Before We Vanish. In the sci-fi thriller from acclaimed Japanese horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Cure), three aliens travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission before a mass invasion. Each takes possession of a human body, robs it of its essence and leaves it unrecognizable to family members. In Japanese with English subtitles. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., March 15, 2, 4:45 & 10 p.m. $7-$10.
Have a Nice Day. Chinese animation director Liu Jian’s acclaimed 2017 pulp fiction starts with slacker Xiao Zhang, who is desperate to pay for his fiancée’s failed plastic surgery, stealing from his boss a bag with $1 million inside. That sets off a hunt for Xiao and the money—as well as neo-noir-filled double crosses. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., March 15, 2:30, 5:30 & 8 p.m. $7-$10.
The Breakfast Club. ASIP Thursday Night Film Series presents this 1985 John Hughes film that is filled with parts that will make you wince, especially when the Brat Packers attempt to get deep. Cal State Fullerton, Titan Student Union Titan Theatre, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (657) 278-2468. Thurs., March 15, 4, 7 & 10 p.m. Free.
Wonder. Based on The New York Times best-seller, director/co-writer Stephen Chbosky’s 2017 family drama tells the incredibly inspiring story of August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a boy with facial differences entering the fifth grade—and a mainstream elementary school for the first time. His parents are played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., March 15, 6:30 p.m. Free.
Terrifier. Horror site DreadCentral.com launches a new series with this spinoff of the 2013 horror anthology All Hallows’ Eve, both of which were written and directed by Damien Leone. On Halloween night, maniacal Art the Clown terrorizes three young women—as well as anyone else who crosses his path. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., March 15, 10 p.m. $7-$10.
I, Tonya. Allison Janney just won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing the mother of Tonya Harding. Margot Robbie gives a towering performance of her own in the black dramedy as the titular hardscrabble American figure skater, who is known less for landing the first triple axel in competition than she is for being associated with the attack on her fellow Olympian (and America’s sweetheart) Nancy Kerrigan. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri. & Sun.-Tues., 2:30, 5, 7:30 & 9:55 p.m.; Sat., noon, 2:30, 5, 7:30 & 9:55 p.m.; Wed., 2:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Thurs., March 22, 2:30, 5, 8:30 & 10 p.m. $7-$10.
Oscuro Animal. Through early April, UC Irvine’s Latin American Studies presents the 2018 Latin American Film Festival, whose films explore themes of “Cultural Memory and Environmental Conflicts in Latin America.” That includes this 2016 drama about three women forced to flee their homes in a war-torn region of Colombia. Director Felipe Guerrero participates in a post-screening Q&A with the audience. McCormick Screening Room, Humanities Gateway 1070, UC Irvine, West Peltason and Campus drives, Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Fri., 5 p.m. Free.
Grey Canyon Premiere Screening + Alien: The Director’s Cut. First, see the sci-fi short written and directed by Zeshaan Younus, the Frida board’s president. A vacationing couple investigates strange happenings in the woods. Cast and crew members are expected to attend. Next, it is one of Zeshaan’s favorite films: the 1979 sci-fi masterpiece that is presented remastered and cut the way director Ridley Scott intended you to see Alien. The crew of a space-merchant vessel headed back to Earth is awakened from a deep sleep by a distress call from a nearby planet. Upon further investigation, Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and their crewmates discover they were not alone in being awoken. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 8 p.m. $7-$10. Alien: The Director’s Cut also screens Sat.-Sun., 3:30 p.m.; Tues., 2, 5 & 8 p.m.; Wed., 8 p.m. $7-$10.
Phantom of the Paradise. OC Weekly’s Friday Night Freakouts entry is Brian De Palma’s 1974 cult horror/musical classic. Real-life songwriter/sometime actor/’70s-’80s game-show celebrity Paul Williams plays a record producer who not only steals the music of a songwriter (William Finley), but also ruins his life. That sets in motion a chain of events that finds the songwriter disfigured—and out for revenge. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.
Aliens. The director baton was handed from Ridley Scott to James Cameron, and the 1986 sequel is now regarded as a sci-fi classic as well. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is awakened 57 years after being the lone survivor when her merchant space ship returned to Earth. At first skeptical about her claims regarding who wiped out her crew, Ripley’s corporate overlords are distressed when communication stops from colonials of the same planet that had sent a distress signal her ship picked up. She reluctantly joins the expedition to the planet to investigate. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat.-Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon., 2, 5 & 8 p.m.; Thurs., March 22, 2 & 5 p.m. $7-$10.
