PaloAltoOnline.com http://www.paloaltoonline.com If it is local and useful, it is on PaloAltoOnline.com. en-us <![CDATA[Williams defeats Ivanovic in a battle of champions]]> Bank of the West Classic
World No. 1 Serena Williams managed to bounce back from a first set loss to beat fifth-seeded and 11th-ranked Ana Ivanovic, a former No. 1 player, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, on Friday night at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center.
]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Shopping Center announces further renovation plans]]> Stanford Shopping Center will enjoy a shopping spree of its own over the next two years, spending millions of dollars to bring 20 to 30 small shops, a handful of restaurants and new outdoor gathering spaces, officials said Thursday at an architectural unveiling ceremony.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto psychologist sentenced, fined for tax evasion]]> A Berkeley psychiatrist with a practice in Palo Alto was sentenced Thursday, July 31, to more than two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $593,513 to the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration for tax evasion and theft of government property, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced.]]> <![CDATA[Hanson brings her assistant coach on board at Stanford]]> Of local note
Stanford softball coach Rachel Hanson didn't have to look very far for her first assistant coach. She hired her former assistant at Dartmouth to accompany her to Stanford. Dorian Shaw, a Michigan grad, was formally named assistant coach on Thursday.]]>
<![CDATA[Police arrest Werry Park groping suspect]]> Palo Alto police arrested Thursday morning a man who they allege sexually harassed a woman in Werry Park last month and days later committed a similar crime on the Stanford University campus.]]> <![CDATA[PASA's Ogren splashes to win in 400 IM at Junior Nationals]]> Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics made its first big splash at the Speedo Junior National Championships as Curtis Ogren won the 400-meter IM on Thursday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Complex in Irvine.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford 14A girls win twice to open National JO water polo]]> The Stanford Water Polo Club opened the girls' competition at the National Junior Olympics on Thursday, with seven teams playing in five divisions. After a total of 17 matches, only one team remained unbeaten.]]> <![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[Hennessy to 'undervalued' teachers: 'Tell people about what you do']]> Addressing the burnout rate of young teachers in high-poverty schools is a goal of a new Stanford University summer institute that wraps up its inaugural two-week session today.]]> <![CDATA[Regional Indian cuisine still shines]]> Good news: Amber India is moving to modern quarters in Los Altos, just across the Mountain View border, with plenty of parking. Even better news: The old location still provides the excellent food and service that introduced the South Bay to white-tablecloth, multi-regional Indian cuisine in 1994.]]> <![CDATA[Shop Talk]]> In this week's Shop Talk column: a local car wash ribs stop kicks it up a notch; Palo Alto's florists continue to disappear; and a local father starts his own coding school for kids. ]]> <![CDATA[In wake of accident, a call for forum on seniors and driving safety]]> A Palo Alto geriatric social worker hopes to organize a community forum on driving safety and the area's growing population of seniors in the wake of Thursday's accident on University Avenue involving a driver in his 90s.]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: Water restrictions, Comp Plan, Varsity Theatre]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Worth A Look]]> Need weekend plans? Celebrate Japanese culture at the 63rd Obon Festival, boogie down at the Twilight Concert Series or get in touch with your inner theater geek at Shakespeare in the Park in Redwood City.]]> <![CDATA[Illuminating art in a high-tech culture]]> The relevance of art in a world dominated by technology and science was a question that confronted visionary art theorist and artist Gyorgy Kepes in 1946, and art historians say it is still relevant more than ever in the digital age -- and especially in Silicon Valley.]]> <![CDATA[Editorial: Skeptical about 'net zero']]> In a desire to explore what it describes as an innovative planning concept that could lead the state and nation in a new approach to managing development, the Palo Alto planning staff has opened up a potential can of worms that we hope the city council will approach with extreme caution.]]> <![CDATA[Local nonprofit aids in Central American immigrant crisis]]> Though current debate over what to do with the tens of thousands of children surging across the U.S. border from violence-torn countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras largely focuses on Washington and the cities where the youth are being housed, the issue touched down locally years ago. ]]> <![CDATA[Stanford's Zhao loses match to 11th-ranked Ivanovic]]> Bank of the West Classic
Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao took her experience at the Bank of the West Classic and flew off to Montreal. Venus Williams will be sticking around for at least another day.]]>
<![CDATA[American women volleyball team heads for Turkey]]> The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team will be in search of its sixth FIVB World Grand Prix title when it opens the tournament's first of three preliminary round weekends on Friday in Ankara, Turkey.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford, 49ers on same page when it comes to chasing titles]]> Jim Harbaugh, David Shaw, Shayne Skov and A.J. Tarpley shared the same stadium for a few hours Wednesday. All of them share the same goal.]]> <![CDATA[SHP grad completes a dream by swimming English Channel]]> Heather Smith helped the Sacred Heart Prep girls water polo team win three straight Central Coast Section Division II titles. That was easy compared to what she endured last week while becoming the 452nd woman in recorded history to swim the English Channel.]]> <![CDATA[Two people require surgery after car crashes into Palo Alto restaurant]]> Two people who were injured, one critically, required surgery after a silver Nissan crashed into a downtown Palo Alto cafe on Thursday. The accident, which injured six people including the driver, prompted police to shut down a section of University Avenue to traffic.]]> <![CDATA[Holman announces bid for second City Council term]]> Vowing to improve government transparency and protect residents from the impacts of new development, City Councilwoman Karen Holman announced at a candidates party Wednesday night her intention to seek a second term.]]> <![CDATA[Howe, Ogren, Liang splash into Junior National swim meet]]> Of local note
Ally Howe and Curtis Ogren set national private school swim records this past season, Howe in the 100-yard backstroke and Ogren in the 200 IM. While the two were big fish during their final high school seasons at Sacred Heart Prep and St. Francis, respectively, this week's Speedo Junior National Championships is another story.]]>
<![CDATA[Vickery writing a new chapter, Serena turning the page]]> Bank of the West Classic
American qualifier Sachia Vickery started a new chapter in her professional tennis career Wednesday, reaching her first career WTA Tour quarterfinal. Serena Williams turned the page on an odd withdrawal from Wimbledon to win a second-round match.]]>
<![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - July 30]]> ]]> <![CDATA[V is for 'Victory']]> The dedication of Palo Alto's Museum of American Heritage to the history of technological innovation from 1750 to 1950 is reflected today both inside and out, with a newly thriving replica of a "Victory Garden."]]> <![CDATA[Stanford 14A squad earns bronze to pace efforts at JOs]]> Earning the only medal for the Stanford Water Polo Club didn't earn head coach Clarke Weatherspoon a dunking from his 14A team on Tuesday on the final day of the boys' National Junior Olympics at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford Athletics adds eight new members to Hall of Fame]]> Eight new members of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted in October, adding to a long and distinguished list of individuals honored at the school known as the Home of Champions.]]> <![CDATA[Zhao advances to the second round of the Bank of the West]]> Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao was in control of her match with Yanina Wickmeyer on Tuesday in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic, leading 6-2, 1-0, with five aces. That's when Wickmeyer retired with an illness.
]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo College football welcomes huge recruiting class]]> Menlo College football coach Mark Grieb and recruiting coordinator Vince Freitas announced the 32-player recruiting class that will join the Oaks this training camp. The class includes 29 true freshman and three transfers.
