Film

It's all reel

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: The YA adaptations, heroes and villains, and many explosions of Hollywood's summer. Plus: local film festivals

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Home brew

New docs probe where the heart is — and isn't

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Jose Antonio Vargas' grandparents — who raised him in Mountain View after he was smuggled into America at age 12 from the Philippines — expected him to grow up, blend in, and live a perfectly ordinary life in his new country. He'd work a "menial job," as both of them had, and eventually legalize his immigration status by marrying an American woman.Read more »

A few quick hits from the SF International Film Festival as it comes to a close

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Sexual jealousy, filial betrayal, and bloodshed amid a civilization’s ruins. The SF International Film Festival began on these cheerful notes, with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, and Kirsten Dunst tensely keeping company in opening-night film The Two Faces of January, Hossein Amini’s adaptation of the 1964 Patricia Highsmith novel. Mortensen plays Chester MacFarland, a New York con artist who, having bilked investors out of large wads of cash back in the States, is on the lam in Greece with his pretty young wife, Colette (Dunst).

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'Neighbors,' 'Belle,' and more new movies!

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Not to detract from the drawing power of Seth Rogen's comic chops (or Zac Efron's abs, pecs, etc.) in this week's Neighbors, but it seems Hollywood is taking a little blockbuster breather between last week's Spider-Man cash grab and next week's Godzilla onslaught. So now's a great time to catch up on some smaller films that might've otherwise escaped your radar, including brains-and-beauty costume drama Belle, opening theatrically after its recent bow at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Reviews, trailers, and links below!

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Needs salt

'Tasting Menu' is a bland addition to the foodie-movie trend

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Foodie movies — a perennially popular genre, thanks to standard-bearers like 1996's Big Night and 1994's Eat Drink Man Woman — are having a particularly heady moment. There's Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's travelogue The Trip to Italy — as full of hilarious impressions as it is delectable pasta dishes — which screened to appreciative crowds at the San Francisco International Film Festival; and Jon Favreau's food-truck comedy, Chef, poised to open locally May 16 after taking the audience award at Tribeca.Read more »

Skin deep

Costume drama Belle takes on race and class in 18th century England

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Spider-Man and other men (some more amazing than others...) in new movies!

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It won't be summer according to the calendar for another month or so, but it's already summer at the movies. We're already on our second superhero movie of the season! Our second Stan Lee cameo in as many months, people! Read on for reviews of everything that's opening this week, from the obvious (see: Slinger, Web) to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it-but-you-really-shouldn't (Singaporean drama Ilo Ilo, for one). And confidential to late arrivals: the San Francisco International Film Festival is heading into its second weekend; check out our coverage from last week's paper here.

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Big batch of SF archival films new on YouTube, featuring 'Hello Girls' of Chinatown, bay swimming 'Frog Man', city-stopping strikes, and more!

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Media company British Pathé uploaded thousands of archival films to its Youtube channel, and in the batch are hundreds of vintage newsreels showcasing San Francisco history as far back as the 1906 earthquake.

The films cover milestones in Baghdad by the Bay's history, but more obscure films like "Hello Girls" of Chinatown (1929) and Frog Man Swims Under Golden Gate Bridge (1954) offer a look at quirky San Franciscans of the past. Read more »

Manscape

The male protagonists of 'Fading Gigolo' and 'Locke' do what they gotta do

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Mr. Nice Guy

'Super Duper Alice Cooper' goes through the looking glass with a rock legend

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