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Monday, September 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  A Few Clouds
Movies

MOVIES

MOVIES

A prodigy must decide whether to live or die in If I Stay

If I Stay is an adaptation of Gayle Forman's young adult novel about Mia Hall, an 18-year-old cello prodigy who must decide whether to live or die following a car accident. In addition to telling a story, the movie begs an important question: When should a filmmaker stray from his source material? >More
 It's hard to tell the characters apart in the flawed football drama When the Game Stands Tall

As a teamwork training manual for young athletes, When the Game Stands Tall may be useful viewing, but as a gripping drama, it's dodgy at best. Loosely based on sportswriter Neil Hayes' book about high school football coach Bob Ladouceur, who led his De La Salle Spartans to a historic 151-game winning streak, the script (by Scott Marshall Smith) wisely includes the game that broke the streak. >More

MOVIES

Filmed over a 12-year period, Boyhood examines the small but essential details of growing up

With Boyhood, Richard Linklater has created the ultimate coming-of-age film. Many other movies in this genre present one big event as the kick-in-the-rear that propels a character toward maturation or a greater sense of the world beyond oneself. >More
 Philip Seymour Hoffman leads a German spy group in A Most Wanted Man

An espionage thriller adapted from John Le Carré's 2008 novel, A Most Wanted Man opens on a battered sea wall in Hamburg, Germany, a port city on high alert after Mohamed Atta and his co-conspirators plotted the Sept. 11 attacks there, undetected by German intelligence officers. >More

MOVIES


Guardians of the Galaxy puts the 'comic' back in comic book characters

Heroes have been introduced to us in many ways since Marvel started to take over the multiplex over the last several years. They've been bad-asses and screw-ups and tormented scientists, but they've all more or less felt the way superheroes are supposed to feel. >More
 A tenderhearted woman tussles with an ornery widower in And So It Goes

In the opening moments of And So It Goes, Oren Little (Michael Douglas) visits the grave of his beloved wife, who has died of cancer. This scene is supposed to humanize Oren, who is horrible to most of the people he interacts with. Unfortunately, director Rob Reiner wants us to spend 90 more minutes figuring out that deep down, Oren's a sad guy, not a bad guy. >More

MOVIES


In Edge of Tomorrow, a man discovers how to fight and love by reliving an alien invasion

Doug Liman, director of the terrific new sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow, is best known for propulsive action movies like Go and the original Bourne Identity. But what he really wants to be, it seems, is contemporary cinema's foremost chronicler of relationships under pressure. >More

TELEVISION

An ambitious miniseries gets inside Houdini's head

Houdini begins with a striking image of the escape artist Harry Houdini (Adrien Brody) perched on a bridge, shackled, as he works up the nerve to jump into the icy water below. The first sound we hear is a ghostly woman's voice whispering, "Harry, can you hear me?" We have no idea where the voice is coming from or what the words mean, but it immediately establishes a dreamlike quality for this ambitious miniseries. >More
 The 2014 Emmys prove it: We're in a golden age of TV

I was going to start talking about the overrated shows nominated for this year's Emmy Awards, as I don't understand why critics have fallen for Masters of Sex, Homeland and Boardwalk Empire. But I got sidetracked by the much bigger list of nominated shows that are among the wonders of the world. >More
 An unstable undercover agent creates multiple personalities in Legends

Martin Odum (Sean Bean) is a CIA agent who transforms himself into a different person for each undercover job. For example, he goes to great lengths to style himself as a creepy outsider to infiltrate a domestic terrorist group, masking his British accent with a stutter. Legends keeps you on the edge of your seat as Martin tries not to blow his cover under tremendous pressure. >More
 A brash outsider crashes the high-society South in Jersey Belle

At first glance, Jersey Belle comes on like one of those housewife reality series everyone loves to hate. Jaime is a brash Jersey girl with an Italian/Jewish heritage who follows her husband to a high-society suburb in Alabama. You brace yourself for the usual inanities, but Jaime proves an unusually interesting subject. >More
 #RichKids of Beverly Hills gives us entrée to a luxurious lifestyle

In the reality series #RichKids of Beverly Hills, the rich kids aren't icky in that Kardashian way. They're smart and self-aware, even self-mocking at times. As a result, you don't laugh at them, but with them. >More
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MOVIES

UW Cinematheque hosts four Madison premieres in fall 2014

With back-to-school season just around the corner, the UW Cinematheque has rolled out its fall 2014 film lineup. All Cinematheque events are free and take place at 4070 Vilas Hall, the Marquee Theater at Union South, and the Chazen Museum of Art. >More

WISCONSIN FILM FESTIVAL

Wisconsin Film Festival announces winners of 2014 audience awards

Ever since the final credits of the Wisconsin Film Festival rolled the night of April 10, workers have been tallying the results of the annual Steep & Brew Audience Award competition. Now it's time for a drumroll: The winners of this year's awards are American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, The Rocket and Vertigo. >More

GAMES

Inside the minds of Human Head Studios

Any seasoned gamer who's dodged missiles and firestorms in a multiplayer deathmatch knows there's a time when it's best to crouch behind cover for a few seconds, honing a careful strategy rather than charging in with CRB Vector-submachine guns blazing. It's often the difference between surviving and ending up a corpse in another player's killing spree. >More

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