‘The Sessions’ too predictable, lacks depth

Mark O’Brien is a 38-year-old polio survivor who spends most of his time in an iron lung. With the help of his two affable caregivers, Vera and Rod, Mark seems to ameliorate the worst excesses of his affliction with good humor and perseverance. In the hyper-liberal Bay Area bubble in
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Lightning Strikes: Matt and Kim talk fans, new album

If there were a king and queen of indie dance-pop, power couple Matt Johnson and  Kim Schifino would be trashing the thrones, choosing to use them as stage props — with Schifino probably using her throne as a drumset. While there most likely won’t be any thrones at tomorrow’s show
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‘Matrix’ siblings warp time in ‘Cloud Atlas’

First catechism: Honor thy consumer.” Sonmi-451, a fast-food server at a glitzy, underground food court, utters the sacred phrase in Neo Seoul in the year 2144. It seems that directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski (sibling directors otherwise known as the Wachowski Starship) took this first catechism to
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Taylor Swift: Red

Swifties everywhere have been lamenting the starlet’s move from a distinctly country sound to a broader pop appeal. Others are hailing a new pop sound that is more relevant than ever before. The fact is, neither characterization is quite correct. Rather, with the release of her new album, Red, Taylor
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SF Playhouse pleases with emo comedic musical

With the presidential election only a few weeks away, it’s easy to see the battle between Romney and Obama becoming increasingly bitter, ruthless or, frankly, absurd. Forget about all of that. These boys are but docile lambs, feeble filibusters and infirmed old grannies compared to the badassery that is Andrew
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Bob Dylan not quite the same

There’s a certain quality to seeing Bob Dylan perform in person that cannot fully be expressed in writing: It’s communicated with the simple tip of his characteristic pork pie hat, the hard-worn thousand yard stare and the familiar voice that originates not from the larynx or diaphragm, but from some
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‘Middle of Nowhere’ examines marital devotion

It’s always exciting to hear when a nonwhite actor is offered a role more substantial than the thankless supporting parts actors of color are usually saddled with. Even more exciting is when filmmakers take a chance on an unknown face to carry an entire film. The sad truth is that
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‘Back to Blood’ breaks boundaries

When was the last time you heard an 81-year-old describe someone as “white boy wasted?” Only the master of observational journalism Tom Wolfe would ever be able to work this phrase into the right context. His reputation precedes him; however, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t work hard to continue
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Patrick Wolf: Sundark and Riverlight

Just as most movie remakes fail to instill any sort of satisfaction in the hearts of true film enthusiasts, Patrick Wolf’s Sundark and Riverlight falls short as a 10th anniversary LP with a new twist on the artist’s classics. The album itself is a two-disc collection that reinvents certain songs
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‘An Iliad’ a one-man show

There are a few reasons that the man seated next to me may have dozed off midway through Wednesday night’s performance of “An Iliad” at the Berkeley Rep. For one, it was the dead middle of the work week. For another, the average American’s attention span is shrinking. And third,
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