Arts + Culture
The assurance that “he’s big in Japan” warrants an expected degree of skepticism, but in some cases, you just have to take our word for it. J-Pop sensation, Jin Akanishi is due to perform here this Wednesday as part of his five-city American “Yellow Gold Tour 2010” and, trust us – this is one of those cases.
The revamped Burritt Room, the new Prohibition-style bar hidden away in the Crescent Hotel, is also proving itself to be quite the fine music venue.
All shows are on weekends and are FREE, which means you've got more cash to spend on their tasty seasonal and classic drinks and punches. This past weekend, freewheeling rock bohemians Leopold & His Fiction riled up the slinky, seductive speakeasy's atmosphere.
Play: Ice Rinks
Starting Wednesday, you can get your skate on at the annual Safeway Union Square ice rink. Go for a midday run on your lunch break or wait for dark and take in the holiday lights afterhours. Come Thanksgiving, you'll also have a decorative tree to admire. If you're trying to steer clear of tourist-crazy Union Square, opt for the Embarcadero Center Ice Rink, which opens on November 19. Either way, you have plenty of time. Both rinks stay open through the first week of January. unionsquareicerink.com, embarcaderocenter.com
Writers often find themselves on unconventional career paths, thanks to the tentative fiscal prospect of writing the next great novel. Thus, Kieran McGrath finds himself staring at the meandering rear end of a horse as it clops through Central Park and straight toward his next resume bullet point: accidental gigolo. Trading his attractive and literary self to wealthy women for financial gain, McGrath thinks he’s found his plot.
It’s no secret that SF’s cityslickers love animation, but the Fifth Annual San Francisco International Animation Festival takes its urban cred to a new level by combining the imaginative works of the animation industry with alterna-pop lyrics and videos. At this four-day event, you’ll see the Gorillaz video for “Stylo” (the first single off Plastic Beach), in which the band will jam onscreen in CGI for the first time. And The Decemberists’ latest, The Hazards of Love, is no longer just for the ears—the entire album will be presented with coinciding animated films. From CGI to Claymation and cutout, it all comes to life on the big screen this Thursday.
It’s a formidable comedy match: Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, reunited for the first time since their years together at Saturday Night Live, each having graduated to movies and, in Fey's case, the Emmy-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock, which she created and stars in.
They find themselves gamely butting heads in Megamind, the animated satire in which Ferrell plays the titular super-villain, ordinarily hapless in his attempts to subdue Brad Pitt’s cocksure crime fighter, Metro Man. When one of Megamind's schemes actually pays off, leaving him without a worthy nemesis and Metro City vulnerable, the diabolical genius becomes the unlikely savior of a city in crisis.
It was routine mechanical failures and budgetary restraints, more than divine – marine? – inspiration, that led a young Steven Spielberg to keep his shark from audiences throughout so much of Jaws. In the case of first-time feature director Gareth Edwards, the choice was dictated by necessity: To make a $15,000 movie about monsters, the monsters would have to stay scarce.
Monsters is no Jaws, but the comparison is apt on one level: Edwards, like Spielberg, manages to sustain tension even in the absence of early or frequent payoffs. Rather than unleashing his beasts, Edwards hides them, letting the threat they pose loom in their absence. The shadows are pregnant with peril.