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Big Screen Entries for September, 2013

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How the Breaking Bad finale lied to you (and why you were so easily fooled)

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Spoiler(s) Alert! Braining Bad and deconstucting the hoax

Okay Breaking Bad fans, I’m going on record with the belief that Walter White froze to death in that car and the rest of the finale was his dying fantasy. My evidence begins with the keys magically falling from the ...

Origins, Part II: more from James Cameron's Piranha Part 2: The Spawning

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He must have been so tickled to do a remake and call it Aliens.

(Part 1 is here.) You all remember the chestburster from the first Alien movie, right? http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/30/53953/ That nasty little fellow poked his head out in 1979. Two years later, James Cameron gave us this in Piranha Part 2: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/30/53954/ I'm ...

Origins: James Cameron's Piranha Part 2: The Spawning

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The 1981 sequel was Cameron's first feature-length outing as a director.

Hello, and welcome to Origins, a look back at the early work of noted directors, with a special emphasis on how those early efforts foreshadowed what came later. I can't think of a better first subject for this column than ...

Review: I Am Divine: The True Story of the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

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Pink Flamingos was my Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every weekend for 52 consecutive weeks you’d find me parked 4th row center inside Chicago’s crumbling Devon Theatre for a midnight screening. I dragged every one of my friends to see it ...

New releases opening this week: Rush, Don Jon, and much, much more!

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In a hurry to have a good time? Rush to your local theater and see Rush, the new film from Ron Howard, director of such hits as The Da Vinci Code and The Da Vinci Code 2: Veni Vidi Vinci, ...

4th row center: The Last Temptation of Christ

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August 12, 1988. It was a sticky 91 in the shade as I stood in line at Chicago's Biograph Theatre waiting to see the first day, first show matinee presentation of The Last Temptation of Christ. The line snaked down ...

When letterboxing fails: the Joe Besser edition

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Maybe my editor, Ernie Grimm, is right. From Ann Miller's door frame splintering headdress to Joey Bishop's putting green coiffure, I do have a fascination with celebrity hairdos. With my birthday right around the corner, the Lickona youngins asked what ...

Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street pushed back to 2014?

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/25/53731/ November 15th, opening day. That meant something. So it shall be written across the one sheet, so it shall be done. You promised, Marty, you promised! YeahbuthowlongIgottawait? At the rate Marty's going, it's see you next year time for ...

The Frank Sinatra clock

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Guaranteed to work or Jilly will break its hands. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/25/53722/

There are spoiler alerts and then there's...

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Thanks to friend John Albert for slapping this on my Facebook wall. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/22/53558/ P.S.: In Safe Haven, Katie's new friend, Jo, is the ghost of her boyfriend's dead wife (I'm still crying), Teddy Daniels never left Shutter Island, and Rosebud ...

Archivists unearth fresh Stooges!? Moe, Larry, the cheese!

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It's the Holy Grail of Stoogedom. Forget about finding the flabby 10 hour cut of Greed or the missing reels of pinko Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons and say, Hello, Pop! For seven decades it remained the long-lost Stooge. A fire ...

GYNO - opening scene

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/20/53498/ This is the first result when you Google Image search for "women." Well, the cocaine and the cash arrived just now in a satchel on my front doorstep, so I guess I'd better get to work. GYNO is the ...

Art!Power presents Indian-flavored 'Foovie' in October

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What do you get when you cross dinner and a movie? As portmanteaus go, 'Divey' lacks the selling power needed to get across the experience Art!Power's food and film pairing is aiming for. Fortunately, the folks over at UCSD came ...

New releases opening this week: You Will Be My Son, A Single Shot and more

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The big releases this week are Prisoners and Thanks for Sharing. Neither was dazzling. Prisoners did a hell of a job giving us cloudy skies with 100% chance of wincing, and Thanks for Sharing did a hell of a job ...

Name That Logo: Deluxe Warner Bros. Edition

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In other parts of town the lion roared, the tower beeped, and the world turned with machinelike regularity and precision. Of all the major Hollywood studios, Warner Bros. was the one most likely to allow graphic designers to let loose ...

Dig a Hole

Dig a hole: Jerry G. Bishop, the architect of Svengoolie

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/19/53443/ He was Chicago television's answer to SCTV's 'Count' Floyd Robertson, a professional broadcaster picking up change on the side while dressed in a sub-Ben Cooper Halloween getup and telling jokes between commercial breaks on a low budget kid's horror-movie ...

Gyno-Horror!

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Ladies and gentlemen - but mostly gentlemen - I give you: the internal clitoris: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/19/53438/ "It's sole function – its singular, wonderful purpose – is to make a woman feel good!!" And now let's do a Google image search for ...

