OPENING

DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO -- Meridian, Woodinville, others

THE GREEN MILE -- Pacific Place, Metro, Oaktree, Factoria, others

NATURALLY NATIVE -- Broadway Market

ROSETTA -- Egyptian

TUMBLEWEEDS -- Uptown


REPERTORY & REVIVAL

AMERICAN MOVIE -- Varsity

BABES IN TOYLAND -- Grand Illusion

CAPTAIN POWDER: THE SNOW SPORTS GENRE -- 911 Media Arts

EMERALD REELS SUPER 8 LOUNGE -- Alibi Room

FILM NOIR FOREVER -- Seattle Art Museum

INSTITUTA BENJAMENTA -- Little Theatre

MADAMA BUTTERFLY -- Little Theatre

MAX OPHULS RETROSPECTIVE -- Grand Illusion

OUT OF SEASON -- Varsity Calendar

THE SOURCE -- Varsity Calendar

SOUTH -- Egyptian

WEBFLICKS: MOUSECONTROL.COM -- 911 Media Arts


COMING SOON

December 17 -- Anna and the King, The Cider House Rules, The War Zone, Breakfast of Champions, Stuart Little, Bicentennial Man, Ride with the Devil

December 22 -- All about My Mother, Sweet and Lowdown, Any Given Sunday, Man on the Moon

December 24 -- Dr. Strangelove (revival), The Talented Mr. Ripley

December 25 -- Next Friday, Galaxy Quest, Liberty Heights, The Cradle Will Rock


MOVIES & EVENTS

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole
Tod Williams' kooky tale about a young man's (Adrian Grenier) coming of age, and his discovery that his father plans to become a woman. Thurs Dec 9 at 4:50, 7, 9:10. Varsity Calendar

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

*American Movie
Mark Borchardt's life was going nowhere. Growing up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood on the northwest side of Milwaukee, he found his life spinning out of control through alcoholism and unrealized dreams. In 1994, he taught himself how to use 16mm film equipment, and started making Coven (rhymes with "woven," not "oven") and writing the script for the autobiographical feature Northwestern. After he had shot half of Coven, the project disintegrated, thanks in part to too much drinking and partying. Around that time, he met Chris Smith. The result is American Movie, a funny and inspiring film about overcoming obstacles in your life and your environment in order to realize your dream. (Andy Spletzer) Varsity

Anywhere But Here
Wayne Wang's Anywhere but Here tells the story of Adele (Susan Sarandon) and Ann (Natalie Portman), a mother-daughter pair who leave their cozy life in Wisconsin for Beverly Hills. The daughter is reluctant to leave her friends and family, and hates her impulsive mother for dragging her away. The mom, impatient and terrified of the stagnancy in their tiny hometown, craves more glamour and adventure for herself and Ann, and strains for a sunny California existence that simply isn't there. What could be just another sugary chick flick, in Wang's hands manages to become something interesting, honest, and significant. (Min Liao) Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Babes in Toyland
(1934) The Laurel & Hardy version of this Christmas favorite, as part of the Grand Illusion's "Christmas Catastrophies" series. Grand Illusion

*Being John Malkovich
Not only does director Spike Jonze explore aspects of storytelling through filmmaking that more established directors would never think to try; not only does this film thoughtfully explore philosophical issues like identity and desire (and eventually immortality); and not only is it one of the most emotionally honest movies in theaters today, Being John Malkovich is also damn funny and entertaining. You gotta see it to believe it. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16, Neptune

The Bone Collector
A brilliant NYPD detective (Denzel Washington) is confined to his bed after a work-related accident, always afraid a sudden seizure will turn him into a vegetable. He decides life is not worth living; that death is better than becoming a "zucchini." But suddenly there is a brutal but brilliant criminal menacing New York City, and he meets a beautiful woman (Angelina Jolie) who helps him catch this psycho. Now life has meaning! In the end, he gets the criminal and the girl without ever leaving his bed. (Charles Mudede) Aurora Cinema Grill, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry pushes myriad societal hot buttons. Sexuality. Gender. Masculinity. Why we even care about such labels is an indication of how frightened we are about ambiguities. The film is based on the true story of Brandon Teena, a girl who was murdered for living life as a boy. Hilary Swank, a Bellingham native, imbues Brandon with an infectious charisma, but the rest of the film could be seen as an indictment of the American psyche. This is not an easy film to watch; the rape and subsequent murder are unrelentingly harsh. Even the reason the story is "interesting" is depressing: Had Brandon been a real man killed in a senseless murder, his death wouldn't have merited one national headline. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

