Screens That’s a wrap & Special screenings

The low-down on this week’s premieres

Directed and written by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), Hostel, which is being marketed as a film based on true events, follows two American backpackers, Paxon (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson), as they travel through Europe and are lured into an underworld of human trafficking and sex tourism. Roth reportedly has said he thought of the idea for the film after seeing a Thai website that advertised itself as a “murder vacation,” offering individuals the opportunity to torture and kill someone for $10,000.

In Grandma’s Boy, Alex (Allen Covert), a 35-year-old video-game tester, is forced to move into his grandmother’s (Doris Roberts of TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond) house when his roommate spends all the rent money on prostitutes. Produced by Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison Films, Boy has its fair share of cameos by former-SNL stars, including Rob Schneider and David Spade.

Considered by many critics as currently the worst director in the film industry, Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark) enters the world of the dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) in BloodRayne. The film is set in 18th century Romania and stars Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3) as the blood-sucker.

On the other side of the directorial spectrum, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) transforms Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) into Patrick Braden, a 1970s Irish transvestite cabaret singer living in London, who is suspected in the bombing of a disco in Breakfast on Pluto.

Ruth Negga, Stephan Rea, and Cillian Murphy in Breakfast on Pluto.

Still on a high from his performance in Brokeback Mountain, actor Heath Ledger portrays the lover of all lovers, Lord Jacomo Casanova, in Casanova. The film is directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat).

Ushpizin tells the story of an Orthodox Jewish couple as they deal with uninvited guests to their home during the Succoth holiday.

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.

Kiko Martinez

Special screenings

Civil Rights Film Series
January 7 marks the beginning of two months of discussions and film showings to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the goals of the Civil Rights movement. Each Saturday at noon until February 25, Civil Rights activists will deliver speeches, put on plays, and show Civil Rights-era films. Reverend Michael Eric Dyson and his wife Reverend Marcia Dyson open the series. All films and discussions will be held at Martin Luther King Academy Auditorium, 3501 Martin Luther King Drive. Seating is limited, call 223-8621, 481-0198, or email [email protected] to RSVP.

‘Beyond Good & Evil’
Based on the social responses to the 9/11 tragedy, and the means political leaders and media used to simplify the conflict into good vs. evil. Beyond Good & Evil examines the how our perceptions of and response to conflict are molded/formed. It premieres in San Antonio Sunday, January 8 at the peaceCENTER, 1443 S. St. Mary’s. For showtimes and info, call 224-HOPE or visit

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