The proximity to L.A. pretty much guarantees that San Diego doesn't have a huge film scene. But that isn't to say people aren't making movies here. And there are plenty of them on display this week.
There's no shortage of San Diego pictures at the San Diego Film Festival, including a pair of features, the world premiere of the musical Before We Close and the raunchy comedy Pushing 30. There's a collection of films from SDSU, including Destin Cretton's Short Term 12, which won the jury prize for Best Short Film at Sundance in January. There are two collections of locally made short films at the festival, each of which have two screenings apiece. I'll be on hand at Thursday night's 8 p.m. Local Love set of shorts, making introductions and leading a post-screening Q&A before heading over to Lucky D's to host the Filmmaker Meet & Greet party (come by, say hi, buy me a drink). All the details are at www.sdff.org. And see more in our special secion starting on Page 27.
That's not all. On Thursday, you can catch the world premiere of Me, Myself, and I: A Todd Richards Documentary at La Paloma Theatre. Richards, an elite snowboarder who lives in Encinitas, will be on hand, along with director Josh Landon. And there'll be giveaways from DC Shoes, Nixon, O-Matic Snowboards and Quiksilver.
But wait, there's more. Swing by the Ken Cinema for the world premiere of Overdue, a profane romantic comedy. Written, directed, edited and starring Cameron Ahern, Overdue is rough around the edges, but so was the first movie from Kevin Smith, a guy whose films Ahern has clearly spent some quality time watching. Hey, the guy made this picture while delivering pizzas at night.
Look, the Padres suck. The Chargers are too expensive. There's no basketball in town. Here's your chance to really support the home team.
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24 City: Zhang Ke Jia's film looks at three generations of factory workers in modern-day China.
Bright Star: Jane Campion's latest period piece creates a very real person out of Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), the country girl who's long been considered the tart who fooled around with poet John Keats before his death.
Crude: Scathing indictment of the way big oil has savagely polluted South America.
Fame: Actually, a remake of Fame right now makes sense. The country's totally addicted to celebrity, and there are plenty of openings on reality TV.
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell: Biopic about Tucker Max, self-proclaimed drunken asshole.
Pandorum: Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster come out of suspended animation with no memory and no idea why people are trying to kill them.
Paris: Juliette Binoche shows up with her three kids at the doorstep of her brother, who's desperately waiting for a heart transplant.
Surrogates: In the future, Bruce Willis will try to solve the murder of robot surrogates, which will provide the only means for us to interact with each other. Like Facebook.
Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself: Perry's latest adventures of Medea also stars Taraji Henson (who was nominated for an Oscar for Benjamin Button) as April, a boozy nightclub singer who has three teenage kids foisted on her.
One time only
Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Things are strange all over this week. Peter Sellers is brilliant in all three roles he plays in Kubrick's masterpiece of political gamesmanship. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, on the East Lawn of the Price Center on the UCSD campus, and at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, through Saturday, Sept. 26, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Wizard of Oz: Presented in HD in theaters around the country in honor of the 70th anniversary. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23. www.fath
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Sure, it deviates from the book, but Audrey Hepburn is crazy delicious as Holly Golightly. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Blazing Saddles: Mel Brooks' brutally funny, anti-PC satire about a black man hired to be the new sheriff of a town in the Old West. Also, the first film to include fart sounds. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido. Free.
The Sea Hawk: They don't come more dashing than Errol Flynn. And Errol Flynn as a pirate? Swoon. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park. Free.
Eureka Seven—Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers: English-language debut of insane anime. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at several area theaters. www.ncm.com.
Night at the Museum II: Battle for the Smithsonian: Ben Stiller and Co. revise history, get rich. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at Maffuci Field at Army and Navy Academy. Free.
The Pervert's Guide to Cinema: Who needs film school? Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest. Free.
Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle's Best Picture Oscar winner, about a young Indian man whose life is told through the course of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, is great, but it isn't necessarily family-friendly enough to be screened outdoors. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Maffuci Field at Army and Navy Academy. Free.
Black Orpheus: Terrific Brazilian film from 1959 retold the Greek myth on the way to winning the Palm d'Or and the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Screens at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
The Garden: Great Oscar-nominated documentary about residents of South Central whose community garden was a tasty treat for big-money developers and contractors. Screens at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. Free.
Adventureland: Greg Mottola followed up Superbad with this odd little indie about a college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) who meets a girl (Kristen Stewart) while working at a run-down amusement part. Great supporting performances. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Kobe Doin' Work: A documentary that follows Kobe Bryant during one day of the 2008 playoffs. Directed by lifelong Knicks fan Spike Lee. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Loft on the UCSD campus.
