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New films: Testament of Youth and The Overnight

The big, flashy films opened early this week as they often do in advance of holiday weekends, but there are two smaller films opening today […]

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New films: Magic Mike XXL and Terminator Genisys

Magic Mike XXL Directed by Gregory Jacobs Three years ago at this same time of the year, I wrote about two films that both rose above their seemingly limited material to be surprisingly successful. Those films were “Ted” and “Magic Mike” and they both worked by having far more to say about life than a […]

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New films: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl plus moviebriefs for Max and Ted 2

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon One of the best films of the year opens in Sacramento this week. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” won both the Audience and Grand Jury prizes at Sundance this year, while logging a record $12m in its sale to Fox Searchlight. And […]

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New films: Inside Out and Aloft

Inside Out Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen The basic premise behind “Inside Out” is that everybody has five emotions living inside them that compete for control of the brain as circumstances in life change. These emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. As animated characters inside the mind’s imaginary control room, […]

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french films

Two Weekends of French films

It’s that time again as the Sacramento French Film Festival opens for its 14th season. This long running and consistently excellent film event features the best in contemporary French cinema, primarily screening major feature films that have been seen in Europe but which have not yet been theatrically distributed in the US. The Festival also […]

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A Continued Examination of Gender/Feminism in Recent Films

Four weeks ago, I wrote about two movies, “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” – both of which prompted discussions of feminism with their strong portrayals of women, but both of which seemed to be anti-feminist to at least some extent (link to that article here). In short, while both show […]

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jurassic world

New film: Jurassic World plus bonus junior guest reviews!

Jurassic World Directed by Colin Trevorrow It’s now 22 years since audiences were first wowed with the Oscar-winning visual effects of “Jurassic Park” and, just as time has passed for us, time has also passed in the fictional world. The lush Isla Nubar is now home to a bigger and better theme park “Jurassic World,” […]

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My Fair Lady

At Music Circus, this “Lady” is Way More than Just Fair

Music Circus kicked off its 65th season Tuesday with a spiffy rendition of the musical theater masterpiece “My Fair Lady.” The Lerner and Loewe classic (book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe) is one of the favorites of Sacramento summer theater audiences. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, the plot concerns […]

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New films: Spy and Love & Mercy

Spy Written and Directed by Paul Feig It’s hard to know quite what to make of “Spy” at times while watching it. Melissa McCarthy has had a number of performances that capitalize on her physicality, not always to her advantage. And while “Spy” has her playing an exceptionally capable woman, the running joke is always […]

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capital dance project

Gotta Dance! Sac Ballet Troupe Continues in Locally Crafted Event

When the Sacramento Ballet laid off its dancers three weeks early and canceled its popular “Beer and Ballet” performances because of an operating budget shortfall earlier this month, it appeared the dancers had been left flat-footed. But no. These troupers quickly formed an independent company — the Capital Dance Project — to dance on. Their […]

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New films: San Andreas and Aloha

San Andreas Directed by Brad Peyton “San Andreas” will divide audiences as effectively as the titular fault line divides gas stations. It’s the kind of big, loud, action-packed summer movie that gives big, loud, action-packed summer movies a bad name. If that’s all you want – fast, extreme eye candy, you’ll likely love it. But […]

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New films: 100-Year Old Man more appealing than George Clooney

Tomorrowland Directed by Brad Bird The big ticket new release this week is “Tomorrowland” by Brad Bird (“The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”) and starring George Clooney. Even just knowing that much about it, it’s a film that arrives with high expectations. I was personally impressed when Bird jumped from animated […]

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Far From the Madding Max: Feminism at the movies?

After several decades an old story gets a reboot this week. In it, a single woman living in a male-dominated world steers her own course, taking risks but succeeding independently. Until, that is, she finds a man whom she can finally trust, one who will stand by her in good times and bad. But which […]

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Coriolanus: What’s the Big Idea here?

The Big Idea Theatre on Del Paso Boulevard is perhaps the best community theater group in Sacramento. It produces entertaining and challenging classic and contemporary works — and it does more Shakespeare each season than anyone, except maybe the summer Shakespeare Festival in Land Park. Kirk Blackinton and Brian Harrower, two of the original company […]

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black souls

New films: Black Souls, The D Train, and Hot Pursuit

Black Souls Directed by Francesco Munzi The best new film this week is playing exclusively, in the Sacramento area, at the Tower Theatre. It’s a dark Italian thriller set against a backdrop of (somewhat) organized crime. Leo lives in his family’s rural, home town where his father Luciano still farms goats and makes wine and […]

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