OPENINGS

200 CIGARETTES-
-Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Varsity
8MM--
Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro,Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center
CLOSE-UP--
Grand Illusion
THE OTHER SISTER--
Meridian 16


REPERTORY & REVIVAL

5000 Fingers of Dr. T--
The Little Theater
Alligator People--
Ethnic Cultural Center
Destiny--
Egyptian
The Emperor Jones--
Grand Illusion
FLAV'A FEST--911 Media Arts, Henry Art Gallery, Kane Hall, Seattle Art Museum, UW Art Building
Independent Exposure--
Speakeasy
Jewish Film Fest Benefit--
Redhook Brewery
The Lady from Shanghai--
Egyptian
Love My Guts Fundraiser--
Coastal Kitchen
The Man Who Knew Too Much--
Seattle Art Museum
The Naked Spur--
Seattle Art Museum
PIZZA AND FREE MOVIES--
2nd Ave. Pizza
Run of the Arrow--
Grand Illusion
Survival Research Laboratories--
The Little Theater
"Writer's Block" Workshop--
Alibi Room


COMING SOON

March 5--Cruel Intentions, Analyze This, A Moment of Innocence, Windhorse, Tango, Steam: The Turkish Bath

March 12--Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, 20 Dates, The Rage: Carrie 2, Fantastic Planet, The Corruptor, Baby Geniuses, Wing Commander, Deep End of the Ocean


MOVIES & EVENTS

200 Cigarettes--It's New Year's Eve, 1981, and you're stuck in New York City with several groups of vacuous, shallow, self-centered white people, all on their way to a party hosted by yet another vacuous, shallow, self-centered white person. That's 200 Cigarettes, a movie filled with a host of "wacky" characters searching for love and adventure in the big city. The film's basically a never-ending sitcom, with just enough laughs to keep you interested but enough barren stretches to make you wonder if you're not really just wasting your time. Lotsa hipsters, too: Ben Affleck plays a smarmy bartender, Martha Plimpton a palpitating host, while Christina Ricci and Gaby Hoffmann are the jailbait teens with the worst accents this side of Laverne and Shirley. Courtney Love and Paul Rudd play a sparring couple, and they come off best. Say what you want about her, but Love clearly has a good sense of comic timing. 200 Cigarettes also has the scariest credit I've seen in a movie: "Read the novel from MTV Books." (Gillian G. Gaar) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T--A new 35mm print of this Dr. Seuss classic about a boy who has nightmares about his piano teacher. Sat-Sun Feb 27-28 at 1, 3. The Little Theater

8mm--A detective (Nicolas Cage) is hired to find the creators of a snuff film. Meanwhile, director Joel Schumacher is fired for being a hack. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

*Affliction--The snow-shrouded, economically depressed town of Lawford, New Hampshire, is where Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) has lived his entire life: a childhood dominated by an abusive, drunken father (James Coburn), and a young adulthood of running around and getting in trouble. Now, on the depressing side of middle-age, he's Lawford's police officer; a job that entails little more than writing up traffic violations and guarding the crosswalk when the school bus empties. When a big-shot businessman dies in a hunting accident, Wade suspects murder, and he clings to that belief with the exultant certainty of a desperate man. Coburn's brutal patriarch is a sight to behold, Willem Dafoe perfectly captures the despair of the quiet man unwilling to own up to the demons he so easily recognizes in his older brother, and then there's Nolte. There are, perhaps, better actors around today, but after two viewings of Affliction, I'm convinced that this is one of the greatest performances ever captured on film. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center, Seven Gables

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild--More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

Alligator People--First a mad scientist creates a mutant species of alligator men in the Bayou, then Jet City Improv adds their own dialogue. Discounts for students and people who bring canned food. Fri-Sat Feb 26-27 at 10:30, $7. Ethnic Cultural Center

Beavers--Find out what makes them so "damn" eager. Ends Sun Feb 28. Pacific Science Center

Blast From the Past--Basically, this is a Cold War Encino Man. After 35 years of living in a fallout shelter with his parents, who believe a nuclear holocaust occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Adam (Brendan Fraser) emerges on the surface in Los Angeles in search of supplies and a woman to marry. Cue romantic hilarity! As Adam wows L.A. hipsters with his simple head, he woos a young, cynical woman conveniently named Eve (Alicia Silverstone) with his simple heart. Blast From the Past is harmless tripe, quickly produced and quickly forgotten. The cute moments number in the hundreds but they add up to nothing, so your smile evaporates even before you reach the car. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Uptown

