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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 46.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

MOVIES

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire asks thorny questions about heroism

Katniss Everdeen's life is over. The life she once knew, anyhow. The protagonist of The Hunger Games survived her country's eponymous battle to the death, but it's not cause for celebration. In Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we find her having a horrific flashback in her "safe" place: the secret hunting grounds on the fringes of the district where she grew up. >More
 In Dallas Buyers Club, AIDS turns an uncouth jerk into a rough-edged humanist

Dallas Buyers Club is proof that Matthew McConaughey has resurrected his acting career. His ascent started in the 1990s with a standout performance in Dazed and Confused, but he got waylaid over the next decade with a series of wan romantic comedies. Over the last two years, however, McConaughey's choice of roles has improved. >More
 Blue Is the Warmest Color ignites controversy by using straight actresses for girl-on-girl sex scenes

An alert, inquisitive 17-year-old, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), hungers for fireworks and fate, the coup de foudre of the great literature she adores. She stumbles into just that, in a glancing encounter with Emma (Léa Seydoux), a blue-haired art student in her 20s. >More
 All Is Lost shows a yachtsman's primal struggle to survive

We never learn the name of the grizzled yachtsman (Robert Redford) whose eight-day fight to survive on the open sea is chronicled in J.C. Chandor's All Is Lost. In a prologue set before we flash back eight days, we hear the content of a letter written to family members, referring obliquely to the mistakes of his life. But we never know anything more about the nature of those mistakes, or his relationships, or anything beyond his immediate need to keep his head above water. >More
 An Avenger chases a villain through space and time in Thor: The Dark World

Here's a recipe for geek gumbo. Put some elves in a Marvel superhero movie. Sci-fi elves from the distant past, led by a badass named Malekith. He's after something called the Aether, which can be used to rule the universe and was supposed to be destroyed way back when. And put some immortal Vikings on distant planets. >More
 Bollywood in Fitchburg

Many fans of blockbuster franchises have had Dec. 20 marked on their calendars for a long time. This isn't the debut of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It's the Indian release date for Dhoom 3, one of the most anticipated Bollywood films of 2013. You don't need to travel to a big city to see it, either. AMC Star Fitchburg 18 has recognized the growing appeal of big-budget Indian films as of late. >More
 In About Time, a man travels to the past to delete his dating blunders

Richard Curtis is known for romantic comedies like Four Weddings and a Funeral, which he wrote, and Love Actually, which he wrote and directed. But science fiction and fantasy fans needn't fret just because he's drifting into their realm with the amusing, entertaining About Time, in which a man magically visits his past. >More
 MTV star turned moviemaker: Thomas Dolby narrates The Invisible Lighthouse in Madison

A man wanders into a mental institution. A psychiatrist assesses him as a sexy secretary gives him a come-hither stare. Outside, a patient crawls on the ground, making grotesque faces as he swings a croquet mallet. Another jogs in place while peering through a telescope. They're scientists who've gone mad, and the man must decide if he's crazy enough to join them. >More
 An educated freeman is forced into servitude in 12 Years a Slave

Brutal yet elegant, 12 Years a Slave is a beautifully rendered punch to the gut about the most shameful chapter in American history. It's based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, an educated freeman from Saratoga, N.Y., who endured a nightmare of involuntary servitude after being kidnapped. >More
 In Ender's Game, a teen tries to keep alien insects from destroying the planet

Set in the future and focused on outer-space warfare, the 1985 novel Ender's Game seems tailor-made for a movie treatment. But the book is better, as is often the case. For Orson Scott Card's novel to be as beloved as it is, there's gotta be some heart lurking somewhere in the story. The film Ender's Game engages the mind in some uncomfortable ways, but it does not engage the heart. >More
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