Hollywood Movies

The Hateful Eight

Nominated for three Academy Awards -- Best Cinematography, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and Best Original Score -- Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight features a compelling cast that includes Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern and Zoë Bell. 

The story begins six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, with a stagecoach hurtling through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren , a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix, a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob, who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage, and Confederate General Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

The Hunger Games saga enters its powerful final chapter as Katniss Everdeen [Jennifer Lawrence] realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow [Donald Sutherland] in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale [Liam Hemsworth], Finnick [Sam Claflin] and Peeta [Josh Hutcherson] – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

​Duration: 137 mins. | Rating: PG-13

The Martian

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return. 

Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

“It's one of the year's best movies and widescreen 3D experiences, a crackerjack adventure that celebrates human ingenuity over mechanical contrivance.” Peter Howell, Toronto Star

​Duration: 134 mins. | Rating: PG-13

 

Sundance 2015 Film Festival Short Film Tour

Over the course of its more than 30-year history, the Sundance Film Festival has been widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers. Featuring a wide variety of story and style, the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour is comprised of six shorts that won awards at the 2015 Festival.  Incorporating fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, this distinct program  ranges from wild comedy to quiet poetry. Each short breaks through its limited timeframe with a high level of artistry and story that will resonate with audiences long after it ends.
PROGRAM
World of Tomorrow
Short Film Jury Award (Best of Fest)
Written and directed by Don Hertzfeldt. U.S.A., 17 minutes.
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future.

SMILF
Short Film Jury Prize: US Fiction
Written and directed by Frankie Shaw. USA, 9 minutes.
A young single mother struggles to balance her old life of freedom with her new one as mom. It all comes to a head during one particular nap-time when Bridgette invites an old friend over for a visit.

Oh Lucy!
Short Film Jury Prize: International Fiction
Written and directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi. Japan/Singapore/U.S.A, 22 minutes.
Setsuko, a 55-year-old single so-called office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, Lucy, by her young, unconventional English-language teacher. "Lucy" awakens desires in Setsuko she never knew existed.

The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul
Short Film Jury Prize: Non-Fiction
Written and directed by Kitty Green. Russian and Ukrainian, 7 minutes.
Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of Olympic champion figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.

Storm hits jacket
Short Film Jury Prize: Animation
Written and directed by Paul Cabon. 2014, France, 13 minutes.
A storm reaches the shores of Brittany. Nature goes crazy, and two young scientists get caught up in the chaos. Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.

Object
Short Film Special Jury Prize for Poetic Vision
Written and directed by Paulina Skibinska. Poland, 15 minutes.
A creative image of an underwater search in the dimensions of two worlds—ice desert and under water—told from the point of view of the rescue team, of the diver, and of the ordinary people waiting on the shore.

The Good Dinosaur | 3D

The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

"The Good Dinosaur has an original concept, disarming emotional heft and features the most impressive visuals in animated cinema to date." Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

Duration: 100 mins. | Rating: PG

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

"The Good Dinosaur has an original concept, disarming emotional heft and features the most impressive visuals in animated cinema to date." Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

Duration: 100 mins. | Rating: PG

Porco Rosso

This unsung treasure from Hayao Miyazaki nestles a tale of morality and identity inside a soaring airborne adventure — a tribute to early aviation and the reckless flyboys whose home was the open sky.

Set in a mid-war Italy swept by fascism, the film follows the life of Marco, a world-weary flying ace-turned bounty hunter who plies his trade above the waters of the Adriatic. Somewhere along the way a curse has transformed Marco’s head into the head of a pig, reflecting his loss of faith in humanity. Marco meets his polar opposite in the innocent and energetic 17-year-old Fio, an aspiring airplane designer, and the two are catapulted into an airborne adventure pursued by air pirates, the Italian army, and an egotistical American flying ace.

Miyazaki fans will be familiar with the writer/director’s fascination with flight; in this film, Miyazaki indulges his passion to the fullest. An avid aviation buff, Miyazaki’s airplane designs conform scrupulously to the technology of the period. But most impressive are the exhilarating aerial scenes: sweeping panoramas of wind, cloud, smoke and water and the breathtaking feeling of soaring though the air in an open cockpit.

Duration: 94 mins. | Rating: PG | Presented in Japanese with English subtitles

The Empirical Theater's Studio Ghibli Retrospective runs January 12 through January 18 and features a collection of some of the finest films from Japan's most renowned animation studio. Please call 503-797-4000 for more information.

 

Howl's Moving Casle

Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. But after this chance meeting, the young girl is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste.

Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. Howl's Moving Castle was the second Studio Ghibli film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards.

Duration: 114 mins. | Rating: PG | Presented in Japanese with English subtitles

The Empirical Theater's Studio Ghibli Retrospective runs January 12 through January 18 and features a collection of some of the finest films from Japan's most renowned animation studio. Please call 503-797-4000 for more information.

The Secret World of Arrietty

Arrietty, a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper. Like all little people, Arrietty remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to "borrow" scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn, a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty's family from the home and straight into danger.

Based on The Borrowers by Mary Norton, this 2010 film was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. The year's highest grossing domestic release at the Japanese box office, it subsequently received the  Animation of the Year award at the 34th Japan Academy Prize ceremony and achieved considerable international success.

Duration: 95 mins. | Rating: G | Presented in Japanese with English subtitles

The Empirical Theater's Studio Ghibli Retrospective runs January 12 through January 18 and features a collection of some of the finest films from Japan's most renowned animation studio. Please call 503-797-4000 for more information.

 

My Neighbor Totoro

One of the most endearing and internationally renowned films of all time, a film that Roger Ebert called “one of the five best movies” ever made for children, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is a deceptively simple tale of two girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move with their father to a new house in the countryside. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Based on Miyazaki’s own childhood imaginings, Totoros look like oversized pandas with bunny ears and they take the girls on spinning-top rides through the tree tops and introduce them to a furry, multi-pawed Catbus — a nod to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.

But beneath the film’s playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom. As with much of Miyazaki’s work, at its core MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is about human-kind’s relationship to the Earth. The film is infused with an almost spiritual reverence for the power of nature (a philosophy tied to the ancient Shinto belief that every object in nature has a soul). Everything that surrounds us, from light-dappled tree groves, to the marvelous clouds, echoes the density and lusciousness of life. Protected by the Totoros, we know no harm will come to our two heroines in the forest’s sunlit glades and mysterious shadows. The girls may be awed by the power and majesty around them but they understand instinctively that nature has no malice. The viewer is left with a sense of wonder at the beauty, mystery and preciousness of the world all around us.

Duration: 86 mins. | Rating: G | Presented Jan. 16 in Japanese with English subtitles and Jan. 18 dubbed in English.

The Empirical Theater's Studio Ghibli Retrospective runs January 12 through January 18 and features a collection of some of the finest films from Japan's most renowned animation studio. Please call 503-797-4000 for more information.