Captain Powder: The Snow Sports Genre
Gravity-defying snowsports are worshipped in tonight's trio of adrenaline-soaked shorts: "The Captain Powder Movie," "The Walrus Dreams," and "Locals Only" look at the supernatural spirit of crystalline snow, the poetic, Zen-like quality of snow stunts, and the wild lives of ski bums, respectively. Thurs Dec 16 at 8, $5. 911 Media Arts

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
The title rhymes. That's funny! It stars Rob Schneider, the "Copy Guy" from Saturday Night Live. That's not funny! Meridian, Woodinville, others

Dogma
Of course, the controversy surrounding Kevin Smith's new film is overblown. Sure, God is a woman (Alanis Morissette), the Christ-figure (Linda Fiorentino) works in an abortion clinic, new characters like the 13th Apostle (Chris Rock) and a muse-turned-stripper (Salma Hayek) are added characters, but it's all a way for Smith to ruminate on the importance of faith. The plot begins when two angels who have been kicked out of heaven find a loophole that'll get them back in. Other angels believe their return would prove the fallibility of God, and negate existence. I never bought this premise (besides, The Prophecy took the idea of jealous angels striving to regain God's attention to a bigger and better extreme), but even so, Dogma has some nice ideas -- particularly about the vengeance of the Old Testament God. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Uptown

*Emerald Reels Super 8 Lounge
The Emerald Reels Super 8 Lounge -- where the grainy visuals of Super 8 films blend with the sexy sounds of local DJs -- will be winding down for the season, so don't miss the last one! Super 8 shorts from all over the continent will be shown. Mon Dec 13 at 9, $3; for more info call 284-6940. Alibi Room

End of Days
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays ex-cop Jericho Cane, an unrepentant alcoholic who stopped believing

God when He killed his wife and child. The very sexy Robin Tunney plays Christine York, an innocent girl who was born with the mark of the devil on her arm. When Cane rescues her from murderous priests, he becomes involved in an epic struggle between Satan (Gabriel Byrne), his intended bride (Tunney), and the end of life as we know it. As Satan, Byrne is fantastic; the perfect antihero, always bemused by the folly of the pathetic humans. Director Peter Hyams doesn't get enough credit as a satirist, but here he does it again. The smart-aleck villain, the tortured hero, the wacky sidekick (Kevin Pollak), the sexy girl literally overcoming her demons, Rod Steiger as a crazy priest, the pope in a wheelchair, a dead guy on the ceiling -- End of Days has it all. (Andy Spletzer) Cinerama, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

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

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

Felicia's Journey
Director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) excels at stories of older men who are lost within themselves, and Felicia's Journey is no exception. Bob Hoskins is a classy chef working in a factory cafeteria who has many unresolved issues with his dear dead mum. When he meets young Felicia, who's knocked up and looking for the dad, he helps her out. Then his help becomes a tad more sinister. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit

*Fight Club
With Fight Club, David Fincher has made his best film yet, taking a bleak story -- written in the first person with a detached sense of humor -- and matching its tone perfectly. A disenfranchised guy (Edward Norton), hooked on support groups for the terminally ill, gets a grade-school crush on a fellow support group tourist (Helana Bonham Carter), then meets a rebel (Brad Pitt) with whom he starts a masochistic fight club. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16, Metro

*FILM NOIR FOREVER
SAM's popular series concludes, appropriately enough, with The Harder They Fall (1956) -- Mark Robson's dark, cold examination of the boxing world. Starring Humphrey Bogart (the king of trench coats and all things noir) in his last role. A rare vintage treat, in 35mm! Thurs Dec 16 at 7:30. Call 625-8900 for more details. Seattle Art Museum

