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Film, "Smurfs 2": The Franchise Gets Weirder with Hints of Gang-Smurfing

"Smurfs 2": The Franchise Gets Weirder with Hints of Gang-Smurfing

Let's consider The Smurfs 2. PRO: It was actually shot in 3-D (rather than post-converted), the Paris locations are very pretty, and the film spends more time in Smurf Village than the original. CON: There's nowhere left for the story…
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Film, "Bel Ami": He's Pretty Vacant

"Bel Ami": He's Pretty Vacant

What could be hotter than a bed-hopping bodice-ripper in which the movie hunk of the moment plows through three of the sexiest actresses of the 1990s? Most everything, it turns out. This tepid adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's novel tells…
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Calendar, Night&Day X Marks the Spot

X Marks the Spot

Someone, please make a movie based on Exene Cervenka’s life. The protagonist (played by whoever the next pre-diet Christina Ricci is) flees Florida, invents punk rock, counts among her conquests Viggo Mortensen and John Doe, becomes a fashion icon, invents…
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Film, FilmCap


"A Fairytale Like No Other"? Penelope's influences are right up front — there's the Tim Burton production design (overstocking each frame with curios) and Amélie music-box wistfulness tinkling all about. The film's titular heroine (Christina Ricci) is born into money,…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish Crackers & Cheese

Crackers & Cheese

Black Snake Moan (Paramount) The best place to see Craig Brewer's mash-up of blood-boiling exploitation elements would be a Mississippi drive-in circa 1972. His tale of a black bluesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who chains up a seething, scantily clad cracker…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish The Terrorist's Mind

The Terrorist's Mind

Catch a Fire (Focus) In his commentary for the underrated, undervalued Catch a Fire, director Phillip Noyce discusses the inspiration: witnessing the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. He wanted to comprehend "the terrorist's mind," so he…
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Film, The Kids Are Not Alright

The Kids Are Not Alright

PARK CITY, Utah -- We all know about the cathartic power of blues music, but until the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, who knew that it could serve as a cure-all for everything from nymphomania to childhood sexual abuse? In Hustle…
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Film, Sex and the Special Bus

Sex and the Special Bus

If there's any truth to reincarnation, the spirit of Napoleon may walk among us today. It's not unreasonable to conjecture that he has taken up residence in Bill Gates or Joel Silver, but -- perhaps more likely -- the little…
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Film, Cosmic


The first generation to be labeled with a letter suffered through some serious metaphysical shit in the '90s, but now it's seeking remedies for its own pop-culture depression. Evidence of a renewed hope abounds, from evolved Charlie's Angels to female…
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Film, Boo Hoo

Boo Hoo

Ever since Quentin Tarantino came along, it's been hard to predict what you'll find playing at the art-house theater. Why, many of these so-called highbrow cinemas have the nerve to show films that aren't always high quality! And some of…
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Best of San Francisco, Food & Drink

Best Temple to Charles Addams

The macabre wit of the late, great New Yorker cartoonist is alive and breeding at this strikingly realized Mission District restaurant. It's difficult to check out the interior design from outside; you have to commit yourself and plunge on in.…
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Get Me Outta Here

Desert Blue Written and directed by Morgan J. Freeman. Starring Brendan Sexton III, Kate Hudson, Christina Ricci, and John Heard. Opens Friday, June 18, at the Lumiere. For Morgan J. Freeman (a young writer/director, not the heralded actor), comic timing…
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Second Time Around

Christina's World Two of 1998's better American films, screening together at the UC Theater this Saturday, feature sullen Christina Ricci as the passive-aggressive love object of a variety of foolish men. Whether as the tart-tongued tart of Don Roos' The…
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