Want to watch the new Hollywood Theatre at PDX's collection of local shorts but don't want to pay for a plane ticket? You're in luck: Catch its hourlong shorts program on Northeast Sandy Boulevard this Friday, with many of the filmmakers in attendance. Hollywood Theatre. 7 pm Friday, March 24.
Inspired by Portland director Kelly Reichardt's film of the same name, Boathouse Microcinema's new series is a collection of shorts by Portland-based women filmmakers. It's worth attending for the excerpt from Cambria Matlow's beautiful film Woodsrider alone. Boathouse Microcinema. 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 22.
American pop culture may have become a degenerate wasteland where we reproduce decades-old ephemera without context or purpose, but at least Michael Peña's got a leading role. Not screened for critics. R. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Vancouver.
A screening of Portland filmmaker Antero Alli's 2013 film about a professor (Marianne Shine) who befriends an older homeless woman (Luna Olcott) and brings her into her life with her partner Colette (Madeline H.D. Brown). NR. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Friday, March 24.
Critic's Rating: 4/4 stars. This is a Will Ferrell man-child comedy gone horribly awry, and every second is deeply, deliciously uncomfortable. When hotshot Wall Street banker Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) returns after 20 years to his small, despised Rhode Island hometown to bury his grandmother, he immediately loses his wallet, forcing him to ask for help from the equally despised characters of his past. Cue Donald (Kris Avedisian): woolly, unbrushed teeth; chapped lips; weird bangs; a huge, gaping porn poster right above his bed, and a good-natured way of monopolizing conversations with awkwardly intimate jokes. What makes this 100 times better than a Will Ferrell movie is that Donald's character really exists, and exists, in fact, in most of our lives—the old high school friend with horrible arrested development who, inconveniently, loves you unconditionally. Throughout Donald Cried, we fall in love with the characters' stunted friendship but are shown in equal measure how deeply they take advantage of each other, and in the end, we're not sure which of them we like less. Donald Cried employs that darkly comedic, funny but almost unwatchable sensibility that is slowly becoming, à la Louie, Baskets and One Mississippi, the dominant vocabulary of modern funniness—but its sharp realism makes it a unique chunk of low-budget gold. NR. ISABEL ZACHARIAS. Kiggins Theatre.
Mississippi Records presents a screening of cult documentarian Adam Curtis' massive 2016 indictment of pop culture. Curtis argues that, from the mid-1970s, a concerted effort has been made in elite American society to construct a media narrative that prioritizes fiction over truth. NR. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Thursday, March 23.
The Last Word
Critic's Rating: 1/4 stars. What would Harriet Lawler (Shirley MacLaine), the formidably grouchy heroine of The Last Word, say about her own movie? Probably something like this: "You call that a movie? It was so cliché that even the scene where I became a radio disc jockey couldn't save it! Is this what passes for entertainment these days?" Apparently so. The film's plot, if it is fit to be called that, involves the dictatorial Harriet supervising the writing of her own obituary, which is being crafted by Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried), a glum journalist who discovers that Harriet's bullying of nearly all the people she knows has been so ferocious that not one of them will drudge up a few sweet nothings about her. Fortunately for Harriet, The Last Word is a formulaic salvation fantasy, so she gets to reinvigorate her life by taking on the aforementioned radio gig and, in a subplot served with a hefty dollop of whitesplaining, mentoring a young black girl named Brenda (AnnJewel Lee Dixon). Viewers who sit through this nonsense will be rewarded with the film's moving depiction of female solidarity, though they may also savor the irony that The Last Word is a mechanically sentimental film about a fiercely unsentimental woman. R. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Bridgeport, Clackamas.
In this new sci-fi horror film, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds star as astronauts who discover life on Mars. Review to come next week. R. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
Looking for Infinity: El Camino
A new doc about the El Camino de Santiago/Way of Saint James, the Spanish pilgrimage route that terminates at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Saturday, March 25.
Saban's Power Rangers
Go go, Power Rangers! Go go, Power Rangers! Go go, Power Rangers, mighty morphin' Power Rangers! Review to come next week. PG-13. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
A new documentary following Los Angeles' Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team, which rescues animals endangered in extreme circumstances. A discussion follows with director Justin Zimmerman, film subjects Armando Navarrete and Annette Ramirez, and others. Hollywood Theatre. 2 pm Sunday, March 26.
Woody Harrelson stars as a quirky middle-aged guy who finds out he's had a child by his estranged ex-wife. Review to come next week. R. Cinema 21, Clackamas.