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Phantom Thread

This is a movie of confrontations, of dreamlike moments dissolving into micro nightmares, but it is hardly a conventional battle of the sexes story.

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A fascinating piece of filmmaking that challenges the form in new ways as it recalls themes its director has been interested in his entire career.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Comic-Con 2014: A Sneak Peek of "Avengers: Age of Ultron"

You never know what you'll find wandering around the Gaslamp District of San Diego during San Diego Comic-Con. On Saturday, a secret "Avengers: Age of Ultron" headquarters opened up, thanks to Samsung Revolution. 

Samsung treated fans to a sneak peek of Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron."  Although the line officially opened at 7 p.m.,  people were already in line at 6 p.m. waiting for the office to open. The group of three guys who were first in line had been wandering around when they were handed a flyer about the presentation but details were sketchy.

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First, the address was vague—the corner of K and 6th. Then there was little more known than that it was a preview presentation. By the time the line was forming, no one was handing out flyers and the people standing in line had to explain why they were there.

Unlike the Hall H presentation, there were no celebrities, but Samsung does know how to treat fans well.  Our group played a few games with the Tab S, ordered Super Hero-themed foods and compared the clarity of the Tab S to the latest iPad. Apple has something to be worried about now. 

As we wondered just what Gummy Bears, M & Ms, Swedish fish candy and Skittles had to do with super heroes, we went by group number into a small room where we placed our belongings into a basket and then sat in an individual overstuffed chair. Once we had earphones on, we watched the sneak peak for "Age of Ultron." 

The preview starts out with a bit of some funny bits. Thor has casually placed his hammer on a coffee table. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is determined to lift it and all the male members of The Avengers attempt to lift it. Yet this is an action movie and there must be tragedy and a great villain. As the title tells you, the villain was bad enough to have an age named for him. Ultron (voiced by James Spader) is a sentient giant robot and he's not keen on super heroes. After some explosions and tense moments, we see Iron Man standing over the broken shield of Captain America. The camera pulls back and there seem to be dead bodies. Then we were quickly whisked away so that the next group of fans could get their chance to see the preview. 

On Saturday night, only 200 fans were scheduled to be allowed in to the headquarters which was closing at midnight. Today, Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., only the first 400 fans are scheduled to be let into the headquarters powered by Samsung Revolution before it closes up and vanishes. The revolution will be over and so will the Gaslamp party known as San Diego Comic-Con.

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