Coming soon

Chuck & Buck; Cold Water; The In Crowd; Loser; Mad about Mambo; Not Love, Just Frenzy; Pokémon 2000; Shadow Hours; What Lies Beneath

opening & EVENTS

Airport Inn
At a snowed-in Winnipeg hotel, a podiatrist's convention gets derailed from the typical awards banquets and sexual hijinks when an exploded body is found in one of the rooms. The chief investigator, still distraught over the murder of his partner 10 years earlier, becomes more and more unhinged as it appears the case will be unsolvable. This shot-on-video feature has some clever visuals and flashes of absurdist humor (or both at once, such as the shadows cast on the wall in the hotel's boiler room), but plenty of dull spots as well, and none of the characters ever threaten to become more than exaggerated cartoon figures. Wed July 19. (Bruce Reid) Little Theatre

Roger Vadim's 1968 space adventure with Jane Fonda as the titular nymphette on a futuristic sexual odyssey. Supple thighs, kick-ass boots, and big hair. Fri-Sat July 14-15. Grand Illusion

Better Living Through Circuitry
See review this issue. Varsity Calendar

*Blood Simple: Director's Cut
See review this issue. Egyptian

Bonnie and Clyde
Most of what we like about watching Bonnie and Clyde these days is the pleasure we get from seeing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway at the height of their beauty. The film is a bit too simply passed off as a classic now, and while its energy is thrilling and undeniable, its heart seems strangely cold and impassive. Still, the stunning final moments and the simple, gorgeous spectacle of the two leads looking just fine easily push this film into the "better than anything we're churning out now" category. Opens Fri July 14. (Jamie Hook) Grand Illusion

But I'm a Cheerleader
Shorts director Jamie Babbitt's feature debut is a disappointment--strenuous stuff that seldom rises above frail, second-rate camp. There should be a few more inspired laughs in its tale of Megan, a top-notch student cheerleader (the wasted but always game Natasha Lyonne), thought to be lesbian, who's sent to a camp where homosexuality is "cured." RuPaul and Cathy Moriarty are the grotesques who face her down, but it's the emergence of trust-fund tomboy Clea DuVall that gets her going. What's she going to be? Not much fun for the rest of us, that's what. Opens Fri July 14. (Ray Pride) Broadway Market

Early Slapstick Shorts
A non-commercial refuge from the voracious onslaught of summer cinema directed greedily at children, the Grand Illusion's Summer Children's Film Series is back for a fourth season, offering rare programs aimed at speaking with, not down to, children. This week, it's the finest in comedic violence with three classic shorts by Chaplin, the Marx Bros., and Laurel and Hardy. Kids love slapstick!! Plays Sat-Sun & Tues July 15-16 & 18. Grand Illusion

I'm the One That I Want
Margaret Cho made a terrible sitcom a while back--All-American Girl--and this straightforward record of her recent standup act recounts her struggles with weight, alcohol, and pernicious self-doubt that resulted from its failure. Cho isn't a particularly insightful comic, but she sure knows how to go after a laugh. What's funny here is gleefully, howlingly funny. Her admirable personal emancipation, however, doesn't quite flow freely from the rest of her material; the show strains whenever she stops to hit a nail on the head. As a result, it's the scruffy, playful stuff that fares much better, including priceless takes on her mother, a testy Karl Lagerfeld behind bars, and a fag hag navigating her pals through the Underground Railroad. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market, Egyptian

See Stranger Suggests. Paramount Theatre

Los Monkees
Back again for a sixth season, Linda's Summer Movies is the original outdoor drinking/film-watching extravaganza, presented, as always, FOR FREE!! By the time the plot falls apart, you'll be too drunk to care!! This week, a Spanish-dubbed print of an old Monkees episode will have you crowing, "¡Ojala que fuera mas barracho!" Wed July 19. Linda's Tavern

*Pee-wee's Big Adventure
"Pee Wee Herman is such an iconic and unconventional character that the heavyhandedness of Burton's direction greatly lessens his impact; what should've been a soufflé ended up a pancake. Burton brings great colors and cool toys, but there's no bite, and the inherent, Freudian perversity of the Pee Wee is painfully watered down." Fri-Sat July 14-15. (dow-3, IMDB user) Egyptian

