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Monday, January 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 19.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Daily


Clash of the Titans is epically messy

If you're casting about, looking to remake one of Ray Harryhausen's beloved stop-motion masterpieces but unsure of where to begin, it makes a slanted sort of sense to kick things off with everyone's least favorite of his 15-plus forays into "the land beyond beyond." And that, of course, would be 1981's fondly recalled -- and frankly stodgy -- Clash of the Titans. >More
 Miley Cyrus turns dramatic in The Last Song

Miley Cyrus waves goodbye to her Hannah Montana tween-star identity with The Last Song, the latest Nicholas Sparks-penned romance to be made into a movie. Though she plays a troubled music prodigy, Cyrus is not heard singing in the movie until, literally, the final song plays over the closing credits. >More
 A loser takes stock of his life in Greenberg

Noah Baumbach keeps making movies about me. In 1995, when I was a smug would-be esthete still hanging around my college neighborhood, I saw the writer-director's debut feature Kicking and Screaming, about smug would-be esthetes still hanging around their college neighborhood. In 2005 he emerged with the autobiographical The Squid and the Whale, about adolescent brothers dealing with their bourgeois parents' (check) divorce in the 1980s (check). >More
 Into the vortex with Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski appears to be back in the saddle with his new political mystery thriller, which includes elements of what we like best in his work yet doesn't surpass the excitement of his greatest achievements. >More
 Frederick Wiseman's La Danse observes a French dance company

We have a new Frederick Wiseman film in La Danse, which documents the work of the Ballet de l'Opera de Paris, the dance company whose history goes back to the 17th century. >More
 She's Out of My League finds romance for a dude in ugly clothes

She's Out of My League is a middling raunchy comedy, but it has a few things to recommend it. One is that it is fairly artful with its raunch, which is to say that even the smuttiest parts, including a prolonged sequence about premature ejaculation, are generally in the service of character and story. >More
 Oscars 2010 live blog with Isthmus film critic Kenneth Burns

When you settle in to watch the Academy Awards Sunday night, don't forget your laptop. Kenneth will be blogging along, live, and you're encouraged to log in and share your thoughts and questions here. >More
 Isthmus on the isthmus: Oscar picks from industry insiders (video)

Ben Reiser, a filmmaker in his own right, surveys a panel of movie experts from Sundance Cinemas and Four Star Video Heaven on their Oscar picks. >More
 Warlords duke it out in John Woo's spectacular Red Cliff

It's easy to tell which side is virtuous and which side is debased in Red Cliff, John Woo's spectacular war film set in third-century China. The virtuous leaders love music and tea, and they commune with nature. The debased ones desecrate their dead. >More
 The Damned United: Grudge match

Newt Gingrich, you'll recall, shut down the federal government because Bill Clinton made him use the back door of the plane. Depending on whom you ask, the stakes aren't quite so high in the marvelous British sports film The Damned United, but like the Gingrich story, this movie likewise warns us that grudges can lead to disaster. >More
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