Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Rossiter Drake

Rapunzel Lets Down Her Bountiful Blonde Hair in Disney's Winning New Musical

Considering how many classic fairy tales Walt Disney adapted for his early animations, it’s a wonder the Mouse House founder never followed through on his desire to do the same for Rapunzel, the Brothers Grimm’s account of a fair-haired maiden trapped in a tower high above the German countryside.
 
Seventy years after Disney first sent the story into development, where it languished and seemingly died of neglect, comes Tangled, his empire’s 50th animated feature and, since Pixar ushered the studio into the digital age with Toy Story, one of its most rewarding.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

If your post-holiday plans don't involve football and a tryptophan-induced nap, make your way to Embarcadero Center, where some of this year's strongest Oscar contenders, including 127 Hours and Fair Game, are now playing. Check out the Castro's two-day celebration of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, beginning Saturday. Or update your Netflix queue to include John Hughes' classic Thanksgiving comedy Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Happy Turkey Day!

1. Animal Kingdom

Billy Bob Thornton on 'Faster' and the Miserable State of Hollywood Today

Like the heroin-addicted cop he plays in Faster, the aggressive new thriller in which he co-stars opposite a bulked-up Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton rarely minces words. So when he volunteers an off-the-cuff assessment of American movies today, you can expect nothing less than brutal candor.
 
“We’re living in a time where we’re making the worst movies in history,” says Thornton, 55, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and star of the 1997’s Sling Blade, which he directed. “They’re geared toward the video-game generation.
 

Sex, Lies and Political Miscalculations Take Center Stage in Alex Gibney's 'Client 9'

Was Eliot Spitzer, the so-called "Sheriff of Wall Street" whose attention-grabbing crusade against big-business corruption catapulted him to New York's governorship, sabotaged by his own hubris or the victim of a calculated political hit?
 

The End Begins Now: Wizards Go to War in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'

Rather than draw out their long goodbyes in a single sitting, as Peter Jackson’s Hobbits did in his too-long Lord of the Rings finale, Team Harry’s swan song will unfold in two parts, a decision dismissed in some quarters as purely a marketing strategy.
 
Yet even at two-and-a-half hours, the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling’s conclusion to the saga of an orphaned wizard destined to battle a Hitler-like menace, sacrifices some particulars of the author’s story but emerges as the most faithful adaptation in the series. Readers expecting everything plus the kitchen sink – or, in this case, seven magical Horcruxes – should not be disappointed.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The San Francisco Film Society's annual celebration of New Italian Cinema, which closes Sunday with Paolo Virzi's touching drama The First Beautiful Thing, takes center stage at the Embarcadero this weekend, while Harry Potter and his magical minions take the fight to the murderous Lord Voldemort in the first installment of David Yates' Deathly Hallows. Elsewhere:

1. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer Accounts for His Stunning Fall from Grace in 'Client 9'

His downfall plays like Greek tragedy, a flawed hero laid low by hubris. It has inspired Saturday Night Live skits, the 18th-season finale of Law & Order and the hit CBS drama The Good Wife. Now, the story of the former New York governor brought down by his ties to a high-priced prostitution ring is revisited in Alex Gibney’s Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.
 

Death from Above: The Search for Intelligent Life Stalls in 'Skyline'

Skyline, in which an army of airborne aliens comes up with the novel idea of storming Los Angeles in search of fresh human brains, shatters the unintentional comedy scale with its clunky dialogue and laughably straight-faced treatment of B-movie schlock.
 
As a showcase for brothers Colin and Greg Strause, visual-effects specialists with a single directorial credit to their names– the middling Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) – the film confirms their ability to create a diverting spectacle on a limited budget, but speaks little to their storytelling acumen.
 

Cutting Yourself to Live: James Franco Endures a Harrowing '127 Hours'

In April 2003, a falling boulder pinned Aron Ralston to the wall of Utah's remote Blue John Canyon for nearly five days, forcing the 27-year-old mountain climber to amputate his right arm in a desperate bid to survive.
 
In bringing his story to the screen, Danny Boyle deftly avoids the obvious stumbling blocks, transforming a mostly one-man show with a well-publicized ending into arresting drama that speaks not only to Ralston's implacable will but also to the durability of the human spirit. Boyle has described 127 Hours as an action movie about a man who can’t move, and the description is apt. Ralston’s existential struggle seems almost to sprint to its grisly conclusion.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The fifth San Francisco International Animation Festival kicks off tonight at the Embarcadero with Here Comes the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized, a colorfully eccentric interpretation (by four different artists) of the acclaimed 2009 album by indie-rock stalwarts The Decemberists. The festivities wind to a close Sunday with Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, Brent Green's moving tribute to a Kentucky hardware-store clerk who, during the 1970s, built a crazy-quilt house to cure his wife's cancer. Elsewhere:

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