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Veep Season 4 Review: The President’s Flying Monkeys

  • Vulture
Veep Season 4 Review: The President’s Flying Monkeys
I recalled having minor issues with Veep back when it premiered in 2012, but I had to Google my review to remember what they were. Turns out I was slightly disappointed by it because, for some godforsaken reason, I'd been the impression that it would be more of a stingingly relevant political satire, maybe something along the lines of Tanner '88. What we got was a flat-out farce whose high-stakes setting was almost incidental (and funny for its near-irrelevance): basically a fairly classical "complications ensue" sitcom, but with security clearance and drone strikes and so forth, fronted by super-narcissists less concerned with the executive branch's impact on history than whether a particular suit or dress made them look fat. This, of course, is what Veep's creator and executive producer, Armando Iannucci, does better than pretty much anyone. As my misgivings were piddling, I hereby retroactively withdraw them and drown
See full article at Vulture »

Early Buzz: Here's What People Are Saying About 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1'

  • Movies.com
With under two weeks to go before the first part of the two-part Hunger Games finale hits theaters, early reviews are beginning to trickle in following the film's international premiere in London. Check out some of the early buzz below. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 officially lands in your neck of the woods on November 21, and you can snag your tickets now over at Fandango. "The series' two-part finale gets under way in solid, absorbing if not exactly inspired fashion." - Variety "Still very much a Hunger Games movie, yes, but it calls to mind smart political comedies like Wag the Dog and Tanner '88 as well." - The Wrap "Finds its success in meaningful themes, character-driven story, and smart execution, and ultimately creates...

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See full article at Movies.com »

True Detective recap: season one, episode four – Who Goes There

Rather than learn more about the masked man at the end of episode three, we make a left turn into east Texan biker gangs – but far from being padding, the episode leads to the season's most electric and daring scene yet

Spoiler alert: we are recapping True Detective after UK transmission. Please don't read on if you haven't watched episode three. If you have seen further ahead in the series, please do not leave spoilers.

• Read Gwilym's Mumford's episode three recap here.

On paper, Who Goes There has the potential to be a frustrating hour of television. Very little forward progress is made in either the original investigation into the murder of Dora Lange, or the 2012 interrogations. Despite last week's teasing final shot, the elusive Reggie Ledoux is still nowhere to be seen. Instead, we're taken out of Louisiana and into east Texas, a move that has the potential to be momentum-sapping,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

True Detective recap: season one, episode four – Who Goes There

Rather than learn more about the masked man at the end of episode three, we make a left turn into east Texan biker gangs – but far from being padding, the episode leads to the season's most electric and daring scene yet

Spoiler alert: we are recapping True Detective after UK transmission. Please don't read on if you haven't watched episode three. If you have seen further ahead in the series, please do not leave spoilers.

• Read Gwilym's Mumford's episode three recap here.

On paper, Who Goes There has the potential to be a frustrating hour of television. Very little forward progress is made in either the original investigation into the murder of Dora Lange, or the 2012 interrogations. Despite last week's teasing final shot, the elusive Reggie Ledoux is still nowhere to be seen. Instead, we're taken out of Louisiana and into east Texas, a move that has the potential to be momentum-sapping,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Amazon picks up John Goodman's 'Alpha House,' 'Betas' to series

Amazon has greenlit five original series from its crop of fan-voted pilots, including the comedy "Alpha House" starring John Goodman.

The other pickups are another comedy, "Betas," and three kids' shows: "Annebots," "Creative Galaxy" and "Tumbleaf."

"Alphas," created by "Doonesbury" author Garry Trudeau, is about four senators who share a house in Washington. It also stars Mark Consuelos ("All My Children"), Clark Johnson ("The Wire") and Matt Malloy ("Tanner '88").

"Betas" stars Jon Daly, Joe Dinicol, Charlie Saxton and Karan Soni as four friends working in Silicon Valley and trying to create the next big app. Ed Begley Jr. also stars.

"Annebots" follows a girl who builds three robots to help her perform science experiments. "Creative Galaxy" comes from the creator of "Super Why!" and has interactive elements to help kids learn. "Tumbleaf" follows a fox named Fig as he explores the world around him.

Amazon put all of its
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Birthday girl Cynthia Nixon's 7 juiciest roles

Tags: Cynthia NixonIMDbWarm SpringsLaw & Order: SVULittle DarlingsSex and the CityEleanor RooseveltThe Big Cpeople newscelebritiestelevisionmovies

Cynthia Nixon turns 46 today, and the out actress is worthy of celebration. She's only one Oscar away from having an Egot, with a strong career in theater, television and film that dates back to 1979 at the age of 12. Here are our favorite Cynthia roles.

