"School's out for summer / school's out forever." Alice Cooper's lyrics feel more resonant when the calendar turns to May. Education institutions around the country unleash hordes of students for their annual vacation, so it's fitting that 1992's Dazed and Confused will screen at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Richard Linklater's classic high-school film is the perfect summation of what it means (and feels like) to graduate. Set on graduation day in rural Texas in 1976, Linklater's mosaic hinges on the life-changing experiences of Mitch Kramer (Willy Wiggins), an unassuming incoming freshman who gets a wild introduction to the roller-coaster world of high school.
It's a whirlwind night for Mitch, who witnesses the goings-on with naïve but inquisitive eyes. We watch him gain strength in challenging social situations as the movie progresses, establishing a sense of individuality despite various conformist obstacles. But he's just one of the many characters transitioning from a familiar experience into an alien and uncertain one.
Showcasing memorable early roles from the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey and Milla Jovovich, just to name a few, Dazed and Confused offers a brilliant collage of subversive archetypes and personalities. Jocks, nerds, sex kittens and political cynics are all given a notable depth often lacking in the genre. Also, by exploring a variety of different cliques, the film deftly examines the social traditions that define high school's hierarchy.
Linklater infuses the whimsical narrative with an all-star soundtrack of '70s rock classics (including Cooper's anthem), making the proceedings seem both overwhelming and seductive. Through Mitch's eyes, we remember our own graduation day and how it's impacted every moment since.
Anita: This investigative documentary tells the story of Anita Hill, the young lawyer who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct. Screens through May 28 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Blended: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore try to rekindle their box-office magic with this fish-out-of-water comedy about dumb Americans causing havoc while on vacation in Africa.
Fed Up: This documentary addresses America’s obsession with food and how our obesity epidemic originated from corporate misconduct.
The Immigrant: A Polish emigre (Marion Cotillard) arriving at Ellis Island is separated from her sickly sister and must trust a shady theater owner (Joaquin Phoenix) in order to get on her feet in early-20th-century New York City.
In Bloom: Two teenagers growing up in the Eastern European country of Georgia come to grips with cultural and social contradictions regarding gender roles and sexuality. Screens through May 29 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: The latest installment of the popular Marvel franchise finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time to recruit his colleagues’ younger selves in order to save mankind from the evil Sentinels.
Young and Beautiful: A gorgeous young Parisian woman decides to become a prostitute despite her financial privilege. Screens through May 29 at the Ken Cinema.
One time only
In a World: Attempting to prove her arrogant father wrong, a lowly voice coach competes for a film-trailer voice-over with a young rival. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at the Scripps Ranch Library.
Caddyshack: All hell breaks loose on an executive golf course when an irreverent new member starts challenging the old guard. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Tiny: A Story about Living Small: Members of a subsection of society decide to downsize and live in smaller houses. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
The Princess Bride: A classic fairy-tale movie that winks lovingly at the absurdities of fairy-tale movies. Starring Cary Elwes as the dashing prince and Robin Wright as the damsel in distress. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 22, through Sunday, May 25, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail: John Cleese and the Monty Python team rewrite the King Arthur legend in hilariously anarchic fashion. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 23, at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.
También la lluvia: Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a hotshot director who gets involved in a community revolt while shooting his next film. Screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, at the Hall of Nations in Balboa Park.
The Art of the Steal: Kurt Russell stars as a reformed art thief who decides to pull off one last heist. Of course, things don’t go according to plan. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
Tropic Thunder: During the filming of the most realistic war movie ever made, four actors are mistaken for actual soldiers and get tangled up in real combat. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, at Arclight La Jolla.
The Hedgehog: Fed up with life, an 11-year-old decides to kill herself on her 12th birthday. Screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Mission Valley Library.
Battle in Outer Space: Part of the Schlockfest series that pays homage to cult classics and campy films, this one’s about small creatures that wield anti-gravity weapons and mind-control devices. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the San Diego Public Library in East Village.
Babies: A documentary that looks at one year in the life of four babies from different backgrounds. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Women’s Museum in Point Loma’s Liberty Station.
Leon: The Professional: Jean Reno plays a master hit man who befriends a young girl after her family’s murdered by his bosses. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Arclight La Jolla.
Dazed and Confused: On the last day of school in 1976 rural Texas, a group of teenagers goes on a wild night of drinking and sexual promiscuity. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. See our review on Page 44.
Belle: An illegitimate, mixed-race daughter (of a Navy admiral) being raised by aristocrats finds herself in a precarious social position in Victorian England.
Chef: Jon Favreau returns to comedy filmmaking with this story of a well-respected chef who opens a food truck after being fired by a posh restaurateur.
The Double: Jesse Eisenberg plays a government clerk whose already-failing confidence is shattered when his exact physical double starts working in the same office.
