This has been heralded as the year of the animated movie, and with good reason: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline and Up, among others, proved as engaging for adults as for children, validating a genre unfairly dismissed as kiddie fare by some critics and too many Oscar voters.
To me, 2009 was most memorable for its documentaries. Tyson, Capitalism: A Love Story, The Beaches of Agnes and The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers entertained as well as informed, and all remain worthy candidates for end-of-the-year accolades. Consider them (as well as Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are) runners-up to my list of the year’s best films.
The San Francisco International Animation Festival continues through Sunday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, featuring some of Walt Disney's earliest shorts and Tarik Saleh's futuristic thriller Metropia, in which a call-center drone (voiced by Vincent Gallo) breaks from his drab routine to become a wannabe spy. Elsewhere:
Halloween has arrived early this year thanks to the weekend’s two biggest major-studio releases – The Final Destination (in 3-D!) and Rob Zombie’s latest supplement to the never-ending saga of famed serial killer Michael Myers. If you don’t feel like celebrating, there are several excellent alternatives now playing at an indie theater near you.
Quentin Tarantino's reimagining of World War II arrives this weekend, along with a host of compelling documentaries and another gripping (and significantly more fact-based) tale of Resistance heroism, Flame & Citron. Here as always are some of the finest films now playing at an indie theater near you.
After a surprisingly funny cameo in Todd Phillips' smash comedy The Hangover, "Iron" Mike Tyson returns to the big screen this Sunday for a two-night stand at the Red Vic. Catch him if you can. If not, there are plenty of worthwhile alternatives playing this week at an indie theater near you.