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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

MOVIES

Ninja Assassin is preposterously dumb

Pitched somewhere between a preadolescent boy's martial-arts fantasy world and a wildly off-kilter exercise in homoerotic beefcakery, Ninja Assassin is an astonishingly crappy slo-mo gorefest from the V for Vendetta team of director James McTeigue and producers the Wachowski Brothers. >More
 Rich white folks adopt a black football player in The Blind Side

A great swath of American men might fall in love with Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, the generously entertaining movie about, among other things, the sweeping cultural phenomenon that is football in the South. She is beautiful. She is rich. She loves football. And she carries a gun. >More
 Pirate Radio tepidly looks back at broadcast rebels

Despite a title change from The Boat That Rocked to Pirate Radio, this British import exudes about as much outlaw swagger as Tom DeLay in a dance competition. Forget about historical veracity. The film's offshore radio broadcasting ship Radio Rock is a fictional stand-in for the actual operation Radio Caroline, which was shut down by the British government in 1967. >More
 2012: Cinematic catharsis

Life is simple in Roland Emmerich's films. Confronted with unprecedented perils on a scale never before seen, the characters in his disaster epics manage to reaffirm their broken loves, make amends for slipshod parenting and, most impressively, outrun fireballs and certain death with their hides and wits intact. >More
 Saving the planet, one film festival at a time

Gregg Mitman thought Tales from Planet Earth would be a one-shot deal. The UW-Madison history of science professor and interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies was a principal organizer of the 2007 environmental film festival. "Opening night, there was a line two blocks long waiting to get into the Orpheum," he remembers. He had anticipated 500 people might show up the first night. Instead, more than twice that number turned out. By the end of the festival, total attendance was estimated at 3,500. >More
 The Men Who Stare at Goats: Psychic spies

The Men Who Stare at Goats is one odd duck. A title card reads "More of this is true than you would believe," but it's impossible to tell what's factual in this fictionalized take on Jon Ronson's book about Army experiments in the paranormal because it all sounds so deeply ludicrous. >More
 An elegy for Michael Jackson in This Is It

Ever see a dream moonwalking? Well, I did. Michael Jackson's posthumously released film about the preparations for his 50-concert comeback extravaganza is a strange creature indeed. >More
 Soul Power: Spotlight on James Brown

There are a lot of mind-blowing moments in Soul Power, the documentary about a 1974 music festival that brought James Brown, B.B. King and other greats to Zaire. >More
 Tales from Planet Earth 2009 film fest returns with broad community ambitions

This year's expanded edition of Tales from Planet Earth represents a significant leap in ambition. Driven by the strong attendance of two years ago, plans for the 2009 festival have grown to set almost double the number of films on a cornerstone theme of "Justice." Tales 2 also engages in close partnerships with nine community organizations. >More
 'The War at Home,' Part 2

Almost three decades after leaving Madison to chase his ambitions, Glenn Silber returns this week for a 30th anniversary screening of The War at Home and the world premiere of his new documentary, Labor Day. The film represents a return to the progressive roots Silber put down in Madison as a UW student and to his independence as a filmmaker. >More
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