GOODBYE LOVER--Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Pacific Place 11
LIFE--Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center
METROLAND--Harvard Exit


FREE MOVIES--2nd Ave. Pizza
FRENCH FILM NOIR--Seattle Art Museum
JAPANESE GHOST STORIES--Seattle Asian Art Museum
THE OGRE--Grand Illusion
SABOTAGE--Cinema 18
SUPER 8 FILMS--Alibi Room
UNUT--The Little Theater


APRIL 23--eXistenZ, Pusing Tin, The Dreamlife of Angels, Dancemaker, Lost and Found, A Place Called Chiapas, Election
APRIL 30--Idle Hands, SLC Punk, Entrapment, The King of the Masks, The Velocity of Gary, Open Your Eyes


10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU--Ten things I hate about this movie: 1. It just drips with saccharine. 2. Why set a movie in 1999, only to have bleedin' Letters to Cleo do cover versions of songs that were (presumably) written before most of the cast were born? 3. The film is loosely based on the heinous, misogynistic play The Taming of the Shrew. 4. For a film about high schoolers, there sure are a lot of thirtysomething actors. 5. The first kiss between "mysterious young man" Patrick Verona and "shrew" Katarina Stratford was SO syrupy and awful it nearly caused one of my companions to have a diabetic seizure. 6. We're expected to believe that Kat's sister, the airhead Bianca, would fall for the sap Joey Donner? Right. 7. At the "Riot Grrrl" gig, everyone is wearing Gap tops. 8. On what planet does anyone care about Letters to Cleo? 9. The photography sucks. 10. The movie is set in Seattle. How lame is that? (Everett True) Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, 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 Afflamesiction, I'm convinced that this is one of the greatest performances ever captured on film. (Bruce Reid) Metro

ALASKA: SPIRIT OF THE WILD--More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

AMONG GIANTS--The sequel to Billy Crystal's hilarious My Giant, but with English working-class blokes filling in for Crystal, and without that freakishly large man from the first film. Broadway Market

ANALYZE THIS--Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) is a New York mobster with problems: the pressure is killing him! With a big meeting of all the New York families coming up, he needs to get rid of his anxiety about [insert Italian stereotype here]. Enter Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal), a Jewish family therapist with [insert Jewish stereotype here]. Vitti wants Sobel to help him. Sobel just wants Vitti to leave him alone. What are they both to do? Analyze This is a [insert sarcastic film reviewer comment here], with a few laughs, but never anything special. Basically, it's exactly what you'd expect. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*ARTISTIC, SCIENTIFIC, AND COOL--A collection of short films/videos that focus on media art and modern science, featuring several thought-provoking works by Susan C. Rynard, like "Signal," about a woman who can see beyond her doctor's eye chart to a sailor doing semaphore or through a cat. Or "Eight Men Called Eugene," which takes the form of an industrial video about the men named Eugene and the development of the selective, genetic engineering of Eugenics. Not all the shorts are about science, some just rely on computer images and others are simply "artistic" or "cool." Not to worry, it's a good batch of videos, from Diane Bonder's intelligent examination of lesbian issues to Sarah Smiley's metaphysical musings in "Levels of Undo," to others whose style eclipses their content. Certainly worth an examination. Fri April 16 at 8, $4. (Andy Spletzer) 911 Media Arts

BABY GENIUSES--The director of Porky's makes toddlers speak with the help of computer animation, the the effect is just as creepy and unnatural as you'd expect. Not a children's movie as much as a bizarre example of the deification of babies. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Redmond Town Center

CENTRAL STATION--Dora (Fernanda Montenegro), who writes letters for the illiterate poor, takes in Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira) after his mother is 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) Metro

A CHINESE GHOST STORY--Tsui Hark's frantically animated version of his live-action Chinese Ghost Story series of films. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

