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Thursday, August 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

Hirohito's Japan gives up in The Sun

In times of crisis, it's important to stick to your routines. This much I take from The Sun, Russian director Alexander Sokurov's film about Emperor Hirohito (Issei Ogata), who ruled amid Japan's aggression and defeat in World War II. >More
 Thrills, chills and author talks in The Eclipse

Despite early promise, Aidan Quinn never broke through to superstardom. But I'm glad he's still playing interesting roles, like the raging author Nicholas in the Irish supernatural drama The Eclipse. >More
 City Island is busy to the point of exhaustion

The manic family comedy City Island aims to be a sort of opéra bouffe sung in the key of the Bronx -- well, City Island, to be exact, a tiny, scenic fishing village improbably plunked down in New York's uppermost borough. >More
 UW Union eliminates film series

Starlight Cinema, the Wisconsin Union Directorate's 35-year-old avant-garde/experimental film series, is kaput. The WUD Film Committee is discontinuing it along with the rest of its series, including Real to Reel (its middling documentary series), International Cinema (maddeningly spotty) and Midnight Movies, all of which called the Memorial Union's Fredric March Play Circle home. The committee will still show movies, but no longer break them into series. >More
 An angry goth roils The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

If you're a fan of contemporary thriller fiction, you don't need me to tell you about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the "Millennium Trilogy" of novels by the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson. The books have been a sensation everywhere, and their fans doubtless will be glad to see screen versions of their heroes, the angry goth hacker Lisbeth Salander and the purposeful journalist Mikael Blomkvist. >More
 Feed the Fish: Chilling out

Consider the groin injury. On movie and television screens, trauma to the male privates is always good for an extremely cheap laugh. It's a hallmark of bad comedy. That's why, watching the Wisconsin-themed romantic comedy Feed the Fish, I was disappointed when a character receives a particularly brutal injury to his nether parts. So disappointed I was ready to stop watching. I'm glad I didn't. >More
 When You're Strange: The triumph, the tragedy, the booze

The Doors were wonderfully resourceful musicians, and singer Jim Morrison was a one-of-a-kind entertainer: menacingly sexy, mellifluous on the vocals and, whatever you think of his poetic pretensions, gifted at pop songcraft. >More
 A fanboy turns to crime-fighting in Kick-Ass

Based on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s Marvel/Icon comic series, Kick-Ass asks the pointy question: "Instead of reading about superheroes and watching them at the movies, why not commit fully to the dream and become a superhero?" >More
 Satiric premise doesn't carry The Joneses

In an angle perfectly suited to our times, Derrick Borte, writer and director of The Joneses, deposits the family into a wealthy suburban enclave for other surreptitious goals: The Joneses are a stealth marketing team. >More
 The Runaways tells a cautionary true-rock tale

My favorite rock movie, Cameron Crowe's sweetly nostalgic Almost Famous, succeeds in part because it tells a compelling story, but also because its characters are recognizably human. Too many rock movies -- Oliver Stone's The Doors is a painful example -- merely caricature. >More
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