Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Big Dreams Online

A quick heads up: Director Dave Boyle has made his 2006 film Big Dreams Little Tokyo available free online “for a limited time.” The film is here.

To quote IMDB,

Big Dreams Little Tokyo is the story of Boyd, an American with an uncanny ability to speak Japanese. Boyd aspires to succeed in the world of Japanese business but finds himself mostly on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, his roommate Jerome, is a Japanese American who has always felt too American to be Japanese but too Japanese to be American…

The movie was filmed in San Jose’s Japantown (among other locations) so be on the lookout for some local landmarks.

San Jose Mariachi Festival is underway

The annual San Jose Mariachi Festival, branded this year as VivaFest, is an event that can fly under the radar. It rarely causes blocked roads, and the events are spread across multiple venues and two weeks of the calendar. But it is actually a major production and a great opportunity to see some brilliant music and thought-provoking films.

Starting last night, six films, held at the Tech’s Imax dome, present food for thought about Mexican music and Latino culture in the USA. Wednesday night’s film, “Danza Folklorica Escenica” (Mexican Folkloric Dance) looks to be the most directly informative about Mariachi music, and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Saturday’s film, “The Harvest” explores the hard world of immigrant child labor in the United States, and will be preceded by a keynote address by White House official Jose Rico.

The musical highlights are a Friday night concert and Saturday Sunday’s outdoor festival. On Friday night, Spanish Harlem Orchestra will play at the SJSU Events Center with opener Tito Puente, Jr. and a possible special appearance by Los Lobos. Tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster. As an extra tip, visit the website of downtown dinner/dance/margarita club Azucar for a special price deal that just about covers the Ticketmaster convenience fee.

On Saturday Sunday, the outdoor Feria del Mariachi features over a dozen mariachis and folkloric dance groups on two stages. Many of these groups are local, but others will be traveling here from as far away as Texas and Harvard University. Just a few of the groups have preview videos on the VivaFest site. Entrance to the outdoor festival is free.

  • What: San Jose Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival
  • When: Sept. 18 – 29, 2011
  • Where: Various sites, including the SJSU Event Center, HP Pavilion, and the Tech
  • How Much: Saturday’s Feria del Mariachi is gratis. Other events priced per event.

Edit: The Outdoor Feria is Sunday, Sept 25, from noon – 7 pm, on Autumn Street near the Pavilion.

Storm Chaser, Sean Casey, Blows into San Jose

Sean Casey and Marcus Gutierrez, stars of new the IMAX film “Tornado Alley” and of the Discovery Channel series “Storm Chasers,” will appear at The Tech Museum.

Yes, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) will be there. This custom built tank has wind-resistant flaps and anchor spikes. It can withstand winds up to 190 mph and is fitted with bullet-resistant windows. An onboard camera can capture 360-degrees storm action from the military-style turret.

When: 10 AM – 1 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where: The Tech Museum – 201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA.

Look for the TIV parked in front of the building.

Talk with Casey – get an autograph – take photos.

The Hackworth IMAX® Dome Theater:

“Tornado Alley” the film.
Opens to the public
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Facebook: Meet Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” Sean Casey at The Tech Museum.

Tornado Alley – Official Documentary Trailer 2011 HD on YouTube.

“Cars 2” Starts Up Today

I have read some negative reviews suggesting that “Cars 2” is not up to the original “Cars”, and that Conan O’Brien makes fun of the films liberal propaganda…

None the less, I wish that my now adult children were still kids. We would be spending an afternoon at the Pruneyard.

Camera 7 Pruneyard will make opening day and the weekend a fun family event. ~ Friday, June 24 thru Sunday, June 26  (1-7pm each day)

FREE with same day “Cars 2” ticket purchase: Face painting, balloon artists, carnival games and prizes, snowcones, contests, arts and crafts table courtesy of Home Depot, PLUS giveaways while supplies last!


Also, on Saturday, June 25 Barnes & Noble at the Pruneyard will have “Cars 2” fun:
11am – Storytime
1pm – Cupcake decorating
3pm – Build your own car
5pm – Race the car you built

Buy Tickets at Camera 7 Pruneyard


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Joann captured by "Brotherhood of the Black Flag"

I got what I wanted for my birthday.

I was captured by pirates and captivated by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

At Camera 7 Pruneyard, I saw the film presented by Sony 4K digital in 3D while sitting in a D-Box seat. I enjoyed the film. Also, all that Camera 7 had to offer made it a fantastic birthday experience!

More about 2D, 3D, D-Box, and Super 8 (the Film) tomorrow…

Get captured by pirates see Brotherhood of the Black Flag

Someone has a case of the Mondays…

Last night, Mauricio and I went to check out Incendies at the Aquarius in Palo Alto.