Miranda Hobbes, Sex and the City

As the cynical realist among a group of friends, Cynthia played the level-headed careerwoman-turned-mom with such great prowess, it's almost like she'll never be able to shake the role. Lucky for her, she's been working since she was a preteen and her chameleon-like qualities have allowed her to be one of the hardest-working women in Hollywood.

Sunshine, Little Darlings

In one of her first roles on film, a young Cynthia played a teenage hippie who was at the same camp as Kristy McNichol.

Rebecca, The Big C
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

Robert Altman: The Hollywood Interview

Director Robert Altman.

Robert Altman: Eclectic Maverick

By

Alex Simon

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.

It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

From 'The West Wing' to 'Battlestar Galactica': TV's best politicians

Congressman Thomas Bell (William Katt, "Top of the Hill," CBS, 1989): Taking over his ill father's seat in Washington, D.C., Bell was an idealist who often ran up against those much more skilled at the political game.

Representative Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy, "Tanner '88," HBO, 1988): The Michigan politician pursued the Democratic presidential nomination.

Pics: Actors who played politicians

Senator William Powers (John Forsythe, "The Powers That Be," NBC, 1992-93): He wasn't a paragon of personal ethics, but professionally, Powers did his best for constituents.

Mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick, "Spin City," ABC, 1996-2002): He came across as a fop at times, but New York's mayor always had his city's best interests at heart.

President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen, "The West Wing," NBC, 1999-2006): Originally designed to stay in the background of the series, Bartlet was the ideal of what many want a president to be.
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Super Cannes: Pablo Larraín's "No"

  • MUBI
“We need history, but we need it differently from the spoiled lazy-bones in the garden of knowledge.”

–Nietzsche, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life

Winner of the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, No by Pablo Larraín was, to our mind, one of the most interesting films to be screened at the festival. Neither vertically towering nor self-consciously contrarian, this is a diagonal movie venturing in a pathless direction. There is a remarkable aspect in Pablo Larraín’s cinema: it is his ability to look at history with neither condescending moralism nor nostalgic complacence. The three films about his native Chile under Augusto Pinochet are extraordinary incursions in the unexplored potential of historical fiction, that bypass dates, landmarks and heroes to show history from within, not from above.

By resisting the temptation of availing himself of the privilege of posterity,
See full article at MUBI »

Venice and Toronto 2011. George Clooney's "The Ides of March"

  • MUBI
"A smart, confident kick start to what looks like being a notably strong Venice film festival, The Ides of March showcases George Clooney, its director, co/writer and joint lead actor, back in the politically committed mood that spawned Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck." The Telegraph's David Gritten: "A political thriller exploring themes of loyalty, ambition and the gap between public ideals and private fallibility, it engages the brain within the context of a solid entertainment." 4 out of 5 stars.

At the Playlist, Oliver Lyttelton sets it up: "Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) is something of a wunderkind. Still in his 20s, he’s a senior adviser to the campaign of Democratic primary candidate Governor Mike Morris (Clooney). Morris seems to be the real deal, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of candidate, and Myers had never been more fired up, particularly with mentor Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) at the helm, and
See full article at MUBI »

Mama Mia

  • Backstage
"I've never played the part of someone so frantic before," says Cynthia Nixon of why she was drawn to the character Mama in Lisa Loomer's Distracted, now playing Off-Broadway in a Roundabout Theatre Company production. "And parts I've done on stage recently are dramas. It was nice to get back to doing a comedy. It's a comedy with teeth."Distracted is at once satire and, for many overextended families, grim reality. Nixon plays the mother of a child who suffers from attention deficit disorder. He's a source of endless concern for his parents, who shuttle him from doctor to psychologist to educator to holistic healer in search of answers. Throughout the play, actors break the fourth wall to comment on the action.The multiple-award-winning Nixon, who played steadfast attorney Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City and in last summer's hit film version, has been a working actor since childhood,
See full article at Backstage »

