News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.


home | movies | dvd reviews and features


Cult Leader
'Diary of the Dead' is a zombie film for the YouTube generation.

DVD review: 'Saved From the Flames'
This Flicker Alley set presents 54 short films made from 1896 to 1944, and they only whet one's appetite for whatever other treasures remain to be rescued.

DVD review: 'Beowulf: Director's Cut'
The extras are more entertaining than the film.

DVD review: 'She's Gotta Have It'
Mars attacks: 'Please baby baby baby please.'

Capsule review: 'Strangers on a Train'/'Rope'
These two Hitchcock flicks star San Jose's own Farley Granger.

Capsule preview: Niles Film Museum
Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' is essential viewing.

DVD review: 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age'
The sequel to 1998's 'Elizabeth' looks cartoonish, thanks to CGI.

DVD review: 'The Jane Austen Book Club'
The small screen is just the right size for the latest chick flick from 'Practical Magic' scriptwriter Robin Swicord.

DVD review: 'Chaos'
Yet another recent Wesley Snipes actioner skips theaters and heads straight to DVD.

DVD review: Jean-Luc Godard Box Set
A new box set of four of the French director's later films shows that he still poses a riddle.

Capsule review: 'Foreign Correspondent'/'Spellbound'
Another Hitchcock twofer.

Capsule preview: Niles Film Museum
Comedy is king this week.

Cult Leader
Asian horror remakes like 'The Eye' are never as scary as the original versions.

DVD review: 'Killer Pad'
'Nightmare on Elm Street' star Robert Englund directs a stoner horror-comedy take on 'Mulholland Drive.'

DVD review: '2 Days in Paris'
The Hebrew Hammer turns into the Ugly American.

DVD review: 'Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows'
Martin Scorsese narrates a documentary about the life of RKO's horror maestro.

Cinequest 2008 preview: Danny Glover and Michael Keaton
The festival will bestow Maverick Spirit Awards upon both the 'Be Kind Rewind' star and the former Dark Knight.

Capsule review: 'The 39 Steps'/'The Secret Agent'
No matter what happens in the next Bond film, 'Quantum of Solace,' some of it will have happened first in Hitchcock's 1935 classic.

Capsule preview: Niles Essanay Film Museum
This week: A silent Felix the Cat toon from the Poindexterless days of the Felix franchise.

Cult Leader
How monster movies got their groove back, thanks to 'Cloverfield.'

DVD review: 'Expo: Magic of the White City'
Gene Wilder narrates a documentary about the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the greatest of all world's fairs.

DVD review: 'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors'
Soviet-Armenian director Sergei Paradjanov's 1964 masterpiece of life in the Carpathian Mountains is perhaps the least Soviet movie ever made in the U.S.S.R.

DVD review: 'Slings & Arrows'
Mark 'Kids in the Hall' McKinney's raucous Canadian sitcom captures the agony and ecstasy of putting on a Shakespeare play.

Capsule review: 'The Lady Vanishes'/'Young and Innocent'
A Stanford Theatre double-bill of 1938 thrillers.

Capsule preview: Niles Essanay Film Museum
Douglas Fairbanks Sr.'s 'The Black Pirate' is the primordial pirate film.

DVD review: 'El Cid'
The Collector's Edition of this bloated 1961 epic includes reproductions of the Dell comic book adaptation and the original souvenir program book, which theaters handed out back in the days when movies were events and not multiplex fodder.

DVD review: 'Lee Miller: Through the Mirror'
This French documentary by Sylvain Roumette offers an introduction to the life of the pioneer female photographer.

DVD review: 'Two and a Half Men: The Complete Second Season'
Charlie Sheen gives the Big Lebowski a run for his money as laziest man in L.A.

2008 Oscar nominations
Turning Eddie Murphy into a fat lady was good. Turning Edith Piaf into a girl version of Dr. Zaius—so much better.

Noir City Festival
January cinema is usually about as succulent as January tomatoes. Fortunately, the Castro in San Francisco offers an alternative: an annual festival of noir classics.

Book review: 'It's So French: Hollywood, Paris and the Making of Cosmopolitan Film Culture'
Film scholar Vanessa R. Schwartz describes our love affair with the idea of France onscreen.

Capsule preview: Niles Essanay Film Museum
The Little Tramp puts his booze-cruise into dry dock in 'The Cure.'

DVD review: 'John Ford's Silent Epics'
A new box set makes the case for the 'Searchers' director's silent days.

DVD review: 'This Sporting Life'
Richard Harris gives his greatest performance, raging and strutting like a British Stanley Kowalski.

