Two weeks ago, I wrote about Destin Daniel Cretton, the SDSU alum whose latest film, a feature-length edition of Short Term 12, won the Jury Prize for Best Film at South by Southwest. And last week, I covered the opening of the Media Arts Center’s Digital Gym Cinema, the new 49-seat theater in North Park that’s dedicated to independent, foreign and documentary films.
This week, I’m putting those two things together, because Cretton’s movie I Am Not a Hipster will open at Digital Gym on Friday, April 5. The film, shot in and around San Diego, has screened here several times, but I think this is its first theatrical run.
Hipster stars Dominic Bogart as Brook Hyde, an abrasive singer-songwriter who’s enjoyed a bit of success and is more than happy to wallow in his own unhappiness about it. He’s not a very nice guy, but all that is challenged when his three sisters and his estranged dad show up in the wake of his mother’s death. Cretton isn’t the bastard that Brook tries to be, but Hipster is autobiographical. Cretton enjoyed his own success at Sundance a few years ago, when his SDSU thesis film, a short version of Short Term 12, was given Best Short Film honors, and he does have three sisters (whose names are the same as the characters in this film).
This is a movie about retaining one’s sense of creativity through life’s hard times, and, more importantly, it marks another interesting step in Cretton’s career. Though it was shot on a meager budget, it’s well-written, well-acted, well-shot and well-considered. Hopefully, the feature-length version of Short Term 12 will find its way into theaters sooner rather than later and, with any luck, garner the same sort of attention nationally that it did in Austin. If you want to see the genesis of that film, swing by North Park this week and take a look.
6 Souls: Julianne Moore plays a forensic psychiatrist who winds up neck-deep in a dangerous, decades-old mystery when she begins to treat a new patient, Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
A Deeper Shade of Blue: Director Jack McCoy will be on hand this weekend, as this epic surf film opens at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Blancanieves: This twisted version of Snow White is set in 1920s Spain and centered on a female bullfighter. It’s shot in glorious black and white.
Evil Dead: The updated version of Sam Raimi’s classic is a serious gore-fest.
Jurassic Park 3D: Now with more velociraptor!
Love & Honor: A U.S. soldier in Vietnam returns to the states in hopes of winning back his girlfriend, who’s joined the anti-war movement.
The Place Beyond the Pines: Ryan Gosling re-teams with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, playing a motorcycle daredevil who starts robbing banks because he’s got a kid on the way. Bradley Cooper is the lawman on his trail.
The Sapphires: Though it’s standard stuff, this story of four young Aboriginal women who go to Vietnam with their obnoxious Irish manager (Chris O’Dowd) wears its heart on its sleeve. Loosely based on a true story. See our review on Page 40.
Scary Movie 5: Both Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan make cameos, which really is kind of terrifying.
The Waiting Room: Documentary about U.S. hospitals struggling to care for patients, most of whom are uninsured. Screens for one week only at the Ken Cinema.
Welcome to the Punch: Mark Strong plays a former criminal who has to return to London, which gives detective James McAvoy the opportunity to finally nab him.
One Time Only
Superman: The Movie: Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the 35th anniversary of the 1978 Christopher Reeve version. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Central Library, Downtown.
A Late Quartet: When one member of a famous string quartet, whose lineup includes Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener, gets an awful diagnosis, it throws the group into chaos and brings up decades of simmering hostility. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Them!: Classic 1950s horror film about giant irradiated ants trying to take over the world. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
There’s Something About Mary: The Farrelly brothers at their best. You’ll never look at hair gel the same way again. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Two Who Cared: Documentary about a minister and his wife who selflessly worked to save innocent lives during World War II. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Hillcrest.
Somewhere: Sofia Coppola’s meditation on fame stars Stephen Dorff as a disengaged movie star forced to examine his life when he’s unexpectedly saddled with his 11-year-old daughter, played by Elle Fanning. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Central Library, Downtown.
The Story of Luke: Luke (Lou Taylor Picci), a 25-year-old man who has autism, is forced to move in with his dysfunctional relatives after his grandmother dies. Screens at 5 p.m. Friday, April 5, at AMC Mission Valley.
