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Film, "Quartet": The Kindler, Gentler Aging Movie

"Quartet": The Kindler, Gentler Aging Movie

For Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Ronald Harwood adapts his own play about an English retirement home for esteemed musicians. The resulting quasi-farce gathers Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, and Maggie Smith in a mellow ensemble display of good acting…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Visual Acoustics</i>

Visual Acoustics

Just about everyone in Eric Bricker's festschrift seems to love Julius Shulman, including (adorably) the unstoppable old gent himself. What's not to like? Ninety-three years old at the time of filming, the great photographer of modernist architecture was still working…
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Film, FilmCap

Last Chance Harvey

Can a heartwarming meet-cute as unambitious and overtly sentimental as Last Chance Harvey be simply too nice to get beat up on by anyone other than the coldest of bastards? Perhaps it helps if you're in the third act of…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Tell No One</i>

Tell No One

François Cluzet, who looks like Daniel Auteuil and runs like Dustin Hoffman, simmers beautifully as a Paris pediatrician who, eight years after the brutal murder of his beloved wife (Marie-Josée Croze), receives an e-mailed video purporting to show her alive.…
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Film, <i>Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium</i> Not That Wonderful

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Not That Wonderful

Midway through the amiable children's movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, there comes a speech that I'll wager writer-director Zach Helm had been saving for future use ever since he discovered the Bard. As pop philosophy goes, it's bracing stuff: Paraphrasing…
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Film, The Flunk-Out

The Flunk-Out

Buck Henry walks into a studio boss' office and pitches him a movie. Says it's gonna be a sequel to a movie he wrote called The Graduate, the beloved Mike Nichols film that starred Dustin Hoffman as 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock…
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Film, Focking Wonderful

Focking Wonderful

When your movie gets riotous laughter out of endless utterances of the word "Focker," it doesn't have to try very hard. So it's no surprise that much of Meet the Fockers, the inevitable sequel to the 2000 hit Meet the…
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Film, Say Wha? Say Why?

Say Wha? Say Why?

Maybe it's the mark of a great film that it can affect an audience member even when he sleeps through the entire thing. Such was the case with my father at a recent preview of David O. Russell's I ♥…
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Music, Pop Philosophy

Blue Man Group

Last week, Petrol drummer Carter (no last name, just like Cher) played his final gig with the band before leaving town. Rather than a solemn occasion, however, the Pound-SF show was a jolly send-off. Carter, it seems, is moving to…
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Music, House of Tudor House Of Tudor

House Of Tudor

Drawing on '70s-style virility and Detroit grit, American Heartbreak performs fast-paced no-nonsense rock 'n' roll that rails against, rather than revels in, juvenile stupidity -- suicide, drugs, conceit -- while still retaining the violence and aggression that made youth exciting.…
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Dining, Eat

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Some people say that The Theater is dying. Some say it's long past dead. Perhaps nowhere could either of these grim prognoses be more difficult to believe than in the unusual home of Tony Taccone. As artistic director of the…
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Film,

The Albanian Candidate

Wag the Dog Directed by Barry Levinson. Written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet, from the novel American Hero by Larry Beinhart. Starring Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Heche, William H. Macy, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, and Andrea Martin.…
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Film,

For Love and Money

The Wings of the Dove Directed by Iain Softley. Written by Hossein Amini, from the novel by Henry James. Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, and Alison Elliott. Opens Friday, Nov. 14, at the Embarcadero Center. Mad City Directed by…
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Film,

Mother

The Graduate Directed by Mike Nichols. Screenplay by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, from Charles Webb's novel. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross. At the Castro Feb. 14-27, and the UC Theater in Berkeley Feb. 21-27. The Graduate…
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Film,

Dunciad and Illeanad

American Buffalo Directed by Michael Corrente. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson. Grace of My Heart Directed by Allison Anders. Starring Illeana Douglas, John Turturro, Eric Stoltz, Bruce Davison, and Matt Dillon. Two dubious cultural forces of the…
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Dining, Eat

Swamp Things

"Alligator sausage," my neighbor confided to me one evening, with something like the tone of the man who whispered "plastics" to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. My neighbor (and scout) was referring to the menu at Jessie's, a New Orleans-style…
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Film,

Chan Reaction

Jackie Chan's latest vehicle, Rumble in the Bronx, will give many Americans their first real look at the action man in action -- though his fans have followed his antics since the late '70s, when he pioneered the kung fu-action-comedy…
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