Movie of the Week
It's often been said that no one is more anti-war than a soldier. Though I've seen some evidence to the contrary, Sir! No Sir! proves that historically there have been many within the ranks who have made the decision that war is not always the answer. This documentary about the development of the Vietnam anti-war movement from within the military is being screened courtesy of the Coastal Convergence Society. Expect a few Swift-Boaters to show up and complain. Pizza will be served, regardless of political orientation. Roundtable Pizza, 19750 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 964-2162. Thurs., Jan. 25, 7 p.m. Free. When calling for info, ask for Tom Lash.
Almost Beautiful. This rockumentary about the goth-rock band the Last Dance by Surf City filmmaker Rocky Costanzo is having its world premiere in Huntington Beach. Come see them roll out the black carpet. Huntington Beach Central Library Theater, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 842-4481; www.hbpl.org. Tues., 6:30 p.m. Call for cost.
Bandidas. So, this movie stars Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Dwight Yoakam, Sam Shepard (!?!) and was co-written by Luc Besson (double !?!). Didn't hear of it? Neither did I. Apparently the film was released in 2006 as a Cinema Latino Theatres' exclusive, which may explain why it didn't make it into my local multiplex. However, IMDB user "TC Candler" states that it's the most entertaining film of the year. The plot reads like typical recent Besson shtick—slick action wrapped with goofy slapstick and dialogue that sounds like an ambitious 17-year-old wrote it. But his films do tend to be guilty fun, so if that's your thing, check it out. Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, (562) 684-4411; www.qmxroyal.com. Fri., 6 p.m. $5.
Beautiful Dreamer. Laguna Beach Film Society presents this film about a World War II bomber pilot suffering from amnesia after being shot down and his wife's struggle with the fact that he has no memory of her. Laguna South Coast Cinemas, 162 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (949) 497-1711. Thurs., Jan. 18, 7 p.m. Call for ticket prices.
Bulldog Drummond. This 1929 film marked one of the first appearances of Drummond, a WWI vet with a taste for action who longs to stir it up a bit when he returns home from the battlefield. "Too rich to work, too intelligent to play"—aren't we all?—Drummond posts an ad in the classifieds seeking adventure and finds himself in the thick of it when a mysterious young woman answers his call. Be sure to keep an eye out for the cinematography courtesy George Barnes (who went on to shoot Hitchcock's Rebecca) and genius Gregg Toland (of Citizen Kane fame.) The Long Beach School for Adults, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, (562) 997-8000. Fri., 7 p.m. $1 materials fee.
Chelsea Girl. UC Irvine Film and Video Center presents a rare screening of Andy Warhol's experimental film where two three-and-a-half hour long films are projected simultaneously (with the orientation of the images and soundtrack emphasis left up to the projectionist). The Velvet Underground supplied the soundtrack. OCMA curator Karen Moss introduces the film and sticks around for a Q&A afterward. UCI Humanities Instructional Building 100, Irvine, (949) 824-7418. Thurs., Jan. 18, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
Dorian Blues. This film, screening as part of the Laguna Outreach sponsored Men's Video Night, is a triumphant tale of one young middle-American coming to grips with his sexuality in the face of his conservative community's disapproval. Poor kid. High school's bad enough without the gay jokes. But things turn out okay in the end, so unless you're given to happy tears, you can leave the tissues at home. Cap's, 3317 Ross St., Santa Ana, (714) 313-2069. Fri., 7 p.m. $5; members free.
Pulp Fiction. Anyone really need any more information on this? This cinematic cultural milestone electrified most critics, altered the face of independent film for better or worse, and remains the quintessential Tarantino movie—relentlessly watchable, profane, and visually arresting. Even if you haven't seen it, you probably already know if you like it or not. Pierside SurfCity 6, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (949) 640-2370 (ask for Harold Taylor). Tues., 7:30 p.m. $7.
Rocky Horror Picture Show. I never really appreciated this film until I got in to Roxy Music. Then I was all like, "Oh, I get it now." So, feel like a misfit? Enjoy wearing black and hanging out with drama kids? Haven't already seen this movie a million goddamn times? Then come on out to the Queen Mary this Saturday for the requisite midnight showing. It's Midnight Insanity's 19th anniversary! Bring something quirky to throw at the screen. The Royal Queen Theatre, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, (562) 684-4411; www.myspace.com/qmxroyal. Sat., 11:45 p.m. $8.
The Root of All Evil? This provocatively titled documentary from leading atheist Richard Dawkins will assuredly leave you feeling smugly self-satisfied if you're a non-believer and blinded with rage if you disagree as it argues the detrimental effects that organized religion has inflicted upon society. Got to hand it to the Unitarians for . . . well, pretty much everything . . . but especially for having the courage to screen something like this. This screening is part of their Tuesday night Salon and Potluck hosted by the Rev. Jon Dobrer. Discussion to follow, if time allows. Fist fights to follow, if you people don't behave yourselves. Temple Beth Tikvah, 1600 North Acacia Ave., Fullerton, (714) 861-7150. Tues., 6:30 p.m. Free.
Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. Now, I'm no prude, but I've always preferred the non-sick and twisted festival. It seems like more energy is spent being offensive than being creative in the Sick and Twisted showcase, but hey, that's got its place as well. Make sure to leave the kids at home . . . this stuff would make Walt Disney spin in his freezer. Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, (562) 684-4411; www.qmxroyal.com. Fri., 8 p.m. $8.
The World. This 2004 film from China is an examination of modern Chinese life as experienced by the employees at Beijing's World Park, described in the press release as "a bizarre cross-cultural pollination of Las Vegas and Epcot Center." Throughout the course of the film, director Jia Zhangke (channeling at times legendary Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu) portrays his characters' malaise in the face of a world which is changing much faster than human psychology is meant to endure. This screening is being presented as part of the UC Irvine Film and Video Center's Winter Program and will be preceded by a lecture titled "Fantasy and Reality of a Virtual China in Jia Zhangke's Film: The World" given by Professor Lu Tonglin of the University of Montreal. UCI Humanities Instructional Building 100, Irvine, (949) 824-7418. Thurs., Jan. 25, 7 p.m. $3-$5.
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