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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1997

1-20 of 40 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

“5 to 7″: The Best of the First Third of 2015

1 May 2015 12:13 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Ahoy! With it now being May, we’ve officially finished up with the first third of the year. As such, I wanted to highlight the best of the year so far, consisting of my top ten and various awards for 2015 to date. Much like last time, when I did the first quarter of the year, I’m mostly limiting it to things that have already hit theaters. My only exception is that I’m including titles from the recently concluded Tribeca Film Festival. There are some others from last year that I’m fond of and might have otherwise included, but I didn’t want to cheat too badly, so they’re on hold. Anyway, let’s get to the fun stuff… Below you’ll find my top ten of the year so far, along with my awards for the first quarter of 2015. Here you go, and enjoy: 10. Amira & Sam »

- Joey Magidson

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Alex Gibney Wins a Peabody for His James Brown Documentary

24 April 2015 8:54 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

It's astonishing how any filmmaker can keep up the pace that Alex Gibney does while maintaining such consistent quality standards. Gibney has had three films premiere on HBO in less than a year: four-hour biodoc "Sinatra: All or Nothing At All" and Scientology expose "Going Clear" --which has generated new scrutiny of the tax-exempt empire founded by L. Ron Hubbard--and last Fall's "Mr Dynamite: The Rise and Fall of James Brown," which may be the best of the lot. Read: Why Mick Jagger & Alex Gibney's 'Rise of James Brown' is a Musical' The film, which tells the James Brown story from his rural Southern childhood and his musical ascension to his civil rights impact, has just won the hard-working director a 74th Peabody Entertainment Award. Read More: Behind the Scenes with Alex Gibney at His Jigsaw Productions Orlando von Einsiedel's Oscar-nominated "Virunga" also made this week's Peabody list. »

- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Top 5: WonderCon 2015, Star Wars on Digital HD, Sony Resurrects The Dark Tower, James Wan Eyed for Aquaman, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl Trailer

11 April 2015 2:46 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

HBO launched its new standalone streaming platform, HBO Now, earlier this week and is currently offering a 30-day free trial of the service. While there's plenty to be said about HBO Now and what it could mean for the future of traditional pay TV, I'm bringing it up today for one purpose: to let you know that it can be used to watch director Alex Gibney's fantastic documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief for free, right now. Pay $14.99/month to use it faithfully for years to come or burn through the 30-day free trial and promptly kiss it goodbye. It makes no difference to me either way as long as you take advantage of it long enough to watch Going Clear. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year (read Matt's review), Gibney's film is an emotional, disconcerting look at the Church of Scientology from its conception by »

- Jason Barr

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SNL's Scientology Spoof Is Too Ridiculous For Words

5 April 2015 12:15 PM, PDT | BuzzSugar | See recent BuzzSugar news »

Scientology has been back in the news, thanks to HBO's new documentary Going Clear, and now Saturday Night Live has provided a thinly veiled take on the controversial church. In this weekend's episode, some of your SNL favorites sing along in a music video set in 1990. Sure, the show presents the short as a "Church of Neurotology" ad, but with Bobby Moynihan dressed as Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and references to the church's mysterious auditing process, there's no doubt what this spoof is really about. Watch the outrageous clip below, and then catch up on the latest viral videos. »

- Nick-Maslow

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"SNL" Takes Aim at Scientology with Hilarious Music Video

5 April 2015 7:40 AM, PDT | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

The Church of Scientology got shredded on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. While one of the sketches was a music video for "Neurotology," it's pretty clear who it was really about -- as the clip mentioned billion year contracts, E-Meters and alien spirits. It was even crafted to look like the real life "We Stand Tall" video Scientology released in 1990. Danny Masterson Says Scientology Critics Can "Go F**k Themselseves" Other references to the controversial belief system included Taran Killam dressed in David Miscavige's Navy-style uniform, Bobby Moynihan as an L. Ron Hubbard type and a shot of a "Diametrics" book ... an obvious reference to "Dianetics."  And then there's all the people from the video who went "missing" after speaking out against the church. Yeah, we don't think Scientology is going to like this parody too much. Video: Leah Remini Reveals Best Thing About Leaving Scientology Celebrity host Michael Keaton »