DVD review: 'Melissa'
Much of the fun of watching this '70s BBC miniseries comes from the actors' bell-bottoms and puffy sideburns.

TV review: 'Persuasion'
We here at Metroactive will watch anything featuring the always cool Anthony Stewart Head, a.k.a. Giles. We even sat through those overly cutesy coffee ads he used to do. Yeah, we're that old.

Cult Leader
It's a shame the Weinstein Company didn't include 'Grindhouse''s fake trailers as extras on the DVDs for 'Planet Terror' and 'Death Proof.'

Capsule review: Niles Essanay Film Museum
'A Gentleman of Paris,' plus 'Long Fliv the King' and Harry Langdon's 'Saturday Afternoon.'

DVD review: 'Indie Sex'
Maybe the main problem with this IFC documentary about sex scenes is apparent right in the title: indie movies are often frank, but they're not as often deliberately erotic.

DVD review: 'Madagascar Skin'
Newly released on DVD, this 1995 feature is a droll and surreal love story, one that has enough weight to keep from evaporating.

DVD review: 'MI-5: Volume 5'
The crack intelligence operatives at Thames House are as hair-trigger as Jack Bauer, but a little more conflicted about relying on torture.

DVD review: 'The Wire: The Complete Fourth Season'
David Simon's HBO series brilliantly charts the messy life of one big city, from dealers to cops to pols.

DVD review: 'Dave Attell: Captain Miserable'
The former host of 'Insomniac' combines the deeply pervy and the palsy-walsy in a way not seen since Telly Savalas went to that big casino in the sky.

DVD review: 'Film Noir: Five Classics from the Studio Vaults'
Kino packages a quintet of noir oddities, including 'The Hitch-Hiker' and 'Strange Impersonation.'

2007: The Year of the Rat
'Ratatouille' did everything right in a movie year that was all about the right to choose.

DVD review: 'Killer of Sheep'
This long-lost 1977 indie movie proves that the roster of '70s renaissance filmmakers—Scorsese, Coppola, Altman, De Palma—ought to include director Charles Burnett.

DVD review: 'Battlestar Galactica: Razor'
There's plenty to like in this feature-length appetizer to the final season of 'Galactica.' However, don't expect an answer to that burning question from the season 3 finale: 'Is Bob Dylan a Cylon?'

DVD review: 'Lady Chatterley'
French director Pascale Ferran has made the best fall-colored movie since the 1999 'Thomas Crown.'

DVD review: 'Drunken Angel'
This Criterion restoration also includes a Japanese doc about Kurosawa and the making of the film.

DVD review: 'Futurama: Bender's Big Score'
In this feature-length adventure, the gang is faced with an unstoppable force: the power of spam.

DVD review: 'The Two Jakes'
'The Godfather Part III' was a bad idea. So was this Jack Nicholson-directed 'Chinatown' sequel.

DVD review: 'Prime Suspect: The Final Act'
Helen Mirren says farewell to her greatest character, police detective Jane Tennison.

Cult Leader
Silicon Valley's weirdest film event.

Cult Leader
'You're Gonna Miss Me': cult documentary of the year.

Cult Leader
Lee Marvin don't know karate, but he knows ka-razy when he gets his big payback in 'Point Blank.'

DVD review: 'Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Box Edition'
A new DVD set brings together all of David Lynch's TV epic in one package.

Cult Leader
H.G. Lewis in the Bay Area with one of his best.

Cult Leader
Former Bay Area TV horror host John Stanley gets his due.

Cult Leader
Hunting down Bunuel's surrealist masterpieces in Spain.

Cult Leader: 'I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski and What Have You'
New 'Lebowski' book really ties the legacy together.

Cult Leader: 'Blowup'
Dear Antonioni: Lamenting the lost legacy of the 1966 Swinging London flick.

Cult Leader: 'Rescue Dawn'
Herzog vs. Herzog: The trouble with remakes.

Cult Leader: 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'
I, Pod: Where you gonna hide from the invasion that never ends?

Cult Leader: 'The Night Stalker'
Stalk of the Town: Kolchak defined spooky cool.

Cult Leader: 'Metalstorm' vs. 'Spacehunter'
'80s sci-fi that dared to suck in 3-D.

TV review: 'The Sopranos' series finale
David Chase's postmodern denouement is brilliant, if unsatisfying.

Cult Leader: 'Bug'
Buggin': The problem with movies that witness madness.

Cult Leader: Movie mashups
Retrailers can turn your favorite movies upside down.

Cult Leader: '28 Weeks Later'
No one ever says they prefer fast zombies.

