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Archive for the 'Movies' Category

ALICE a Box Office Smash

Alice in Wonderland (Courtesy Disney Enterprises/MCT)
Apparently Alice, the Mad Hatter and the gang have just smashed box office records for biggest March opening ever, earning $116 million between Friday and Sunday. Have you seen it yet?

Reviews have been a little spotty, and parenting reviews, in particular, express some concern about the film for younger children. Common Sense Media calls the “trippy adaptation … pretty intense and scary at times for younger kids, especially because it’s in 3-D.” And Plugged-In Online notes that the “creatures in Underland are not all cute and cuddly. Indeed, some are downright alarming. Take the Bandersnatch, an ill-tempered beast with fur like a cat, claws like a velociraptor and teeth like a Swiss army knife gone horribly awry.”

But if you’re a parent heading out for date night, or taking teens to the show, then the fantasy violence factor may not be that big a deal for you. You probably want to know if it’s … awesome, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 8th, 2010
Under: Movies | 1 Comment »

ALICE in Wonderland Ticket Giveaway!

Alice in Wonderland (AP Photo/Disney) Here’s something cool for you Bay Area-ites: Dolby is hosting an opening night showing of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” – in Dolby 3D, naturally – at the Sundance Kabuki theater, 1881 Post St., San Francisco. The curtain goes up at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5, and we’ve got four free tickets plus $20 in concession gift cards to give away to one lucky family, thanks to the very nice folks over at Dolby.

How do you win them? Click “comments” and tell us, who’s your favorite Wonderland character and why? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Tuesday, March 2.

UPDATE: OK, folks, just drew a winner’s name and it’s Corina – who needs to respond to my e-mail by this evening to get those tickets!

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Under: Movies | 16 Comments »

DISNEY’S First Black Princess Has Parents Excited

The Princess and the Frog (AP Photo/Disney) Cinderella … Sleeping Beauty … Disney has always had a great fondness for blond, blue-eyed princesses and it’s taken them forever to figure out that our nation’s girls don’t all look like that, says my Times colleague Chuck Barney in a wonderful, thought provoking story this morning. Now with the release of “The Princess and the Frog,” we’ve got our first African-American Disney princess and Bay Area parents are stoked.

“Our daughters have always known that they are princesses to us,” Richmond mom Timiza Johnson told Chuck. “But it’s important to have that validity in the pop-cultural images we see. It’s important that people all around us believe it.”

Is “Princess and the Frog” on your must-see list this month? And if so, why?

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Under: Movies | 2 Comments »

TWILIGHT in Concord

MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

So… there seems to be some kind of vampire movie coming out sometime soon … um, something about Bella…and Jacob … and some guy called Edward? Yep, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” lands in theaters at midnight on Nov. 19 and fans are going absolutely nuts in anticipation. So we have good news for Bay Area Twi-hard fans. Twilighters Anonymous is hosting a vampire party and red carpet screening at the Brenden Theaters in Concord that night. The party starts at 10 p.m. with vampire-related games and activities, goodie bags and prizes, following by the much-anticipated movie at midnight. Tickets are $19.

And after you watch it, come on back, click “comments” and tell us what you thought.

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

TWILIGHT: New Moon Event at Stonestown

New Moon scene (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, Kimberley French)
Remember last year when an appearance by Twilight’s Robert Pattinson nearly caused a riot at Stonestown Galleria? Well, guess what? No, it’s not Edward. But there’s a “Twilight Saga: New Moon” event coming to the Bay Area and the tickets – actually wristbands – for the Nov. 9 festivities go on sale tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. at Stonestown’s Nordstrom and Hot Topic. The line starts forming at midnight and it looks like you have to buy a $30 New Moon T-shirt at Hot Topic to score one of the 500 wristbands available. Not sure what the deal is at Nordstrom…

Down in LA, the event itself will include cast appearances and performances by Death Cab for Cutie, Sea Wolf and other bands on the “New Moon” soundtrack.  In SF though, the featured attractions are Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Kellan Luzt (Emmet Cullen), New Moon activities, trivia games and movie-related prize giveaways.

