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Aug 20th
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Film

Reviews and Times

New Movies week of Sept. 3

New Movies week of Sept. 3

9 Rookie filmmaker Shane Acker expands his Oscar-nominated animation short into this "stitchpunk" puppet-animation feature. In a post-apocalyptic future, after the machines have oblitrated humanmankind, it's up to a plucky band of hybrid creatures imbued with the spark of life to revive the spirit of humanity. Elijah Wood, Christpher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly, and John C. Reilly provide voices.  (PG-13) 79 minutes.

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Reviews and Times

New Movies just out

New Movies just outAdoration - Drama, Reviewed by Lisa Jensen
Tetro - Drama, Reviewed by Lisa Jensen
The Hurt Locker - Drama
Unmistaken Child - Documentary
Reviews and Times

Adoration, Blind Faith

Adoration, Blind FaithReligion, intolerance, identity, explored in talky, but intriguing drama ‘Adoration'
The title is apt. In Adoration, the tautly-constructed new drama from individualistic Canadian indie filmmaker Atom Egoyan, the central image is a large, hand-painted wooden Crèche scene, a holiday lawn display whose cut-out figures represent the Adoration of the Magi, complete with metallic gold halos.
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Reviews and Times

TETRO

TETRO

Francis Ford Coppola is out of the giant, make-or-break blockbuster biz and back making small indie movies for the sheer joy of it. His newest, Tetro, is such an adventure in technique, style, and pure cinematic brio, it almost doesn’t matter that the story gets away from him the fourth act, and the film runs about 30 minutes too long. You can have too much of a good thing, and the sins of admission in Tetro detract from otherwise masterful storytelling, but there’s still plenty of swoony delight to be had in the look of the film and the operatic scope of its story.

 

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Reviews and Times

THE HURT LOCKER

THE HURT LOCKER

Veteran action movie director Kathryn Bigelow is getting plenty of buzz over this epic drama about U.S. military bomb squad technicians risking their lives in the streets of Baghdad. Prize winner at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, and called by one critic "the first great Iraq War movie," the film stars Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty as part of the counter-insurgency force specially trained in diffusing homemade bombs whose unit is taken over by a reckless new tam leader (Jeremy Renner) just weeks before their tour of duty is up. Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, and David Morse have featured roles. (R) 131 minutes.

 

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Reviews and Times

UNMISTAKEN CHILD

UNMISTAKEN CHILD

Filmmaker Nati Baratz goes behind the scenes into the secret and mysterious world of Tibetan Buddhism for this documentary about the search for the reincarnation of a recently deceased holy man. Given his mission by the Dalai Lama himself, a young monk who grew up attending the holy man consults astrologers and sets out for a remote village, where he goes door-to-door in hopes of being enlightened enough to recognize his former master in the child he seeks. (Not rated) 102 minutes.

 

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Reviews and Times

Star Trek: Warp Speed Ahead

Star Trek: Warp Speed AheadRevamped ‘Trek’ will live long and prosper because it boldly goes where no ‘Star Trek’ has gone before

Tricky time-space continuums, a nasty thirst for revenge and stealing kisses with Uhura aren’t the only things that will make your head turn—or your mind spin—in Star Trek. The acting is above par (good news indeed), the script is (relatively) tight and there are actual moments of real suspense. It’s the latter that may stun most because the last time audiences felt more than an inkling of suspense in a Trek film it was back in 1986 with Star Trek IV.

But this isn’t your father’s Star Trek. Not anymore.

It’s director J.J. Abrams’ (Alias, Lost)—at least for now. Actually, it’s really the Trek of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the hot writing team behind Transformers and TV’s Fringe. Together, they create a bold new Trek, one that offers just the right amount of nuances from the iconic franchise— the ’60s series, 10 films and four other weekly shows throughout the decades—and more than enough fast-paced techo panache to keep you invested in the story.

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Reviews and Times

Santa Cruz Film Festival gears up for its best year

Santa Cruz Film Festival gears up for its best year

A talk with the local festival's movie maven, Jane Sullivan

It started eight years ago and no one knew what would happen. Would it be a flop, a raging success, or something in between? But look at it now: The Santa Cruz Film Festival (SCFF) has turned out to be a stellar annual event, and while it may not run in the industry big league film festivals, it serves a very worthwhile purpose—exposing the work of independent filmmakers. And … it educates and inspires us with innovative work every year.

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Reviews and Times

At the movies in 2008

At the movies in 2008

As troubled as this year was, the same audacity of hope that drove people to the polls in November also fueled some of my favorite films of 2008. In the spirit of bi-partisan generosity, I refrain from listing my least favorite films of the year. This is no time to gloat over the losers; instead, let’s pull together for a brighter movie year in 2009!

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Reviews and Times

Monterey screenwriter's journey to Milk

Monterey screenwriter's journey to Milk

Dustin Lance Black's ties to the Central Coast helped craft the powerful civil rights tale

Politics, love and loss are perfect bedfellows in Milk, one of the most powerful, thought-provoking films of the year. But the much-ballyhooed movie about San Francisco politico Harvey Milk and the birth of the gay civil rights movement is a stunning, sometimes haunting portrait of a rarely scene pocket of history and how hope, ultimately, becomes the only saving grace.

And all this written by a man who wasn’t even born during Milk’s political renaissance. That man is Dustin Lance Black, 29, who lived in the Monterey Bay area for a time in the 1990s.

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.