It's October, and that means it's time to squeeze into your sexy cat costume and sit down for some horror movies. The good news is that there's no shortage of opportunities to freak yourself out this week.
Reading Cinemas' annual Hitchcocktober has begun. The master's classics will be screened all month long, and this week, in the Gaslamp Quarter, you can catch Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Another of Hitchcock's collaborations with Grant, To Catch a Thief, will screen at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, while Rope, which stars James Stewart and is composed of just 10 shots, will screen at Reading's Town Square location in Clairemont at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. Tickets are $5.
That barely scratches the surface. Also on Saturday, Oct. 8, FilmOut, San Diego's LGBT film festival, will present Thrill-O-Rama, a marathon of murder at the Birch North Park Theatre. That's six thrillers from the '70s, including John Carpenter's creep-show The Fog, which kicks things off at noon, and Suspiria, which wraps it all up at 10 p.m. In between, you'll get Burnt Offerings, The Eyes of Laura Mars, Dressed to Kill and Black Christmas. It's $5 per movie, but you might as well just spend $20 and get in to everything.
But wait, there's more. If you rush out of Suspiria as the credits roll, you might be able to make it to the second night of The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence, which screens at midnight on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, and again on Oct. 14 and 15. The first film was disturbing enough— about the crazy German doctor who stitched together a Japanese playboy and two American party girls via a single gastric system. The good (in this case, very, very bad) doctor died at the end of that one; Tom Six's sequel is about a seriously insane fan of his original film who decides to take things a step or two further. That means more victims. That also means, of course, more ass-to-mouth surgery. Yeah, you read that right. Ew.
1911: Jackie Chan co-directed this historical epic about the overthrow of the last Dynasty and the founding of the modern-day Republic of China.
Africa: The Serengeti: Nowhere in this IMAX look at this incredible wildlife sanctuary will you find the incredible Toto song.
Screens on Fridays at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Grand Canyon Adventure: This IMAX movie takes you on a rafting trip down the Colorado River, which, by the way, no longer makes it all the way to the ocean. Screens on Fridays at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Gun Hill Road: An ex-con returns to the Bronx to find his wife is verging on being involved with another man, while his son is exploring his own sexuality.
The Ides of March: George Clooney, who's always worn his politics on his sleeve, directs and stars in his latest film, about the death of idealism in a young political consultant played by Ryan Gosling.
It's well-made, but not as important as it thinks it is. See our review on Page 22.
Margaret: It's been more than a decade since Kenneth Lonergan released his first film, You Can Count on Me. This followup stars Anna Paquin as a New York teen who's almost sure that a deadly traffic accident is her fault.
The Mill and the Cross: This is the story behind Pieter Bruegel's painting “The Way to Calvary.” Rutger Hauer is Bruegel, Michael York plays his patron and Charlotte Rampling is the Virgin Mary.
Puncture: Chris Evans—yes, Captain America—plays a lawyer with a drug addiction trying to take on a large healthcare company in the courtroom.
Real Steel: In the future, when boxers are replaced by robots, Hugh Jackman resurrects his career as a trainer by teaching a worthless piece of junk how to get all rock- 'em, sock-'em.
One Time Only
My Cousin Vinny: Ostensibly, this was Joe Pesci's movie, as he plays a green New York lawyer trying to defend Ralph Macchio and his buddy on a murder rap in Alabama, but it was Marisa Tomei who took home an Oscar for playing his smart, mouthy girlfriend. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Engineers Without Borders: This collection of films looking at challenges in the developing world starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at UltraStar Mission Valley.
Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil): Hungarian director David Dusa will be on hand to discuss his film, about a wealthy young Iranian woman sent by her parents to live in Paris to avoid violence in her home country. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at The Loft at UCSD.
Roman Holiday: Audrey hepburn won an Oscar playing a princess on the run who finds herself romanced by newsman Gregory Peck in one of the greatest date flicks of all time. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Oct. 8, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Citizen Kane: There's a reason everyone calls it a masterpiece. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
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 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Pearl Jam Twenty: Almost Famous director Cameron Crowe makes a movie about Eddie Vedder and his friends, who are seriously famous. Screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Chaos Theory: Ryan Reynolds is a tightly wound efficiency expert who has to take on the universe's arbitrariness if he's going to remain happy and married. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Dazed and Confused: Richard Linklater's terrific movie, about the last day of school in 1976, helped launch plenty of careers, including those of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich.
Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: This movie does for slasher films what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are a couple of good ol' boys mistaken for psycho killers by some good looking college kids who still manage to die in seriously gory ways.
