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Film, "Mama": Less Scary Than a Call From Mom

"Mama": Less Scary Than a Call From Mom

A chiller about two abandoned little girls and their bond to the wraith of the title, Mama never delivers the primal terror its premise would suggest. Instead, the movie — the first feature by Andy Muschietti — distracts with too…
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Film, "LUV": It's Always One Last Score

"LUV": It's Always One Last Score

"Imma teach you some real-world shit," ex-felon Vincent (Common) tells his 11-year-old nephew, Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.), as they ride through the streets of Baltimore, thus assuring that everything that follows in Luv will adhere solely to the preposterous plot…
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Film, Feature The Year in Film: 10 Movies to Watch in 2013

The Year in Film: 10 Movies to Watch in 2013

Most of the blathering this year about the death of film and film culture has already evaporated from the mind like so much inert gas. But one gnomic pronouncement endures: Leos Carax describing cinema as "a beautiful island with a…
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Film, "Rust and Bone": Dismembering a Cinematic Beauty

"Rust and Bone": Dismembering a Cinematic Beauty

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, one must have a heart of stone to watch Jacques Audiard's outrageous melodrama Rust and Bone without laughing. Loosely adapted from two works in Craig Davidson's 2005 short story collection of the same name, Rust and…
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Film, "The Impossible": A Thorough Whitewashing

"The Impossible": A Thorough Whitewashing

When the words "true story" appear twice in a film's opening disclaimer, it's a guarantee that what follows will include at least one questionable fiction. The Impossible is inspired by the Alvarez Belons, a Spanish family of five who survived…
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Film, "Any Day Now": A Travesty's Travesty

"Any Day Now": A Travesty's Travesty

Gay-male weepies have left a long trail of tears, stretching back to the sobbing, self-loathing queens of The Boys in the Band, released one year after the Stonewall insurrection of 1969, and including high-prestige pictures like Philadelphia (1993) and Brokeback…
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Film, "Lay the Favorite": One Day She'll Win

"Lay the Favorite": One Day She'll Win

A wan comedy about gambling that takes no risks, Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite has none of the stinging sordidness of The Grifters, his 1990 movie about chiselers and con artists. That tight, nimble adaptation of Jim Thompson's high-pulp, strained-through,…
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Film, "Playing for Keeps": Shut It Down, Ladies

"Playing for Keeps": Shut It Down, Ladies

Gerard Butler, playing George, a former soccer great now dodging bill collectors in suburban Virginia, speaks in his natural Scottish accent in the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps. The brogue is remarked upon at least three times, with one character…
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Film, "Starlet": The Old and the Beautiful

"Starlet": The Old and the Beautiful

An empathic, absorbing tale of the old and the beautiful, Starlet tracks an unlikely intergenerational friendship in the San Fernando Valley. Florida transplant Jane (Dree Hemingway) is employed by one of the area's main engines of commerce, breaking into the…
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Film, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II": At Long Last

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II": At Long Last

There's plenty of red glare in Twilight's last gleaming, emitting mainly from the peepers of Bella (Kristen Stewart), now 100 percent vampire, a conversion that took place during the final minutes of Breaking Dawn Part I to save her life…
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Film, "Holy Motors": Hark, Behold, Watch the Uncategorizable

"Holy Motors": Hark, Behold, Watch the Uncategorizable

Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking, Holy Motors, the first feature-length film from Leos Carax since Pola X (1999) — and only his fifth in 28 years — received a log line of sorts from its writer-director at the press conference following…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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