Film Review

Downwardly mobile

Woody Allen's highly anticipated 'Blue Jasmine' has less San Francisco in it than expected — but it's still his best film in years

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The death aquatic

'Blackfish' investigates the many tragedies of SeaWorld

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The 911 call placed from SeaWorld Orlando on February 24, 2010 imparted a uniquely horrific emergency: "A whale has eaten one of the trainers." That revelation opens Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish, a powerful doc that puts forth a compelling argument against keeping orcas in captivity, much less making them do choreographed tricks in front of tourists at Shamu Stadium.Read more »

Hysterical blindness

A false accusation devastates a man and his community in 'The Hunt'

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Mads Mikkelsen has the kind of face that is at once strikingly handsome and unconventional enough to get him typecast in villain roles. (A good Hollywood parallel would be Jack Palance in his prime — they've got the same vaguely Slavic features, with sharp cheekbones and narrow eyes.)Read more »

Hi-yo, stinker

The Lone Ranger: WTF happened to Johnny Depp's career?

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FILM Pop-culture historians who study 2005's top movies will remember Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the so-so action flick that birthed Brangelina; Batman Begins, which ushered in a moodier flavor of superhero; and Tim Burton's shrill Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.Read more »

Live to tell

A new doc unearths long-lost Detroit band Death

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Flagging

Action fluff 'White House Down' is red, white, and redundant

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Ah, the mid-1990s: a time when two big-budget movies on the same subject were regularly released within months of each other (1997's Volcano and Dante's Peak; 1998's Armageddon and Deep Impact). When a director named Roland Emmerich ascended into the blockbuster pantheon with Independence Day (1996), a film that's best-remembered for transforming Will Smith into an action star — and for that iconic shot of the White House exploding under alien death rays.Read more »

The conversations

Ever-evolving characters Jesse and Celine return in 'Before Midnight'

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Tourist trappers

Murder takes a holiday: Hit the road with killer British comedy 'Sightseers'

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Let's dance

Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha believes in modern love

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Assassination character

Michael Shannon is stone-cold stellar in 'The Iceman'

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