Under the Sea: Go underwater and see some of the planet's most gorgeous ecosystems, before it's too late, since we're gradually destroying pretty much everything. Screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
50/50: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Adam, a 28-year-old who learns he has cancer. Seth Rogen is his best friend, so it's got the R-rated raunch-comedy thing going on, but JGL's performance is so good you won't care.
Courageous: A bunch of tough cops find out that while they're great on the job, at home it's really hard to be dads and Christians at the same time. No, really, that's what the movie's about.
Dream House: Newlyweds Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz (in real life) move into a house where most of the family that used to live there was murdered. And, it seems, the killer's not done yet. Sounds cheesy, but it's directed by Jim Sheridan, who's made some terrific films.
Happy, Happy: A Norwegian comedy about Kaja (Agnes Kittelsen), an eternal optimist who refuses to see the bad in life—that is, until the perfect couple moves in next door. Ends Oct. 6 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Machine Gun Preacher: Gerard Butler is Sam Childers, a real-life former drug dealer who, after finding religion, led armed incursions into dangerous parts of Sudan to rescue conscripted child soldiers.
My Afternoons with Margueritte: Gerard Depardieu is Germain, an almost-illiterate man in his 50s whose friendship with the elderly Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus) allows both of them to grow in ways they hadn't anticipated.
What's Your Number?: Hopefully, the answer to the question asked in the title of this Anna Faris romcom is 867-530 ni-ee-ine.
Killer Elite: This action thriller, which stars Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro, really wants to be Heat, but it just doesn't cook.
Abduction: Taylor Lautner tries to break away from the Twilight franchise and take over Shia LaBeouf's gig as the plucky teenager everyone wants to kill.
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame: A steampunk murder mystery set in ancient China finds a legendary detective trying to solve an epic case on the eve of the Empresses' coronation.
Dolphin Tale: A boy and his dolphin. A family picture with Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr., not to be confused with that weird '75 Don Johnson sci-fi movie A Boy and His Dog.
Love Crime: Kristen Scott Thomas is a powerful executive who toys with underling Ludivine Sagnier just a little too much.
Moneyball: Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's who shook up baseball by reinventing the way players are valued. Sounds like dry stuff, but the last time someone adapted a Michael Lewis sports-business book for the big screen was The Blind Side, which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar.
Mozart's Sister: He had one, apparently, and she was quite a musical prodigy in her own right.
Straw Dogs: This remake of Sam Peckinpah's controversial 1971 film, which starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George and was set in the U.K., stars James Marsden as the wimpy husband and Kate Bosworth as his gorgeous wife, who return to her hometown in the deep South and run into all kinds of trouble with the locals.
Circumstance: A coming-of-age film that takes place in Iran's underground youth culture, where gay teens risk arrest and jail for doing what American kids do on YouTube every weekend. Ends Oct. 6 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Drive: Ryan Gosling is a wheelman who spends his days doing stunts for the movies and his nights driving the getaway car for crooks. Nicholas Winding Refn's film also stars Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks as you've never seen him before.
The Hedgehog: An 11-year-old who's decided to commit suicide on her 12th birthday finds herself drawn to some other curmudgeons who encourage her interest in stuff like art and philosophy. Ends Oct. 6 at the Ken Cinema.
Contagion: Stephen Soderbergh's big-budget virus movie stars everyone from Matt Damon to Kate Winslet to Marion Cottilard to Gwyneth Paltrow. Finally, we know what happened to the bird flu.
The Lion King 3-D: Hakuna matata in another dimension.
Warrior: Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton star as estranged brothers going mano-a-mano for a winner-take-all MMA championship. Gavin O'Connor's new film has every sports-movie cliché in the book yet still manages to be well-acted, well-shot and totally inspiring.
The Debt: Helen Mirren is a retired Mossad agent forced to revisit her past when developments from a previous operation come to light.
Sholem Aleichem: This doc about the writer whose work became the foundation for Fiddler on the Roof should be something to think about, something to drink about.
Columbiana: Zoe Saldana grows up to become an assassin after she witnesses the murder of her parents.
Our Idiot Brother: Paul Rudd is Ned, a simple soul who continuously screws up his sisters' lives by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, although, by the end of it, you might wonder who the real idiot is.
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.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D: The fourth dimension in this case is Aromascope. No, seriously.
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 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.
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.
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!
Buck: Documentary about Buck Brannaman, one of the leading experts in horses and the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer. Screening at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
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.
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.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.