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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast with Haze
The Daily


Kung Fu Panda: Paws of fury

"You must believe," we're told in Kung Fu Panda, Dreamworks' entry in this summer's feature-animation sweepstakes. Just once I wish we'd be told that it wasn't absolutely necessary that we believe, certainly not in ourselves. But at least Kung Fu Panda is set in the mind-over-matter world of kung fu, where you can move mountains if you get your head in the right place. >More
 Still Life: After the flood

With Beijing putting the finishing touches on an Olympics site that's designed to shock and awe the rest of the world, this may be an appropriate time to travel farther inland, where not everybody is caught up in Olympics fever. >More
 Sex and the City: Here comes the bride

Who could have known, 10 years ago, when it first aired on HBO, that Sex and the City would become a cultural phenomenon? And in so many various ways. There's the you-go-girl, gal-pal, sisterhood-is-powerful way. There's the fashionista, Project Runway, you-are-who-you-wear way. >More
 The Foot Fist Way: Low blows

The Foot Fist Way is being billed as this year's Cinderella story, a movie that came out of nowhere and, thanks to a wave of Will Ferrell's magic wand, got invited to the ball. But I wonder whether this sports-movie spoof has what it takes. The sport in question is tae kwon do, which means "foot fist way" in Korean, but Foot Mouth Way might have been a better title, since the main character, a strip-mall sensei with a cheesy mustache, keeps sticking his former in his latter. >More
 Madison welcomes a third year of Rooftop Cinema at MMoCA

"If you show it, they will come." That's been Tom Yoshikami's experience with Rooftop Cinema at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art over the last couple of years. The UW-Madison grad student who has helped program the Wisconsin Film Festival and UW Cinematheque in recent years launched a summer series of outdoor film screenings on the roof of the downtown museum shortly after its 2006 opening. The response was immediate and enthusiastic, with capacity crowds viewing a variety of short experimental and avant-garde films under the stars both that summer and last. >More
 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Cut to the chase

As everyone knows, Indiana Jones is back at it again, some 19 years after what some of us thought was The Last Crusade. Everyone's older now -- Spielberg, Lucas, Ford, us. But what really seems old, and rather tired, is the idea itself, that a movie can be devoted almost entirely to thrills and chills. >More
 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian:Back to the land

Forgive me, Aslan, but I wasn't exactly praying for a return to Narnia, that land of beastly enchantment. Nevertheless, here we go again, thanks to The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. To say that this second installment in the global franchise seems quite a bit like the first would be to defy Aslan himself, who tells little Lucy, near the end of the movie, that "things never happen the same way twice." Well, you could have fooled me. >More
 Son of Rambow: Video will set you free

Kids in movies have been allowed (allowed? encouraged!) to overact for so long that I fell in love with Son of Rambow, where the performances are spot-on - out there a bit, rambunctious even, but never treacly, no mousketeering. >More
 Chad Vader Training Video series launched by Blame Society as prelude to TV hopes

Two years ago this summer, Madison-based filmmakers Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda introduced their comedy short series Chad Vader and caught the online video wave just as it started cresting. Since wrapping the first season just over a year ago, fans have been wondering if and when another round of Chad might return. >More
 Secret ingredients abound in the Wis-Kino 2008 Spring Kabaret

With a year of operations under its belt, Sundance Cinemas at Hilldale is showing increased support for the Madison filmmaking community, playing host to the Spring Kabaret held back in April by Wis-Kino back in April, a big departure from its regular monthly home at Escape Java Joint. Twice a year, this group focused on short films holds a festival in which participating filmmakers are challenged to create an original work over the course of a weekend. >More
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