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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


District 9 is a science-fiction classic

District 9 is a riveting, occasionally violent, often heartbreaking and, above all, socially conscious science fiction film featuring seamlessly integrated CGI effects alongside flat-out perfect performances from its flesh-and-blood actors. And, best of all, it's a love story. >More
 Bandslam: High school musical

From the beginning of time, or at least the roots of rock 'n' roll, outcast teens have found comfort and companionship in music when neither is to be had in their peer circle. >More
 Departures laughs at death

There's something discomfiting about the American funeral business. Smooth funeral directors, their careful euphemisms, their graveside AstroTurf -- they can make the already difficult process of mourning downright surreal. >More
 Food, Inc. takes an alarmist look at what we eat

Food, Inc. reminds me of someone I knew in college. At the dining hall, just as I'd be cutting into a piece of poultry, she'd ask, "Do you want to learn how that chicken died?" I'd answer: Yes, but maybe not while I'm eating it. >More
 Funny People: Beyond genitals

Judd Apatow, of course, has built a mini movie empire on dick jokes, and Funny People, the writer-director's bid at something more grownup than Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, just as obsessively tugs at the male genitalia for laughs. >More
 (500) Days of Summer is an un-love story

"You should know upfront: This is not a love story," (500) Days of Summer's omniscient narrator warns us. The film then lays out the pop-cultural obsessions and core-rocking events that define the He and She of this un-love story, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). >More
 The Hurt Locker: Bomb squad

The hybridization of art house and action doesn't happen all that often, but it should, if mashing the two genres makes for film as riveting and rattling as The Hurt Locker. >More
 Jeff 'The Dude' Dowd talks movies, Madison, and the Mallards

"Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude." The voiceover drawled in the opening sequence of The Big Lebowski couldn't have been more prescient about the cult of fandom that has flowered around both the movie and the man who inspired the iconic character, Jeff Dowd. >More
 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is not urgent enough

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would rather flush pink with its lovesick teens than forward-thrust toward the mammoth battle of good vs. evil. >More
 Moon: Lonely out there

But where 2001, so maddening and inscrutable, wanted to blow your mind (R.I.P., 1968), Moon wants to explore the less exotic of inner space. >More
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