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Film, "The Monuments Men": This Time, Ocean's Boys Take on the Third Reich!

"The Monuments Men": This Time, Ocean's Boys Take on the Third Reich!

Rousing history lessons don't come more cartoonish than The Monuments Men, a thoroughly stilted, atonal and all-around one-dimensional Ocean's Eleven-style saga about the experts who joined the army during WWII to save the world's art classics from the Nazis. Lurching…
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Film, "Gravity": Utterly Lost in Space

"Gravity": Utterly Lost in Space

It cost $80M, takes place in Earth's orbit, and stars some of the world's biggest celebrities, and yet Alfonso Cuarón's breathtaking Gravity feels like an indie film about two people using their wits to survive in impossible circumstances. American astronauts…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist The 84th Academy Awards: a Timeline

The 84th Academy Awards: a Timeline

People plan parties around this stuff, so we assume you probably watched too. But just in case you didn't, here's a timeline of the 84th Academy Awards ceremony. They make it this long just to mess with us all,…
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Film, "The Ides of March": George Clooney for President!

"The Ides of March": George Clooney for President!

George Clooney's fourth directorial effort is a loose adaptation of Farragut North, a 2008 behind-the-political-campaign play by Beau Willimon, who once worked for Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and Howard Dean. In the play, the Democratic presidential candidate was spoken of…
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Calendar, Night&Day Dirty Politics Deconstructed

Dirty Politics Deconstructed

At first glance, this play about backroom politicking during a presidential primary campaign shows us nothing new or revelatory. It's a chess game of spin, purposeful press leaks, sex with interns, and plenty of backstabbing. But, the great cast, led…
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Film, "The American": George Clooney stars in a deconstructed action movie

"The American": George Clooney stars in a deconstructed action movie

Sometimes you feel bad for movie marketers, tasked with connecting any given film to an audience as large as possible. Take, for example, The American. Judging by the film's trailers and advertisements, it's a fast-paced Euro-stylish thriller starring George Clooney…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Fantastic Mr. Fox</i>

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Working with his Life Aquatic co-writer (and The Squid and the Whale director), Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson has added an existential layer to the protagonist of Roald Dahl's 1970 children's novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Onscreen, Mr. Fox (voiced by George…
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Film, Feature Going Places

Going Places

Unlike the zigzagging protagonist of his latest film, Up in the Air, Jason Reitman tends to stay close to home. "If we were in a small town, you'd call me a 'townie.' I'd be the guy who's always lived within…
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Film, Clooney's <i>Up in the Air </i> lands the emotion

Clooney's Up in the Air lands the emotion

There is something oddly familiar about Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, in which George Clooney plays a commitment-phobic business traveler with no use for meaningful human interaction. Could have sworn we've been here before. When was it? And where?…
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Film, </i>Got Your Goat</i>: Clooney's latest lacks humor

Got Your Goat: Clooney's latest lacks humor

Historical cataclysm produces conspiratorial thinking: Germany's loss in World War I, the JFK assassination, and 9/11 are all naturally understood as the stuff of unimaginable plots, unspeakable cover-ups, and unseen forces. The guys who made The Men Who Stare at…
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Film, Intolerable Cruelty

Intolerable Cruelty

Masters of the carefully crafted cheap shot, Joel and Ethan Coen have built a career on flippancy. Given their refusal to take anything seriously — least of all the enthusiasm of their fans — the brothers surely got a chuckle…
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Film, Fourth and Inches

Fourth and Inches

When Time recently featured George Clooney on its cover accompanied by the headline "The Last Movie Star" — note, not even a question mark at the end — you didn't have to read the article to know where it was…
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Film, The House Always Wins

The House Always Wins

Lowest Common Denominator-ism writ large and engraved in stone like the Ten Commandments according to Cecil B. DeMille, the Hollywood blockbuster is often an allegory for itself. Walt Disney, the notoriously litigious studio that successfully changed the nation's copyright laws…
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Culture, Stagecap

The Good German

Cursed with the title of a recent Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney movie that it has nothing to do with, this production is otherwise blessed with a strong cast and a heady examination of what would drive 1940s Germans to exterminate the…
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Film, Nostalgia Trip

Nostalgia Trip

The Good German, directed by Steven Soderbergh from Joseph Kanon's best-seller, is as much simulation as movie. Specifically, it's the simulation of a 1940s private eye flick. It's not just a period film, but one that feigns being shot as…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish Hoop Dreams Come True

Hoop Dreams Come True

Through the Fire (Disney) He's averaging just nine points in his second season for the Portland Trail Blazers, but considering where he came from and what he's overcome, Sebastian Telfair is doing just fine, thank you. Jonathan Hock's fascinating documentary…
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Film, Blood for Oil

Blood for Oil

Warner Bros. put $50 million into Syriana and allowed writer/director Stephen Gaghan as much time and travel as necessary to research and write his story. It'd be well-advised to pony up a few extra bucks to provide filmgoers with a…
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Film, Exhuming McCarthy

Exhuming McCarthy

Good Night, and Good Luck, a riveting movie that's as entertaining as it is socially and politically important, could not have come at a more propitious time. But more than just the right film at the right moment, George Clooney's…
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Music, House of Tudor House Of Tudor

House Of Tudor

In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen brothers' new movie based on Homer's Odyssey, three petty criminals played by George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Turturro escape from a chain gang to follow the words of a blind…
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But Not Out of Mind

Out of Sight Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Scott Frank, from Elmore Leonard's novel. Starring George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, and Steve Zahn. Opens Friday, June 26, at the Kabuki in S.F., the Jack London in…
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