*COOKIE'S FORTUNE--Robert Altman has taken a slight but enjoyable story and applied his familiar techniques of oblique angles, ragged narration, and busy ensemble casts. A suicide is covered up, and a man in imprisoned because of it. Other stories play out about the small town of Holly Springs. Plot, however, is not the main concern of the film. If you want them, there are plenty of thoughtful, even rueful, themes flamesoating around the movie: idealized, hypocritical notions of the past and of honor, and the way family secrets hurt the person keeping them even more than the person who ferrets them out. When I think of this film, though, I keep coming back not to any ideas, but to its very last shot. Altman movies end with death so often it's practically a cliché, but here, after everything gets sorted out without too much harm to anyone, there's just a long, peaceful look at a lake, with fishing lines bobbing gently. As I said before, relaxed and mellow. Add to that: masterly. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Meridian 16

DOUG'S FIRST MOVIE--And, hopefully, his last. Pacific Place 11

*EDTV--Ed Pakurny (Matthew McConaughey) is our everyman (if "everyman" can mean a redneck living in San Francisco), and he's been chosen to star in a new show in which every minute of his life will be broadcast live on national television, unedited and uninterrupted, for an entire month. Slowly, the show begins to attract interest as viewers become intrigued by his budding romantic relationship with his brother's girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). Soon the nation is hooked on the minutiae of Ed's life, and his instant celebrity puts the kibosh on his relationship with anyone the cameras come in contact with. EDtv is a good-natured hoot, the likes of which we haven't seen from Ron Howard since his heyday of Splash (1984) and Night Shift (1982). Though it takes its shots at the television industry, the film's main target is the public's relationship with celebrity. (Wm. Steven Humprey) Metro, Pacific Place 11

ELIZABETH--This film details the ascension of Queen Elizabeth, and this brutal tale is filmed with a vibrancy and urgency matched by no other British or French costume drama. There's also a splendid performance by the Australian actor Geoffrey Rush as the somber security chief to Her Majesty the Queen. (Charles Mudede) Seven Gables, Uptown

THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT ST. HELENS--The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

*EUROPEAN CINEMA & ETHNICITY--This series of FREE screenings continues with Latcho Drom, which traces the 1,000-year-old journey of gypsies through several countries, and Prisoner of the Mountain, the story of two Russian soldiers. Latcho Drom plays Mon April 19 at 7; Prisoner of the Mountain plays Wed April 21 at 7. Kane Hall

AN EVENING WITH ALLAN SEKULA--Artist Allan Sekula will introduce two French films in conjunction with his exhibition: Alain Tanner's Les Hommes du Port and Joris Ivins' A Valparaiso. Both films and Sekula's exhibition deal with "harbor life and maritime controversies." Thurs April 22 at 7:30, $6. Henry Art Gallery

AN EVENING WITH B. RUBY RICH--Author, film critic, cultural theorist, and advocate for New Queer Cinema B. Ruby Rich will present an evening of dialogue and film. Rich will screen Lethal Lesbians, a film clip presentation on Hollywood's fascination with women who team up to kill. For more info, call 911 Media Arts at 682-6552. Thurs April 22 at 8, $10. Kane Hall

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

FORCES OF NATURE--Ben (Ben Affleck) is trying to get to Georgia for his wedding. On the plane he meets Sarah (Sandra Bullock), a wild, bewitching woman with heavy eye-liner and streaks in her hair. The plane crashes and the two of them are forced to go by land, trapped together as one "hilarious" mishap after another thwarts their journey. Along the way, they sorta fall in love, but not really. Forces of Nature is every pathetic man's fantasy, not a female empowerment vehicle, which is surprising since it was directed by a woman. With the stable, pretty fiancé waiting for him at home (Maura Tierney), Ben struggles with his feelings for the irresponsible, sexy woman he stumbles across. In the end, love (not lust) conquers all, which is pure bullshit. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

FREE MOVIES--2nd Ave. Pizza brings back its selection of free movies for patrons and anyone else who feels like wandering in. Thurs-Sat April 15-17. 2nd Ave. Pizza

FRENCH FILM NOIR--Seattle Art Museum's tribute to the French masters of ironic fatalism and atmospheric, poetic realism. The series continues with Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear (1953) on Thurs April 15, and Claude Chabrol's Les Cousins (1959) on Thurs April 22. Seattle Art Museum

GO--I don't know why movies that intertwine a number of disparate stories (Mystery Train, Pulp Fiction) so often pick three as the magic number, but here we go again. Three successive tales: a teen grocery clerk takes a stab at dealing ecstasy; a fellow clerk and his rowdy buddies head out on a road trip; and two actors agree to take part in a drug bust to clear their record. There's some funny scenes, though none of them manage to avoid either cliché, or a hip, ironic take on a cliché. Zero points for originality, then, but don't write the movie off entirely. There's a clutch of good performances (especially Sarah Polley as the would-be dealer, and William Fichtner as a cop), and a few moments do an excellent job capturing the madcap rush of adrenaline when you're young and stupid enough to think you can get away with anything. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

*GODS AND MONSTERS--Excellent film about the death (and life) of James Whale, one of Hollywood's first "out" gay directors, and famous for Franken-stein and his bride. Broadway Market

GOODBYE LOVER--Patricia Arquette, Don Johnson, Dermot Mulroney, and Ellen DeGeneres, along with a slew of other has-beens, star in this dark comedy about love, revenge, and murder. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Pacific Place 11

*INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE--Seattle's longest-running forum for short films and videos strikes again, with a program that balances humor with serious subjects, occasionally (as in the best of the arts) in the same pieces. "Lena" is a simple interview with an 80-year-old woman who still feels 20, but put together in a complex way, occasionally layering her monologues so they sound like dialogs with herself against what look like super 8 images of her. "Chickens 'n' Toys" is like highlights from public access show that's actually funny, while "Asesinados" is a serious documentary contrasting World Cup soccer with Mexico's Zapatistas. Other films succeed by capitalizing on the abstract and the absurd. The most popular name this month is "Nocturne"; there's three of them, none of which are Peggy Ahwesh's. Also on the bill is "Flow" by Seattle's own Serge Gregory, a day in the life of the Seattle, inspired by Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera, focusing on transportation in and out of the city, plus water and rain. Like many of this month's shorts, it's well-paced, well-shot, and put together with intelligence.Thurs April 22 at 7:30, $4. (Andy Spletzer) Speakeasy

INTO THE DEEP--An IMAX film in 3-D, putting you right into the aquarium. Pacific Science Center

JAPANESE GHOST STORIES--Throne of Blood is Akira Kurosawa's acclaimed version of Macbeth with a dramatic Kabuki twist. The third film in the "Ghost Tales From the Japanese Cinema" series at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Sun April 18 at 1:30, $6. Seattle Asian Art Museum

LIFE--Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star in a comedy about two men who spend their whole lives trying to escape from prison; one's been sent away for soliciting sex from a transvestite, the other for waving a gun wildly around on a crowded L.A. street. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

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, 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, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

THE LIVING SEA--It's alive! See fish and waves and whales and jellyfish, all in that big-screen IMAX format. Omnidome

*LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS--The coolest fucking British film you will see this year. Period. Set in the East End of London, it's a fast, frantic, and frequently flamesippant ride through the social strata of gangland as four wide boys send one of their number, cardsharp Eddie (heartthrob Nick Moran), to take on local crime boss Hatchet Harry (P. H. Moriarty) at poker. They soon find themselves in debt to the sum of half a million nicker, and they're not helped by the fact that Harry has put his debt collector Big Chris (soccer hardman Vinnie Jones) on their tails. It's a tidy movie--all the dead bodies are shot and accounted for--and it's also got a wicked, very English sense of humor. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels makes Tarantino look like the art school, panty-waisted wuss he undoubtedly is. (Everett True) Uptown, Varsity

*THE MATRIX--Morpheus (Laurence Fishburn) has been searching for the One, a cyber-Christ who will destroy the Matrix and wake people out of their preprogrammed idea of life. He thinks he has found Him in Neo (Keanu Reeves). With the knowledge that the Matrix is a computer-created dream, Morpheus and his rebels (with equally stupid names: Trinity, Cypher, Switch, Apoc, etc.) can run and jump and fight with superhuman power, but are hunted down by super-agents who want to cleanse the system. Sure, the character names are stupid, the barroom metaphysics ("Hey, what if life is just a dream?") are simplistic, and the cyber-Christ story is predictable, but the action scenes--even the ones that use that 180 degree near-freeze frame--make this otherwise boring movie worth seeing. From the directors of Bound. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Neptune, Northgate, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

