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Apr 28th
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Film

Reviews and Times

Beat Cop

Beat Cop

Tough LAPD enforcer a character in search of a story in 'Rampart'

In 2009, filmmaker Oren Moverman staked out his turf with quiet authority in his debut feature, The Messenger. A fraught, yet spare and ultimately moving drama about a wounded young Iraq War vet serving out the rest of his tour Stateside, notifying families that their loved ones have been killed in the war, it featured a towering performance by Ben Foster in the central role. It also provided a showy, profanely funny supporting role for Woody Harrelson as Foster's new CO, assuaging the harrowing nature of their job with glib wisecracks and plenty of booze, but it was all in pursuit of Moverman's serious theme, exposing the true cost of warfare, in lives and souls.

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Reviews and Times

'Chimpanzee'

'Chimpanzee'

Disneynature is back with its annual Earth Day Weekend wildlife documentary. Shot on location in the rainforests of Tanzania, Chimpanzee is presented as a narrative tale about an adorable baby chimp growing up within the support group of his community, working, playing, and feasting together. Made in association with the Jane Goodall Institute and shot by painstaking camera crews over a period of months as the story-in-progress gradually emerged, it's directed by Disneynature series veterans Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield.

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 26

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 26

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

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Reviews and Times

Duppy Conqueror

Duppy Conqueror

‘Marley’ director Kevin Macdonald creates the definitive documentary of the reggae star’s life and death

Dead rock stars are a dime a dozen, but a rock star dead by natural causes is a rarity. The last minutes of the documentary film Marley recount Bob Marley’s physical decline from vibrant performer to diminished cancer patient, before his death in 1981 at the age of 36.  It is difficult to watch. In one heart-breaking scene, a friend recalls the moment when Marley loses his dreadlocks. Weakened from metastasized melanoma, his body could no longer bear the weight of the long, thick, matted hair. In the presence of friends and family, Marley’s dreadlocks—worldly representations of his spiritual self and the religion that defined him—were snipped away.

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Reviews and Times

Research and Destroy

Research and Destroy

Father-son academic rivals face off in wry, yet perceptive 'Footnote'

History and literature are full of fraught relationships between fathers and sons—from Kronos and Zeus to Darth Vader and Luke. Somewhat less epic is the father-son friction between rival Talmudic scholars at the heart of Footnote, an offbeat Israeli comedic drama about family, ambition, and recognition within the cloistered realms of Academia. Written and directed by American-born Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar, the film toddles along at its own measured pace, yet becomes engrossing as the moral dilemma at its core shapes up. The film's wry humanity earned it a Foreign Language Oscar nomination this year.

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 19

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 19

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

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 12

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 12

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

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Reviews and Times

Intolerance

Intolerance

Gripping new doc 'Bully' exposes schoolyard epidemic

For many people, middle/junior and high school are ordeals to be slogged through on the way to one's "real" life. Yet, there's never any shortage of chirpy idiots around trying to convince us that these are "the best years of your lives." Tell it to Alex, Ja'Meya, Kelby, and Tyler, the real-life teen heroes and heroines struggling (or failing) to survive their school years in Lee Hirsch's gripping documentary, Bully. If, like me, you'd rather not spend another nanosecond inside of a school, even virtually, Bully will be a kind of endurance test—which is why it limns the endurance test of middle/high school with such effective and sobering clarity.

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Reviews and Times

Cracked Glass

Cracked Glass

Fractured fairy tale 'Mirror Mirror' goes for the yuks

Did you hear the one about Snow White and the Seven Stooges? That's the prevailing sensibility in Mirror Mirror, the first of two dueling Snow White movies due out this spring. (The second, Snow White and the Huntsman, opens June 1.) Directed by the sometimes-brilliant Tarsem Singh (The Fall), Mirror Mirror tells the oft-told tale with plenty of visual pizzazz and the grrrl power element that's become de rigueur in updated fairy tales. Unfortunately, the emphasis on campy slapstick—especially among the dwarfs—is almost as fatal as a poison apple to the project.

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Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 5

Film, Times & Events: Week of Apr 5

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

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
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Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise