El Chicano. Ben Hernandez Bray’s 2018 drama is about East LA twin brothers (Raúl Castillo in a dual role) choosing to live their lives differently and winding up on opposite sides of the law. Regency Westminster, 6721 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, (714) 893-4222. Thurs., May 9, 11:40 a.m. & 10 p.m. $8.50-$10.50; also at Starlight Triangle Cinemas, 1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 650-4300; starlightcinemas.com. Thurs., May 9, 11:40 a.m., 2:20, 5, 7:40 & 10:20 p.m.; Starlight Cinema City, 5635 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (714) 970-6700. Thurs., May 9, 4:50, 7:30 & 10:10 p.m. Call theaters for ticket prices.
Her Smell. Writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s new indie is about the self-destructive lead singer (Elisabeth Moss) of a fictional ’90s, all-female punk-rock band. Becky Something’s excesses derail her band Something She’s national tour. The Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; thefridacinema.org.Thurs., May 9, 2, 5 & 8 p.m. $7-$10.
The Warriors: 40th Anniversary. In the New York City of a dystopian near-future (as envisioned in Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic), the leader of the Gramercy Riffs calls on all street gangs to band together to overtake the city. But he is assassinated by the psychotic leader of the Rogues, the Warriors are blamed, and the latter gang flees through the city’s underbelly with every other banger in pursuit. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org.Thurs., May 9, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m. $7-$10.
Chondra Pierce: Unashamed. The Christian comedian searches the world for people who took stands for Jesus, no matter what it cost them. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com..Thurs., May 9, 7 p.m. $14.
Tolkien. Dome Karukoski’s new bio-drama is about the formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult). Regency South Coast Village, 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 557-5701. Opens Thurs., May 9, 7:15 p.m. $9-$12; also at Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, 25471 Rancho Niguel Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Opens Fri.; call for show times and ticket prices.
Shadow. The new wuxi epic from director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) is set in China’s Three Kingdoms period, when Commander Yu (Deng Chao) uses a body double (also played by Chao) in a plot against Pei’s king (Zheng Kai). The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 12:30, 3 & 5 p.m.; Sun. & Wed., 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m.; Mon.-Tues., 2:30, 5, 7:30 & 10 p.m.; Thurs., May 16, 2:30 p.m. $7-$10.
Charlie Says. Mary Harron’s provocative new film is based on the lives and crimes of murderous cult leader Charles Manson (Matt Smith) and the three women who killed for him—Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon) and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón)—in the summer of ’69. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 5:30 & 8 p.m.; Sun., noon & 10 p.m.; Mon.-Tues., 2:30, 5, 7:30 & 10 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., May 16, 10:15 p.m. $7-$10.
Senior Thesis Cycle 8 Film Screenings. These films premiere, but not necessarily in this order: Brain Dead; Grief Rage and Her Keepers; Permancense; The Hole; and The Sisters of St. Benedict. Titles are subject to change, and the films are also live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event and click the link.) Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, 283 N. Cypress St., Orange, (714) 997-6765; chapman.edu/dodge.Fri., 7 p.m. Free.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. After 25 years of starts and stops and even a documentary that chronicled near disasters during filmmaking (2002’s Lost in La Mancha), Terry Gilliam’s adventure fantasy finally arrives. A cynical advertising director (Adam Driver) is mistaken for Sancho Panza by an old Spanish shoe maker (Jonathan Pryce) who believes he is Don Quixote. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri.-Sat. & Mon.-Thurs., May 16, 10 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 p.m. $7-$10.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The pioneering midnight movie starts with the car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaking down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). The transvestite scientist’s home also hosts a rocking biker (Meat Loaf), a creepy butler (Richard O’Brien) and assorted freaks, including a hunk of beefcake named “Rocky.” Live shadow-cast troupe KAOS performs in Santa Ana, while it’s Midnight Insanity in Long Beach. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org.Fri., 11:30 p.m. $7-$10; also at Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 438-5435; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $9-$12.
The Met: Live in HD: Dialogues des Carmélites. Francis Poulenc’s devastating modern masterpiece is set in 1789 Paris, where life changes are in store for Blanche (Isabel Leonard) after the fearful daughter of the Marquis de la Force has her carriage held up by a mob on the eve of the French Revolution. The opera is sung in French with English subtitles. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Sat., 9 a.m. (live); Wed., 1 & 6:30 p.m. (encore). $16-$24.
Mommie Dearest. Celebrate Mother’s Day with mom by seeing how much worse she could have been. Frank Perry’s 1981 adaptation of Christina Crawford’s best-selling tell-all about her abusive mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is a campy classic thanks to Faye Dunaway chewing up the scenery in the title role. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Sat., 11 a.m. $9-$12; also at the Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sun., 4 p.m. $7-$10.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Follow Arthur, King of the Britons; Sir Lancelot the Brave; and Sir Robin the Not-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot as they follow God’s directive to find the Holy Grail in the 1975 cult classic. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 6 p.m. $7-$10.
