Guardian Staff Writers

Silent films, racing snails, haunted houses, and more in weekend movies!

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Those long, well-dressed lines wrapping around the Castro Theatre signal the advent of the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival, now in its 18th year and popular as ever. Though the fest opened last night, programming continues through the weekend; check out my take on some of the films (including one of tonight's selections, 1928 rom-com The Patsy) here.

Elsewhere, in first-run and rep theaters, it's a robust week for openings. There's something for nearly every age and appetite (plus a few recommendations on what to avoid) in the short reviews below.

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'Fruitvale Station' opens! Plus, giant monsters, giant robots, and more new movies!

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This week marks the opening of Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, a moving look at Oscar Grant's final hours; it's an especially important film for Bay Area residents, but will likely have nationwide impact. Check out my interview with rookie writer-director Ryan Coogler here.

And, as always, there's more. SO MUCH MORE. Emily Savage writes about Peaches Christ's campy, vampy, celeb-filled tribute (Sat/13 at the Castro!) to 1996 cult classic The Craft here.

PLUS! Pacific Rim's giant robot vs. giant monster smackdown, a 3D surfing doc, and all the rest, after the jump.

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Depp stinks but Death rules: new movies!

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By now you've heard how much The Lone Ranger sucks (for more on that, my review here), so what else should you be spending your weekly movie-theater budget on? Well, the Roxie just opened a doc about Detroit band Death (Dennis Harvey breaks it down here), plus there's a new Pedro Almodóvar joint, a coming-of-age summer flick starring Sam Rockwell and Steve Carell as cool and not-so-cool father figures, and (since one Carell movie ain't enough) Despicable Me 2  — just the thing for the kidz who've already seen Monsters University.

Read on for our takes on these films, and more! Read more »

Buddy cops, a one-man army, a boozy doc, and more: new movies!

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This week: two music docs, a buddy-cop movie starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and America's Sweetmeat Channing Tatum saves the White House and, ergo, the world. Plus, more! Read on for takes from our critics.

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It's Frameline time! Plus Brad Pitt vs. zombies, robbin' Paris Hilton, and more in new movies

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Frameline37 is underway! Check out our coverage of the country's biggest, oldest LGBT film festival: Dennis Harvey's rundown of five docs about great gay men (including Gore Vidal and Divine); my interview with A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge star/"scream queen" Mark Patton; and a host of short takes by Harvey and Lynn Rapoport.

This weekend, Hollywood would ask you to choose between zombies vs. Brad Pitt, and spoiled teens who live by the mantra "I wanna rob!" (also, if you have younger kids, there's a new Pixar joint, too). Reviews for all after the jump, with special shout-outs to the very cool, very strange Berberian Sound Studio (essential viewing for fans of 1970s Italian horror films), and the tense Danish thriller A Hijacking.

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More to grow on

FRAMELINE 2013: Short takes and highlights from Frameline37

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Pit Stop (Yen Tan, US) One of the very best narrative features at Sundance this year, Yen Tan's drama nonetheless completely flew under the radar of media attention. It's a beautifully low-key tale of two 40-ish gay men in a Texas small town. Neither are closeted, but they aren't exactly fulfilled, either, both being in awkward domestic situations. Gabe (Bill Heck) is still living with angry ex-wife Shannon (Amy Seimetz) for the sake of their six year-old daughter. Read more »

Holding out for a hero...or an antihero...or the Antichrist: this week's new movies!

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Already in theaters, Seth Rogen and his bro posse take on doomsday in This Is the End. I got the chance to talk with Mr. Rogen, his co-director and co-writer Evan Goldberg, and co-star Craig Robinson when they visited San Francisco a few days back. (Fun fact: Rogen really does laugh like that in real life.) Check the interview here!

In rep news, this weekend at the Castro Theatre heralds the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's "Hitchcock 9" event, spotlighting nine silent films by the guy who would later claim the title "Master of Suspense," direct some of the greatest thrillers of all time, etc. You can't go wrong with any of the films, but just for kicks, here's my take on the series here. And at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's dark Paradise Trilogy continues its bummer-summer run this weekend; Dennis Harvey breaks 'em down here.

Plus! That Superman movie you've been hearing a thing or two about, and the rest of the week's new offerings, after the jump.

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Guardian Intelligence

Virgil's Sea Room, queer education in schools, Ron Lanza memorial, Sean Parker's nuptials ... what you need to know this week

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NO RESPECT Read more »

Stage listings

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Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com.

THEATER

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