PaloAltoOnline.com http://www.paloaltoonline.com If it is local and useful, it is on PaloAltoOnline.com. en-us <![CDATA[Design contest set to kick off for Palo Alto's new bike bridge]]> Palo Alto officials agree that the city's new bike bridge over Highway 101 should be a "landmark" structure that showcases the region's spirit of innovation while at the same time providing a gentle transition into the marshy nature preserves of the Baylands. But coming up with the perfect design promises to be a lengthy and complex affair.]]> <![CDATA[Off-duty detective spots downtown robbery suspect]]> A man suspected of robbing a person he'd just befriended in downtown Palo Alto earlier this month was arrested for the crime Tuesday afternoon, police have announced. ]]> <![CDATA[Atherton's Bellis pulls a stunning upset in at the US Open]]> American teen CiCi Bellis of Atherton became the youngest player to win a US Open match since 1996 -- almost three years before she was born -- when she stunned Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.]]> <![CDATA[County expands homeless programs while searching for new shelter]]> Faced with a shortage of beds to accommodate the county's homeless population this coming winter, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $1.2 million for various programs targeting its neediest residents, including agreements with Palo Alto's busy but cash-strapped nonprofit, InnVision Shelter Network.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford's Bauer earns women's soccer honor after two wins]]> Cardinal corner
Back-to-back shutouts by the Stanford women's soccer team last weekend have earned Cardinal defender Maddie Bauer the first Player of the Week honor from TopDrawerSoccer.com. ]]>
<![CDATA[East Palo Alto man arrested for attempted murder]]> An East Palo Alto man has been arrested in connection with an attempted murder in San Mateo, according to San Mateo police.]]> <![CDATA[New nonprofit to manage downtown Palo Alto's traffic problems]]> From a "satellite lot" on Embarcadero to new garage technologies, Palo Alto officials this month have been busily brainstorming ways to boost downtown's insufficient supply of parking. At the same time, the city has quietly launched a bold new initiative that aims to attack the problem from the demand side.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto school board to discuss revised goals in first meeting of the year]]> In the Palo Alto Board of Education's first meeting of the 2014-15 school year tonight, members will continue to discuss a host of ambitious goals proposed by new Superintendent Max McGee at the board's annual retreat on Aug. 13.]]> <![CDATA[Four aftershocks hit Napa area Tuesday]]> The U.S. Geological Survey this morning reported a 3.0-magnitude aftershock about four miles southwest of Napa, the fourth this morning in the same area where a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday.]]> <![CDATA[Bosch scores twice in Menlo College men's soccer victory]]> Sebastian Bosch scored twice and added an assist and the Menlo College men's soccer team beat Oregon Tech, 6-0, Monday in a nonconference match at Simpson University in Redding.
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<![CDATA[Stanford grad Klahn loses in first round of the US Open]]> Stanford grad Bradley Klahn, in just his second tournament since July 14, dropped a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 decision to Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round of the US Open in New York on Monday.]]> <![CDATA[Rapper, five others arrested in fatal Shoreline Ampitheatre shooting]]> Six people were arrested after a 38-year-old man died after being shot multiple times Friday night at a Wiz Khalifa show at Shoreline Amphitheatre. ]]> <![CDATA[CIF simplifies its state Open Division football bowl game]]> The CIF State Open Division Championship Bowl Game just got a lot easier to figure out following an announcement by the CIF State Office on Monday that the bowl game will return to its original format and philosophy.]]> <![CDATA[Atherton's Bellis receives USTA sportsmanship honor]]> Of local note
Cici Bellis of Atherton has been honored with the inaugural US Open Junior Sportsmanship Award for girls by the USTA. Bellis received the award after best demonstrating excellent sportsmanship at this summer's USTA National Championships. Bellis won the girls' 18s national crown.]]>
<![CDATA[Holman cleared by FPPC after 'conflict of interest' claim]]> Palo Alto City Councilwoman Karen Holman did not violate state law when she urged city staff to explore rezoning sites on Arastradero Road despite her financial relationship with the owner of one of the sites, the Fair Political Practices Commission has concluded.]]> <![CDATA[A successful opening road trip for Stanford women's soccer]]> The Stanford women's soccer team emerged from a season-opening road trip against two national powers with two shutout victories following a 2-0 women's soccer triumph over Duke in the Carolina Nike Classic on Sunday.]]> <![CDATA[Pederson joins elite company with 30 homers, 30 steals in PCL]]> Palo Alto grad Joc Pederson became the first Pacific Coast League player to record at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 80 years when he swiped a base Saturday night in Colorado Springs.
