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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 28.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

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
 Into the vortex with Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski appears to be back in the saddle with his new political mystery thriller, which includes elements of what we like best in his work yet doesn't surpass the excitement of his greatest achievements. >More
 Frederick Wiseman's La Danse observes a French dance company

We have a new Frederick Wiseman film in La Danse, which documents the work of the Ballet de l'Opera de Paris, the dance company whose history goes back to the 17th century. >More
 She's Out of My League finds romance for a dude in ugly clothes

She's Out of My League is a middling raunchy comedy, but it has a few things to recommend it. One is that it is fairly artful with its raunch, which is to say that even the smuttiest parts, including a prolonged sequence about premature ejaculation, are generally in the service of character and story. >More
 Oscars 2010 live blog with Isthmus film critic Kenneth Burns

When you settle in to watch the Academy Awards Sunday night, don't forget your laptop. Kenneth will be blogging along, live, and you're encouraged to log in and share your thoughts and questions here. >More
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