OPENING

THE ACID HOUSE -- Varsity Calendar

BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT -- Harvard Exit

BLUE STREAK -- Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate

FOR LOVE OF THE GAME -- Cinerama, Factoria, Guild 45th, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

GRAND ILLUSION -- Egyptian

NORTH BY NORTHWEST -- Neptune

RETURN WITH HONOR -- Broadway Market


REPERTORY & REVIVAL

AUTEURS OF THE '70s -- Seattle Art Museum

BOILING POINT -- Varsity Calendar

THE BOOK OF LIFE -- Grand Illusion

CARTOONS FROM THE 1930s -- Speakeasy

THE CENTURY OF CINEMA -- Grand Illusion

FLY FILMMAKING -- Little Theatre

FORBIDDEN BARBIE -- Little Theatre

JAPANESE FILMS -- Seattle Asian Art Museum

LINDA'S SUMMER MOVIES -- Linda's Tavern

NON-FICTION DOCUMENTATION -- 2nd Ave. Pizza

QUE VIVA MEXICO! -- New Freeway Hall

TERMITE TV -- 911 Media Arts

VIOLENT COP -- Varsity Calendar

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? -- Grand Illusion

YELLOW SUBMARINE -- Egyptian


COMING SOON

September 24 -- Earth, Best Laid Plans, The Minus Man, Dog Park, Double Jeopardy, Leila, Jakob the Liar, Mumford, American Beauty

October 1 -- Sitcom, Guinevere, Mystery Alaska, Romance, The Bone Collector, Elmo in Grouchland, Driving Me Crazy, Perfect Blue, Plunkett and Macleane, Three Kings


MOVIES & EVENTS

The 13th WarriorAs Ibn Fahdlan, a 10th-century traveler from Baghdad who wrote about his encounters with Vikings, Antonio Banderas gives a disappointingly flat performance. In fact, there is virtually no character development at all, but for those who like rock 'em, sock 'em, blood spurtin' action, this is an entertaining enough film with good pacing, excellent production values, and gorgeous cinematography. (Melody Moss) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

The Acid HouseMore vomiting and junkie-chic melodrama in this trilogy of stories from Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame), with a great soundtrack and lots of dark humor. Fri-Thurs Sept 17-23 at (Sat-Sun 2), 4:30, 7, 9:30, (Fri-Sat 11:45); 18+ ONLY. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

Alaska: Spirit of the WildMore of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

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

American PieThe story should be familiar to anyone who came of age in the '80s: Four high school seniors make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate. Pacific Place 11

*AUTEURS OF THE '70SScarecrow Video's "Auteurs of the '70s" series continues with a rare screening of Robert Altman's Images (Thurs Sept 16 at 7:30, $6), and then Two-Lane Blacktop, with a personal appearance by director Monte Hellman. (Thurs Sept 23 at 7:30, $6). Call 524-8554 for more details. Seattle Art Museum

Better Than ChocolateThe setup is typical TV sitcom: Budding artist Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) meets and falls in love with free-spirited Kim (Christina Cox), hours before she learns her mother and brother will be spending the summer with her. The catch? She's not out to mom yet. Despite complications, everything works out jim-dandy, like you knew it would. The film's weaknesses are the amateurish performances by secondary characters, and the unbelievable naiveté of Maggie's mother. That said, the film has far more substance than dreck like Bar Girls or It's in the Water, depicting discrimination not only in straight society, but in the gay community as well. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

*Black Cat, White CatEmir Kusturica charts three generations of corruption in the former Yugoslavia through two families of black marketeers. In a nod to nostalgia and to hope, the grandfather-figures are noble in their corruption and the grandson-figures have hope of living without corruption. It's that generation in the middle who muck it up for everyone else (and who got the country into the trouble it's in now, even though the war is never mentioned). The whole thing builds to a marriage (are the young lovers going to get to be together?) or two, and Kusturica is brilliant at squeezing comedy out of violence, though the movie does stretch on longer than it needs to, as if it's having to much fun to allow itself to end. Oh, and the music is fantastic. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit

The Blair Witch ProjectIn 1994, while shooting a documentary on the myth of "The Blair Witch," three film students mysteriously disappeared in the woods. The missing trio included director Heather Donahue, sound engineer Michael Williams, and cameraman Joshua Leonard. A year later, their video and film cameras, along with the footage, are found in the basement of an abandoned home. Though a fictional film, The Blair Witch Project is effective because it seems real. Too real, even. (Charles Mudede) Meridian 16, Varsity

Blue StreakMartin Lawrence plays a thief who, after robbing a bunch of jewels, goes on a rampage waving a gun around uncontrollably in the middle of the street, and eventually nearly dies of exhaustion. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate

Boiling PointAnother bullet-flying, action-packed Takeshi Kitano flick, in which Kitano and his teenage sidekick cause showdowns to erupt all over Tokyo and Okinawa. Thurs Sept 16 at 5:20, 9:45. Varsity Calendar

*The Book of LifeFor the smart indie art-film lover/hipster in all of us: Hal Hartley's The Book of Life features sexy-scary PJ Harvey (who also provides music for the soundtrack), Martin Donovan, and a Mac Powerbook (as "the Book of Life") in an "experimentally created digital video" film about Jesus, the Devil, a potential apocalypse, and the power of double-clicking on a laptop. Until Thurs Sept 23 at (Sat-Sun 4:15), 5:30, 6:45, 8, 9:15. Grand Illusion

*BowfingerSteve Martin's clever script celebrates a low-rent would-be producer (Martin) who dedicates his life savings ($2,184) to finally directing a feature film. His crew is loyal, but now more than ever you need a big star to open a picture. His ingenious solution is to surreptitiously film the world's biggest action star (Eddie Murphy), and build the film around him. The laughs are plentiful, Murphy gives two of his best performances, and director Frank Oz moves things along at an energetic clip. (Bruce Reid) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro

Buena Vista Social ClubDirector Wim Wenders and musician Ry Cooder collaborate on this documentary on the Cuban super-group the Buena Vista Social Club. Winner of the Golden Space Needle for Best Documentary. Seven Gables

Cartoons From the 1930SShining Moments Films' vintage cartoon series is back! Four classics from Warner Bros and MGM wunderkind Rudolf Ising will be featured, as well as favorites like Alladin and His Wonderful Lamp (1934), Betty Boop, M.D. (1932), Little Swee' Pea (1936), plus other surprises. Fri Sept 17 at 8 & 10, $5, 21+ only. Speakeasy

*The CENTURY OF CINEMAThe Grand Illusion's weekend matinee series reaches a millennial crescendo with the 10 greatest films of the 10 decades of the 20th Century. This weekend, Sunrise (1927), a silent film about a simple country boy who plots to murder his wife. Sat-Sun Sept 18-19 at noon. Grand Illusion

Chill FactorLooks like another formula action film for Cuba Gooding Jr. Here, he and Skeet "Never Quite Made It" Ulrich need to keep a weapon of mass destruction cold, lest it go off! Eeeeesh. Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16

DickHold on before writing Dick off as yet another retro look at those wacky, wacky '70s. The transformation of Arlene (Michelle Williams, of Dawson's Creek fame) and Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) from oblivious teens to "secret youth advisors" to the President is a hoot. And Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch are an improbably doofy Woodward and Bernstein. Even Tricky Dick Nixon (Dan Hedaya) is humanized. (Gillian G. Gaar) City Centre

*The Dinner GameWritten and directed by the master of the French farce, Francis Veber, The Dinner Game is an excellent comedy. The story is about a circle of well-to-do snobs who bring idiots to dinner parties to make fun of them. (Charles Mudede) City Centre

Dudley Do-RightBrendan "George of the Jungle" Fraser plays a stupid Canadian (wow, that's redundant!) Mountie.