Central Station--Dora (Fernanda Monte-negro), who writes letters for the illiterate poor, takes in Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira) after his mother his killed. Walter Salles' affecting new film risks sentimentality in order to steer close to issues of the human heart, but it's blessed by two impeccable performances from Montenegro and de Oliveira. (Matthew Stadler) Broadway Market

A Civil Action--A hotshot lawyer (John Travolta) takes on big business. Pacific Place 11

Close-Up--Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami directs this true story about a man arrested for impersonating Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

Destiny--Set in 12th-century Andalusia, the humanist philosopher Averroes, a high judge, educates the caliph's two sons. There's plenty of stories and characters along the way, but despite several skillfully directed scenes, there's not nearly enough complexity to keep things interesting. Thurs Feb 25 at 4:15, 7, 9:45. (Bruce Reid) Egyptian

*Elizabeth--This film details the ascension of queen Elizabeth: her transformation from a naîve and sensual girl into a hard-hearted ruler who chopped off the heads of her enemies. Kapur films this brutal tale with a vibrancy and urgency matched by no other British or French costume drama. He photographs his subject, the pale and rosy Cate Blanchett, with the same shameless affection with which Josef Von Sternberg's camera captured Marlene Dietrich. There's also a splendid performance by the Australian actor Geoffrey Rush as the somber security chief to her Majesty the Queen. (Charles Mudede) Guild 45th, Meridian 16

The Emperor Jones--An escaped criminal (Paul Robeson) becomes the revolutionary leader of a Carribean island. Made in 1933. If Zack is in attendance, he might even share one or two of his beers with you. Fri-Sat Feb 26-27 at 11. Grand Illusion

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

The Faculty--A bunch of crazy, mixed-up high school kids feel the need to protect the earth from their teachers, whom they believe to be aliens. I've heard both good and bad about this picture. Some friends have called it enjoyable, if predictable, while others (including my boss!) say it's too much fun to miss. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16

FLAV'A FEST--The fourth annual Seattle Black Film and Video Festival wraps up this weekend with Cauleen Smith presenting her Sundance entry Drylongso at UW's Kane Hall on Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the celebration is happening at 911 Media Arts with short films, features like Detention, Mixing Nia, and Julie Dash's Illusions, as well as a Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids mini-marathon. Closing night is at the Seattle Art Museum, where they'll be showing Marc Levin's prison/poetry film Slam. Until Sun Feb 28; call 682-6552 for more info. 911 Media Arts, Henry Art Gallery, Kane Hall, Seattle Art Museum, UW Art Building

*The General--A romp through the modern Irish underworld by veteran director John Boorman. Martin "The General" Cahill was an annoyance to the IRA as well as the police up until August 18, 1994, when he was shot to death in front of his home. Boorman starts the picture with Cahill's murder, then actually runs the film backward before moving into a flamesashback of a young Cahill stealing food in the Hollyfield slums. Right off the bat, he establishes a light but respectful touch, and a quick pace that packs a lot of information into an easy-to-follow story. As Cahill, Brendan Gleeson is the perfect mix of charm, kindness, and cruelty, while Jon Voight, as the police detective who could never quite catch him, layers in a begrudging admiration for the man nevertheless. (Andy Spletzer) Metro

*Gods and Monsters--Excellent film about the death (and life) of James Whale, one of Hollywood's first "out" gay directors, and famous for Frankenstein and his bride. Broadway Market

Hilary and Jackie--Based on the true story of the world famous cellist Jacqueline du Pré, the explosive Emily Watson plays Jackie, and the more sedate Rachel Griffiths plays her sister Hilary. The film depicts Jackie's rise to international fame, and then, of course, her inevitable fall to death. Though predictable direction (by Anand Tucker) works counter to the film's goals, I have a bigger bone to pick with it: I'm tired of the films which portray brilliant woman as neurotic, cold, and sterile. (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit

Independent Exposure--Next to some bad NYU shorts, boring computer animation, a smug L.A. résumé piece, and some abstract, vintage porn collages that almost work, the best pieces this month employ a sense of humor. "Wood Technology in the Design of Structures" is amusing, but not quite surreal enough; the silent film melodrama "Solid Action Love Partner" teams a put-upon wife with an abusive husband, but is redeemed when he brings home a robot to help with housework; and you may have seen clips of the Titanic parody "Death Ship" on the Independent Film Network's Split Screen, with its animated puppets and humor in bad taste (JonBenet Ramsey has a cameo as a crack addict). Thurs Feb 25 at 7:30, $4. (Andy Spletzer) Speakeasy