METROLAND--One man confronts his youthful dreams and conservative life in the suburbs of England. Reviewed this issue. Harvard Exit

NEVER BEEN KISSED--After about 20 minutes, I was getting to thinking about how much I hate Drew Barrymore: her smug, cloying superciliousness, the way she always plays the same saccharine, flaw-free character. After an hour, I was in love with her again. There's something about her smile, her rosy cheeks, the way she bites her lip when pushed, her... DAMN IT ALL! Never Been Kissed's basic premise is this: Drew is 25, she's never been kissed (yeah, right), and she works at the Chicago Sun-Times. She needs a break, so she's sent as an undercover reporter to her old high school where... no, you must have peeked! She gets kissed! Can you believe it? Or how 'bout this? Executive producer Drew Barrymore decides to do a movie for all the ugly people out there, to show just how sympathetic she is to our plight. Gee, thanks Drew. (Everett True) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*THE OGRE--John Malkovich stars as Abel, a gentle and simpleminded loner who has no friends beyond the children of the neighborhood. When WWII breaks out, he is quickly captured and meets the chief forester (Gottfried John) of the Nazi party's Reichsmarshall Hermann Goring (Volker Spengler). Impressed with Abel's love of nature, the forester gets him a position at Goring's woodland hunting estate. Suddenly, as Abel gets drawn into the circle of Nazi power--eventually taking a post at an SS-prep school where he can once again serve his beloved children--the film does a most brave and unexpected thing: it becomes beautiful. Volker Schlöndorff has been down this road before with The Tin Drum, but that was an archly (and brilliantly) ironic and metaphoric film. Here he's made a movie that takes the Nazis at their own word. There is brutality and insanity, but mostly there is grandeur so overwhelming and obvious it can only be a delusion. Then there's Malkovich, who has his best part in years as a tenderhearted lover of innocents, who helps destroy everything he holds dear. (Bruce Reid) Grand Illusion

THE OUT OF TOWNERS--Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn together again in this remake of the Neil Simon film. Expect not to laugh. City Center, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Oak Tree

RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX--P. J. Castellaneta's debut was the talky-but-engaging chamber piece Together Alone: two characters, one apartment, plenty to hold your interest. For his follow-up, he's gone the other way--and, to my mind, stretched himself too thin--by showing us the trials and tribulations of a dozen friends, including couples (straight and gay) and the obligatory lonely playwright. Not that the film isn't enjoyable. It's got a fair share of better-than-average sitcom zingers, a bright look, and a mostly winning cast. It's even willing to be less than smooth sailing all the way--some of these people are uncharacteristically abrasive, and there's a bit of revenge on a would-be gay basher that's unapologetically nasty. But in its effort to cover all the bases, the film comes up with a group of people not likely to hang out together all the time. This lack of believability doesn't hurt the lighter moments; but when things get serious, it's fatal. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

*ROBERT BRESSON FILM SERIES--Ah, the beauty of Bresson. Lancelot du Lac is an interpretation of the last days of the Quest for the Holy Grail. Sun April 18 at 1, 3. Grand Illusion

RUSHMORE--Wes Anderson (of Bottle Rocket fame) directs this 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) Metro, Pacific Place 11

SABOTAGE--The Hitchcock classic about a woman who suspects that her husband is keeping a deadly secret from her. A British print with footage unseen in the U.S. version. Sat-Sun April 17-18 at 8, $5. Cinema 18

THE SCHOOL OF FLESH--Isabelle Huppert stars as a sophisticated lady who picks up a sexy, young hustler (Vincent Martinez). The movie follows the dance they do around their mutual attraction. The older man who hooks up with the fantasy woman is taken for granted in movies, so it's nice to see the opposite. Unfortunately, that's all it is. The spoiled brat of a bisexual boy-toy is treated like an intoxicating substance for her to abuse, but we never realize why she feels the need to have a fling with an unreliable, part-time prostitute. His character is as empty as any ditsy blonde counterpart. Unlike Martinez, Huppert manages to give depth to a character that maybe--just maybe--shouldn't have any. By the way, it's a bad adaptation of a Yukio Mishima story. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE--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, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