We stopped by Pampas first to grab a few drinks and a snack.  I got the Gaucho which was Ypióca Crystal Cachaça, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Mango, and Lime.  It was pretty refreshing.  It got me wondering what  Ypióca Crystal Cachaça was and so I looked it up when I got home.  It’s spirit distilled from sugar cane aged for 1 year in Brazilian freijo wood barrels.  Pretty interesting. It went well with the Canton ginger liquor, which I love.  Mauricio got the Cosmo del Diablo. I think the drink fits him perfectly!  Haha…inside joke from a Words with Friends game.  The drink was 42 Below Vodka Infused with 3 Chiles, Pineapple, and Passion Fruit.  If you like drinks with a bit of a bite or a kick to it, you’ll like this drink. In fact, I think I liked his drink a bit more.

We also shared the ceviche, which was pretty light and refreshing.  It made me think of the ceviche at Casa De Cobre since it was probably one of the best ceviche’s I’ve had in the bay area.

Afterwards, we grabbed some pizza at Patxi’s which is right across the street from the theatre.  We did ordered a combo pizza with half half of the Favorite which came with pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives and the Special which has sausage, mushrooms and black olives. We had nearly half the pizza left, but it was because the pizza is pretty big and filling.  It was really good though. They also have Hogaarden on tap, which is always a bonus in my book.

A few blocks away at the Aquarius, we saw Incendies, which had won a few awards and screened at various film festivals across the world. I love these older theaters. They just have a nostalgia about them that has me a bit sad because I know after awhile, the big commercial movie theaters will eat them all up until there are none.  Anyways, the film was rather heavy and serious so I almost feel awkward for wedging it in a post about pizza and a dive bar.

The film is about two twins whose mother’s death leads them to start to unravel bits and pieces of her life that let them to travel to parts of Lebanon and Palestine.  The imagery and method of story telling was beautiful and while I found a bit of the overall plot to be somewhat over the top with the twists and turns and even contrite and predictable, I still enjoyed it. I really don’t know why any mother would subject their children to learn what the two twins in this film learned, but I guess it made for a sad story to tell.

The film despite being a film of a series of sad and unfortunate events wasn’t with out uplifting moments.  While I felt it could have been developed a bit more, the strength of Nawal Marwan (the mom) character through all of her adversities was courageous. The conviction and love that she had for her husband and three children was very admirable.  It was also interesting to see the impact of the Muslim-Christian strife in the middle east. We take a lot for granted here in the United States. We live a very peaceful life here compared to so many other countries which are plagued with political conflict and wars.

Another side note about the film. They used a lot of Radiohead in the sountrack, which I felt was really fitting.

After such a heavy film, we tried to find something open that late on a Monday night.  We checked out The Wine Room in Palo Alto where we had a glass of wine and ended up talking for a bit.  Pretty cozy place to sit and talk.  There was a couple nestled in one of the corner couches, hope we didn’t kill their romantic time by kicking it in the back there with them.

Looking for something else to do after the Wine Bar, we headed back to Campbell and ended up at the Cardiff Lounge, which was nice because I ran into an old friend there who I was able to catch up with which was rather nice.  Polished off a few more drinks before heading home.   I think Mauricio and I did pretty good for ourselves.  Three bars, a restaurant and a movie.  Not bad, for a Monday night.

Free Thursday Movies on the Square 2011

Free Movies on the Square Thursday evenings in Redwood City – May 19 through October 6.

Come early for the best seats (a limited number of chairs and tables are available). Bring your blankets; bring food and/or drinks (no glass). In addition, there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance to get take out from.

Redwood City Courthouse Square
2200 Broadway Street, Redwood City, 94063


Movies May 19 – October 6:

The King’s Speech (R)
May 19 – sundown (approx. 8:30pm)

Inception (PG-13)
May 26 – sundown (approx. 8:30pm)

Hitch (PG-13)
June 2 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

Empire Records (PG-13)
June 9 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

Bye Bye Birdie (G)
June 16 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

Jurassic Park (PG-13)
June 23 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

The Green Hornet (PG-13)
June 30 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

How To Train Your Dragon (PG)
July 7 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

True Grit – 2010 (PG-13)
July 14 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

Ice Age (PG)
July 21 – sundown (approx. 8:45pm)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (PG-13)
July 28 – sundown (approx. 8:30pm)

Megamind (PG)
August 4 – sundown (approx. 8:15pm)

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (PG)
August 11 – sundown (approx. 8:15pm)

Toy Story 3 (G)
August 18 – sundown (approx. 8:15pm)

Mary Poppins (G)
August 25 – sundown (approx. 8:00pm)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG)
September 1 – sundown (approx. 8:00pm)

Sherlock Holmes (PG)
September 8 – sundown (approx. 7:45pm)

Date Night (PG-13)
September 15 – sundown (approx. 7:30pm)

Dirty Dancing (PG-13)
September 22 – sundown (approx. 7:15pm)

The Sound of Music (not rated)
September 29 – sundown (approx. 7:15pm)

Despicable Me (PG)
October 6 – sundown (approx. 7:00pm)

Nostalgic Free Movie Tonight in San Jose

A small representation of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County’s film collection will be featured at a free movie night tonight May 11 from 6 – 9pm at the historic Le Petit Trianon Theater.

