Peagler pleaded guilty to involvement in the murder of a man who was her lover, her pimp, the father of her children and her abuser. Yes, she was in on it, but at the time, it wasn't legal to introduce evidence of her abuse, which could have swayed a judge or jury and certainly would have had an impact on her sentencing. A pair of mismatched real-estate lawyers took up her case pro bono after she spent more than two decades in prison, buttressed by a new law that allows women in Peagler's situation to present their abuse as evidence.
Stylistically, Potash often falls prey to Talking Head Syndrome, but the story he tells is so infuriating and Kafkaesque that the drawback is easy to overlook. There's no doubt that Peagler did the crime, but she also did the time, and the hoops everyone needs to jump through to get her a day in court are incredibly frustrating. At the same time, Peagler's spirit— she earned a pair of degrees and headed up the prison choir—is inspiring.
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Local filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin will premiere his latest movie— the first independent 3-D picture shot in San Diego—at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Krikorian Theater in Vista, in front of the new Spy Kids movie. Durkin has made some interesting films recently, incorporating his background in design into both his stories and the films' look.
The new one, however, is called The Super Dentists—Strike Back, and, yes, it stars a husband-andwife team of pediatric dentists who work for a local chain called The Super Dentists. Is it a film? Sure. Is it an advertisement? Absolutely. Still, if your kid doesn't like to brush, maybe 3-D will finally do the trick.
Conan the Barbarian: Jason Momoa should hit up Jerry Brown for advice on how to fill Arnold's shoes.
FilmOut: San Diego's LBGT film festival celebrates its 13th birthday with two weekends of movies at the Birch North Park Theater. Find details in “The Short List” on Page 14.
Fright Night: There's no way a remake of a campy '80s vampire movie should be this fun. Anton Yelchin is the Las Vegas teen who discovers his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a seriously brutal vampire. See our review on Page 20.
One Day: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are Dexter and Em. The film follows the same day of their lives, year after year. David Nicholls adapted his own book into a screenplay, but director Lone Scherfig— who did so much with An Education—is unable to transform it into something truly interesting.
Point Blank: In this French thriller, a male nurse whose pregnant wife has been kidnapped is forced to help a crook escape from the hospital.
Salvation Boulevard: Former-Deadheadturned-born-again-Christian Greg Kinnear is being hunted by the followers of fundamentalist preacher Pierce Brosnan. Um, it's a comedy.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D: The fourth dimension in this case is Aromascope. No, seriously.
One Time Only
Labyrinth: David Bowie should play the Goblin King in every movie. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park. Free.
Revenge of the Nerds: Sure, it was a joke when it came out, but look how things turned out. Take that, jocks! Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Jack the Giant Killer with Rifftrax: The Artists Formerly Known as Mystery Science Theater 3000 take on this, ahem, 1962 epic with a live-performance simulcast at several area theaters at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Check fathomevents.com for locations and ticket info.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: The origin of our fair city's unofficial nickname. Stay classy, San Diego.
You too, Escondido. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido.
Discover the Gift: The gift in question is a form of self-actualization, rather than, you know, a PS3 or a bottle of scotch. Screens at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Frida: Salma Hayek plays the artist, and the film will be accompanied by food and wine at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at To the Point café in Ocean Beach. Reservations recommended.
Julie & Julia: Meryl Streep earned yet another Oscar nomination playing Julia Child, while Amy Adams is her biggest fan, Julie Powell, who got through life with the help of Child's My Life in France. Wine will be served—probably French—at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Athenaeum Music and Art Library in La Jolla.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape: The movie that got us to take Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio—who earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination—seriously screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 18 and 19, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Hidden Fortress: Kurosawa's '58 film takes place here on Earth, but it was a key influence on Star Wars. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Screen on the Green in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Despicable Me: Steve Carell's animated villain adopts three adorable orphan girls to pull a job and ends up learning about being good, or something. Screens at dusk, Friday, Aug. 19, at Market Creek Plaza. Free.
Bell, Book & Candle: The same year they made Vertigo, James Stewart and Kim Novak teamed up for this rom-com that went on to spawn Bewitched. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20 and 21, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Lawrence of Arabia: When people refer to epic films, they're talking about this one. Peter O'Toole is the flamboyant Brit whose loyalties are conflicted during wartime. See it where it belongs, on the really big screen, for just $5 at noon on Sunday, Aug. 21, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.
Stories From an Undeclared War: The San Diego Jewish Film Festival gets an early start with this doc about 150 at-risk kids who became the Freedom Writers back in the mid-'90s. Screens at 7:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Lawrence Family Jewisg Community Center in La Jolla.
POV Short Cuts: This hour-long collection of short documentaries screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Night of the Living Dead: George Romero's first zombie film had undercurrents of social commentary and introduced the notion that you have to damage a zombie's head to put it down. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Peter Sellers plays three roles in Kubrick's brilliant comedy about nuclear war, and he would have played a fourth if he hadn't gotten hurt. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park.
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne: The title of this documentary really just echoes what all of us are thinking, right? Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at several area theaters. Check fathomevents.com for locations and ticket info.