Into the Deep--Imax brings their 3-D cameras underwater, for the giant-screen aquarium effect. Starts Mon March 1. Pacific Science Center

Jawbreaker--If the latest batch of teen flicks are starting to grate, you might enjoy chomping down on this hot rock. The setting's another SoCal high school, but the mood is strictly black comedy, referencing everything from Carrie to River's Edge to Heathers to Hole's "Miss World" video. Reagan High's top clique of babelicious babes have accidentally killed one of their buds. Not only that, there's a witness: nerdier-than-thou Fern Mayo (Judy Evan Greer). What to do? Clique leader Courtney, aka "Satan in high heels" (Rose McGowan), buys Fern off by letting her join the gang. A quick makeover later, and Fern becomes "Vylette." But does a conscience still beat within? While you wait to find out, check out the raft of hip bit players: Marilyn Manson, without makeup, as a sleazy barfly; Pam Grier as foxy Detective Vera Cruz; Jeff Conaway (Grease's Kenickie) as a befuddled daddy, and the Donnas as the house band at the senior prom. (Gillian G. Gaar) City Center, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark

Jewish Film Fest (benefit)--The Seattle Jewish Film Festival happens at the King Cat March 13-21. To celebrate and raise a little money, Fremont's Redhook Brewery will host a Persian Purim Masquerade Bash, with music, Kosher Red Hots, free beer, henna tattoos, a bufet, and more. $20 advance/$25 at the door. Sat Feb 27. Call 622-6315 for time and tickets. Redhook Brewery

The Lady from Shanghai--A new 35mm print of this Orson Welles/Rita Hayworth classic thriller, featuring a spooky shootout in a hall of mirrors.Fri-Sun Feb 26-28 at (Sat-Sun 12:30, 2:40), 4:50, 7, 9:10. Egyptian

Life Is Beautiful--Like any good comedian, Roberto Benigni (and his co-writer Vincenzo Cerami) knows how to plant the seed for a gag early on, to let it sit, then return to it much later for the payoff. The opening, which seems so frivolous, is all groundwork for what Benigni knows will be the toughest sell of his life: comedy in the Nazi camps. Employing the understatement and flamesair for timing that comedy requires, Benigni captures detail after detail in a far more devastating way than more earnest films on the subject could manage. (Bruce Reid) Harvard Exit, Redmond Town Center

Little Voice--The only reason to see this film is to hear Jane Horrocks sing a bunch of cover songs. Is that any reason to go see a movie? (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

Love My Guts (fundraiser)--Coastal Kitchen is donating part of the evening's dinner proceeds toward finishing funds for this local feature film. Door prizes and music. Tues March 2. Coastal Kitchen

The Man Who Knew Too Much--Alfred Hitchcock was always the best at tapping into the dark side of Jimmy Stewart, here saddling him with too much dangerous information. Thurs March 4 at 7:30. Seattle Art Museum

Message in a Bottle--Theresa Osborne (Robin Wright Penn) finds a bottle on the beach. Inside is a note--a cheesy love poem written to a woman named "Catherine." Obsessed, Theresa sets-out to find the note's author. The man she tracks down is a sad widower named Garret Blake (Kevin Costner), who lives a quiet life rebuilding boats. After a whirlwind courtship, they fall in love. But can Theresa get Garrett to get over his dead wife? The answer is, who cares? Message In a Bottle is dull, dull, dull--a romance that goes nowhere, and all the sweeping music in the world can't save it. Costner plays his character as if he were a retarded little boy, completely undermining Penn's "strong female character" (if she's so strong and intelligent, why does she fall in love with a retard?). Only Paul Newman rises above this sap, and that's because--well, because he's Paul Newman. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

