Film Review

Exile on Main St. USA

'Escape From Tomorrow' creeps inside the Mouse House

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Escape From Tomorrow acquired cachet at Sundance this year as a movie you ought to see because it probably wouldn't surface again — not because it was that bad, but because any regular release seemed sure to be legally blocked. The reason was its setting, which composites two of the most photographed (and "happiest") places on Earth. They're also among the most heavily guarded from any commercial usage not of their own choosing.Read more »

Survival mode

'The Summit' and 'Captain Phillips' offer authentic thrills

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cheryl@sfbg.com.

FILM Eye of the tiger, baby. The fight for survival is a dominant theme this season at the movies, with astronaut Sandra Bullock grappling for her life in Gravity; lone sailor Robert Redford piloting a leaky boat in All Is Lost; and Tom Hanks battling Somali pirates in Captain Phillips. (More on that film — directed with trademark urgency by Paul Greengrass — in a moment.)Read more »

Eat your meat

Indie horror director Jim Mickle talks 'We Are What We Are'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The title of Jim Mickle's latest film sums up the attitude of the Parker family: We Are What We Are. We eat people. Our human-flesh cravings go back generations. Our dietary habits have become our religion. And that's just the way it is — until teen sisters Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner) start to have some doubts.Read more »

Go north, film fan

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If you're gonna make the journey across the Golden Gate Bridge, the movie better be worth it, right? Fortunately, the 2013 Mill Valley Film Festival boasts a stellar schedule. Read on for our top picks.
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Hit the lights

'Metallica: Through the Never' riffs on the concert film

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The 3D IMAX concert film may be lurching toward cliché status, but at least Metallica: Through the Never has more bite to it than, say, this summer's One Direction: This is Us.Read more »

The great divide

Robert Reich breaks down the economic breakdown in 'Inequality for All'

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Whatever the wisdom of Obama's strategy for Syria, public response has made it clear that most Americans no longer want the US to meddle in foreign affairs — at least not if it costs money and might embroil our troops in another endless, winless imbroglio. This is a little flummoxing, since not so long ago we gave another president a free pass to invade countries for far more dubious reasons, and are still paying the price for those rubber stamps in many, many ways a decade later.Read more »

Blah lust

Brian De Palma's tame, lame 'Passion'

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Lone stars

Old-fashioned 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' claims a new genre: neo-neo-Western noir

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FILM "This was in Texas," reads the hand-lettered opening of Ain't Them Bodies Saints. It's a fittingly homespun beginning to a film that pays painstaking homage to bygone-era cinema. After its Sundance Film Festival premiere, writer-director David Lowery's first high-profile release earned frequent comparisons to 1970s works by Robert Altman and Terrence Malick. That's no accident; Saints openly feasts upon the decade's intimate, sun-burnished neo-Westerns.Read more »

Scenes from a marriage

'Cutie and the Boxer' showcases one artistic couple's functional dysfunction

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FILM At least since Grey Gardens in 1975 provided a peek at mother-and daughter eccentrics living in squalor — distinguished from your average crazy cat ladies by being closely related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — there's been a documentary subgenre devoted to, well, weirdos. Errol Morris and Werner Herzog have devoted a sizable chunk of their output to them, those people who might make you nervous or annoyed if they lived next door but are fascinating to gawk at for 90 minutes or so. Read more »

Midsummer mayhem

From Jupiter's moon to a Chinese drug war: four beyond-the-mainstream treats for genre film fans

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM It's been a zzz summer at the multiplex. The number one movie of the year is Iron Man 3, a highly unmemorable blockbuster. (Quick: Who played the villain? Had to think about it for a second, didn't you?) With the exception of The Heat and The Conjuring, most everything that's grossed a crap-ton of dollars recently is either a sequel or based on some well-worn property.Read more »