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Sunday, November 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 49.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily


Disney's Tangled retells the Rapunzel story, delightfully

We all know that Rapunzel was a long-haired girl who dwelled in a tower, separated from her birthparents until rescued by a prince. Disney's charming, funny and deliciously entertaining Tangled makes more than a few tweaks to the Brothers Grimm version. >More
 Goth hero fights back in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

And so, with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, we say goodbye to the tragic goth hacker Lisbeth Salander, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or at least we say goodbye to the version of her played movingly, unforgettably, by Noomi Rapace in the trilogy of dark, violent Swedish films based on the novels by the late Stieg Larsson. >More
 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is the best so far

"These are dark times," the Minister for Magic (Bill Nighy) announces right off the bat, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 plays positively like a limbo game of how low can you go into dark, darker, darkest. The first half of a two-film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's final book about the battle between the damaged boy wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the monstrous dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), this is, as a whole, the finest Potter film yet. >More
 Arts Beat: UW Cinematheque welcomes new directory Jim Healy

The new head of UW-Madison's Cinematheque foresees a very bright future for film fans, as new screens begin to appear across campus. Jim Healy joined the Cinematheque Oct. 1 as director of programming. He previously served as an assistant curator at George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., one of the world's most prestigious film archives. >More
 Inside Job gets worked up about the financial crisis

From the disaster's beginning, media outlets from PBS to The Wall Street Journal have attempted to make sense of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing economic meltdown. For a particularly entertaining take, go to the web and check out the Nov. 5 edition of public radio's This American Life, in which a couple of glib reporters buy a toxic asset and name it "Toxie." >More
 TV news dumbs it down in Morning Glory

I laughed a lot at a screening of the television-news comedy Morning Glory, but when I thought about the film later, it didn't hold up. Part of the problem is the lack of nuance Harrison Ford brings to his performance as the humiliated network anchor Mike Pomeroy, the kind of self-satisfied journalist who intones platitudes like, "News is a sacred temple." >More
 Arts Beat: Four Star Video Heaven celebratest 25th anniversary

"Four stars to Four Star," declared film critic Roger Ebert during one of his several visits to Four Star Video Heaven. Other film fans of all types this month are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the feisty DVD rental shop at 315 N. Henry St. >More
 Lebanon rides a tank into hostile territory

Watching Lebanon, the powerful, disturbing Israeli film, I kept thinking of the river scenes in Apocalypse Now. In both movies, wary young soldiers make their way through hostile territory, and the tension is agonizing. The difference: At least the men in Apocalypse Now have a little room on their boat to stretch out. >More
 Zhang Yimou's Blood Simple remake doesn't live up to original

What sounds as though it ought to be delicious -- a Chinese remake of Joel and Ethan Coen's debut film, Blood Simple -- winds up, instead, a soggy noodle. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop more or less follows the Coens' narrative construct about an adulterous wife and jealous husband who hires a private investigator to put an end to the problem, but director Zhang Yimou's version has little of the wit, surprise or memorable characterizations of the original. >More
 A woman helps exonerate her brother in Conviction

Conviction, an entertaining, sobering film, is based on Kenneth Waters' true story. In 2001 he was, thanks to DNA evidence, freed after serving 19 years for a brutal murder he didn't commit. (In a sad twist, he died in a fall six months later.) Distressingly, what happened to Waters is less unusual than we'd like to think. In the U.S., 261 wrongly convicted people have to date been exonerated based on DNA evidence, like Waters. >More
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