Pokémon Detective Pikachu
For the faithful fans who traded Pokémon cards on grade school playgrounds during the '90s, Pokémon Detective Pikachu will be a sumptuous banquet of geek lore. For everyone else, it will be dull and baffling—but also bizarrely amusing. A family-friendly tale of a child detective (Justice Smith) learning the meaning of love from the obnoxious CGI furball of the title (voiced by Ryan Reynolds, doing his increasingly stale Deadpool shtick) may not sound like a work of experimental cinema. But what else can you call a movie that features a telepathic feline monster, a plot seemingly constructed out of deleted scenes from both Blade Runner and Finding Nemo and a trippy exploration of the effects of merging human and Pokémon souls? Detective Pikachu may be too poorly made to be worth the price of a ticket, but you might have fun watching a bootleg copy with your friends from fifth grade—while arguing about whether or not, as the film suggests, Volt Tackle really is Pikachu's best move. Just for old time's sake. PG. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Beaverton, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Eastport, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Milwaukie, Mission, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, Cascade, Cinema 99, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Scappoose Cinema 7, St. Johns Twin Cinema & Pub, Studio One, Vancouver.
The White Crow
For acclaimed actor Ralph Fiennes' third turn in the director's chair, the filmmaker explores legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev's childhood and training up until the dramatic moment of his defection from the Soviet Union in a Parisian airport. The White Crow in many ways parallels the life of the man who became known as the Lord of the Dance (played by Oleg Ivenko). While the biopic's ballet scenes are utterly gorgeous, those concerning Nureyev's personal life fall a bit flat. Fiennes does a fantastic job sweeping the audience into the choreography—watching the graceful movement is like witnessing a poem come to life in human form. Nureyev was a true master of his craft, and the film ably displays this. But he had little patience for those who questioned him—about anything—and Ivenko presents that famously difficult side of his personality by lashing out at anyone who gets in the character's way. Those scenes, the editing and the lead-up to the finale could have all used a bit more work, but none of that detracts from what is overall a pleasant and beautifully presented look at the artistry of dance, Cold War politics and a complicated man. R. DONOVAN FARLEY. Fox Tower.