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Mickey Rourke

‘Iron Man 2’ Explores the Lighter Side of Being a Celebrity Superhero

Tony Stark may be self-obsessed and troubled by mortal thoughts – rightly so, considering the mechanical heart that’s keeping him alive is slowly polluting his body with lethal toxins – but he’s no Bruce Wayne. As played by Robert Downey Jr., he combines a sly sense of humor with natural showmanship. He enjoys being a superhero, and soaks up the spotlight with a narcissist’s glee.

It’s refreshing. Stark has a dark side, well-watered with cocktails, but he is hardly morose. He is intoxicated by the adoration of his fans, and tickled by the trappings of fame and obscene wealth. And he’s not afraid to toot his own horn. As he brags to a less-than-smitten Senate committee, “I have successfully privatized world peace.”

New Year's Resolutions for 2010 and Beyond

It is the dawn of a new decade, a time for reflection and self-improvement. In that spirit, I humbly submit my list of movie-related resolutions, complete with links. If you'd like to suggest any New Year's resolutions for me, yourself or anyone else, feel free to drop me a line.

I resolve to watch Furry Vengeance with an open mind. (Really, I do.) I will extend the same courtesy to the upcoming remake of The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

Notes from a Darkened Theater: The NFL Embraces Pelham 1 2 3, Anvil Gets Thunderstruck

Despite the movie’s early mixed reviews, the NFL is rolling out the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s latest thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers stars Alex Smith and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis will be joined by Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders to host a special Wednesday night screening of the film at the Great Mall in Milpitas. The players will arrive to walk the carpet at 6:30 p.m., with the movie, a remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1974 subway heist, to follow.

Bret Easton Ellis Revisits The Informers

The cast sounds promising: Billy Bob Thornton as an icy studio head; Mickey Rourke as an amoral lowlife; Chris Isaak as a drunken philanderer who can’t resist making sloppy passes at his son’s dates; and the late Brad Renfro, in his final role, as a jittery hotel clerk with possible connections to the shadiest of underworlds.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.



1. Sugar
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
Why: Isolation and an early-life epiphany await Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), a Dominican pitching prospect who comes to question the limited scope of his professional ambition during a minor-league stint in rural Iowa. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (2006’s Half Nelson), Sugar is a moving, unflinchingly honest take on the immigrant experience, infused with an obvious passion for America’s pastime.

John Cena Steps Out of the Ring for 12 Rounds

John Cena may be a four-time W.W.E. world champion and an accomplished hip-hop star – his 2005 debut, You Can’t See Me, was certified gold, and helped earn him the distinction of being the only professional wrestler ever to perform on BBC’s Top of the Pops – but that’s hardly sapped his seemingly boundless ambition.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.

1. Two Lovers
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week

The Case Against Sean Penn, and Other Oscar Picks

The Oscars have arrived, and with them the inevitable slew of so-called expert predictions. And though I find myself naturally curious, I must admit that my anticipation of Sunday evening’s ceremony has been subdued by lingering disappointment with some of the nominations. Put simply, my heart’s not entirely in it.

WALL*E should have been earned a nomination for best picture, as should The Wrestler. (A win for either would have suited me just fine.) Woody Allen’s strongest contribution in years was largely overlooked. And Bruce Springsteen, in the midst of a creative surge as strong as any in his career, managed to write a song for a movie (again, The Wrestler) without so much as a hint of recognition. Go figure.

Nuns, Nazis and Pedophiles: And the Oscar goes to…

It’s time for the Up-lifting Triumph vs. Tragedy Smackdown. Oscar night is nigh.

Sure, Oscar loves its incurable diseases, cripples and the mentally handicapped. Will the lead actor playing an assassinated gay martyr win? The young talent who died tragically before his time of a drug overdose?

In the one of the best episodes of the HBO series, “Extras”, Kate Winslet played a far-fetched very bawdy version of herself on the set of a film about the Holocaust.  The fictionalized Kate Winslet – in full costume as a nun in habit -- boldly admits she’s going for Oscar:

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Indie Fest is here, the Oscars are just around the corner, and the rainy days of winter are upon us – simply put, it's a good time to be at the movies. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.

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