Films step into the Middle of the Map spotlight

This year, Ink’s Middle of the Map Film Festival boasts a lineup of 28 features (and a collection of shorts). The entries exhibit a strong anchor in musical themes. But there is comedy, action, mystery and fantasy to be found as well. Among the highlights is “Every Everything: The Music, Life and Times of Grant Hart,” a documentary about the former drummer/vocalist of Hüsker Dü (pictured).

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Movie Reviews

'Watermark' is an immersive experience in global water use

If "Watermark" does nothing else, it will make you question society's contradictory view of water use. The clear liquid is as essential to human life as it is threatened, yet we don't seem to be able to do what it takes to make sure it stays available enough to keep us alive.

'Haunted House 2' is too much of a bad thing

Imagine a Venn diagram charting three qualities: Silly, gross and dumb. At the point where they overlap you will find the fright film spoof "A Haunted House 2," a scattershot, anything-goes affair that's unapologetically stupid. Proudly stupid. Aggressively stupid.

'Fading Gigolo' is funny, touching

Perhaps at some point it will again be possible to write the name Woody Allen and go from there. But after a year marked by artistic highs and controversial lows for the filmmaker, it seems impossible. To address the elephant in the room, all you'll find on the docket today is a look at "Fading Gigolo," an amusing indie film that includes some of Allen's finest work as an actor in years.

'The Galapagos Affair' unveils a wild time on the islands

Start with a sex-mad baroness and her frisky menage a trois. Add in a stern German philosopher who fancied himself the next Friedriche Nietzsche, his mistress and a married couple who wanted a wholesome Swiss Family Robinson experience for their son. Throw them all together on one of the remotest spots on Earth and simmer until things come to a steamy boil. You couldn't make this stuff up, and, as a lively new documentary reports, you don't have to.

'Transcendence': All sizzle, no steak

That man would have the hubris to reach the level of a god is a notion that has long animated both myth and literature. To see such ambition brought low is a story that never gets old, and that premise is the best part of "Transcendence," a belabored science-fiction fantasy that aims for what its title advertises and falls far short.

'Hateship Loveship' loses its way

For Helen Hunt it was "As Good as It Gets." For Jennifer Aniston it was "The Good Girl." For Bill Murray, "Lost in Translation." The films that settled whether actors adept at comedy could be as affecting in drama.

Inept screen adaptation derails 'The Railway Man'

Post-traumatic stress is better recognized now than in earlier decades, but it has been an aftereffect of every war. It's not until "The Railway Man" reveals the WWII survival story of its hero that we grasp the significance of the opening shot. Emotionally maimed Eric Lomax lies on his living room floor, reciting a children's rhyme about the passage of time. His harrowing youth as a prisoner of war laboring on Japan's Thai/ Burma railway afflicts his adulthood three decades later.

Cannes Film Festival lineup unveiled

A number of high-profile 2014 awards hopefuls - and an eclectic group of Hollywood stars - will make their way to the Cannes Film Festival this year, joining the annual parade of global auteurs.