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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 59.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

MOVIES

An angry goth roils The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

If you're a fan of contemporary thriller fiction, you don't need me to tell you about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the "Millennium Trilogy" of novels by the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson. The books have been a sensation everywhere, and their fans doubtless will be glad to see screen versions of their heroes, the angry goth hacker Lisbeth Salander and the purposeful journalist Mikael Blomkvist. >More
 Feed the Fish: Chilling out

Consider the groin injury. On movie and television screens, trauma to the male privates is always good for an extremely cheap laugh. It's a hallmark of bad comedy. That's why, watching the Wisconsin-themed romantic comedy Feed the Fish, I was disappointed when a character receives a particularly brutal injury to his nether parts. So disappointed I was ready to stop watching. I'm glad I didn't. >More
 When You're Strange: The triumph, the tragedy, the booze

The Doors were wonderfully resourceful musicians, and singer Jim Morrison was a one-of-a-kind entertainer: menacingly sexy, mellifluous on the vocals and, whatever you think of his poetic pretensions, gifted at pop songcraft. >More
 A fanboy turns to crime-fighting in Kick-Ass

Based on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s Marvel/Icon comic series, Kick-Ass asks the pointy question: "Instead of reading about superheroes and watching them at the movies, why not commit fully to the dream and become a superhero?" >More
 Satiric premise doesn't carry The Joneses

In an angle perfectly suited to our times, Derrick Borte, writer and director of The Joneses, deposits the family into a wealthy suburban enclave for other surreptitious goals: The Joneses are a stealth marketing team. >More
 The Runaways tells a cautionary true-rock tale

My favorite rock movie, Cameron Crowe's sweetly nostalgic Almost Famous, succeeds in part because it tells a compelling story, but also because its characters are recognizably human. Too many rock movies -- Oliver Stone's The Doors is a painful example -- merely caricature. >More
 A girl toughs out a bleak life in Fish Tank

If you know anything about sullen teenagers, you know what a rare and fleeting gift it is when they smile. Mia (Katie Jarvis), the 15-year-old at the center of the remarkable, unhappy British film Fish Tank, doesn't have a lot to smile about. >More
 Clash of the Titans is epically messy

If you're casting about, looking to remake one of Ray Harryhausen's beloved stop-motion masterpieces but unsure of where to begin, it makes a slanted sort of sense to kick things off with everyone's least favorite of his 15-plus forays into "the land beyond beyond." And that, of course, would be 1981's fondly recalled -- and frankly stodgy -- Clash of the Titans. >More
 Miley Cyrus turns dramatic in The Last Song

Miley Cyrus waves goodbye to her Hannah Montana tween-star identity with The Last Song, the latest Nicholas Sparks-penned romance to be made into a movie. Though she plays a troubled music prodigy, Cyrus is not heard singing in the movie until, literally, the final song plays over the closing credits. >More
 A loser takes stock of his life in Greenberg

Noah Baumbach keeps making movies about me. In 1995, when I was a smug would-be esthete still hanging around my college neighborhood, I saw the writer-director's debut feature Kicking and Screaming, about smug would-be esthetes still hanging around their college neighborhood. In 2005 he emerged with the autobiographical The Squid and the Whale, about adolescent brothers dealing with their bourgeois parents' (check) divorce in the 1980s (check). >More
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