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Friday, August 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 66.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Madison in the movies

Is there a Madison curse for Hollywood movies? Almost every big-budget project filmed on location here is an artistic failure, even if it stars foolproof actors like Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer or Johnny Depp. >More
 Everybody's Fine: Family secrets

Everybody's Fine -- a movie about the lies grown children tell their parents -- is, ironically, one of the most disingenuous movies to come out of Hollywood in a while. >More
 Madison in the movies: Behind the scenes

If most of the Hollywood movies filmed on location in Madison are bad, it's not the fault of the dedicated local folks who worked with the producers, directors and stars, meeting often outrageous demands. Mary Idso, former assistant director of the now-closed Wisconsin Film Office, tells hilarious and hair-raising stories about dealing with the big-budget productions that rolled into the area. >More
 Wes Anderson finds real life, at last, in hilarious Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson, at his best and his worst, has always been a filmmaker with a fondness for hermetically sealed worlds of his own creation. Why it took him 15 years to take a stab at animation, I'll never know. >More
 Ninja Assassin is preposterously dumb

Pitched somewhere between a preadolescent boy's martial-arts fantasy world and a wildly off-kilter exercise in homoerotic beefcakery, Ninja Assassin is an astonishingly crappy slo-mo gorefest from the V for Vendetta team of director James McTeigue and producers the Wachowski Brothers. >More
 Rich white folks adopt a black football player in The Blind Side

A great swath of American men might fall in love with Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, the generously entertaining movie about, among other things, the sweeping cultural phenomenon that is football in the South. She is beautiful. She is rich. She loves football. And she carries a gun. >More
 Pirate Radio tepidly looks back at broadcast rebels

Despite a title change from The Boat That Rocked to Pirate Radio, this British import exudes about as much outlaw swagger as Tom DeLay in a dance competition. Forget about historical veracity. The film's offshore radio broadcasting ship Radio Rock is a fictional stand-in for the actual operation Radio Caroline, which was shut down by the British government in 1967. >More
 2012: Cinematic catharsis

Life is simple in Roland Emmerich's films. Confronted with unprecedented perils on a scale never before seen, the characters in his disaster epics manage to reaffirm their broken loves, make amends for slipshod parenting and, most impressively, outrun fireballs and certain death with their hides and wits intact. >More
 Saving the planet, one film festival at a time

Gregg Mitman thought Tales from Planet Earth would be a one-shot deal. The UW-Madison history of science professor and interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies was a principal organizer of the 2007 environmental film festival. "Opening night, there was a line two blocks long waiting to get into the Orpheum," he remembers. He had anticipated 500 people might show up the first night. Instead, more than twice that number turned out. By the end of the festival, total attendance was estimated at 3,500. >More
 The Men Who Stare at Goats: Psychic spies

The Men Who Stare at Goats is one odd duck. A title card reads "More of this is true than you would believe," but it's impossible to tell what's factual in this fictionalized take on Jon Ronson's book about Army experiments in the paranormal because it all sounds so deeply ludicrous. >More
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