Film Review: Split

by Chad Liffmann on January 20, 2017

Shyamalan works really hard to avoid his own traps, and manages to deliver an entertaining thriller.

Creepy personality #1

I really wish M. Night Shyamalan would share a writing credit for once. His screenplays are constantly in need of supervision and a seasoned story writer to cut the fat. The stunted dialogue, contrivances, and lecture hall exposition can sometimes take precedent over plot progression. The same is nearly the case in Split, Shyamalan’s newest film and the most promising return to his mid-late 90s form after many disappointing tries. Split is a tense thriller and features a tour de force from James McAvoy. The film still succumbs to a few stereotypical pitfalls of the thriller genre, but the final product is still an entertaining, and at times chilling, experience featuring shades of Hitchcockian tactics.

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2016 will go down in history as the year in which all of our heroes died. Most everything that happened felt like a cold darkness, and the world feels like a worse place. Here are a few thoughts from our writers about a few of our favorites who passed away this last year…

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Our Crabapples: Bobcat Goldthwait and Caitlin Gill

It was a happy Friday the 13th to start this year’s epic SF Sketchfest Journey. Full of delicious burrito and needing some relief from a long day at work I was excited to get the funny started. On top of that all proceeds for this show are being donated to Planned Parenthood so it felt good to be in the company of people trying to help this messed up world. Bring on the Crabapples! [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Patriots Day

by Carrie Kahn on January 13, 2017

Flawed but well executed, third Berg/Wahlberg collaboration is worth seeing

Boston police officer Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg, center) assists FBI Special Agent Rick DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon, l.) and Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman, r.) with their investigation.

The third time may be the charm for director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg, who collaborated on two previous films (Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor) with middling results. Patriots Day, their new film, is definitely the best of the trio, although it’s not without its problems. Another film based on a true story, Patriots Day recounts the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 and the investigation and manhunt that immediately followed. Working from a script based on the 2015 book Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy, Berg and a quartet of screenwriters manage to bring the recent and familiar story alive without glorifying or exploiting the tragedy or the bombers, who are secondary characters here, serving only the plot.
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Film Review: Live by Night

by Carrie Kahn on January 13, 2017

Affleck’s gangster pic falls flat

As gangster Joe Coughlin, Ben Affleck perfects the art of stoicism.

The best thing that can be said about Live by Night, Ben Affleck’s third writing/directing attempt (after the infinitely better Gone Baby Gone and The Town) is that Affleck definitely looks great in an overcoat and a fedora. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, Affleck’s newest picture is a run-of-the-mill 1920s gangster piece that offers nothing new to the genre, and nothing worth watching on screen, save, of course, for that fedora, which sure suits Affleck’s square-jawed face well.
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Sketchfest is really rough. There is literally too much to do over the course of the three weeks the festival runs. We have 18 days of anywhere between 3-10 shows, all special events with performers that rarely come to San Francisco to perform. I’m here to help you decide what to do. Below  are some of the events that I find the most interesting over the course of the entire event. You can use my handy guide, or you can just go rogue and take a look at the full schedule here! [read the whole post]

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Show Review: The Black Queen with Telefon Tel Aviv and Vogel at Rickshaw Stop, 12/28/2016

January 9, 2017

Dark industrialists stun with spectacular visuals and dizzying energy It was a dark night at the Rickshaw Stop on 12/28. Droves of music fans, clad in black, funneled in throughout the evening to enjoy the darker side of synth music, and while some folks are near impossible to please, it was pretty obvious that this was […]

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Film Review: Paterson

January 6, 2017
youtu.be/m8pGJBgiiDU

So much depends / upon / a lovely motion / picture / directed with much / love / in the cinema / today Jim Jarmusch is one of those divisive filmmakers about whom everyone seems to have an opinion; people seem to either love his meditative, slow, literary style, or they find themselves frustrated by […]

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Film Review: Silence

January 6, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcNKM4TI41E

Scorsese has, at long last, delivered his faithful long-lasting delivery on faith I’m not opposed to a film with a 160+ minute running time. What I do mind is when that movie doesn’t utilize its extended running time properly. It’s hard to fault Martin Scorsese for ensuring that his new film, Silence, runs a simmering 160 minutes. […]

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Festival Preview: BottleRock Napa Valley, 2017

January 3, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZaz7OqyTHQ

Like anyone else who’s devoted to her favorite festival, I have been waiting for this morning for quite some time. Why? Because that’s when BottleRock Napa Valley was set to announce this year’s lineup — and announce it they did. I knew that Dave Grohl had said back in 2013 that if the festival made it […]

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