Pete Townshend's rock opera based on the album of the same name and full of lines like "I don't wanna be the same as everybody else. That's why I'm a mod, see?" With pre-show music from the Drove. Sat July 15. Fremont Outdoor Cinema

The Seedling
The seedling might be fun if you're a surfer--otherwise, it's just an endless loop of waves, boards, and dull music. The camerawork is admittedly lovely, but unless you were born with some gene that enables you to watch surfers in slow-motion for over an hour without getting bored, you will. Still, there are lots of people who like those Warren Miller bore-a-thons, so maybe I'm just not getting it. Thurs-Sun July 13-16 (Jamie Hook) Little Theatre

See review this issue. Seven Gables

2nd Ave Pizza's summer mini-festivals (always FREE!) continue with a salute to gender-bending cinema, including Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Glen or Glenda?, and Dog Day Afternoon. Thurs-Sat July 13-15. 2nd Avenue Pizza

Surfing for Life
See Stranger Suggests. Little Theatre

The screwball comedy was perhaps the most perfected of genres during Hollywood's Golden Age. Topper is not the top of the heap, but this tale of a married couple who return from the grave (shouldn't have taken the turn that fast) to show their uptight friend how to live (and flirt) a little is never less than a briskly paced delight. Cary Grant is perfect (surprise, surprise) and Constance Bennett proves once again that she had even more star appeal (if less talent) than her sister Joan. Thurs July 14. (Bruce Reid) Seattle Art Museum

When Worlds Collide
Cutting-edge comedy--or your worst nightmare? "Twisted Flicks" combines horror and sci-fi B movies with improvised dialogue, sound effects, and music by Jet City Improv. The 1950s camp continues with the sci-fi thriller When Worlds Collide. Fri July 14. Fremont Friday Night Outdoor Movies

The X-Men
See review this issue. Metro, Pacific Place 11, Oak Tree, Cinerama

Continuing Runs

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Rocky's a flying squirrel, and Bullwinkle is a dumb moose, so you'd think they wouldn't stand a chance against some evil bad guys, but in cartoons the good guys always win--that's just in cartoons! When Rocky and Bullwinkle and the villains are pulled out of television, the situation starts to get out of hand; Bullwinkle gets stuck in a computer, Rocky forgets how to fly, and they accidentally fly in a plane to Washington D.C. instead of N.Y. Meanwhile, The Fearless Leader makes a new TV show called RBTV (Really Bad Television) to try to make everybody in America become a zombie and vote for him for President, because in the real world, bad guys can win! (Sam Lachow) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

An IMAX examination of the lush forests and exotic animals of the Amazon river basin. Omnidome

The Big Kahuna
Starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito as a couple of crappy salesmen. Uptown

Big Momma's House
In this weak comedy, Martin Lawrence plays the good guy; handsome Terrence Howard, from The Best Man, plays the bad guy; and sexy Nia Long is the lover of a heartless bank robber. When she suddenly disappears, the FBI stakes out her Georgia grandmother's home, but when her grandmother is suddenly called out of town on an emergency, Special Agent Martin Lawrence assumes her grandmother's role--her bed, her clothes, her big butt, her Southern drawl. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

Boys and Girls
With a title that covers just about everyone, this movie is sure to appeal to the entire human race. Starring the lovely Freddie Prinze Jr. as one of the boys (too bad!). Pacific Place 11

Spain, 1936; a boy and his schoolteacher; politics interfere. Acting as good as the best of Hollywood, costumes and sets as textured, cinematography as radiant--and a moral vision just as banal. Still, director Jose Luis Cuerda gets a fine performance from the little boy. You could enjoy this movie, as I did, without buying into its simple-mindedness. (Barley Blair) Metro

*Chicken Run
Chicken Run is about chickens trying to escape. It is very funny and exciting; each chicken has a great sense of humor and is weird. It all starts when Rocky the Chicken comes blasting over the fence and everybody thinks he can fly. Meanwhile, something fishy is going on--Mrs. Tweedy (the farmer's wife) has a machine that lets the chickens go in and pies come out. They do whatever they can to resist becoming pies. (Sam Lachow & Maggie Brown) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

