Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Rossiter Drake

The 'Rite' Stuff: Sir Anthony Hopkins Reveals the Secret of Giving a Good Scare

Sir Anthony Hopkins didn’t want to star in a “spinning heads” movie, much less slip into another creepy villain role so soon after last year’s The Wolfman. It was only after director Mikael Håfström, best known for the haunted-hotel thriller 1408, convinced Hopkins that he wasn’t trying to remake The Exorcist that Sir Anthony agreed to play Father Lucas, a mercurial man of the cloth, in The Rite, which opens Friday.
 

Former Olympian Jason Statham Carries the Torch for Yesterday's Action Heroes

In the ’80s, there was no shortage of Hollywood he-men, guys who regularly toppled small armies and rescued whoever seemed worthy of rescuing. Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Seagal. Their names were synonymous with action, but not necessarily acting.
 
Times have changed. The musclebound enforcers of yesteryear have given way to caped crusaders and masked mutants, and the actors who play the new breed of superheroes are not reformed bodybuilders but plausible Oscar hopefuls: Robert Downey Jr, Edward Norton and the like. Yet here, as if to prove there’s still room for an old-fashioned big-screen brawler, stands Jason Statham.
 

Steven Soderbergh Sets Open Casting Call for New San Francisco-Based Thriller

After five successful collaborations including Che: Part Two (2008), the corporate whistleblower comedy The Informant! (2009) and the star-studded Ocean's Eleven trilogy, director Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon will reteam for the upcoming thriller Contagion, about a team of doctors hired by the Center for Disease Control to prevent the outbreak of a lethal virus. Better yet, Damon, along with co-stars Kate Winslet and Jude Law, will be filming their latest adventure in San Francisco, starting Feb. 9.

Mortal Thoughts: Alejandro González Iñárritu Confronts Death in 'Biutiful'

As much as death looms as the inescapable reality in all our lives, few would care to learn of their imminent passing, much less confront its approach at the movies. Yet for Mexico’s Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for the Oscar-nominated dramas Amores Perros (2001) and Babel (2007), it was that commonly evaded consciousness of mortality that inspired his latest offering, Biutiful.
 
Despite casting No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem as the doomed centerpiece of his morbid but ultimately uplifting film, which opens Friday, Iñárritu is a realist, keenly aware that death is a tough sell when considered as something more than an abstract concept.
 

Oscar 2011: Predicting the Nominees

With nominations for the 2011 Academy Awards set to be announced today at 5:30 a.m. PST, there is no time like the present to rattle off a series of fearless (albeit modestly informed) predictions in the five major categories. Without further ado:

Best Picture
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone


Best Actor:
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

Best Actress:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

'The Company Men' Examines the Downside of Corporate Downsizing

There was a time, in the 1970s, when stories of middle-class alienation and dreamers struggling to get ahead were invariably set in New York. Lately, such accounts of white- and blue-collar angst have moved 200 miles up I-95 to the Boston suburbs, where the fight to survive isn’t exclusively the domain of street hustlers and last-chance athletes.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

With Noir City 9 descending on the Castro for the next 10 days and San Francisco's 13th Independent Film Festival arriving in early February, the new year is already heating up for local cinephiles. Here, as always, are some of the finest selections currently playing at an indie theater (and, in this week's edition, a Loews cineplex) near you.

1
. Barney's Version

'West Wing' Producer Considers America's Corporate Culture with 'Company Men'

It wasn’t that John Wells, executive producer of groundbreaking TV dramas including ER and The West Wing, had never considered making the jump to the big screen. He had received offers, but none of them felt right. Then his brother-in-law fell victim to corporate downsizing, and Wells started writing and researching and seeking out thousands of the unemployed, to share with him accounts of life on the frontlines.
 
“The stories were self-deprecating, tragic and humorous, but above all dignified,” he says. “That integrity was the common thread in all the people I spoke to, from the couple hundred I met to the couple thousand I found online. I knew I had to present their experiences with the same qualities.”
 

Insanity Grips the Castro as Noir City Returns for 10 Crazy Nights of Movies

Perhaps Norman Bates said it best: “We all go a little mad sometimes.” And though Bates, the dangerously eccentric inheritor of his family’s motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho, will neither be featured nor, we hope, attending the ninth San Francisco Film Noir Festival, which opens at the Castro tomorrow, his cryptic wisdom will echo in every one of Noir City’s 24 selections.

This year’s theme? Who’s Crazy Now, celebrating two-dozen tales of stark, raving madness, all with gloriously restored 35-milimeter prints, presented over 10 nights of double features priced at an insanely reasonable $10.

Spider-Man Ready to Repeat High School, with Andrew Garfield in the Suit

By now, it doesn’t take a well-honed Spidey sense to recall that, almost exactly a year ago, Tobey Maguire (35), Kirsten Dunst (28) and director Sam Raimi (age unimportant) parted ways with Sony Pictures and Marvel over the studio's decision to send superhero alter ego Peter Parker back to high school, essentially changing horses midstream and rebooting a billion-dollar franchise still seemingly at the peak of its powers.

Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox

Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.

Subscribe to 7x7
Renew
Give a Gift
FAQ's

Guides

The Big To-Do: 100 Things to Do In SF Before You Die

The Big Eat 2011: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

Pole Position: Our Subjective Guide to SF's Strip Clubs

Four Awesome Northern California Hot Springs

Refreshingly Unhip: SF's Old-School Pastrami Sandwiches

The 7 Best Carne Asada Burritos in San Francisco

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in Bernal Heights

The 10 Best Dishes Under $10 in the Lower Haight

The 10 Best Lunches in Union Square Under $10

The Path To Ramen Enlightenment

Secret Recipes: How to Make Some of the City's Best Dishes

Drink Up: SF's "Cocktail Movement" Bars

8 Solid First Date Ideas

Where to Learn An Instrument in SF

7 Local Musicians to Watch in 2011

The Best Wine Shops, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

The 7 Best San Francisco Albums of 2010

Refreshingly Unhip: The Best Glazed Dougnuts in SF

Tea: Our 7 Favorite Spots to Drink & Buy

Fireside Buzz: 7 Bars That'll Warm You Up

Beer Tasting Road Trip Itinerary of Sonoma & Mendocino Counties

Six Great Boots for Fall in San Francisco

Get A Room: Bars That Rent Private Spaces

The Best Phone Apps for the Food-Obsessed

9 Great San Francisco Football Bars

The Best Bowls of Soup (That Aren't Pho or Ramen) In SF

The 10 Best Burgers in San Francisco

Expert Advice on Parking in The City

Sonoma v. Napa: Which Does it Better?

Biking for Beginners: Routes to Take and Avoid

5 Ways to Get the Wine You Want in Restaurants

San Francisco's Best Dance Classes: 9 Places to Bust A Move

The Big Eat 2010: 100 Things to Try Before You Die

The Big Sweet 2010: 50 Treats to Try Before You Die