Tonally uneven film obscures provocative premise   

Social media obsessed Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) moves to L.A. with a plan to befriend her Instagram idol.

If you sometimes worry you may be checking your Facebook and Instagram feeds just a little too frequently, rest assured that you’ve got nothing on Ingrid Thorburn. As portrayed by an exceptional Audrey Plaza, the social media obsessed heroine of Ingrid Goes West becomes a poster child for smart phone restraint. Unfortunately, first time feature writer/director Matt Spicer and his co-writer David Branson Smith run into tone problems, turning what could have been a brilliant satire into something mildly amusing but ultimately unsatisfying, almost to the point of troubling.
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METALLICA! And nothing else matters…

Photo by Ben Irwin

Day 2 of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. So when you finally get there, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot. [read the whole post]

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Celebrating 10 years of walking through the park

My 10th Outside Lands began by listening to Hundred Waters close out their set on the Lands End stage. For a set at noon on Friday, the crowd was massive. They were warm and bright, perfect for getting warmed up for a day of music. These folks also curate the FORM festival in Acrosanti, AZ, one of the most intimate music festivals in America. So intimate that, historically, you needed to be invited to attend. [read the whole post]

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Do you know what today is? It’s been a long time, and I’ll tell you why: it’s August 11.

The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar began on August 11 in 3114 BC. Been a long time. And it feels like it’s been that long that we’ve been waiting for the Bay Area’s own Jawbreaker to get back together.

Jawbreaker made achingly smart punch-yourself-in-the-face and brush-your-teeth-until-your-gums-bleed rock music in the 1990s. Their music and words and actions touched a lot of people who have enough inside them to feel things, and then, after one major-label release, the band burned out like a candle.

And now they’re back. By my count it’s been a long time, and we are lucky enough to be alive to see it happening.

Speaking of waiting for things, let’s talk about this week’s concerts. Here’s what we’ve got coming up this week in the Bay Area: genius-level skills, classically-styled skills, and sports skills.

So now, yes, let’s preview this week’s concerts now. Start the preview and the preview is starting. Let’s start this preview now and here we go. Preview time goooo.

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Let your honesty shine, shine, shine… Except when it doesn’t, like in this phony, affected picture   

Thomas (Callum Turner) confronts Johanna (Kate Beckinsale), his father’s mistress.

The word “serviceable’ gets bandied about quite a bit in director Marc Webb’s new film about a young writer, which is ironic, since The Only Living Boy in New York is anything but. In fact, serviceable is actually far too kind a word for this hackneyed, derivative embarrassment.
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Film Review: Brigsby Bear

by Carrie Kahn on August 4, 2017

Mooney’s funny and poignant film Bears witness to the restorative power of art 

James (Kyle Mooney) dons the costume of his idol, Brigsby Bear. 

If you watch Saturday Night Live regularly, you know that cast member Kyle Mooney seems like the kind of smart-but-nerdy guy who probably spent his middle school years making goofy action-figure based short films with his friends. Fast forward some 20 years later, and not much has changed, though the results are no doubt exceedingly more polished than his junior high efforts. Mooney, along with his 7th grade buddies Dave McCary and Kevin Costello, has made his first feature film, and, fittingly, Brigsby Bear is a charmer that celebrates the healing power of both art and family.
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Outside Lands 2017: Top 10 Acts from The Bottom Half of The Poster

August 3, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8AgdI4eyFc

The best thing about a festival is tripping over your new favorite band, not hearing The Who do “My Generation” for the 4,000th time. So, I present to you here are your ten new favorite acts… all pulled from the bottom half of the Outside Lands poster. Still haven’t bought tickets? Well, there’s still time. […]

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SFJFF37 Spotlights: The Boy Downstairs / Mr. Predictable / A Classy Broad / Bombshell

July 30, 2017

The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, showcasing over 60 films from more than a dozen countries, opened on July 20th, and runs until next Sunday, August 6th. This year, the Festival boasts over 15 West Coast premiers, and more than 40% of its films are directed by women, including both its opening and closing […]

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Film Review: Atomic Blonde

July 28, 2017
youtu.be/yIUube1pSC0

Theron heats up a cold city Take a world nearing collapse, a main character with oodles of bitchy beauty, add some cold-war cloak and dagger spycraft, throw in some “fluid sexuality,” lots of fight scenes, and just a pinch of back story. Good so far? Not so fast. Take away the script. Take away the […]

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Film Review: Detroit

July 28, 2017
youtu.be/yv74LqiumXE

Bigelow’s intense, harrowing film remains fiercely relevant “It’s hard to believe this could happen in America,” a character says in Detroit, director Kathryn Bigelow’s grim but brilliantly effective new film about the 1967 Detroit riots and their aftermath. But for those of us watching exactly 50 years later, such believing is all too easy — […]

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