OK, folks. Anyone planning to go?

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2009
Under: Movies | 1 Comment »

CLOUDY with a Chance of Meatballs

MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

So have you guys seen “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” yet? The reviews have been mixed. Orlando Sentinel movie critic Roger Moore applauds the idea that “between the Jell-O mold diving, ice-cream sledding and the derivative, overdone action finale, (the actors) and the writers deliver a biting message that parents should love — celebrate smartness and ease up on the ‘easy’ junk food before it kills you.” He gave it a B+. And Plugged-In-Online called the movie a “cheery, animated smorgasbord” with some laudable messages about the importance of family and of making wise choices.

But the Bay Area’s Common Sense Media gave the 3-D animated flick a mediocre 2 stars and says that other than meatballs falling from the sky, the movie script is very different from the beloved book’s plot line.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

BABIES at the Movies

Home Movies (Larry Strong/Contra Costa Times) Exhausted, date-deprived new parents rejoice! El Cerrito’s much beloved Baby Brigade is back with a new name and under new management. The cozy Rialto Cinemas Cerrito is launching “The Bringing Up Baby Show” on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Catch a movie with your baby (under one year) on these specially designated evenings. Babies get in free, grownups are $9 each, and nobody scowls if your little one turns grumpy, because they’ve got their babies along too. The theater recommends that childless movie fans pick another showing. :-)

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

SOLD OUT: 2,500 Harry Potter Midnight Screenings!

Harry PotterFandango is reporting that more than 2,500 midnight showings of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” have sold out, and tickets for remaining shows are disappearing at a rate of 8 Potter tix per second. Wow.

  • Locally, Berkeley’s UA7 has sold out its screenings at 12:01, 12:02, 12:03 and 12:04 a.m. A new show at 3:10 a.m. has been added to accommodate Harry Potterphiles.
  • Walnut Creek’s Century 14 theater has sold out all four midnight shows.
  • Regal Crow Canyon has sold out all three, and added a fourth show at 3:10 a.m.
  • All five midnight shows at Pleasant Hill’s Century 16 are completely sold out.
  • Ditto for Blackhawk’s theater.
  • And in Dublin, all 15 (!!) midnight shows at the Regal Hacienda Crossings theater are gone, gone, gone, but you can still get in at 3:10 a.m.
  • Across the Bay in San Francisco, Metreon has sold out four of its midnight shows, ditto for Daly City’s Century 20. The Century at Tanforan has sold out two midnight screenings, and Cinearts @Empire has sold out its one and only midnight showing.

If you’re catching a show tonight and don’t already have tickets, check with the theater before you go! And afterward… come back here, click “comments” and tell us how it was.

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

HARRY Potter Does the Morning Shows

Daniel Radcliffe on the "Today" Show (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the Harry Potter gang have been making the rounds of the morning shows, including NBC’s “Today” show (pictured), answering questions and pausing to sign a few … arms? Enjoy this pic, then cruise on over to the Times’ latest slide show from the “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” premieres and the cast’s TV appearances. Big fun. Plus, Draco looks dreamy. :-) Shhh, don’t tell anyone we said that.

Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

HARRY POTTER: We Are Wizards

We Are Wizards documentary art
OK, so more than 500 showings of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” have already sold out nationwide, and Fandango reports tickets are flying out the door – well, out the online door, anyway. Not surprising. But if you’re looking for ways to pass the time till 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, when the first frames of the latest Hogwarts flick flicker onto the screen, here’s an excellent one. Remember our wizard wrock discussion yesterday? It’s the musical genre that began as a passing mention in Rowling’s books — and a cameo by members of Radiohead and Pulp as a wizard band in the fourth movie.

But to really see the wizard wrock phenomenon in action, check out “We Are Wizards,” a documentary that debuted at SXSW last summer. At the time director Josh Koury began filming in 2006, there were 79 wizard wrock bands out there, including the Hungarian Horntails, two brothers, ages 5 and 8, who play punk Potter. Now there are 592. Catch a glimpse of the littlest musicians at the 0:59 mark on the film’s trailer. Or get comfy and watch the whole thing for free on Hulu.

Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »