PaloAltoOnline.com http://www.paloaltoonline.com If it is local and useful, it is on PaloAltoOnline.com. en-us <![CDATA[No medals for SHP, M-A or Menlo boys in North-South polo]]> Sacred Heart Prep, Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton won't be bringing home any medals from the ninth annual North-South Water Polo Challenge that wraps up on Saturday at the SHP and M-A pools.]]> <![CDATA[East Palo Alto man arrested after allegedly peeping into motel window]]> Palo Alto police arrested a man on Thursday, Oct. 23, for allegedly peeping into a motel window while parents were changing the clothes of their two young daugthers, according to a police department press release.]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: Sterling Park litigation, Cubberley Community Center lease]]> A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Oct. 27.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto, Menlo-Atherton girls wrap up tennis titles]]> Thursday's prep roundup
The Palo Alto and Menlo-Atherton girls tennis teams both have one regular-season league match remaining next week. Those matches, however, won't have much impact on the rest of the season.]]>
<![CDATA[Downtown residents split over parking-permit program]]> As Palo Alto prepares to launch its long-awaited Residential Parking Permit Program, residents in the congested downtown neighborhoods are almost evenly split about the ambitious effort, which would require drivers to buy permits to park on residential streets.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto schools mark Unity Day]]> A visit to any one of Palo Alto's 17 schools Thursday would have shown their own version of events to celebrate Unity Day, a nationwide bullying awareness campaign created in 2006 by the National Bullying Prevention Center. ]]> <![CDATA[New direction proposed for Palo Alto's shuttle program]]> Palo Alto's tiny fleet of city-run shuttle buses may soon see a dramatic expansion, including a doubling of buses on the popular Crosstown route and a brand new service that would link the downtown Caltrain station with Mountain View businesses.]]> <![CDATA[Government officials attempt to influence aircraft regulations]]> Palo Alto and other government officials have so far been fighting an uphill battle to decrease airplane noise over their cities. For nearly 20 years, Palo Alto officials have been trying to join the San Francisco International Airport Community Roundtable, a group that represents 19 cities within San Mateo County; San Francisco and San Mateo counties; the San Francisco Airport Commission; and The Association of Governments of San Mateo County Airport Land Use Committee.]]> <![CDATA[Residents have growing concerns over small commuter planes]]> Fledgling airline Surf Air's marketing slogan is "Disruptive Innovation -- A Revolutionary Approach to Air Travel." Some residents in Menlo Park, Redwood City and Atherton say it sums up their experience with the commuter airline's turbo-propeller planes.]]> <![CDATA[Residents, city officials gear up to fight increased airplane noise]]> Angry local residents say the Midpeninsula's skies are turning into an aeronautic superhighway and that federal levels for acceptable noise, which date to the 1970s, are obsolete and need to be updated -- pronto. ]]> <![CDATA[You talking to me?]]> At this point in American history, we'd like to believe we've come a long way on the subject of race. But viewers of this engaging satire will have to confess we've still got a long way to go.]]> <![CDATA[The tortured artist]]> What does it take to be "one of the greats?" That's the question at the dark heart of "Whiplash," an indie "Amadeus" set in a New York City music conservatory.]]> <![CDATA[A taste of fall]]> Local establishments are celebrating sweater weather by crafting new drink menus featuring a variety of autumn-appropriate cocktails.]]> <![CDATA[Book Talk]]> This month, the City of Palo Alto Library launches California Reads book discussions, La Entrada Middle School hosts a used book fair and a Stanford English professor publishes a book on failure.]]> <![CDATA[Long-distance collaborators]]> After years of working together long distance, two writers will meet face-to-face for the first time to promote their new novels at Bay Area bookstores.]]> <![CDATA[Worth a Look]]> This week, indulge your wanderlust at a Foothill College photography exhibition, soak up the masterful jazz stylings of Arturo Sandoval at the JCC, and catch a mold-breaking puppet show at Stanford Live.]]> <![CDATA[A ghostly tale for the season]]> Dragon Theatre brings us a chilling little horror story for the Halloween season, and does it with enough aplomb to give you goosebumps.]]> <![CDATA[Visual raptures]]> The Windhover Meditation Center, which opened earlier this month on the Stanford campus, houses works by the late professor of art Nathan Oliveira.]]> <![CDATA[YouTube and beyond]]> On Saturday, Nov. 1, Stanford grads Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn return to campus to play the Bing Auditorium. Their band Pomplamoose has earned a loyal fanbase through posting clever music videos on YouTube.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford's former No. 1 class has earned that volleyball spot]]> When Stanford junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess takes the time to look around the locker room, she's amazed at the collection of all-stars surrounding her. Burgess was part of a recruiting class in 2012 that was considered the top recruiting class in the nation by a wide margin at the time and four of the five newcomers started as freshmen.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Oct. 22]]> ]]> <![CDATA[The Greenhouse]]> Susie Mitchell describes The Greenhouse, a set of two adjoining condominium complexes at the southernmost end of Palo Alto, as just the perfect location.]]> <![CDATA[Cardinal men picked for fifth in Pac-12 hoops poll]]> Stanford, which reached the Sweet Sixteen last year, was tabbed to finish fifth in this year's Pac-12 Conference Coaches Poll released Thursday.
