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
"So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper—you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald . . . striking. So we finish the 18th, and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." Don't know what this is about? Then you need to see this movie. Not particularly hilarious, at least not sober, but an iconic dumb comedy nonetheless. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $6.
Abre los Ojos. In this steamy, intriguingly complex psychological thriller, the line between reality and fantasy is hopelessly blurred. César tries to make sense of his life after a car crash leaves his once-handsome face grotesquely disfigured. After he is placed into a psychiatric penitentiary for a murder he doesn't remember committing, César's only hope is to delve into the depths of his subconscious mind, where the answer to ending his living nightmare lies in his dreams. Later remade as the divisive Vanilla Sky. Irvine Fine Arts Center, 14321 Yale Ave., Irvine, (949) 724-6880. Tues., 7 p.m. Free.
Before the Rain. Set against the backdrop of Macedonia and London in a time of political turmoil, this film skillfully interweaves a series of love stories that ultimately serve to emphasize the savagery of war and its toll on human lives. The film will be preceded by a themed dinner at Tangata Restaurant (provided at additional cost). Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3679; www.bowers.org. Thurs., July 12, 7:30 p.m. $8-$10. For reservations to the pre-film dinner, call Tangata Restaurant at (714) 550-0906.
Boomerang's "Big Bash" Cartoons. A collection of short animated films for the whole family. Granada Beach (look for the large movie screen, Long Beach. Tues., 7 p.m. Free.
Charlotte's Web. The classic tale of a pig and his literate spider friend. Bring a blanket and warm clothes. Newport Dunes Resort Beach, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 729-3863; www.newportdunes.com. Sat., dusk. Parking, $10.
Chasing Dora. This worldwide, award-winning indie film is the story of three California surfers who take on an epic challenge presented by one of surfing's greatest stylists, the renowned maverick Miki Dora. Filmmakers Wes Brown, TJ Barrack and surfer Mickey Munoz are scheduled to attend. The film is being screened as part of the Huntington Beach Art Center's Surf Fest 2007. Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-1658; hbarts.tripod.com. Fri., 7:30 p.m. Free.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Suburban dad is visited by extraterrestrial intelligence and goes New Age. Classic science fiction from Spielberg. The film will be projected on the back wall of the Fox Theatre, so bring your own chair and dress warmly. The Fox Theatre, 512 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 870-0069; www.foxfullerton.org. Thurs., July 12, 8 p.m. Free, but donations accepted.
Flushed Away. Cultures clash as a classy uptown rat gets flushed down the toilet and has to learn to get along with the rodent hoi polloi. The film will be shown outdoors on a giant screen. Bring your blankets and beach chairs to the park amphitheater for a family night of fun. Arovista Park, Near Elm and Sievers St., Brea, (714) 990-7177. Fri., 8 p.m. Free.
Gemstones of America. Journey through the richest mines in the United States and through the vaults and high-security room of the Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Intsitute. Norma Kershaw Auditorium, Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3679; www.bowers.org. Fri., 1:30 p.m. Free with admission ($12-$19).
I'm Not Scared. This 2004 thriller by noted director Gabriele Salvatores centers on the ethical dilemma of 10-year-old Michele, who stumbles upon a dangerous secret while exploring the countryside one day. As he attempts to make sense of his family's involvement in a high-profile crime, Michele becomes entangled in the moral confusion of the adult world. Humanities Instructional Building 100, Campus & Peltason drs., Irvine, (949) 824-5493; www.summer.uci.edu. Thurs., July 19. 7 p.m. Free.
The Long Night. This overlooked film noir features Henry Fonda at the peak of his career. Joe Adams is a factory worker pinned inside his third-floor apartment after gunning down a mysterious, dapper gentleman. Joe's memories reconstruct the events leading up to the shooting and his involvement with two very different women. Orange Coast College, Fine Arts Building, Room 119, 2701 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-5599. Fri., 6:30 p.m. $5-$6.
Monster House. A group of kids discover that a house on their block is haunted and are driven to investigate. Along with the free screening on a giant inflatable screen, there will also be a bounce house, games, snacks and surprises. Cherry Park, 22651 Cherry Ave., Lake Forest, (949) 461-3450; www.city-lakeforest.com. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Free.