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Stories by Scott Marks

California Center for the Arts becomes a veritable Disneyland

A talk with documentarian Ted Thomas and Disneyana collector David Yaruss

Ted Thomas describes his latest work, the 30-minute documentary Growing Up with 9 Old Men, as “a road trip to catch up with my cohorts, the other children of the 9 Old Men.” The nonet ...

Bonding with The November Man, Pierce Brosnan

I hopped a Trailways bus to the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills recently, where I teamed with CraveOnLine’s Fred Topel for a rousing chat with Pierce Brosnan on his latest action thriller, The November Man. ...

Happy 9 Old Men doc won’t leave you sleepy

To those familiar with the term, “9 Old Men” hearkens back to the Golden Age of studio animation. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Rescuers, this elite corps of Disney animations — ...

Steve-O confesses to pranking jackass SeaWorld

Even a jackass knows SeaWorld’s got to go. Steve-O (Jackass 1-3) had been called many things — daring, stupid, dipped in poo — but never an animal rights activist. That changed yesterday after O admitted ...

Leslie Zemeckis on Siamese twins, life on the midway, and directing Bound by Flesh

I’m old enough to have had a chance to witness an actual “freak show.” Chicago’s legendary Riverview Amusement Park played home to one such production right up until their gates were shuttered in 1967. At ...

Dig a hole: the Merrie side of Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall, who died this week at the age of 89, was one of the few movie stars to be twice immortalized in Warner Bros. “Merrie Melodies” cartoons, one of which bore her name in ...

Saved by the unauthorized Bell clip

New Lifetime “movie” goes behind-the-scenes at Bayside High

If confession is good for the soul, here’s a blast of Multidimensional Cellular Healing (MCh): I’ve yet to make it through a Satyajit Ray film, but I’ve seen and own DVD copies of all seven ...

Jewel Robbery tops list of pre-code curios this month on TCM

It was a period of virtuous depravity, where sin and salvation giddily intertwined. Suicide was a viable out (Three on a Match), crime did pay in the end (Trouble in Paradise), and a gal’s road ...

Get On Up makes Little Richard’s hair look super bad

It’s a Penniman’s world

Chadwick Boseman had the gargled speaking voice, foot slides, lip synching, and scrotum-smooshing splits down cold, but director Tate Taylor (The Help) countered by keeping his camera close and the unfeigned emotion at arm’s length ...

Very, very good?

Meaningful ménage

The PR slaves at Tribeca Films want potential viewers to believe their latest release, Very Good Girls, spotlights a pact between two high school virgins, Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, to enter college unchaste. All ...

A snippet of a swatch of Fifty Shades

A trailer for a trailer?

Sexually frustrated yentas of America have been heard. The movie adaptation of E L James’s S&M manual for bored middle-class housewives, Fifty Shades of Grey, is set to arrive on Valentine’s Day, 2015, and Hollywood ...

Anything but a fluff-ball interview

Gabriel Iglesias promotes his not so down and dirty Fluffy Movie

Occasionally one comes to an interview over-prepared. Such was the case with Gabriel Iglesias, the comedian who recently visited San Diego on a leg of the promotional tour for his first big screen comedy concert, ...

What the Sea Gives Me screens Saturday, July 19

Local “surfumentarians” and co-founders of the San Diego Surf Film Festival, Pierce and Petra Kavanagh, will premiere their latest film, What the Sea Gives Me, Saturday, July 19 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, La ...

Blu-ray blues or a hard morning’s plight?

4K restoration of Beatles classic gets one-week run, starting July 18

“Do you think it will be a 35mm nitrate print?” five-year-old Winnie Lickona joked while en route to Reading Cinemas Grossmont Theatre for last Sunday morning’s presentation of A Hard Day’s Night. “Oh, Winnie,” laughed ...

Panahi’s Closed Curtain finally gets a commercial release

Panahi appears suddenly and unexpectedly halfway through the film. His arrival is the most dazzling in-camera special effect of the year.

A boy’s life

“Twelve Years in the Making!” Sounds more like a tagline from a Hollywood biblical epic, not Boyhood, the latest, commendably ambitious film from director Richard Linklater. I know what you’re thinking. Would it really have ...

Something new has been added at The Big Screen

Just as sure as the turning of the Earth, the geek squad at The Big Screen works day and night to keep up with the latest advancements in technology. Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce ...

Humiliation, emasculation, and “that goddamn monkey picture!”

It wasn’t the first time I saw a movie twice in a theater. That distinction goes to The Parent Trap. With two Hayley Mills vying for my pre-pubescent attention, it’s easy to understand. But Planet ...

Rabbititis in San Marcos!

Do you see spots before your eyes? Do you feel any rabbit inclinations? Is multiplication your strong suit? Have you recently paid a visit to San Marcos? Good gwacious! You could be suffering from rabbititis ...

Celebrate 50 years of A Hard Day's Night at Reading Cinemas

Every reason on earth to be glad!

Has it really been 50 years since I strong-armed my mother into taking me to the Varsity Theatre in Evanston, IL, for a Saturday afternoon matinee of A Hard Day’s Night? The place was packed ...

Excess baggage

Fueled by implausibility, and for a good portion of the ride much better for it, Bong-Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer posits a nonstop, Earth-encircling train containing the microcosmic survivors of a society killed off by a global ...

Coca-Cola Freestyle comes to both AMC Valleys

Fox 5’s Josh Board loves OPP: Other People’s Popcorn. How do you know when Josh is at a screening? Walk into the auditorium carrying a Coke and a bag of corn and within seconds there’ll ...

Hitting the Oregon trail

My last vacation occurred two weeks after 9/11, when I flew to Chicago to bury my mother. The time was right to spend a few days in another town kicking the crummy dust of San ...

Ragging Bull trailer

Coming soon to a Red Box near you: The blah Bull! The redundant Bull! Martin Guigui’s The Bronx Bull! From the looks of the trailer, the only thing this has in common with Raging Bull ...

ow playing at AMC Theat

My late uncle, Fred Karmel, once dared to argue the merits of letterboxing with me. “I paid a lot of money for that 25-inch Zenith, Scotty,” Freddy grumbled, “and I’ll be goddamned if I’m not ...

Arab Film Festival hosts dinner and movie at MoPA

Annemarie Jacir’s When I Saw You screens Saturday night

San Diego’s Arab Film Festival is holding a mid-year event this Saturday night at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The evening of Arab culture features dinner, music, an art exhibit, and a new film by ...

Go to Heli

“You’ll get to know God in the land of the damned,” mutters one of the vast array of scumbags on tap in Amat Escalante’s shocking crime drama Heli, opening Friday exclusively at the Media Arts ...

The Signal director Will Eubank comes to town

Will Eubank stopped by the Holman...err, the Manchester Grand Hyatt last week to talk up his anything-but-sophomoric sophomore feature, The Signal, a mind (and genre) bending, eye-stretcher of a thriller that takes full advantage of ...

War is Hall

One sweet, one sour. Let’s open on bitterness. This is in regards to the movie review by Scott Marks on May 29 (Run Toward Danger). As usual, the facts about the Vietnam War are misconstrued. ...

Summer Youth Media & Tech Camps at Media Arts Center

Other than films screened at the Digital Gym and San Diego Latino Film Festival, it’s been too long since The Big Screen has plugged any of the more academic pursuits put forth by the Media ...

Free High School Film Festival Sunday morning at the Ken

The San Diego High School of International Studies Film Festival offers its students the chance to see their work projected on a big screen, and you’re invited to take part in the excitement. The fifth ...

Auditorium report card: AMC Mission Valley #9

Make no mistake about it: when you see a film at an AMC Theatre, chances are you are not getting the full picture. Case in point, auditorium #9 at AMC Mission Valley. The masking was ...

Taiwan Cinema Spotlight debuts at MoPA

Festival highlights the work of martial-arts director King Hu

The first-annual Taiwan Cinema Spotlight takes center stage this Thursday at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The three-day/three-film event, a joint effort by the Taiwan Academy, Pacific Arts Movement, and MoPA, showcases the work of ...

Run toward danger

The cynic inside me has grudgingly accepted the fool notion of young men and women enlisting to kill in the name of peace, but why would a civilian war correspondent risk life and limb to ...

Scott Marks, Annotated: Invasion of the Star Creatures

[Annotations appear in brackets.] Some nights, quality just won’t do, and last night was one of them. There are a couple of file boxes buried in my closet — bursting with DVD titles unfit to ...