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<![CDATA[DiRado wins Pan Pacific title; Ledecky wins fifth gold medal]]> Katie Ledecky, the high school senior who has committed to Stanford, won her fifth gold medal of the meet and set a world, American and meet record in the women's 1500-meter freestyle Sunday at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.
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<![CDATA[Despite loss, Team USA can look forward with optimism]]> Stanford senior Alex Bowen scored twice but the United States men's senior national team could not overcome a four-goal, fourth-quarter deficit, losing to Croatia, 8-6, in the bronze medal game of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday.]]> <![CDATA[Oaks lose football season opener, 45-27, to Eastern Oregon]]> Oaks report
Eastern Oregon scored three times in the fourth quarter to beat host Menlo College, 45-27, Saturday in a nonconference football contest that was the season opener for both teams.
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<![CDATA[Ledecky sets another world record at Pan Pacific Games]]> Olympian Katie Ledecky broke the world, American and meet records in the women's 400-meter freestyle Saturday at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, turning in a time of 3:58.37. ]]> <![CDATA[Team USA falls to Hungary in semifinal of FINA World Cup]]> Stanford senior Alex Bowen scored a goal but the United States men's senior national water polo team dropped a 7-5 decision to Hungary in the semifinal round of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Saturday.
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<![CDATA[Palo Alto teens launch Caring Neighborhoods Challenge]]> Smriti Gautam has never been to a block party in her University South neighborhood because there hasn't been one. There's been no ice cream social or movie night or neighborhood picnic in the park, she said. But Gautam plans to change all that.]]> <![CDATA[Calicdan helps start the volleyball season on a good note]]> Menlo College senior Courtney Calicdan helped the Lady Oaks open the season with a victory, recording 20 kills in a sweep of visiting West Coast Baptist, 25-12, 25-13, 25-17, on Friday night.]]> <![CDATA[Ubogagu delivers overtime goal to lift Stanford to victory]]> Senior forward Chioma Ubogagu scored the only goal of the game, with an assist from senior Alex Doll, to help the sixth-ranked Cardinal beat host North Carolina, 1-0, Friday as part of the Carolina Nike Classic.]]> <![CDATA[DiRado earns a silver, Manuel wins bronze at Pan Pacific]]> Nothing was going to dampen the spirits of Stanford grad Maya DiRado or fellow American Elizabeth Beisel after they finished one-two in the women's 400-meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia on Friday.
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<![CDATA[Flying in the face of consensus]]> Avi Tuschman may be on to something — or he bit off more than he can chew. The Stanford University anthropology PhD's soft-spoken manners juxtapose with the strident character of his first book, "Our Political Nature." The title's ambition, rest assured, is commensurate with the expansive reach of the book's thesis. ]]> <![CDATA[Stanford fills baseball coaching vacancies with familiar faces]]> The Stanford baseball program named three assistant coaches Friday. Brock Ungricht rejoins Mark Marquess' staff this year, while Santa Clara grad Jon Karcich becomes a volunteer assistant and Stanford product Eric Smith will serve as an undergraduate assistant.
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<![CDATA[Sacred Heart Prep names former professional as baseball coach]]> Anthony Granato, who played in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as the starting shortstop for Team Italy, was named the head baseball coach at Sacred Heart Prep on Friday.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall']]> In a sense, "When the Game Stands Tall" the Hollywood-ization of De La Salle High School's legendary Spartans football team -- is about what it's not about. It's not about winning.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'If I Stay']]> "Romance novels" function on idealization, including fulfilling a teen's yen for drama -- any kind of drama -- to alleviate the tedium of school days and curfew nights. ]]> <![CDATA[From tapes to tapestry]]> The Palo Alto Art Center wants your old VHS tapes; the last chance to catch some exciting local shows before they close; and the Pacific Ballet Academy in Mountain View hosts an open house.]]> <![CDATA[Worth A Look]]> Check out this roundup of local arts events worth a look this weekend, from a range of musical performances at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts to an art, food and music festival in homage to Egyptian and Mediterranean culture.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto's own gelataio]]> There's something different about Gelataio, Palo Alto's newest gelato shop and the first retailer to open at brand-new development Lytton Gateway.]]> <![CDATA[Move over, Mr. Ed: 'BoJack Horseman' gallops onto Netflix]]> If two Gunn High School friends -- Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Lisa Hanawalt -- hadn't once sat around the Studio Theatre green room dreaming up kooky ideas together, "BoJack Horseman," Netflix's first original animated series, would never have trotted into view.]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: school goals, 101 bike bridge, PC zoning reforms]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Team USA edges Australia in quarterfinals of FINA World Cup]]> Stanford senior Alex Bowen scored four goals and Cardinal junior Bret Bonanni added two as the United States senior national water polo team downed Australia, 11-9, in a shootout on Friday in the quarterfinals of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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<![CDATA[Oaks open football season Saturday with a home game]]> Menlo report
Wade Hawkins took over quarterbacking duties in the third week of last season. The fifth-year senior has hit the ground running as the clear starter this year.]]>
<![CDATA[Ledecky opens Pan Pacs with a pair of meet records]]> Olympian and Stanford commit Katie Ledecky won two swim events and set two meet records on Thursday during the first night of the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.
