Yes, film festivals like celebrity appearances. But it's a safe bet that the organizers of FilmOut, which runs May 28 through 31 at the Birch North Park Theater, didn't extend an invitation to Miss California, Carrie Prejean, aka Miss “Opposite Marriage.” After all, the LGBT Festival, going into its 11th year, already has a solid lineup of films and a good guest list to go along with it.
The opening night film, Make the Yuletide Gay, is a U.S. premiere, and the festival will also feature the San Diego premiere of Pedro, a film about San Francisco Real World cast member and AIDS activist Pedro Zamora, written by Dustin Lance Black, who just won an Oscar for penning the screenplay to Milk. Bill Sage stars in The New Twenty, and there's also Melody of Our Love, which is co-sponsored by the San Diego Asian Film Festival, and Sunday's lineup features a collection of short films that includes Martini the Movie, Sodomy the Musical and Hirsute. Plenty of filmmakers will be on hand to show their work, including 3 Day Weekend director Rob Williams and his leading man, Derek Long.
A complete list of films and showtimes can be found at www.filmoutsandiego.com. Tickets, which can be bought on the website and at Obelisk Bookstore in Hillcrest, can be purchased individually for screenings, and there's a complete festival VIP pass available, as well as three-film Boy and Girl packs. Oh, and along with the director and several cast members of Watercolors, sometimes-actor Greg Louganis will put in an appearance. Yep, that Greg Louganis. Take that, Miss California.
Adoration: Canadian director Atom Egoyan's new film is about the consequences of a teen who claims to be the son of a well-known terrorist. It's intense and thought-provoking and one of the best post-9/11 movies to date.
Drag Me to Hell: Sam Raimi returns to his roots with a small horror film that stars Alison Lohman as a sweet girl going to hell.
Easy Virtue: Period comedy starring Jessica Biel as a goofy American who marries into an uptight British family.
O'Horten: After he retires, a train conductor suddenly discovers that perhaps his life doesn't need to be controlled by a timetable.
Treeless Mountain: Gorgeous Korean film about two young sisters whose mother leaves them.
Up: The trailer for Pixar's first 3D film doesn't sell it, but this story of an old man who flies his house to South America via helium balloons is just as good as what you've come to expect from those guys.
Valentino, the Last Emperor: Documentary about the legendary designer Valentino Garavani.
One time only
Rocky Horror Picture Show: Your chance to do the time warp yet again—or mock the people who do. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
The Pope's Toilet: is probably old-man stinky. But this movie is about the hullabaloo in a small South American town caused by the Pope's 1998 visit. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Twilight with Rifftrax: Why not leave the running commentary to the professionals? Rifftrax, aka the artists formerly known as Mystery Science Theater 3000, takes on the 'tween vampire romance at 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at Stone Brewery and Bistro in Escondido. Free.
The Tipping Point: Screenings of this documentary, covering the 2008 UCI World Cup downhill series, benefit the San Diego Mountain Bike Association and will be accompanied by some serious raffles and—no, we're not kidding—free beer. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, and at midnight, May 29, at the Hillcrest and Ken cinemas, respectively. $15.
Citizen Video Local Film Night: The kids at South Park's favorite video store curate another collection of short films from locals. Starts at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at the Whistle Stop. Free.
Starting Out in the Evening: Frank Langella, who just scored an Oscar nomination for Frost/Nixon, is great as an aging writer who is totally blocked. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Being There: Peter Sellers made many brilliant films, and this is certainly one of them. He plays Chance, a simple gardener, who the world believes is profound. But is he? Hal Ashby directed the adaptation Jerzy Kosinski's novel. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at Café Libertalia in Hillcrest. Free.
Devil in a Blue Dress: This good-looking Carl Franklin-directed crime film stars Denzel Washington as private dick Easy Rawlins but will probably be best remembered as the movie that broke Don Cheadle big. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 1, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Lost in Translation: Without Sofia Coppola's quiet little film, Scarlett Johansson would probably be just another pretty face. She's a lonely newlywed who becomes close with an aging American action star (Bill Murray) while they're both stuck in Japan. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
School of Rock: Jack Black is a phony substitute teacher who shows kids that there's more to life than Rock Band. Factoid: This was the first film Led Zeppelin gave permission for its music to be used. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Stone Brewery and Bistro in Escondido. Free.
The Girlfriend Experience: Porn star Sasha Grey stars in Steven Soderbergh's new film, examining the life of a top-shelf call girl.
The Brothers Bloom: Dirty-rotten-scoundrel brothers Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo target wealthy heiress Rachel Weisz as their final mark before leaving the business.
Dance Flick: The Wayans family brings its schtick to the dance floor.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: CGI history-revision lesson with Ben Stiller and Robin Williams.
The Song of Sparrows: After losing his job at an ostrich farm, Karim inadvertantly becomes a cab driver, but the sudden influx of cash and the big-city values might corrupt his generous and honest nature.
Summer Hours: Three adult siblings are forced to revisit their childhood when their mother dies and they need to go through her things.