Flawless
Robert DeNiro is a homophobic ex-cop who suffers a stroke; Philip Seymour Hoffman is the drag queen he goes to for singing lessons (a form of speech therapy). The acting is atrociously bad, the characters are sloppy caricatures, the plot holes gape wide enough to lose yourself in, and the look of the film is cluttered and garish. Joel Schumacher's quest to go down in history as the worst movie director ever continues. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Metro, Pacific Place 11

The Green Mile
The bloated film version of Stephen King's serialized novel. Speaking of bloated, it stars Tom Hanks! Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

*The Insider
Despite the ad campaigns, The Insider is not an indictment of big, evil tobacco. The real story is about bungled journalism and broken integrity, with a healthy dose of paranoia thrown in for good measure. As a big-budget Hollywood drama, perhaps even as a thriller, The Insider is just about as perfect as you can get. Michael Mann is one of the best technical directors around, able to put together a glossy-looking film without it appearing like one big commercial. However, though meant to be a cautionary tale about media accountability and how easily good journalism can be corrupted, The Insider is far too slick, and comes across as typical Hollywood mayhem instead of the "based-on-actual-events" drama originally intended. (Bradley Steinbacher) Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

*Instituta Benjamenta
The first live-action feature from the mythical Brothers Quay, in which an eery boarding school for servants offers the same, endless curriculum to pupils. A "chilling fairytale," playing with a short ("Broken") by Seattle native Jason Briggs. Fri-Sun Dec 10-12 at 5:15, 7:30, 9:45. Little Theatre

Island of the Sharks
Island of the Sharks works hard to find some stunning imagery, and succeeds. Don't worry if you're faint-hearted, though; the film's violence is boringly PG, mostly. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center

*The Limey
In Steven Soderbergh's latest, fading '60s icon Terence Stamp plays an unstoppable force of vengeance searching for the person responsible for killing his daughter. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

Long Strange Trip
In the first 10 minutes of this film, Phil (Peter Wick), a cynical, smartass writer in Seattle is told that his column has been axed; his longtime girlfriend (and editor) is dumping him; and he's been demoted to Staff Reporter. Instead of fizzing into a predictable story where Phil descends into gloom and self-destruction, Long Strange Trip (Wick also directed, co-wrote, and produced) takes a decidedly more cheerful and kooky turn. After his ego crush, Phil suddenly finds himself -- through a series of seren-dipitous events -- on a road trip through Washington redneck country with a beautiful stripper (Jennifer France) and her eccentric brother (Chris Blanchett), who has a possibly severe bullet injury in his head (thus explaining his sudden knowledge of karate, but forgetfulness about what he was doing five minutes earlier). Despite occasional stiff performances and a painfully cliché "I-am-a-stripper-in-control-of- my-sexuality" moment, Wick has created a charming debut. Awkwardness is to be expected with a first-time feature, but Wick's humor and intelligence stubbornly pokes through. Fri-Sat Dec 10-11 at 9, 11; $5. (Min Liao) 2nd Ave. Pizza

Madama Butterfly
A 16mm Kinescope film version of Giacomo Puccini's sumptuous opera Madama Butterfly. A special vintage print, with an introduction by the Seattle Opera's Jonathan Dean. Wed Dec 15 at 7:30, ONE SHOW ONLY. Little Theatre

*Man of the Century
There is a tension that runs throughout this film; one of an idea that shouldn't work, but a movie that does. Johnny Twennies (Gibson Frazier) writes a newspaper column for the Sun-Telegram. He's a hard-boiled reporter straight out of the '20s or '30s, but living in the '90s. Normally, this kind of character is a modern-day geek who idolizes the era so much he only thinks he's living in it, but here he actually is such a character, transported in time. That means besides his puritan morality and a lexicon of anachronistic phrases, he can actually throw a punch and beat up bad guys. His powers are put to the test when he's challenged both by mobsters who want to force him to write a corrupt article and a girlfriend who wants to have sex. What makes this story work, however, is more than simple story devices -- it's energy. Frazier throws himself into the title role with such enthusiasm, such relish, that by the end of the film everybody -- characters and audience alike -- is infected by it. This is good, indie-film fun. Until Thurs Dec 16 at (Sat-Sun 3), 5, 7, 9. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Illusion

