Whipped, An Affair of Love, Psycho Beach Party, Black Tar Heroin, Highlander: Endgame, St. Francisville Experiment, Madadayo, Stanley Kubrick Festival


Aimée & Jaguar
Lesbians and war, together at last. Opens Fri Aug 25; see review this issue. Egyptian

The Angry Breed
It's the final night of the sixth season of Linda's Summer Movies, 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: Every cliché foisted on humanity by the 1960s makes an appearance in The Angry Breed. Wed Aug 30. Linda's Tavern

The Art of War
Wesley Snipes has been trying to waste his talent for years--finally, it's happened! Opens Fri Aug 28.

AtomFilms Best of
Fremont Friday Night Outdoor Movies concludes with this Best Of series of AtomFilms shorts. Located under the Aurora Bridge in the Adobe parking lot. Fremont Friday Night Outdoor Movies

The Birds
The sister cinema to the Fremont Outdoor Cinema, the West Seattle Walk-In screens Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1962), starring Tippi Hedren as the most hated woman in the avian universe. With pre-show music from the Manatees. Fri Aug 25. West Seattle Walk-In Cinema

Bring it On
This film is "about" young women's bodies, in cheerleader outfits, with exposed navels, and saliva keeps dripping out my.... Opens Fri Aug 25.

The Crew
Burt Reynolds is covered with hair gel and shot out of a cannon to protect America's sense of hyperbole in this new thrill-fest. Opens Fri Aug 25.

2nd Avenue Pizza salutes the king of the inept with this three-part series. It is a mark of how profoundly bad Wood was that the best film here is Orgy of the Dead, a tit-fest that simply has naked women dancing in a graveyard for 55 minutes. (Jamie Hook) Thurs-Sat Aug 24-26. 2nd Avenue Pizza

Independent Exposure
This month's program is refreshingly devoid of content, and strong with style. Thurs Aug 24; see Stranger Suggests. Speakeasy

No, late Kurosawa is not as marvelous as early Kurosawa: The characterizations can be undercut by tendentious storytelling, and the spectacle sometimes drags out unchecked by the skeptical humanism that magnified Seven Samurai or Throne of Blood. But there are marvelous compensations informed by the nobility and wisdom of age, and each remains stunning, essential viewing. Kagemusha, with Tatsuya Nakadai excellent in the two roles of a beloved warlord and the horse thief who is recruited to act as his double in a ploy to foil would-be executioners could use a bit more modesty, and a greater emphasis on the citizens who don't care for their leader but are swept up by his actions nonetheless. But Kurosawa stages his battle scenes with breathtaking sweep, and profound understanding of the pointlessness of death in battle. Indeed, he may be the only director from whom this could have been considered remotely disappointing. (Bruce Reid) Opens Fri Aug 25. Grand Illusion

Rocky Horror Picture Show
The boy-meets-girl, boy-turns-into-girl, nerds-act-out-the-movie classic. Fri Aug 25. LunarFlicks Outdoor Cinema

The Sadist
Though it's never had much cachet even among devotees of cult films, the 1963 exploitation feature The Sadist (or Face of Terror, as the print being shown was retitled) turns out to be a smart, surprising original. Three teachers are on their way to a ball game when a busted fuel pump requires them to pull over to an off-road gas station; there they are held captive by a sneering "thrill killer" and his giggling, baby-doll girlfriend. The villain, nakedly inspired by Charlie Starkweather (source also for Terrence Malick's Badlands), is wretchedly overacted by the legendarily awful Arch Hall, Jr.; but the excellent black-and-white photography and elegant compositions can be credited to the brilliant cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (here credited as an Anglicized William), and writer/director James Landis crafted a sharp, perspective study of coincidence and chance--and the fatal results of letting them slip through your fingers. (Bruce Reid) Fri-Sat Aug 25-26. Grand Illusion

Safe has a whispered, somber quietude that sets it apart from Todd Haynes's other films; it also makes it his best, most horrifying movie to date. Julianne Moore is spot on as a housewife who seems to develop an allergy to every artificial product that surrounds her. Is it truly manmade dyes and detergents that are causing her aches and pains, or merely a psychological reaction to a life that's become sterile and inhuman? Even when he sends Moore to a cultish compound filled with fellow sufferers of "environmental illness," Haynes seems unsure himself. Rather, he knows the question is irrelevant, and in eschewing his typical hyperbolic layers of directorial comment on the action, he crafts the finest study of character yet in his career. (Bruce Reid) Opens Thurs Aug 24. Little Theatre

