TIt’s back. Comic-Con, that is, San Diego’s big moneymaker. Let’s hope this geeky wet dream goes off better than the July 4 fireworks display, right? The fact is, though, most people who wanted to get Comic-Con passes didn’t, and they’ll have to amuse themselves by watching the costumed hordes roam the Gaslamp or taking part in offsite events like the Zombie Walk. There’s a silver lining, though: Plenty of cool comic-film-related stuff will go on around town that doesn’t require a badge.
On Wednesday night, July 11— known as Preview Night to Con attendees—Horrible Imaginings, San Diego’s horror-film festival, will team up with Gam3rCon to screen Street Fighter, the Jean- Claude Van Damme adaptation of the video game, which would end up being Raul Julia’s final film. It starts at 10 p.m. at the 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Ave., Downtown).
On Thursday night, July 12, the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park will host its monthly POP Thursdays, featuring a screening of Sin City. The event begins at 7 p.m. with snacks and booze from Alchemy and an introduction from Neil Kendricks, the longtime film curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The film starts at 8:30 p.m.
From there, zip on over to The Casbah to catch the first two episodes of Matt Hoyt’s serialized, surrealized web series, Antarctica...huh?, which will be shown along with performances from Optiganally Yours and JP Incorporated and followed by headliner Tim Heidecker of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
Friday, July 13, brings a screening of the Tom Hanks gangster flick Road to Perdition—yes, it’s a comic-book adaptation—at the Central Library (820 E St., Downtown) at 2:30 p.m. Also at 2:30 p.m. at the Central Library—on Wednesday, July 18—you can catch the film adaptation of the recently deceased Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: This Sundance success, about a little girl living in Louisiana after an apocalyptic environmental disaster, is beautiful and beguiling.
Bol Bochchan: The lastest Bollywood romantic comedy to play Horton Plaza.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: So cold.
Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme: A Filipino horror-comedy about twin sisters whose lives start getting really weird when they both accept marriage proposals.
Natural Selection: An infertile Christian woman from Texas is shocked to learn that her dying husband’s been secretly making donations at sperm banks throughout their marriage and now has a slew of kids across the country. One week only at the Ken Cinema.
One Time Only
Shadow of a Doubt: Hitchcock’s classic stars Teresa Wright as a young woman who thinks her husband, played by Joseph Cotton, might be a serial killer. Screens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Mission Valley Library. Free.
Star Wars: The second best of all the Star Wars movies gets the dinner-theater treatment at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at The Range in Hillcrest.
The Empire Strikes Back: The best of all the Star Wars movies screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Dos Hermanos: The mashup between the Jewish and Latino film fests wraps up with this Argentinean comedy about an elderly brother and sister who must mend fences later in life. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Up: One of Pixar’s best finds an old man, voiced by Ed Asner, flying his house to South America, powered by thousands of helium balloons. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Gingham in La Mesa.
Fight Club: The first rule of Fight Club means that this sentence needs to end now. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido.
Guilty Pleasures: This documentary about the romance-novel industry (hey, one sells every four seconds) screens at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Singin’ in the Rain: What a glorious feeling. The Gene Kelly musical turns 60, and you get to see it on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12. Check fathomevents.com for locations.
The Immature: The San Diego Italian Film Festival presents this romantic comedy about a group of six adult friends who learn that due to a technicality, their final exams were nullified and they all have to go back to school. Together. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Viva Las Vegas: What happens in Viva Las Vegas doesn’t stay there. Elvis and Ann-Margret get busy at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 12 and 13, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
May I Be Frank: Documentary about Frank Ferrante, who was in his 50s, dangerously overweight and seriously ill when he walked into a raw-food restaurant in San Francisco and turned his life around. Screens at 7:30 p.m. July 13, at Evolution Fast Food in Hillcrest.
Rear Window: The classic thriller with James Stewart on which they based that Shia LaBeouf movie screens at midnight, Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, at the Ken Cinema.
King Kong: Striking a blow for primates everywhere at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 14, and Tuesday, July 17, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp.
Marnie: In Hitchcock’s classic, Sean Connery marries Tippi Hedren despite the fact that she’s a crazy klepto. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Light in Her Eyes: This documentary about Muslim women was shot in Syria just before things went nuts. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 16, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Silent Running: Bruce Dern is an astronaut ordered to destroy humanity’s last known plants in this sci-fi classic. Screens at 7 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Reading Cinemas Town Square.
Shut Up and Play the Hits: This concert film of LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Hillcrest Cinemas.
The Big Lebowski: See how the rug really ties the room together at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Gingham in La Mesa.
Point Break: Best surfer heist movie ever. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy and her posse hit the yellow road while you eat dinner and celebrate Pride. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at The Range in Hillcrest. Reservations suggested.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Will Ferrell is almost funny enough to make NASCAR cool. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Apparently, he does whatever a spider can. In 3-D, too.
Katy Perry: Part of Me: She’s also in 3-D!
Neil Young Journeys: Neil Young is old-school. Ergo, no 3-D. This one’s directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme.
Savages: Oliver Stone directs this thriller about two pot growers, played by Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson, who take on a Mexican cartel after the bad guys kidnap their girlfriend (Blake Lively). As in, they share.
Take This Waltz: Michelle Williams is just amazing in Sarah Polley’s second film, playing a Toronto woman who’s happily married to a cookbook author (a surprisingly restrained Seth Rogen) but finds herself falling for her neighbor.
Deep Sea: This IMAX undersea film was made by Del Mar’s Howard and Michele Hall and is narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Magic Mike: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and some other oiled-up boys take off their clothes for dollar bills.
People Like Us: When his father dies, Chris Pine learns that he has a half-sister, played by Elizabeth Banks. He goes to her to explain the situation and give her part of their dad’s estate but finds that, well, she’s kinda hot. Yeah, that’s creepy.
Ted: Mark Wahlberg’s girlfriend gives him an ultimatum: It’s either her or his walking, talking, foul-mouthed teddy bear, voiced by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, who also wrote and directed.
To Rome with Love: Woody Allen is his own worst enemy, because every time he turns out a mediocre movie—and this pastiche of stories set in Rome is certainly mediocre—it gets judged against his previous work.
Tyler Perry’s Medea’s Witness Protection: What the world needs now, apparently, is another Medea movie.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Finally, American children get to learn about Abraham Lincoln.
Brave: Princess Merida would rather be shooting arrows than playing dress-up, but when she defies her Scottish tribe, she sets loose a horrible curse that only she can fix.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: The first 30 minutes of this romantic dramedy are inspired, as Steve Carell and Keira Knightley find one another while an asteroid approaches Earth on a collision course.
Your Sister’s Sister: Lynn Shelton’s latest improvised film finds Emily Blunt taking Mark Duplass to her family’s vacation home while he’s grieving his dead brother, and he ends up getting busy with her sister, Rosemarie DeWitt.
That’s My Boy: Adam Sandler teams up with Andy Samberg for a stupid-fest.
Rock of Ages: Yes, that’s Tom Cruise belting out hair-metal tunes in this ’80s rock ’n’ roll musical.
Safety Not Guaranteed: This sweet, quirky Sundance rom-com stars Parks & Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza as a magazine intern investigating a guy who placed a classified ad looking for a time-traveling companion.
Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in 1965, this new one about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and run away from the dysfunctional adults in their lives will be adored by those who worship at the altar of Wes Anderson.
Madagascar 3: Apparently kids still fall for this. Parents, too.
Prometheus: Ridley Scott returns to outer space, exploring the origins of humanity and the original Alien. It’s worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D.
For Greater Glory: Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria star in this account of the 1920s-era Cristero War, the uprising against the Mexican government over religious freedom. Though it was shot in Mexico, it’s in English.
Flying Monsters 3D: No, it’s not a crappy studio blockbuster—this one is all about dinosaurs and was written and directed by Richard Attenborough, using Avatar-like technology, and plays the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
Hardflip: Teen skater learns his dad is John Schneider, aka Bo Duke. And finds God.
The Intouchables: French blockbuster sensation about an aging Caucasian paraplegic who hires a poor young black man to be his caretaker.
Snow White and the Huntsman: Big-budget retelling of the fairy tale finds the huntsman (Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) teaming up with Snow White (Kristen Stewart) to try to end the reign of the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron).
Chernobyl Diaries: Oren Peli, who wrote and directed Paranormal Activity here in San Diego, wrote this found-footage thriller about tourists who hire a guide to take them to that glowing vacation spot, Chernobyl.
Men in Black 3: Will Smith has to go back in time to prevent Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement from murdering Tommy Lee Jones, who’s represented in the past by Josh Brolin.
Battleship: Peter Berg’s adaptation of the Hasbro board game, pitting the American Navy against invading aliens, is seriously loud and explodey.
Bernie: Jack Black plays the real-life Bernie Tiede, a popular Texas funeral director who was convicted of murdering an 81-year-old widow.
The Dictator: Sacha Baron Cohen—aka Borat, Bruno and Ali G—is back as a despot willing to do anything to prevent the spread of democracy.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting: No, this probably wasn’t begging to be adapted into a feature film, but that didn’t stop Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison and Jennifer Lopez from getting involved.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: There’s a charm to this movie about British retirees who outsource their retirement to India, mostly because the cast is made up of folks like Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith.
Dark Shadows: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp just can’t remake enough stuff. This time, it’s the campy gothic soap from the ’70s which, apparently, was dying for the big screen.
The Avengers: It set box-office records for the biggest opening weekend ever, and for good reason. Joss Whedon’s take on the Marvel franchise is well-written, superbly edited, funny and enormously entertaining.
Headhunters: A corporate headhunter who steals art on the side finds himself up to his neck in trouble.
To the Arctic 3-D: Cute-animal-movie alert No. 2. Meryl Streep narrates this new IMAX movie about a mama polar bear and her two cubs.
Think Like a Man: Four guys decide to get even when they learn that their girlfriends have been using Steve Harvey’s relationship advice against them. Not surprisingly, it’s based on Steve Harvey’s book.
The Cabin in the Woods: This satirical deconstruction of the horror movie, from Joss Whedon and Lost veteran Drew Goddard, is one hell of a lot of fun.
Mirror Mirror: Julia Roberts is an evil queen, while Lily Collins is the plucky princess trying to get her kingdom back.
The Hunger Games: The most anticipated movie of the year to date is about a dystopian future where teens like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are forced to kill one another to stay alive.
21 Jump Street: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in a comedy do-over of the undercover-cops-in-high-school TV show that launched Johnny Depp’s career.
Secret of the Cardboard Rocket: Two kids build a rocket in their garage and end up in outer space in this IMAX film screening Saturday mornings in March at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Journey 2: Mysterious Island: Sort of a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth, in that it’s an adaptation of a Jules Verne book made family-friendly and in 3-D.
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: Liam Neeson narrates this IMAX film, screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Born to be Wild 3-D: Despite sounding like yet another animated animal movie, this is an IMAX film about baby elephants and orangutans and the people who love them. Oh, and it’s narrated by Morgan Freeman. Collective sigh for the baby monkeys, please.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.