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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Beowulf: Slay ride

The irony inherent in using 21st-century motion-control technology to tell a tale approximately 1,400-years old is just one of many bizarrely entertaining aspects of Beowulf. But the pinnacle of weirdness in Robert Zemeckis' ecstatically bombastic 3-D film adaptation of the first known Anglo-Saxon prose poem is watching Crispin Glover, as the monster Grendel, drool ropy strings of saliva on the queen while muttering in actual, if incomprehensible, Old English. Forget Zemeckis - this is sublimely surreal David Lynch territory. >More
 Reservation Road

People are always struck later by how quickly it all happened. One second they were walking down the street without a care in the world. The next second they were screaming for someone to call 911. And the seconds and minutes and hours and years after that are nothing like what they'd expected them to be. Reservation Road is about one of those pivotal moments, a hit-and-run accident that takes the life of a 10-year-old boy. >More
 Love in the Time of Cholera

Adapted from Gabriel García Márquez's masterpiece, Love in the Time of Cholera is a painful mess. >More
 Lions for Lambs: Won't get fooled again

"I wanted to express my own feelings about my country and where it is," Robert Redford has said about Lions for Lambs, which he produced, directed and stars in. And to his credit, those feelings are more complex than we might have expected from someone who clearly wanted to get something off his chest. >More
 Martian Child: Space case

John Cusack is shaping up as the Gene Hackman of his generation, an actor who radiates inner calm even when his characters are going out of their minds. It makes him very easy to be around, and it comes in handy in Martian Child, where he plays a guy whose bottomless patience is constantly being tested. >More
 Lake of Fire:Pro- and anti-

Short of banning sex altogether, there may not be much we can do to resolve the abortion debate in this country, because both sides are dug in for the long haul. But one of the refreshing things about Tony Kaye's thought-provoking documentary Lake of Fire is that it makes you realize there aren't just two sides to the debate. There are myriad sides, each of them coming at the fundamental questions of life from its own slightly different angle. >More
 Vanaja: Dance little sister

In Vanaja, a 14-year-old girl (Mamatha Bhukya) tries to maneuver through India's caste system, only to discover that it's a maze with no exits. >More
 Get the willies all week with Horrorfest at Eastgate

I have been wondering as of late what drives me to consume horror movies like gut-munching zombies consume the entrails of victims who should be able to outrun them or to watch masked villains hacking n' slashing and slicing n' dicing their way through endless supplies of stock characters. >More
 CineFest brings a planet of hip hop to Madison

"CineFest is really diverse with films focused on hip hop culture around the world and films about classic hip hop, contemporary hip hop and spoken word," says Willie Ney of the UW Multicultural Arts Initiative. "The performances range from Chicano-centric to urban hip hop to a female reggaeton artist who, as far as I know, has never played in Madison." >More
 Tales from Planet Earth opens before an eager Madison

"Looks like Madison was ready to have an environmental film festival," declares Gregg Mitman to an overflowing crowd at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday night. The entire lower level of the auditorium is filled for the kickoff of Tales from Planet Earth, a free showcase of nearly two dozen movies that tell stories about the environment and how humanity interacts with and depicts our shared world. In fact, hundreds of people stand outside in a line running down State Street, waiting for a chance to get in for a talk by writer Bill McKibben and a screening of Everything's Cool, a documentary about the political battle over global warming. >More
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