Aug. 8 2012 03:11 PM

Sharp, violent thriller, playing at midnight this week, tops our coverage of all the movies screening around town


In last week's CityBeat, Peter Holslin offered up a good look at The Drive Tour, essentially a weird synth-pop offshoot of Nicolas Winding Refn's movie Drive, the Ryan Gosling muscle picture from last year that was criminally overlooked at Oscar time. The show was this past Monday at The Casbah; whether you saw it or not, the movie itself is screening at midnight on Fri day and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11, at the Ken Cinema.

If you've seen it, you know just how good it is and why it's well suited to screen at midnight. If you haven't, get your tickets. Drive is a dark, moody, violent thriller reminiscent of the kind of throaty films we used to get in the 1970s.

Ryan Gosling is Driver—yes, that's his name—a drifting L.A. recluse who does stunt work during the day and uses his skills as a wheelman in the evenings. When he tries to help Carey Mulligan, the cute single mom who lives down the hall, he starts a chain of events that ends with him running afoul of the sociopath gangster Bernie Rose. Rose is played by none other than Albert Brooks, who deserved at least a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, if not the statue itself.

Write to and You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: Director Alison Klayman pulls together a fascinating look at the Chinese activist, dissident and artist and the price he's paid for speaking out. 

Assassin's Bullet: Christian Slater is brought in by Ambassador Donald Sutherland to try to take out a black-ops vigilante targeting terrorists in Bulgaria. Yeah, that's the guy you'd turn to.

The Bourne Legacy: Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise, which is now directed by Tony Gilroy, the guy who wrote all of the other Bourne movies and directed Michael Clayton.

The Campaign: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis spar over a North Carolina congressional seat.

Celeste and Jesse Forever: Rashida Jones, who co-wrote, plays Celeste, who's trying to stay friends with her soon-to-beex-husband Jesse (Andy Samberg).

The Healing: In this Filipino horror flick, a faith healer conjures up exactly the sorts of things she's trying to dispel. 

Hope Springs: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones turn to Steve Carell to put some zip back into their marriage. 

Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D: The crazy guys in the Nitro Circus do all kinds of death-defying stunts that would put the Jackass crew to shame. 

Nuit #1: After a one-night stand, Montreal strangers try to get to know each other. 

Unforgivable: Bad things happen when a writer of crime novels gets a little too interested in where his wife goes each day.

One Time Only

The Lady Vanishes: In Hitchcock's classic, a wealthy American starts to think that the elderly woman she met on a train has gone missing. Screens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Mission Valley Library. Free. 

Big Wednesday: The classic surf film with Gary Busey and Jan-Michael Vincent will be preceded by the shorts  Little Wednesday and Cactus Wagon at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside. 

The Graduate: Dustin Hoffman is a lonely college grad who has an affair with one of his parents' friends, the Mrs. Robinson immortalized in song by Simon & Garfunkel. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Gingham in La Mesa. 

O Brother, Where Art Thou: After walking away from ER, George Clooney made a bunch of crappy movies, but with Out of Sight and this wonderful Coen brothers take on The Odyssey, we started to see that he really was a talented guy. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

The Lion King: Hakuna matata at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, in the food court at the Piazza Carmel Shopping Plaza. 

Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black are actors shooting a war movie but end up facing off against real guerillas. And get this—they think it's all fake! Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. 

West Side Story: Dear Officer Krupke, Krup you! Screens at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Reading Cinemas Town Square. 

The Goonies: Never say die at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. 

Under the Tuscan Sun: Diane Lane gets divorced and buys a villa in Tuscany, hoping to turn her life around. Must be nice. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla. Wine will be served. 

The Third Man: One of the greatest noirs of all time. Joseph Cotton visits his old buddy Orson Welles in post-war Vienna, only to find himself investigating his friend's murder. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

M: Fritz Lang's noir masterpiece stars Peter Lorre in the most disturbing role of his career, and that's saying something. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free. 

Oceanside International Film Festival Military Preview: The OIFF doesn't kick off until Aug. 16, but it'll screen two feature length documentaries, Flat Daddy and Voices of a Never Ending Dawn for free to military families (it's just $5 for civilians) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Civic Center branch of the Oceanside Library. Details at 

The Shawshank Redemption: Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman deal with the injustice of prison in this beloved film, which was adapted by Frank Darabont from Stephen King's short novel. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, and Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp. 

