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Oct 01st
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Reviews and Times

Film - Reviews and Times

Faith-Based Uncertainty

Faith-Based Uncertainty

Woman vs. church in actress' accomplished directing debut, 'Higher Ground'

Was it a sign, or just random coincidence? Coming home from the film Higher Ground, actress Vera Farmiga's impressive directing debut about a modern woman's loss of faith, we heard the middle of The Who song, "I'm Free," on the radio, where they sing, "...Messiahs pointed toward the door/But no one had the guts to leave the temple." Based on the memoir, "This Dark Place," by Carolyn S. Briggs (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Higher Ground is all about having the guts to leave the temple—in this case, a tightly knit born-again Christian community in the 1970s and '80s—and what a wrenching decision that can be.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept 15th

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept 15th

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Fall Forward

Fall Forward Upcoming fall films to watch out for
When sharks, apes, Barbarians, and (yawn) teens in peril dominate local screens, we know we're stuck in the post-Labor Day movie doldrums. But fear not: the fresh breezes of fall are on the way, bringing with them a batch of eclectic and interesting new films. Here are a select few of the most promising (we hope):
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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept 08th

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept 08th

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.

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Film - Reviews and Times

The Divine Miss M

The Divine Miss M

Mirren shines in taut political thriller 'The Debt'

Is a painful truth better than an inspiring lie? How would one rate truth on a moral scale against national honor, vindication or justice? These are questions grappled with in The Debt, John Madden's gripping, tidily made (if at times, starkly visceral) suspense thriller about truth and its consequences. With a featured performance by the iconic Helen Mirren in one of her gutsiest roles, it's a persuasive, time-traveling political drama about how easily the facts can go astray in pursuit of a more appealing big picture.

Co-scripted by Matthew Vaughn (director of Layer Cake), his writing partner Jane Goldman (their collaborations include Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class), and Peter Straughn, The Debt is adapted from a 2007 Israeli film, Ha-Hov.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept. 01st

Film, Times & Events: Week of Sept. 01st

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Eire Traffic Control

Eire Traffic Control

Irish cop dishes up rough justice in entertaining, profanely funny 'The Guard'

In Hollywood, the teaming up of mismatched lawmen—one orthodox, the other a wild man—might lead to a predictable odd-couple action comedy like Beverly Hills Cop, or the Lethal Weapon franchise. In John Michael McDonagh's The Guard, the pairing of a sophisticated U.S. Federal agent and an irascible small-town Irish police sergeant leads to philosophical debates, existential angst, musings on Anglo-Irish prejudices, and other explorations into the Irish character. It's also a comedy, profane, subversively funny, wholly unpredictable, and infinitely smarter and more textured than any dozen conventional action movies.

The great Brendan Gleeson gets to sink his chops into a delicious central role as Sgt. Gerry Boyle, precinct cop in a small rural village in County Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Aug. 25th

Film, Times & Events: Week of Aug. 25th

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

Women confront war's aftermath in harrowing political drama 'Whistleblower'

Most war movies are made for and by men. They tend to be violent, testosterone jubilees about courage under fire, incredible battlefield heroics, and hard-fought victories.  Canadian-born Ukrainian filmmaker Laysa Kondracki takes a different approach in her intense and harrowing drama, The Whistleblower. Not only does she view the process of war from a feminine perspective, she explores the lingering and devastating consequences of warfare on women long after the mission has supposedly been accomplished and the fighting troops have gone home.

The film is based on the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a police officer from Nebraska who joined the UN peacekeeping forces in war-ravaged Bosnia in 1999.

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Film - Reviews and Times

Film, Times & Events: Week of Aug. 18th

Film, Times & Events: Week of Aug. 18th

Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.

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On the Waterfront

As the wharf celebrates its centennial, a personal reflection on its essential place in Santa Cruz’s history

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

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Wurst Case Scenario

Venus Spirits releases agave spirit, Renee Shepherd on planting garlic, Sausagefest 2014, and wine harvest in full swing

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

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

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”