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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

MOVIES

A little girl stars in the jaw-dropping Beasts of the Southern Wild

In Beasts of the Southern Wild, 6-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis, who may turn out to be the youngest actor ever to win an Academy Award) lives an almost feral existence on a wild, low-lying island of the Louisiana coast known as the Bathtub. Hushpuppy narrates her vivid life story in the particular manner of kids. >More
 Dark Horse is pure Todd Solondz

Todd Solondz's Dark Horse probably isn't going to make anyone's list of best date movies of 2012, but the director's claustrophobic vision of optimistic youth slowly curdling into a hellish maelstrom of middle-age malaise is still a fun ride if you enjoy that sort of thing. >More
 The Dark Knight Rises is more than mere entertainment

The Dark Knight Rises may be the darkest, the grimmest, the most depressing summer popcorn movie ever. It is not summery. It is not popcorny. There is no adventure. There is no escapism. There is only grinding reality. There can be no mistake that the people of Gotham are us, we 99% huddled in the dark and frantic for a hero we will not find. >More
 Wisconsin drive-ins are threatened by the conversion to digital projection

If you've never been to a real, all-American drive-in movie theater, you better go now. In a year, all but the strongest will be dead, thanks to a radical change in film projection. Wisconsin once boasted 79 drive-ins. Now there are 10. Four remain within easy driving distance of Madison, offering a rare glimpse of theater thrills from summers past. >More
 Oliver Stone returns to lurid filmmaking with Savages

Savages provides us with a glimpse at the Oliver Stone of yore, the director of lurid, visceral and menacing crime stories. We haven't seen much of that since Natural Born Killers and U-Turn. >More
 With Ice Age: Continental Drift, the prehistoric party has gone on too long

Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth installment in the Ice Age cartoon franchise, is amusing but never rousing. The essentialness of the herd -- be it blood-based or one of your own choosing -- is the film's clarion call. >More
 Corporate interests ruin The Amazing Spider-Man

I'm sure there will be people who argue that The Amazing Spider-Man should be evaluated on its own merits, as a work separate from the legacy of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films over the last decade. And I respectfully ask -- after I catch my breath from the hysterical laughter -- "You're joking, right?" >More
 Woody Allen's To Rome With Love is hit-or-miss

The original, more euphonious title for Woody Allen's 42nd feature film was The Bop Decameron. He flirted with Nero Fiddled for a while before settling on the postcard-generic, free-from-menace To Rome With Love. He didn't just lose lyricism in the name change; the Decameron association might have given the film a glimmer of grandness -- a raison d'être -- that's sorely missing from this ambling, just-passable picture. >More
 Magic Mike takes it all off

Directed by pretty much anyone besides Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike might have been virtually unwatchable. But it's entertaining almost entirely thanks to what its director adds to the formula. >More
 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
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