For a Woman (Pour une Femme): A writer delves into her family’s history, including her parents’ time in a concentration camp, their ties to communism and a mysterious uncle no one wants her to know about. Ends May 22 at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
God’s Pocket: In a rough-and-tumble blue-collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia, a low-level hustler (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tries to please his fragile wife (Christina Hendricks) after her son is killed. Ends May 22 at Hillcrest Cinemas.
Godzilla: The gigantic mutant lizard is back and bigger than ever, ready to decimate a city near you.
Million Dollar Arm: On a mission to find the next baseball phenom in the unlikeliest of places, a sports agent (Jon Hamm) travels to India in hopes of convincing talented cricket players to play American baseball.
The German Doctor: A family traveling through Patagonia, Argentina, happens upon a mysterious German doctor hell-bent on continuing his radical experiments left over from World War II.
Legend of Oz: Dorothy Returns: Hollywood goes back to the well with this animated sequel to the classic Wizard of Oz, finding Dorothy whisked back to the magical land in order to save her friends from a new villain.
Locke: Set entirely in a car, this thriller follows Ivan Locke’s (Tom Hardy) downward spiral after he receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will change his life forever.
Moms’ Night Out: Sure to be advancement for modern feminism, this comedy follows a series of mothers who leave their clumsy husbands and rowdy children behind for a night out on the town.
Neighbors: A newly relocated couple can’t enjoy their beautiful new residence after a rowdy fraternity moves in next door. Every homeowner’s worst nightmare comes true.
Amazing Caves: From the Grand Canyon to the coastal waters off the Caribbean, spelunk into the world’s deepest and darkest caves in this mesmerizing IMAX journey that spans the globe. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Amazing Spiderman 2: Andrew Garfield returns as the high-flying web slinger to battle an assortment of new villains (Dane DeHaan and Jamie Foxx) while trying to save New York City and his beloved Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) from imminent destruction.
Fading Gigolo: A failed bookstore owner (Woody Allen) convinces his blue-collar friend (John Turturro) to start sleeping with wealthy women for money. Nothing could go wrong with this idea, right?
Brick Mansions: In the not-so-distant future, an impoverished Detroit neighborhood is sectioned off from the world by a massive containment wall. A volatile detective (Paul Walker) goes undercover to destroy a drug kingpin who holds court over the isolated ghetto.
The Other Woman: Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned. In this case three women—Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton—bound together by one cheating bastard.
Walking with the Enemy: In Hungary during the final months of World War II, a young man steals a Nazi uniform and begins a long search for his missing family. It’s directed by Mark Schmidt, founder of San Diego-based Liberty Studios.
Bears: Narrated by John C. Reilly, this nature documentary follows a family of Alaskan bears over a period of years.
A Haunted House 2: Because humanity needed another sequel to a spoof of a sequel to a bad original film nobody needed.
Heaven is for Real: Drama starring Greg Kinnear, whose young son dies on the operating table but is brought back to life. After waking up, the boy confesses to having been to Heaven, sharing his experience with those who are willing to listen.
The Railway Man: Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in this tense drama about a World War II vet who falls in love with a divorcée after meeting her on a train. In order to move forward, both must confront demons from their past and learn to forgive.
Transcendence: After working as cinematographer on Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and Inception, Wally Pfister makes his directing debut with this mind-bending sci-fi film about a terminally ill scientist (Johnny Depp) who uploads his mind to a computer after a terrorist attack leaves him in a coma.
Draft Day: Kevin Costner plays the general manager for an NFL team looking to score big on a young player in the latest draft. Somewhere, drama will be created out of thin air.
Captain America: Winter Soldier: Chris Evans reprises his role as the patriotic avenger who must now battle a mysterious super soldier who’s threatening to destroy Washington, D.C.
Noah: Darren Aronofsky’s long-gestating epic about the titular biblical figure (Russell Crowe) and his epic quest to build an ark and save the world’s species from a worldwide flood.
Divergent: The future is a world divided into factions based on tested virtues. A young woman (Shailene Woodley) threatens to topple this rigorous framework when she’s deemed “divergent”—an outsider who must be disappeared.
The Lunchbox: In Mumbai, thousands of lunchboxes are delivered every day, thanks to a famously efficient service run by couriers. When one of these orders is delivered to the wrong address, the mistake inadvertently connects an aging businessman and an unhappy housewife.
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Ralph Fiennes leads an all-star cast in director Wes Anderson’s latest film, which takes place inside an elaborate European hotel populated by eccentric characters.
Journey to the South Pacific: Let the glorious scale of IMAX take you to the tropical islands of West Papua, where life under the sea is just as lush and vibrant as it is on shore. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Lego Movie: That movie adaptation based on a classic toy set you knew was always coming but didn’t think would actually get made. Well, it did, and it’s here.
Mysteries of the Unseen World: This amazing documentary uses high-speed and time-lapse photography to focus on things that are either too fast or two slow for the eye to see. Screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.