Knocked Up: The best of the Jud Apatow canon (so far). Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Fast and Furious with Rifftrax: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, teamed with the artists formerly known as Mystery Science Theater 3000. Good food, good beer, bad movie. That's the idea. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido. Free.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Sure, this 3-D adaptation of the beloved children's book looks cheesy. But it's great, and any cheese involved makes it taste even better. Seriously, one of those rare children's films that's equally awesome for adults. And it includes Neil Patrick Harris voicing a monkey.
Big Fan: Patton Oswalt delivers in his first dramatic role as an obsessed New York Giants fan who has an ill-fated encounter with his favorite player.
The Burning Plain: Guillermo Arriaga, who wrote Babel and Amores Perros, directs Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger in a non-linear film about a woman trying to come to terms with her past.
Flame & Citron: Based on a true story, this is a look at two Danish resistance fighters during the tail-end of World War II who were sent on a mission to kill someone who was once very close to one of them.
The Informant!: Steven Soderberg directs a pudgy, mustachioed Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, a '90s-era whistleblower with aspirations of greatness and a propensity for bending the truth.
Jennifer's Body: Megan Fox stars in this Diablo Cody-penned horror film about a hottie who acquires a serious taste for men. Literally.
Love Happens: Will Jennifer Aniston be the woman who helps widower Aaron Eckhart cope with his loss? Yes.
The September Issue: A not-so-revealing look at Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
9: Shane Acker's animated movie, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelley as living rag dolls in a post-apocalyptic world, is stunning to watch, even if its style outweighs its substance.
The Baader Meinhof Complex: Lengthy look at the domestic terror cell that terrified Germany during the 1970s, committing bombings and murder in the hopes of undermining the country's still wet-behind-the-ears democracy.
Play the Game: Grandson teaches Andy Griffith how to be the nursing-home playa.
Sorority Row: All the best serial killer movies involve sorority girls.
Whiteout: Kate Beckinsale is a U.S. marshal tracking a killer in Antarctica, just as the continent is about to be plunged into six months of darkness.
Extract: Comeback kids Mike Judge and Jason Bateman team up for a comedy about a factory owner (Bateman) hoping to have an affair with one of his employees (Mila Kunis).
All About Steve: If you can buy into the idea that Sandra Bullock is smart enough to create crossword puzzles, this romcom, which also stars Bradley Cooper and Thomas Hayden Church, is for you.
Gamer: Hard to understand why Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall would star in an R-rated futuristic gorefest that looks like it should feature some guy who used to be in the WWE. But it was made by the Crank guys.
My One and Only: It's 1953, and Renee Zellweger takes to the road after hubby Kevin Bacon can't keep it in his pants. But even though she's MILFy, it's tough to find a husband when you've got two teenage sons.
The Final Destination: The fourth movie in the franchise—we're guessing not the final one.
Halloween 2: Technically, the second Halloween 2.
It Might Get Loud: Documentary about the art of guitar as played by Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Turn it up.
Taking Woodstock: Ang Lee turns one of the major cultural touch-points of the last half-century into a let's-save-the-family-farm unfunny comedy.
Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino's new brutal, bloody, hysterically funny WWII movie isn't gonna be for everyone, but it certainly is for us. Take that, Hitler!
Ponyo: The new movie from legendary Japanese animator Miyazaki is gorgeous, good for kids and a nice break from the standard CGI cartoons we see today.
District 9: This terrifically fun Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi flick has two messages. One, discrimination sucks. Two, alien guns rule.
The Time Traveler's Wife: Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams star in the massively delayed adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's sci-fi romance.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: It was only a matter of time.
Julie & Julia: Meryl Streep is Julia Child, and Amy Adams is her biggest fan, Julie Powell, who got through life with the help of Child's My Life in France.
The Ugly Truth: Actually, the ugly truth is that this Katherine Heigl / Gerard Butler romcom looks really stupid.
(500) Days of Summer: A terrific film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It's a date movie, sure, but be forewarned, this is a break-up story and not a standard love story.
Food, Inc.: A documentary about how fucked-up the food system is in this country. Pass the buttered popcorn.
Moon: Director Duncan Jones delivers an impressive debut, and Sam Rockwell gives one of his best performances to date as a lonely miner on the far side of the moon whose entire worldview changes after he finds a body out on the surface.
The Proposal: Ryan Reynolds is Sandra Bullock's assistant. She pushes him into a marriage of convenience (at least for her), but we're guessing it sticks.
The Hangover: They cut a good trailer for Todd Phillips' new film, about three buddies—Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis—who wake up the morning after a brutal bachelor party with no memory of what happened or where the groom is.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Space Theater: After undergoing significant renovations, the Fleet is re-opening its dome Imax theater, complete with a kick-ass new screen. Films vary week-to-week. Showtimes and prices can be found at www.rhfleet.org.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: No, it's not a time warp—the love-it-or-hate-it camp classic continues its midnight run in its 37th year of release. When the lead character of the film is a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, you know you're in for some seriously trashy viewing. And, of course, this is the one movie where you want the audience shouting at the screen. Screens Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas.