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11 articles


Steven Spielberg encouraged Tommy Lee Jones during the making of 'The Homesman'

5 hours ago

Telluride — I didn't quite know what to say or think about Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman" after catching up with it Sunday afternoon, but I was pretty sure I loved it. Gorgeously shot by Rodrigo Prieto, lovingly scored by Marco Beltrami, enigmatically captured by Jones, the film almost becomes a series of vignettes at some point, dealing in western iconography in ways both familiar and foreign, truly a piece of work from the same voice that gave us "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada." It's actress Hilary Swank who is getting the tribute here this year but I think maybe Jones could have dealt with that sort of coronation. He's expert behind the camera and in front of it, he carves out a truly memorable, off-kilter character I'd love to revisit in another story. But I'll just leave it at that for now. It's a strange film that settled, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Where does Laika go after 'The Boxtrolls?'

6 hours ago

Beverly Hills — Laika's "The Boxtrolls" saw its world premiere over the weekend at the Venice Film Festival, the third in a line of movies from the Portland-based animation studio that have aimed to push the medium at every step. Directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, the film is, like all Laika product, its own world, a dank, cockney yarn that, as ever, serves as a showcase for the company's craft prowess. I recently sat down with Stacchi, Annable and Laika CEO Travis Knight to discuss adapting Alan Snow's mammoth book "Here Be Monsters!," the use of increasingly sophisticated computer tools to aid stop motion animation and the vision for the company going forward. You can read through the back and forth below, and don't forget to check out Catherine Bray's glowing review from the Lido. "The Boxtrolls" opens in theaters Sept. 26. *** HitFix: Anthony, we met briefly at »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Best Actor Oscar race heats up in Telluride

7 hours ago

Telluride — If you asked me to pick between the three commanding, sure-fire awards-contending lead actor performances on display at this year's Telluride Film Festival, I'd have a break down. Yet that's just what Academy voters will surely be asked to do in a few months' time, with added pressure in the form of whoever fills out the rest of the competitive category. In "Birdman," Michael Keaton may well end up putting forth the most compelling case for a win. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but some things are just patently obvious. Keaton is resurrected by this film, a tried-and-true narrative that we just saw play out last year with Matthew McConaughey. More than that, he's revealing shades of a character that will no doubt connect with actors, presenting the very id of a soul desperate to perform but hamstrung and even quarantined by the realities of the "business" of "show business. »


- Kristopher Tapley

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One on One with Jon Stewart: Taking the jump from 'The Daily Show' to 'Rosewater'

8 hours ago

Telluride — Mr. Stewart, if you read this article I believe the first few paragraphs may make you chuckle. Now, it's not because I'm a master wordsmith or unheralded comedic voice waiting to be discovered. No, after saying goodbye after our memorable interview on the patio of a Telluride restaurant Sunday afternoon, I turned and walked toward the street with my iPhone in hand. I'd stopped the recording of our chat and two choices appeared before me: delete or save. And, perhaps like a crazy person, I hit delete. Then I realized I hit delete. At that point, it was a mad dash back to my accommodations to jot down as much as I remembered from our conversation. Granted, this is something that has happened to the best reporters and journalists out there. Many times readers will read stories online or in print without realizing the content came from immediate memory. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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From John Oliver to Halle Berry: Winners and losers of summer TV 2014

11 hours ago

What a strange and often wonderful summer this was in television. It was a summer where Halle Berry couldn't find viewers on CBS, while NBC built a stable schedule out of discards, imports and long- discarded reality shows. HBO introduced a show that seemed to generate equal levels of adoration and scorn, while Fxx finally found a purpose by making millions of "Simpsons" fans happy.   Fall TV starts getting in gear next week with the returns of "Boardwalk Empire," "Sons of Anarchy" and more. So before we get too bogged down in fall premieres, Fienberg and I wanted to look back at the winners and losers of this unpredictable summer season. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Mirror, Mirror'

12 hours ago

A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I try a special tonic straight from India... "You think it's enough to fix the outside. That's the easy part." -Frank Last week's episode squeezed the passage of three years into a single hour. "Mirror, Mirror" takes place over only a week or so, yet in some ways feels like it's taking just as big a leap forward — if not always gracefully. Over the course of the episode, Virginia not only convinces Bill to start examining sexual dysfunction, but to find ways to treat it. And when Barbara proves beyond Virginia's ability to treat — and when Bill points out that her dream of becoming a trained psychologist will take her years to fulfill — Ginny comes up with the unorthodox (and guaranteed to blow up in her face) plan to impersonate Barbara while meeting with a local shrink »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 12 - HitFix Picks

12 hours ago

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, Fxx is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.] It's all over! Day 12 of Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever takes us from "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again" through "The Yellow Badge of Cowardge" and that's the end of the road for "The Simpsons," at least so far.  To close things out, we have five Day 12 recommendations and only one to skip. And I'm probably going to be using this day to catch up on a few episodes I missed from last season when there was just too much TV on Sunday nights to catch "The Simpsons" every week. [I'd also add that "Bob's Burgers" has, for me, usurped "The Simpsons" as Fox's funniest Sunday comedy and the one I seek out first on Hulu or OnDemand. "Bob's Burgers" earned that Emmy this year. But let's see what "Bob's Burgers" looks like in Season 25.] We've had a lot of fun going on this 12-day journey and I hope that these »


- Daniel Fienberg, Alan Sepinwall and Katie Hasty

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Happy Labor Day: Gandalf, Black Widow, Luke Skywalker and more cover Wu-Tang Clan

12 hours ago

This is beautiful. Wu-Tang Clan's aptly-named 1995 single "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit" has been covered by an all-star lineup including Gandalf, Patrick Bateman, O-Ren Iishi, Ron Burgundy, Luke Skywalker and Black Widow, and guess what: they totally nailed it. (The involvement of Elsa and Ratatouille is admittedly questionable, however.) Can you name all the movies? (via Uproxx) »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Liam Neeson: I'd play Ra's al Ghul on 'Arrow' 'in a heartbeat'

13 hours ago

(Cbr) With season three of "Arrow" returning to The CW on Oct. 8, it's highly unlikely they're still looking for someone to play Ra's al Ghul, who they've teased as the villain in the upcoming third season. But if they did still need to find someone to lord over the League of Assassins, a former Ra's is willing and able to rise from the Lazarus Pit.   “I would, in a heartbeat, if it came my way, yeah,” actor Liam Neeson told MTV News about playing the role on "Arrow."   Neeson, who played Ra's al Ghul in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, told MTV that he has not been approached about reprising the role on television. But when asked by MTV's Charles Webb, Neeson did offer some advice to the as-yet-unrevealed actor who will play the role on "Arrow."   “They have to believe in their philosophy,” Neeson said. “Ra’s al Ghul »


- JK Parkin, Comic Book Resources

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Recap: 'Big Brother' Sunday - Head of Household, Nominations and Holla!

13 hours ago

When we left "Big Brother" on Thursday night, the hamsters were slipping and sliding around the backyard trying to fill snowmen with cloudy fluid in order to win Head of Household. Thanks to a couple colleagues who think that because they watch the feeds, posting off-air results doesn't count as a spoiler, I already know who won HoH, but click through for the full live-blog as I pretend to be surprised. 8:04 p.m. Victoria fall down! Nicole fall down! Nicole fall down again! And again! Christine wants to have the power and she thinks it'd be funny if she sent Nicole home twice. Derrick wants the $5000 Dollars/5000 Hollas, but he wants to keep his alliance safe. We flash back to the moments before eviction, when Frankie tried making the case that Nicole might work with Christine and that she should be taken out before Donny. Frankie whines that this »


- Daniel Fienberg

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'Downton Abbey' Season 5 trailer: The times they are a-changin'

14 hours ago

Not even "Downton Abbey" can escape the shifting sands of time. "Change" is the name of the game in the new trailer for Season 5 of the PBS series, which will be seeing lots of upheavals both culturally and personally for the residents of the titular manor as they move deeper into the 1920s. There's lots to see here, but my personal favorite moment is when Violet (Maggie Smith) chuckles politely at her own cleverness. Of course, U.S. viewers still have awhile to wait - the new season doesn't premiere Stateside until January 4, 2015. Check out the trailer below, then let us know what you think in the comments. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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