Entertainment news round-up for April 30

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HBO is bringing back Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Project Greenlight, which gave an inside look at the challenges posed to a first-time director.  Damon and Affleck will be back to executive produce.  “Project Greenlight was ahead of its time,” said Affleck in a statement. “Now that  technology has caught up to the concept, we thought […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 29

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The Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy star Drea de Matteo has teamed up with Endemol Beyond USA for an original digital series, entitled The Muthaship Starring Drea de Matteo.  The show will launch this spring.  “Drea built her audience through her roles on some of the best series on television,” said Will Keenan, president of Endemol Beyond USA. […]

Critic dazzled by ‘A Single Man’

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Tom Ford must make more films.  It’s his calling.  Though he is best known for his long and illustrious career in the fashion industry, his 2009 movie A Single Man makes it clear that should he continue with filmmaking, he stands to make his mark as a great auteur.  Not only is it a stylistic masterpiece, it […]

Critic finds major flaw in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

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I very much want to like David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, but I can’t help but feel that there’s one element that brings the whole film down, and that’s the performance given by Jennifer Lawrence.  Though the film itself is quite skillfully crafted, the miscasting of such a vital character knocks the whole thing askew, […]

Critic finds great joy in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

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What with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 scheduled to hit theaters so soon, I thought it would be fitting to revisit its predecessor, if only to emphasize to those who haven’t seen it that they truly must.  Vastly better than all three film’s in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, it brings a fresh new perspective to the franchise that includes a […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 28

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Fox will broadcast a three-hour live version of Grease in 2015.  The cast has not yet been assembled.  “From Broadway to film, and across generations, Grease is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told — and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, Fox’s […]

Critic underwhelmed by ‘Black Swan’

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I will openly admit that I am not the biggest fan of Darren Aronofsky’s particular directorial style.  It was with great skepticism, then, that I selected his 2011 film Black Swan for review, though I thought perhaps that its slew of award nominations indicated that it might impress me.  Sadly, my hopes were dashed.  Black Swan is […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 25

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SNL vet and new Late Night host Seth Meyers is set to host the Primetime Emmy Awards, airing August 25th on NBC.  “Seth’s expertise and ease in front of a live audience during his time at SNL, as well as his comedic brilliance both as a writer and in front of the camera on SNL and Late Night, makes him […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 23

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Johnny Depp’s upcoming action-comedy Mortdecai has been set for a February 2016 U.S. release.  The film is based on Kyril Bonfigliol’s novel trilogy and features Depp in a race to locate a stolen painting that could contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.  The star-studded cast also includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, […]

Short film round-up

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For something with wit and style in spades, check out Writer’s Block, a five-minute short from Tom Gran and Martin Woolley set in a prison for criminally lousy writers.  It’s an exercise in meta-storytelling that uses well-known cliches in a fresh new way, and it’s packed with clever sight gags and expert puns.  What’s more, […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 20

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Chicago musician Chance the Rapper missed his scheduled performance on the last day of Coachella due to hospitalization.  Particulars of his medical condition are unknown.  Hours before the performance was set to begin, a since-removed photo appeared on his Instagram with a caption that read “Pray for my boy chance,” after which the cancellation was […]

Critic disappointed by ‘The Artist’

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As a film critic, I obviously watch a lot of movies.  Each year, though, there are a few that slip by me, and every so often, I like to make an effort to catch up.  This time around, I selected The Artist, and to be quite frank, I wish I had chosen something else.  Though […]

Short film round-up

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I’m always a fan of short films that convey their stories without dialogue, and Life is Beautiful is no exception.  The nine-minute animated short from Dutch filmmaker Ben Brand tells the sweetly sorrowful story of Anton, who’s always been smaller than his peers.  When he tires of his miserable existence and decides to end it, he discovers […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 19

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The lineup for the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival has been announced.  Notable French entries include Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D experiment Goodbye to Language and Michel Hazanavicius’ The Search.  Other films vying for prizes include Atom Egoyan’s The Captive and Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner.  For more on the lineup, click here. In other Cannes news, French actress-turned-director Nicole Garcia will […]

Short film round-up

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I’m a sucker for anything remotely twee, so Helium Harvey is right up my street.  The three-minute animated short from Daniel Savage follows a young boy on an imaginative, balloon-fueled journey across the globe.  The imagery is gorgeously retro, turning the simple story into something quite magical.  If you’re up for something sweet, take a look at […]

Entertainment news round-up April 11

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Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner says that the show’s upcoming mini-season will be action-packed.  “The episodes are dense,” he said.  ““After realizing that I needed two premieres and two finales, it changed the pacing of every other episode. These episodes are more focused on the main characters than ever before — and I’ve got a lot […]

Entertainment news round-up

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CBS has named Stephen Colbert to succeed David Letterman on The Late Show.  He will be leaving the right-wing caricature he plays in The Colbert Report behind.  “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” he said in a statement. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, […]

Critic devastated by ‘Blue Valentine’

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Those of you who like happy endings should stop reading this review immediately.  Blue Valentine is not for you.  In fact, I wouldn’t say it’s “for” anyone, save for those rare few who very much enjoy having their hearts metaphorically torn out and stomped on.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film – on the […]

Critic finds glee and bitterness in ‘The Trip’

There’s something uniquely fascinating about an actor playing a version of himself.  In 2010’s The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon do just that, and the effect is both hilarious and oddly touching.  Though it’s hard to say how much of themselves they put into their characters, there’s certainly enough that the final product feels intensely […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 4

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Sources say that 12 Years a Slave star Chiwitel Ejiofor is MGM and Sony’s top choice to play the villain in the next James Bond film.  The studios had no comment.  Daniel Craig is set to return as Bond with Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris slated to return as well.  Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes will again direct. […]

Entertainment news round-up for April 3

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Holly Hunter has joined the cast of Zack Snyder’s as-yet-untitled Superman/Batman film starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck.  She will play a character newly created for the movie.  The feature also stars Jessie Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, and Diane Lane.  For more information on the project, click here. David Letterman has announced his plans […]

Critic takes a look back at a Disney classic

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After being wildly underwhelmed by Frozen, I thought it appropriate to take a look back into Disney’s catalogue to see what the newer film might have been missing.  I chose Mulan, a movie I loved as a child, and my suspicion was confirmed:  Disney used to be much, much better at the musical aspect of its movies. […]

Critic finds beauty and darkness in ‘My Week With Marilyn’

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Given the hubbub surrounding the new Broadway revival of Cabaret, I thought it fitting to take a look back into the career of its star, Michelle Williams.  I chose her 2011 film My Week With Marilyn, in which she tackles the role of iconic star Marilyn Monroe.  Though she may not seem the most obvious […]

Short film round-up

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If you don’t mind a bit of obtuse surrealism, check out This is Not a Time to Lie, a three-minute animated short from China’s Lei Lei that follows its main character on a trippy journey through a lush geometric landscape.  None of it, from the poetic narration to the almost frantic animation, has a discernible point, […]

Entertainment news round-up for March 30

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Twilight actor Patrick Brennan will join the cast of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for two upcoming episodes.  The actor, who played Liam in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, will play Blackout, a villain with the power to suck the energy from everything around him.  “It’s just rare to have a character that’s [this] interesting,” he told […]

Entertainment news round-up for March 27

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The Wu-Tang Clan plans to release only one copy of their secretly-recorded new double album The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.  The album is priced in the millions and will be presented in a handcrafted silver box designed by British Moroccan artist Yahya.  “By taking this step, we hope to re-enforce the weight […]

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