The featured film includes 100s of short clips from our local past. Those who have attended previous movie nights know it is a one of a kind, nostalgic good time.

Attendees are asked (optional) to bring and share a fruit or food dish that hearkens back to the days when we were known as “The Valley of Hearts Delight” and agriculture was king in this valley. 1900-1950’s attire is also optional. A prize is given for best costume and recipe. Fruit Cocktail cooked in spam and apricot brandywere past winners. There is also a silent auction.

The Fruit Cocktail Club will be showing a “Film Cocktail” of various clips from the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County Film Archive – many of which have never before been shown in public! Gone are the days when orchards dominated the landscape, but the miracle of Kodachrome brings it all back. You’ll see planes, trains, ships, trolleys and automobiles from the longhistory of transportation in the Valley, sports highlights, scenes of long-gone buildings and landmarks, trips through the mines of New Almaden, Alumn Rock Park and views of familiar places from before your mother was born. Audience participation is encouraged – no film should be a silent film!

This event will also feature:
Vintage recipe pot luck dinner: Bring your grandmother’s fruit salad, your mom’s favorite prune dish, and your fruit-cocktail jello mold! Every year, exciting recipes from the past are enjoyed by all, and prizes given to the best blast from the past!

Silent auction of antiques, gifts, and other interesting items – there are always surprising deals to be had!

Costume contest! We welcome all flappers, swing dancers, and forties dames! Slide on your skinny ties, Mad Men fashions, and put on a poodle skirt, ladies! Bring your bowlers, sport your Stetsons, and fold your fedoras just-so, the best vintage clothes are always in style at Film Cocktail night!

Bill Foley asks you to come see, come remember and reminisce, and come enjoy the lost landscapes of San Jose.

A free film show to benefit the Preservation Action Council of San Jose

Tonight – May 11, 2011, 6PM – 9PM

Le Petit Trianon Theatre
72 North 5th Street
San Jose, CA 95112-5417
(408) 995-5400

Free Admission – Donations Suggested

Please contact Bill Foley at

As comfy as your living room, with higher ceilings

San Jose Woman's Club Landmark ballroom

The Landmark Ballroom at the San Jose Woman's Club

This weekend San Jose will get what might be the most unique movie-watching experience I’ve heard of: the “inaugural” Bean Bag Film Fest, hosted by the San Jose Woman’s Club. You can enjoy a double feature of cult films each night for three nights, seated in a comfy bean bag chair (first-come first-served), while sipping a pleasant adult beverage, in a beautiful art deco ballroom. There’s also food provided by a different food truck each night.

Thursday is Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland with Tikka Bytes food truck. Friday is Harold and Maude and Rushmore with Tac Gos food truck. Libations on Thursday and Friday include beer and wine selections. Saturday is a special 21+ event with Swingers and The Big Lebowski with BBQ Kalbi and cocktail selections including White Russians (natch!).

For more info, check it on the SJ Woman’s Club website.

  • What: Bean Bag Film Fest
  • Where: The San Jose Woman’s Club, 75 S 11th St, San Jose
  • When: April 14-16, doors open at 7 each night
  • Who: Thursday and Friday, 18+; Saturday 21+
  • How much: $10 per night

Photo by superde1uxe on Flickr, used by permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Elizabeth Taylor Film Festival at Stanford Theatre

Stanford Theatre presents select films featuring Elizabeth Taylor April 1 through April 18, 2011.

Wikipedia: Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011), often referred to as Liz Taylor, was an English-born American actress. She gained early fame as a child actress and was later recognized not only as a talented and award-winning film star, but also for her glamorous lifestyle and her extraordinary beauty, as most evident in her unusual and striking violet eyes.

Elizabeth Taylor films at Stanford Theatre:

National Velvet
Lassie Come Home
Little Women
Father of the Bride
Father’s Little Dividend
The Last Time I Saw Paris
A Date with Judy
A Place in the Sun
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Stanford Theatre
221 University Ave, Palo Alto

April 1 – 18, 2011
Show Times
Tickets, Location, and Parking

(650) 324-3700

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