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Thursday, March 5, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 1.0° F  Fair
The Daily

MOVIES

The Dark Knight Rises is more than mere entertainment

The Dark Knight Rises may be the darkest, the grimmest, the most depressing summer popcorn movie ever. It is not summery. It is not popcorny. There is no adventure. There is no escapism. There is only grinding reality. There can be no mistake that the people of Gotham are us, we 99% huddled in the dark and frantic for a hero we will not find. >More
 Wisconsin drive-ins are threatened by the conversion to digital projection

If you've never been to a real, all-American drive-in movie theater, you better go now. In a year, all but the strongest will be dead, thanks to a radical change in film projection. Wisconsin once boasted 79 drive-ins. Now there are 10. Four remain within easy driving distance of Madison, offering a rare glimpse of theater thrills from summers past. >More
 Oliver Stone returns to lurid filmmaking with Savages

Savages provides us with a glimpse at the Oliver Stone of yore, the director of lurid, visceral and menacing crime stories. We haven't seen much of that since Natural Born Killers and U-Turn. >More
 With Ice Age: Continental Drift, the prehistoric party has gone on too long

Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth installment in the Ice Age cartoon franchise, is amusing but never rousing. The essentialness of the herd -- be it blood-based or one of your own choosing -- is the film's clarion call. >More
 Corporate interests ruin The Amazing Spider-Man

I'm sure there will be people who argue that The Amazing Spider-Man should be evaluated on its own merits, as a work separate from the legacy of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films over the last decade. And I respectfully ask -- after I catch my breath from the hysterical laughter -- "You're joking, right?" >More
 Woody Allen's To Rome With Love is hit-or-miss

The original, more euphonious title for Woody Allen's 42nd feature film was The Bop Decameron. He flirted with Nero Fiddled for a while before settling on the postcard-generic, free-from-menace To Rome With Love. He didn't just lose lyricism in the name change; the Decameron association might have given the film a glimmer of grandness -- a raison d'être -- that's sorely missing from this ambling, just-passable picture. >More
 Magic Mike takes it all off

Directed by pretty much anyone besides Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike might have been virtually unwatchable. But it's entertaining almost entirely thanks to what its director adds to the formula. >More
 Ted brings a stuffed toy to life

Ted is the first live-action feature film by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy): the misadventures of a miraculous, talking teddy bear and his human, 35-year-old best friend forever (Mark Wahlberg). The cast is fine; the script is teasingly self-referential and packed with MacFarlane's gleefully coarse wit; and the digitally animated Ted is a visually flawless creation. >More
 Brave explores the struggle between mothers and daughters

At first glance, it looked like Pixar's Brave was going to be another one of those animated tales of frustrated outcasts who just wanna be accepted for who they are. But directors Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell pirouette back from that precipice to discover something considerably richer. >More
 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a novel take on the apocalypse

When it comes to the end of the world, Hollywood movies have heightened our expectations for an apocalypse full of surround sound and digital fury. But what of the doomsday that's merely a date on the calendar, something that spurs humans to finally tackle their bucket lists or reveal their true selves? >More
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