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Obi-what now? I get e-mails from a lot of people about a lot of movies, but rarely does something this awesome show up in my inbox. Let's start with the film: Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam, commonly known as “Turkish Star Wars.” See, a long time ago, in a country (Turkey) far, far away, it was almost impossible to see the latest and greatest American movies. In fact, it was so difficult that, often, those movies were simply remade with Turkish casts. There's a Turkish Wizard of Oz, a Turkish Exorcist and a Turkish E.T., but there's nothing quite like Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam. This film originally came out in 1982, actually ripping off footage from the original Star Wars and using music from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is notoriously terrible. In fact, you might say that Turkish Star Wars is the Star Wars of cult films.
“This movie sucks. It's really hilariously bad,” says Dan Stiteler, otherwise known as DJ Dan, the Pure Platinum DJ who's putting on the show.
Oh, did I mention that Turkish Star Wars will be screened on a 15-foot projection screen at a strip club? Stiteler, who calls himself “a cult-trash type of film fan,” will open the doors—and the bar—to the Kearny Mesa joint at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 21, hours before the dancers are working. The film rolls an hour later, and there'll be a pee break halfway through. (“I refuse to call it an intermission,” Stiteler says. “It's not like we're watching a David Lean movie.”) The first dancers start at 4 p.m., not coincidentally just after the movie ends.
So, Turkish Star Wars in a strip club. Now, how much would you pay? Stiteler's hoping $5 isn't too much to ask. And he's also hoping enough people will show up and order drinks to justify turning this into a semi-regular event.
“It has to reach a certain point of alcohol sales for them to let me do it again,” he says. “And if you're going to stay sober, I think you're missing the point.” That's because yelling at the movie is allowed—nay, encouraged. “I need help,” Stiteler says. “I need help heckling this movie.”
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.
Miss You Like Crazy: Filipino film about two people whose lives are going in predictable directions until they run into one another on a ferry one night.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers: No, it didn't win the Oscar, but this documentary is a fascinating look at the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration, a must see for potential whistle blowers and journalists.
Mother: Korean director Bong Joon-ho follows up The Host with this painfully well-made murder mystery featuring a disturbing performance from Kim Hye-ja, who's desperate to prove that her mentally disabled son is innocent.
The Red Baron: Set during WWI, when dogfighting had nothing to do with the NFL.
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.
One time only
Belonging: Looks at the struggles of Kethiwe Ngcobo, a young South African woman raised overseas who's had a tough time finding her place in the new South Africa. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
She's the One: Edward Burns followed up Brothers McMullen with another sibling-rivalry film. He's the cab-driving, jilted Mickey, whose brother is married to Jennifer Aniston but carrying on with Mickey's ex, Cameron Diaz. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Rethinking Afghanistan: Robert Greenwald isn't as famous as Michael Moore, but he's just as important. This indictment of the war in Afghanistan takes a close look at the defense contractors who are benefiting from our involvement there. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest. Donation requested.
Il Generale Della Rovere: Part of the San Diego Italian Film Festival's classic-film series, Rossellini's 1959 picture stars Vittorio De Sica as a con man captured by the Nazis and forced to pose as the head of the Italian WWII resistance. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at the UltraStar Flower Hill.
Five Tales About Six Girls: Five short films about adolescent girls from this year's Sundance film festival. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 18, at The Loft at UCSD.
State of Mind Film Invitational: A selection of short films from up-and-coming California filmmakers. Starts at 7 p.m. Friday, March 19, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
State of Seige: Costa-Gavras' 1973 film about a CIA officer kidnapped in an unnamed South American country who'll be killed if 150 political prisoners aren't set free. Based on an incident that took place in 1970. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
$9.99: A stop-motion animated film about a book that promises to reveal the meaning of life and only costs as much as the film's title. Geoffrey Rush, Barry Otto and Anthony LaPaglia provide some of the voices. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 22, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story Water: This short animated film made by volunteer members of the Surfrider Foundation will be screened at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 22, at The Loft at UCSD.
My Father's Garden: This documentary about the state of farming in America will make you want to start eating organic. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, at Lestat's West in Normal Heights. Free.
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival: The title says it all. The two evenings will have different programs, as well as raffles and other green-friendly info. The event starts at 6 p.m., and the film rolls at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 25 at the UltraStar Hazard Center.
Football Under Cover: Doc about a match between German and Iranian soccer teams that took place in Teheran in 2006. What's remarkable is that both of these are women's teams, and it marked the first time the Iranian women had ever played another squad. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
You Can Heal Your Life: Louise Hay published Heal Your Body in 1976, an early entry into the now-massive self-help genre. This documentary about her life screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at Vision in Clairemont Mesa. Keep your donation, but give them a love offering.
There's Something About Mary: This one is still pretty funny, even you're sick of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
San Diego Latino Film Festival: The massive festival continues through March 21, featuring features, shorts, documentaries and a slew of panels and celebs. The fest takes place at UltraStar Hazard Center. Details at www.sdlatinofilm.com.
Ajami: Co-directed by a Jew and a Palestinian, this look at a mixed neighborhood in the Jaffa part of Tel Aviv is populated by non-actors and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Green Zone: Matt Damon teams up with Paul Greengrass, the guy who made the last two Bourne movies, for an Iraq action film.
Our Family Wedding: Marcus (Lance Gross), an African-American man, is getting married to Lucia (America Ferrera), a Latina woman, which inflicts no end of comic anguish on their respective dads, Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia.
The Red Riding trilogy: All three films in this epic crime trilogy, examining murder and corruption in an industrial British town, are designed to stand on their own. But the experience of seeing all of them together is riveting. Clear your calendar. Ends at the Ken Cinema on March 18.
Remember Me: Set in New York in the summer of 2001, Ruben Pattinson is an angry young man who has a tumultuous relationship with his father (Pierce Brosnan). Emilie de Ravin of Lost just might be the girl to straighten him out, if audiences are prepared to watch Pattinson do something besides Twilight.
Severe Clear: When First Lt. Mike Scotti made his way to Baghdad during the first days of the Iraq war, he had a Mini-DV camera with him. Severe Clear, which played the San Diego Film Festival last September, is made up of his footage and journal entries.
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.
The Yellow Handkerchief: Remember when William Hurt was one of the best actors around? He's finally that good again in Udayan Prasad's little Louisiana movie, playing Brett, an ex-con who hitches a ride with Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) and Martine (Twilight's Kristen Stewart) to get to New Orleans. Ends at Hillcrest Cinemas on March 18.
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.
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.
Cop Out: Kevin Smith's new cop comedy, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, was once under the working title “A Couple of Dicks.”
The Crazies: A remake of George Romero's 1973 freak show, about a small Iowa town whose residents go nuts and start killing each other.
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.
North Face: The only good mountain-climbing movie is the kind where something goes tragically wrong. Thankfully, this German film about Andreas Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz's ill-fated attempt 1936 attempt to scale the Eiger, is that kind. The scenes on the mountain are harrowing and stressful, even if the characters are fairly archetypical. Ends at La Jolla Village Cinemas on March 18.
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.
A New Generation of Spike and Mike Animation: These short films aren't so sick and twisted, but they're still pretty awesome. Plays weekends at the La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego through March 20. Check spikeandmike.com for listings and showtimes.
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.
Valentine's Day: One of those movies with a lot of different people tangentially connected dealing with the same thing. In this case, that thing is Valentine's Day, and those people include Jessicas Alba and Biel, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Garner and Topher Grace.
Dear John: Lasse Hallestrom can be a pretty great director, but he may be jumping the shark by adapting a Nicholas Sparks novel.
The Last Station: Michael Hoffman's film about Tolstoy's final days manages to avoid being a stuffy, standard period piece and features some terrific acting from Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer.
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.
Sherlock Holmes: Robert Downey Jr. is great, as usual, even if his Sherlock Holmes is more brawn than brains.
A Single Man: Colin Firth delivers on the role of a lifetime in fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut. Ends at La Jolla Village Cinemas on March 18.
The Young Victoria: The Devil Wears Prada's Emily Blunt stars as, well, a young Queen Victoria.
Avatar: James Cameron's sci-fi magnum opus is too long and has an inevitable love story. But, for once, when they say you've never seen anything like it, they're right. This is a film and a truly rendered alien planet that must be seen on the big screen and in 3D.
Up in the Air: George Clooney is at his charmiest (charm + smarmy) as Ryan Bingham, flown in to fire employees at companies he has nothing to do with and aspiring to little more than more frequent flier miles. He's a lock for a Best Actor nomination.
The Blind Side: The book this is based upon is about the economics of football and an enormous, poverty-stricken young black man—adopted by a white family—who has the potential to be a highly paid professional athlete. So, of course, they turned it into a Sandra Bullock movie.
An Education: Nick Hornby of High Fidelity fame wrote the script and does a 180 by writing about a girl who desperately wants to grow up and thinks she may have found a shortcut in a good-looking charmer twice her age. Ends at Hillcrest Cinemas on March 18.
Amazon: There are all sorts of insane animals to be encountered in this 4,000-mile IMAX trek through the South American basin. Keep your hands in the boat. Screens Fridays at 8 p.m. at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
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.