A bottle-blond exponent of God's lonely man takes a job in a private London casino and gets embroiled in some serious heist-related trouble. Mike Hodges, who directed the semi-obscure British new wave classic Get Carter, brings grace and severity to what could have just been neo-pulp. (Sean Nelson) Broadway Market

From the beginning of time, this has been the drama of the dinosaurs: They are oppressed by the mighty and terrifying Tyrannosaurus; they are always searching for water or a green paradise; and their big eggs are always eaten or crushed just moments before they hatch. (Charles Mudede) Lewis & Clark, Uptown

Disney's The Kid
If you are a middle-aged, wealthy, white man, it's probably the horrible things you've done to others during your ruthless climb to the top that have caused you to suffer from a painfully abscessed guilt complex. To end your suffering, it will be necessary to either hire a professional dominatrix to flay the hide right off your miserable carcass or see Disney's The Kid, yet another switcheroo movie about an aging robber baron achieving redemption by literally massaging his inner child. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll drain your body of the dangerous pus that makes knocking down artists' lofts to build condos so darn hard. (Tamara Paris) Aurora Cinema Grill, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro

Everyone knows that dolphins are the smartest animals on the planet. Pacific Science Center IMAX

East is East
The great Om Puri plays a fanatical father married to a British woman (Linda Basset). They own a small chip shop and a small house, which is packed with seven rebellious kids. With the exception of one boy, all the children are headed one way (toward total assimilation of British culture), and the father the other (preservation of Pakistani values); all that's left is a big showdown in the end. But Puri saves the day by doing what he does best: deepening and extending his character's emotional and psychological range. (Charles Mudede) Uptown

Erin Brockovich
Another big-budget Hollywood film starring the dentiglorious spectacle that is Julia Roberts. (Charles Mudede) Crest

The Eruption of Mount St. Helens
The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

The first IMAX footage ever shot on top of the world. Pacific Science Center IMAX

Don't try this at home, folks. An entire film bursting and soaring with EXTREME sports, EXTREME risks, and the ULTIMATE in EXTREME challenges. Pacific Science Center IMAX

Director Ridley Scott tramps through the standard gladiator movie plot like a tipsy party host, embracing each and every cliché 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, and with the help of a former love and rough-but-likable gladiator pals, seeks his revenge by finding glory within the Coliseum. (Tom Spurgeon) Aurora Cinema Grill, Cinerama, Guild 45th, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Gone in 60 Seconds
To protect his little brother from an injurious limey, master car thief Nicolas Cage comes out of retirement, recruiting his old friends (Robert Duvall and Angelina Jolie among them) to help him steal 50 fancy cars in one night. (Sean Nelson) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

Michael Almereyda's new adaptation of Hamlet, starring Ethan Hawke, is a thrilling surprise; a contemporary reading of the play that comes closer to tapping its potential as a paradigm for human conflict than any other film that's tried. (Sean Nelson) Metro

*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 fifth grade. (Kathleen Wilson) Varsity

Jesus' Son
This remarkable film is all about that sense of depth, or, more closely, the puzzle of depth. What Jesus' Son addresses at every moment, in every shot, is the great question of philosophy and literature: What makes existence both trivial and all-important? In the end, Jesus' Son beautifully captures the very twilight of life, that strange space humans occupy between the very small and the very large; between everything and nothing; between possible and impossible (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit

Me, Myself and Irene
Dildos, dog shit, the suffering of children and animals, physical disabilities, graphic violence, and Jim Carrey's rote performance beamed to the camera via satellite while he was taking a nap all conspire to make this a film that future generations will undoubtedly study as a sort of Rosetta stone of our cultural sicknesses. (Tamara Paris) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Michael Jordan to the MAX
See the greatest basketball player in history as nature intended: on a 3,500-square-foot movie screen! Seattle IMAX Dome Theatre

*Mission: Impossible 2
If I may paraphrase Walter Matthau (RIP) in JFK, criticizing the finer points of movies like Mission: Impossible 2--and yes, it does have finer points, madame et monsieur cineaste--is like picking gnat shit out of pepper. I loved this movie. I loved the profligate back flips in the fight choreography; I loved the preposterous motorcycle chase/joust. But most of all, I loved the giddy sense of hyperbole and spectacle that coarsed through the whole enterprise. (Sean Nelson) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Southcenter

