Dennis Harvey

Going commando

Much fisting! The multiple muscle-sploitation joys of Jack Abramoff and Dolph Lundgren's Red Scorpion

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CHEESY, SLEAZY CINEMA Last year found Jack Abramoff a peculiarly hot commodity at the movies, especially if you consider he spent most of the year in federal prison and hadn't exercised his own Hollywood ambitions in nearly a quarter-century.Read more »

Woman on the verge

Michelle Williams proves her movie-star mettle in Blue Valentine

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FILM Sometimes a performance stands out and grabs attention for embodying a particular personality type or emotional state that's instantly familiar yet infrequently explored in much depth at the movies. What's most striking about Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine is the primary focus it lends Michelle Williams' role as the more disgruntled half of a marriage that's on its last legs whether the other half knows that or not. Read more »

Rate irate

YEAR IN FILM: Confidential to the Motion Picture Association of America: F-U

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM "Bloody bugger to you, you ... beastly bastard. Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. F-fornication. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck and fuck. Fuck, fuck, and bugger. Bugger, bugger, buggety buggety buggety fuck. Fuck ass. Balls! Balls! Fuckety shit. Shit, fuck and willy. Willy, shit and fuck, and ... tits."Read more »

Hollywood ho-hum

Indie stalwart Henry Jaglom churns out Queen of the Lot

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FILM Some mainstream filmmakers grow so encumbered by the industry-within an-industry they've become that they profess yearning for those "small, personal" projects they started out with — often vowing they'll get right back there just as soon as they've finished the obligatory Behemoth IV: The Next Generation in 3-D. (Coppola actually did it; Lucas needs to stop saying he will until he actually quits finding new ways to commercially reanimate the charred remains of Star Wars. Meaning never.)Read more »

Highbrow-beaten

The King's Speech tempts Oscar

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More than child's play

What's the matter with the grimly fiendish stage treatment of Coraline?

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Cash and Carrey

Gay romantic comedy I Love You Phillip Morris inches toward the mainstream

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM You had to forgive most of the gay press for getting a little too excited over Brokeback Mountain (2005). Oh, no doubt it's a great movie, or that the Oscar going to the fraudulent Crash (2004) said less about that film's virtues than a skittishness that other movie stirred. But its excellence and commercial success induced widespread bouts of wishful thinking in the form of announcing new trends that never came to pass.Read more »

Ho-ho-horror

YBCA offers up a bloody cinematic antidote to holiday smarm

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM There is probably nowhere in the Christian-majority world where it's as OK to wax hum-buggy about Christmas and all it entails as San Francisco. Allergies to carols (admit it, they're horrible), frantically enabled shopaholicism, and forced contact with those people you moved here to get away from are all tolerated, even encouraged here.Read more »

Mädchen gone wild

Schoolgirl Report DVD series revives salacious '70s German sexploitation

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Every nation had its distinct cinematic response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s. Germany's was characteristic in offering the pretense of order, "scientific" educational value, and encouraging a healthy collective morality — even if all this was usually mere gloss over the usual, more marketable qualities of copious T&A.Read more »

Hungary for more

The Roxie offers a rare Kornél Mundruczó double feature

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM In recent years, on the film festival circuit at least, it seems like everything Romania puts out is gold — not that it puts out more than a handful of features per year. This vogue has overshadowed trends elsewhere in the region, notably neighbor Hungary, whose more richly historied, prolific film industry has produced some very interesting work of late. (On a less personalized level, its relatively pristine period architecture and low overhead draw a lot of foreign film shoots — Budapest subbing for Victorian Read more »