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School Daze, Zodiac, and Stardust

Cecil Pratt
Assistant manager, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

School Daze: Set on a historically black college campus, this film shows the struggles against racism within the black community. Although it presses on a heavy subject, your mood is quickly changed by the film's wide range of theatrics. It's directed by Spike Lee and stars Laurence Fishburne.

Zodiac: The fact that something so creepy actually took place in our state is reason enough to get hooked by this film, but on top of that there's solid acting by Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo, and there's the realization and theme of obsession that the movie brings to the table.

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar: It's campy, strong, funny, and in your face! You can't do anything but shake your head at how real the actors (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo) come across.

School Daze
(USA) 1988, Sony Pictures

Zodiac (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Paramount

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar
(USA) 1995, Universal

Joe Richter
General manager, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

Three things I normally wouldn't give the time of day but really surprised me:

First, season six of 24. My roommates were watching it, and I looked up to see Jack Bauer kill his best friend to save the life of a terrorist Bauer believed could help him track another terrorist. I was hooked and went back and watched the episodes I missed.

The second is Alpha Dog. I was amazed by Justin Timberlake's performance in a film about rich kids trying to act like gangsters but get in over their heads when they kidnap another kid.

Finally, Stardust. My dad liked this film so I finally gave in and watched it with him. Although based on a book, it was nice to see an original movie from Hollywood. With witches, royal heirs, and a love-strung hero looking for the same fallen "star," this film had adventure, comedy, romance, and a great score.

24 - Season Six
(USA) 2007,20th Century Fox

Alpha Dog (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Universal

Stardust (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Paramount

John O'Brien
Patron, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

There's something about Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth that forever burned it into my memory as a cool film. The ingredients: Five clocks set to different time zones, a world map that appears to be connected to a Lite-Brite, and the raspy bellow of Tom Waits. Mix together — beauty in motion.

One of my favorite scenes in Michael Mann's Collateral is when Jamie Foxx sits eye-to-eye with mobster Felix (Javier Bardem). I won't go into detail, but if you have a child who misbehaves and still believes in Santa, invite him into the room to learn about Santa's little helper: Pedro el Negro.

In Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things, what defines Okwe (played brilliantly by Chiwetel Ejiofor) isn't being a taxi driver by day or bellhop by night. Nor is it his curious nature to go digging into toilets with a coat hanger. But what he discovers is disgusting.

Night on Earth - Criterion Collection
(USA) 1991, Criterion Collection

Collateral (Two-Disc Special Edition)
(USA) 2004, Dreamworks

Dirty Pretty Things
(England) 2002, Miramax

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Harry Partch, Gustavo Romero, Diamanda Galas

San DIego's grand pianos; Spreckels, First Methodist, St. Brigid's organs; tenor takes lessons, the piano repairman

Cecil Pratt
Assistant manager, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

School Daze: Set on a historically black college campus, this film shows the struggles against racism within the black community. Although it presses on a heavy subject, your mood is quickly changed by the film's wide range of theatrics. It's directed by Spike Lee and stars Laurence Fishburne.

Zodiac: The fact that something so creepy actually took place in our state is reason enough to get hooked by this film, but on top of that there's solid acting by Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo, and there's the realization and theme of obsession that the movie brings to the table.

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar: It's campy, strong, funny, and in your face! You can't do anything but shake your head at how real the actors (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo) come across.

School Daze
(USA) 1988, Sony Pictures

Zodiac (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Paramount

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar
(USA) 1995, Universal

Joe Richter
General manager, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

Three things I normally wouldn't give the time of day but really surprised me:

First, season six of 24. My roommates were watching it, and I looked up to see Jack Bauer kill his best friend to save the life of a terrorist Bauer believed could help him track another terrorist. I was hooked and went back and watched the episodes I missed.

The second is Alpha Dog. I was amazed by Justin Timberlake's performance in a film about rich kids trying to act like gangsters but get in over their heads when they kidnap another kid.

Finally, Stardust. My dad liked this film so I finally gave in and watched it with him. Although based on a book, it was nice to see an original movie from Hollywood. With witches, royal heirs, and a love-strung hero looking for the same fallen "star," this film had adventure, comedy, romance, and a great score.

24 - Season Six
(USA) 2007,20th Century Fox

Alpha Dog (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Universal

Stardust (Widescreen Edition)
(USA) 2007, Paramount

John O'Brien
Patron, UltraStar Mission Valley 7

There's something about Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth that forever burned it into my memory as a cool film. The ingredients: Five clocks set to different time zones, a world map that appears to be connected to a Lite-Brite, and the raspy bellow of Tom Waits. Mix together — beauty in motion.

One of my favorite scenes in Michael Mann's Collateral is when Jamie Foxx sits eye-to-eye with mobster Felix (Javier Bardem). I won't go into detail, but if you have a child who misbehaves and still believes in Santa, invite him into the room to learn about Santa's little helper: Pedro el Negro.

In Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things, what defines Okwe (played brilliantly by Chiwetel Ejiofor) isn't being a taxi driver by day or bellhop by night. Nor is it his curious nature to go digging into toilets with a coat hanger. But what he discovers is disgusting.

Night on Earth - Criterion Collection
(USA) 1991, Criterion Collection

Collateral (Two-Disc Special Edition)
(USA) 2004, Dreamworks

Dirty Pretty Things
(England) 2002, Miramax

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Maya Moon gives Normal Heights a chocolate bar

Minimally processed and naturally sweetened food and drinks shine at new coffee shop alternative
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Ideal round of golf: “any Wednesday evening at Mission Bay with three friends and 12 Stellas”

Lowest score wins
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