BDR: Backcountry Discovery Routes. The action-sports documentary is on the 1,080-mile, mid-Atlantic route that is primarily made up of forest roads and rural country lanes that cut through the Appalachian mountains, majestic forests, bucolic farming landscapes, Amish country and locations that played pivotal roles in early American history. Beginning in Damascus, Virginia, motorcycles traverse dirt, gravel and paved roads through remote parts of the state, as well as West Virginia and Maryland before ending in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. Hot dogs and soft drinks are available at the screening, which is followed by an audience Q&A with BDR Ambassador Ron West, who gives a sneak peek of the upcoming CABDR-South project. Mission Motorsports, 1 Doppler, Irvine, (949) 582-0351. Sat., doors open, 6 p.m.; screening, 7 p.m. Free.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The pioneering midnight movie starts with the car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaking down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). The transvestite scientist’s home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien) and assorted freaks, including a hunk of beefcake named “Rocky.” Shadow cast Midnight Insanity performs alongside what’s flashed onscreen. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.
Vertigo. The Alfred Hitchcock classic, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, has retired San Francisco police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) suffering from acrophobia and a mean case of the hots for his old college pal’s wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak). Maddy may be nuts, suicidal and trying to lead Scottie to those fearsome high places. Turner Classic Movies host Eddie Muller offers his insights. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, 2457 Park Ave., Tustin, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, 26701 Aliso Creek Rd., Aliso Viejo, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, 65 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, 7501 E. Carson, Long Beach, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Sun. & Wed., 2 & 7 p.m. $12.50.
The Riot and the Dance: A Cinematic Celebration for Creation. According to the Gorilla Poet Productions/Fathom Events’ screening description, “Now you can follow along with Dr. Gordon Wilson as he traverses our planet, basking in God’s masterpieces.” They say that the biologist “was once told he would never succeed if he kept blabbing about all that silly Creator-creature nonsense,” so one supposes this flick represents the last laugh in their eyes. AMC Downtown Disney, 1565 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 776-2355; AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Cinemark at the Pike Theaters, (800) 967-1932; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Sun., 12:55 p.m.; Mon., 7 p.m. $10-$12.50.
Kirk Cameron: Connect. While we know the dates of “the final two nights” of the encore presentation from CamFam, Provident Films and Fathom Events, the times and theaters are not scheduled to be released until after our print deadline. Former Growing Pains co-star Kirk Cameron turns to experts and his own experience the father of six children to provide “real help for parenting kids in a social media world.” Tues. & Sat., March 24. Theaters, times and ticket prices to be announced.
Aeon3. In the Thelema religion, which was founded by English occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), humanity is divided into a series of periods called aeons. The first, the Aeon of Isis, occurred during prehistory and is symbolized by the ancient Egyptian deity Isis. Next came the Aeon of Osiris, which covers the classical and mediaeval centuries. We now live in the third, the Aeon of Horus, when humanity is to enter a time of self-realization and self-actualization. (Your words to Aeon’s ear, Thelemites.) Fortunately, a lecture that explains all this better precedes the film. The Dock HB Coworking & Events Center, 5811 W. McFadden Ave., Huntington Beach; www.thedockhb.com. Tues., 6:30 p.m. $4.
Chinatown. The fictional re-telling of the true story of how Los Angeles acquired rights to Owens Valley water and diverted it to the city, permitting LA to grow and prosper—and for land investors to become wealthy by snatching up real estate that would be given plentiful access to water. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston star. Though Roman Polanski’s film is confounding, as the best noir detective thrillers are, the script by Robert Towne has been called the best ever written. Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $8.50.
Gun Crazy. In Joseph H. Lewis’ 1950 noir, a well-meaning crack-shot husband (John Dall) is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife (Peggy Cummins) to go on an interstate crime spree, during which he discovers how depraved and deadly she really is. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own light snacks and covered beverages, but alcohol is not allowed. Fullerton Public Library, Osborne Auditorium, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., March 22, 1 p.m. Free.
National Theatre Live: Julius Caesar. Ever wonder what became of the Governor after The Walking Dead? David Morrissey, the British actor who played the ruthless leader of Woodbury, became Mark Anthony. Morrissey played the leader of Rome’s eastern provinces in Nicholas Hytner’s October 2017 Bridge Theatre production of Julius Caesar, which covers the Roman conqueror’s triumphant return home through to the civil war in the same streets after his assassination. AMC Tustin Legacy at the District, (714) 258-7036; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Cinemark Century 20 Huntington Beach, (714) 373-4573; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Big Newport 6, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; www.fathomevents.com. Thurs., March 22, 7:30 p.m. $22.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.