The Bishop's Wife: David Niven is a bishop praying to get a new cathedral built. Loretta Young is his neglected wife. And Cary Grant is the angel who keeps them together. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11 and 12, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

The Snows of Kilimanjaro: Gregory Peck is the lead in this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story, remembering his life as he lies dying on the mountain. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free. 

Before Your Eyes: A young Turkish girl plots revenge on the man who killed her parents, but it turns out he's a client of the prostitute who takes her and her siblings in. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free. 

Ball of Fire: College professors, led by Gary Cooper, decide to come down from their ivory tower to see how regular people live, and they end up saving Barbara Stanwyck from the mob. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at Reading Cinemas Town Square. 

When Harry Met Sally: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan waste a lot of time before getting married. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Gingham in La Mesa. 

Tommy Boy: Dumb film, but Chris Farley was a pretty funny guy. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

A Little Princess: When her father is presumed dead, a wealthy girl is forced into servitude at her boarding school. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also made Y tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the food court at the Piazza Carmel Shopping Plaza. 

Star Trek: J.J. Abrams franchise reboot doesn't really go where no one has gone before, but it's still damn entertaining. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.

Now Playing

Juan of the Dead: The San Diego Latino Film Festival presents this Cuban zombie comedy through Thursday, Aug. 9, at UltraStar Hazard Center. 

The Babymakers: The new film from Super Troopers director Jay Chandrasekhar finds Paul Schneider pulling a sperm-bank job when he can't get Olivia Munn pregnant. As in, he's breaking into a sperm bank and stealing his own stuff.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days: If it feels like they release one of these every summer, that's because that they release one of these every summer. 

Farewell, My Queen: A behind-the-scenes look at Marie Antoinette's palace in the early days of the French Revolution, as seen through the eyes of a woman whose job is to read books to the cake-eater. 

Red Lights: Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy are paranormal investigators who find themselves turning to Robert De Niro when they run into a situation they seriously can't handle.

Ruby Sparks: The first film since Little Miss Sunshine from co-directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris stars Paul Dano as a writer whose latest creation, a gorgeous, quirky girl named Ruby, comes to life.

Sacrifice: In Kaige Chen's latest historical epic, a doctor sacrifices his own young son to protect the last remaining member of a noble family. When the boy grows up, the doctor sets his mind on vengeance.

Soldiers of Fortune: Christian Slater, Ving Rhames and Sean Bean shoot up a bunch of guys. 

Total Recall: Less a remake of Arnie's 1990 flick than a new adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's short story. Colin Farrell plays Quaid, a man who starts to believe that everything he remembers might not be real. Kate Beckinsale is in the Sharon Stone role; Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston also star. 

The Well-Digger's Daughter: In France, just before WWII, a single father with six daughters is torn between his sense of honor and his loyalty to his family when his eldest finds herself knocked up. Ends Aug. 9 at the Ken Cinema.

Adventures in Wild California: Here's what happens when the state has a few drinks and flashes the camera. Actually, no it's an IMAX movie about nature that's screening on Fridays at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

The Queen of Versailles: This documentary about a couple that run into the nation's economic collapse while trying to build the largest residential home in the United States, is a fascinating examination of the 1 percent.

Step Up Revolution: This time the dancing is in 3D! And Miami!

Trishna: Michael Winterbottom adapts Tess of the d'Urbervilles and sets it in contemporary India, with Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto playing one of the star-crossed lovers. Ends Aug. 9 La Jolla Village Cinemas. 

The Watch: Originally called Neighborhood Watch, this comedy—starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn as suburbanites in over their heads while trying to protect their 'hood—had its title changed after the Trayvon Martin killing. 

Union Square: Mira Sorvino drops in on her sister, Tammy Blanchard, unannounced, putting a serious crimp in the latter's plans with her boyfriend. 

Bill W.: Documentary about William G. Wilson, the co-founder of AA. 

The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy concludes.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: This Sundance success, about a little girl living in Louisiana after an apocalyptic environmental disaster, is beautiful and beguiling.

Ice Age: Continental Drift: So cold. 

The Amazing Spider-Man: Apparently, he does whatever a spider can. In 3-D, too. 

Katy Perry: Part of Me: She's also in 3-D!

Savages: Oliver Stone directs this thriller about two pot growers, played by Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson, who take on a Mexican cartel after the bad guys kidnap their girlfriend (Blake Lively). As in, they share. 

Take This Waltz: Michelle Williams is just amazing in Sarah Polley's second film, playing a Toronto woman who's happily married to a cookbook author (a surprisingly restrained Seth Rogen) but finds herself falling for her neighbor. Ends July 26 at Hillcrest Cinemas. 

Deep Sea: This IMAX undersea film was made by Del Mar's Howard and Michele Hall and is narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

Magic Mike: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and some other oiled-up boys take off their clothes for dollar bills. 

Ted: Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend gives him an ultimatum: It's either her or his walking, talking, foul-mouthed teddy bear, voiced by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, who also wrote and directed. 

To Rome with Love: Woody Allen is his own worst enemy, because every time he turns out a mediocre movie—and this pastiche of stories set in Rome is certainly mediocre—it gets judged against his previous work.

Tyler Perry's Medea's Witness Protection: What the world needs now, apparently, is another Medea movie. 

Brave: Princess Merida would rather be shooting arrows than playing dress-up, but when she defies her Scottish tribe, she sets loose a horrible curse that only she can fix. 

Your Sister's Sister: Lynn Shelton's latest improvised film finds Emily Blunt taking Mark Duplass to her family's vacation home while he's grieving his dead brother, and he ends up getting busy with her sister, Rosemarie DeWitt.

Safety Not Guaranteed: This sweet, quirky Sundance rom-com stars Parks & Recreation's Aubrey Plaza as a magazine intern investigating a guy who placed a classified ad looking for a time-traveling companion.

Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in 1965, this new one about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from the dysfunctional adults in their lives will be adored by those who worship at the altar of Wes Anderson.

Madagascar 3: Apparently kids still fall for this. Parents, too.

Prometheus: Ridley Scott returns to outer space, exploring the origins of humanity and the original Alien. It's worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D.

Flying Monsters 3D: No, it's not a crappy studio blockbuster—this one is all about dinosaurs and was written and directed by Richard Attenborough, using Avatar-like technology, and plays the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.

The Intouchables: French blockbuster sensation about an aging Caucasian paraplegic who hires a poor young black man to be his caretaker. 

Snow White and the Huntsman: Big-budget retelling of the fairy tale finds the huntsman (Thor's Chris Hemsworth) teaming up with Snow White (Kristen Stewart) to try to end the reign of the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). 

Men in Black 3: Will Smith has to go back in time to prevent Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement from murdering Tommy Lee Jones, who's represented in the past by Josh Brolin. 

Battleship: Peter Berg's adaptation of the Hasbro board game, pitting the American Navy against invading aliens, is seriously loud and explodey.

Bernie: Jack Black plays the real-life Bernie Tiede, a popular Texas funeral director who was convicted of murdering an 81-year-old widow.

The Dictator: Sacha Baron Cohen—aka Borat, Bruno and Ali G—is back as a despot willing to do anything to prevent the spread of democracy.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: There's a charm to this movie about British retirees who outsource their retirement to India, mostly because the cast is made up of folks like Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith. 

Dark Shadows: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp just can't remake enough stuff. This time, it's the campy gothic soap from the '70s which, apparently, was dying for the big screen.

The Avengers: It set box-office records for the biggest opening weekend ever, and for good reason. Joss Whedon's take on the Marvel franchise is well-written, superbly edited, funny and enormously entertaining.

To the Arctic 3-D: Cute-animal-movie alert No. 2. Meryl Streep narrates this new IMAX movie about a mama polar bear and her two cubs. 

The Hunger Games: The most anticipated movie of the year to date is about a dystopian future where teens like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are forced to kill one another to stay alive. 

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: Liam Neeson narrates this IMAX film, screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. 

Born to be Wild 3-D: Despite sounding like yet another animated animal movie, this is an IMAX film about baby elephants and orangutans and the people who love them. Oh, and it's narrated by Morgan Freeman. Collective sigh for the baby monkeys, please.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.


See all events on Wednesday, Dec 7