*Mansfield Park
This adaptation of Jane Austen's novel tells the story of Fanny Price, a precocious girl from a poor family sent to live with wealthy relatives, who treat her special gentility as nothing more than the pretensions of a greedy beggar. Indomitable in the face of societal and familial restraints, she opens herself up to the wonders and sorrows of the world, maturing into a clever writer and gaining the devotion of her beloved Edmund. With Austen a perplexingly hot commodity for the past few years, it's a valid concern to worry what new angle anyone could possibly bring to the author's cunning romantic satires. Mansfield Park, though, has an unusual slant, highlighting class degradation and sexual frankness, and expanding the book's passing references to the slave trade as supple counterpoints to Fanny's plight. (Steve Wiecking) Harvard Exit

Mark Twain's America in 3D
Officially the scariest title currently at the IMAX Theater. Pacific Science Center

*MAX OPHULS RETROSPECTIVE
The Grand Illusion's weekend matinee series pays tribute to Ophuls' elegant signature style, which included fluid shots, sensuous technique, and fancy CinemaScope footwork. This week, it's a 35mm print of Lachende Erbe (or "Happy Heirs," 1952), a musical comedy about two competing champagne

making families in the Rhineland. A son is offered the family business, but only if he can abstain from wine for a month while courting a potential wife. Sat-Sun Dec 11-12 at noon. Grand Illusion

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
It's your basic French epic: Girl has visions from God, girl leads French armies to victory, girl gets burned at the stake. This is actually a remake of Braveheart, the only differences being that The Messenger's battle scenes are not as good (though there are some hilarious Monty Python-style decapitations), and Milla Jovovich is prettier than Mel Gibson. (Andy Spletzer) City Centre, Lewis & Clark

Naturally Native
Valerie Red-Horse and Jennifer Wynne Farmer's independent film about three Native American sisters who face obstacles, racism, and tribal resistance as they try to launch a cosmetics company. The first full-length feature written, directed, produced by, and starring Native American women. Broadway Market

Olympic Glory
International athletes and adrenaline junkies show off their skills and defy gravity at the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano. Omnidome

Out of Season
A lesbian love story set in a small beach community, about an unexpected romance between a diner cook and a woman caring for her dying uncle. Directed by Jeanette L. Buck. Tues-Thurs Dec 14-16 at 4:50, 7, 9:10. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

Pokémon
Reviewed by 9-year-old film critic Sam Lachow: "I would give the movie four stars. It was just like, at the, um, beginning, it was kind of boring. And Mewtwo was kind of like, he was weird. I like how it showed Mewtwo, like what he really is. He was really bad. There wasn't enough pokémons. Some parts were a little boring, but when they got to that big war -- when Ashe was walking out, and saying, 'I'm not gonna let you do this,' I thought it was dramatic. I kinda liked the ending, but it wasn't really a lot like a happy ending.... No victory, like the person didn't faint, or anything." (Compiled by Jamie Hook) Factoria, Grand Alder-wood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

*Princess Mononoke
As anyone who's seen a Hayao Miyazaki film will attest, the story you follow is secondary to the sights you behold. The craggy reality of his twisting tree trunks capped with windblown tufts of leaves; the weighty presence of the rocks, whether rough or slicked smooth by water; the breathtaking vividness of light when the clouds part; the crouched expect- ancy of animals at rest -- all of these are rendered as gorgeously as any animation I've ever seen, and in fact make a better plea for ecological sanity than the sometimes heavy-handed script. (Bruce Reid) Redmond Town Center, Uptown

Rosetta
Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's portrait of a poverty-stricken but determined girl who tries to find independence and a better existence. Obstacles, of course, ensue. Winner of the Palm d'Or at this year's Cannes festival. Fri-Thurs Dec 10-16 at (Sat-Sun 12:30, 2:40), 4:50, 7, 9:10. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

*Showgirls w/ David Schmader
Showgirls, the Paul Verhoeven/Joe Eszerhas (also known as Team T&A) debacle, has achieved a tremendous cult following among those who love camp and catfights. So who better to narrate the film, Mystery Science Theatre-style, than Stranger columnist Dave Schmader? It'll be a scream. We promise. Thurs Dec 9 at 8, ONE SHOW ONLY. Little Theatre

