By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
Movie of the Week: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show were a rite of passage for generations of oddballs. Troupes of people all across this fine land dressed up like Rocky Horror characters and would climb onstage, totter around in their do-me shoes and lip-synch scenes from the film while audience members would fling handfuls of rice at the screen, call Barry Bostwick an asshole and do the "Time Warp" again and again. You always got the feeling these folks were kinda missing the movie's whole point about rejecting conformity, but hey, it got geeks out of the house, making new friends and wearing fishnets in public, so it's all good. Sadly, the whole phenomenon began to lose momentum not long after the film was released on video, and now, with Rocky Horror turning up with numbing regularity on broadcast TV, attendance at screenings nationwide has dwindled to a faithful few.
And now, Midnight Insanity, the troupe that began at the Balboa in Newport Beach in 1988 before moving to Long Beach in 1992, presents its final performance at longtime home the Art Theatre after nearly 1,100 shows. But local transvestites need not despair: the troupe is packing up the mascara, costumes and toast and moving across town to something called Club Rocky at Seaport Marina beginning Aug. 5. Don't dream it—be it! Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 235-8053; www.midnightinsanity.com. Thurs., July 27, midnight. $7; Seaport Marina Motel, 6400 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, (562)235-8053; www.midnightinsanity.com. Aug. 5 and every Saturday thereafter, midnight. $7.
Finding Neverland. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet star in this popular if not-exactly-electrifying drama about the close friendship between Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie (Depp) and the young sons of a comely widow (Winslet). Be sure to dress warm and bring chairs. Newport Dunes Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Dunes, (949) 729-DUNE. Sat., dusk. Free; parking, $10.
The Fullerton Film Festival. The new fest in town kicks off next Thursday with a screening of the classic 1966 Disney animation/live-action hybrid, Mary Poppins. It's a charmer, it is, but it's also one of those pictures that probably works a lot better if you first saw it as a kid and carry some nostalgia for it. Approach it for the first time as an adult, and you'll quite possibly be driven to fidgets by Julie Andrews' spoonful of sugar and Dick Van Dyke's highly dubious cockney accent. Check out our cover story next week, in which we'll clue you in on the full fest info. Fox Fullerton, 500 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 870-0069; www.f3filmfestival.com. Thurs., Aug. 3, 8 p.m. Free.
GoodBye, Lenin. UC Irvine presents Wolfgang Becker's 2004, German comic drama about a young man who is so determined to prevent his ailing mother from being exposed to a potentially fatal shock that he manages to keep the news from her that the Berlin Wall has come down. Refreshments provided by Kochee Kabob will be served at 6:30 p.m. UC Irvine Humanities Instruction Building, Room 100, Campus & W. Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-5493. Thurs., July 27, 6:30 p.m. Free.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Story of the School of the Americas. Amnesty International presents this 71-minute documentary about U.S. policy in Latin America as seen through the prism of the School of the Americas (renamed, in January of 2001, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), the controversial military school where Latin American soldiers are educated on American soil. A discussion follows with the Orange Coast College Amnesty group. Saints Simon and Jude Church, Adult Center, 20444 Magnolia St., Huntington Beach, (714) 962-3333. Mon., 7 p.m. Free.
Holes. If you're an adult without kids, you're probably only dimly aware of the existence of this 2003 comic adventure about shenanigans at a prison work camp for teenage boys. But apparently this is one of those movies that the "tweens" went all nutsy for and bought the soundtrack and everything. Shia LaBeouf (who is actually a doughy-looking white boy, despite his sexy-black-lady name) stars. It's screening on the beach, so be sure to dress warm and bring some comfortable chairs. Newport Dunes Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Dunes, (949) 729-DUNE. Fri., dusk. Free; parking, $10.
The Karate Kid. Ralph Macchio (remember him?) waxes on and waxes off in this 1984, Rocky-esque tale of a teen who learns to defend himself with karate taught by an unassuming but stern martial-arts master (Pat Morita). Edwards Rancho Santa Margarita, 30632 Santa Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-3358. Tues., 9 p.m. $6; Edwards South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 540-1970. Wed., 9 p.m. $6.
Metropolis. Fritz Lang's gorgeous 1927 Marxist sci-fi fable tells the story of a mechanistic society in which the workers live beneath a fabulous Art Deco city and the fires of unrest are quelled by the humanistic speeches of a sweet blonde named Maria—until a mad inventor creates an evil robot double for Maria (under its skin, the thing is an absolute dead-ringer for C-3PO), and the creature incites revolt. An epic that originally clocked in at a whopping three and a half hours (prints in circulation today run from 159 to a mere 87 minutes), Metropolis is a film as visually gorgeous as it is dramatically iffy. While the futuristic society is splendidly realized, director Lang can't resist hammering the well-meaning lefty platitudes into your brain ("There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator"). It screens with Käthe Kollwitz, a 1986 documentary portrait of the German artist. It's the latest entry in the German Expressionist Film Series. Cal State Long Beach, University Art Museum, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 985-5761. Fri.-Sat., noon. Free.