Fri, Mar 6

Film / With the dreck that’s been released by Hollywood over the past few weeks, audiences who just want a two-hour diversion and some popcorn with Mochi Crunch have had to hold their nose and announce their choices with a heavy sigh (the phrase “He’s Just Not That Into You” never held so much meaning). The endless parade of sub-par future Razzie Award nominees is almost at an end with Friday’s release of Watchmen, but if you’re afraid the opening weekend will smell like 500 nerds locked in the basement of a comic book convention (and believe us, it will), and you can’t bear to say the words “Paul Blart” again, you can breathe a sign of relief and a gracious thanks to the Honolulu International Film Festival.

This year, the festival offers another eclectic mix of films, and a second chance to see some you may have missed, including Kimberlee Bassford’s must-see documentary Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, which won the audience award for Best Documentary at that other HIFF Showcase. Others to watch for (and watch, obviously) are Adam Mason’s psychological thriller Blood River, Say it in Russian, starring Faye Dunaway in an international love story that’s unlikely to be recast with Hilary Duff anytime soon, and the mockumentary-musical Courting Condi wherein a failed musician sets his sights on the former secretary of state (full review of Courting Condi available online at []).

Take your pick from a VIP pass to get into the opening and closing ceremonies and everything in between, an all day pass which gets you in to as many as nine films or a mini pass good for five films of your choosing. You can even simply pick one film, and it will still cost you less than one ticket to Street Fighter, and you won’t have to worry about someone seeing you. Unfortunately, Mochi Crunch is not included.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort, 2005 Kalia Rd., Fri 3/6–Sun 3/8, $8–$100, See Web site for complete schedule of films, [].