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New films: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation, Vacation

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Directed by Christopher McQuarrie I thoroughly enjoyed “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (“M:I-RN”)from beginning to end. It hits all the […]

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woogie weekend

The Do Lab’s Wet n’ Wild Woogie Weekend

A little rain couldn’t stop The Do Lab‘s second creative camp out venture and music festival. Despite flooding in the camp out areas and music stages due a hit by an unexpected tropical storm, attendees of Woogie Weekend rocked on. Hosted at Southern California’s Oak Canyon Park July 17-19, the typical good vibes of The […]

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New films: Southpaw, Paper Towns, Pixels

Southpaw Directed by Antoine Fuqua Jake Gyllenhaal found another transformative role to sink himself into in this remarkable study of a professional boxer whose fortune runs out. It’s especially noteworthy coming so quickly after last year’s “Nightcrawler,” in which he appeared withdrawn and unhealthily skinny, to have bulked up for this role enough to look […]

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Peter Pan

“Peter Pan” flies high at Music Circus

They might as well change the name of H Street to Broadway this week, since so many of the cast and crew of “Peter Pan” now at Music Circus have credits from the Great White Way. Director Glenn Casale, choreographer Patti Colombo and flying sequence choreographer Paul Rubin collaborated on the 1998 Broadway revival of […]

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New films: Mr. Holmes, Ant-man, Trainwreck

Mr. Holmes Directed by Bill Condon Ian McKellen reteams with his “Gods and Monsters” director for the equally delightful “Mr. Holmes,” my favorite new film of the week (and it’s a good week). This is one of the most unusual Sherlock Holmes stories in that it’s Holmes when he’s almost completely off his game – […]

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no exit sacramento

Three People, One Room and ‘No Exit’

Whether it’s performed as “No Way Out,” “Vicious Circle,” “Behind Closed Doors,” “Dead End” (which I especially like), or “No Exit” (its most common interpretation), playwright Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist nightmare is one powerful piece of theater. Sacramento’s brave Big Idea Theatre continues its outstanding 2015 season, following the fantastic “Coriolanus” with the excellent “No Exit”. […]

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New films: Self/less, Minions and The Gallows

Self/less Directed by Tarsem Singh In “Self/less,” an aging and somewhat ruthless (ruth-challenged?) businessman (played by Ben Kingsley) is dying from cancer and considering a secretive offer to have his identity transferred into a new body. It’s an idea that has been around in film and science fiction for a long time, complicated of course […]

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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 in the Sacramento market – both at the Tower Theatre. Testament of Youth Directed by James Kent “Testament of Youth” is a beautifully shot adaptation of the first in a […]

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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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