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<![CDATA[Stanford men are tabbed MPSF favorite in water polo]]> Stanford has been tabbed as the favorite in this year's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Preseason Coaches' poll, it was announced Thursday. The Cardinal accumulated 60 points and five of the nine first-place votes to earn the top spot.]]> <![CDATA[Zhang, Avvari reach consolation round of team table tennis]]> Palo Alto grad Lily Zhang remains in Nanjing, China, competing in the mixed international team table tennis competition. She's won both of her contested matches but the American team won't be playing for a medal.
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<![CDATA[Bonanni scores five times in Team USA loss to Serbia]]> Stanford junior Bret Bonanni scored five times and the United States men's senior national water polo team were within striking distance of 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Serbia in the fourth quarter before falling to the Serbians, 11-9, Thursday on the final day of pool play at the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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<![CDATA[Press scores to help USA soccer beat Switzerland]]> Stanford grad Christen Press scored in the 77th minute to help the United States women's senior national soccer team wallop visiting Switzerland, 4-1, on Wednesday in Cary, North Carolina.
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<![CDATA[McCarthy helps Menlo women open soccer season with a win]]> Sophomore Danielle McCarthy scored a goal and recorded a pair of assists as the Menlo College women's soccer team kicked off the season with a 3-1 victory over visiting Warner Pacific on Wednesday.
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<![CDATA[U.S. scores a big victory over Montenegro at FINA World Cup]]> Stanford senior Alex Bowen and Cardinal junior Bret Bonanni each scored two goals and the Americans came up with their biggest win of the season Wednesday, beating Montenegro, 11-7, on the second day of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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<![CDATA[Art imitates style]]> A group of large, stainless steel, kinetic animal sculptures from first-time exhibitor Fredrick Prescott will populate Sculpture Plaza at the 33rd annual Palo Alto Festival of the Arts this weekend.]]> <![CDATA[Gunn seniors invited to play in Champions Tour golfing event]]> Gunn High seniors Jack Jaffe and Anna Zhou, both of whom represent The First Tee of Silicon Valley, were invited to play in the 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in September.
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<![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Aug. 20]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Pederson on the verge of joining elite baseball company]]> Palo Alto grad Joc Pederson hit his 30th home run of the season for Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday night to close in on becoming the first player in the Pacific Coast League to record a 30-30 season since 1934 and just the fourth overall.
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<![CDATA[Stanford's Richardson part of U20 national rugby team]]> Stanford's Nikki Richardson and the USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans have assembled in Buffalo, N.Y., to prepare for the U20 Can-Am Series in Ontario.
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<![CDATA[Stanford's Bonanni scored three times in Team USA victory]]> National teams
Stanford junior Bret Bonanni scored four times to help the United States men's senior water polo team open the FINA World Cup with a 19-1 victory over South Africa on Tuesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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<![CDATA[Zhang takes the bronze medal at Youth Olympic Games]]> Recent Palo Alto grad Lily Zhang won the bronze medal in the women's singles table tennis competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China on Wednesday.