Director Robert Altman Dies at 81

Director Robert Altman Dies at 81
Robert Altman, the legendary director behind such modern classics as MASH, Nashville, The Player, and Gosford Park, died Monday night in Los Angeles; he was 81. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, and a statement released Tuesday afternoon stated that Altman died from complications due to cancer; the news release also said that Altman had been in pre-production for a film he was slated to start shooting in February. When he was presented with an honorary Academy Award just last year, Altman revealed that he had been the recipient of a heart transplant within the past ten years, a fact he hadn't made public because he feared it would hinder his ability to get work. One of the most influential and well-respected directors of modern cinema, Altman's work was marked by a naturalistic approach that favored long, unbroken tracking shots and overlapping dialogue (as well as storylines), as well as improvisation, usually among a large ensemble cast. Though now regarded as one of the premier American filmmakers, Altman had a career that reached both popular and critical highs as well as lows, as he burst onto the scene in the early '70s with very acclaimed films, but had a string of commercial and critical failures as well. All told, he received five Oscar nominations for directing MASH, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts and most recently Gosford Park. Other numerous awards include two Cannes Film Festival wins (for The Player and MASH), a Golden Globe (for Gosford Park) and an Emmy (for the TV series Tanner 88). Born in Kansas City, Altman attended Catholic schools as well as a military academy before enlisting in the Air Force in 1945. After being discharged, Altman tried his hand at acting and writing in both Los Angeles and New York before returning home to Kansas City, where he started making industrial films for the Calvin Company. After numerous false starts, Altman finally made the full move to Hollywood, and in 1957 directed his first theatrical film, The Delinquents. Though it didn't start him on the road to fame, the film was good enough to secure Altman work in television, particularly for Alfred Hitchcock and his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series. In 1969, Altman was offered the script for MASH, which had been rejected by numerous other filmmakers. The movie, a black comedy set during the Korean War (and a thinly veiled attack on the then-raging Vietnam War), was a rousing commercial and critical success, scoring Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Director and, most famously, inspiring the successful TV sitcom, which took on a very different tone. His films after MASH included the revisionist western McCabe and Mrs. Miller and the updated California noir The Long Goodbye, but it was 1975's Nashville, a multi-layered film centered around the country music capital and the wildly divergent Americans who converged there, that would be his next major success, also receiving Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Director. After Nashville, Altman more often than not found himself on the opposite end of the spectrum, with films such as the acclaimed but sometimes puzzling 3 Women as well as the commercial flop A Wedding and, most notoriously, the Robin Williams version of Popeye, which was technically a hit but seen as an artistic failure. Altman worked constantly through the '80s - his films included Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Streamers, Secret Honor, and Fool for Love - but it wasn't until the HBO series Tanner 88, about a fictional candidate's run for the presidency, that he found favor again. In the early '90s, the one-two punch of The Player (a biting Hollywood satire) and Short Cuts (based on the stories of Raymond Carver) put him back on the map, but he followed those with the less well-received Pret-a-Porter, The Gingerbread Man, and Cookie's Fortune. True to the ups-and-downs of his career, Altman was back on top with Gosford Park, a British-set ensemble film that combined comedy, drama and mystery, and marked his first Best Picture nominee since Nashville. His last films included a revisit to the world of Tanner 88 with Tanner on Tanner, and just this year, A Prairie Home Companion, based on the radio show by Garrison Keillor. Upon receiving his honorary Oscar last year, Altman appeared to be in fine health, but reportedly directed most of A Prairie Home Companion from a wheelchair, with the Altman-influenced director Paul Thomas Anderson on hand. Altman is survived by his third wife, Kathryn, their two sons, and a daughter and two other sons from two previous marriages. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

Fourth 'Tanner' on Sundance ticket

Sundance Channel has added a fourth episode to its upcoming limited series Tanner on Tanner. The series, which is director Robert Altman and writer Garry Trudeau's sequel to their HBO miniseries Tanner '88, catches up with the original characters 16 years later as Jack Tanner's (Michael Murphy) daughter Alex (Cynthia Nixon) shoots a documentary about the presidential campaign. The first of Tanner's four half-hour episodes debuts at 9 p.m. Oct. 5.

Face time for 'Tanner' redo on Sundance

NEW YORK -- Sundance Channel has greenlighted an original update of Robert Altman's political satire Tanner '88. The director will reteam with cartoonist Garry Trudeau and actors Michael Murphy, Cynthia Nixon and Pamela Reed for three new episodes to air in October, just before the U.S. presidential election. Earlier this year, Sundance rebroadcast Tanner, a groundbreaking interweaving of scripted and reality storytelling that followed the fictional presidential campaign of the titular candidate. Tanner originally aired on HBO in 1988.

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