Interview with Thanks for Sharing writer-director Stuart Blumberg

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The publicist broke into my interview with Blumberg to let me know I had time for one more question. "Hm, got to choose," I said, scanning my notes. "Any questions about the movie?" asked Blumberg. It was a fair shot, ...

Grate cinema: Munster, Go Home!

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My first screening of Munster, Go Home! came -- as it did to many Mockingbird Heights maniacs my age -- on the top half of a double bill with the Don Knotts dud The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. MGH had ...

Star Wars origin stories? Think of the possibilities!

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All you haters just settle down and fire up the dream factory.

Some people weren't happy to hear the news that the upcoming slew of Star Wars films are going to include origin stories. And given George Lucas' idea of an origin story, I can understand that. [Language alert]. But Lucas is ...

Bob Hope reviews The Iron Petticoat from the grave

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/18/53378/ Hey, hi, ladies and gentlemen, this is Bob ‘More Dangerous Dead Than He Ever Was Alive’ Hope acting as guest reviewer here on The Big Screen. Speaking of mortality, I wanna’ tell ya’, that Marks gives me more attention ...

Grate cinema: The Spy Who Loved Me

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When it comes to playing 007, everybody does it better than Roger Moore!

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/18/53371/ At the risk of alienating James Bond acolytes everywhere, with the exception of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the franchise pretty much ran out of steam after Thunderball. People who prefer Roger Moore to Sean Connery should not be ...

DVD/Cable TV Roundup 1971-2011 – a 12-pack of mini movie reviews

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Mostly old ‘n’ obscure stuff gracing my homescreen this month

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/17/53337/ The Manipulator (1971) - Directed by Yabo Yablonsky, starring Mickey Rooney, Luana Anders, Keenan Wynn. An insane Hollywood makeup man kidnaps a woman keeps her prisoner in his warehouse full of props. I've been awfully curious about the The ...

Free parking returns to Horton Plaza!

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Has it really been seven months since the #@$%&*!#$&@#s at Horton Plaza decided to replace 3 hours of free parking with the flat unreasonable rate of $8 an hour? Business must have taken a hit, for it was announced that ...

4th row center: A night at the Egyptian and a day at the Chinese

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DISCLAIMER: The title of this article is false and misleading. For the sake of full disclosure, when confronted with a hundred foot screen, you'll find me parked two rows behind my customary position in the 4th row. Up in Hollywood ...

What San Diego multiplexes have that Hollywood picture palaces don't

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The past two days in Hollywood have been a rapturous vacation from San Diego multiplexes. Sunday night saw the sparkling presentation of a 60-year-old dye transfer, 35mm dual projector 3D print of Martin and Lewis' Money From Home. The screening ...

Trailer Park

Trailer Park: Rocky Stallone vs. Jake DeNiro in Grudge Match

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It's "bash DeNiro Friday" at

This is not the celluloid Visine needed to cleanse my eyes of the retinae-burning The Family. This is a joke, right, Bobby D? You can't be doing it for the green. Stallone is happy to devour any piece of meat ...

Paul Schrader 'likes' me!

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Halfway through the screening of Luc Besson's dismal mob comedy The Family, an image from one of Robert DeNiro's early, funny films flashed through my brain. Miami, 1962, and they've just tossed a bloated Jake LaMotta in the cooler where ...

Review: The Family

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I’d issue a SPOILER ALERT!, but how does one go about curdling something as putrescent as The Family? By now we have all grown accustomed to THE GREATEST ACTOR OF HIS GENERATION using the eeny-meeny-miney-moe method of script selection. With ...

New releases opening this week: Short Term 12, some other stuff

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Look, Destin Cretton went to SDSU film school and made good. And he even had the grace to put up with grumpyman Marks on the whole jigglycam thing. Go see his film, Short Term 12! (It's good!) There really isn't ...

Dig a Hole

Dig a hole: Noise reduction pioneer Ray Dolby

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"I was never a gold-digger, or an Oscar-digger, or anything like that. I just had an instinct about the right sort of things that should be done in my business. So all these things just fell into place." -- Dr. ...

Vanity, thy name is plate?

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It's one ampersand away from being just another plate on the 101. Considering this photo was taken in Hollywood, it's a shock that it doesn't read "UBER S&M." The fact that it's attached to a Caddy, -- aka a vehicle ...

Everything Comes From the Streets: San Diego's lowriders

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Hour-long documentary examines San Diego's custom car culture.