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

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

*Eyes Wide ShutStanley Kubrick's last film contains an intact slice of a young couple's life (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman): In order to study this perfect relationship, Kubrick destroys it. Crest

Fly FilmmakingArmed with standard-issue film crews, independent film directors had seven days and 22 minutes of film stock to script, shoot, edit, and present their "on the fly" films, as seen in this retrospective of the first three years of the innovative program. Thurs-Sun Sept 16-19 at 5:45, 7, 8, 9:30. Reviewed this issue. Little Theatre

For Love of the GameYet another baseball movie starring Kevin Costner, who is reportedly unhappy with the film's running time because he felt it should have been longer. Mr. Postman will never learn, will he? Cinerama, Factoria, Guild 45th, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Forbidden BarbieAmerica's favorite doll/cultural icon/symbol of conventional beauty/sex toy was born to be a movie star: Barbie Nation looks at the history and subculture of Barbie-worship; and a famous "illegal" film (on video) about a famous person's struggle with anorexia featuring an entire cast of Barbies. Shown with a locally made erotic Super-8 Barbie flick! Thurs-Sun Sept 23-26 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Little Theatre

*Grand IllusionThere's nothing "added" or "restored" to this release of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, just a crisp new print. Still, you should flock to the theater. This 1937 masterpiece about WWI prisoners of war is one of those handfuls of films I can't ever imagine seeing enough. Grand Illusion doesn't cry out at the barbarism of mankind; indeed, it's surprisingly short on portraying hardships of any kind. More wisely and patiently, Renoir focuses on the fading aristocratic ideals, the class and racial antagonism masked by politeness, the pain of missed communication, the tragedy of an empty dining table -- all packed into a beautifully acted and photographed story. How great a director was Renoir? Well, this is one of the best films ever made, and everybody I know agrees he went on to make even better ones later on. Fri-Thurs Sept 17-23 at (Sat-Sun 2), 4:30, 7, 9:30. Egyptian

An Ideal HusbandJust what we needed, another British period piece dealing with class issues. Yawn. Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is an upstanding politician being blackmailed by Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore). Everyone in the movie seems like they're play-acting at being high society folks. I'm sure that's fun for them, but it's no fun to watch. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market, Grand Alderwood, Metro

In Too DeepIn Too Deep is about a young police officer (the charming and very handsome Omar Epps) who is obsessed with bringing down a big drug dealer named God (LL Cool J), who ruthlessly runs a multi-million dollar crack operation in the ghettos of Cincinnati. The story is very predictable; and in terms of depth and structure, Bill Duke's 1991 film of nearly the same name, Deep Cover, did a better job on this ancient theme of friendship and betrayal. Despite obvious holes in the plot and the lack of any significant female roles, the film is beautifully photographed, so at least it's fun to watch. (Charles Mudede) Uptown

Into the DeepAn IMAX film in 3-D, putting you right into the aquarium. Pacific Science Center

The Iron GiantGiant robot falls to earth, befriends a local boy, and eats lots of metal. An animated film from Warner Brothers. Grand Alderwood, Metro, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

JAPANESE FILMSIn conjunction with SAAM's Modern Masters of Kyoto exhibit (and the geisha craze sweeping the nation), this brief film series looks at the impact of Western culture on traditional Japanese ways. This week, in Conflagration (Kon Ichikawa, 1958), a Kyoto Buddhist succumbs to corruption and faces the consequences. Sat Sept 18 at 1:30, $6; call 625-8900 for more details. Seattle Asian Art Museum

*LINDA'S SUMMER MOVIESAppropriately enough, the grand finale of Linda's summer series will be the cult classic Dead Ringer (1964), in which the perpetually fabulous Bette Davis murders her identical twin and secretly assumes her dead sister's identity. A gruff detective (a young & dapper Karl Malden) is suspicious of the cunning sister, but only her loyal butler knows the truth.... Wed Sept 22 at dusk, FREE. Linda's Tavern