Cult Leader: David Hess of 'Last House on the Left'
'Krug' looks back at this early Wes Craven flick.

Cult Leader: Bob Clark
'DeathDream' was the cultiest of cult movies from a true B-movie maestro.

Cult Leader: Grifter movies
A former confidence man rates the great con flicks.

DVD review: 'Animated Soviet Propaganda'
A new collection of Soviet-era propaganda shows how cartoons fought the Cold War.

Cult Leader: 'Showgirls'
Paul Verhoeven has a new World War II movie, but the 1995 cult favorite was his first experience with bombs.

Cult Leader: 'The Hills Have Eyes'
Hansel and Gretel vs. mutants in 1977 cult shocker.

Cult Leader: 'Manos, the Hands of Fate'
MST3K's Kevin Murphy relives his 'Manos' ordeal.

Cult Leader: 'Blood Car'
Somebody bust this movie out of the festival circuit; it's got 'cult hit' written all over it.

Cult Leader: Suicidal tendencies in David Fincher movies
What is Fincher's deal?

Cult Leader: 'Cutter's Way' and 'The Big Lebowski'
A forgotten 1981 Jeff Bridges movie is the precursor to Bridges' later work in 'Lebowski.'

Cult Leader: True teen crime from 'Over the Edge' to 'Alpha Dog'
The 'JD' movie has a remarkable history stretching back to the bug-eyed camp of 'Reefer Madness.'

Cult Leader: 'Breakdown'
It's a shame more action movies can't pull off an Everyman Hero as complex and convincing as the one Kurt Russell played in this underrated 1997 thriller.

'70s-style horror films
Bay Area horror filmmakers are part of a new generation looking to grimy, gory '70s.

Cult Leader: Watching older movies like 'Double Indemnity' and 'The Mark of Zorro'
Why stoners should dig Douglas Fairbanks.

Cult Leader: 'The Proposition'
This grimy Aussie western was the best cult film of 2006.

Cult Leader: Fangoria Weekend of Horrors
Keep an eye on new Bay Area talent when the Weekend of Horrors makes its San Jose debut.

Cult Leader: Cult greats who died in 2006
Giving some greats their due.

Cult Leader: Musical moments in 'Black Christmas' and other scary Christmas movies
Let scary movies ruin your favorite holiday tunes!

Cult Leader: 'The Transformers: The Movie'
Autobots, roll out!

Cult Leader: 'Fitzcarraldo'
Herzog vs. Coppola: Bet on 'Fitz.'

DVD feature: 'Seinfeld: Season 7,' 'Pirates,' 'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby' and the James Bond 'Ultimate Edition' box sets
A politically incorrect guide to holiday DVDs.

Cult Leader: 'Infernal Affairs'/'The Departed'
Hong Kong cult thriller vs. Scorsese remake.

Cult Leader: After Dark HorrorFest 2006
The horror event gives fans a chance to see eight films that were too much for the studios.

Cult Leader: Tenacious D
The main thing they still do is rock your socks off.

Cult Leader: 'Scarface'
Nothing exceeds like De Palma's excess.

Cult Leader: Halloween viewing guide
Halloween, A to Z: A holiday viewing guide.

Cult Leader: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning'
Meat is murder—and so is every 'TCM' spin-off.

Cult Leader: 'Friday the 13th'
One conversation about '13' things.

Cult Leader: Harlan Ellison vs. the Terminator
When cult culture gets hijacked.

Cult Leader: '80s 'Twilight Zone'
Part 2 of Steve Palopoli's look back at one of '80s network TV's biggest flops.

Cult Leader: '80s 'Twilight Zone'
The Leader's always had a soft spot for this barely remembered show, which suffered from always being compared to Rod Serling's incomparable original.

Cult Leader: Fuzzy movie memories
Is there a movie that left a mark on you but you can't remember the damn title? Well, Cult Leader is here to help. Email the details you can remember about your own lost movies, and the Leader will tell you what they are.

Cult Leader: 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'
Fright Spread Fred: A Craven 'Nightmare' reconsidered.

Cult Leader: 'Tron'
Almost 25 years later, Disney's failed sci-fi flick is a midnight movie—and a geek cause celèbre.

Cult Leader: 'The Brak Show'
Adult Swim's cultiest show gets its due.

Cult Leader: Mutant movies
Inbred Circus: Movie mutants love country livin'!

Cult Leader: 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy'
Thick As a Brick: The cult of 'Anchorman.'

Cult Leader: 'Nightmares'
Battlin' the Bishop: 'Nightmares' is a cult classic from the post-'Creepshow' heyday of '80s horror anthologies.

