This year, I've managed to catch more Oscar-nominated films than ever before, though I have yet to see all the documentaries and foreign films. Regardless, the winners will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 24, so if you still have films to see, your time is growing short. If you really want to put yourself through the wringer, you can see all of the Best Picture nominees, start ing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at AMC Mission Valley.
That's a big commitment. There are nine nominees, after all, and this is a 24-hour marathon. It's a pretty good deal, though—you get all nine pictures for just $60, plus the chance to brag about it to your friends. Here's the entire lineup: Amour at 10 a.m., Lincoln at 12:30 p.m., Argo at 3:20 p.m., Django Unchained at 5:35 p.m., Les Miserables at 9:30 p.m., Zero Dark Thirty at 12:30 a.m., Life of Pi at 3:20 a.m., Silver Linings Playbook at 5:40 a.m. and, wrapping things up, my dark-horse pick for Best Picture, Beasts of the Southern Wild, at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday.
Or you could do something completely different. Keith York, San Diego's go-to guy for midcentury and modernist architecture, will co-present Coast Modern, a documentary by filmmakers Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome that travels along the West Coast from L.A. to Vancouver, exploring modernist homes along the way. The movie screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the historic La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
York's the kind of guy who wears many hats, including that of a Realtor, so if you see something you like in the movie, you can certainly turn to him to get something like it closer to home.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.
Bless Me, Ultima: During World War II, a young man teams up with an elderly medicine woman to sort out the problems in his small New Mexico town. Screens at the Regal Rancho Del Rey in Chula Vista.
Dark Skies: A young family, led by Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton, learn that some nasty supernatural beasties want to get their mitts on them.
Hansel & Gretel Get Baked: Not to be confused with the recent big-budget version of the story, in this one, Hansel and Gretel take on a witch who uses some seriously good weed to lure teens into her house, where she, you know, eats them when she gets the munchies.
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga: The new documentary co-directed by Werner Herzog looks at trappers living in a desolate part of Siberia. See our review on Page 21. Snitch: Dwayne Johnson goes undercover for the DEA after his son is busted during a drug sting.
One Time Only
The Big Chill: Great ensemble. A group of college friends, like William Hurt, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline and Tom Berenger, get together for a weekend after the death of a friend. That friend, by the way, was played by Kevin Costner, whose scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Dirty Dancing: Go ahead, have the time of your life at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The Greatest Show on Earth: Circus manager Charlton Heston hires trapeze hot shot Cornel Wilde, who saves his show but might end up stealing Heston's girlfriend, Betty Hutton, while he's at it. Screens at noon and 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
One Life: Daniel Craig provides the narration for this big-screen nature film from the folks who brought you the BBC's Earth. Screens at several area theaters, Thursday, Feb. 21. Visit screenvision.com for details.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The last film of the original trilogy is vastly overrated. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at ArcLight La Jolla.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?: The Public Library's Bette Davis series continues with this 1962 Hollywood thriller. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at the Central Library, Downtown. Inside Buffalo: The San Diego Italian Film Festival presents this documentary about the Buffalo Soldiers, the all-black 92nd Army Division, which fought in Europe during World War II. Director Fred Kuwornu will be on hand for two screenings: at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, and at noon on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Central Library, Downtown. Find details on the MoPA event on Page 13.
Gandhi: Ben Kingsley won the Best Actor Oscar, playing the Indian leader whose nonviolent movement had an enormous impact on his nation. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, and Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp.
Robot and Frank: In the not-too-distant future, an aging cat burglar (Frank Langella) is assisted by the robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) originally bought to take care of him. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Meet Bill: Average Joe Bill (Aaron Eckhart) finds satisfaction in mentoring a teen (Logan Lerman) after his wife (Jessica Alba) starts having an affair. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Central Library, Downtown.
To Kill a Mockingbird: Gregory Peck won his Oscar playing a 1950s Southern lawyer defending a black man, seen through the eyes of his tomboy daughter. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont.
The Godfather: Part II: Coppola's mob masterpiece marked the first time a sequel was even better than its predecessor. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at ArcLight La Jolla.
Canela: This Mexican movie, about a granddaughter and grandmother and their shared love of food, is the latest in UCSD's ArtPower! Film's Foovie series. A meal that sounds tasty is available at 7 p.m., and the movie starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Feb. 27, at The Loft at UCSD.
The Black Scorpion: Miguel Rodriguez, the head honcho of Horrible Imaginings, San Diego's horror-film fest, is curating the Public Library's ongoing Schlockfest and presents this 1957 horror, um, classic at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Feb. 27, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Casino Royale: Daniel Craig's first go as James Bond rebooted the franchise in spectacular fashion. Definitely shaken, not stirred. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Oscar-nominated short documentaries: This marks the first time the short docs have been presented in San Diego before the Oscar ceremony. The five films run more than three hours total, but they're impressive, including Inocente, which was made in San Diego. Ends Feb. 21 at the Ken Cinema.
Beautiful Creatures: After the success of Twilight, you know there are plenty of young-adult supernatural franchises to come. This one is about witches!
Escape From Planet Earth: Brendan Fraser voices Scorch, an astronaut who needs the help of his little brother (Rob Cordrry) when he lands on an inhospitable planet full of unspeakable dangers. Hint: It's Earth.
A Good Day to Die Hard: Bruce Willis goes to Moscow, meets up with his son (Jai Courtney) and shoots a bunch of guys.
