Check This Out
Student cinema: There's no shortage of students making movies all over town, and there are several student-cinema events happening here next week. Some of this work is up-and-coming, while some of the filmmakers have already come up.
At 6 p.m. Sunday, May 16, four short films made by SDSU students will screen at Lestat's in Normal Heights. A $10 donation is suggested, and any money raised will benefit the SDSU Student Filmmakers Scholarship Fund. Filmmakers and casts will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.
In La Jolla, UCSD's ArtPower! Film presents its third annual Press Rewind at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at The Loft. This is a terrific idea, putting together short student films made by filmmakers who have gone on to bigger and better things. The highlight this year is undoubtedly Doodlebug, made by Christopher Nolan, who's since been responsible for films like The Dark Knight and the trippy-looking Inception, due out this summer. www.artpwr.com.
Those are both good options, but they're both really just precursors to the main events, which take place on Thursday, May 20. Here's the problem you face: both SDSU and UCSD present their student film festivals on the same day. At SDSU, the Filmmakers Showcase takes place at 7 p.m. at the Don Powell Theatre. At the same time, UCSD's Up & Coming Student Film Festival goes down at The Loft, featuring an hour of shorts preceded by a half-hour talk by filmmaker and UCSD professor Michael Trigilio.
Yes, both offer up the latest and greatest short movies by their respective students, but you'll have to make a decision, because they both go down at 7 p.m. In an ideal world, of course, the two competing festivals would go at it in a steel cage. After all, what better way to teach aspiring student filmmakers about surviving in Hollywood?
The Good, the Bad, the Weird: Korean director Ji-woon Kim's tongue-in-cheek take on Sergio Leone's epic spaghetti western has action sequences to die for, even if the story eventually gives way to the style. See our review on Page 40.
Just Wright: NBA player Common has to choose between the long-term three-point shot of Queen Latifah and the slam-dunk of her shallow best friend Paula Patton. Either way, he scores.
Letters to Juliet: Amanda Seyfried is an American tourist in Italy who gets way into Shakespeare.
Mother and Child: Three women struggle with their familial identities. Annette Bening is haunted by the child she gave up for adoption as a pregnant teen, Naomi Watts sorts out what it was like to be an adopted child and Kerry Washington attempts her own adoption.
Princess Kaiulani: Biopic about the teen princess who united the Hawaiian Islands and gave President Grover Cleveland a tongue-lashing over the treatment of her people.
Robin Hood: Did you see Russell Crowe on Letterman the other night? He looks more like Friar Tuck than Robin Hood. Still, Ridley Scott always makes good-looking movies.
One Time Only
Ruthless People: Decent kidnap comedy with Danny DeVito, Bette Midler and Judge Reinhold, but it's a young Bill Pullman who shines as the stupidest man ever. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Shanghai Ghetto: The San Diego Jewish Film Festival teams with the Oceanside Museum of Art for this documentary that looks at thousands of Jews who escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to China. Narrated by Martin Landau, it screens twice, at 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the OMA.
Los Olivados: Luis Buñuel's 1950 film about children coming up in the slums of Mexico City is a natural fit for the Museum of Photographic Arts' classic Mexican film series. It screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at MoPA in Balboa Park.
Xanadu: Now we are here. At Beauty Bar, that is, for the latest movie-themed dance party. Costumes are encouraged, but, please, be reasonable. Starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Beauty Bar in City Heights.
Bringing Up Baby: Any screwball comedy with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn is a good screwball comedy. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, through Saturday, May 15, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Handmade Puppet Dreams: Volume 1: Jim Henson's daughter Heather put together this traveling fest of puppet movies that's more Spike & Mike than Sesame Street. Find details on Page 13. Starts at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
American Indian Film Festival: This festival runs all day long and is accompanied by an American Indian Art Market. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Missing: The Costa-Gavras series continues with this 1982 dramatization of the disappearance of journalist Charles Horman during the Chilean coup of 1973. Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek play his parents, who head to South America to sort out what the U.S. government is covering up. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Sea Monsters: The monthly Spanish-language IMAX movie looks at underwater beasties we're pretty sure are extinct. Screens at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
SDSU Filmmakers Showcase: Four short films from SDSU students, followed by a cast and filmmaker Q&A. Starts at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at Lestat's West in Normal Heights. Donation suggested.
Uncertainty: The relationship between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins is split into two different dimensions after a coin flip. It's Sliding Doors for the hipster set. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 17, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Press Rewind: Once again, UCSD's ArtPower! Film presents a selection of films made by famous directors when they were students. Top of the list is Christopher Nolan's Doodlebug. Starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at The Loft on the UCSD campus.
Serial Mom: FilmOut presents John Waters' camp classic, starring Kathleen Turner as a mom who really acts out when her suburban life proves to be just too much. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at the Birch North Park Theatre.
Sex and the City: Crack for women will be available at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
The Human Centipede (First Sequence): A crazy German doctor connects two American party girls with a Japanese playboy. Sadly, for them, this hook up is done surgically. Torture porn doesn't get any more gruesome than this.
Yellowstone: Watch carefully, or you'll miss the cameo by Yogi the Bear in this IMAX classic showing Fridays at the Fleet Science Center.
Babies: When a man and a woman love each other very much, the man puts his—no, wait. This documentary, which follows four kids from their first minutes outside the womb, comes after all that.
Iron Man 2: Was the first one entertaining? Yes. Is it overrated? Yes. Are we psyched for No. 2? Yes.
Please Give: Catherine Keener has collaborated with Nicole Holofcener on all four of her films, and this one is one of their best. Keener's a New Yorker married to Oliver Platt, selling mid-century furniture they buy from the apartments of old people who have died, consequently experiencing inescapable midlife liberal white guilt.
Ran: Kurosawa's final epic is a must-see, especially this terrific new print. Ends May 13 at the Ken Cinema.
Mysteries of the Nile: It ain't just a river in Egypt. Oh, wait, yes it is. At the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Because, apparently, every single movie needs to be remade. At least they got Jackie Earle Haley to play Freddy Kreuger.
Exit Through the Gift Shop: Legendary prankster street artist Banksy's first film is a brilliant take on art and its nature. It may sound stuffy, but it's engaging, insightful, funny and subversive—and smarter than anything else you'll see this summer. Run, do not walk, to see this one.
Furry Vengeance: Brendan Fraser is a nasty real-estate developer who takes on the animals of Oregon. Lessons, we assume, are learned.
La Mission: Benjamin Bratt is Che, a man well-respected in San Francisco's Mission District and forced to come to terms with the fact that his son is gay.
Mid-August Lunch: An Italian man must keep his 93-year-old mother and three other elderly women fed and happy, or he risks losing his condo. Ends May 13 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
The Back-Up Plan: JLo gets knocked up with twins via a turkey-baster, just before she meets the man of her dreams.
Oceans: Documentary about how we're destroying the other three-quarters of the planet.
The Secret in Their Eyes: This Argentinean thriller won the Best Foreign Language award at this year's Oscars. It's good, spanning decades and the relationship between a federal prosecutor and the boss with whom he's infatuated.
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.
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.
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 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.
Clash of the Titans: The remake is just as awful as the 1981 original, but without the camp value.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.