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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Starting Out in the Evening: Happy ending?

Like old soldiers, old authors never die, they just fade away, often well before they're through writing. Author Brian Morton, not quite old yet, built a novel around that sad fact. And against all odds, Morton's delicately shaded novel has been turned into a film. >More
 Atonement: The truth hurts

Imagination typically should be encouraged in children, but an excess of it leads to tragedy in Atonement, a more-than-worthy adaptation of Ian McEwan's 2002 novel. The child in question is 13-year-old Briony Tallis (the wonderfully unnerving novice Saoirse Ronan), a self-serious budding writer who takes her corners at the family's country estate at hard right angles and filters what little happens to her through a melodramatic sheen. >More

At the start of Juno, the 16-year-old title character (Ellen Page) pays for her pregnancy test with the stick - pink for positive - still in hand. The cashier wisecracks, "This is one diddle that can't be undid, homeskillet." That quip, care of screenwriter and freshly minted Hot New Thing Diablo Cody, almost had me audibly groaning: So it's gonna be like that, is it? Well, yes and no. >More
 Charlie Wilson's War

It's tough selling a picture these days even nominally related to war, so in the blitzkrieg of promotional press for Charlie Wilson's War we were reminded again and again of one simple fact: This one stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Yes, it may be about the U.S.'s dubious involvement in another war in the Middle East, in a season of Iraq movies that have failed to spark the viewership's imagination or interest...but this one stars Tom and Julia. No worries. >More
 The Kite Runner

he screen version of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, a phenomenally successful novel about friendship, betrayal and redemption, set against the turmoil in Afghanistan during the last 30 years, is an example of how good intentions don't necessarily make for a good movie. >More
 Sweeney Todd Close shaves

It's tempting to say that, in making its way from the stage to the screen, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been slashed to bits, ground into hamburger and served up as so many meat pies. >More
 The Golden Compass: Kinder, gentler heresy

"My books are about killing God," Philip Pullman has been quoted as saying, and you don't have to be the pope to view that as a rather provocative statement. Pullman's young-adult trilogy, His Dark Materials, which imagines a world much like our own, only with organized religion more organized than ever, is a thinly veiled attack on the Catholic Church's tendency to speak in the name of God. >More
 Out of the Blue: Senseless killing

It remains the deadliest rampage in New Zealand history. On Nov. 13, 1990, David Gray, a classic loner type in the remote village of Aramoana, went berserk and started shooting his neighbors. And by the time he was done, some 22 hours later, 14 of them were dead, three were wounded, and nobody who lived through the experience would ever be the same. >More
 Wrapping up a fifth year of Wis-Kino

There have been plenty of big changes for Wis-Kino over the last year. Madison's short filmmaking and screening organization has seen new leadership, has moved to a new home, and has celebrated its fifth birthday over the course of 2007. As always, though, the primary focus is the films, with another bumper crop shown over the course of 11 monthly screenings. For the final month, though, the group will present a retrospective showcasing nearly two dozen of its contributors' favorites. >More
 The Majestic Theatre embarks upon a second century

"I think people were a little skeptical of us because we were a couple of young guys from out of town," says Matt Gerding, "but in our first few months in business we brought some impressive acts to town, and we're pretty proud of it." The co-owner of the Majestic Theatre announced Tuesday that the downtown landmark is marking its 101st birthday on Saturday with a movie and some egg nog. There will be more flicks there in the New Year, moreover, with Gerding and Scott Leslie working to prepare the theater as a possible venue for the 2008 Wisconsin Film Festival. >More
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