The Sound of Carceri: This investigation of the relationship between music and visual art features cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach in a prison designed by 18th-century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi. There’s a lecture an hour before the movie starts at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.
Ghostbusters: Actually, if you were facing off against the undead, and you were trying to decide who you were gonna call, it might as well be Bill Murray. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Lafayette Hotel in North Park.
Magic Mike: Steven Soderbergh directs Channing Tatum in this semi-autobiographical tale of a male stripper. It’s Matthew McConaughey who steals the show, though. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Romantics: A wedding reunites Harvard buddies like Anna Paquin, Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel and makes them deal with their onetime closeness. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the Central Library, Downtown.
Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West: The title pretty much says it all. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at the Malcolm X Library in Valencia Park.
American Beauty: Kevin Spacey won the Best Actor Oscar in Sam Mendes’ debut, which explores the seamy underbelly of American suburbia. Screens Wednesday, April 10, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
K-11: This prison flick has a hard time straddling the line between jailhouse horror movie and campy extravaganza. A high-powered record executive (Goran Visnjic) is charged with murder and ends up in a branch of the Los Angeles jail reserved for gay and transgendered inmates. Screens at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The End of Love: A struggling actor has to grow up overnight when the mother of his newborn child dies unexpectedly. Mark Webber wrote, directed and stars in the film, which features appearances from a slew of interesting actors.
A Fierce Green Fire: This documentary, which features narration from the likes of Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Ashley Judd, chronicles the environmental movement from its roots in the 1960s through the present day. Ends April 4 at the Ken Cinema.
From Up On Poppy Hill: Director Goro Miyazaki’s brother, legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, wrote the screenplay, about Japanese teens trying to save their school from the wrecking ball as the 1964 Olympics approach.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Channing Tatum returns as Duke, and this time Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis join him in blowing things up.
The Host: The new movie from author Stephanie Meyer—aka the woman who wrote the Twilight books—stars Saoirse Ronan as a teen trying to save the world from some bodysnatching aliens.
Lore: German film about a young girl who must lead her siblings across the shattered remains of her country in the days after World War II.
Mental: Toni Collette reteams with P.J. Hogan, director of Muriel’s Wedding, playing a nanny who has to take care of five kids after their mother cracked under the strain.
Starbuck: A 42-year-old Montreal slacker learns that his secret past as a sperm donor resulted in more than 500 children—and that almost 150 of them have filed a class-action suit to uncover his identity.
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor: A marriage counselor ends up in a serious affair with one of her clients. Perry’s not actually in this one; Kim Kardashian, however, is.
War Witch: This Oscar-nominated Canadian film about a 12-year-old girl conscripted as a child soldier in the Congo is as harrowing as it sounds.
Frequency Film Festival: The inaugural edition of the Ocean Beach festival includes features and documentaries from around the globe. It’s a terrific selection—swing by frequencyfilmfestival.com for details. Ends April 6.
Admission: Tina Fey plays a Princeton admissions officer who could blow her career by accepting a student who just might be the kid she gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
The Croods: Animated caveman movie featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone.
Ginger & Rosa: Sally Potter’s new film is about two teenage girls, played by Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, growing up in London’s swingin’ ’60s, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ends April 4 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Olympus Has Fallen: Terrorists take over the White House and take the president hostage before being killed by disgraced Secret Service agent Gerard Butler. It’s ludicrous, for sure, but pretty enjoyable as R-rated action films go.
On the Road: Long-shelved version of Kerouac’s definitive beat novel stars Sam Riley as the writer’s alter ego, as well as Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart as Dean Moriarty and his girlfriend. Ends April 4 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Spring Breakers: Harmony Korine takes on the Girls Gone Wild mythos with this violent, exploitative, oddly insightful art film.
The Call: Halle Berry is a 911 operator who takes a call from a girl who’s been kidnapped by a serial killer.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone: Steve Carell is a fading spray-tanned Vegas magician whose popularity is being usurped by a David Blaine-esque upstart (played here by Jim Carrey). Can the power of illusion help him sort out why he fell in love with magic in the first place? Um, yes.