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<![CDATA[Locals are key as U.S. national teams win team titles]]> Palo Alto resident Chesnie Cheung won a pair of gold medals at the UANA Pan American Synchronized Swimming Championships over the weekend in Riverside. The seventh-grader at Jordan Middle School, who competes for the Santa Clara Aquamaids, recorded victories in duet, with Kaitlyn Hoang, and team events in the 12-Under age group.]]> <![CDATA[Zhang wins 2; reaches semifinal at Youth Olympic Games]]> Recent Palo Alto grad Lily Zhang continued her mastery of the international world of women's table tennis, advancing to the championship semifinal after beating two more opponents Monday at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'Calvary']]> To believe or not to believe: That is the question of religious faith. And while the Catholic Church, battered by scandal, may be waning, it remains that you can take the man out of Catholicism, but not Catholicism out of the man. Just ask John Michael McDonagh, writer-director of "Calvary."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Giver']]> It's odd to watch a film about the rediscovery of love, faith, passion and color, and for the film to be so by-the-numbers colorless.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Expendables 3']]> A week ago, director and producer Menahem Golan died, but his spirit is alive and well in "The Expendables 3."]]> <![CDATA[Shop Talk: More mall, restaurants flock downtown]]> In this week's Shop Talk column, read the latest on Stanford Shopping Center's big expansion, three new restaurants set to open in downtown Palo Alto and the sad closure of a 200-square-foot business.]]> <![CDATA[The next generation]]> Mandarin Roots, the revamped version of Palo Alto's longtime Chinese standby Hunan Garden, is fresh, contemporary and inviting. Don't miss a standout happy hour, banh mi sliders or peking duck served with kumquat preserves and pomegranate hoisin.]]> <![CDATA[More than their 15 minutes]]> It's a small exhibition, only 10 works of art, but "Pop Art from the Anderson Collection," on display at the Cantor Arts Center, carries a big, bold punch that is the hallmark of Pop Art. ]]> <![CDATA[Litquake rocks the local literary scene]]> Truth may be stranger than fiction but for Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, reality, no matter how bizarre, can't make as compelling a story as crime fiction. Clark is the headliner for this year's Litquake Palo Alto, the free summer literary festival taking place in Palo Alto on Sunday, Aug. 17.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES -- Aug. 13]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Neighborhood profile: Greendell]]> Nuzzled against San Antonio Avenue in the southern outskirts of Palo Alto sleeps Greendell, a placid neighborhood of ranch-style and Eichler homes.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles']]> Unless you're an 8-year-old just getting acquainted with them, you probably made up your mind about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles long, long ago. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey']]> There's a moment in "The Hundred-Foot Journey" -- Lasse Hallstrom's film adaptation of Richard C. Morais's bestselling novel -- when the female ingenue gives the male ingenue a hot tip on how to prepare corn.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Into the Storm']]> Sometimes the line between real-life tragedy and action escapism is mighty fine. Wide-release movies have been known to get cold feet (post-9/11 and post-mass shootings) but always return to the well of exploiting our anxieties for cash.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Magic in the Moonlight']]> There have long been notable connections between filmmakers and magicians. Houdini became a film star, Orson Welles delighted in performing magic (sometimes on film), and stand-up performers turned actor-directors Steve Martin and Woody Allen have also shown a marked interest in magic and affectionately spoofing it.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy']]> If the denizens of the Island of Misfit Toys were packing heat, you might get the Guardians of the Galaxy, the heroes of the latest Marvel comic-book-to-screen extravaganza. As shepherded by director James Gunn ("Super"), "Guardians of the Galaxy" lurches along a bit awkwardly, but always with utterly dazzling visuals and a goofy gag at the ready.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Get On Up']]> James Brown's life was so darkly rich that it would take someone like Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola in his prime to come close to fully capturing it. Rather than let itself get bogged down in a pretentious display of over-ambition, however, "Get On Up" succeeds in providing an entertaining representation of Brown's rise to stardom.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Boyhood']]> You've watched actors grow up on screen before, whether it be Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor or Jerry Mathers (as the Beaver).]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lucy']]> Big-budget mind-expansion sci-fi has been a thing of late, with "Limitless," "Transcendence" and now Luc Besson's "Lucy" exploring what happens when humanity gains "access to previously unexplored cerebral zones."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Wish I Was Here']]> Gee, life is tough. But "We move forward -- that's the only direction God gave us." These and other Big Important Life Lessons can be yours for the low, low price of a movie ticket to "Wish I Was Here," Zach Braff's mawkish new comedy-drama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Sex Tape']]> There's a sequence early on in "Sex Tape" during which the married couple played by Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel try repeatedly to rekindle their sexual flame. Time after time, they almost get "there," but something keeps frustrating their enjoyment.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes']]> "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the latest in a series of modern Hollywood action reboots, which aim to transform a campy and droll movie into a gloomy and serious film. In the case of "Dawn," it has succeeded.]]> <![CDATA[Summer 2014 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features remodels that added style and pizzazz to dated spaces, updated a mid-century modern home and phased in remodeling for livability today while planning for future additions.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Tammy']]> By all rights, the new comedy "Tammy" would be the ultimate expression of Melissa McCarthy's comedy. Written by the film and TV star with her husband Ben Falcone -- who also directs -- "Tammy" should have all the right moves to drive McCarthy fans wild with pleasure. Instead, it's likely to inspire the question "Is this all there is?"]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Third Person']]> Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis ("Crash") raises navel-gazing to an art form with "Third Person," a "Crash"-y, borderline trashy entry in the genre of global interlocking stories. Those who scoffed at "Crash" will have even more to sniff at here, and the Best Picture's defenders may think twice after slogging through the 137 minutes of "Third Person."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Obvious Child']]> The title of "Obvious Child" refers to its heroine, another protagonist suffering from severely arrested development. What makes "Obvious Child" different is that this protagonist is a woman saddled with an unwanted pregnancy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Jersey Boys']]> Let's face it: "Jersey Boys" has never been high art. The wildly successful jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons ran on chart-topping hit songs and ample corny shtick in nominally telling the story of the beloved pop act. Now, it's all been folded into a Clint Eastwood film that's neither theatrical fish nor cinematic foul.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2']]> Children's movies don't really have to work very hard for their target audience, but of course, they're better when they do. A good children's film doesn't talk down to kids, and the animated adventure "How to Train Your Dragon 2" fits this bill.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '22 Jump Street']]> "Do the same thing!" Ice Cube bellows at Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum -- or, rather, Captain Dickson bellows at Schmidt and Jenko, the buddy-cops of "22 Jump Street."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway"]]> "Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway" is a terrific gift for American theater lovers who can't just hop a plane to Melbourne to see the 87-year-old Lansbury play Miss Daisy opposite the 82-year-old Jones.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Edge of Tomorrow']]> The new Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie "Edge of Tomorrow" uses the narrative structure of a video game to present a "what-if" scenario: What if we could keep pressing "restart" every time we fail?]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A Million Ways to Die in the West']]> There's no accounting for taste, they say, which might explain the $549 million worldwide gross for Seth MacFarlane's 2012 comedy "Ted." Something tells me the planet won't go quite so gaga for his Western-themed sophomore effort, "A Million Ways to Die in the West," but it's considerably better -- even within spitting distance of good.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Maleficent']]> In spite of a virtual feature-length stampede of CGI special effects, it's good old-fashioned movie-star wattage that stuns in "Maleficent." Disney's revisionist take on its own "Sleeping Beauty" almost certainly wouldn't have been made were it not for Angelina Jolie. If only the film around Jolie were worthy of her.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past']]> The best superhero movies in some way work against the grain. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," A loose adaptation of the beloved two-part comic book story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, does just that. With an outstanding cast and strong editing, the film is poignant and coherent.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blended']]> Sometimes Adam Sandler works for others (notably Paul Thomas Anderson and Judd Apatow) and makes an interesting and sophisticated film. Mostly, though, he churns out branded "Adam Sandler comedies," in which he doubles as both producer and star. "Blended" is one of the latter.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Godzilla']]> In one way or another, Godzilla has always represented humanity's arrogance. It's a concept that is artfully articulated in Gareth Edwards' latest addition to the franchise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Million Dollar Arm']]> A struggling sports agent works to teach a pair of hard-throwing cricket players from India to hit the strike zone in the hopes of making them big league ballplayers in "Million Dollar Arm." Weekly film critic Susan Tavernetti says the result is a heartwarming tale, which despite its lack of urgency is ultimately "charming and uplifting."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Palo Alto']]> The film "Palo Alto" universalizes its setting to an archetypal upscale suburbia, populated by disaffected white kids and their "free-range" parents (Gia Coppola shot the film in southern California). Freely adapting James Franco's stories, writer-director Coppola eschews melodrama, coaxing powerfully resonant performances from her young leads while never pushing style or content into blatant manipulations.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Belle']]> In much the same way films based on novels often send moviegoers to bookstores, films "based on a true story" often send moviegoers to historical accounts to find out what really happened, and perhaps that's the best that can be said for the simplifications of "Belle."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Neighbors']]> Even more so than its recent forebears (and this is saying something), the new comedy film "Neighbors" is all about the riff. With Seth Rogen taking center stage, that's not such a bad thing: a steady flow of one-liners improves the odds for laughs.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2']]> It feels a bit uncharitable to chide a blockbuster superhero movie for providing too much. But "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" certainly crams quite a bit in. And runs quite long. Still, Palo Alto Weekly film critic Peter Canavese says, the film is fun and doesn't embarrass itself. Plus, the kids (and kids at heart) are bound to love it.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Fading Gigolo']]> John Turturro's new film, "Fading Gigolo," has a lot going for it and "almost gets by on its idiosyncrasies," according to Weekly reviewer Peter Canavese. However, "the film never quite rises above a base curiosity value."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Other Woman']]> The women in "The Other Woman" get the equal opportunity, like the men in Judd Apatow movies, to behave like overgrown children, but the power they give their cheatin' man to occupy all their waking hours makes this comedy more sad than funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Particle Fever']]> Physicist turned filmmaker Mark Levinson gets (and thrillingly shares) VIP access to that moment, as those physicists rev up CERN's Large Hadron Collider to reproduce the conditions just after the Big Bang.