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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 16.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


When Did You Last See Your Father?

Dear old dad takes another left hook to the chin in When Did You Last See Your Father? - well, not a hook so much as a series of jabs. Colin Firth, as handsomely dour as ever, stars in this adaptation of British writer Blake Morrison's memoir about having grown up with a man who never got around to growing up himself. >More
 Elegy: Hot for teacher

Old age is creeping up on David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley), something that this New Yorker has managed to outrun until recently. In his 60s, with enviable work as a cultural critic and part-time academic, Kepesh remains strong in body and mind, but his illusory island of self-preservation begins to crumble once he becomes sexually involved with Consuela Castillo (Penélope Cruz). >More
 Flight of the Red Balloon: Up, up and away

I have only the faintest recollection of Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon -- just my own sense-memory sniff of children sweating through sweaters in an overheated room watching the near-silent 1956 classic short. Two decades from now, I suspect I'll have retained just as little from Flight of the Red Balloon, the homage by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien. >More
 Vicky Cristina Barcelona: The strain in Spain

Yes, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the new Woody Allen film widely hyped for a threesome, although it's not the configuration advertised in the ungainly title. Vicky (Rebecca Hall, indefinable but intriguing) is the smart, sensible brunette, and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) the amorous, free-thinking blond. Together, they are American best friends summering in Barcelona and falling, at a staggered clip, for a sultry Spanish painter named Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). >More
 Tropic Thunder: Heart of snarkness

Instead of entering the jungle to find the heart of darkness, Ben Stiller (the director, co-star, and co-writer of Tropic Thunder) goes in to take aim at the Achilles heel of Hollywood: its utter pomposity and self-importance. >More
 Pineapple Express: High times

Rounding the third act of this stoner action-comedy, there's a big laugh that comes from a small moment of art-reflecting-life-reflecting-art. A low-level pot dealer named Red (played by the terrific character actor Danny McBride) psychs himself up for a modern-day OK Corral by cocking his firearm and sing-songing "Thug Life." He's playacting at being a toughie, and so too are the many and varied talents at work here in this affectionate bid at the buddy pics of the '70s and '80s. >More
 Mister Lonely: Celebrity impersonators

Harmony Korine was the It Boy of off-off-Hollywood filmmaking back in the late '90s, alienating audiences and critics alike with his Diane Arbus-like portraits of life's neglected and rejected. Now, a decade after Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, here's Mister Lonely, Korine's return to the Cinema du Poète Maudit. And if it's just as fanciful as the others, in a what-the-hell's-going-on kind of way, it's also sweeter, sadder, more romantic. >More
 Tuya's Marriage: Divorce, Mongolian style

From here to Timbuktu, you may not find a heroine as resilient as Tuya (Yu Nan), a sheepherder who plies her trade on the vast steppes of Inner Mongolia. Just fetching water for her family is a miles-long ordeal, her husband having permanently injured himself while trying to dig a well. Now, he's a stay-at-home dad who looks after their two kids while Tuya takes care of everything else, even the cooking and cleaning. But something has to give; the family's sliding deeper and deeper into poverty. >More
 The Wackness: Head case

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, but try telling that to writer-director Jonathan Levine, who's reached all the way back to 1994 for his somewhat autobiographical coming-of-age movie The Wackness. You may have forgotten the words "dope" and "wack." It may have been a while since you started a sentence with "Yo." Your pair of Air Jordans may be long gone or safely tucked away on the top shelf of your closet. But here they all are. >More
 The X-Files: I Want to Believe: Still out there

It's been six long years since Fox Mulder and Dana Scully closed their last X-file, but neither of them appears much worse for wear in their second movie outing, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Show creator Chris Carter, who directed and co-wrote the script, has decided to strip things down this time around - no alien abductions, no Cigarette Smoking Man, no conspiracies involving everybody from J. Edgar Hoover to E.T., just man in all his depravity and the greatest extraterrestrial of them all, God. Luckily, having at least one foot on the ground turns out to be a good thing. If you want to get truly lost, you'll just have to watch Lost. >More
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