Cult Leader: Gary Busey
Gingerdead End: You can catch Busey in 'The Gingerdead Man,' but what the hell are you going to do when you've got him?

Cult Leader: Philip K. Dick movies
Dick Tracing: In time for 'A Scanner Darkly,' a look back at Philip K. Dick movies.

Cult Leader: 'Smitten'
Get Smitten: Mad love triumphs as an offbeat Cinequest selection goes nationwide.

Cult Leader: Evil car flicks
This time, it's mechanical.

Cult Leader: Chan-wook Park
As 'Lady Vengeance' gets its U.S. release, a look at the previous revenge films of the Korean director.

TV feature: 'Deadwood' season 3
The HBO drama tells a tale of organized crime in the Old West every bit as tangled as 'The Sopranos.'

Cult Leader: 'Serenity' daze
Joss Whedon worldwide; plus, a report from the 'Monster Squad' mash.

Cult Leader: Songs based on movies
Steve Palopoli lists his favorite songs inspired by cult movie characters.

Cult Leader: 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'
Worst Film Ever?: Revisiting Ed Wood's legacy as 'Plan 9' comes to the Camera's midnight series.

Cult Leader: 'The Monster Squad'
Camera Cinemas brings director and cast of cult favorite to San Jose June 10.

Cult Leader: H.P. Lovecraft on film
Andrew Migliore offers his top picks for Lovecraftian film adaptations and variations.

Cult Leader: Movies that almost happened
No Movie for You: In some alternate universe, Darth Vader repeatedly snorts laughing gas and shouts, 'Don't you f----n' look at me!'

Cult Leader: 'Battle Royale'
Japanese Nightmarez: The infamous 2000 shoot-'em-up is satire on the edge.

Cult Leader: Cult movies on TV
You haven't lived until you've seen Henry Rollins bark 'This week, the films of Rainer Fassbinder!'

Cult Leader: Merciless movies
The panic over horror flicks is nothing new.

Cult Leader: Films about musicians
How do you capture the soul of a mad musician?

Cult Leader: 'Slither'
A cult film is born.

TV feature: 'The Sopranos' season 6 premiere
Bada bing! What does the HBO series say about family, about women, about the Italian-American identity? And how did it become the biggest phenomenon on television?

DVD review: 'Bubble'
Is Steven Soderbergh's experimental movie the future of filmmaking or just another speculative bubble?

DVD feature: 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete'
The Nickelodeon cult favorite mined underground rock way before 'The O.C.' did.

DVD feature: 'Grizzly Man,' 'Airplane!,' 'The Ray Harryhausen Gift Set,' 'Caged Heat,' 'Cry Wolf,' 'F for Fake,' 'Wake Up, Ron Burgundy,' 'The Complete Thin Man Collection' and 'The Big Lebowski'
DVDs make great gifts; offbeat gems make great DVDs.

TV review: 'Rome' season 1
The HBO soap wasn't built in a day, but a lot of viewers won't make it past the series' first hour.

DVD review: 'The Sopranos: The Complete Fifth Season'
Don't fuggetaboutit.

DVD feature: 'Gone With the Wind,' 'The Phantom of the Opera,' 'The Fritz Lang Epic Collection,' 'The F.W. Murnau Collection' and 'The Wong Kar-Wai Collection'
In Metroactive's 2004 Gift Guide, Richard von Busack suggests gifts for the festive film lover.

DVD feature: 'One From the Heart'
The film that almost ruined Francis Ford Coppola returns to the screen and arrives on DVD.

DVD review: 'The Sopranos: The Complete Fourth Season'
James Gandolfini's complex comic mob boss makes the HBO drama the best Mafia tale since 'The Godfather.'

DVD feature: Netflix, Criterion, Something Weird and Kino
In Metroactive's 2003 Gift Guide, Richard von Busack susses out the coolest DVDs.

DVD feature: 'Citizen Kane,' 'The Godfather,' 'The Sopranos' and 'The Big Sleep'
Go for the classics, and avoid the clichés.

DVD review: 'The Beastie Boys Video Anthology'
The Criterion Collection's awesome compilation shows off the creative and humorous urges that keep the Beasties fresh.

DVD review: 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' and 'The World Is Not Enough'
Both George Lazenby's only 007 movie and Pierce Brosnan's third Bond outing explore the British spy's vulnerable side.

Movie Finder

Silicon Valley | Santa Cruz | Sonoma / Marin / Napa

New and upcoming film releases.

Sometimes, the week's best entertainment doesn't play at a multiplex near you.

A blog about movies and TV shows for the discerning, snarky viewer.

Browse all movie reviews.