Stoker: The first English-language film from Korean auteur Park Chan-wook is a gothic tale about a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) who learns she has a creepy uncle (Matthew Goode) who shows up after her dad dies mysteriously. Ends April 4 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Emperor: Matthew Fox plays a U.S. general in Japan after that country’s World War II surrender, trying to determine if the emperor should be hanged as a war criminal. Tommy Lee Jones swings by as Douglas MacArthur. Ends April 4 at La Jolla Village Cinemas.
Oz: The Great and Powerful: Sam Raimi directs this big-budget prequel. James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis are all off to see the wizard.
Rocky Mountain Express: The IMAX theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center was recently overhauled. This latest entry takes viewers through the Canadian Rockies without leaving San Diego.
21 & Over: Straight-laced honors student gets crunky the night before his big medical-school exam. You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s written by the same guys who penned The Hangover.
The Gatekeepers: Dror Moreh’s Oscar-nominated documentary features interviews with all of the living former heads of the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet. And you’ll be surprised by some of the opinions they hold. Ends April 4 at the Ken Cinema.
Jack the Giant Slayer: The first feature from Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) in five years is about a young farmhand who takes the war between humans and giants straight to the giants.
No: Gael García Bernal is a young advertising executive who leads a campaign designed to take on Augusto Pinochet, the longtime Chilean dictator.
Snitch: Dwayne Johnson goes undercover for the DEA after his son is busted during a drug sting.
Escape From Planet Earth: Brendan Fraser voices Scorch, an astronaut who needs the help of his little brother (Rob Cordrry) when he lands on an inhospitable planet full of unspeakable dangers. Hint: It’s Earth.
Safe Haven: The latest Nicholas Sparks romance stars Julianne Hough as a mysterious woman who takes up with a hunky widower (Josh Duhamel).
Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation: Sure, they’re better known for their sick-and-twisted stuff, but this 30th-anniversary family-friendly greatest-hits set of films from the past four decades has some great stuff. Screens through April 13 at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.
Identity Thief: Jason Bateman hits the road to find out who stole his identity. Not a spoiler: It’s Melissa McCarthy.
Side Effects: This thriller is rumored to be Steven Soderbergh’s final theatrical release. If so, he’s going out on top with this one, about a woman (Rooney Mara) whose shrink (Jude Law) prescribes her anti-depressants that end up plunging both of them down a rabbit hole.
Warm Bodies: In a world populated by both zombies and humans, one member of the walking dead (Nicholas Hoult) starts to have feelings for a real girl (Teresa Palmer).
Quartet: It’s surprising that it took Dustin Hoffman this long to direct a movie. Quartet, about what happens when a faded opera singer (Maggie Smith) is forced to move into a home for retired musicians, including the rest of the quartet she left behind, is slight, but enjoyable.
Cosmic Collisions: So, that asteroid that might smash into Earth in 20 years is much bigger than previously thought? Awesome. This new IMAX movie at the Reuben H. Fleet looks at what happens when things bash into each other in outer space. On the bright side, if we go the way of the dinosaurs, at least future species will have a new source of fossil fuels.
Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow’s movie, about the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, is a masterwork of filmmaking, and the fact that it’s inspiring debate about torture should be more tangential than anything else.
Django Unchained: Tarantino takes on yet another genre—the western—and blows it up and makes it fun again. Jamie Foxx is Django, a slave freed by German bounty hunter Christoph Waltz, off to rescue wife Kerry Washington from plantation owner Leonardo DiCaprio.
Silver Linings Playbook: Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a bipolar guy from Philly who’s just out of the mental hospital, having lost his job, his home and his wife. He moves in with his parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro) in hopes of regaining his marriage, but things are thrown askew by Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who has problems of her own.
Lincoln: It might as well have been called The 13th Amendment. Despite another spellbinding performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln’s biopic is really about getting legislation through Congress.
Argo: Ben Affleck directs and stars in this take on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and believe it or not, it’s gonna be a Best Picture contender.
Flight of the Butterflies: It turns out Monarch butterflies are much like SDSU students—every year, thousands of them head to Mexico. This IMAX film captures their beautiful trip. The butterflies, that is.
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.
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.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.