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<![CDATA[City seeks outreach help for Our Palo Alto initiative]]> With the Our Palo Alto initiative stretching into its second year, city officials are preparing to hire an outreach consultant to assist planners in soliciting public input about local planning efforts.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto police seek armed robbers in jewelry heist]]> A man and woman suspected of robbing a jewelry store in Palo Alto at gunpoint on Wednesday, Oct. 22, escaped with about 25 high-end watches valued at about $120,000, according to Palo Alto police.]]> <![CDATA[Some things don't change: Stanford tabbed Pac-12 favorite]]> The roster has changed over the years but there's been one constant this millennium: Stanford being voted the preseason favorite in Pac-12 Conference women's basketball coaches poll.
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<![CDATA[Darrin Nelson to be honored for Hall of Fame induction]]> Former Stanford All-American football player and 2014 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inductee Darrin Nelson will be honored during Saturday's Stanford home game against Oregon State, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m.]]> <![CDATA[North-South tourney offers top water polo talent in nation]]> Harvard-Westlake is regarded as the No. 1 boys water team in America. The Wolverines are ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section and are off to the best start in program history at 18-0.]]> <![CDATA[Paly names former assistant as new head wrestling coach]]> Braumon Creighton has been the assistant wrestling coach at Palo Alto High since 2011. It's a position he no longer fills, because Creighton is now the team's new head coach -- replacing the veteran Dave Duran.]]> <![CDATA[Menlo School girls upset in WBAL volleyball action]]> Tuesday's prep roundup
The Menlo School girls suffered their first loss in West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) volleyball action as visiting Harker rallied from a 2-0 deficit to post a 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-13 victory on Tuesday night.]]>
<![CDATA[Gunn water polo teams move closer to defending their titles]]> While Gunn is celebrating its 50th year anniversary this school year, the Titans' water polo program may have something special to celebrate, as well.]]> <![CDATA[Shaw's Stanford coaching start comparable to Pop Warner]]> In the long history of Stanford football, only Pop Warner's nine-year run as coach, between 1924-32, compares favorably to David Shaw's current run. Warner was 37-8-3 over his first 48 games, while Shaw checks in at 38-10 heading into Saturday's 12:30 p.m. Pac-12 game against visiting Oregon State.
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<![CDATA[Stanford freshman captures USTA/ITA regional singles title]]> Stanford freshman Tom Fawcett captured his first career singles title by defeating Santa Clara's Ashot Khacharyan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the final of the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships on Tuesday at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.]]> <![CDATA[Menlo School to induct five new members into its Hall of Fame]]> Menlo School will have five new inductees for its Athletics Hall of Fame to highlight homecoming week. The induction ceremony is Friday at the Athletic Center at 5:30 p.m., following the Burlingame at Menlo football game at 3 p.m.]]> <![CDATA[Luck shines brightest for ex-Stanford players in Week 7]]> Andrew Luck kept the Indianapolis Colts rolling with their AFC-best fifth straight win by picking apart the Cincinnati Bengals for 344 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-0 blanking on Sunday.]]> <![CDATA[Deja vu all over again?]]> Home prices along the Peninsula continue to rise with no indication of coming down any time soon, according to real estate experts.]]> <![CDATA[FALL REAL ESTATE 2014]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Stanford, California fit to be tied in Pac-12 soccer]]> Zach Batteer scored late in regulation to bring the Stanford men's soccer team even with visiting California in a Pac-12 Conference match that ended in a 1-1 draw Monday night.
