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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 37.0° F  Light Drizzle Fog/Mist
The Daily

MOVIES

Surf's up

I'm proud to say that I was one of the few movie critics who responded favorably to Fantastic Four, 2005's long-awaited big-screen debut of the superhero gang that put Marvel Comics on the map back in the early '60s. It wasn't a masterpiece or anything, but after enduring what seemed like several hours of birth labor in Batman Begins, I was primed for a comic-book movie that didn't take itself so seriously. >More
 Iranian women get their way in Offside

Why are women treated differently from men? It's a question that Panahi has asked, over and over again, in such films as The White Balloon and The Circle, but never with the light comedic touch he brings to Offside. Think Yentl, only funnier and with less singing. >More
 Wis-Kino gets 'complicated' for its spring Kabaret

By all accounts, the Sunday, May 13 screening of short films created for the spring Kabaret at Wis-Kino was an entertaining one, all nine completed entries convincingly incorporating the required theme of "complicated." >More
 Soul music

If you love musicals but hated Chicago and Dreamgirls, you may want to try writer-director John Carney's Once, which has found a whole new way of putting a song in our hearts. Well, not a whole new way, but this lovely little Irish film, which follows a pair of struggling musicians around while they fall in and out of harmony, is much more than a low-rent Rent. >More
 On with the show

Broadway, that fabulous invalid, now on life support, manages to haul its sorry ass out of its hospital bed and give its regards to...itself in Dori Berinstein's ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway. And if you're still aglow from last Sunday night's Tony Awards broadcast, you'll be glad to know that Berinstein, a Broadway producer herself, really knows how to put on a show. >More
 A touch of evil

A liberal-humanist movie about a liberal-humanist lawyer (David Strathairn) who defends a skinhead accused of homicide, Steel Toes probably belongs in a classroom somewhere. It's adapted from a play, and it still feels like one of those teleplays from the Golden Age of Television, where ideological opposites attract. >More
 Preview Rooftop Cinema on your lap- and/or desktop

"I wonder if this is on YouTube or Google Video?" This was one of the first questions Rooftop Cinema curator Tom Yoshikami asked himself when programming the second annual edition of the avant-garde film series that's set to kick off on Friday evening atop the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. >More
 Animal attraction

Well, I thought I'd seen it all. And maybe I have, now. Robinson Devor's strangely moving documentary, Zoo, takes us to a dark, dank place most of us haven't been to before but all of us have contemplated, if only through the erotic provocations of art. From Leda and the Swan to Naomi Watts and King Kong, bestiality has been portrayed as not necessarily all that beastly, but actual humans having actual sex with actual animals? >More
 Oh, grow up

Boys will be boys, and so will men, given half the chance, which is why writer-director Judd Apatow will never be out of a job. >More
 Rooftop Cinema returns to Madison

"I've attended a lot of avant garde screenings in Madison in the last six years, and it's rare that over forty people show up to any one screening," says Tom Yoshikami, a graduate student at UW-Madison who works as a programmer for UW Cinematheque and the Wisconsin Film Festival. >More
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