- tooFab Staff

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Watch ‘SNL’s Scathing Scientology Satire ‘Church Of Neurotology’

5 April 2015 5:36 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The big question about HBO’s harsh Alex Gibney-directed Scientology documentary Going Clear was whether the movie could generate a wide mainstream audience for a decidedly negative depiction of founder L. Ron Hubbard and the allegedly oppressive practices that Scientology followers are forced to endure. Well, the resulting broadcast sure caught the zeitgeist meter of Saturday Night Live, which last night delivered this scathing satire called Church Of Neurotology. It was… »

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'SNL' Slams Scientology With Scathing Skit About Missing Members (Video)

5 April 2015 12:31 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Saturday Night Live went for the jugular with its takedown of Scientology.  In a sketch from this weekend's Michael Keaton-hosted episode, the NBC series aired a fake advertisement for a religion called the Church of Neurotology, which was an obvious stand-in for founder L. Ron Hubbard's controversial faith. It appears that SNL opted to change the religion's name slightly for legal reasons. One line from the jingle was, "A gorgeous religion, old and true, started in 1982." Read more 'Going Clear' Director Alex Gibney on Cruise, Travolta and 'the Prison of Belief' The ad was supposedly filmed in

read more


- Ryan Gajewski

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David Letterman Lets Scientology ‘President’ Defend Religion Against ‘Malarkey’ in HBO Doc (Video)

3 April 2015 9:24 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

David Letterman decided to tackle Scientology on Thursday following the premiere of HBO documentary “Going Clear,” which Letterman hasn’t seen, but guessed “maybe it was negative” toward science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard’s tax-exempt organization valued at $1.5 billion. With Hollywood reactions to director Alex Gibney‘s film ranging from “crazy” to “terrifying,” Letterman invited the “head of the Church of Scientology,” Jim Keyes to present a much friendlier image of the faith that has captured the hearts of Tom Cruise and John Travolta. “Folks, you have heard a lot of malarkey and the nervous nellies in this so-called ‘documentary, »

- Greg Gilman

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5 grimly hilarious moments in Scientology's history

30 March 2015 2:06 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Frankly, I am still coping with every odious aspect of Scientology as illustrated in "Going Clear," HBO's blockbuster documentary about L. Ron Hubbard's glitzy "church" and its indoctrinated, oft-abused followers. Plenty is not funny about what's done to keep devoted followers in horrifying conditions. For instance: Who knows where David Miscavige's wife Shelly is? According to Tony Ortega, who was featured in "Going Clear," it's nowhere you want to be.  But even the grimmest absurdity is often hilarious, as "Going Clear" itself proved. As we begin to understand everything we learned (or re-learned) in "Going Clear," let's focus on five moments in Scientology's history that are undeniably, insanely, creepily funny.  1. That L. Ron Hubbard has said -- in print -- "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the real money is."  In fact, L. Ron Hubbard said several versions of this statement worded several different ways. It's just a fact. »

- Louis Virtel

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‘Going Clear’ Scientology Documentary Draws Strong Hollywood Reactions: ‘Crazy,’ ‘Stunned,’ ‘Terrifying’

30 March 2015 7:53 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

“Going Clear,” the new documentary about the Church of Scientology, premiered on HBO Sunday, and Hollywood has flocked to social media to voice support for the film, as well as their concerns about the religion some former members describe as a cult. Directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney, and based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, the film takes an in-depth look at the religion launched by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. “Going Clear” not only presents a detailed history of the tax-exempt organization, but features former Scientologists who allege serious abuse and mistreatment at. »

- Joe Otterson

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Alex Gibney on Going Clear's Archival Scientology Footage, Using Drones, and Why More People Need to Speak Out Against the Church

29 March 2015 9:58 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Alex Gibney’s two-hour-long exploration of Scientology, Going Clear, premieres tonight on HBO. Based on Lawrence Wright's book by the same name, Gibney’s speaks with former leaders and defectors of the Church for the documentary, which gives the unacquainted a primer on the organization and its creator, L. Ron Hubbard, and chronicles its alleged abuses against its members. Gibney spoke with John Horn of Southern California Public Radio's arts and entertainment show “The Frame” about where he found footage of Scientology rallies, protecting his material from meddlers, and why more people need to speak out against the Church. (Listen to part of this interview below, and subscribe to “The Frame” at iTunes or Stitcher.)I want to ask about the archival footage that you found. There’s a lot of footage of David Miscavige at what looked to be—I think, to a lay person—they looked like a sales meeting at Herbalife. »

- John Horn

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The 6 Most Miraculous Things Scientology Has Ever Done (According to Scientologists)

27 March 2015 7:48 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

According to Alex Gibney's Going Clear, which airs on HBO Sunday night, the Church of Scientology is a vindictive, repressive cult responsible for decades of criminal harassment and abuse. But, as numerous Church members will tell you, that's just half of the story. The other half is the testimony of Scientology's devoted celebrity members, who credit the religion with extraordinary healing powers. Their stories are literally incredible! According to its adherents, Scientology can ... Cure dyslexia.Tom Cruise struggled with dyslexia throughout his childhood, and says he was "functionally illiterate" when he graduated high school. That changed in 1986, when Cruise discovered Study Tech, L. Ron Hubbard's educational method that emphasizes learning through physical representations of subjects. (Educators have called it "moronic," but "fairly harmless.") Cruise credits Study Tech with curing his dyslexia, and has since started the Hollywood Education Literacy Project to recruit others to the cause — of literacy! »

- Nate Jones

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Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief Review

27 March 2015 7:40 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

In the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, a former member of the Church of Scientology says she simply wants "the truth to be known." Author Lawrence Wright, on whose book the documentary is based, says something similar: he never set out to write an exposé, but only wanted to understand what Scientology was all about. What he uncovered was truly bizarre, and damming. Writer and director Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) follows a mostly linear path through Scientology's origins to its current status, explaining its core principles alongside details of its systemic abuses. Gibney interviews eight former members, many of whom were high-ranking officials within the organization for decades, like top lieutenants Mark Rathbun and Mike Rinder. Wright himself also comments extensively on the history of Scientology, particularly regarding its larger-than-life founder, L. Ron Hubbard. [caption id="attachment_432059" align="alignright" width="233"] Image via HBO[/caption] Most viewers »

- Allison Keene

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Weird Crush Wednesday: AwfulFantasy is the cure to the purple prose that ails you

25 March 2015 2:31 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Our weekly column in which writers reveal their current in-the-margains pop culture obsession. Do you know one of the things I love most about the Internet? The whip-smart parody Twitter accounts that rise and fall like ancient regimes. Here today, gone tomorrow. Rulers of the world, then buried forever in a layer of social media sediment. A few rise above the noise to be baked into collective consciousness — like @Horse_ebooks and @FilmCriticHULK. But most are just a flash-in-the-pan. Yet while they last, these anonymous satirists can bring a much needed chuckle to a Twitter feed oscillating between political debate and Instagram photos of everyone’s idealized life and lunch choices. To that end, my current favorite is @AwfulFantasy. Every day, this ode to the purple prose of yesterday sticks it to overblown fantasy tropes. Whether involving high fantasy, space fantasy, or new-fangled steampunk, no sub-genre is safe from their loving barbs. »

- Donna Dickens

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Review: "Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief", Premieres On HBO March 29

25 March 2015 12:23 PM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Lee Pfeiffer

Those of us of a certain age will recall that, while kooky religious cults have always been part of the American experience, in the mid-to-late 1970s there seemed to go through a boom period. Seemingly every week a new fringe fad movement would emerge, many of which were steeped in inexplicable psycho-babble about helping adherents "find oneself" and enrich their "inner beings". During this period I was approached in a Jersey City bowling alley, of all places, by a card-carrying member of one such cult/religion, the name of which I have happily forgotten. Upon being asked to sign up for the movement, I decided to conduct a bit of an experiment to prove a point to my girlfriend (now wife): that the gullible people associated with these groups are just vulnerable souls who can be easily manipulated by virtually any person possessed with a modicum of self-assurance, »

