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Saturday, July 12, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows improves on the franchise

When Sherlock Holmes raked in more than $200 million at the box office in 2009, it was only elementary that Hollywood would realize a sequel was inevitable. It was far from inevitable, however, that the sequel would improve the product. Never mind that Sherlock Holmes was kind of a mess, its last hour overloaded with fights, explosions and that fast-slow-fast visual style that has become so achingly trendy. You don't mess with (financial) success. >More
 Charlize Theron is brilliantly prickly in Young Adult

Thirty-seven-year-old Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a beautiful, unhappy and dislikable narcissist. Add delusional, rude and alcoholic to the list. She's not the kind of person we generally want to spend time with in the movies or in real life. However, the attributes that make Mavis bad company are the very reasons you'll want to catch her in Young Adult. >More
 UW Cinematheque seeking donations in face of funding cuts

Despite its recent successes, the UW Cinematheque is faced with funding cuts. Programming director Jim Healy says he hopes the program can raise at least $30,000 in individual donations by the end of the year. >More
 A woman, and the Earth, face doom in Melancholia

The ghost of Irwin Allen must be smiling. He produced a run of disaster movies in the 1970s (The Poseidon Adventure, The Swarm), and in 2011 the genre staged a remarkable comeback. The difference is that the new offerings are thoughtful and gripping, as opposed to junky and Shelley-Winters-starring. >More
 The Skin I Live In is a loopy sex thriller

Let's take a moment to remember Ken Russell, the English director who died Nov. 27 at age 84. When I was a kid in the early 1980s, I came of age as a film fan with cable viewings of Russell films like Tommy and Altered States. What I learned from them is that crazed imagery, stupefying violence and intense psychosexual freakouts add up to memorable movies. >More
 A man woos his maid in The Women on the 6th Floor

The Women on the 6th Floor is a light French comedy that is pure bourgeois fantasy, but a genial fantasy nevertheless. Charming performances go a long way toward smoothing over the characters' perpetuation of class distinctions and patronizing attitudes. >More
 The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 takes a fresh look at a volatile era

A remarkable, unexpected and highly impressionistic document of the Black Power movement in America, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is a historical treasure trove of never-before-seen footage. The period interviews with Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton give a freshly human face to an American era too often depicted only in iconic terms. >More
 Weekend gets so much right about modern gay living

A gay drama, a sad romance, the excellent Weekend centers on two young men who meet in a club one Friday night. Over the next couple of days, between sessions of lovemaking, they talk earnestly about, well, being gay -- how it affects, in a practical sense, the way they live in the world. >More
 Delightful The Muppets goes beyond nostalgia

Hard as it is to pick one scene that captures everything delightful about the endlessly entertaining The Muppets, let me go with this one: During the climactic live Muppet Show revival at the end, Camilla -- beloved chicken of Gonzo the Great -- and several poultry friends perform a version of a certain recent, ubiquitous Cee Lo Green hit. >More
 A man is haunted by visions in Take Shelter

In Take Shelter, Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) stands in his yard in Ohio, staring at the horizon and sensing that something is wrong. Storm clouds are massing in the distance, and when the rain begins to fall, it has the consistency of motor oil. It's just one of the many troubling sensations Curtis has recently noticed: Birds flock in strange patterns, his pet dog nearly bites off his arm and his living-room furniture levitates. >More
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