The Sound of Music
It's your last chance to for classic films enjoyed on the contaminated lawn of a rusted-out gas refinery. The season's over. This week: Sing along to The Sound of Music. Huh. Sat Aug 26. LunarFlicks Outdoor Cinema

A rare screening of the full-length comedy by Scott Dikkers, editor of The Onion. Wed Aug 30 only; see review this issue. Little Theatre

Waiting for Guffman
Christopher Guest is Corky St. Clair (way, way off), Broadway Director, in this "funny because it's true" mockfest about the big-city aspirations of small-town theater. With Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara, and Eugene Levy as the soon-to-be-famous players of Blaine, Missouri. Fri-Sat Aug 25-26. Egyptian

Water Drops on Burning Rocks
François Ozon picks at the bones of German aberrant R. W. von Fassbinder. Opens Fri Aug 25; see review this issue. Varsity Calendar


Autumn in New York
The most compelling question this movie begs is not one about the moral solvency of having sex with someone young enough to be your daughter, it's the one about the moral solvency of having sex with your daughter. You see it, and tell me Ryder's character, Charlotte, isn't Gere's character's daughter. Ewww. (Jamie Hook) See related article this issue. Aurora Cinema Grill, Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

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. (Charles Mudede) Admiral

Bless the Child
The Christ child has been snatched by Scientologists! Quick! Call in the hardened homicide detective who dropped out of the seminary! Hire interns to animate flying spooks! Lurk around a casting call for the next Street Fighter CD-ROM and hire anybody with a facial piercing! Hurry, there's little time left! (Tamara Paris) Factoria, Metro, Northgate, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

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 (Natasha Lyonne), a top-notch student cheerleader thought to be lesbian who's sent to a camp where homosexuality is "cured." (Ray Pride) Broadway Market

Cecil B. Demented
The annoying sneer that seems innate in Stephen Dorff is put to good use in the eponymous Cecil B. Demented. Armed with guns, a 16mm camera, and an Otto Preminger tattoo, Cecil and his crew kidnap Hollywood starlet Melanie Griffith and force her to appear in their underground opus, about the revenge unleashed upon Baltimore theaters by a ragtag group of cineastes disgruntled by the commercial failure of a Pasolini festival. (Bruce Reid) Neptune

The Cell
Clarice Starling takes the brown acid in this bizarrely affecting evocation of dread. The succulent Jennifer Lopez and the ever-more dissolute Vince Vaughn disappear into the mind of serial killer Vincent D'Onofrio, who is building an interesting career exploiting his rubbery anonymity. The stunning visuals are lifted whole from Damien Hirst, Mathew Barney, The Bros. Quay, and others, but remain creepily potent. The last third of the film feels oddly abbreviated, as if the filmmakers weren't sure the risks would pay off and rushed into a "feel-good" ending, though it's clearly the "feel-bad" stuff that will linger on in dreams. (Tamara Paris) Factoria, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Varsity

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. The chickens do whatever they can to resist becoming pies. (Sam Lachow & Maggie Brown) Aurora Cinema Grill, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Chuck & Buck
Chuck & Buck is an American fairy tale about obsession, repression, lust, and loyalty. Written by and starring the boyish, bird-faced Mike White, the film examines the creeping maturity of Buck, a stunted man-child whose mother dies at the film's opening. Miguel Arteta's gay-stalker romantic comedy is a film about identity, about self-image and comfort, about how our actions define us and how those definitions in turn make us act. (Jamie Hook) Uptown

Coyote Ugly
You know what? Coyote Ugly is not that bad at all; and it's not meant to be fucking Apocalypse Now. I'm going to list all the great things: 1) Melanie Lynskey does a fabulous New Jersey accent. 2) John Goodman is adorable as Funny Dad. 3) There is a cute cat in one of the scenes. 4) The outfits are pretty. (Min Liao) Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

Criminal Lovers
A bitter little pill from nasty young Frenchman François Ozon. See review this issue. Varsity Calendar

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. Instead, like the best pulp, Croupier becomes high lowbrow, thanks to a seasoned director's eye for detail, pneumatics, and sexy actors. (Sean Nelson) Broadway Market