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Transcendence']]> "Transcendence" is as silly as it is sinister. But with cinematographer Wally Pfister -- an Oscar winner for "Inception" -- in the director's chair, "Transcendence" has a sobriety of tone that effectively works against its inner mad scientist.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier']]> Photographer John Maloof was only looking for some historical photos of the Chicago area when he purchased a box of undeveloped negatives at an auction in the winter of 2007. He ended up discovering the work of a previously unknown artist named Vivian Maier.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Draft Day']]> It says something about the culture that the latest American sports-themed movie has almost nothing to do with game play and everything to do with wheeling and dealing: dealmaking itself has become a sport worthy of analysis.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rio 2']]> Rio 2, like its predecessor, is a run of the mill CGI-animated kid flick, Palo Alto film critic Peter Canavese says. Yet, while the story is "pretty much boilerplate at best and unpleasant at worst," the animation is a "colorful, advanced 3D spectacle." ]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Captain America: Winter Soldier']]> Give this to the films of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe": they have a consistency of quality. By treating their comic-book-derived films more as regular "issues" than film events, Marvel may never produce a film as great as "The Dark Knight," but it'll never sink to a low like "Batman and Robin" either. And there we have "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Raid 2: Berandal']]> There's a moment in "The Raid 2" when a goon begs, "Please have mercy," and his assailant responds by raising his pickax. It's that kind of movie. And I'm half-joking when I say that if you gleefully identify with the assailant in that scene, this is the movie for you. Others may feel more like the goon.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Bad Words']]> There's an old showbiz adage that directing is 90 percent casting, and that's also true of casting the directors themselves. Take "Bad Words," the directing debut of actor Jason Bateman.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Lunch Box']]> The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so they say. And so says writer-director Ritesh Batra in his debut feature "The Lunchbox." Though considerably more understated than a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie, one might call this wry-at-times romantic drama "You've Got Lunch."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Muppets Most Wanted']]> A self-aware sequel to the 2011 film "The Muppets," "Muppets Most Wanted" provides more testament to the enduring appeal of the post-Vaudeville likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the Great Gonzo, as well as the love and care they inspire in generation after generation of performers and audiences.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel']]> If there were a valid critique to be given of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" -- writer and director Wes Anderson's latest, highly stylized ode to a place that might have been -- it would be that Anderson has fallen victim to his own tropes. But you won't hear that here.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Need for Speed']]> Manifestly overlong at 130 minutes, "Need for Speed" includes some eye-popping racing scenes of some very pretty high-performance sports cars. But in a world with thousands of cable channels and six "Fast & Furious" movies (with a seventh on the way), fast cars aren't enough.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: '300: Rise of an Empire']]> Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp, this prequel-sequel-parallel plotline to Warner Brothers' 2006 hit will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Tim's Vermeer']]> Watching paint dry has never been more fascinating than it is in "Tim's Vermeer," a documentary produced by the magicians Penn & Teller.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Gloria']]> Audiences are programmed to expect escapism in movies about romantic relationships, whether they be foregone happily-ever-after comedies or doomed-to-death tragedies. But SebastiŠn Lelio's "Gloria" — Chile's official Oscar submission — insists upon unsettling realities without either stomping on its hero's indomitability or tacking on a deus ex machina.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Wind Rises']]> "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful." So said aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero served the Empire of Japan during WWII. Amid some controversy, living-legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has written and directed his own latest "something beautiful," this one a hand-drawn fantasia about Horikoshi: "The Wind Rises."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Pompeii']]> The new action picture "Pompeii" is a bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air and brainless.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'Winter's Tale']]> If your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse asks you to take them to "Winter's Tale" for Valentine's Day, my relationship advice is to immediately say yes. But leave a copy of this review lying around, and you may get a chance at making better plans.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'RoboCop']]> Word leaked two years ago that Josť Padilha, director of the new "RoboCop" remake, was struggling mightily against studio suits to achieve his vision for the film. "It is hell here," the Brazilian director told a filmmaker friend. Now the film has arrived, and it's fairly clear that this "RoboCop" is a product of unhappy compromise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Lego Movie']]> Kids' toys and games have a poor track record as the basis for films. Since the broad-ranging "Toy Story" franchise doesn't really count (and with apologies to "Transformers" fans), the bar hasn't been set any higher than "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," "Clue" or perhaps "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." But, in a minor miracle of pop cinema, "The Lego Movie" changes all that.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Monuments Men']]> Say this for George Clooney, film director: He consistently makes films for adults. So it's too bad that, with his new WWII film "The Monuments Men," he sometimes treats that adult audience like children in need of a spoon-feed.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Labor Day']]> One name for Hollywood that's stuck is "The Dream Factory," implying a big-screen projection of our fantasies. The trend of late favors the fantasies of tween-age boys (of all ages), as played out in "genre" pictures, but the new drama "Labor Day" steps out in other directions.