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<![CDATA[Stanford freshman Fawcett reaches ITA tourney final]]> Freshman Tom Fawcett will play for his first career singles title on Tuesday during the final day of competition at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford athletes earn weekly honors in three different sports]]> Stanford volleyball junior setter Madi Bugg, cross-country runner Maksim Korolev and water polo goalie Drew Holland all have received weekly honors following standout performances last week. ]]> <![CDATA[Stanford falls from AP Top 25, 72-week streak ends]]> Stanford fell from the Associated Press Top 25 rankings on Sunday for the first time since 2010, snapping a school-record streak of 72 consecutive weeks ranked in the poll. But the Cardinal (4-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12 Conference) has bigger concerns heading into its final five regular season games.]]> <![CDATA[Lacy, Hill run to runner-up finishes at Monterey Bay race]]> Weekend prep roundup
Menlo School senior Lizzie Lacy and Sacred Heart Prep senior Daniel Hill both ran to second-place finishes during races Saturday at the Monterey Bay Invitational at Toro Park in Salinas. ]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford freshmen reach USTA/ITA tennis semifinals]]> Freshmen Tom Fawcett and David Hsu will square off in an all-Stanford semifinal when play continues Monday morning at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.]]> <![CDATA[Dramatic finish means a home golf title for Stanford]]> Cardinal corner
Mariah Stackhouse calmly sank a 33-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Stanford Intercollegiate to secure a share of the team title for the Stanford women's golf team Sunday. Stackhouse's putt completed her even-par 71 round and helped the Cardinal rebound to tie with USC for top honors among the 17-team field.
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<![CDATA[Cardinal fumbles away chance at Pac-12 football victory]]> Stanford had trouble running the ball and holding onto it was also problematic. The result was another Pac-12 Conference football loss, this time to host Arizona State, 26-10, on Saturday night.
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<![CDATA[Stanford men swim to season opening victory]]> Cardinal corner
The Stanford men's swimming team opened its season with a convincing 179-106 victory over visiting Hawaii on Saturday.
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<![CDATA[Holland helps save the day as Stanford takes down No. 1]]> Drew Holland recorded a career-high 20 saves and B.J. Churnside scored the game-winner with 41 seconds left to lift the Stanford men's water polo team to an important 11-10 victory over top-ranked USC in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday at Avery Aquatic Center.]]> <![CDATA[SHP overcomes a big hurdle in quest for PAL Bay Division title]]> Friday's prep football
For the past five years, Terra Nova has stood in Sacred Heart Prep's way of a PAL Bay Division football championship. That streak, however, ended Friday night as the Gators rolled to a 49-28 victory in Pacifica.]]>
<![CDATA[Stackhouse brushes off tough golf start at Stanford Intercollegiate]]> Stanford roundup
Led by Mariah Stackhouse's 4-under, the Stanford women's golf team opened the Stanford Intercollegiate, hosted by Condoleezza Rice, Friday with a 2-under 282 through 18 holes.
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<![CDATA[Menlo School boys hold off Bellarmine in water polo OT]]> If it hasn't already, the balance of power in boys water polo apparently has shifted from Division I of the Central Coast Section to Division II. Cases in point: Division II Sacred Heart Prep knocked off Division I St. Francis on Wednesday and Division I Menlo School toppled Division I Bellarmine on Friday.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford takes individual men's cross-country title in Wisconsin]]> Maksim Korolev, a Stanford graduate student in management science and engineering, made a bold move with 300 meters left to win the men's division at the high-powered Wisconsin Invitational cross country meet Friday in Madison.]]> <![CDATA[Menlo's Lacy, SHP's Hill run to titles in WBAL cross country]]> Thursday's prep roundup
Menlo School's Lizzie Lacy and Sacred Heart Prep's Daniel Hill ran away with individual honors to highlight the West Bay Athletic League's second cross-country meet of the season on Thursday at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. ]]>
<![CDATA[Gunn girls wrap up SCVAL golf title by downing rival Paly]]> The Gunn girls had to share the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League regular-season golf title with rival Palo Alto last year. That's won't be the case this season following a season sweep of the Vikings.]]> <![CDATA[The Grand Cru of wine shops]]> At Vin Vino, owner Victor Pugliese specializes in the wines of Burgundy but pours glasses for every palette.]]> <![CDATA[Shop Talk: Bloomies goes high-tech, Common Ground closes]]> A brand new Bloomingdale's opens at the Stanford Shopping Center, Mac's Smoke Shop and Gryphon Stringed Instruments celebrate big birthdays, and Mandarin Gourmet and Common Ground both close.]]> <![CDATA[The butcher, the baker]]> TheatreWorks sets Steven Sondheim's 1979 musical "Sweeney Todd" in WWII London in the midst of the blitz.]]> <![CDATA[An open book]]> For nearly 20 years, Palo Alto's Bay Area Book Artists has fostered a love of handmade books.]]> <![CDATA[Fury]]> Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman shine in "Fury," a throwback combat movie that offers vivid performances and a decidedly anti-war sentiment.]]