Epic Home Haunts. HorrorBuzz and Midsummer Scream present this 90-minute documentary by Saga Studios that celebrates legendary Southern California haunts, including Boot Hill (Irvine), Rotten Apple 907 (Burbank), Beware the Dark Realm (Santa Clarita) and Restless Souls Manor (Palmdale). Immediately following the screening, HorrorBuzz founder Norm Gidney leads a spirited audience Q&A and live panel discussion with filmmaker Josh Quillin, Jon Cooke of Plague Productions, haunt-industry professional Ted Dougherty and Midsummer Scream creative director Rick West. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 7 p.m. $10.
Graduate Thesis Cycle 0, 7 & 8 Film Screenings. Grad student filmmakers premiere their works, but not necessarily in this order: Bad Dog; Blocked; Blood Light; and I Can See the Star. These are also live streamed. (Go to the website below, scroll to the screening event and click the link.) Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, (714) 997-6765; chapman.edu/dodge. Sat., 7 p.m. Free.
Batman Forever. DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Fathom Events continue single-day screenings of Batman character movies with Joel Schumacher’s 1995 entry that has Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) taking in orphaned circus acrobat Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell). Their alter egos Batman and Robin take on Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey). Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Sun., 1 & 4 p.m. $10.50-$12.50.
What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Directors Ira Steven Behr (showrunner of the original series) and David Zappone (Star Trek docs The Captains and For the Love of Spock) use extensive cast interviews, show footage presented in HD for the first time anywhere and brand-new animated storyboards showing what could have been (and what still might be) from “the black sheep” of the TV and film franchise. The one-night-only event includes a roundtable discussion on the making of the documentary and, while supplies last, an exclusive two-sided poster for audience members. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com.Mon., 7 p.m. $12.50.
Batman & Robin. DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Fathom Events conclude single-day screenings of Batman character movies with Joel Schumacher’s 1997 flick that has the Caped Crusader (George Clooney), Robin (Chris O’Donnell) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) going up against Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Tues., 4 & 7 p.m. $10.50-$12.50.
Grease. Flashback Tuesday presents Randal Kleiser’s hit 1978 musical about Aussie exchange student Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and bad-boy gang leader Danny (John Travolta). They hooked up during the summer, but their relationship changes once school starts. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Tues., 7:30 p.m. $8.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The monthlong celebration of Terry Gilliam continues with his 1998 psychedelic fever dream starring Johnny Depp as author, gonzo journalist and walking medicine chest Hunter S. Thompson. Here named Raoul Duke, he is supposed to be covering a car race in the Mojave Desert, but Sin City keeps getting in the way. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Wed.-Thurs., May 16, 2, 5:30 & 8 p.m. $7-$10.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The 1977 Steven Spielberg sci-fi classic is about a suburban dad (Richard Dreyfus) who is visited by extraterrestrial intelligence before playing with his mashed potatoes. Starlight Cinema City, (714) 970-6700. Wed., 7 p.m. Call for ticket prices.
A Touch of Sin. International Film Club, Illuminations, Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion’s International Week: Building Local and Global Connections, and the Department of Film and Media Studies present Jia Zhangke’s 2013 drama that is based on real news stories about ordinary Chinese people struggling to deal with a rapidly changing society. A light dinner and discussion follow the film. UC Irvine, McCormick Screening Room, Humanities Gateway 1070, Irvine; uci.edu. Wed., 7 p.m. Free.
Back to the Future. Director and co-writer Bob Zemeckis feared he had a flop on his hands, but then he watched it become the top grossing film of 1985, with a cool $385 million. Michael J. Fox plays a teen who travels back in time to when his parents were still in high school. Regency South Coast Village, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9.
Cowboys & Aliens. Jon Favreau’s 2011 sci-fi western has Absolution town folks, their leader (Harrison Ford), Apache warriors, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) and other outlaws uniting against alien forces. Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6327. Thurs., May 16, 1 p.m. Free.
Saga of Tanya the Evil—the Movie. Fathom Events and Crunchyroll present the U.S. theatrical debut of the direct sequel to the anime series. Imperial Army Major Tanya Degurechaff avoids death and a trip to hell while battling the Republic Army. The screening event includes an interview with director Yutaka Uemura, behind-the-scenes footage and the inspiration for the story arc. Various theaters; www.fathomevents.com. Thurs., May 16, 7:30 p.m. $12.50.
The Exhibition Room Silent Film Series. The speakeasy, which one enters with a password and through a phone booth, and Long Beach Heritage Museum continue their semi-regular screenings of silent films. Women in silent films are celebrated on “Mimosa Day.” The Exhibition Room—Long Beach Craft Cocktails, 1117 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, (562) 826-2940; www.theexhibitionroom.com. Thurs., May 16, 8 p.m. $40. 21+.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.