[Special Screenings] 'Casablanca,' 'Bedtime Stories,' 'Memento,' More

Movie of the Week:

Before getting to Michael Curtiz’s classic war drama from 1942, I’d like to drop and do 20 for the Art Theatre, Mondo Celluloid and especially anyone who showed up on East Fourth Street in Long Beach late last Friday night for the Shaun of the Dead screening and first-ever “Zombie Walk.” Unlike what was reported here, the event was actually the next night, something I did not discover until hearing the polite phone message seeking a correction this past Monday, after I’d returned to town from a two-week vacation. May I endure Ed Wood’s Orgy of the Dead on endless loop for fucking that one up. Rest assured, I’ve checked and double-checked the fact that Cinema City kicks off its annual, 10-week summer-movie matinee with Casablanca, the story of American expatriate Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who seems to have put his past behind him by running a gin joint in unoccupied Africa during the beginning of World War II. So who strolls in one night, asking piano man Sam (Dooley Wilson) to play that damn song? You know the one: “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss . . .” Why it’s none other than Rick’s former flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), who’d upped and disappeared on the dapper chap one day before the war in Paris. Now Ilsa’s on the arm of the Nazi-hunted Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), who must sneak out of the city—with the reluctant help of the Blainester. Further complicating matters are members of one of the best supporting casts ever assembled: Claude Rains as slimy police Captain Renault, Sydney Greenstreet as slimier Signor Ferrari, Peter Lorre as creepy Ugarte and Conrad Veidt as evil Major Strasser. When your grandparents say they don’t make movies like they used to, they are thinking of Casablanca. Cinema City, 5635 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills, (714) 970-6700; www.cinemacitytheatres.com. Wed., 9:45 a.m. $2; $10 for season pass to all summer matinee screenings.

Also Showing:

Anime Afternoons
Have some wasabi with your animated films in the main room. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6334; fullertonlibrary.org. Fri., 3:30-5 p.m. Free.

Bedtime Stories
Hotel handyman Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler, finally in a believable role) tells bedtime stories to his niece and nephew that start to mysteriously come true. Like that one Twilight Zone episode (which one? All of them!), Skeet tries to capitalize on the miracle for his own good—but instead has his life turned upside-down. San Juan Capistrano Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 493-1752. Sat., 11 a.m. Free admission and popcorn.

Field of Dreams
Kevin Costner stars as a young father who hears voices telling him to build a baseball diamond in his failing Midwest farm. Movies On the Fox projects Phil Alden Robinson’s 1989 family fantasy onto an outside wall of the majestic moviehouse, and if you buy them, they will come—the “them” being concessions and the ”they” being right proper flicks shown inside the joint once more rehab funds are raised. Bundle up, slide into a lawn chair and, please, down in front, Desmond Howard! Fox Theatre, Harbor Blvd. & Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 870-0069; foxfullerton.org; myspace.com/foxfullerton. Thurs., June 4, 7 p.m. Free.

The Last Warrior
Dave Lowry and Stephen Turnbull present the most powerful samurai warlords. See if one is named “Belushi.” Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Fri., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).

According to this strange tattoo that was on my arm after I just awoke (whoever I am?), this 2000 thriller from director/Batman franchise savior Christopher Nolan is about a guy with short-term memory (Guy Pearce) hunting for his wife’s killer. As the script, which Nolan wrote from his brother Jonathan’s short story “Memento Mori,” moves the plot forward in time, each sequence reveals another clue leading back to the woman’s murder. Brilliant! South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701; www.regencymovies.com. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $7.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Major Jack “Strafer” Celliers (David Bowie) arrives in 1942 at a Japanese prison camp, where its commander, Captain Yonoi (Ryuichi Sakamoto), rules with an iron fist and believes British POWs are cowards for choosing incarceration over suicide. Trying to convey foreign notions of discipline, honor and glory to his fellow Brits, camp interpreter Colonel John Lawrence (Tom Conti) is taken for a traitor in Nagisa Oshima’s 1983 war drama. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600; www.bowers.org. Sat., 1:30 p.m. Free with paid admission ($9-$12).

The titular character, an orphan of the Rwandan genocide, steals a machete from the market in Kigali before setting off with his friend Sangwa for a journey to the countryside in search of justice. Lee Isaac Chung’s independent film won five awards at festivals around the world, including the Grand Jury Prize at 2007’s AFI Fest. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6334; fullertonlibrary.org. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Free. The library suggests leaving children under 17 with the sitter.

Rachel Getting Married
When twentysomething Rachel (Anne Hathaway, who took away a Best Actress Oscar nomination for this role) is released from the rehab she’s been in and out of during the past 10 years to attend her sister’s wedding, long-simmering tensions are forced to the surface. San Juan Capistrano Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 493-1752. Fri., 7 p.m. Free admission and popcorn.

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