Jonathan Gold Sniffs Out Ethnic Cuisine

A documentary about LA food critic Jonathan Gold captures the populist thread of the new film openings. That thread is populated by horror films and a sequel to a popular romantic comedy. But a film which follows Jonathan Gold as he tries everything from a very special chicken stew to an Oaxacan delicacy using grasshoppers will leave your mouth watering.

At the high art end of the spectrum, there’s the new Apichatpong Weersethakul film which captures the slipping of the modern world into the world of myth. But the new Peter Greenaway film gets kudos for being the visual dazzler of the week. Its irreverent take on a world cinema master spiced with lots of gay sex will have more conservative viewers screaming in outrage.


Tripp Rhame’s horror tale concerns Sarah and Matt, a couple with the perfect life: new home, new marriage, and a baby on the way. They decide to celebrate with their friends by inviting them on a ghost hunt in a ruined prison. But their innocent activity awakens deadly paranormal forces which target everyone in the group…including Sarah’s unborn child.

Now at the Roxie Theater

Cemetery Of Splendor

Apichatpong Weersethakul’s new film once again shows the intersection of myth with the modern world. The setting is a former school turned temporary hospital. Here, soldiers who have been afflicted with a mysterious sleeping sickness are being housed. Jenjira is a housewife who’s volunteered to work at the hospital. She becomes fascinated by Itt, one of the patients. He doesn’t seem to have any family, and he has a notebook filled with strange writing and sketches. Could there be a connection between the soldiers’ illness and the mythical ancient site which coincidentally lies below the hospital?

Now at the 4-Star Theater, shows with “Mekong Hotel”

City Of Gold

Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles food critic Jonathan Gold claims as his beat the ethnic food scene of the City of Angels. Director Laura Gabbert’s camera follows Jonathan Gold in his green pickup truck as he hits the city’s strip malls with his willingness to try everything from hand-cut tonkatsu ramen to Oaxacan grasshopper soup. But Jonathan Gold and his tastings of ethnic cuisines are also visits to immigrants hoping that their family recipes will be their keys to the American Dream.

Now at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

Eisenstein In Guanajuato

Peter Greenaway’s dazzling and sexy biopic gets its theatrical release. In 1931, revered Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein has come to Mexico and the titular town to work on Que Viva Mexico. However, the filmmaker’s energies wind up focused more on losing his virginity and discovering his sexual identity thanks to his handsome guide/translator Paloma Canedo. Guaranteed to enrage homophobic Eisenstein fans,

Now at the Roxie Theater


The documentary for the baseball fan in your life, Jonathan Hock’s documentary begins with a simple query: who threw baseball’s all-time fastest pitch? But the film’s real focus is looking at the science and myth of pitching over the years. Interviews with such Hall of Famers as Hank Aaron and Goose Gossage liven the film, as does incredible pitching footage rendered in slow-motion. Add to the pot narration by Kevin Costner, and you have a film which will tide a viewer over until the next Giants game.

Now at the Roxie Theater


Trey Edward Shults’ South By Southwest- and Independent Spirit Award-winning drama makes its theatrical debut. Years ago, Krisha (Krisha Fairchild) abandoned her family. Now, on Thanksgiving morning, she appears on her sister’s doorstep desiring to make amends to the whole extended family for her years of silence. However, there’s a wary tension in the air, which results in Krisha’s overtures being repeatedly rebuffed. At this Thanksgiving gathering, revealing disturbing family secrets and simmering tensions are definitely on the menu.

Now at the Embarcadero Center Cinema and the Shattuck Cinemas

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Nia Vardalos scripts this sequel to her popular hit. This time the entire cast from the first film comes back to celebrate a bigger wedding amidst such crises as the loss of romantic spark between Toula (Vardalos) and husband Ian. But the big crisis comes when it’s revealed that thanks to a missing bit of paperwork, Toula’s father and mother aren’t considered legally married. So now the whole Portokalos clan has to do something about this problem.

Now at the AMC Bay Street 16, the AMC Van Ness 14, the Century 20 Daly City, the Century at Tanforan, the Century San Francisco Centre 9, CineArts at the Empire, the Marina Theatre and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas


The new film from Atom Egoyan mixes old age and the Holocaust. Retired 90-year-old Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer) struggles with both dementia and the loss of his wife. His friend Max (Martin Landau) sends Zev on a secret cross-country trip across the US. Both men are Auschwitz survivors. Max has learned that the brutal guard instrumental in their families’ annihilation is living in America under an assumed name. Zev’s mission, since Max is wheelchair bound, is to confront the former guard and then kill him. But Zev’s mental problems and his own reluctance may doom his mission.

Now at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood and the Smith Rafael Film Center

They’re Watching

A reality TV crew travels to a village in Moldova to see how a woman who’s bought a fixer-upper has progressed in restoring the place. While the crew is busy insulting each other, they’ve overlooked the fact that the village is home to malevolent forces. The crew’s interruption of a private religious ritual will school them pretty quickly that they’ve stepped into a heap of trouble.

Now at the 4-Star Theatre

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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