Disney's The Kid
If you are a middle-aged, wealthy, white man, it's probable that the horrible things you've done to others during your ruthless climb to the top 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. (Tamara Paris) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood

A dense, noisy thriller starring a pod of aquatic mammals as a group of mafia gangsters. Soundtrack by Hall and Oates! Pacific Science Center IMAX

The Eruption of Mount St. Helens
A tawdry tale of doomed love set against the terrifying backdrop of the titular active volcano. With Howard Jones on keyboards! Omnidome

An action-adventure film about men, mountains, and the women who ignore both of them. Soundtrack by El DeBarge! Pacific Science Center IMAX

A ponderous French art film, with only two words of dialogue: "Oh, my." Cameo by Culture Club! Pacific Science Center IMAX

The Eyes of Tammy Faye
This hilarious, disturbing film is not exactly a mockumentary, but a strange new hybrid--a mocking documentary. Boasting faux solemn narration by RuPaul and a vertiable Greek chorus of sock puppets, the filmmakers glibly attempt to manipulate and humiliate their subject. But as her tragically funny tale unfolds, something unexpected occurs--Tammy Faye transcends our expectations. (Tamara Paris) Broadway Market

The Five Senses
True, the masseuse, the man going deaf, the baker of cakes, the man with the sensitive sniffer, and the ophthalmologist account for each physical sense, but the film isn't about senses at all; it's about sensuality beyond the senses... a delicate, lovely portrayal of the spaces between people. (Evan Sult) Harvard Exit

Girl on the Bridge
A ravishing, breezily paced tale of amour fou, Girl on the Bridge stars Daniel Auteuil as a Svengali-like knife-thrower who meets his perfect foil in Vanessa Paradis' Adele. What makes the film great, though, is Leconte's feel for the effect of place on people: The roads are beckoning, Monte Carlo is impulsive, and Istanbul is confusion itself. Auteuil is never less than his dour self, and Paradis--a gap-toothed woman, it's worth noting--is stunning throughout. (Jamie Hook) Guild 45th

War hero General Maximus (Russell Crowe) is stripped of his position by a scheming new Caesar. Escaping too late to save his family, Maximus falls into the hands of a slaver, and with the help of a former love, seeks his revenge by finding glory within the Coliseum. (Tom Spurgeon) Aurora Cinema Grill, Crest

Godzilla 2000
A stumbling mime in a kick-ass rubber monster suit battles a 65 million year-old silver nasal inhaler. The plot, which is incomprehensible as well as irrelevant, calls for human actors to squint meaningfully into the sky while special effects rain down without regard for plausibility or the sanctity of model cars. Godzilla, after a bout of anorexia and a makeover into an enormous iguana (in the unfortunate movie that need not be named) is back with a vengeance in this pitch-perfect homage. (Tamara Paris) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

*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. (Kathleen Wilson) Admiral, Crest

Hollow Man
Kevin Bacon delivers another fine, nuanced performance as the megalomaniacal scientist who uses his newfound invisibility to act out his sick, twisted sexual desires. Hey, it's a Paul Verhoeven film... what did you expect? Not a good time, I hope. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

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) Admiral

Michael Jordan to the MAX
A musical, starring the famous basketball player as a record exec out to sign the Norwegian supergroup, A-ha! Seattle IMAX Dome Theatre

*Mission: Impossible 2
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) City Centre

Mysteries of Egypt
A classic horror film set against the rare backdrop of the pyramids. With Dexy's Midnite Runners as the Evil Overlords! Omnidome

Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps
Eddie Murphy deserves some kind of special award for playing six characters, all of whom interact with one another, but the screenwriters deserve to be banished for all the lame gross-out jokes that litter the story. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

The Opportunists
This is a pleasant caper movie, with good chemistry between Christopher Walken and Peter McDonald, a chance to see our beloved Cyndi Lauper, a few full laughs and many smiles, nice-looking Vera Farmiga, a Buick Riviera, odd fantasies about Irish Americans (Walken and Farmiga look about as Irish as Sophia Loren), a deliciously seedy cameo by Tom Noonan, and superb set dressing--enough miscellaneous junk to launch a major career on eBay. (Barley Blair) Varsity

