For the Bonnie Tribe! [Special Screenings, Dec. 14-21]

Served Like a Girl. This documentary gives a candid look at several American women as they transition from active duty to civilian life after serving tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wounded U.S. female service personnel often return struggling with PTSD, homelessness, broken families, serious illness, physical injuries and the aftermath of military sexual abuse. Some find ways to adapt and overcome debilitating challenges through participation in the Ms. Veteran America competition. Sponsored by the Art Theatre, Arts Council for Long Beach, We Are Hear, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, U.S. VETS-Long Beach, Uptown Business Improvement District, Fingerprints, Final Salute Inc. and AMPED Distribution, the screening is followed by an audience Q&A with the film’s director, Lysa Heslov, and military veteran Hope Garcia. Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435. Thurs., Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Free.

2001: A Space Odyssey. The Frida Cinema’s four-film Stanley Kubrick tribute continues with his 1968 masterpiece about a future in which space travel was supposed to take man to Jupiter by 2001. While that goal has yet to be reached, the film’s underlying fears of sentient computer systems is a real thing. (I’m looking at you, sock-stealing Roomba!) In 2001‘s case, the source of trepidation would be Hal, short for HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain), who increasingly ignores the orders of crew members Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood). Adapted from an Arthur C. Clarke short story, the picture won the Oscar for visual effects, but many feel it was robbed as a Best Picture nominee. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; Thurs., Dec. 14 & Sun., 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas. From director Ron Howard and the Dr. Seuss book comes this live-action family film about a green meanie (Jim Carrey) exacting revenge from the outskirts of Whoville by ruining Christmas for the townsfolk. Bring sweaters and blankets for this showing under the stars. Lake Forest Sports Park, 28000 Rancho Pkwy., Lake Forest; Fri., 6 p.m. Free.

It’s a Wonderful Life. In Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday classic, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is a banker on the brink of suicide after losing his town’s money. Then he is visited by an angel without wings (Henry Travers), who helps show George what life would be like in Bedford Falls if he weren’t around. Lido Theater, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, (949) 673-8350. Fri., 7 p.m. $9-$11.50; also at Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $8.

The Room. OC Weekly‘s Friday Night Freakouts entry allows you to see the 2003 film at the center of James Franco’s new project, The Disaster Artist. The Room is a sensual indie thriller—written, directed, produced by and starring Tommy Wiseau—that some (well, me) find unwatchable. He plays an amiable banker having a grand old time in a gorgeously shot San Francisco with his fiancée (Juliette Danielle). Everything changes when his conflicted best friend (Greg Sestero) joins in to form a love triangle. The Room has been dubbed “a modern classic” and “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” The Frida Cinema; Fri., 11 p.m. $7-$10.

The Aquabats! Super Show! Season Two! Binge-Watching Screening Party! Unfortunately, the event at which you watch hours upon hours of content, meet the ‘Bats, witness a live performance and try to win prizes is WAAAAAYYY sold out. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11 a.m. Sold out.

Doob (No Bed of Roses). The Bangladesh/India co-production is a drama written and directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki about what happens to two families when the patriarch of one dies. The theme is death doesn’t always take things away; sometimes it gives back. Irrfan Khan, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Rokeya Prachy and Parno Mittra star. Starlight Cinema City, 5635 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (714) 970-6700; Sat., 2 p.m. $15.

Jesus Christ Superstar. You can not only watch the 1973 cinematic version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera, but you can also meet Jesus himself, Ted Neeley. He portrays the King of Kings during his final six days of life, as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson). Neely, who still tours the world in the stage version, attends all three weekend screenings, the second of which is a special sing-along presentation. The Frida Cinema; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. $7-$10.

Die Hard. Frida offers this test to prove the 1988 action flick is a Christmas movie: Take a shot every time there is a reference to the holiday spoken or shown onscreen. They claim you’ll be seeing double John McClanes in no time. He’s played by Bruce Willis, who is trying to stop a terrorist plot to take everyone hostage at the company party of McClane’s ex-wife in a downtown Los Angeles high-rise. The Frida Cinema; Sat., 5:30 p.m. $7-$10.


The Living Sea and Coral Reef Adventure. The city of Laguna Beach and the town’s own MacGillivray Freeman Films, the award-winning producer of large-format films that routinely play in IMAX theaters, have teamed up to screen films outdoors in the new downtown Park Plaza pedestrian space. Bring low-backed beach chairs and blankets to see The Living Sea, which has Meryl Streep narrating a 40-minute survey of the world’s oceans that emphasizes it’s a single interconnected being that all life depends on. Then comes the 45-minute Coral Reef Adventure, during which narrator Liam Neeson takes viewers on a once-in-a-lifetime journey across the South Pacific. Greg MacGillivray directed both. Park Plaza, 200 block of Park Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-3311. Sat., 6 p.m. Free.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Midnight Insanity shadow casts the movie that has 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), a transvestite scientist whose home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien) and assorted freaks, including a hunk of beefcake named “Rocky.” Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Jingle Bell Rocks! Alternative holiday-music junkie and first-time feature-length director Mitchell Kezin hits the road to find what is behind such songs as “Green Chri$tma$,” “Santa Claus Was a Black Man” and “Merry Christmas Someone.” His journey has him meeting musicians, DJs, record execs, radio hosts, composers, critics and fellow collectors. Among those interviewed are Run-D.M.C.’s Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, Schoolhouse Rock creator Bob Dorough, and LA musicologist and Weird Al muse Dr. Demento. Art Theatre, (562) 438-5435. Sun., 11 a.m. $8.50-$11.50.

Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.  It’s a documentary on explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s now-legendary 1914-1916 British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. A 28-man crew survived nearly two years in the Antarctic when its ship, the Endurance, was trapped, then crushed by pack ice. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Kershaw Auditorium, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3600. Sun., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. $12-$15; Bowers members and children 12 and younger, free.

The Nutcracker. Bolshoi Ballet presents the holiday stage classic set to Tchaikovsky’s music and simulcast in theaters nationwide. Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll transforms into a prince at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, and soon other toys come to life as the girl and her new beau embark on a fantastic adventure. Regency Directors Cut Cinema at Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Sun., noon; Tues., 7:30 p.m. $13-$16; also at Regency South Coast Village, 1561 Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Sun., 12:55 p.m.; Tues., 7 p.m. $14-$17; and AMC Downtown Disney, 1565 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 776-2355; AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-4288; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, 1701 W. Katella Ave., Orange, (714) 532-9558; 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; Sun., 12:55 p.m. $18.

Toy Story That Time Forgot. First, as part of the Holly Jolly Holiday special event, families are invited to design special crafts and sip deliciousness from Portola Coffee Lab’s Hot Cocoa Bar. Each child receives a twisted balloon animal and glitter tattoo. Next, it’s a showing of the 2014 animated short in which Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the other toys must go up against dinosaur toys. After the show, it’s off to sit with Santa for a photo. Grab a spot early; bring friends, family, chairs and blankets; but know going in that outside food and drinks are not permitted. You can buy them all around you. Pacific City, 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach; Sun., crafts, 1 p.m. Free (but RSVP required); movie, 3 p.m. Free. Both near the movie screen on Level 2 (near Saint Marc and Smocking Birds). Santa photos after the show on Level 1.

Gremlins. A boy (Zach Galligan) inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet, unleashing a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town in this horror comedy directed by the great Joe Dante from a script by the great Chris Columbus. The Frida Cinema; Mon.-Tues., 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.

Arthur Christmas. In this animated comedy from 2011, Santa’s son Arthur (voiced by James McAvoy) is on a crazy mission to deliver the last present. Will he make it? This After School Club screening is aimed at children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Fullerton Main Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Tues., 4 p.m. Free. No registration is required.


The Meshuga Nutcracker! It’s a full-length musical comedy that features the silly sensibilities of the folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools) underscored by an invigorating klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” including original lyrics that celebrate Hanukkah. AMC Orange 30 at the Outlets, (714) 769-4288; Cinemark Century Stadium 25, (714) 532-9558; Edwards Aliso Viejo Stadium 20, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21, (844) 462-7342; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26, (844) 462-7342; Tues., 7 p.m. $15.

The Princess Diaries. For this Teen Book to Movie Club screening, participants are to have read Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries before seeing Garry Marshall’s 2001 family rom-com about Mia (Anne Hathaway, in what I think was her breakout film) traveling to Genovia with two friends after discovering she is heir apparent to the throne. Julie Andrews co-stars. Fullerton Main Library, (714) 738-6327. Wed., 4 p.m. Free.

The Polar Express. Robert Zemeckis directed and co-wrote (from Chris Van Allsburg’s book) this computer-animated family film that was cutting-edge in 2004. A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the train Polar Express. Tom Hanks voiced Hero Boy, the father, the conductor, a hobo, Scrooge and Santa Claus. Grab a spot early; bring friends, family, chairs and blankets; but know going in that outside food and drinks are not permitted. You can get them at surrounding stands and restaurants. Pacific City, Level 2 (near Saint Marc and Smocking Birds); Wed., 6 p.m. Free.

A Christmas Story. Bob Clark’s near-perfect 1983 holiday classic is about young Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) trying to convince his parents, his teacher and just about everyone in his 1940s Indiana town that the perfect Christmas gift would be a Red Ryder B.B. gun—despite the weapon’s reputation for putting your eye out, kid. The whole cast is superb, from Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin on down to narrator Jean Shepherd, who reads his own dialogue adapted from his novel In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Regency South Coast Village, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.

Eyes Wide Shut. Stanley Kubrick died six days after the first test screening of his final film, which proved to be just as polarizing as most of the master’s other pictures. The story follows a married couple (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who were actually married during filming and the 1999 release) through her sexual fantasies involving a naval officer and the husband’s revenge-fascination with a freaky swingers’ club in a country mansion. The Frida Cinema; Wed.-Thurs., Dec. 20-21, 7:30 p.m.; also Dec. 24, 2 p.m. $7-$10.

Gran Torino. Despite the old coot Clint Eastwood played here was more racist than the one he played at the 2016 Republican National Convention, the dude in the 2008 movie was more endearing. Presented as part of “The New Classics” series, the film also had Eastwood directing himself as disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski, who tries to reform a Hmong teen neighbor (Bee Vang) who tried to steal the old man’s prized 1972 Gran Torino. Fullerton Main Library, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., Dec. 21, 1 p.m. Free.

Cars 3. Family Movie Night presents this Disney/Pixar animated adventure that proves you’re old if you were well into adulthood when Cars launched the franchise in 2006. You recall in the original that the retired racecar voiced by Paul Newman was the mentor to upstart Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). Lightning is the old man in the third installment, which finds him out to prove to brash new racers that he’s still the world’s best. Fullerton Main Library, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m. Free.

Black Clover. Crunchyroll presents a new anime adaptation from Yuki Tabata’s popular manga. In a world where magic is everything, Yuno, who is gifted with exceptional magical powers, and Asta, the only person in the world without any, are found abandoned at a church on the same day. At age 15, both receive magic books, and Asta’s newfound anti-magic powers allow him to negate Yuno’s spells as both seek to become the Wizard King. The Frida Cinema; Thurs., Dec. 21, 8 p.m.; also Dec. 23, 1:30 p.m. $7-$10.

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