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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 65.0° F  Light Rain
The Daily


Man of Steel brings the hero down to earth

Warner Bros. has struggled to make Superman relevant in the 21st century. After all, he was kind of square, a throwback to a pre-Marvel Comics era in which superheroes didn't need psychological baggage. Perhaps that's why the studio turned him into Spider-Man for Man of Steel. >More
 This Is the End seeks redemption for obnoxious actors

The apocalypse has been showing up with greater frequency in film as of late. And though the apocalypse is quite literal in This Is the End, this comedy may also signal the end of the creative road for the kind of raunchy, Judd Apatow school of bromantic comedy that has dominated screens in recent years. Amid its celebration of weed, self-absorption and phallocentric humor, This Is the End seeks redemption for its characters. >More
 The Internship is a sweet comedy about a gang of misfits at Google

If you've ever thought to yourself, "Yeah, I use Google as a search engine, a map and a verb, but I wish there was a way to get more of it in my life," then you're in luck: Hollywood has fashioned an entire comedy around the ubiquitous Internet company and its so-called lifestyle. The closing credits even demo its product line. >More
 Lyrical storytelling propels Kon-Tiki's tale of a raft-borne adventurer

The color blue dominates the filmmakers' palette in Kon-Tiki: the azure expanse of open sky, the aquamarine sheen of boundless ocean, the cerulean eyes of Pl Hagen in the role of real-life adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. Geir Hartly Andreassen's beautifully saturated cinematography nourishes the senses like a photo spread in National Geographic. >More
 The Purge is an unlikely assault on America's culture of violence

It seems implausible, even for a movie: A decade from now, America's unemployment rate is 1%, and crime is virtually nonexistent. It's all thanks to the Purge, an annual 12-hour free-for-all during which all crime, including murder, is legal. >More
 In Frances Ha, a dancer's romantic moves are delightfully awkward

Noah Baumbach specializes in character studies, and Frances Ha's Frances Halliday -- portrayed and co-conceived by Greta Gerwig, who shares screenwriting credit -- is a study in contradictions. >More
 A dad becomes a killer for hire in The Iceman

A worker at a pornographic film lab evolves into a cold-blooded hit man in The Iceman, a steamy, dark crime thriller. Though he's a devoted family man, his family has no idea what his professional life is like. >More
 Epic is a witty, complex fairy tale about conflict and change

In the 3D animated fantasy Epic, teenager MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) sets off to visit her eccentric father (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) at his home in the woods. Dad comes across as a bit daft when he says he's spent years looking for elaborate kingdoms hidden deep in the forest, but one day MK shrinks down to the size of the forest creatures. >More
 A man chooses between the U.S. and Pakistan in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

You'll recall that Roger Ebert longed to be chosen in The New Yorker's cartoon caption contest (and eventually was). Similarly, I longed to be chosen for Ebert's "Little Movie Glossary," the compendium of cinematic clichés maintained by the late critic, whom I really miss. True, I only bothered to send in one entry. It was this: The Go-Go's. In action thrillers, teams of trained operatives spring into action only when someone yells, "Go go go go!" >More
 Fast & Furious 6 is brisk and intense but often incoherent

Full of gimmickry and Vin Diesel's testosterone, 2001's The Fast and the Furious started out as a throwaway action pic about street racing. It wasn't franchise material. Different characters took over for its sequel, 2006's Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. >More
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