The Original Kings of Comedy
True comedic greats have an ability, much as great drummers have, to maintain a solid underlying rhythm while impetuously improvising the tempo and pace, and the fusion of the two dynamics must appear effortless at all times. The Kings, on the other hand, toil and labor for every laugh, for every moment of comedic sincerity. For the neutral looking to experience royalty, there is nothing here that HBO or Comedy Central will not readily offer, minus the price of admission. (Kudzai Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16

The Perfect Storm
In its favor, The Perfect Storm 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 awful. (Jamie Hook) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

No, you cannot see it on video because you can't see it--the colors, the textures, the detail, the three-dimensionality. I don't care how much your home entertainment center costs, this is a real movie. (And so are Kagemusha and Madadayo, showing soon at the Grand Illusion.) The only question is whether you can take your kids. Ran is the movie they hoped for when they went to Gladiator. It has more glamorous pageantry, more intricate battle scenes, more significant violence, and a way more interesting story. It speaks to us as adults about the power of revenge. They should love it. Broadway Market

The Replacements
So I had lots of wine, and what do I think about this fucking film? It's impossible to believe that all that money went into it. Now my parents were in town from Africa last week, and they told me things are getting worse, people are hungry and starving. Well, what does this have to do with this film? Waste! That's what. Waste. Waste of time, waste of food. Waste of money. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Saving Grace
Brenda Blethyn stars as a sheltered, small-town woman, newly widowed and destitute, who with the aid of her gardener Craig Ferguson turns to growing marijuana as a source of income. If you've seen a Cheech and Chong film, you've seen every gag here. This film won the Audience Award at Sundance; no surprise, as it drags out every lame crowd-pleaser in the book. This kind of tradition we don't need. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, 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 (Melody Moss) Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center

John Singleton's Shaft is uninspired; it just pushes black macho beyond the limit of good taste and utility. 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) Admiral

Contrary to what the lady's bottom in the advertisement promises, this film is populated almost exclusively by melancholic old men who predictably complain about youth and argue amongst themselves. Wonderfully cast, well scripted, and lovingly filmed, Shower is comfort food for the cinema--bland, but soothing. (Jamie Hook) Seven Gables

Space Cowboys
Alongside voting and worrying about your body, one of your duties as an American is to see every Clint Eastwood film released, regardless of individual failures, hyperbole, plot holes, or any other mitigating factors whatsoever. He alone has earned that right. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Steal This Movie
The charismatic clown Abbie Hoffman, who vitalized the leftist movement in the '60s, deserves a film as funny, sexy, and controversial as his life. Though Janeanne Garofalo and Vincent D'Onofrio give it their best, this, unfortunately, is not it. (Tamara Paris) Uptown

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous
A sci-fi masterpiece, with CGI effects coming out its backside. Directed by the guy who wrote "Electric Avenue"--Eddie something? Pacific Science Center IMAX

The Tao of Steve
Chunky, attitudinal Dex teaches kindergarten. He's great with women and drifting a decade out of college when an old college friend shows up and doesn't fall for his line. Hyperarticulate and hypersexed, Dex must learn the meaning of his words and his heart. Funny stuff. (Ray Pride) Harvard Exit

Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Of all the villainous acts committed by the evil diesel locomotive, none is as blasphemous as when he mocks a verse from "I've Been Working on the Railroad": "Who," he asks (quite rightly in my opinion) "wants to work a lifelong day?" All right, it's not like there are signs hanging around reading "Arbeit macht frei"; but can't anybody, even a little blue steam engine, dream of doing more than just hauling coal around all day? (Bruce Reid) Meridian 16

What Lies Beneath
A well-preserved pair of thoroughbred movie stars find that all is not well in their gorgeous New England home, what with the dead girl in the tub and all. The whole damn thing is ripped right out of the Hitchcock how-to manual, so of course it succeeds fantastically at its admittedly simple goal: scaring you so badly you throw your popcorn all over the people in the row behind you. (Tamara Paris) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Cyclops (James Marsden) is a total prig, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is badass, and it's obvious why they'd gut each other just to kiss the lovely Jean Gray (Famke Janssen). Beyond that, the action is thrilling, the effects stunning, and the story generally satisfying. In short, it's just what comic-book fans want from a comic-book film. (Jamie S. Rich) Cinerama, Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center