Terminator Salvation: The franchise reboot, which stars Christian Bale as humanity savior John Connor, has some mind-blowing action sequences, but they're not enough to make you ignore the timeline issues the movie doesn't address.
Angels and Demons: More fun than The Da Vinci Code, but just as stupid.
Gigantic: Paul Dano, the sinful preacher from There Will Be Blood and the quiet guy from Little Miss Sunshine, is an aimless mattress salesman wooing Zooey Deschanel.
The Limits of Control: The new film from Jim Jarmusch is truly unlike anything else in theaters. Yes, it has a narrative, but the interpretation of what it's all about is intentionally left up to the viewer. Putting the “art” in art-house, it's beautiful and maddening, at times inspiring and at others tiresome.
Management: Proverbial sidekick Steve Zahn gets a leading role. He's Mike, an awkward man-child who grows up through an extended stalking of Jennifer Aniston.
Rudo y Cursi: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna reunite for the first time since they made Y Tu Mama Tambien, playing small-town brothers who find success playing soccer on the national level and also find themselves succumbing to all the temptations that come with fame.
Star Trek: The JJ Abrams-directed franchise reboot boldly goes to the heart of the original show and makes it fun again. It's fun, fresh and exciting, the first badass Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan. Good for Trekkies, good for non-Trekkies and great for Trek.
Enlighten Up!: Filmmaker Kate Churchill pushes her buddy Nick Rosen to take yoga seriously—and then catches him on film as he tries to do so. No more Big Macs for you, buddy.
Every Little Step: Meta documentary about Broadway hopefuls auditioning for a revival of A Chorus Line, a musical about Broadway hopefuls auditioning for a Broadway musical.
Lemon Tree: A Palestinian widow stands up to the new Israeli defense minister—who's also her new neighbor—when security forces declare her lemon trees a threat to his security. Because, you know, lemons are sour. Starring Hiam Abbass (The Visitor), who won the Israeli version of the Best Actress Oscar.
Next Day Air: Crime comedy about two dudes who open a box filled with kilos of coke meant for the apartment across the hall. Stars Mike Epps, Mos Def and Wood Harris, the dude who played Avon Barksdale on The Wire.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Critic-proof summer blockbuster that kicks off the entire season. Decent action sequences, sure, but we prefer our Wolverine to be a short, squat badass, not a brooding sex symbol.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Matthew McConaughey is confronted by the former loves of his life, A Christmas Carol style.
Is Anybody There?: Michael Caine is terrific and tragic as an aging magician forced to live in an old-people's home, where he befriends the young, lonely boy who lives there.
Earth: Gorgeous Disney documentary about the big blue marble you live on.
Fighting: Dito Martiel follows up his terrific debut, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, with a look at bare-knuckle underground fighting in New York City. Stars Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard.
Obsessed: Idris Elbra, aka The Wire's Stringer Bell, has a gorgeous wife in Beyonce and a gorgeous stalker in Ali Larter. Things could be worse.
The Soloist: Adaptation of Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez's book, about the talented homeless musician (Jamie Foxx) he befriended. Robert Downey Jr. plays Lopez.
17 Again: Teen heartthrob Zac Ephron is an old dude who suddenly gets young again. You know, like Benjamin Button.
Crank: High Voltage: Again, Jason Statham has to be like the bus in Speed. If he stops moving, his heart explodes.
Hannah Montana: The Movie: This just makes us feel old. And we're not old.
Sin Nombre: Cary Fukunaga's first feature earned him this year's Best Director award at Sundance. It's a harrowing tale of two immigrants—one a Mexican gang member, the other a young Honduran girl—who find themselves connected through violence as they head north.
Fast and Furious: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker re-team for the fourth entry in the fast-car franchise.
Monsters vs. Aliens: Reese Witherspoon brings some life to this huge 3-D animated extravaganza, but the story is dwarfed by the special effects.
I Love You, Man: Judd Apatow's fingers are nowhere to be found on this bromance, which stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. But they might as well be.
Sunshine Cleaning: Almost a sequel to Little Miss Sunshine. Some of the same producers are on board, the film is also shot in New Mexico and Alan Arkin plays pretty much the same part. Still, it has that vibe that made LMS so appealing, as Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters who start a business cleaning up violent crime scenes.
Watchmen: Zack Snyder follows up 300 with a big budget take on the legendary graphic novel about the tattered personal lives of superheroes in an alternate 1985, where Nixon is still president and the world is on the brink of nuclear armageddon. It looks terrific, but it simply doesn't live up to its own source material.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Space Theater: After undergoing significant renovations, the Fleet is re-opening its dome Imax theater, complete with a kick-ass new screen. Three films will run in rotation initially: Wild Ocean, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius and Animalopolis. Showtimes and prices can be found at www.rhfleet.org.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: No, it's not a time warp—the love-it-or-hate-it camp classic continues its midnight run in its 37th year of release. When the lead character of the film is a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, you know you're in for some seriously trashy viewing. And, of course, this is the one movie where you want the audience shouting at the screen. Screens Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas.