A pair of films that appeared earlier this month at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, As Luck Would Have It and K-11, are getting theatrical runs here in town. I haven't seen As Luck Would Have It, a dark comedy starring Salma Hayek, but I have seen K-11, which is directed by Jules Stewart, who happens to be the mother of Kristen Stewart.
This jailhouse film stars Goran Visnjic as a Los Angeles record producer who wakes up one day accused of murder. He's held in K-11, a section of the L.A. county jail that's set aside for gay and transgendered inmates. K-11 is ruled by the transsexual Mousy (Kate del Castillo), who has her fingers in everything, including corrupt cop Johnson (D.B. Sweeney).
The film has a tough time deciding whether it wants to be a camp classic or a hard-edged prison drama; it also features appearances by the likes of Jason Mewes and, more enjoyably, legendary wrestler Tiny Lister, who plays Detroit, a vicious pedophile.
Bigger than either of those two movies, however, is where they'll be screened. The Media Arts Center, which produces SDLFF, is showing these as the inaugural films for the Digital Gym Cinema, a new 49-seat theater in North Park. This is really exciting news— DGC will screen movies regularly, bringing in independents, foreign films and documentaries; it's essentially a completely new space, programmed by SDLFF artistic director Lisa Franek. There's an exciting slate of films ready to go, too, including Destin Daniel Cretton's shot-in-San-Diego I Am Not a Hipster and a pair of American indies, Paris Manhattan and Future Weather, and several others.
A grand opening party will be held at the theater (2921 El Cajon Blvd.) on Friday, March 29—a champagne reception starts at 6:45 p.m., before the 7:30 p.m. screening of As Luck Would Have It. There's also a 5:30 p.m. screen ing. Seating is limited. Check out digitalgym.org for details.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.
Correction: An earlier version of this piece said the Digital Gym Cinema had 99 seats. The information's been updated and we apologize for the error.
The End of Love: A struggling actor has to grow up overnight when the mother of his newborn child dies unexpectedly. Mark Webber wrote, directed and stars in the film, which features appearances from a slew of interesting actors.
A Fierce Green Fire: This documentary, which features narration from the likes of Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Ashley Judd, chronicles the environmental movement from its roots in the 1960s through the present day. Screens for one week only at the Ken Cinema.
From Up On Poppy Hill: Director Goro Miyazaki's brother, legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, wrote the screenplay, about Japanese teens trying to save their school from the wrecking ball as the 1964 Olympics approach.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Channing Tatum returns as Duke, and this time Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis join him in blowing things up.
The Host: The new movie from author Stephanie Meyer—aka the woman who wrote the Twilight books—stars Saoirse Ronan as a teen trying to save the world from some bodysnatching aliens.
Lore: German film about a young girl who must lead her siblings across the shattered remains of her country in the days after World War II.
My Amityville Horror: Not yours.
Mental: Toni Collette reteams with P.J. Hogan, director of Muriel's Wedding, playing a nanny who has to take care of five kids after their mother cracked under the strain.
Starbuck: A 42-year-old Montreal slacker learns that his secret past as a sperm donor resulted in more than 500 children— and that almost 150 of them have filed a class-action suit to uncover his identity.
Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor: A marriage counselor ends up in a serious affair with one of her clients. Perry's not actually in this one; Kim Kardashian, however, is.
War Witch: This Oscar-nominated Canadian film about a 12-year-old girl conscripted as a child soldier in the Congo is as harrowing as it sounds.
One Time Only
Garden State: Zach Braff wrote, directed and starred in this cult film about a young man who returns to New Jersey for his mother's funeral. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
A Deeper Shade of Blue: Epic surf movie (clocks in at 2.5 hours) about the roots of the hang-10 culture. Screens at several area theaters at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28. Visit fathomevents.com for details.
Gone with the Wind: Tomorrow, as they say, is another day, but this epic Oscar winner only screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at ArcLight La Jolla.
This is 40: Judd Apatow spins off the Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann characters from Knocked Up. The result, however, is a little too "Judd Apatow makes fun of his own midlife crisis." Screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Addiction Incorporated: This documentary about Big Tobacco's efforts to get you hooked on smokes screens at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Lestat's West in Normal Heights.
A Late Quartet: When one member of a famous string quartet, whose lineup includes Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener, gets an awful diagnosis, it throws the group into chaos and brings up decades of simmering hostility. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Central Library, downtown.
There's Something About Mary: The Farrelly brothers at their best. You'll never look at hair gel the same way again.
Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Frequency Film Festival: The inaugural edition of the Ocean Beach festival includes features and documentaries from around the globe. It's a terrific selection—swing by frequencyfilmfestival.com for details.
Admission: Tina Fey plays a Princeton admissions officer who could blow her career by accepting a student who just might be the kid she gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
The Croods: Animated caveman movie featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone.
Ginger & Rosa: Sally Potter's new film is about two teenage girls, played by Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, growing up in London's swingin' '60s, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
InAPPropriate Comedy: A tablet computer full of the world's most offensive sketches, starring the likes of Adrien Brody, Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan, unleashes its content upon the world.
Murph: The Protector: Documentary about Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor after his death in 2005.
Olympus Has Fallen: Terrorists take over the White House and take the president hostage before being killed by disgraced Secret Service agent Gerard Butler. It's ludicrous, for sure, but pretty enjoyable as R-rated action films go.
On the Road: Long-shelved version of Kerouac's definitive beat novel stars Sam Riley as the writer's alter ego, as well as Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart as Dean Moriarty and his girlfriend.
The Silence: In this German thriller, a 13-year-old girl goes missing, and her bike is found where another girl was murdered more than two decades earlier. Ends March 28 at the Ken Cinema.
Spring Breakers: Harmony Korine takes on the Girls Gone Wild mythos with this violent, exploitative, oddly insightful art film.
Upside Down: Jim Sturgess and Kristen Dunst fell in love as teenagers. Standing in their way is the fact that they live in two different worlds, where gravity works in opposite directions. Ends March 28 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Mindless Behavior: All Around the World: The hip-hop boy band gets its first behind-the-scenes documentary!
The Call: Halle Berry is a 911 operator who takes a call from a girl who's been kidnapped by a serial killer.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone: Steve Carell is a fading spray-tanned Vegas magician whose popularity is being usurped by a David Blaine-esque upstart (played here by Jim Carrey). Can the power of illusion help him sort out why he fell in love with magic in the first place? Um, yes.
Stoker: The first English-language film from Korean auteur Park Chan-wook is a gothic tale about a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) who learns she has a creepy uncle (Matthew Goode) who shows up after her dad dies mysteriously.
Barbara: Terrifically acted German film set in the 1980s, about an East German doctor consigned to a small-town clinic who desperately hopes to defect to be with her West German lover. Ends March 28 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Dead Man Down: Colin Farrell is mobster Terrence Howard's right hand man, until he falls under the spell of a woman (Noomi Rapace) who wants a shot at his boss.
Emperor: Matthew Fox plays a U.S. general in Japan after that country's World War II surrender, trying to determine if the emperor should be hanged as a war criminal. Tommy Lee Jones swings by as Douglas MacArthur.
Oz: The Great and Powerful: Sam Raimi directs this big-budget prequel. James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis are all off to see the wizard.
Rocky Mountain Express: The IMAX theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center was recently overhauled. This latest entry takes viewers through the Canadian Rockies without leaving San Diego.
21 & Over: Straight-laced honors student gets crunky the night before his big medical-school exam. You won't be surprised to hear that it's written by the same guys who penned The Hangover.
The Gatekeepers: Dror Moreh's Oscar-nominated documentary features interviews with all of the living former heads of the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet. And you'll be surprised by some of the opinions they hold.
Jack the Giant Slayer: The first feature from Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) in five years is about a young farmhand who takes the war between humans and giants straight to the giants.
The Last Exorcism Part II: Um, kind of an oxymoronic title, right?
No: Gael García Bernal is a young advertising executive who leads a campaign designed to take on Augusto Pinochet, the longtime Chilean dictator.
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.
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.
Snitch: Dwayne Johnson goes undercover for the DEA after his son is busted during a drug sting.
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.
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 sick-and-twisted stuff, but this 30th-anniversary family-friendly greatest-hits set of films from the past four decades has some great stuff. Screens through April 13 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.