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<![CDATA[Review: The Invisible Woman]]> History, they say, is written by the victors. Indeed, popular English novelist Charles Dickens was a winner who jealously protected his legacy. But don't they also say the truth will out? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Nut Job']]> OK, so you didn't plan ahead, but don't worry. The new animated flick "The Nut Job" has squirreled away enough lame nut puns to get you through the winter. More than enough.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'August: Osage County']]> It may be 30 below in Cass County this week, but on screen it's 108 degrees in "August: Osage County." And as the old story goes, when the day is hot, there's no escaping a brawl.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lone Survivor']]> One word you won't see used to describe "Lone Survivor," the fact-based movie about a FUBAR Navy SEALs operation: "contemplative."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty']]> Reborn as a flashy but soppy new adventure directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film is sentimental claptrap about (to paraphrase a character) "courage and going into the unknown."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Past']]> In 2012, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" became the first Iranian picture to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. This is his follow-up.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Wolf of Wall Street']]> "The Wolf of Wall Street" charges out of the gate with immediate evidence of Martin Scorsese's skill, abetted by Terence Winter's whip-crack screenplay and Thelma Schoonmaker's brilliant editing. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Her']]> All people in romantic relationships want to know their love is real. But when half of the intelligence involved is artificial, can love be real? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Saving Mr. Banks']]> There's enough spin at work in "Saving Mr. Banks" -- a Walt Disney Pictures account of the making of the 1964 Disney musical "Mary Poppins" -- to make audiences dizzy, which is essential to the film's design.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis']]> Like a rolling stone, singer-guitarist Llewyn Davis tumbles through the Greenwich Village folk-music scene of the '60s. It's the Coen Brothers' most compelling character study to date.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug']]> Peter Jackson's grandiose vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth reaches a crescendo with this thrilling second installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Great Beauty']]> It is, perhaps, impossible to make an ode to Rome without invoking Fellini. Though Paolo Sorrentino does so only indirectly in "The Great Beauty," it's impossible not to think of how he pales in comparison to the maestro.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Out of the Furnace']]> What, one might ask, is the point of understated melodrama? It's a bit like decaf coffee or near-beer. But understated melodrama, for the most part, is the stuff of "Out of the Furnace."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Homefront']]> Standard Statham action gets a solid acting boost courtesy of James Franco in the Louisiana-based "Homefront." We can put this in the "co-stars you thought you would never see" category.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Nebraska']]> It's never too late to play a few grace notes. With Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," this proves true for two septuagenarians: addled heartland grump Woodrow "Woody" Grant and the Hollywood royal who plays him, Bruce Dern.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Philomena']]> The film "Philomena," starring Judi Dench, takes the perspective of a wronged Irish mother coerced, in 1952, into giving her baby away. Co-producer and co-screenwriter Steve Coogan plays a journalist investigating the story.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'The Book Thief']]> There will, of course, never be enough Nazi Germany-set dramas to fill the awards-season maw. Unfortunately, "The Book Thief" is conspicuously phony in its ruthless attempt to manipulate audiences.]]> <![CDATA[School documents and source materials]]> In addition to documents and other original source material linked within news stories, other material obtained from the Palo Alto school district in the course of our reporting that may be of interest the public is posted here.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Delivery Man']]> This tale of an accidental (multiple) father manages to be high-concept and squishy at the same time. At least the star power of Vince Vaughn adds some comedy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire']]> It would be easy to damn "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with the faint praise of calling it a competent sequel, which it is. But the film gives audiences more to chew on than its predecessor.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club']]> Classic "Oscar bait," this film falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny and scary, bristling with the most compelling drama of all: the grasping will to live and make it count.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Armstrong Lie']]> The title of Alex Gibney's film derives from a 2005 headline in the French paper "L'Equipe." The paper alleged what many had assumed to be true: Banned substances had fueled Armstrong's endurance and speed.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color']]> This movie is billed as "The story of a young lesbian couple's beginning, middle and possible end." It's also an NC-17 film with a seven-minute sex scene that has made it cinema non grata in Idaho.