Arts + Culture
You may have heard the buzz about Josh Ritter through your musical grapevine, but chances are, you've probably stalked his career progression through underground outlets, not your typical major label brand methods. Ritter, the master of under the radar success, has somehow managed to string along a massive following of fanatics just narrowly escaping the obnoxious obsessions from the teenybopper a-la-Justin Bieber crowd (which is quite surprising considering his God-given gorgeous baby blues would make any girl swoon).
Walk into the adult-friendly playground that is the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, and the first thing that strikes you is the lavish decorations – a life-size replica of Ken’s decadent dollhouse from Toy Story 3, complete with a working elevator, rising from the lobby’s handsome, light-blond hardwood floor as if in tribute to the movie and its detail-obsessed creators.
If you're into the World Cup, the last place you want to be at 11:30 a.m. (or 7 a.m. for you early birds and finance people) is tied to your desk waiting for that live stream to load. For those who work downtown, here's a list of some solid mid-morning sneak-out options.
Dave's (29 3rd St., between Kearny and Market) has two HD TV's, a full bar, and 16 beers on tap, including Stone IPA and Dale's Pale Ale. Menu favorites: the Hot Turkey Pesto Sandwich and the Chili (which people claim doesn't hurt your stomach). Take advantage of their specials while watching the 11:30am game: a hot dog and Budweiser pint for $6, or chicken wings and any draft beer for $8. Doors open at 11am.
"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. But I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful that it can't be expressed in words."
Morgan Freeman's Shawshank Redemption voiceover kept rattling around in my head during The Tosca Project, mainly because I wasn't always entirely sure where the thread of the plot went, but I didn't really care because it was so pretty.
Tackling the wide world of espionage, amateur stalking, and clowns on pogo sticks, San Francisco's beloved sketch comedy group gives James Bond the lobster treatment. (The deliciously Scottish James Bond, rather than the Pierce Brosnan incarnation who, you must admit, fights like a girl.)
The best that can be said of The Karate Kid, a bloated but diverting remake of the 1984 original, is that most of its two-and-a-half hour running time reflects a near-flawless reprise. The names and faces have changed, as has the setting, with China replacing sunny Southern California. But the essence of the story hasn’t changed an iota.
No need to pity the fool. If spending your weekend with B.A. Baracus and the rest of the reconstituted A-Team doesn't strike your fancy, you still have time to catch Michael Douglas' mesmerizing turn in Solitary Man, or Noomi Rapace's astonishing coming-out party in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Here, as always, are some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
1. Burning Man Film Festival
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: June 12-13
Proving the distance between rural Virginia and San Francisco is much farther than can be expressed in mere mileage, Forever Never Comes is a lively ode to playwright Enrique Urueta's hometown. It's also a darkly funny love story - a young trans man loves a young woman, but their romantic arc is complicated by her nightmares about her brother's death and then complicated more when she strikes a deal with an otherworldly creature who isn't forgiving of debts. Urueta calls it "a psycho-southern queer country dance tragedy," and really, how can you improve on a label like that? (Note: you can't.)
Now that Hollywood has exhausted most of the best-known ’70s TV series, directors like Joe Carnahan, 41, can sink their teeth into big-screen adaptations of the shows they grew up with – in this case, Stephen Cannell and Frank Lupo’s family-friendly ’80s fantasy about a team of noble vigilantes-for-hire, framed for robbing a Hanoi bank during the Vietnam War.
Baghdad replaces Hanoi in Carnahan’s flashy update, which finds the fighting foursome wrongfully blamed for stealing U.S. Treasury minting plates, but little else has changed.