FILM REVIEW: “The Promotion”

From Willamette Week, 6/11/08:

Director Steve Conrad has essentially remade the 2005 filmThe Weather Man (which he wrote for Gore Verbinski) but swapped a TV station for the supermarket and replaced the existentially whacked-out Nicholas Cage with two aspiring grocers, Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “River Ways”

From Willamette Week, 4/2/08:

Portland-based director Colin Stryker’s doc River Ways offers a good introduction to the Pacific Northwest’s salmon crisis, using the example of Washington’s Snake River to discuss the benefits and implications of removing manmade dams. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “OSS 117: Cairo – Nest of Spies”

From Willamette Week, 2/13/08 [Portland International Film Festival Coverage]:

[FRANCE] With the charm of Austin Powers, the looks of James Bond and the aloofness of Inspector Clouseau, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (a.k.a. Special Agent OSS 117), is a bravado, tall, tan, hairy-chested, racist, imperialist, womanizing, homophobic spy who’ll kill a Nazi and screw a head of state’s busty niece in the same breath. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “Blindsight”

From Willamette Week, 4/16/08:

The world needs another story about Mount Everest like Wilt Chamberlain needed another sex partner in the ’70s. But if you thought everything about the planet’s tallest mound o’ powder has been said and done, Lucy Walker’s documentary Blindsight offers a strong, fresh and inspiring narrative. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “Short Cuts V-The Spaces in Between”

From Willamette Week, 2/20/08 [Portland International Film Festival Coverage]:

Go ahead and call me insensitive. But there’s really not much I’d less rather do than re-watch a film like The Butterfly in Winter, a 30-minute handheld, mostly silent 16 mm film of a German woman caring for her 96-year-old mother, feeding her and giving her sponge baths. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “Shotgun Stories”

From Willamette Week, 2/20/08 [Portland International Film Festival Coverage]:

A substantial part of Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories involves its characters—the brothers Son, Boy and Kid—having King of the Hill moments: just sitting on the porch, in their Chevy conversion van, or down by the river of their slow-as-molasses rural Arkansas hometown, drinking beers, saying jack squat and contemplating their own respective existential crises. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “Caramel”

From Willamette Week, 2/6/08 [Portland International Film Festival Coverage]:

Caramel has the spirit of a Lebanese Sex and the City, and that’s quite a feat, considering the Middle East isn’t exactly the most sexually liberated region of the world. Continue reading