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Friday, July 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 70.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

Transformers: Dark of the Moon doesn't know when enough's enough

During the prologue of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, we learn some revisionist history. The Apollo moon program, it seems, was a response to indications that something had crashed on the moon in 1961. The Apollo 11 astronauts' explorations include a top-secret mission to investigate the wreckage of a spacecraft -- one that carries a powerful piece of Autobot technology. >More
 In a Better World features a mayhem-causing lad

Like Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed and Harvey Stephens in The Omen, William Jøhnk Nielsen makes a terrific rotten kid. As angry Christian, Nielsen stars in the low-key Danish thriller In a Better World, which won the foreign-language Oscar this year. When he's not glowering, he's causing mayhem. >More
 Nicholas Langholff is dedicated to indie cinema in Wisconsin

Darren Burrows recalls standing around the production office while acting in the 2010 film NoNAMES when someone said, "Darren, I'm such a fan of your work. How did you become involved in this project?" "Nick's a friend of mine," replied the alumnus of TV's Northern Exposure, referring to NoNAMES co-producer Nicholas Langholff. "And somebody else in the office said, 'Oh, you've been Langholffed too.'" >More
 Cars 2 is a race to nowhere

Minutes of the June 21, 2011, meeting of CDC (Critics Defending Cars): Dear friends -- I know it's been lonely. We've seen the conventional wisdom that Pixar has had a nearly perfect 15-year run of features..."well, except for Cars." >More
 Bill Cunningham New York is a blurry look at the photographer

Bill Cunningham's two weekly photo spreads in the New York Times, "On the Street" and "Evening Hours," have chronicled, respectively, the shifting mores of New York fashion and the town's glitterati. In the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, Cunningham is portrayed as a gentle eccentric, an ever-smiling eightysomething who tools around town on a bicycle, snapping shots of the natives in a kind of populist fashion parade. >More
 A Dutch lad must grow up fast in Winter in Wartime

Winter in Wartime, a coming-of-age story set against the bleak, frozen Dutch countryside during the Nazi-occupied winter of 1944-45, grapples with weighty, eternal questions. The issues stem not only from the standard deprivations of the time, but also the timeless mysteries of what it means to be an adult, a hero, and a survivor in a place where managing one out of three isn't a bad accomplishment. >More
 The Tree of Life explores nothing less than the miracle of existence

Some find Terrence Malick's meditative dramas a kind of cinematic religious experience. And there are those whose eyes roll whenever Malick's characters let loose with their "dude, nature is, like, so profound" philosophizing. When word out of this year's Cannes Film Festival, where The Tree of Life >More
 Jim Carrey lays an egg in Mr. Popper's Penguins

It's not the penguins' fault. Six handsome and lively emperor penguins have been cast in the title roles of the new Jim Carrey movie, Mr. Popper's Penguins -- along with the rubber-limbed Carrey and that grande dame of whimsy Angela Lansbury. But this expensive adaptation of the much-loved children's book by Richard and Florence Atwater is still pretty much a glossy botch. >More
 Midnight in Paris turns the City of Light into dullsville

I like the fantasy premise of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, and I'm happy he's telling a supernatural story. It's a familiar but sometimes overlooked mode for Allen, whose fantasy films include Zelig and The Purple Rose of Cairo. >More
 Kids make a scary film in Super 8

The kids -- and J.J. Abrams' handling of them -- are so money that for around 45 minutes of Super 8 I was enthralled by the prospect that I was watching one for the ages. Abrams delivers exactly what he knows we need as he introduces us to the residents of small-town Lillian, Ohio, circa 1979. >More
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