The business of lust

Instead of surrealist spinnings along the lines of Luis Buñuel’s Belle du Jour, spend the four seasons in a suite at the Four Seasons with a high-school harlot in Francois Ozon’s Young & Beautiful. The ...

Where’s Casey?

A judge on Monday ordered an investigation into the whereabouts of the ailing Casey Kasem — backwards-counting deejay, eximious cartoon voice-artist, and the geometric centroid of Jerry Lewis’s MDA “Love Triangle” — presumably whisked from ...

Marx Bros. invade Ken Cinema to benefit the San Diego Opera

Hmm, wonder where they got the idea from?

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Sig Ruman in 35mm!? Whatever you do, don’t slow those nags down next Monday night when all horse-drawn carriages lead to Landmark’s Ken Cinema for the San Diego Opera’s deluxe benefit ...

May Ten: Happy Birthday, Big Screen!

It was three years ago today, Jim Holman gave us license to play! Thanks, boss! Ditto to you, Ernie Grimm. The smartest thing you gents ever did was not giving me an office. I work ...

New kid in town: Boffo Cinemas to open seven-screen luxury cinema in La Jolla

My old pal Pat Sherman at The La Jolla Light broke the story. Two La Jolla businessmen, Adolfo Fastlicht and Carlos Wellman, announced their company, Boffo Cinemas, is set to open a new seven-screen luxury ...

Dig a hole: Lee Marshall, voice of Tony the Tiger

The news is not so Grrrrrrrrreat! Lee Marshall, the voice of Kellogg’s cereal advertising mascot Tony the Tiger, is dead. Lee Marshall died of esophageal cancer on April 26 at a Santa Monica hospital. He ...

San Diego Film Critics Society holds quasi-annual awards luncheon

The San Diego Film Critics Society held its quasi-annual awards luncheon yesterday at the Blind Lady Ale House on Adams Avenue. Why do they call it the Blind Lady? Because only Helen Keller would put ...

David O. Russell in town this weekend to accept IBPF Hope Award

Fundraiser this Saturday night at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel

Academy Award–nominated filmmaker David O. Russell will be at the International Bipolar Foundation's (IBPF) fifth-annual gala fundraiser this Saturday night to accept their Hope Award. IBPF will host “Behind the Mask: Phantom of the Opera ...

Claustrophobes beware!

Hardy's hard life.

The last time mainstream audiences were locked in a one-character/fixed-setting experiment along this line, it was called Buried. Better to ride shotgun with Tom Hardy in high-octane mode in Locke than be trapped in a ...

Free showing of Batman documentary: Saturday morning at The Ken

Bring the kids to The Ken!

It’s long been my hope that Landmark’s Ken Cinema would throw in an occasional family film to introduce a new generation of moviegoers to single-screen living. While it’s a private rental and not on the ...

A certain tendency at Edwards Mira Mesa

The past three films I’ve seen at Edwards Mira Mesa have all been presented in the miracle of Letterbox! Instead of snugly cinched borders, the picture played center-screen with enough black at the head and ...

Jackass bites Student

Call me a jackass, will you?

A letter from the enemy: “I would like to complain about your movie reviewer, Scott Marks. He reviewed the movie Walking with the Enemy in this issue (April 24). That was some piece of jackass ...

Local filmmaker Mark Freeman screens new dance documentary

Rasa Dari Tari/Soul of Dance this Saturday at Central Library

Mark Freeman has been making movies for over three decades. This weekend, the award-winning documentarian, college professor, and all-around hometown film treasure unveils his latest work, Rasa Dari Tari/Soul of Dance at the San Diego ...

Workers Film Festival returns to Digital Gym

May Day! May Day! The second annual Workers Film Festival returns to the Media Arts Center Digital Gym starting this Friday. No heavy lifting required: the mission of this weekend’s three-day celebration of labor is ...

Lighting by Cundey

A talk with distinguished cinematographer Dean Cundey

With Dean Cundey comes a 24-carat-history of cinema. Forty years of irreproachable artistry and over eighty credits under his belt have earned the prolific cinematographer a place in the pantheon of contemporary shooters. He followed ...

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