> <![CDATA[The Boxtrolls]]> "The Boxtrolls" falls into the category of classical fairy tale, with its shadowy world inhabited by innocents in contention with monstrous adults.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES -- Oct. 15]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Positively Green]]> On a daily basis, I am still awestruck with the beauty and bounty of the world we live in with its deliciously moderate weather year-round, and gorgeous hills beautifully covered with lovely native landscaping and trees for as far as the eye can see.]]> <![CDATA[Our election endorsements]]> Read the recommendations of the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online for the November 4, 2014 election.]]> <![CDATA[Fall 2014 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features remodels that beautifully renovated an historical home, that added space set among the trees, that created a seamless second-story addition and that showed how a do-it-yourselfer can do quite a lot.]]> <![CDATA[The Judge]]> Here comes "The Judge." It's been a while since we've seen a movie so…Grisham-y. But here we are again with big movie stars and character actors facing courtroom cases converging with personal crises -- including, crucially, one of conscience.]]> <![CDATA[Kill the Messenger]]> This weak-tea drama follows San Jose Mercury News senior investigative reporter Gary Webb as he investigates the CIA's involvement in domestic crack cocaine sales that are funding the rebels in Nicaragua. ]]> <![CDATA[2014 Election Central: Palo Alto City Council]]> All the latest news on the 2014 Palo Alto City Council race. With five seats open, 12 candidates are making their bids: Wayne Douglass, Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, John Fredrich, Karen Holman, A.C. Johnston, Lydia Kou, Seelam Reddy, Greg Scharff, Nancy Shepherd, Mark Weiss and Cory Wolbach.]]> <![CDATA[2014 Election Central: Palo Alto School Board]]> All the latest news on the 2014 Palo Alto school board campaign. With two seats available and no incumbents running, five candidates are vying for spots on the Palo Alto Board of Education: Terry Godfrey, Catherine Crystal Foster, Ken Dauber, Gina Dalma and Jay Blas Cabrera.]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> The real estate industry faces many challenges. The industry is made up of agents from all walks of life and educational backgrounds that range from a high school diploma to graduate degrees from the world's best law and business schools.]]> <![CDATA[Gone Girl]]> David Fincher's film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's runaway bestseller goes from intriguingly puzzling to downright alienating.]]> <![CDATA[Pride]]> In telling the little-known story of how gay and lesbian activists in 1980s England supported striking miners, Matthew Warchus' "Pride" pays heartwarming testament to the many faces of solidarity.]]> <![CDATA[The Equalizer]]> Denzel Washington's commanding performance slightly elevates the immoral message and boilerplate plot of this violent vengeance fantasy.]]> <![CDATA[A Walk Among the Tombstones]]> Writer-director Scott Frank brings clever writing and moody atmosphere to this crime thriller centered on ex-cop and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder, played by Liam Neeson.]]> <![CDATA[The Maze Runner]]> A group of teens struggle for survival in a dystopian world in this film, which, like the novel on which it's based, can be read as an allegory of puberty.]]> <![CDATA[The Skeleton Twins]]> Erstwhile "SNL" cast-mates Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as adult siblings Maggie and Milo who struggle with depression in this likeable Craig Johnson dramedy.]]> <![CDATA[My Old Lady]]> Kevin Kline shines in playwright Israel Horovitz's directorial debut about a down-and-out New Yorker forced to face his demons in Paris.]]> <![CDATA[Mary Kom]]> Mary Kom holds enough world boxing championship titles and influence in the sport to merit a keen cinematic look at her career's progression. However, this film botches that opportunity, succumbing instead to the common pitfalls of its genre, and topping it off with an inelegant style of execution.]]> <![CDATA[Dolphin Tale 2]]> "Dolphin Tale 2" will no doubt be a delightful experience for animal-loving tots. But for the adults who bring them, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a surreal experience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood']]> There's something telling about "The Last of Robin Hood" being the first project to emerge from Lifetime Films. The sordid tale of Errol Flynn's last days clinching with a Lolita and soaking in booze and drugs, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's by-the-numbers account technically qualifies as a true crime tale, and seems to exist mostly because of its marketable prurience: a hallmark of Lifetime's infamous cable movies.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Love Is Strange']]> Marital domesticity is tough enough. Add in the obstacle of Kafkaesque sociopolitical forces -- still the lot of many gay couples -- and any marriage would feel the strain.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Trip to Italy']]> Comedy sequel "The Trip to Italy" is almost exactly like its predecessor "The Trip," and for the most part, that's a good thing.]]> <![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[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[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[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 Sebastián 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 José 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[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.]]>