Toy Story 3: Pixar's latest Best Animated Film Oscar winner made plenty of grown men cry. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Piazza Carmel Shopping Plaza in Carmel Valley. Free.
(500) Days of Summer: This anti-romantic comedy, which stars Zooey Deschanel as a girl who doesn't believe in love and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the boy who falls in love with her, is the perfect break-up movie. It also earned director Mark Webb the next Spider-Man movie. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
The Whistleblower: Rachel Weisz is terrific as Kathryn Bolkovac, the Nebraska policewoman who took a job doing contract security for the U.N. and eventually went public to expose a human-trafficking cover-up.
Aarakshan: Sociopolitical Bollywood drama that examines the caste-based system of government jobs.
30 Minutes or Less: Danny McBride and Nick Swardson chain a bomb to Jesse Eisenberg's neck and force him to rob a bank. Sounds like a laugh riot, huh?
Final Destination 5: Isn't that what they said the last time?
The Future: Miranda July's second film is even weirder than her first (Me and You and Everyone We know). She and Hamish Linklater are a slacker couple whose impending adoption of an injured cat dramatically impacts their lives. Throw in stopping time, a talking moon and a talking cat, and you've got serious art-house fare.
Glee the 3-D Concert Movie: You already know if this is for you, gleeks.
The Help: Based on Kathryn Stockett's novel, this stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, a '60s-era college kid who starts interviewing the African-American women in her southern town, something that just wasn't done at the time.
The Tree: An 8-year-old Australian girl believes that her dead father lives in a fig tree whose growth is threatening her house. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as her mother in this strange, atmospheric little film. Ends Aug. 18 at the Ken Cinema.
The Devil's Double: Dominic Cooper is terrific as both Latif Yahia, the man who was forced to be the body double for Saddam's insane son Uday, and Uday himself. The movie is over-the-top and violent, but Cooper—who often appears in the frame as both characters, does amazing work.
Another Earth: When a parallel Earth appears in our atmosphere, Rhoda (Brit Marling) is given a second chance to fix the mistakes she's made in her young life. Somewhere between an indie drama and a sci-fi trip, Another Earth may not be perfect, but it does make you think.
The Change-Up: Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds switch bodies la Freaky Friday. Tough to say who's getting the better side of that deal.
The Guard: Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of a corrupt small-town Irish cop trying to take down some major drug traffickers is one of the best of the year, raising this crime comedy, which also stars Don Cheadle, to unexpected success.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: James Franco, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis and the kid who played Draco Malfoy go bananas.
Cowboys & Aliens: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford face off against outer-space baddies in the Old West. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).
Adventures in Wild California: We're guessing this IMAX movie does not take place in San Diego. Screens at 8 p.m. Fridays through August at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Crazy, Stupid, Love: Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling headline a good-enough romantic comedy that's not ashamed of its PG-13 status.
Sarah's Key: Kristin Scott Thomas is an American journalist trying to learn the fate of a Jewish French girl who went missing during WWII.
The Smurfs: They're so hard to get off your shoe when you step on them, especially when they're in 3-D.
Captain America: The First Avenger: Chris Evans plays the superhero in this week's superhero movie.
Friends with Benefits: Best buddies Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis can't find anyone to date, so they start sleeping with each other, no strings attached. Um, you lost us at Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis can't find anyone to date.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: It's tough to say goodbye, but fans will be thrilled with the franchise's conclusion, which streamlines the final half of the final book and offers up some serious wizardry—in story and special effects.
Horrible Bosses: Put-upon drones Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day decide to murder their employers, played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston. It's a comedy—ha!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: No, the third film in the franchise has nothing to do with either “Bark at the Moon” or “Dark Side of the Moon.” Is there still more than meets the eye?
Buck: Documentary about Buck Brannaman, one of the leading experts in horses and the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer.
Super 8: J.J. Abrams-directed and Spielberg-produced, this is a throwback to '80s-era summer goodness, about a bunch of kids who start investigating weird goings on after a train wreck near their town.
The Tree of Life: You might consider Terrence Malick's new movie a masterpiece or find it self-indulgent and pretentious. What you can't deny is its ambition. By focusing on a Texas family in the '50s, led by patriarch Brad Pitt, the director examines life, the universe and everything. Beautiful to watch, challenging to understand, staggeringly deep.
X-Men: First Class: Another X-Men origin-story movie! Set in the swingin' '60s, it stars James McAvoy as a young Professor X (who has yet to lose his hair), Michael Fassbender as Magneto and scads of other famous actors, like Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon and January Jones.
The Hangover Part II: It just gets harder to recover as you get older.
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen's most charming film in years stars Owen Wilson as a Jazz Age-infatuated screenwriter and aspiring novelist who ends up hanging with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Bridesmaids: Kristen Wiig moves from scene-stealer to leading lady in this raunchy girl-comedy, and it turns out she's well suited to the promotion.
Boto 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.
Tornado Alley: This new IMAX film, which travels into twisters with some professional storm chasers, has to be better than Twister, the movie. At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Hubble: Leonardo DiCaprio lends his pipes to this IMAX film, which uses CGI and real footage to take a close look at saturn's rings. Just stay away from Uranus. At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.