Love StinksTo get down to it, this movie is silly -- but that's the point. It's a silly movie about a pretty woman (Bridgette Wilson) who wants to marry a rich man (French Stewart). The two fight a lot, and matters turn for the worse when it becomes clear to her that he is not going to "pop the big question." Gorgeous Tyra Banks has a role in this movie, but I cannot judge whether her performance was good or bad, as all I noticed when she appeared onscreen was her fabulous figure (dang!). Bill Bellamy is also in this picture, playing Banks' handsome hubby; and though I think he is the finest-looking comedian on Earth, he is certainly not the funniest. I must admit that a lot of people laughed like hyenas on holiday during the screening of this movie, and some even applauded at the end. So there are many in this town who will enjoy this vapid little comedy more than I did. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

Mark Twain's America in 3DOfficially the scariest title currently at the IMAX Theater. But hey! Take a risk! Who knows? Maybe you'll LOVE Huck Finn, "Injun Joe," life on the Mississippi, and examples of racist times in U.S. history on a GIGANTIC screen. Pacific Science Center

Mickey Blue EyesBumbling Hugh Grant plays a Mafia-type. Is that funny or what? Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

*The MuseThrough the advice of a successful friend (Jeff Bridges), screenwriter Albert Brooks employs the services of Sharon Stone, a purported Divine Muse, in hopes that she will inspire him to write a smash comedy for Jim Carrey. Brooks takes a wily and well-deserved stab at the superficial industry that has kept him second-string for so many years. Albert Brooks has always been just as brutal to himself as he is to society, and it's this brutal quality that is somewhat lacking in The Muse, despite the fact that you probably won't find a smarter comedy this year. (Steve Wiecking) Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Meridian 16

Mystery MenThe Mystery Men are second-rate superheroes. The actors are great, the world of the film is bizarre and funny, but the whole thing slowly turns into a standard children's story where these makeshift superheroes need to learn to believe in themselves and work as a team. (Andy Spletzer) Metro, Redmond Town Center

NON-FICTION DOCUMENTATION2nd Ave Pizza is at it again, this time giving pizza lovers and film buffs a huge dose of reality. Catch their two-week film fest with titles like Brother's Keeper, Gates of Heaven, and The Celluloid Closet. Snap out of it! FREE; call 956-0489 for more info. 2nd Ave. Pizza

North by NorthwestNew print of the classic and highly entertaining Hitchcock film hits the Neptune for one week only! Neptune

Outside ProvidenceTim "Dump" Dunphy is your average '70s burnout from a boring small town. One night, stoned out of his mind, he plows into a police car, so his dad sends him off to prep school. Needless to say, he doesn't fit in, but he does manage to get the girl, turn the school upside down, and learn about himself in the process, blah, blah, blah. As coming-of-age tales go, Outside Profidence is perfectly fine, but it's Alec Baldwin who stands out as Dump's emotionally crippled dad. Both funny and sad, he alone is nearly worth the price of admission, and makes you wish the film was actually about his coming of age. Instead, they're stuck with what they have: A film we've all seen many, many times before. (Bradley Steinbacher) Metro, Pacific Place 11

Que Viva Mexico!Catch up on your Mexican history with Seattle's Radical Women and attend this dinner & screening of Sergei Eisenstien's Que Viva Mexico. The film is about the traditional lifestyle of Indio/Mestizo people, the arrival of Spanish Conquistadors, and the Mexican Revolution. Thurs Sept 16 at 7:30, $6.50 donation; childcare available. New Freeway Hall

The Red ViolinA loosely structured ode to music that follows a legendary violin as it passes through various (well, three or four) owners before it winds up in auction. Metro

*Return With HonorA potent look back at the experiences of American POWs in North Vietnam, via a wealth of previously unavailable enemy propaganda footage. Broadway Market

*Run Lola RunA young Berlin hipster named Lola has 20 minutes to find enough money to stop her boyfriend from being killed. German filmmaker Tom Tykwer tells the story three times, each with different but equally incredible twists, surprises, tangents, and endings -- which is exactly what makes this movie fun to watch. (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit, Redmond Town Center

Runaway BrideDirector Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) reunites with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere to make another cheerful movie about two opposites who attract and (of course) end up together. What develops is typical Hollywood Lite. (Min Liao) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

*The Sixth SenseBruce Willis plays a child psychologist who is shot by a former patient of his, now all grown up, naked, and angry for not being "cured." Months later, he's become obsessed with that failure, and his marriage is suffering. Meanwhile, he has started treating a new patient who, as you probably know from the ads, sees dead people. Though the direction of the story by M. Night Shyamalan is often obvious, the structure of his script is very smart and more than makes up for that. Most impressive is that we don't see the boy's ghosts for half the film. When we do it's quite scary, particularly knowing these are the dead people he sees all the time! (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Star Wars: Episode IThe threadbare plot is nothing compared to the hype and nostalgia of the George Lucas marketing machine. (Jamie Hook) Pacific Place 11

StigmataThe millennium is approaching, and you know what that means: The devil is back! Here, Gabriel Byrne is on a mission from the Vatican to find out what the devil is wrong with Patricia Arquette. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Stir of EchoesScreenwriter David Koepp is squarely behind the storytelling controls on Stir of Echoes, his latest directorial effort (the last was 1996's interesting but shaggy Trigger Effect). Kevin Bacon stars as a working-class family man in Chicago who goes under hypnosis and awakens with frighteningly powerful psychic intuition. This new ability saddles Bacon with jolting images of violence, as well as haunting visitations from a mournful teenage girl who is also communicating with his young son. But once the setup is over, the film starts to crumble away into formula, allowing us to notice the gaps in its logic -- deadly in a genre piece. Unlike the superior The Sixth Sense, which it resembles (psychic child, restless ghosts, unwitting adults), Stir of Echoes doesn't twist itself into something surprising. You'll know halfway through what Koepp takes the entire film to reveal. (Steve Wiecking) Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Teaching Mrs. TingleHigh school kids kidnap and threaten to kill a much-hated teacher. Unfortunately, Kevin Williamson's directorial debut fails to live up to its potential. (Gillian G. Gaar) Uptown

Termite TVTermite TV arrives in Seattle to work on their Northwest segment: Money, about Internet stocks, electronic currency, advertisers & consumers, and all that scary global economy stuff. Thurs Sept 16 at 8, $4. 911 Media Arts

*The Thomas Crown AffairOne of the surprising things about the new Thomas Crown Affair is that it manages to keep the fun tone of the '68 version and update it at the same time, which is not an easy trick. Thomas Crown is a billionaire businessman who likes to rob art museums on the side. When a beautiful insurance investigator (Rene Russo) comes to town to recover a painting, she immediately suspects Thomas Crown. They fall for each other, all the while playing a flirtatious game of cat and mouse. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

TrickWhen director Jim Fall's feature film debut is really working (which is surprisingly often), it's smiling gently at the notion that anything between two people could ever be simple. There's some misplaced romanticism and more than a little gay fantasy involved in rooting for the Nerd and the Stripper, but Jason Schafer's amiable script is as erotic and funny as it is unlikely. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market

Twin Falls IdahoSiamese twins Blake and Francis Falls celebrate another birthday with chocolate cake and a prostitute (Michele Hicks). What follows is an unlikely love story between the three people. Twin Falls Idaho is a smart and imaginative American independent film, which is rare these days. (Andy Spletzer) Varsity

*Violent CopJapanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano's debut thriller about a brutal detective who stretches rules (and ethics) to get the bad guys. Thurs Sept 16 at 7:30. Varsity Calendar

What's the Matter With Helen?(1971) Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters are two mothers with shady pasts who escape to Hollywood and open -- what else? -- a school for talented children. Sat-Sun Sept 17-18 at 11. Grand Illusion

WolvesOne of the most mythical and misunderstood creatures in nature finally gets some screen time, in this 3-D documentary from the National Wildlife Federation. Pacific Science Center

*Yellow SubmarineThis newly restored, animated head trip features candy-colored art design by Heinz Edelman so stunning to look at that, even when the film lags (which it often does) you won't care. Oh, and the music ain't bad, either. Thurs Sept 16 at 5:20, 7:30, 9:40. (Steve Wiecking) Egyptian

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