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Dec 27th
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Film

Reviews and Times

Modern Romance

Modern Romance

Whedon blends Shakespeare, screwball comedy in entertaining 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Who else but Joss Whedon could pull this off? Not only does he set William Shakespeare's romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, original Elizabethan-era wit and wordplay intact, in modern-day Santa Monica, he shoots it in black-and-white—a visual detail that suggests the sparkling vintage screwball comedies of the 1930s more than the Elizabethan stage. It's an impudent idea for a movie realized with great charm and affection by a master craftsman and his devoted repertory company of players.

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 20

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 20

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
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Reviews and Times

Muscle-Bound

Muscle-Bound

Valiant cast battles loud, ugly action for the soul of 'Man of Steel'

Early in Man of Steel, fourth-grader Clark, the boy who will be Superman, is cowering in a broom closet at school, eyes screwed shut, hands clapped over his ears. He can't control his super powers: his X-ray vision shows him the skulls and skeletons under everyone's flesh; unfiltered noise—dogs, traffic, heartbeats—assault him from all sides. Rushing to school, his mom kneels outside the door and asks what's wrong.

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Inconvenient Truthers

Inconvenient Truthers

Controversial personalities explored in WikiLeaks doc 'We Steal Secrets'

I'm a combative person—I like crushing bastards." So says Julian Assange, founder of the international whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks, in Alex Gibney's investigative documentary, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks. Not exactly the definitive film on the WikiLeaks phenomenon, Gibney's doc functions as a character study of some of the complex personalities involved in the complicated issue of national security vs. the public's right to know.

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Reviews and Times

Kiss of Life

Kiss of Life

'Blancanieves' retells Snow White with spicy Spanish style

If you love fairy tales, in all their infinite variety, don't miss Blancanieves, Pablo Berger's flavorful retelling of Snow White with a decidedly Spanish twist. It's a silent film (no spoken dialogue, but with a vivid musical soundtrack), shot in luminous black-and-white, which only adds to its distinction. By making the story so uniquely his own, Berger proves just how universal the enduring and endlessly adaptable fairy tale format can be.

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Reviews and Times

Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell

In 2006, Canadian actress Sarah Polley directed Julie Christie to an Oscar nomination and herself to a variety of writing and directing awards for her feature debut, Away From Her. Now Polley turns to the documentary format in Stories We Tell, which is essentially a glorified home movie about the filmmaker's family and a potent secret buried for years in its collective past. In circling around her quarry, a family rumor, a joke, really, that she decides to investigate, Polley attempts to give her subject universal appeal by stressing the theme of communal family storytelling, and the places where family story and true history either converge or split apart.

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 6

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 6

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With: Reviews,
Movie Times click here.
Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 30th, 2013

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 30th, 2013

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With: Reviews,
Movie Times click here.
Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

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Reviews and Times

Dried Out

Dried Out

Time to hang up the franchise with 'Hangover III'

It was the perfect storm of circumstances. First, the Memorial Day holiday and early deadlines; second, an attempted screening malfunction earlier in the week. And finally, the recent trend for studios to launch potential big summer movies on Thursday, rather than the traditional Friday, in hopes of inflating the "weekend" box office gross over four days (five, if the Monday happens to be a holiday), instead of the usual three.

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Reviews and Times

Trek on Track

Trek on Track

Characters, action, humor, surprise fuel 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

J. J. Abrams has figured out the secret to building a better franchise: treat the source material with respect, but not reverence, don't be afraid to tweak its foibles, jazz it up with a lot of youthful energy, and, most of all, have fun with it. This is the policy that made his first Star Trek prequel such a hit in 2009, and Abrams and his team continue to revitalize the series with the fast, punchy, slyly funny, yet surprisingly touching Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her