviews & Stories Everyone’s had opinions they regret. Part of being a critic means having those opinions published and preserved. No one nails every review, especially when overnighting a challenging movie. Even ... More

Nov 5, 2014 12:01 am by WW Staff

Interstellar

Christopher Nolan aces art class but flunks astronomy.

Movie Reviews & Stories Christopher Nolan is Hollywood’s most masterful huckster: a blockbuster auteur who uses incredible sleight of hand to elevate into art what other directors would leave as garbage. He is the ki ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:39 pm by AP KRYZA

Citizenfour

With every move he makes, another chance he takes.

Movie Reviews & Stories History happens in real time in Citizenfour, a behind-closed-doors account of Edward Snowden’s decision to reveal the dizzying extent of government surveillance programs. Much of Laura Poitr ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:40 pm by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: H.I. and Mighty

Raising Arizona and the art of loquacious lowlifes.

Movie Reviews & Stories Did somebody tell the Coen brothers to shut up? ILLUSTRATION: Allison KerekMaybe it’s a response to Tom Hanks’ silver-tongued jackass in the reviled 2004 remake of The Ladykillers, but with th ... More

Nov 4, 2014 07:37 pm by AP KRYZA

Fuss and Feathers

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman can’t quite take flight.

Movie Reviews & Stories In Birdman, our protagonist is Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a washed-up actor who once wore wings as the titular superhero. But in this film, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Bleeding Kansas

The creepy, logical consequences of Return to Oz.

Movie Reviews & Stories Dorothy Gale is facing lobotomy. Oz is a wasteland dominated by a giant rock monster. An evil witch with a collection of interchangeable heads roams the land, while the folks walking a destroyed ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Listen Up Philip

Schwartzman unbound.

Movie Reviews & Stories Oh, the bittersweet deliciousness of being an asshole. Listen Up Philip revels in it. Director Alex Ross Perry has said in interviews that his film is an amalgamated homage to Philip Roth, and t ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Whiplash

Jazz as blood sport.

Movie Reviews & Stories Whiplash clefts music from dance, love and spirituality. What’s left is muscle, red and raw, beating faster and faster against a drum. That’s how Damien Chazelle’s beautiful but troubling ... More

Oct 29, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

The Color Line

Dear White People is for everybody.

Movie Reviews & Stories When Justin Simien began work on Dear White People, early drafts of the screenplay included an over-the-top college party featuring white students in blackface. But at some point, he ruled it ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

AP Film Studies: Oh, the Horror

A survival guide to Halloween at Portland movie houses.

Movie Reviews & Stories It’s the week before Halloween, and your chances of escaping the season without watching at least one horror flick are about as good as the chances of a buxom babysitter surviving a night at a ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

The Blue Room

Sex and death.

Movie Reviews & Stories Like the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks, the blue room is everywhere in The Blue Room. At least, it's everywhere that French director Mathieu Amalric (who starred in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

John Wick

Keanu Reeves brings the ruckus.

Movie Reviews & Stories John Wick treads familiar ground: A retired hit man is roped back into the life. But this is the rare film that excels as much for what it puts on display as for what it holds back. It oozes s ... More

Oct 22, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

St. Vincent: Movie Review

Bill Murray: the patron saint of transforming mediocrity into artistry.

Movie Reviews & Stories Freshman director Theodore Melfi is a very, very lucky man. Under most circumstances, his debut, St. Vincent, would be blasted for its contrived, overwrought plot. Does the world really need anoth ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

20,000 Days on Earth: Movie Review

True or false.

Movie Reviews & Stories Nick Cave is one of rock ’n’ roll’s great liars. He admits as much in 20,000 Days on Earth. The way he sees it, the truth is a sea serpent that exists below the surface of a song, and his ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by MATTHEW SINGER

Men, Women & Children: Movie Review

OMG teh internetz.

Movie Reviews & Stories Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children is Crash for the age of texting, tumbling and tweeting. It’s also Reitman’s second consecutive film—after last year’s treacly Labor Day—to be less ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Idol Chatter

The filth and fury of Kill Your Idols.

Movie Reviews & Stories Ten years ago, director Scott Crary unleashed Kill Your Idols, a documentary that dove deep into New York’s sweaty underground to chart the evolution of the punk and no-wave movements.  ILLUS ... More

Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

AP Film Studies: Sharper Image

The Hollywood goes large-format.

Movie Reviews & Stories Screw Pioneer Courthouse Square. For movie nerds, the Hollywood Theatre is Portland’s living room. In recent years, it’s transformed itself from a run-down joint to the best-curated theater ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

Pride: Movie Review

A fop and a miner walk into a leather bar.

Movie Reviews & Stories Politics make strange bedfellows. That was certainly true of gay activists and mineworkers, who formed an unlikely alliance during a British labor strike 30 years ago. Their story is dramatized ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by REBECCA JACOBSON

The Guest: Movie Review

From Downton to darkness

Movie Reviews & Stories The thriller The Guest is what might happen if John Carpenter made a Halloween movie in which Michael Myers takes off his mask and turns out to be a pretty cool guy. Still mourning the loss of t ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

Kill the Messenger: Movie Review

Scoops and snoops.

Movie Reviews & Stories Ah, the mid-’90s! The halcyon days of print! When journalists were lightly bearded men who, when they weren’t exposing national secrets, took emotional motorcycle rides through the forest! S ... More

Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am by JAMES HELMSWORTH

Steering Queer

An LGBTQ film festival rebrands itself.

Movie Reviews & Stories When the Portland Queer Film Festival launched 18 years ago, it didn’t have that name—it was the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the word “queer” was a long way from bein ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by WW MOVIE STAFF

Gone Girl: Movie Review

David Fincher makes the darkest Lifetime movie ever.

Movie Reviews & Stories Gone Girl might be David Fincher’s battiest work—and that’s saying something for a director who previously opened a film with a shot that traveled from a man’s innards to the barrel of a ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA

The Two Faces of January : Movie Review

Slick shtick.

Movie Reviews & Stories The throwback thriller The Two Faces of January begins with a man conning a married couple. It’s about the only time in Hossein Amini’s sleek, subdued adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s no ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by MICHAEL NORDINE

AP Film Studies: Nightmare Maestro

Legendary horror composer Alan Howarth hits the Hollywood.

Movie Reviews & Stories Killers and monsters get all the attention in horror movies. But composer Alan Howarth elevates such films into artistic exercises in terror. When Michael Myers makes a pitchfork kebab of teenag ... More

Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am by AP KRYZA
 

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