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‘Silence! The Musical’ brings raucous fun to San Francisco

These days, it’s all about turning things into musicals – history (“Hamilton”), graphic novels (“Fun Home”) and even thrillers (“Silence! The Musical” – now playing at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco). “Silence!” in particular spoon-feeds the audience two hours of unabashedly blunt “Silence of the Lambs” references and self-referential humor bordering on the crude,…

‘The Handmaiden’ at Aquarius excels, but not in the way you would think

Director Park Chan-wook provides us with another sumptuous feast of revenge and counter-revenge with “The Handmaiden” (now playing at Palo Alto’s Aquarius Theatre for the next week). This time, he takes a fresh approach by creating a love tale between two female protagonists and dialing back his usual schtick of gratuitous bloodshed. (Looking at you, “Oldboy.”) Taking…

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange,’ or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Like the MCU

Barely two minutes into “Doctor Strange,” Tilda Swinton is fighting bad guys with fire energy in a spinning, contorting London landscape, all while wearing what looks like a yellow raincoat. Wait, what? The film’s protagonist, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a Benedict Cumberbatch-esque character. He’s arrogant, prickly, immensely talented. He’s also a surgeon who…