]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford's Solomon pulls up in semis at Commonwealth Games]]> Cardinal corner
Stanford's Steven Solomon advanced out of his first-round heat in the 400 while competing for Australia at the Commonwealth Games on Monday in Glascow, Scotland. He did not finish his semifinal race on Tuesday because of a left hamstring injury.]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford boys have two shots at JO water polo medals]]> Two teams from the Stanford Water Polo Club will play for medals at the National Junior Olympics on Tuesday at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. While both had hoped for gold, the best each squad can earn will be bronze.]]> <![CDATA[Ahn takes another step on her professional career path]]> Bank of the West
Stanford grad Kristie Ahn spent a lot of time in the Taube Family Tennis Center honing her craft. She was back Monday playing here for the first time as a professional.]]>
<![CDATA[Bronze medal highlights Stanford efforts at U23 rowing]]> Stanford senior Kaess Smit helped push the USA men's eight to a bronze medal on the final day of the Under-23 World Championships in Varese, Italy. Smit, sitting four seat in the U.S. boat, provided the necessary power for the Americans to medal in the event.]]> <![CDATA[Venus Williams headlines Tuesday's Bank of West tennis]]> Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will highlight the Tuesday night session against qualifier Paula Kania in the Bank of the West Classic. ]]> <![CDATA[Works from major American artists gifted to Stanford]]> Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center has acquired three significant gifts of American art, securing a solid place in the museum's permanent collection of major 20th century works.]]> <![CDATA[Two Stanford teams open National J0s with 4-0 records]]> The Stanford Water Polo Club's 18U A and 14U A teams take unbeaten records into the third day of the National Junior Olympics after sweeping four matches during the weekend in the Mid-Peninsula area.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford grad Gaffney suffers a season-ending injury]]> Pro football
Stanford grad Tyler Gaffney suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee on Friday and will miss his first professional season with the Carolina Panthers.]]>
<![CDATA[Two gold medals and a wild card for Stanford athletes]]> Of local note
Stanford grad Kerri Walsh Jennings is one of the most decorated women's volleyball players in the world. Incoming Cardinal freshman Olivia Baker is just beginning to make her mark in track and field.]]>
<![CDATA[Zhao, Ahn to play in main draw at Bank of the West]]> Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao won a qualifying match on Sunday afternoon, beating Russia's Marina Shamayko, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, to earn a spot in the main draw of the Bank of the West Classic at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, which gets underway Monday.
]]>
<![CDATA[Three Stanford athletes qualify for the final in their sport]]> Of local note
Reaching the championship match of their respective sports is nothing new for Stanford grads Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Gibbs. Incoming freshman Olivia Baker appears to have the same gene.
]]>
<![CDATA[Hogan is named to Johnny Unitas award watch list]]> Stanford senior quarterback Kevin Hogan is among 27 preseason candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, it was announced Saturday.
]]>
<![CDATA[Grammy winner Shawn Colvin performing at Stanford Aug. 2]]> When Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin comes to Stanford Bing Concert Hall on Aug. 2, she'll bring just two things: herself and her guitar.]]> <![CDATA[Welcome to the chef's table]]> There's a room in Palo Alto where foodies gather once a month around a long, communal table to experience an intimate, specially curated meal. The menu is unique, different and unpredictable, entirely in the hands of the chef each time. People have been returning again and again for more. ]]> <![CDATA[Worth A Look]]> Worth A Look this week: the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival comes to town; a two-day flood of blues and barbecue coming to Redwood City; Foothill Music Theatre puts on a Broadway classic.
]]>
<![CDATA[Mobile digital art goes mainstream]]> A three-day event coming up at Palo Alto's Pacific Art League, the mDAC -- Mobile Digital Art Exhibition and Mobile Digital Arts & Creativity Summit -- will give viewers and participants a chance to experience how far the boundaries between art and technology are expanding.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES -- July 23]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Palo Verde]]> Take a bike ride down Louis Road in the heart of Palo Verde and you'll notice a recurring motif. Geometric planes and simple silhouettes of Eichler houses, one after the other, under the comfortable tree cover.]]> <![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[Better with beer]]> The second annual Silicon Valley Beer Week will kick off next Friday, July 25, with brew-centric festivities lasting through Aug. 2. A total of 75 local venues, restaurants and breweries will host more than 200 events from tap takeovers and food pairings to educational forums and more. ]]> <![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[Updating a mid-century 'modern']]> The couple had barely committed to relocating to California from New York in 2012 when they spotted a Brown & Kaufman home, just begging for a redo.]]> <![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[Real Estate Matters]]> If you've been in or around the homes market in Palo Alto during the past couple years, you've probably heard about the intense bidding wars brought on by too many buyers and too few homes up for sale.]]> <![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.
]]>
<![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.
]]>
<![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.
]]>
<![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.]]>