Mysteries of Egypt
Find out what the heck's going on over in Egypt, anyway. Omnidome

The Patriot
The Patriot is one jingoistic mother of a movie. Mel Gibson stars as Benjamin Martin, a sweet single father of seven (of course his wife is tragically dead) who refuses to enter the brewing Revolutionary War because of his troubled past when he did grisly things as a soldier. But after being shamed by son number one, who eagerly signs up, and being outraged when son number two is gunned down by a nasty Brit, you know the Gib will soon be unpacking his deadly tomahawk in the name of "FREEEEEDOOOMMMM!" (Gillian G. Gaar) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Northgate, Redmond Town Center

The Perfect Storm
In its favor, The Perfect Storm, based on a true story, has two superlatives: George Clooney and some fine, boiling seas. Unfortunately, the film itself--fraught with ham-fisted drama; painfully stupid dialogue; downright insulting characterizations; and some of the worst accent coaching ever--is a foregone conclusion from the start. (Jamie Hook) Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Neptune, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*Road Trip
Road Trip takes the 15-minute road-trip sequence from Animal House and expands it to feature length. (Eric Fredericksen) Uptown

Scary Movie
Originally titled Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween, the only thing scary about this movie is the script. In addition to quick parodies of dozens of teen horror flicks, Scary Movie is largely a satire of the Scream films--which are already satires (go figure). Though it certainly has some knee-slappers, most of the infantile jokes simply go on way too long (do we really need to see several minutes of dripping snot in a parody of Blair Witch's flashlit close-ups?). Director Keenan Ivory Wayans may have wanted to repeat the success of earlier physical comedy/sight gag films like Airplane or Animal House, but he wound up with something as torturous as an overwrought skit from SNL or his own Wayans Bros. sitcom. (Melody Moss) Factoria, Meridian 16, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center, Varsity

The way Shaft brutally beats up the drug-dealing teenager with the butt of his gun, the way he calmly guns down the Latino gang members or nearly kills the judge with his badge--it's a little too much, you will agree. (Charles Mudede) Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

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. 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) Pacific Place 11

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. (Eric Fredericksen) City Centre

Sunshine is a long movie. It is about a prosperous and voluptuous Hungarian Jewish family's experience of the turbulent 20th century. In a word, it' s an epic with lots of sex: I think we see Ralph Fiennes' ass three times total. That's once an hour! (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous
The 3D FX are so realistic, you'll swear you can feel the breath of Big Mama TR, and no matter how many times you've seen 3D films, you'll still be hard pressed to not duck when boulders and dino bones come whizzing straight at you. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center IMAX

Titan AE
Titan AE (After Earth) was about--well, we didn't exactly see it because our editor didn't tell us the right theater to go to for the press screening. Anyway, we think it's about the end of Earth and how humans survive in the galaxy, but we don't know what it's really about. From the commercial, the animation looks really cool; some things even look real. (Sam & Maggie, crack 9-year-old reviewers) Meridian 16, Metro

A comedic neo-noir so whimsical and off-kilter it sometimes (intentionally, I'm sure) feels like a dream, Trixie might spin its wheels occasionally, and it definitely drags on past its welcome; nevertheless, when it works, it's remarkably fresh and invigorating. Emily Watson, mercifully rescued from the Patient Martyr roles she's been given since her debut, shines as the eponymous security guard, hired to work the floor at a lakeside casino. Alan Rudolph keeps things breezy, filming the proceedings with enough intelligence to keep your interest even in the slower spots. It's not one of the director's all-too-rare masterpieces, but it's good enough to remind you that he's capable of them now and again. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

One of the most important turning points in World War II was the Allied capture of the German code machine, the Enigma. U-571 is an attempt to show us modern folks what this dramatic event must have been like. (Juan-Carlos Rodriguez) Uptown

*The Virgin Suicides
The most consistent element of The Virgin Suicides is a steady stream of images that echo the feminine-hygiene commercials of the 1970s. If the film has a message, it seems to be that a mythologized purity of youth can't survive into adulthood. (Monica Drake) Crest