No Strings Attached, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. When this movie was first announced, many asked, “Why? Natalie, why?” When she should be campaigning her heart out for a Black Swan Oscar win, many critics suggested this film might be her Norbit—the lackluster Eddie Murphy comedy that spoiled his Oscar chances for Dreamgirls. I for one commend any actor that never turns down a role—she seriously just loves to work, and in this economy more power to her. Of course, any movie starring Ashton Kutcher is bound to elicit a few groans or eye-rolls, but have you ever seen Dude, Where’s My Car?—the shit is funny. Too bad Ashton transformed from cute stoner to 100% d-bag in less than a year. Many blame Demi others blame Punk’d, I just blame all the shouting. Pipe down, Kutcher! Playing at the Regal Meridian 11:10am, 12:20pm, 1:50, 3, 4:25, 5:40, 7:10, 8:20, 9:45, 10:50 and at the U-District’s Metro Cinemas at 2, 4:45, 7:15, and 9:50.
Also opening this weekend is the super schmaltzy Company Men starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper (Regal Meridian at noon, 1, 2:30, 3:30, 5, 6, 7:30, 8:50, and 10:10) and the super gnarly borderline unwatchable The Way Back directed by fabulous Australian Peter Weir and starring Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell (Regal Meridian at 12:30, 3:40, 7 and 10 and at Metro Cinemas at 1, 4, 7 and 9:55).
As reported earlier this week Undertow, Javier Fuentes-León’s acclaimed drama, will return to Seattle after winning the best narrative feature category at the 2010 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. If you missed it at the Festival, now’s your chance to catch this heartbreaking gay love story. Varsity Theater at 2:30, 4:40, 7:10 and 9:20.
SIFF Cinema presents the 1968 Samurai ghost story Kuroneko by Kaneto Shindo. The story is about a mother and daughter raped and killed by soldiers during a medieval civil way, who return as the spirits of black cats to kill samurais and drink their blood. What is ostensibly a ghost story is a metaphor for war and sexual violence set to highly stylized Japanese imagery. Plus the trailer looks friggin’ rad.
Kuroneko Trailer from YouTube
SIFF Cinema Friday-Thursday at 7:30, additional screenings Saturday and Sunday at 2:30.
Hooray! There’s a cult movie starring Milla Jovovich playing at Central Cinema this week—The Fifth Element (1997) by her hubby Luc Besson. Few movies will give me 90s nostalgia like TFE. If there was ever a film that wanted to look “cyberpunk” this was it. The film screams “Techno!”, “Raves!”, “Shiny fabrics!”, “Chunky shoes!” as only the Europeans could truly appreciate. When the fabulous alien opera singer takes the stage and starts her techno freak-out, the movie goes from a lovable anachronism to full-on ecstasy overdose. Pure genius. Friday-Sunday at 7, Sunday-Wednesday at 9:30.
For the ladies, Central Cinema presents Dirty Dancing (1987) as part of their Slumber Party series—movies for girls to watch during sleep overs. As Central Cinema’s calendar says:
Wear your favorite PJ’s and enjoy a night filled with Cosmo sex quizzes, slam books, crank calls and of course, a little Swayze lovin’.
I expect there to be squeals of delight when Swayze starts to lip-sync “and I didn’t it all for you.” He is such a dream. Monday at 7.
Then on Wednesday Central Cinema presents the first of its Favorites series—Our Favorite People with Their Favorite Movies. First up is the Stranger’s adorable Adrian Ryan (an open homosexual), who will host a screening of Tim Burton’s masterpiece Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Wednesday at 7.
Ryan Hicks is Sponsorship Manager for Three Dollar Bill Cinema, a film fan and contributor to Seattle Gay Scene.