mv-voice.com http://www.mv-voice.com If it is local and useful, it is on mv-voice.com. en-us <![CDATA[A stitch in time at the library]]> Amid the books and computers at the Mountain View library, the quiet hum of sewing machines can be heard on Saturday mornings, as a small collection of machines are made available to the public in an event known as Sew Sew Saturday.]]> <![CDATA[NASA Ames to open campus to public]]> As it celebrates its 75th year, NASA Ames Research Center is holding a rare open house event on Saturday, Oct. 18, allowing a close look at the space research center's many technological wonders. ]]> <![CDATA[Tonight: council candidate forum on housing and transportation]]> The public will have a number of opportunities to learn about the views of Mountain View's City Council candidates in coming months, including a forum tonight that is billed as a discussion on housing and transportation issues. ]]> <![CDATA[Mountain View high hires new varsity coach]]> Mountain View High School has hired a new coach for its varsity baseball team. Dan Demuth, a freshman-sophomore assistant for the past three years, will serve as the new varsity head coach this school year.]]> <![CDATA[Heart surgery evolves at El Camino]]> Hospitals are looking at new ways to treat heart disease, and a new, minimally invasive procedure is being tested as a possible alternative to open-heart surgery.]]> <![CDATA[County to resurface sections of Arastradero]]> Several sections of Arastradero Road near Palo Alto will be refurbished in the next month as part of a Santa Clara County road project that is set to launch Monday, Sept. 1.
]]>
<![CDATA[Council candidate Unangst's ballot designation challenged]]> A Mountain View City Council candidate is going to have to change his ballot designation after being challenged over his use of the title "retired lieutenant colonel" on the November ballot.]]> <![CDATA[Timely and tender]]> The current offering in TheatreWorks' new season is the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Quiara Alegria Hudes, who previously won a Tony for the book of the musical, "In the Heights." In this newest work, Hudes follows a cluster of recovering crack cocaine addicts who only meet virtually, as well as a pair of cousins dealing with family death and denial.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Love Is Strange']]> Marital domesticity is tough enough. Add in the obstacle of Kafkaesque sociopolitical forces -- still the lot of many gay couples -- and any marriage would feel the strain.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Trip to Italy']]> Comedy sequel "The Trip to Italy" is almost exactly like its predecessor "The Trip," and for the most part, that's a good thing.]]> <![CDATA[Gone garbanzo]]> Saumil Pandey, founder and CEO of Tasty Karma, began making chickpea chips for her family, bagging them for her kids' lunchboxes, and sharing them with friends and neighbors. She now sells the crunchy, good-for-you snacks at local farmers markets and grocery stores.]]> <![CDATA[Council race: phone survey raises questions]]> Mountain View voters are being surveyed about how they might vote in the November City Council election, prompting questions about who is gathering such information and how it will be used. ]]> <![CDATA[State Supreme Court rejects most misconduct claims against assistant DA]]> California Supreme Court justices have reversed a state appeals court ruling of egregious prosecutorial misconduct against Jay Boyarsky, Santa Clara County's chief assistant district attorney.]]> <![CDATA[Missing man, 67, found safe]]> More than four hours after he disappeared from the Mountain View Senior Center, police say a 67-year-old man who suffers from Alzheimer's disease has been found safe.]]> <![CDATA[How big is need for LASD bond?]]> The $150 million bond measure proposed by the Los Altos School District faces sharp criticism as it heads to the November ballot. Opponents of the measure question whether the school district really needs the money to handle student enrollment, and say many campuses still have room to grow.]]> <![CDATA[City seeks minimum wage comments]]> The Mountain View City Council has opened an online forum asking residents for input on the city proposal that would raise the minimum wage in Mountain View.]]> <![CDATA[Keeping water off the street]]> In the midst of California's driest year on record -- and $500 fines for sprinkler runoff as of Aug. 1 -- residents with out-of-date or problematic irrigation systems are due for an upgrade. ]]> <![CDATA[Election a change of pace for MVLA]]> School board elections are getting a lot of attention this year. Another last-minute candidate joined the race for a spot on the school board for the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District -- making a grand total of seven candidates seeking the three seats up for election.]]> <![CDATA[Bike Share marks first anniversary with discounts, freebies]]> Bay Area Bike Share is celebrating its first anniversary by extending special offers to its members this week.]]> <![CDATA[County expands homeless programs while searching for new shelter]]> Faced with a shortage of beds to accommodate the county's homeless population this coming winter, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $1.2 million for various programs targeting its neediest residents, including agreements with Palo Alto's busy but cash-strapped nonprofit, InnVision Shelter Network.]]> <![CDATA[Thursday: Open space district study session on spending bond money]]> How will the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District spend money from a $300 million bond measure approved by voters in June?
]]>
<![CDATA[Bridging the digital divide]]> Computers and mobile devices are turning into a staple school supply for kids in the Bay Area. The new requirement for all Los Altos High School students to bring a laptop or Chromebook to school every day indicates schools here in Mountain View are no exception.]]> <![CDATA[Four aftershocks hit Napa area Tuesday]]> The U.S. Geological Survey this morning reported a 3.0-magnitude aftershock about four miles southwest of Napa, the fourth this morning in the same area where a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday.]]> <![CDATA[Op-ed: Chamber offers platform for City Council race]]> The November election is fast approaching, and Mountain View is primed to chart a course for its future. With three City Council seats open, it is essential that Mountain View residents are informed and get involved in the electoral process and advocate for the issues most important to us.]]> <![CDATA[6.0 earthquake rattles Bay Area]]> A 6.0 earthquake that centered near South Napa shook Bay Area residents in their beds early Sunday morning. U.S. Geological Survey officials said the earthquake is the largest to hit the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta Earthquake almost 25 years ago.]]> <![CDATA[Napa earthquake delays Caltrain service]]> Caltrain service is likely to be delayed this morning while the rail system inspects the northern portion of its tracks following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Napa County.
]]>
<![CDATA[Six arrested in fatal Shoreline shooting]]> Six people were arrested after a 38-year-old man died after being shot multiple times Friday night at a Wiz Khalifa show at Shoreline Amphitheatre. ]]> <![CDATA[Power outage hits Mountain View, again]]> A power outage in Mountain View this morning affected thousands of PG&E customers, turning traffic lights all along El Camino Real into four-way stops. This is the second PG&E power outage in Mountain View this week.]]> <![CDATA[School board candidate Palmer stands by careful planning]]> It's an exciting time for the Mountain View Whisman School District. School funding is coming back, bond measure construction is in full-swing and a new campus may be on the horizon for the Whisman neighborhood.]]> <![CDATA[New gelato shop melds Italian and California sensibilities]]> From chocolate faucets to kumquat sorbetto, there's something different about Gelataio, Palo Alto's newest gelato shop.]]> <![CDATA[Moonlight Run/Walk celebrates 30th year]]> Pull out those running shoes and hop on the Internet -- it's time to register for the 30th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run & Walk.]]> <![CDATA[Census numbers show Mountain View's staggering job growth]]> Given how rising housing prices and commuter traffic are causing serious problems for many, tracking the city's job growth has become a big deal to City Council members and City Council candidates. And how alarming the jobs-housing imbalance sounds may depend on your data source.]]> <![CDATA[Review: If I Stay]]> "Romance novels" function on idealization, including fulfilling a teen's yen for drama -- any kind of drama -- to alleviate the tedium of school days and curfew nights. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall']]> In a sense, "When the Game Stands Tall" the Hollywood-ization of De La Salle High School's legendary Spartans football team -- is about what it's not about. It's not about winning.]]> <![CDATA[This week's A&E events]]> The Palo Alto Art Center wants your old VHS tapes; the last chance to catch some exciting local shows before they close; and the Pacific Ballet Academy in Mountain View hosts an open house.]]> <![CDATA[MV police arrest three burglary suspects]]> Three people, including two minors, were arrested Wednesday in Mountain View after undercover police officers allegedly found them to be in possession of a bag full of stolen electronics, jewelry and drug paraphernalia.]]> <![CDATA[High school district kicks off the school year]]> There've been some big changes over the summer for the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District -- some more visible than others. Students may not notice it at first, but when they inevitably pull out their iPhone, they're going to see the district's improvements in action.]]> <![CDATA[Crime brief: man causes hospital disturbance]]> Police arrested a 48-year-old Folsom man last week after he entered a hospital on Castro Street and allegedly caused a disturbance and refused to leave the building.]]> <![CDATA[Spike in thefts, burglaries across town]]> Dispersed incidents of car, store and home burglaries hit Mountain View early last week, as suspects broke windows and made off with anything from jewelry and computers to envelopes of cash. In just two days, there were 16 reported cases of theft and burglary, and two arrests.]]> <![CDATA[LASD board members call it quits]]> Two board members at the Los Altos School District are leaving on a high note this year. Following approval of the five-year agreement with Bullis Charter School and approval of placing a facilities bond measure for the November ballot, Doug Smith and Mark Goines announced they will step down.]]> <![CDATA[Contested race for elementary school district]]> Up until the last minute, it looked like an uncontested race for the Mountain View Whisman School District. But on Aug. 8 -- the last day to file for candidacy -- two more candidates jumped into the race.]]> <![CDATA[Worth a Look]]> Arts events around town worth checking out in the coming weeks range from an photography exhibit that draws you into the world of Silicon Valley's movers and shakers to Stanford Repertory Theater's theatrical reproduction of Orson Welles' legendary 1938 radio production, "The War of the Worlds."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Giver']]> It's odd to watch a film about the rediscovery of love, faith, passion and color, and for the film to be so by-the-numbers colorless.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Calvary']]> To believe or not to believe: That is the question of religious faith. And while the Catholic Church, battered by scandal, may be waning, it remains that you can take the man out of Catholicism, but not Catholicism out of the man. Just ask John Michael McDonagh, writer-director of "Calvary."]]> <![CDATA[Review: Mandarin Roots offers menu with fusion twist]]> Let's not argue. Some of you might say Mandarin Roots isn't really a true Chinese restaurant, it's an Asian-Californian-fusion restaurant. It is, but the menu and presentation fall predominantly on the west side of the International Date Line.]]> <![CDATA[New life in Old Mountain View]]> Old Mountain View is not quite living up to its name. Old trees line the sidewalks and populate the various parks, but beneath their soft, aged shade new, young families are out and about enjoying, once again, the perpetual blue skies.]]> <![CDATA[From barnyard to butcher shop]]> Newly opened butcher shop Belcampo Meat Co.'s claim to fame in an industry where the phrase "farm to table" has almost lost meaning is that the company has total control over every single step of production, from start to finish. ]]> <![CDATA[When all the world's a stage]]> From a portrait of artist Norman Rockwell to the misadventures of a transgender artist considering gender reassignment, TheatreWorks' 2014 New Works Festival brings six new plays and musicals to the Palo Alto stage starting Aug. 9.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles']]> Unless you're an 8-year-old just getting acquainted with them, you probably made up your mind about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles long, long ago. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey']]> There's a moment in "The Hundred-Foot Journey" -- Lasse Hallstrom's film adaptation of Richard C. Morais's bestselling novel -- when the female ingenue gives the male ingenue a hot tip on how to prepare corn.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Into the Storm']]> Sometimes the line between real-life tragedy and action escapism is mighty fine. Wide-release movies have been known to get cold feet (post-9/11 and post-mass shootings) but always return to the well of exploiting our anxieties for cash.]]> <![CDATA[A Fresh Look]]> Got baskets? Most of us have a closet full of baskets we don't know what to do with. Don't let them gather dust -- put them to use in new ways! Here are a few ideas for using them throughout your home:]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Magic in the Moonlight']]> There have long been notable connections between filmmakers and magicians. Houdini became a film star, Orson Welles delighted in performing magic (sometimes on film), and stand-up performers turned actor-directors Steve Martin and Woody Allen have also shown a marked interest in magic and affectionately spoofing it.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy']]> If the denizens of the Island of Misfit Toys were packing heat, you might get the Guardians of the Galaxy, the heroes of the latest Marvel comic-book-to-screen extravaganza. As shepherded by director James Gunn ("Super"), "Guardians of the Galaxy" lurches along a bit awkwardly, but always with utterly dazzling visuals and a goofy gag at the ready.]]> <![CDATA[Regional Indian cuisine still shines]]> Good news: Amber India is moving to modern quarters in Los Altos, just across the Mountain View border, with plenty of parking. Even better news: The old location still provides the excellent food and service that introduced the South Bay to white-tablecloth, multi-regional Indian cuisine in 1994.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Get On Up']]> Trying as hard as possible can be the most valuable asset an artist possesses or a liability. ]]> <![CDATA[V is for 'Victory']]> The dedication of Palo Alto's Museum of American Heritage to the history of technological innovation from 1750 to 1950 is reflected today both inside and out, with a newly thriving replica of a "Victory Garden."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lucy']]> Big-budget mind-expansion sci-fi has been a thing of late, with "Limitless," "Transcendence" and now Luc Besson's "Lucy" exploring what happens when humanity gains "access to previously unexplored cerebral zones."]]> <![CDATA[Works from major American artists gifted to Stanford]]> Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center has acquired three significant gifts of American art, securing a solid place in the museum's permanent collection of major 20th century works.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Boyhood']]> You've watched actors grow up on screen before, whether it be Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor or Jerry Mathers (as the Beaver). But Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" makes cinematic poetry of the experience by presenting us with a single narrative consumable in one sitting.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Sex Tape']]> There's a sequence early on in "Sex Tape" during which the married couple played by Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel try repeatedly to rekindle their sexual flame. Time after time, they almost get "there," but something keeps frustrating their enjoyment.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Wish I Was Here']]> Gee, life is tough. But "We move forward -- that's the only direction God gave us." These and other Big Important Life Lessons can be yours for the low, low price of a movie ticket to "Wish I Was Here," Zach Braff's mawkish new comedy-drama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes']]> "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the latest in a series of modern Hollywood action reboots, which aim to transform a campy and droll movie into a gloomy and serious film. In the case of "Dawn," it has succeeded.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Tammy']]> By all rights, the new comedy "Tammy" would be the ultimate expression of Melissa McCarthy's comedy. Written by the film and TV star with her husband Ben Falcone -- who also directs -- "Tammy" should have all the right moves to drive McCarthy fans wild with pleasure. Instead, it's likely to inspire the question "Is this all there is?"]]> <![CDATA[Local Realtors outselling most in country]]> Three local Realtor teams and 14 individuals were among the top 250 salespeople in the country in 2013, in rankings announced by Real Trends in ads that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 27.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Third Person']]> Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis ("Crash") raises navel-gazing to an art form with "Third Person," a "Crash"-y, borderline trashy entry in the genre of global interlocking stories. Those who scoffed at "Crash" will have even more to sniff at here, and the Best Picture's defenders may think twice after slogging through the 137 minutes of "Third Person."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Obvious Child']]> The title of "Obvious Child" refers to its heroine, another protagonist suffering from severely arrested development. What makes "Obvious Child" different is that this protagonist is a woman saddled with an unwanted pregnancy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Jersey Boys']]> Let's face it: "Jersey Boys" has never been high art. The wildly successful jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ran on chart-topping hit songs and ample corny shtick in nominally telling the story of the beloved pop act. Now, it's all been folded into a Clint Eastwood film that's neither theatrical fish nor cinematic foul.]]> <![CDATA[How big is that house, really?]]> A home's square footage is a number easily misrepresented, especially when determining ever-ambiguous "liveable space." Measurements can be taken in numerous ways, and what to include in those measurements -- garages, basements or porches -- is often unclear.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'How to Train Your Dragon']]> Children's movies don't really have to work very hard for their target audience, but of course, they're better when they do. A good children's film doesn't talk down to kids, and the animated adventure "How to Train Your Dragon 2" fits this bill.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '22 Jump Street']]> "Do the same thing!" Ice Cube bellows at Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum -- or, rather, Captain Dickson bellows at Schmidt and Jenko, the buddy-cops of "22 Jump Street."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Edge of Tomorrow']]> The new Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie "Edge of Tomorrow" uses the narrative structure of a video game to present a "what-if" scenario: What if we could keep pressing "restart" every time we fail?]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway"]]> "Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway" is a terrific gift for American theater lovers who can't just hop a plane to Melbourne to see the 87-year-old Lansbury play Miss Daisy opposite the 82-year-old Jones.]]> <![CDATA[Emergency preparedness: Are you ready?]]> Most emergencies are completely unpredictable. Local authorities are required by law to prepare an emergency plan so that resources and experienced people are on standby to respond quickly and in the best possible way when a major crisis -- of whatever kind -- occurs.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Maleficent']]> In spite of a virtual feature-length stampede of CGI special effects, it's good old-fashioned movie-star wattage that stuns in "Maleficent." Disney's revisionist take on its own "Sleeping Beauty" almost certainly wouldn't have been made were it not for Angelina Jolie. If only the film around Jolie were worthy of her.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A Million Ways to Die in the West']]> There's no accounting for taste, they say, which might explain the $549 million worldwide gross for Seth MacFarlane's 2012 comedy "Ted." Something tells me the planet won't go quite so gaga for his Western-themed sophomore effort, "A Million Ways to Die in the West," but it's considerably better -- even within spitting distance of good.]]> <![CDATA[Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past]]> The best superhero movies in some way work against the grain. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," A loose adaptation of the beloved two-part comic book story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, does just that. With an outstanding cast and strong editing, the film is poignant and coherent.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: Blended]]> Sometimes Adam Sandler works for others (notably Paul Thomas Anderson and Judd Apatow) and makes an interesting and sophisticated film. Mostly, though, he churns out branded "Adam Sandler comedies," in which he doubles as both producer and star. "Blended" is one of the latter.]]> <![CDATA[Reaping the benefits of gardening]]> Growing up as an "army brat," Pam Scott recalled moving around the country in her youth. While her state of residence continuously changed, one thing remained constant.]]> <![CDATA[Review: Million Dollar Arm]]> A struggling sports agent works to teach a pair of hard-throwing cricket players from India to hit the strike zone in the hopes of making them big league ballplayers in "Million Dollar Arm." Weekly film critic Susan Tavernetti says the result is a heartwarming tale, which despite its lack of urgency is ultimately "charming and uplifting."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Godzilla']]> In one way or another, Godzilla has always represented humanity's arrogance. It's a concept that is artfully articulated in Gareth Edwards' latest addition to the franchise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Palo Alto']]> The film "Palo Alto" universalizes its setting to an archetypal upscale suburbia, populated by disaffected white kids and their "free-range" parents (Gia Coppola shot the film in southern California). Freely adapting James Franco's stories, writer-director Coppola eschews melodrama, coaxing powerfully resonant performances from her young leads while never pushing style or content into blatant manipulations.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Neighbors']]> Even more so than its recent forebears (and this is saying something), the new comedy film "Neighbors" is all about the riff. With Seth Rogen taking center stage, that's not such a bad thing: a steady flow of one-liners improves the odds for laughs.]]> <![CDATA[Real estate: a way to diversify]]> The stock market is volatile, interest rates are negligible and the economic future is uncertain. So, what is a good investment today? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2']]> It feels a bit uncharitable to chide a blockbuster superhero movie for providing too much. But "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" certainly crams quite a bit in. And runs quite long. Still, Palo Alto Weekly film critic Peter Canavese says, the film is fun and doesn't embarrass itself. Plus, the kids (and kids at heart) are bound to love it.]]> <![CDATA[A market sampler]]> Here's a comparison of what was offered in mid-March at similar prices but in different cities.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Particle Fever']]> Physicist turned filmmaker Mark Levinson gets (and thrillingly shares) VIP access to that moment, as those physicists rev up CERN's Large Hadron Collider to reproduce the conditions just after the Big Bang.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Other Woman']]> The women in "The Other Woman" get the equal opportunity, like the men in Judd Apatow movies, to behave like overgrown children, but the power they give their cheatin' man to occupy all their waking hours makes this comedy more sad than funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Transcendence']]> "Transcendence" is as silly as it is sinister. But with Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister -- an Oscar winner for "Inception" -- in the director's chair, "Transcendence" has a sobriety of tone that effectively works against its inner mad scientist.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier']]> Photographer John Maloof was only looking for some historical photos of the Chicago area when he purchased a box of undeveloped negatives at an auction in the winter of 2007. He ended up discovering the work of a previously unknown artist -- Vivian Maier -- who is now being compared to some of the greatest street photographers of all time.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Draft Day']]> It says something about the culture that the latest American sports-themed movie has almost nothing to do with game play and everything to do with wheeling and dealing: dealmaking itself has become a sport worthy of analysis.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rio 2']]> Rio 2, like its predecessor, is a run of the mill CGI-animated kid flick, Palo Alto film critic Peter Canavese says. Yet, while the story is "pretty much boilerplate at best and unpleasant at worst," the animation is a "colorful, advanced 3D spectacle." ]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Raid 2: Berandal']]> There's a moment in "The Raid 2" when a goon begs, "Please have mercy," and his assailant responds by raising his pickax. It's that kind of movie. And I'm half-joking when I say that if you gleefully identify with the assailant in that scene, this is the movie for you. Others may feel more like the goon.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Captain America: Winter Solider']]> Give this to the films of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe": they have a consistency of quality. By treating their comic-book-derived films more as regular "issues" than film events, Marvel may never produce a film as great as "The Dark Knight," but it'll never sink to a low like "Batman and Robin" either. And there we have "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."]]> <![CDATA[No cookie-cutter homes here]]> "A 3-story tower and roof deck emerges among vibrant evergreens, providing a unique vantage point of the surrounding townscape."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Lunch Box']]> The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so they say. And so says writer-director Ritesh Batra in his debut feature "The Lunchbox." Though considerably more understated than a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie, one might call this wry-at-times romantic drama "You've Got Lunch."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Bad Words']]> There's an old showbiz adage that directing is 90 percent casting, and that's also true of casting the directors themselves. Take "Bad Words," the directing debut of actor Jason Bateman.]]> <![CDATA[Artwork to 'chair'-ish]]> Discovery of 60 wooden folding chairs dating back to the 1930s hidden in ancient rolling drawers underneath a stage has inspired The Woman's Club of Palo Alto to give new meaning to recycling and repurposing.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Muppets Most Wanted']]> A self-aware sequel to the 2011 film "The Muppets," "Muppets Most Wanted" provides more testament to the enduring appeal of the post-Vaudeville likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the Great Gonzo, as well as the love and care they inspire in generation after generation of performers and audiences.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: The Grand Budapest Hotel]]> If there were a valid critique to be given of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" -- writer and director Wes Anderson's latest, highly stylized ode to a place that might have been -- it would be that Anderson has fallen victim to his own tropes. But you won't hear that here.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Need for Speed']]> Manifestly overlong at 130 minutes, "Need for Speed" includes some eye-popping racing scenes of some very pretty high-performance sports cars. But in a world with thousands of cable channels and six "Fast & Furious" movies (with a seventh on the way), fast cars aren't enough.]]> <![CDATA[Who you gonna call?]]> The perfect utopian home would be something like this: light bulbs that never went out, living room paint that remained forever crisp and vibrant, drains that never backed up and doors that never got stuck.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Tim's Vermeer']]> Watching paint dry has never been more fascinating than it is in "Tim's Vermeer," a documentary produced by the magicians Penn & Teller.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: '300: Rise of an Empire']]> Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp, this prequel-sequel-parallel plotline to Warner Brothers' 2006 hit will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels.]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> If last year was any indication, 2014 should be another exceptional year for home sellers across the Bay Area.]]> <![CDATA[Garden Tips]]> What is a garden anyway? Why do gardens make so much difference in our lives and why do we fall in love, raise our children and grow old together in them so much better than if we live our whole lives indoors?]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Wind Rises']]> "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful." So said aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero served the Empire of Japan during WWII. Amid some controversy, living-legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has written and directed his own latest "something beautiful," this one a hand-drawn fantasia about Horikoshi: "The Wind Rises."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Pompeii']]> The new action picture "Pompeii" is a bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air and brainless.
]]>
<![CDATA[Review: 'RoboCop']]> Word leaked two years ago that Josť Padilha, director of the new "RoboCop" remake, was struggling mightily against studio suits to achieve his vision for the film. "It is hell here," the Brazilian director told a filmmaker friend. Now the film has arrived, and it's fairly clear that this "RoboCop" is a product of unhappy compromise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Winter's Tale']]> If your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse asks you to take them to "Winter's Tale" for Valentine's Day, my relationship advice is to immediately say yes. But leave a copy of this review lying around, and you may get a chance at making better plans.]]> <![CDATA[The Monuments Men]]> Say this for George Clooney, film director: He consistently makes films for adults. So it's too bad that, with his new WWII film "The Monuments Men," he sometimes treats that adult audience like children in need of a spoon-feed.]]> <![CDATA[The Lego Movie]]> Kids' toys and games have a poor track record as the basis for films. Since the broad-ranging "Toy Story" franchise doesn't really count (and with apologies to "Transformers" fans), the bar hasn't been set any higher than "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," "Clue" or perhaps "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." But, in a minor miracle of pop cinema, "The Lego Movie" changes all that.]]> <![CDATA[Review: Labor Day]]> One name for Hollywood that's stuck is "The Dream Factory," implying a big-screen projection of our fantasies. The trend of late favors the fantasies of tween-age boys (of all ages), as played out in "genre" pictures, but the new drama "Labor Day" steps out in other directions.
]]>
<![CDATA[Review: The Invisible Woman]]> History, they say, is written by the victors. Indeed, popular English novelist Charles Dickens was a winner who jealously protected his legacy. But don't they also say the truth will out? ]]> <![CDATA[A winemaker's dream]]> A doorbell decorated with grapes announces visitors to the home of David Bulfer and Kelly Pope. That's fitting, since they recently built a wine workshop and are educating themselves about winemaking.]]> <![CDATA[Custom-made to last a lifetime]]> From the front, not much is different about Aleta Hanna's small mission bungalow at the edge of Crescent Park (what was once called University Park).]]> <![CDATA[Review: The Nut Job]]> OK, so you didn't plan ahead, but don't worry. The new animated flick "The Nut Job" has squirreled away enough lame nut puns to get you through the winter. More than enough.]]> <![CDATA[Higher, lighter and brighter]]> Like many couples with three young kids, Roland Dreier and Bina Bhattacharyya expected space in their house to become an issue.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lone Survivor']]> One word you won't see used to describe "Lone Survivor," the fact-based movie about a FUBAR Navy SEALs operation: "contemplative."]]> <![CDATA[Review: "August: Osage County"]]> It may be 30 below in Cass County this week, but on screen it's 108 degrees in "August: Osage County." And as the old story goes, when the day is hot, there's no escaping a brawl.]]> <![CDATA[Remodeling: In da Houzz]]> What happens when you combine the words house and buzz? The answer is the online community "Houzz," a website and mobile app for home remodeling and design.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty']]> Reborn as a flashy but soppy new adventure directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film is sentimental claptrap about (to paraphrase a character) "courage and going into the unknown."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Past']]> In 2012, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" became the first Iranian picture to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. This is his follow-up.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Wolf of Wall Street']]> "The Wolf of Wall Street" charges out of the gate with immediate evidence of Martin Scorsese's skill, abetted by Terence Winter's whip-crack screenplay and Thelma Schoonmaker's brilliant editing. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Her']]> All people in romantic relationships want to know their love is real. But when half of the intelligence involved is artificial, can love be real? ]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> As winter approaches, we typically expect Bay Area and Peninsula home prices to start cooling along with the weather, as buyers replace their house-hunting expeditions with holiday-shopping trips. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis']]> Like a rolling stone, singer-guitarist Llewyn Davis tumbles through the Greenwich Village folk-music scene of the '60s. It's the Coen Brothers' most compelling character study to date.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug']]> Peter Jackson's grandiose vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth reaches a crescendo with this thrilling second installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Great Beauty']]> It is, perhaps, impossible to make an ode to Rome without invoking Fellini. Though Paolo Sorrentino does so only indirectly in "The Great Beauty," it's impossible not to think of how he pales in comparison to the maestro.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Out of the Furnace']]> What, one might ask, is the point of understated melodrama? It's a bit like decaf coffee or near-beer. But understated melodrama, for the most part, is the stuff of "Out of the Furnace."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Homefront']]> Standard Statham action gets a solid acting boost courtesy of James Franco in the Louisiana-based "Homefront." We can put this in the "co-stars you thought you would never see" category.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Philomena']]> The film "Philomena," starring Judi Dench, takes the perspective of a wronged Irish mother coerced, in 1952, into giving her baby away. Co-producer and co-screenwriter Steve Coogan plays a journalist investigating the story.
]]>
<![CDATA[Review: 'Nebraska']]> It's never too late to play a few grace notes. With Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," this proves true for two septuagenarians: addled heartland grump Woodrow "Woody" Grant and the Hollywood royal who plays him, Bruce Dern.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Delivery Man']]> This tale of an accidental (multiple) father manages to be high-concept and squishy at the same time. At least the star power of Vince Vaughn adds some comedy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Book Thief']]> There will, of course, never be enough Nazi Germany-set dramas to fill the awards-season maw. Unfortunately, "The Book Thief" is conspicuously phony in its ruthless attempt to manipulate audiences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire']]> It would be easy to damn "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with the faint praise of calling it a competent sequel, which it is. But the film gives audiences more to chew on than its predecessor.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color']]> This movie is billed as "The story of a young lesbian couple's beginning, middle and possible end." It's also an NC-17 film with a seven-minute sex scene that has made it cinema non grata in Idaho.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Armstrong Lie']]> The title of Alex Gibney's film derives from a 2005 headline in the French paper "L'Equipe." The paper alleged what many had assumed to be true: Banned substances had fueled Armstrong's endurance and speed.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club']]> Yes, "Dallas Buyers Club" is classic "Oscar bait," and falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny and scary.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '12 Years A Slave']]> This is the story of a man: another tale of physical and emotional survival that, unlike "All is Lost" and "Gravity," derives from a true story.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'About Time']]> Though you'll feel like you've seen this movie before, the film's strength is the ensemble cast effortlessly exuding affection for one another.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Last Vegas']]> At first glance, "Last Vegas" seems like "The Hangover" for the 60-and-over crowd (minus the raunch). But the class-act cast and a solid script keep the film fresh and funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Kill Your Darlings']]> An oft-overlooked chapter in literary history comes to life in "Kill Your Darlings," a lurid yet penetrating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Fifth Estate']]> This slickly edited drama plays like the account of a jilted lover, with the would-be dazzle attempting to misdirect from the ordinariness of the personal melodrama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A.C.O.D.']]> "A.C.O.D." stands for "Adult Children of Divorce," a demographic big enough to ensure this dry-witted indie comedy a wide audience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Romeo and Juliet']]> Call it the "Drunk History" version of "Romeo and Juliet." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Captain Phillips']]> The "real-life thriller" "Captain Phillips" may be obvious and it may be clumsy, but it's also a little bit thoughtful, and there's never a dull moment. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Gravity']]> Life is one hell of a ride, as George Clooney's character puts it. So is "Gravity." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Runner Runner']]> What are the odds you'll be satisfied with your movie-ticket purchase? -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Enough Said']]> Two powerhouse performances and some nicely written scenes that, in tandem, provide some of the most enjoyable romantic and comedic moments of the year. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rush']]> The director of "Frost/Nixon," Ron Howard, brings us in "Rush" another Morgan match-up: 1970s Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Afternoon Delight']]> Jill Soloway's new comedy-drama about clambering to stay above the yawning pit of middle-aged ennui. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Short Term 12']]> Writer-director Destin Cretton bears witness to the agony and the ecstasy of foster care in "Short Term 12," a fiction film inspired by his own experiences working in a group home. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Riddick']]> The man with the night-vision eyes is back: Vin Diesel's science-fiction anti-hero returns to something like his "Pitch Black" roots in the simply titled -- and R-rated -- "Riddick."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Grandmaster']]> If there's one thing not to expect from cinematic grandmaster Wong Kar Wai, it's a driving plot. But that's what we love about the languorous director. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Closed Circuit']]> You've seen worse than the new boilerplate legal thriller "Closed Circuit," but you've also seen a lot better. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The World's End']]> You can go home again, but it's going to involve drinking. That's the starting point of "The World's End," the latest from the most exciting team in film comedy. -P.C.]]>