John Dies at the End: This horror comedy from Phantasm director Don Coscarelli, about two slackers trying to save the world from forces unknown, is pretty funny. Paul Giamatti shows up in a supporting role.
Safe Haven: The latest Nicholas Sparks romance stars Julianne Hough as a mysterious woman who takes up with a hunky widower (Josh Duhamel).
Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation: Sure, they're better known for their sickand-twisted stuff, but this 30th-anniversary family-friendly greatest-hits set of films from the past four decades has some great stuff. Screens through March at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.
Identity Thief: Jason Bateman hits the road to find out who stole his identity. Not a spoiler: It's Melissa McCarthy.
Side Effects: This thriller is rumored to be Steven Soderbergh's final theatrical release. If so, he's going out on top with this one, about a woman (Rooney Mara) whose shrink (Jude Law) prescribes her anti-depressants that end up plunging both of them down a rabbit hole.
Special 26: Bollywood heist movie based on a real robbery that went down in Mumbai in 1987.
Top Gun 3D: The fighter-jet stuff is just fine. It's that Tom Cruise singing "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" bit that gets creepy in 3D.
Bullet to the Head: Sly Stallone is a hit man who teams up with a cop to find the guy who killed their partners—and shoot a bunch of guys along the way. It's Walter Hill's first film in a decade.
Oscar Nominated Short Films: All 10 Oscar-nominated short and live-action films are screening at Hillcrest Cinemas, and there are some real winners in this batch.
Stand Up Guys: Al Pacino gets out of the joint after almost 20 years and immediately hooks up with his old associates, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin.
Warm Bodies: In a world populated by both zombies and humans, one member of the walking dead (Nicholas Hoult) starts to have feelings for a real girl (Teresa Palmer).
Quartet: It's surprising that it took Dustin Hoffman this long to direct a movie. Quartet, about what happens when a faded opera singer (Maggie Smith) is forced to move into a home for retired musicians, including the rest of the quartet she left behind, is slight, but enjoyable.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters: Sure. Why not?
Parker: After his crew double-crosses him, Jason Statham teams up with Jennifer Lopez to get his revenge.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Wait, what? Didn't this micro-budget movie come out last summer before being nominated for a slew of Oscars last week? Yeah, that's why it's back in theaters, Sherlock.
Broken City: Ex-cop Mark Wahlberg finds himself immersed in scandal when he starts trailing Catherine Zeta-Jones, wife of New York Mayor Russell Crowe.
Cosmic Collisions: So, that asteroid that might smash into Earth in 20 years is much bigger than previously thought? Awesome. This new IMAX movie at the Reuben H. Fleet looks at what happens when things bash into each other in outer space. On the bright side, if we go the way of the dinosaurs, at least future species will have a new source of fossil fuels.
Mama: Fresh from Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain has to take care of her young nieces, who survived in the woods for five years. Also, there are ghosts or something.
Amour: Michael Haneke's Palm d'Or-winning drama, about an elderly couple facing declining health, is as terrifying as his movies about sadism, home invasions and fanaticism.
A Haunted House: Comedy-horror! Horror-comedy! Marlon Wayans (who co-wrote the script) and Essence Atkins move into a new house, where Atkins is quickly possessed by demon spawn. Hilarity ensues.
Gangster Squad: Hey, girl, Ryan Gosling is a spiffy L.A. cop shooting up mobster types like Sean Penn's Mickey Cohen in the new movie from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.
The Impossible: Biopic about a family, led by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, caught up in the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.
Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow's movie, about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, is a masterwork of filmmaking, and the fact that it's inspiring debate about torture should be more tangential than anything else.
Django Unchained: Tarantino takes on yet another genre—the western—and blows it up and makes it fun again. Jamie Foxx is Django, a slave freed by German bounty hunter Christoph Waltz, off to rescue wife Kerry Washington from plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio.
Les Miserables: Fans of the legendary musical will get their fix from this big-screen adaptation by King's Speech director Tom Hooper, who relies heavily on close-ups and, sadly, Russell Crowe, who isn't a trained singer. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, dreams a nice dream as Fantine.
Parental Guidance: Billy Crystal and Bette Midler agree to look after their grandchildren. Hilarity for a certain demographic ensues.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth in the first of three films based on the book that came before Lord of the Rings.
Life of Pi: Ang Lee's adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel about a boy, a tiger and a lifeboat is this year's movie that you simply must see on a big screen and in 3-D. Really.
Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a bipolar guy from Philly who's just out of the mental hospital, having lost his job, his home and his wife. He moves in with his parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro) in hopes of regaining his marriage, but things are thrown askew by Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who has problems of her own.
Lincoln: It might as well have been called The 13th Amendment. Despite another spellbinding performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln's biopic is really about getting legislation through Congress.
Tales of the Maya Skies: This IMAX movie explores the rich history of the Mayan people, just in time for the end of the world. At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Wreck-It Ralph: The latest animated film from Disney stars John C. Reilly as Ralph, the bad guy in an old-school video game who desperately wants to be liked.
Argo: Ben Affleck directs and stars in this take on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and believe it or not, it's gonna be a Best Picture contender.
Flight of the Butterflies: It turns out Monarch butterflies are much like SDSU students—every year, thousands of them head to Mexico. This IMAX film captures their beautiful trip. The butterflies, that is.
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.
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 Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.