- (Cinema Retro)

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'True Detective' Season 2 Plot Rumors Suggest Satanic Hijinks and a Dose of 'Eyes Wide Shut'

19 March 2015 1:00 PM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

I have to assume if you watched the first season of HBO's "True Detective" you're in line and anxiously awaiting season two and perhaps some new plot details will increase your interest. First we'll go to a report from Movie Pilot where it takes early hints at the season's plot from creator Nic Pizzolatto and him saying the plot will revolve around "the secret occult history of the United States transportation system". For those not wanting any spoilers, perhaps look away as the site reports: The season is due to kick off with the dead body of a corrupt politician being found along the Pacific Coast Highway with satanic symbols carved into his chest. California Highway Patrol officers Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch are assigned the case. It turns out the victim is a known associate of Vince Vaughn's character and this dead man had a dark side involving »

- Brad Brevet

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Can 'Going Clear' overcome controversy to become Oscars Documentary frontrunner?

18 March 2015 10:18 AM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

The 2015 Oscar race for Best Documentary Feature has gotten off to an early start with "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" a damning expose of the inner workings of the multi-billion dollar religious organization. -Break- The film, directed by Alex Gibney, is an eye-opening adaptation of Lawrence Wright's book of the same title, filled with shocking revelations about the institution that have only been hinted at before now. With an 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 82 on Metacritic, "Going Clear" has the critical acclaim necessary to make it a major player in the awards season. Through use of archival footage, interviews with former members, and dramatic reenactments, the film details the origins of Scientology and its creator, science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, exposing the various mind-control techniques and abuses said to be part of the religion's practices. The film also exam »

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Review: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

12 March 2015 4:32 PM, PDT | | See recent JoBlo news »

Plot: An in-depth expose of Scientology, from its founding by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, through its relentless rise in popularity throughout the eighties and nineties. Review: Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief is absolutely incendiary entertainment. The latest doc from Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie, We Steal Secrets and many more) this expose aims to once and for all blow the lid off one of the most controversial organizations of the last half century . »

- Chris Bumbray

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2015 True/False Film Fest: The End, A Festival Wrap Up

12 March 2015 7:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

For being just a brief 4 days, True/False is a densely packed festival, and I mean that in the true celebratory sense, full of not just film screenings, but parades and parties, street bound buskers, live game shows, filmmaking workshops and what-have-you, and it’s all condensed down into a vibrant, but relatively small college town. Everything is within a 10 minute walk. And where else might you walk two blocks and in the process subsequently encounter the likes of Joshua Oppenheimer, Alex Gibney, Nick Broomfield and the Ross Brothers? Paul Sturtz and David Wilson, the founders of True/False have created something truly special here in Columbia, Mo – a glorious celebration of non-fiction filmmaking and the fascinating fault line that separates the unreal from the untruthful.

Interestingly, Alex Gibney’s latest feature peddles only truth, but deals with the murky myths of a science fiction pseudo-religion. Based on Lawrence Wright’s exposé of Scientology, »

- Jordan M. Smith

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Spoiler: In HBO's Tough-Minded Going Clear, Scientology Looks Pretty Awful

10 March 2015 9:00 PM, PDT | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

The familiar tale of the billion-dollar rise of L. Ron Hubbard's sci-fi self-help religion-like philosophy/prank/cash-suck gets urgent, stylish treatment in Alex Gibney's HBO doc, a fleet and surefooted account of Scientology's origins, Hubbard's years at sea escaping U.S. taxes, and the misery and harassment faced by the church's apostates. In this case those include director Paul Haggis, ex-second-in-command Marty Rathbun, and onetime Travolta-wrangler Sylvia "Spanky" Taylor, whose efforts to take her child from a church nursery and escape her life of barely paid hard labor is here a tale of heart-clutching suspense. Lawrence Wright, whose book offers the film its reportorial basis, observes that there's no way John Travolta and Tom Cruise can't know about the slave-like cond »

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1997

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