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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


It's Brad Pitt versus the Nazis in Inglourious Basterds

As with puppies and nudity, you can never go wrong by sprinkling a whole mess of dead Nazis in your film, a truism that Quentin Tarantino takes to heart (and, via Louisville Slugger, head) in Inglourious Basterds, an in-name-only remake of the 1978 Enzo Castellari World War II outing. >More
 The Stoning of Soraya M.: Brutal punishment

The Stoning of Soraya M., an impassioned, American-financed drama, is in service to the filmmakers' opposition to the religiously sanctioned stoning of inconvenient or insubordinate Muslim women in Iran and elsewhere. So far, so good. >More
 District 9 is a science-fiction classic

District 9 is a riveting, occasionally violent, often heartbreaking and, above all, socially conscious science fiction film featuring seamlessly integrated CGI effects alongside flat-out perfect performances from its flesh-and-blood actors. And, best of all, it's a love story. >More
 Bandslam: High school musical

From the beginning of time, or at least the roots of rock 'n' roll, outcast teens have found comfort and companionship in music when neither is to be had in their peer circle. >More
 Departures laughs at death

There's something discomfiting about the American funeral business. Smooth funeral directors, their careful euphemisms, their graveside AstroTurf -- they can make the already difficult process of mourning downright surreal. >More
 Food, Inc. takes an alarmist look at what we eat

Food, Inc. reminds me of someone I knew in college. At the dining hall, just as I'd be cutting into a piece of poultry, she'd ask, "Do you want to learn how that chicken died?" I'd answer: Yes, but maybe not while I'm eating it. >More
 Funny People: Beyond genitals

Judd Apatow, of course, has built a mini movie empire on dick jokes, and Funny People, the writer-director's bid at something more grownup than Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, just as obsessively tugs at the male genitalia for laughs. >More
 (500) Days of Summer is an un-love story

"You should know upfront: This is not a love story," (500) Days of Summer's omniscient narrator warns us. The film then lays out the pop-cultural obsessions and core-rocking events that define the He and She of this un-love story, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). >More
 The Hurt Locker: Bomb squad

The hybridization of art house and action doesn't happen all that often, but it should, if mashing the two genres makes for film as riveting and rattling as The Hurt Locker. >More
 Jeff 'The Dude' Dowd talks movies, Madison, and the Mallards

"Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude." The voiceover drawled in the opening sequence of The Big Lebowski couldn't have been more prescient about the cult of fandom that has flowered around both the movie and the man who inspired the iconic character, Jeff Dowd. >More
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