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Friday, July 11, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 63.0° F  Fair
The Daily

MOVIES

Ted brings a stuffed toy to life

Ted is the first live-action feature film by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy): the misadventures of a miraculous, talking teddy bear and his human, 35-year-old best friend forever (Mark Wahlberg). The cast is fine; the script is teasingly self-referential and packed with MacFarlane's gleefully coarse wit; and the digitally animated Ted is a visually flawless creation. >More
 Brave explores the struggle between mothers and daughters

At first glance, it looked like Pixar's Brave was going to be another one of those animated tales of frustrated outcasts who just wanna be accepted for who they are. But directors Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell pirouette back from that precipice to discover something considerably richer. >More
 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a novel take on the apocalypse

When it comes to the end of the world, Hollywood movies have heightened our expectations for an apocalypse full of surround sound and digital fury. But what of the doomsday that's merely a date on the calendar, something that spurs humans to finally tackle their bucket lists or reveal their true selves? >More
 Hair-metal musical: Rock of Ages head-bangs with style

We've seen the emphatic return of so many 1980s pop-culture touchstones, from tinny synthesizers to white sunglasses. But there's one Reagan-era institution young revivalists haven't really embraced: hair metal. There's a reason for that. It's terrible. >More
 Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding closes the generation gap

In Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, Jane Fonda isn't seen sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. But her performance as a war-protesting hippie still might give hives to Silent Majority types with long memories. Politics isn't really the Fonda character's main focus, though. >More
 Ridley Scott's Prometheus ponders big questions

Director Ridley Scott has played coy about whether his new science-fiction tale, Prometheus, is a prequel of sorts to his landmark 1979 horror-in-space film Alien. Stop reading now if you'd consider such information a spoiler. >More
 The Island President fights to save his country

At the very end, with a title, the documentary The Island President conveys what is probably the most important piece of information: The island president isn't the island president anymore. Mohamad Nasheed led the Maldives from 2008 until earlier this year, when he left office under disputed circumstances. >More
 Snow White and the Huntsman mines folklore's elemental urges

The hunger for fairy tales never wanes, but appetites refine. Snow White and the Huntsman -- ambitious, brutish, ruthlessly unromantic -- has the right idea casting its heroine as a Joan of Arc-type crusader. Its evil queen is a dissertation, albeit first draft, on beauty as the most direct path to power for the disenfranchised female. >More
 The Kid With a Bike is a sad story about foster care

I'm really moved by the work of first-time film actor Thomas Doret in The Kid With a Bike. He plays Cyril, a Belgian boy of about 11. Cyril lives with a lot of hurt, but he doesn't dare let on. Instead, he gets angry. He broods. He flinches violently when anyone gives him a comforting touch. >More
 A workplace romance unfolds in Delicacy

Watching the French romance Delicacy, I thought of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry can't follow a movie plot. Who's that guy? What just happened? There's a randomness to Delicacy that reminds me of irksome American indie comedies like Gigantic and The Good Heart, which ask us to laugh when characters drolly act in ways that don't resemble actual human behavior. That makes me antsy, and I was ready to give up on Delicacy. But I was smiling by the time it was over. >More
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