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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  Light Snow
The Daily


How we lost the war

With everybody holding their breath, waiting for Gen. Petraeus' report on our "progress" in Iraq, this may be the perfect time to see No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson's own report on our "progress" in Iraq. A dot-com millionaire with a Ph.D. in political science, Ferguson is the opposite of Michael Moore. He doesn't grandstand. He doesn't tar-and-feather the Bush administration. He doesn't go for laughs, nor does he get any. >More
 On the road

Gypsies, many of whom prefer to be known as Roma, have been on the move for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, fanning out from their base in northern India to the far reaches of Europe and North America. (There are a million in the United States alone.) But rarely have their wanderings followed such a tried-and-true path as they do in Gypsy Caravan, Jasmine Dellal's documentary about a 2001 concert tour that sent five groups from four countries traveling across this great land of ours. >More
 All the wrong moves

Remember teenpics of 50 years ago, when even the cool guys were having trouble getting laid? Now it's just the nerds who have to pull every trick in the book -- lying, cheating, stealing and, when those don't work, paying. You'd never know from today's movies that teenagers are (supposedly) having less sex than they used to. And I have to believe there's a sperm whale of a comedy to be made from their relative lack of interest, but Superbad isn't that comedy. It's the other kind -- Revenge of Nerds for the Age of Internet Porn. >More
 School daze

Whether you're a parent, a teacher, a student or an innocent bystander, you may want to check out Chalk, a mockumentary that does for high school what The Office does for corporate life: reveals it in all its excruciatingly amusing splendor. >More
 Word warriors

Love is the thing that ain't rocket science in Rocket Science, writer-director Jeffrey Blitz's coming-of-age comedy about a high school kid who stutters so badly there's nothing left to do but join the debate team. >More
 No guts, no glory

"How many gallons does this make now?" I wonder. I've been told this movie represents, on some level, a thinly veiled call for help. If that's true, then at least it's a gleeful one. >More
 Wrapping up a summer of films at Wis-Kino

Madison's monthly short film series known as Wis-Kino settled into its new digs this summer along Willy Street. The June screening, featuring a theme of "photography" beat the heat by remaining indoors at Escape Java Joint, but the July edition joined the growing ranks of outdoor events held at the future home of Central Park on the near east side. >More
 Grave errors

Over the years, Frank Oz has successfully turned out bizarre camp (Little Shop of Horrors), classic comedy (What About Bob?) and brilliant satire (Bowfinger). In Death at a Funeral, he tackles British farce. Take one rolling country house; insert one big extended family; add a touch of personal tragedy, a bit of resentment and a generous portion of dysfunction. Stir well. The result is a comedy that's refreshing in its courage to just have fun. >More
 Not with my wives you don't

In this rapidly changing world, it's comforting to know there are a few constants that have existed since we humans first dragged ourselves out of the primordial muck. Ten Canoes, though set in the ancient world of the Australian Ramingining tribe, may as well be a modern-day story for all its lessons about the value of community, the fear of strangers, the importance of the rule of law, the temptations of the fairer sex, and the madness of having more than one wife. >More
 The big thaw

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