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Monday, Sept. 1, 2008

Today @ the Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater - 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m

Also open today is the Milwaukee Public Museum and its Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater, which is screening Grand Canyon Adventure today at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The documentary lives up to the promise of the final word in its title: It’s an exhilarating, fast-paced tour of the rivers of the Grand Canyon, complete . . .
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008

Today @ the Miramar Theater - Noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p

Back in the day, Tupac Shakur embodied rap as aggressive criticism of the world that is and a mirror to the lives of some of the world’s least fortunate. Milwaukee recording artist and filmmaker Sona Lionel produced an unconventional documentary that’s less a VH-1 style biography of the late artist . . .
Monday, July 21, 2008

Tonight @ the Times Cinema - 7 p.m.

Sweet Land returns to the Times Cinema for a yet another encore screening tonight. The 2005 indie film, which has proved popular enough with local audiences for the theater to keep bringing it back, is the subtle story about a German woman who immigrates to Minnesota in the 1920 to marry a young Norwegian . . .
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The great Norwegian novel?

Oslo must be a dull place, not only because the protagonists of Reprise dream of escaping it, but also because the city nurtured them. We meet Phillip and Erik, a pair of wannabe novelists, at a postal box, slipping their manuscript envelopes into the chute. After Phillip’s novel is accepted, he is anointed as Norway’s young literary lion, only to suffer an emotional breakdown. Erik’s is at first rejected, but he rebounds and embraces the acclaim that Phillip was unable to handle.
Friday, June 20, 2008

Shyamalan’s B-movie

In his novel The Terror, Arthur Machen imagined that the animals, sickened by the carnage of World War I, turned on humankind with tooth and claw. Later, Daphne du Maurier in a story adapted by Alfred Hitchcock thought the birds might strike at people for reasons known only to themselves. In The Happening, director-writer M. Night Shyamalan explores the idea that plants, threatened by our poor stewardship of their environment, might launch a holocaust against humanity. It’s the right message at a moment when much of our world seems to be collapsing, except for water levels and prices, which are on the rise. Is Shyamalan the wrong messenger? For their own inane reasons, movie critics . . .
Friday, June 20, 2008

An almost incredible Hulk?

At some point we’ve all felt as if we could explode in berserk rage and release the pent-up monster within. Maybe the moron on his cell phone who nearly ran you over at the intersection provoked the impulse? Or the numbskull boss dressing you down? How about the deceitful politician setting the world on fire to promote his own agenda? Most of us have been socialized to show restraint, whether from an ethic of behavior or fear of punishment. The person without restraint is called psychologically dysfunctional, when he’s not the superhero called the Incredible Hulk.
Sunday, June 15, 2008

When Strangers Knock

A beautiful young woman clutches a raised knife and advances fearfully into the dark unknown. It’s long been a visual clich in slasher and bad horror flicks, but The Strangers is neither. It stars Liv Tyler as Kristen, the woman trying to fend off danger with an uncertain grip on a kitchen knife. She is the terrific, fast-beating heart of a story that slips with sure steps into the twilight zone between crime drama and occult thriller. In bare outline, The Strangers is about a house invasion, a crime especially unsettling because it penetrates the most private sanctuary of domesticity.
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Return to the Big City

Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha are four years older than they were when their Emmy-winning series ended. As the movie version of Sex and the City begins, they are no wiser. By the conclusion, however, at least a few of life’s lessons have been learned. Running on HBO from 1998 through 2004, “Sex and the City” was a long series of comic vignettes on the lives of single young women in one of the world’s most glamorous places, Manhattan. The size of its success (millions still watch it on cable reruns) speaks to the chord . . .
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adam Sandler’s cutting comedy

When a trained-to-kill Israeli commando switches professions and becomes a Manhattan hairdresser, a fish-out-of-water comedy is sure to follow. And when this Israeli hairdresser falls in love with the Palestinian woman who owns the salon, you can bet your last shekel that a socio-political message is struggling to be heard. In Adam Sandler’s comedy You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Sandler plays a sex stud from a crack special forces squad who keeps his dream concealed . . .

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