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Saturday, August 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Thunderstorm in Vicinity
The Daily

MOVIES

Same-sex romance Circumstance rises above sappy melodrama

Any film that employs Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to underline teenage Sapphic longings has one strike against it already. But the cookie-cutter clichés that plague Iranian director Maryam Keshavarz's debut feature, Circumstance, are leavened considerably by the fact that the teens in question reside in Tehran -- not a place where Bonnie Tyler has much of a following, one would think. >More
 Funny, messy The Rum Diary brings art-house Johnny Depp to the multiplexes

Johnny Depp spent years building the kind of résumé that keeps actors from being movie stars, roles featuring weird hair and silly voices. Then he changed exactly nothing in his approach and scored a few blockbusters. Now those same movies Depp was making years ago, instead of opening in art houses, are opening on 2,000 screens. >More
 Moving The Future brings fantasy elements to a brave drama

Watching The Future, I flashed back to the night in 1997 when I saw Breaking the Waves. As Lars von Trier's magic, tragic romance unfolded, I got impatient, then angry. But by the end I was weeping. Turned out I was watching something extraordinary. >More
 Margin Call is an anatomy of Wall Street greed

When the catastrophe on Wall Street began to unfold a few years back, I read and reread newspaper articles about it, trying to understand it. Much of what I knew about finance I'd learned from an old Leave It To Beaver episode in which Ward tries to get the boys into the stock market. So I had some catching up to do. >More
 AIDS wracks a South African town in Life, Above All

People are dying of AIDS. Ashamed and frightened, sufferers keep their illness a secret. The ailment is said to be a curse, a divine punishment visited on sinners. That sounds like America a generation ago, at the height of the U.S. HIV/AIDS crisis. But it is South Africa, circa now, as depicted in the wrenching melodrama Life, Above All. >More
 Footloose returns, more revival than remake

You probably weren't expecting a profound existential enigma in the new Footloose, co-writer/director Craig Brewer's remake of the affectionately remembered 1984 film. But during the opening credits, characters dance and sing along to Kenny Loggins' familiar theme song. >More
 The Ides of March focuses on a cynical campaign staffer

Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling), the political media consultant at the center of The Ides of March, knows how to handle his business. Sure, he might believe that the man he's working for, Pennsylvania Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney), is the best candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. But he's also just fine with feeding a specious allegation about their opponent to the media, just so it will require the time spent to fight it off. >More
 Hot Coffee screening coincides with new round of 'tort reform' in Wisconsin legislature

Immunity for pharmaceutical industries that manufacture bad drugs and medical devices. Caps on trial attorney fees. More incentives to stall payment of judgments to injured people and consumers. Bills calling for all of these so-called "tort reform" proposals are promised features of Gov. Scott Walker's special session on jobs, which began Thursday. >More
 Four Star Video Heaven relocates to State Street

A favorite of downtown film buffs is moving. Four Star Video Heaven will reopen this week near the corner of State, Gilman and Broom streets. "The new space has a lot of advantages over the old, but the biggest factor is that it's less expensive," says owner Lisa Brennan. The store was at 315 N. Henry St. for more than 25 years. >More
 Entertaining 50/50 never commits to any one subplot

In the opening scene of the comedy-drama 50/50, 27-year-old Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) jogs through downtown Seattle. As he comes to a stoplight, another jogger trots past him across the street, ignoring the illuminated red hand. But Adam stays put. >More
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