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Last Vegas']]> At first glance, "Last Vegas" seems like "The Hangover" for the 60-and-over crowd (minus the raunch). But the class-act cast and a solid script keep the film fresh and funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Kill Your Darlings']]> An oft-overlooked chapter in literary history comes to life in "Kill Your Darlings," a lurid yet penetrating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'About Time']]> Though you'll feel like you've seen this movie before, the film's strength is the ensemble cast effortlessly exuding affection for one another.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '12 Years A Slave']]> This is the story of a man: another tale of physical and emotional survival that, unlike "All is Lost" and "Gravity," derives from a true story.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Muscle Shoals']]> There must be something in the water. That cliche gets taken seriously in "Muscle Shoals," the documentary about two legendary recording studios nestled near the Tennessee River.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'All Is Lost']]> Batten down the hatches for the unusual new sailing drama "All Is Lost." The only actor on screen for 106 minutes is Robert Redford, and words are pared down to a bare minimum, but all is riveting.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A.C.O.D.']]> "A.C.O.D." stands for "Adult Children of Divorce," a demographic big enough to ensure this dry-witted indie comedy a wide audience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Fifth Estate']]> This slickly edited drama plays like the account of a jilted lover, with the would-be dazzle attempting to misdirect from the ordinariness of the personal melodrama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Romeo and Juliet']]> Call it the "Drunk History" version of "Romeo and Juliet." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Captain Phillips']]> The "real-life thriller" "Captain Phillips" may be obvious and it may be clumsy, but it's also a little bit thoughtful, and there's never a dull moment. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Runner Runner']]> Sadly, there's no actual running here -- or anything else that might raise your pulse. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Gravity']]> Life is one hell of a ride, as George Clooney's character puts it. So is "Gravity." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rush']]> The director of "Frost/Nixon," Ron Howard, brings us in "Rush" another Morgan match-up: 1970s Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Enough Said']]> Two powerhouse performances and some nicely written scenes that, in tandem, provide some of the most enjoyable romantic and comedic moments of the year. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Prisoners']]> An array of A-list talent tries its best to elevate a flawed screenplay into a work of moral complexity. -S.T.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Afternoon Delight']]> Jill Soloway's new comedy-drama about clambering to stay above the yawning pit of middle-aged ennui. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Short Term 12']]> Writer-director Destin Cretton bears witness to the agony and the ecstasy of foster care in "Short Term 12," a film inspired by his own experiences working in a group home. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Riddick']]> The man with the night-vision eyes is back. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Closed Circuit']]> You've seen worse than the new boilerplate legal thriller "Closed Circuit," but you've also seen a lot better. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Grandmaster']]> If there's one thing not to expect from cinematic grandmaster Wong Kar Wai, it's a driving plot. But that's what we love about the languorous director. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Austenland']]> The new romantic comedy "Austenland" casts a skeptical eye on the fantasy of romantic comedy itself, dating all the way back to the divine Miss Jane. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The World's End']]> You can go home again, but it's going to involve drinking. That's the starting point of "The World's End," the latest from the most exciting team in film comedy. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Spectacular Now']]> A mature film tenderly performed by its young leads and skillfully adapted from Tim Tharp's YA novel. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Jobs']]> This biopic about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs gets the look right in design and casting. But even Jobs, a dedicated aesthete, knew looks weren't everything. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'We're the Millers']]> Nothing to see here -- please move along. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Elysium']]> Matt Damon gives a galvanizing performance that reminds us why he's a movie star. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '2 Guns']]> By not being instantly dismissible with a comparison to some other movie, "2 Guns" wins some audience goodwill right out of the gate. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Jasmine']]> Cate Blanchett is a force of nature: the beating heart that keeps the conspicuously schematic picture alive and kicking, and a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Still Mine']]> Like its aging hero, the straightforward "Still Mine" has its integrity. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Fruitvale Station']]> Writer-director Ryan Coogler wants us to know BART shooting victim Oscar Grant III as more than a victim frozen in time. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[VIDEO/MULTIMEDIA: Palo Alto Online archive]]> A compilation of video content from the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online staff.]]>