For the second year in a row, FilmOut, San Diego's LGBT film festival, will take place at the Birch North Park Theatre. Entering its 12th year, the festival kicks off Friday, April 16, and runs through Thursday, April 22. There were more than 300 films submitted for this year's fest, and the selections hit all the high points, in terms of genre and tone.
There's a gay thriller, appropriately titled Pornography: A Thriller. There's the closing-night selection, the gay Jewish film Oy Vey! My Son is Gay! There's the gay zombie picture Zombies of Mass Destruction. There's And Then Came Lola, which looks to be a lesbian take on Run Lola Run, and there's a drama about Quentin Crisp, An Englishman in New York, starring John Hurt. Hey, there's even a big gay musical, the opening-night film, called, um, The Big Gay Musical. Additionally, FilmOut has themed weeknights, like Torrid Tuesday and World Cinema Wednesday. And, based on the success of its monthly film series, the fest goes retro on Monday as a drag night, featuring two classics with very long names: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.
There's a solid selection of parties and celebrity appearances, too—including Carmen Electra, who'll be on hand for Oy Vey! (Hint: It isn't her son who comes out.) A complete list of films, showtime info, ticket prices and other details can be found at www.filmoutsandiego.com.
Babe, I Love You: Rom-com about an architecture professor wanting to please his mom is part of the Filipino film series at Horton Plaza.
City Island: Andy Garcia and Juliana Margulies play a married New York couple whose family is falling apart around them—but more in a dramedy way than a tragedy way.
Death at a Funeral: Neil LaBute remakes, for American audiences, the English comedy about a funeral gone awry. So, instead of uptight Brits, you've got Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Danny Glover.
The Joneses: Their suburban neighbors can barely keep up with the Joneses, an all-American family made up of David Duchovny, Demi Moore and their two kids. But there's a reason for that, and to reveal it here would be to spoil the movie.
Kick-Ass: The worst thing about Kick-Ass is the trailer, which makes it look, well, cute. Actually, this is the hard-R, brutally violent, viciously funny comic-book movie you've been waiting for, assuming you've been waiting for an adorable 11-year-old girl who kicks ass and literally takes no prisoners.
Malice in Wonderland: Maggie Grace (Shannon from Lost) is a London law student who wakes up in an amnesiac wonderland after she's hit by a cab.
The Perfect Game: It's Mexico, 1957, and Clifton Collins Jr. is Cesar, whose aspirations of major-league coaching were thwarted by his ethnicity. He becomes the driving force behind a group of disadvantaged kids dying to start their own Little League team.
The Warlords: Jet Li stars in this historical epic about three blood brothers forced to betray one another in a time of war.
One Time Only
What's On Your Plate?: Catharine Gund's documentary looks at what we're eating these days, through the eyes of two 11-year-old African-American girls. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
Film on Tap: The San Diego Film Festival kicks off its themed monthly series of short films. This week, they're all about green. Doors open at 7 p.m., film rolls at 8:30 on Wednesday, April 14, at Access at the W Hotel.
Office Space: Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays. Er, Wednesdays. Mike Judge's feature debut is still painfully hilarious. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Sin Nombre: Cary Fukunaga's border film, about a young girl and a gang member desperately trying to make it to the U.S., earned him the Best Director Award last year at Sundance. Screens at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 15, at Latte mi Corazon in Bankers Hill.
Dirty Dancing: It's movie-themed-dance-party night at Beauty Bar. So have the time of your life. Starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 15.
Amarcord: Fellini's semi-autobiographical, raucous comedy is presented, natch, by the San Diego Italian Film Festival at 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Killing Time: Documentary takes a hard look at Bhutanese refugees struggling to survive in Nepal after being forced out of their own country in the early '90s. Filmmaker Annika Gustafson will be on hand at 7 p.m. Monday, April 19, at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
(500) Days of Summer: A terrific film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It's a date movie, sure, but be forewarned, it's all about a break-up. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, at Cinema Under the Stars in Balboa Park.
An Education: Carey Mulligan should have won the Best Actress Oscar for this one. She plays Jenny, a 15-year-old in '60s-era London who falls under the spell of creepy 30-something Peter Sarsgaard. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Wilson: Documentary about the man who penned the trilogy The Illuminatus! featuring interviews with the likes of Tom Robbins and RU Sirius. Screens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, at Café Libertalia in Hillcrest.
Fresh: This documentary explores the way our food gets to our plates and features interviews with people like MacArthur Genius Award winner Will Allen and Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.
The Neverending Story: Sure, the fx are cheesy by today's standards. But if you're of the generation that came up when this film came out, it probably holds a small place in your childhood. Plus, it's at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma, so it encourages both reading and drinking! Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 21. Free.
Letters to God: Film about a cancer-stricken boy whose letters to god inspire the faithful and amuse the cynics.
Date Night: Steve Carell and Tina Fey are a married couple struggling through their weekly date night. They're both so funny, but neither has starred in a movie that's as good as his or her TV show.
