The Princess Bride
A movie beloved by most who have seen it, William Goldman's screenplay (based on a fake fairy tale epic that he created himself under a pen name) is constantly charming and frequently hilarious. Cary Elwes' performance as The Farmboy is a knowing reference to swashbucklers of film past such as Errol Flynn, and the backing cast are uniformly excellent. So many iconic quotes, it's hard to know where to begin. Robin Wright, Andre the Giant, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and even Dog Day Afternoon 's Chris Sarandon turn in solid comedic performances and the drama and romance are genuinely touching and believable. Anyone with a child who has not yet shown them this movie should make an effort to come out to the Queen and change their young lives. After seeing the movie as a child, I embarked upon a futile quest to find the unexpurgated novel by S. Morgenstern, only to be constantly thwarted by the availability of a version "edited" and added to by William Goldman. Only later did I realize that Goldman had written the thing entirely, in a post-modern move that presaged Charlie Kaufman's later explorations of the author's role in his art. One of the rare movies just as enjoyable for adults as for children, I can't recommend this enough. Royal Theater Aboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, (562) 684-4411; www.qmxroyal.com. Mon.-Thurs., March 26-29. 8 p.m. Call for cost.
Born Into Brothels. In this Oscar-winning documentary, Zana Briski, a New York based photographer, gives cameras to impoverished children of the red-light district in Calcutta, India, and teaches them how to take pictures. She captures how a bright and promising future becomes a possibility for children who previously had no future at all. This documentary is being screened as part of Chapman University's Socially Conscious Film Festival. Chapman University, Irvine Lecture Hall, 1 University Dr., Orange, (714) 997-6735. Fri., 8 p.m. Free.
Cool Hand Luke. Paul Newman inhabits this iconic role of a man who refuses to be beat down by the system, even though the system busted him fair and square, stealing change from parking meters. Few other chain gang prison films display this much romantic camaraderie. Luke will not be conquered, not after being locked in solitary, not after gorging himself in a hard-boiled egg contest (that launched a thousand frat initiations), and his hardheadedness earns him the respect of his fellow inmates. Cool Hand Luke stands as one of the great icons of American cinema, a rebel with a cause, and the film includes a classic quote beloved by hard-nosed dads everywhere—"What we have here is a failure to communicate." But it's not all men and sweat (not that there's anything wrong with that.) Consider the car washing scene, which jump kicked me into puberty when I first saw it. Long Beach School for Adults, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
Ladrones y Mentirosos (Thieves and Liars). Puerto Rico is the only U.S. territory where Spanish is the main language, and it has become the main gateway for cocaine into the U.S. East Coast. The film follows the lives of three Puerto Rican families as the older generations helplessly watch the deterioration of their society's youth. And if anyone can explain to me what the difference between a U.S. territory and a U.S. state is, please e-mail me at email@example.com. This documentary is being screened as part of Chapman University's Socially Conscious Film Festival. Chapman University's Argyros Forum 208, 1 University Dr., Orange, (714) 997-6735. Sat., 6 p.m. Free.
Paragraph 175. Between 1933 and 1945, 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the sodomy provision of the German penal code dating back to 1871. Only about 4,000 survived. Today, fewer than 10 of these men are known to be living. Five of them come forward to tell their stories for the first time in this powerful film. This documentary is being screened as part of Chapman University's Socially Conscious Film Festival. Chapman University's Irvine Lecture Hall, 1 University Dr., Orange, (714) 997-6735. Thurs., March 22, 8 p.m. Free.
Rocky Horror Picture Show. Some do Pilates, some do "The Time Warp." It's okay, boys, put on some makeup and look fabulous—a lot of girls are into ambiguous sexuality. Well, at least they were in Santa Cruz. Royal Theater Aboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, (562) 684-4411; www.qmxroyal.com. Sat., midnight. $8.
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