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High Times: Now 39, John Cho Still Happy to Celebrate a 'Harold & Kumar Christmas'

John Cho is tired of getting high – literally, at least. That doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire Harold Lee, the normally cautious investment banker whose buttoned-down approach goes up in smoke whenever he’s around best buddy Kumar Patel. But Cho, who stars opposite Kal Penn in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, could certainly use a break from flying.
 
After tour stops in Chicago, Washington and Toronto, the 39-year-old Seoul, South Korea, native has arrived at San Francisco’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel to promote the doped-up duo’s latest misadventure, and make no mistake, his spirit is willing. But his body? Not so much.
 

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The San Francisco Film Society's Cinema by the Bay honors the passion, innovation and diversity of Bay Area filmmaking, the intelligence and probing spirit of local directors, and the incredible depth and breadth of America’s film and media frontier.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom Confronts Sexist Stereotypes with 'Miss Representation'

When San Francisco native Jennifer Siebel Newsom arrived in Hollywood, pursuing an acting career after her time with the U.S. women’s junior national soccer team was cut short by injury, the fair-haired Stanford alum had little trouble landing recurring roles on the CBS hospital drama Presidio Med, and later NBC’s 24-inspired Life.
 

Horror Movie Roundup: 7 Movies to See for Halloween

It's baaack! For the second straight year, in the spirit of the season, the weekly compilation of first-run indie offerings has been replaced with seven movies guaranteed to titillate, nauseate and leave you maddeningly unsettled. Once again, rather than rounding up the usual suspects – cyberspace is already littered with zealous endorsements of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby – I've made a conscientious effort to name less obvious shockers, all available at your local video store (if it still exists) or via the now-maligned Netflix.

1. Manhunter

Sister Act: Elizabeth Olsen Blazes Her Own Trail to Screen Stardom in 'Martha Marcy'

One might reasonably assume that Elizabeth Olsen hails from the same lifelong background in kid-friendly entertainment as older sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley, who were born in 1986 and became regulars on TV’s Full House just a year later.
 
But while Elizabeth, 22, bears a striking resemblance to her better-known siblings, her career path has hardly followed theirs to overnight success. Lizzie, as she was then billed, made brief appearances in The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley, her sisters’ musical mystery videos from the mid-’90s. Yet it took her more than two decades to grab the spotlight for herself.
 

Together Again: Almodóvar, Banderas Reveal New Bag of Tricks for 'Skin I Live In'

It’s common for critics to describe one movie by comparing it to another, as if, unable to accept something new on its own terms, they must fall back on whatever pre-existing standard is most convenient. It is a practice that seems to rankle filmmakers, who usually prefer to treat their ideas as immaculate conceptions rather than share the credit with peers.
 
It is startling, then, that Pedro Almodóvar, the celebrated Spanish auteur whose grotesque drama The Skin I Live In is now playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, is so quick to liken his latest to recent offerings by Terrence Malick and Danish provocateur Lars von Trier.
 

Tribeca Film Festival's Road Show Takes Over the Presidio Theatre This Weekend

Founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Meet the Parents producer Jane Rosenthal and philanthropist Craig Katkoff as part of an effort to revitalize one of Lower Manhattan's most prestigious neighborhoods in the wake of Sept. 11, the Tribeca Film Festival has added to its repertoire a traveling road show, set to arrive tonight at the Presidio Theatre on Chestnut Street.

Bruce Robinson's 'Rum Diary' Raises a Glass to the Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson

Both for his skillful portrayals of life on the lunatic fringe, and his capacity for playing dual roles on the screen – at once the architect of his own delirious demise and a bemused spectator to it – Johnny Depp has become Hollywood’s designated stand-in for the late Hunter S. Thompson, and rightly so.
 
Thompson, whose hedonistic exuberance and wry self-awareness inform the hard-living alter egos that people his fiction, returns, at least in spirit, in The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson’s cheerfully meandering adaptation of the author’s second novel. 



'Anonymous,' a Bold Denial of the Bard, Captures Spirit of Shakespearean Tragedy

Who was William Shakespeare? Was he the Bard of Avon, the poet and playwright of humble beginnings whose command of the language gave us Hamlet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Or was he a drunk, a fraud and a shameless opportunist?
 
Anonymous, Roland Emmerich’s sure-to-be controversial (at least in academic circles) historical epic, espouses the Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship, attributing all those masterworks to Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), the 17th Earl of Oxford. Shakespeare (Rafe Spall), functionally illiterate and fulfilled more by gold and mead than the joy of artistic expression, is seem as a contemptible fool.
 

Simon Baker Gets His Hands Dirty as Corporate Scam Artist in 'Margin Call'

Holding court in a regal suite at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, reclining in a throne-like red armchair and sharply dressed in a gray three-piece suit and thick, horn-rimmed glasses, Simon Baker looks the part of the suave investigative consultant he plays on the CBS drama The Mentalist.
 
But Baker is eager to forget about Patrick Jane, the cerebral mind-game player he brings to life Thursday evenings. He’s here to discuss Jared Cohen, the soulless master of the universe he plays in J.C. Chandor's fascinating new financial thriller Margin Call, now playing at the AMC Metreon and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.
 

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