My Favorite Martian--The Disney live-action

well continues to run dry, here with another big

screen TV remake, this one starring Christopher

Loyd. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific

Place 11

My Name Is Joe--For the first, glorious two-thirds of this movie, it's something wholly new and unexpected: a romantic comedy, Ken Loach style. Joe is a recovering alcoholic on the dole, and Sarah is a social worker too kind and committed to be beaten down by the misery she sees daily. As they fumble into a relationship we're with them all the way; it doesn't hurt that the two actors are so wonderful in their roles. But Ken Loach will be Ken Loach, and some part of him won't let these two decent people be happy. So a drug-wrecked younger couple gets dragged in for Joe to look after, and some vicious gangsters that could have come from any movie. The director should rewatch his own Raining Stones and remind himself that sometimes ending a story just happy enough to get by is heartbreaking enough. The movie is very good; but I'm convinced a lighter touch would have made it even better. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

The Naked Spur--Jimmy Stewart stars as a vengeful bounty hunter in this 1953 Anthony Mann western. Thurs Feb 25 at 7:30. Seattle Art Museum

October Sky--NASA wants you! They want you to dream about Mars, to long for lunar landings, to drivel over spacers, saucers, and satellites. Why? Because they are sinking, because people have lost interest, because Carl Sagan is dead and the Cosmos died with him, because they need our tax money. Enter Hollywood: the desire factory. The two have shamelessly colluded to make October Sky, based on a unmemorable memoir called Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam Jr., a NASA engineer. Set at the time Sputnik orbited the sky and freaked America, this movie is about four working class Virginia boys, who against all odds win a big national science contest with their rocket theories. Yes, it's an American fable. There is, nevertheless, a great down-to-earth performance by Chris Cooper, of John Sayles fame (he always does that "I'm working-class down to the bone" thing so well!); but after that, you can forget this piece of sentimental propaganda. Look NASA, we don't care about space anymore. When will you folks get that through your heads? (Charles Mudede) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Office Space--Looking for a comedy in which you're constantly reminded how desolate and bleak your own life is? Then you'll LOVE Office Space! Written and directed by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill), this little snoozer tells the story of an ordinary schmo (Ron Livingston) who desperately hates his rotten job at a high tech corporation. Looking for relief, he visits a hypnotist (don't ask), and becomes so relaxed that he refuses to do any work, which--in the KA-RAZY, mixed-up world of corporate bureaucracy--actually gets him promoted! Other things happen, but since you actually LIVE the shit that happens in this movie, you won't think it's very funny either. Let's move on, shall we? (Wm. Steven Humprey) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Patch Adams--Robin Williams plays hippie doctor Hunter "Patch" Adams who, after suffering a nervous breakdown and spending time in a mental hospital, decides to become a doctor so he can "help people." He does this by making an ass out of himself. (Bradley Steinbacher) Meridian 16

*Payback--Porter (Mel Gibson) is double-crossed by his partner and his wife during a robbery, and is left for dead. He's not--at least, not physically. He becomes obsessed with retrieving his cut of the robbery: $70,000. Unfortunately, his ex-partner used the money to buy his way into "The Outfit" and can't easily get it back. Nobody can; there's too much bureaucracy. Initially, I was afraid this would be just another Mel Gibson action-comedy. It's violent, but not really a comedy. Once again, Mel Gibson is a guy with nothing to lose and little to gain, betrayed by life and barely surviving in a hostile world. The script is solid, with performances perfectly suited to the material. Using the same source material as John Boorman's Lee Marvin vehicle Point Blank, Payback holds its own, and should attract the same crowd that made Seven a success. Directed and co-written by L.A. Confidential's Brian Helgeland. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

PIZZA AND FREE MOVIES--The friendly folks at 2nd Ave. Pizza are showing double features through the weekend: Weekend and Holy Mountain on Thursday, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Rock 'n' Roll High School on Friday, and The 10th Victim and Danger Diabolik on Saturday. First film's at 6:30, second's at 8:30. Double features run until Sat Feb 27. 2nd Ave. Pizza

Run of the Arrow--Sam Fuller's tale of an ex-Confederate soldier who joins an Indian tribe, long before Kevin Costner and Dances With Wolves made the subject irrelevant. Sun Feb 28 at 1, 3. Grand Illusion

Rushmore--You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a gushing review about Rushmore, but if you expect this new bitter-sweet comedy to be GREAT, then you're bound to be disappointed--but, thankfully, not too disappointed. Wes Anderson (of Bottle Rocket fame) directs, and the result is a bouncy, yet strangely unemotional confection. Max (Jason Schwartzman), a teen prep school dreamer, befriends a much older steel tycoon (Bill Murray). Max's scholastic life hits the fan when his plans to impress a teacher he's fallen for (Olivia Williams) gets him expelled. To make matters worse, Murray falls in love with the very same woman. In the end you're left with solid performances all the way around, a few good laughs, and not a lot to write home about. Walk, don't run. (Wm. Steven Humprey) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Neptune, Redmond Town Center

Saving Private Ryan--Stephen Spielberg glamorizes WWII with this big, fake story of the search for a missing soldier. City Centre, Varsity

Shakespeare in Love--Shakespeare in Love, the fictionalized story of the writing of Romeo and Juliet and the playwright's affair with a remarkable woman who longs to act despite Elizabethan laws against females on stage, is the season's surprise hit. Certainly the idea is appealing: one of history's immortals, shown in his still-struggling youth, with eye-catching period details and a cast uniformly professional enough to carry it off with whimsy. But the film strains too much to flatter and please the audience, setting up predictable conflicts and getting out of them through the easiest ways possible. It's clever in a very simple way, content to show its hero as a great-man-in-waiting and its heroine as so improbably perfect she could only be a muse. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Guild 45th, Lewis & Clark, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

She's All That--Hunky Zach (Freddie Prinze, Jr.)--senior class prez, sports star, and honor student (clearly a Type A personality here)--has been dumped by his airhead girlie, Taylor. Zach bets his friends he can take any other girl and, within weeks, turn her into a prom queen über-babe, though the gal chosen for the makeover (Rachael Leigh Cook) looks suspiciously babe-like from the beginning. A largely inoffensive way to kill an hour and a half. (Gillian G. Gaar) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Pacific Place 11

*A Simple Plan--Hank (Bill Paxton), his brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton), and Jacob's drunk friend Lou (you wouldn't recognize the actor's name) find a bag of money in a crashed airplane and decide to keep it. Then their lives go to hell. Paxton is perfectly self-absorbed as the guy who thinks he's smarter than the rest, while Billy Bob Thornton is the heart of the film, giving a performance that makes the whole thing worthwhile. Directed by Sam Raimi. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16

Simply Irresistible--Sara Michelle Gellar stars in an American remake of Like Water for Chocolate. She plays a bad cook who becomes a master chef of witchery and food, thanks to a magic crab. Meridian 16

Survival Research Laboratories--Two documentaries from the renowned collective Survival Research Laboratories, featuring enormous fighting robots: A Scenic Harvest from the Kingdom in Pain and The Pleasures of Uninhibited Excess. Thurs-Sun Feb 25-28 at 5, 7, 9. The Little Theater

The Other Sister--Juliette Lewis plays a "mentally challenged" young woman striving for indendence. Diane Keaton and Tom Skerrit play her worry-wart parents. Reviewed this issue. Meridian 16

*The Thin Red Line--I don't think it's a great film, but as I talked about it with friends for hours afterwards, the movie rattled and shifted, refusing to settle down. A World War II movie with very little fighting and a gorgeous pantheistic salute to what must be every last species of flamesora and fauna found on the South Sea islands, The Thin Red Line is a portrait of humanity so intimate we're privy to the innermost thoughts of many of the characters, yet so distanced that most of them blur together into one mud-caked soldier. Is this all complex design or just confusion? Come to think of it, that's one of the questions the film asks, as it stares impassively at the beauty and the terror. (Bruce Reid) Meridian 16, Varsity

Varsity Blues--Part coming-of-age drama, part teen sex-romp, Varsity Blues is completely harmless, never trying to reach beyond its limited intentions. It's the type of film 13-year-olds will think is stupid but will still go see twice. If you are over 13, one screening is more than enough. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

Waking Ned Devine--This small Irish film tells the story of a town brought together by the death of a denizen who held a winning lottery ticket (Ned Devine, played with convincing rigor mortis by Jimmy Keogh). When a member of the town decides to impersonate Ned so that they can all claim the money, narrow misses and hilarity ensues. (Traci Vogel) Metro, Uptown

Whales--An up close and personal look at the largest mammals on earth. Omnidome

"Writer's Block" Workshop--Five writers have received the same elements, and will present the first 10 pages of their scripts and talk about writer's block and the creative process. Mon March 1 at 7:30, $5. Alibi Room

You've Got Mail--Basically, a re-tread of the proven Sleepless In Seattle formula: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet, act cute, and fall in love. Pacific Place 11

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