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Film, "The Hunter": Dafoe's Soldier Is Best Taken Alone

"The Hunter": Dafoe's Soldier Is Best Taken Alone

Drawing baths and listening to classical music, refined soldier of fortune Martin (Willem Dafoe) is sent Down Under by a military-biotech firm that wants him to bring back a Tasmanian tiger. Although the crocodile-jawed creature was declared extinct in the…
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Film, "Bullhead": Testosterone Stunts Plot Development

"Bullhead": Testosterone Stunts Plot Development

In Bullhead, Michael R. Roskam's first feature, thirtyish Jacky (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a cattle-farming hulk who keeps his mini fridge stocked with Testoviron and other steroids. The brute gobbles pills and plunges syringes into his flesh to compensate for what…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Beginning of the End of the Beginning

The Beginning of the End of the Beginning

S.F. Indiefest, with its ardor for shoestring films and no-illusions filmmakers, is the most pragmatic, eyes-wide-open festival in town. Paradoxically, perhaps, the fest also embraces a party-hearty ethos guaranteed to beat the blues out of the blackest nihilist. Both impulses…
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Film, Lars von Trier's <i>Antichrist</i> puts characters, and audience, through the wringer

Lars von Trier's Antichrist puts characters, and audience, through the wringer

Lars von Trier's doggedly outrageous, fearsomely ambitious two-hander is so desperate to make you feel something — if only a terrible sensation of nothingness — that it's almost poignant. Most simply put, Antichrist revels in the gruesome ordeal of a…
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Film, Spider Bites

Spider Bites

What is it with the third installments in superhero film franchises? For whatever reason — and, oh, let's just call it the lack of fresh ideas commingled with the love of money — they always strike out swinging their third…
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Ask the Experts

"Is egoism the reason for human failure?" "Is there an afterlife such as heaven, hell, or reincarnation, or is there just a black nothingness after death?" "Do you need Service Pack 4 for Windows if you are exclusively surfing porn?"…
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Film, The Ransom of Redford

The Ransom of Redford

It's one of the oldest stories in cinema, and possibly the history of storytelling: A man is kidnapped by a baddie wielding a deadly weapon. His family waits at home to hear word while law enforcement types try to figure…
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Film, Punk Monk

Punk Monk

It's a bit unorthodox to ladle superlatives all over a film in the opening paragraph, but The Reckoning deserves them. Moving, gripping, and powerful, suspenseful, stylish, and literate, this exploration of justice and art may be set in 1390s England,…
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That Sinking Feeling

Speed 2: Cruise Control Directed by Jan De Bont. Written by Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson. Starring Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, and Brian McCardie. Opens Friday, June 13, at the Metro in San Francisco, the UA…
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