The Greatest: Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon are both terrific as parents grieving a lost child.
The Runaways: Twilight's Kristen Stewart is Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning is Cherie Currie in this look at the groundbreaking teen-girl rock group from the '70s. Weird-looking Michael Shannon is their manager, Kim Fowley.
Terribly Happy: Well-received Danish film about a big-city cop transferred to the sticks after a nervous breakdown. He stands out like a sore thumb, trying to solve a crime in a town where everyone knows everyone else—except him.
The Secret of Kells: This Irish animated film came out of nowhere to earn an Oscar nomination. Beautifully drawn, but this tale of a young monk drawing a sacred text isn't really for kids. Ends April 15 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Clash of the Titans: The remake is just as awful as the 1981 original, but without the camp value.
The Last Song: Miley Cyrus is the cranky daughter to Greg Kinnear's sensitive estranged dad. Take your insulin.
Vincere: Historical drama about Mussolini's first wife, Ida Dalsar, whom he eventually denied and imprisoned. Good rule of thumb: Don't fall for undergrads or fascists.
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too?: Tyler Perry strikes again, this time with Janet Jackson.
Hot Tub Time Machine: Truth in advertising. John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Cordrry and Clark Duke go back to the '80s in a hot-tub time machine. Totally out-raunches The Hangover by using every bodily fluid there is.
The Art of the Steal: A documentary about the vicious court battle over an art collection valued at $25 billion. Ends April 15 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Chloe: Julianne Moore works with hot young thing Amanda Seyfried to figure out if hubby Liam Neeson is having an affair. That can't be a good idea. Ends April 15 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Greenberg: The latest from The Squid and the Whale director Noah Baumbach is an observational character piece starring Ben Stiller as Greenberg, a guy who can't accept that life didn't work out the way he had hoped.
How to Train Your Dragon: Jay Baruchel voices the lead in this 3-D animated flick about a Viking teen who's supposed to learn to kill dragons but instead brings one home as a pet.
The Bounty Hunter: You might expect an awesome action movie with a title like this and a star like Gerard Butler. Instead, you get a rom-com with Jennifer Aniston.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Follows a snarky middle-schooler through an academic year. Next month, Chloë Grace Moretz, the 13-year-old female lead, will slaughter bad guys in Kick-Ass.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Thriller about a male journalist and a female hacker hired to solve the 40-year-old disappearance of a member of a Swedish crime family.
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.
Repo Men: More a sequel to Repo! The Genetic Opera than Repo Man. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are guys who will take back your shiny new organs if you can't keep up your payments.
Green Zone: Matt Damon teams up with Paul Greengrass, the guy who made the last two Bourne movies, for an Iraq action film.
She's Out of My League: Jay Baruchel gets his first lead since Undeclared, and it's about time, even if it's in a Jud Apatow rom-com knock-off. He's Kirk, an average guy working for the TSA who can't believe that hottie Alice Eve wants to be with him.
A Prophet: Brutally intense film about a young Arab man (Tehar Rahim) who becomes a mob kingpin after he's sentenced to six years in a French prison. Ends April 1 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Alice in Wonderland: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have remade Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sleepy Hollow together (and let's not forget about Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood). Alice marks the first time they've gone 3-D. Question is, can Burton infuse a sense of humanity into Lewis Carroll's classic?
Brooklyn's Finest: Training Day director Antoine Fuqua has clearly been watching The Wire in recent years, but his new dirty-cop drama, starring Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle, is black-and-white, rather than more interesting shades of gray.
Dolphins: It's only a matter of time before they tell us, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” In IMAX at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Ghost Writer: We all know what Roman Polanski is capable of, and we're not talking about the events that have him under house arrest in Switzerland. This political thriller—starring Ewan McGregor as a ghost writer who bites off more than he can chew when he goes to work on the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan)—is a solid, if unremarkable, piece of filmmaking.
Shutter Island: Leonardo DiCaprio is U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels in Martin Scorsese's latest, investigating a missing heiress who's escaped from an asylum and is presumed to be hiding out on the desolate titular atoll.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief: It's tough times for young Percy. His dad is Poseidon, his mom has gone missing and he's the prime suspect in the case of Zeus' missing lightning bolt. Also, it's tough times for anyone who believed in a deity that isn't Greek.
The Greatest Places: This IMAX adventure features seven locales, which range from Greenland's icebergs to the enormous waterfall at Iguazu. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Crazy Heart: Sure, it's a clean-and-sober story, but Jeff Bridges is guaranteed an Oscar nomination for playing faded country singer and legendary drunk Bad Blake. Ends April 1 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
A Single Man: Colin Firth delivers on the role of a lifetime in fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut.
The Hurt Locker: Kathryn Bigelow's tense new film focuses on an Iraq unit that specializes in defusing bombs. Well-made, well-written and well-acted.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.