Gordon Elgart

The impossibility of getting away from it all, rendered beautifully

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino's newest film.

Dinner is never just dinner in Luca Guadagnino’s newest film.

Sometimes you want to go to the movies and see four actors doing amazing work in a wonderful film. That’s what you’re going to get when you see Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash.  This is a movie with layers of meaning, with people saying things when they shouldn’t, and not saying things when they should. It’s a bit contrived, but very real. Let’s try to convince you to see it so we can talk about it later. Here’s my best shot.

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Oakland’s hometown heroes, indie rockers Rogue Wave released their new album, Delusions of Grand Fur, last week, and to celebrate, they’re playing a weekend of Bay Area shows. Tonight was their first one, at the relatively new venue, The Starline Social Club. It was the band’s first show in three years, and they’re first in Oakland for as long as they can remember.

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Like a bunch of cut scenes without any of that fun video game stuff

RatchetClank

Ratchet and Clank star in the movie based on their popular and long lasting video game series.

The Ratchet and Clank series of video games have long contained the best cut scenes and voice acting of any games of their type. From the very first game on the PS2, the strong characterizations and fun action have made for consistently entertaining games with real character arcs for both our main characters and some of the side characters as well. So how do you condense hundreds of hours of story into a 90-minute animated film?

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Parlourtricks

The album Broken Hearts/Broken Bones was a nominee for Spinning Platters album of the year in 2015. Its combination of classic girl group harmonies, soaring melodies and dance driven beats truly defies description; even the band themselves know this to be true. The band is hitting the road this month with veteran rocker Electric Six, and they’re stopping in San Francisco on Sunday, March 20th at The Independent. Lily Cato got on the phone with me as the tour was just beginning to discuss her band, their videos, and which podcast is the best to pass the time on a cross country van trip. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Deadpool

by Gordon Elgart on February 12, 2016

The Mad Libs of comic book movies. This one’s for the fans.

Ryan Reynolds in costume as Deadpool. No feet. Apparently this is important.

Ryan Reynolds in costume as Deadpool. No feet. Apparently this is important.

The journey to theaters for Deadpool has been a long one. Ryan Reynolds played the titular character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a silent but deadly killer, which misses the entire thrust of the character. This character is a wisecracking, violent character known as “The Merc With a Mouth.”  After the utter failure of Green Lantern, a Deadpool movie with Ryan Reynolds seemed as far from reality as possible, but some test footage of a possible movie “leaked,” became a viral hit, and the movie was greenlit. Would this movie be the crass, irreverent, R-rated film that the fans want?

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Film Review: Zoolander 2

by Gordon Elgart on February 12, 2016

Yet another piece of evidence that comedy sequels don’t work.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson tell it like it is in Zoolander 2.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson telling it like it is in Zoolander 2.

Zoolander 2 (also seen in some advertising as 2oolander or Zoolander No. 2) starts with an exciting chase scene. Some mysterious figures on motorcycles are chasing a man in a hooded sweatshirt. They catch up to him in an alleyway, and riddle him with bullets. As he takes bullet after bullet in a shot that continues for 10-15 seconds, the audience goes from laughter to applause. Why? Because it’s Justin Bieber. That’s the comedic currency of this entire movie: celebrity cameos as punch lines.

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SF Sketchfest Review: We Got This With Mark and Hal

January 19, 2016

The podcast, “We Got This With Mark and Hal,” has a very simple concept. Mark Gagliardi (Drunk History, Thrilling Adventure Hour) and Hal Lublin (Welcome to Night Vale, Thrilling Adventure Hour) get on the microphone and settle the most important disputes of our times, and some other ones. Episodes include “Sweet or Sour pickles,” “Worst […]

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Film Review: The Hateful Eight

December 26, 2015
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis

The Hateful Great, This Ain’t.   Your typical Quentin Tarantino movie is full of scenes that are powder kegs ready to explode, full of characters you can’t trust, and smart, crackling dialogue that keeps you constantly entertained. But what if the dialog stopped being smart and crackling? You’d have The Hateful Eight.

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The Insiders’ Guide to the Treasure Island Music Festival (Updated for 2015)

October 14, 2015

This weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival has quickly become my favorite musical event of the year. There are no conflicting set times, so you can see everyone on the bill. The size of the festival is fairly small, so it’s easy to get around. The setting in the middle of San Francisco Bay is absolutely […]

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Film Review: Avengers Age of Ultron

May 1, 2015
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAUoeqvedMo

Not so much a movie as it is an issue of a comic book series drawn by a great artist. You’ve already decided if you’re seeing Avengers Age of Ultron. You are. Of course you are. Everybody who sees movies on a regular basis is seeing this movie, and you’re not making a bad decision. You’ll […]

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