Fellow geeks, get ready to tweet. Paramount Pictures and Twitter announced today that sneak-preview screenings of J.J. Abrams' eagerly anticipated sci-fi fantasy Super 8 will take place all day Thursday at theaters across the country – including the AMC Metreon here in San Francisco – a day before the movie opens nationwide.
To promote the sneak previews, the companies have designated the hashtag #Super8Secret, which Paramount has also sponsored as a promoted trend, giving Twitter’s global users a direct link to buy tickets. Participating theaters will be treat those in attendance to a free popcorn (with a concession purchase) at each showing. Hosting movie sneak previews marks a first for Twitter.
San Francisco underground filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar, longtime champions of B-movie sleaze and campy, made-on-the-cheap melodrama, have influenced cutting-edge auteurs as stylistically diverse as John Waters, Andy Warhol and Atom Egoyan.
Beginning Friday and running through Saturday, June 25, the twins and their winking parodies of horror and sci-fi will take center stage at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, where the Cult of the Kuchars will feature roughly two-dozen productions culled from more than half a century of their wonderfully strange cinematic endeavors.
Ah, to be young and a mutant. To be able to read minds, to soar high above the clouds, even to shape-shift into a supermodel one lonely night at the bar. Sounds like a blast? Think again.
The genetic anomalies of X-Men: First Class are a conflicted bunch, initially baffled by their superhuman gifts and, ultimately, persecuted because of them. They are feared, reviled and misunderstood, but when the world seems to teeter on the brink of nuclear holocaust, as it did during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, they prove uniquely talented as peacekeepers.
So many directors describe their movies as “personal” that the sentiment becomes commonplace, even cliché. Not so with Mike Mills – the Thumbsucker director, not the R.E.M. bassist – who drew on intimate details from his private life as the starting point for his powerful new drama Beginners, which opens Friday.
Sure, he changed the names and embellished the timeline – Mills, 45, says he never intended to make an autobiography, much less portray close friends on screen without their blessing. But in his real-life story, fraught with unexpected revelations and profound self-realizations, the director saw a unique opportunity to connect with wider audiences.
With IndieFest's Another Hole in the Head Festival now scarring horror enthusiasts at the Roxie, and the 35th annual International LGBT Festival just around the corner, there's no shortage of intriguing options for Bay Area moviegoers in search of an evening's entertainment. Among this week's best:
1. Midnight in Paris
During a time when single-screen theaters have become dinosaurs, hopelessly outnumbered by overstuffed cineplexes where first-run features crowd shoebox-sized auditoriums, the Castro Theatre is a refreshing relic, a movie palace that treats films as works of art. As such, it is the only venue in San Francisco equipped to project in high-resolution 70-millimeter format, giving local cinephiles an increasingly rare opportunity to see big-screen classics like Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia as they were originally intended.
For some, it’s a recurring nightmare, the dream that they’re back in school again. For Naomie Harris, star of the Toronto Film Festival favorite The First Grader, it was a job requirement.
At first, Harris, who plays an elementary-school teacher in a classroom with dozens of Kenyan children and one 84-year-old villager, was puzzled by director Justin Chadwick’s request that she actually teach class. With a younger brother and sister, she didn’t feel she needed to prove she could work with kids. But the lesson proved a blessing.
It’s no laughing matter, trying to sell a serious rumination on depression and the ways it can derail a life to Hollywood executives seeking warm-and-fuzzy romantic comedies and stories of teenage vampires in love. It’s even harder when that drama, about a man who combats his middle-aged funk by communicating through a hand puppet known only as The Beaver, stars the polarizing Mel Gibson.
Just as winter is the season of Oscar hopefuls, the dog days belong to big-budget popcorn fare – star-studded comedies, explosive adventures and comic-book crusaders bent on saving humanity from imminent destruction. This June will be no different, with a strong crop of contenders mining for box-office gold, including:
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