SUPER 8 FILMS--Emerald Reels' Super 8 lounge returns with a batch of new films! Also included is a midnight listening party for the Icelandic band Gus Gus. Mon April 19 at 9, FREE. Alibi Room

*TRUE CRIME--Set to the pace of a relaxed jazz number, True Crime concerns the final day of a black man on death row (Isaiah Washington). Out of appeals, he is to be executed at midnight, and the only man who believes in his innocence is philandering newspaper reporter (Eastwood), a man who has basically ruined his marriage because he cannot stop sleeping around. He is trying to redeem himself through this great, last cause--but he's not into any of this human-interest stuff; he is self-interested, and it is a self-interest that harms (even physically) those who are close to him. Eastwood asks for no forgiveness, and makes no apologies for his character's flagrant flaws. What a great director. (Charles Mudede) City Center, Grand Alderwood

TWIN DRAGONS--This 1992 feature, freshly dubbed into English, stars Jackie Chan in a dual role as twins separated at birth: one's an auto mechanic expert at martial arts, the other a classical musician who couldn't punch his way out of a paper sack. On their way to a loving reunion, they must deal not only with an inexhaustible supply of mobsters, but two would-be girlfriends. The seat-of-the-pants Hong Kong aesthetic shows its flaws here; no effort is made to even dress the two Chans similarly, or time their comings and goings logically, so the confusion of their friends and foes are not so much comic as exasperating signs of obtuseness. And in the most cynical fashion, only the first and last fight scenes have any energy. That finale, set in an auto warehouse, almost makes up for the rest of this listless movie. Try sneaking in for the last 20 minutes; otherwise skip it. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Varsity

UNUT--Ottawa, 1979: A grad student named Peter, who's obsessed with circumcision, dictates his thesis to a typist named Peter, who's obsessed with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, both of whom are starting up a relationship with the same man, also named Peter. Director John Greyson (Lilies, Zero Patience) uses a lot of video layering and effects, and his playful structure is very engaging. Too bad the subject matter is so uninvolving. The main subject of the film is copyright and censorship issues, and it's rather dull and predictable, including interviews with some second-rate artists who appropriate material (if you've seen the documentary Sonic Outlaws, you know how interesting and exciting this subject can be). The film is definitely worth seeing, but if you get bored in the final third (when the three Peters go to prison), don't feel bad about walking out. You will have seen everything the movie has to offer. Thurs-Sun April 15-18 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. (Andy Spletzer) The Little Theater

*UNMADE BEDS--Nicholas Barker's debut film returns us to that problematic (but always productive) zone that rests between fiction and reality. The film is about real people--four pathetic New Yorkers looking for love--and their real frustrations, desires, and problems. The whole mess of their existence is exposed to the world. On the other hand, the film also has scenes that are completely manufactured by the director; scenes that are calculated and carefully thought out, reminding us of a great truth: it takes a lot of fiction to make film look real. Whatever Unmade Beds may be (documentary or not), the bottom line is it's a fun film, and this is due entirely to two great characters: The sexually liberal divorcée Brenda, who is trying to find a man who will pay her bills; and the grumpy failed screenplay writer Mikey, with his '70s playboy pad. You really don't want to a miss a film where the main character says: "When women come into my apartment, they know they are here to fuck." (Charles Mudede) Varsity

A WALK ON THE MOON--A lot of things happened in the summer of 1969. If you doubt it, just see this movie, which dutifully drags out all of them. The story of a housewife (Diane Lane) vacationing in the Catskills, who tires of her square husband (Liev Schreiber) and has a fling with the free-spirited traveling salesman (Viggo Mortensen) who visits weekly (no, really), A Walk on the Moon tries desperately to draw parallels between its everyday characters and the seemingly momentous changes going on in the nation. It doesn't work, mostly because neither the characters we're watching nor the times they live in ever feel anything more than a superficial rehash of everything you've heard and seen before. (Bruce Reid) Pacific Place 11

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

X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES--Roger Corman's (1963) excellent sci-fi story about a scientist's discovery of a drug that boosts normal human vision "beyond the borders of reality." Fri-Sat April 16-17 at 11:30. Grand Illusion