Sleepy Hollow
Johnny Depp plays Constable Ichabod Crane, sent to upstate New York in order to solve a rash of beheadings utilizing his newfangled "forensic science." The year is 1799, and the townsfolk believe the Headless Horseman is behind all these killings. Turns out they're right. Tim Burton's latest film is as dark as the original Grimms fairy tales, full of witches, stormy nights, and lots and lots of beheadings. Really, it's impressive just how many heads get cut off. The horseman's vengeance is tied in with a conspiracy of the town elders, and it's up to Crane and the bewitching Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci) to uncover their secrets. The deadpan politeness and mannered acting style is often amusing, but it keeps the movie from becoming rip-roaring fun. Still, I liked it. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Meridian 16, Oak Tree

The Source
A documentary about the Beat Generation, and all the major players (Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg) of the bohemian cultural movement during the '50s and '60s. With interviews, archival footage, and dramatizations with Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper, and John Turturro. Fri-Mon Dec 10-13 at (Sat-Sun 1, 3), 5, 7, 9. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

*South
This recently restored documentary (new 35mm print) of the legendary Antarctica expedition by Ernest Shackleton and his crew is eerie. Eerie not because it is so old (the journey took place between 1914 and 1916) or distant (who believes Antarctica exists? It is a fantastic country made of icebergs), but because it captured the slow and ugly death of a great empire. This expedition was Great Britain's final voyage, its farewell to 400 years of domination. This documentary, filmed by Frank Hurley, shows the Endurance's (the ship's name) terrible demise in this world of ice and penguins. For those seeking a survival epic, this is not the film; for those who love to see the sad and sorry end of great things, this is a must-see. Thurs Dec 9 at 5, 7, 9. (Charles Mudede) Egyptian

*The Straight Story
Rather than making the journey of hundreds of miles on a riding mower a quixotic, life-defining quest, The Straight Story is even more about an interesting but unremarkable road trip taken by a quite remarkable man. David Lynch's name is so synonymous with violence and twisted sex that it's sometimes hard to remember that nearly everything he's done has been about decent people who were seduced, often literally possessed, by an evil force outside themselves. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous
The 3D FX are so realistic, you'll swear you can feel the breath of Big Mama T-Rex. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center

*Toy Story 2
This follow-up film's storyline has been tweaked toward a more adult sensibility (though it'll still be fun for any squalling brats you have as well). Because this is essentially a kids' film, the outcome's a foregone conclusion, but it's still a total blast, from its trick beginning to its all-is-well ending -- even the bad guys don't get punished in a mean way. Most ingeniously, the film manages to poke fun at mass consumerism and collector-mania while still inducing a desire to purchase at least one of the film's toys. (Gillian G. Gaar) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Tumbleweeds
An indie version of the recently released Anywhere but Here, with Janet McTeer and Kimberly J. Brown as the mother-daughter pair who bond and learn life lessons together. Reviewed this issue. Uptown

WebFlicks: Mousecontrol.com
Stop being in denial. Internet-distributed media is here to stay! Catch this great opportunity to experience the Northwest's own web collective, mousecontrol.com, as they screen some examples of their technical skill, art, and inspiration. Digital artists include Nathan Tucker & Ryan Lane (Futile), Andy Smull (DrunkTank), and Alice Marwick (Tiara); creations feature animation, video, and interactive websites. Fri Dec 10 at 8, $5. 911 Media Arts

The World is Not Enough
Poor Pierce Brosnan. In his third Bond outing, he finally gets the whole secret agent act down, even giving classic Bond Sean Connery a run for his money, only to watch it undermined by an inept director. The fact that said director is classy Brit Michael Apted only adds a dash of salt to the wound. The World is Not Enough has some of the best bad guys Bond has seen in years -- only they're not given anything to do. Instead, the story tosses in Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in hotpants, and the rest of the film is pure paint-by-numbers. Apted proves to be so bad at directing action that even when Brosnan and Richards are disarming a nuclear bomb aboard some sort of speeding tunnel contraption at 70 mph, I was forced to stifle a yawn. Even the flashy credit sequence is dull. After 19 films, maybe Grandpa needs to go to bed. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate, Red-mond Town Center, Southcenter

Support The Stranger