Quick brainstorm: San Diego history. Kumeyaays grinding acorn flour on rocks, Father Serra rebuilding the immolated mission, Pio Pico maxing out in Old Town, several bloody clashes, a few earthquakes, Horton Hall, Balboa Park, John Montgomery gliding over Otay Mesa, ...

Orson! Welles!

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Just watch this. It's not even three hours long.

A snippet from somwhere around 1:45: "Somebody said that Touch of Evil seemed very unreal and yet real. And I corrected that statement and said what I was trying to do was to make something which was unreal but true. ...

Village Person Randy Jones to tie the knot

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Hey! Remember The Village People, the supergay supergroup who helped to introduce Middle America to the concept of homosexuality with chart-topping hits like YMCA, In the Navy, and Macho Man? Randy Jones, the cowboy of the group and star of ...

Destin Cretton talks about his long-term commitment to Short Term 12

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Look at the big shot kid who years ago walked into Citizen Video where I used to work, with a copy of his first film, the superb documentary, Drakmar: A Vassal's Journey, in hand, currently making the rounds to promote ...

Debajo del Cuero: shooting the motorcycle outlaws of Tijuana

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A documentary about Tijuana's two-wheeled terrors, made in under 100 hours.

It sounds like the premise of a Vice short, but Debajo del Cuero (Underneath the Leather) – a documentary about Tijuana motorcycle club Sólo Ángeles – was written, produced, and directed by an independent team of filmmakers from northern Mexico ...

Studio collagist Jacques Kapralik created the fabric of Hollywood ballyhoo

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/10/52967/ Normally a derisive terms, Hollywood collagist Jacques Kapralik was the master of the cut-and-paste job. My fascination with sculpted, 3-dimensional caricature dates back to character design on a Colorforms set my Aunt Jen presented me with on the occasion ...

Crisis in the aisle: blogger calls cops over texting twit

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A midnight screening of a low budget shocker at the Toronto International Film Festival became even more horrifying when a brave blogger — fed up with blue lights dotting his peripheral vision — called 911 on a texting fool. It's ...

Dig a Hole

Dig a hole: Cal Worthington

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Never so much as a rank and file member of the motion picture industry, Calvin Coolidge "Cal" Worthington's presence was felt in practically every film produced during Hollywood's golden era. At one point or another, his crass commercial spiels and ...

Trailer Park

Trailer Park: The Art of the Steal

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I can remember when people read books instead of stealing them.

No, it doesn't look great, but everybody loves Kurt Russell, right? All I know is, I've been away from this blog for a while - the doctors say the scarring should be minimal, thanks for asking - and I need ...

4th row center: Triumph of the Will

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The long-awaited demise of Hitler's bodyguard, Rochus Misch, had finally arrived. His death at age 96 brings to mind my one and only dust-up with Bund-lovin' brown shirts. It was one of the first films I remember driving to after ...

New releases opening this week: Afternoon Delight, Riddick and more

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I thought Afternoon Delight was a smart movie. And I enjoyed talking to the woman who wrote and directed it. I came this close to liking Riddick. Scott? Scott got stuck with Terraferma, which was about forty times too earnest ...

Review: Terraferma

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Terraferma opens today at Landmark's Ken Cinema. Click for Showtimes. Director Emanuele Crialese (Respiro, Golden Door) opens by elegantly casting a net over the audience -- we assume the fish’s point-of-view -- hoping to reel us into his thawed Frozen ...

Eastwood and ex dig wife swapping?

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Any which way you can, eh, Clint? Maybe chick-bait Clint Eastwood has a thing for women with the last name Fisher. He spent 5 years shacking up with actress Frances Fisher and now, after a highly publicized split from wife ...

The 1887 graduating class of the San Diego branch of the Hollywood Secretarial School Group

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http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/04/52622/ TOP ROW: Mike Rosoft, Ward Processor, I.B.M. Selectric, Virginia MacWrite, Al Phasmart, and M.S. Dos. BOTTOM ROW: Florence 'Floppy' Diskette, Diablo Qume, Brother P. Touch, P.F.S. Wright, and Dorthea 'Dot' Matrix.

Interview: John Crowley, director of Closed Circuit

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To date, John Crowley has directed Intermission, Boy A, Is Anybody There?, and now Closed Circuit, which opened last Friday at a theatre near you. In my book, that makes the Irish filmmaker 4 for 4. An anti-Hollywood suspenser modeled ...

Fox Theatre San Diego, BCSH: Before Copley Symphony Hall

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Plus tips on how to train an usher, c.1929

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/sep/02/52466/ By the time I made my first visit to San Diego, the longhairs on Copley's dime had already overtaken the Fox Theatre. The closest I came to seeing something cinematic in what was once the third largest single screen ...

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