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  • Caryn James
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    Ricky Gervais’ Edgy HBO Special

    I used to think that the title of funniest, edgiest (and the two are connected) comedian around was an impossible choice between Chris Rock and Eddie Izzard, but Ricky Gervais’ HBO stand-up show has him closing in on them. He has always been so cheerful and good-natured that he gets away with skewering the most outrageous targets. In the new special -- innocuously called Out of England 2, premiering Saturday -- he is as funny as ever but even darker.He sounds harmless enough. His voice veers into a falsetto as he imitates a disheartened goat sent as a gift to a starving African family: “A week ago I was gamboling around the Cotswolds!” But th...

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  • Caryn James
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    Introducing “James on screenS” and Its Other, Rejected Name

    I wanted to call my blog “Dangerous Liaisons,” but that made no sense without an explanation: the best reason I’ve ever heard for becoming a professional critic comes from Graham Greene, who spent a few years reviewing movies in the 1930’s and later said, “The idea of reviewing films came to me at a...

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  • Spout
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    Is the Time Person of the Year Choice Another Accolade for "The Social Network"?

    This reminds me of the time that "An Inconvenient Truth" won the Nobel Peace Prize. There is no direct connection between Mark Zuckerberg being named Time magazine's Person of the Year (and no he's not the youngest -- that's still Charles Lindbergh) and the continued success of "The Social Network."...

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  • The Playlist
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    Nope: George Clooney Isn't Going To Take The DeLorean (Biopic) For A Test Spin

    Much like the dueling "Snow White" projects, yet with considerably less heat is three in-the-works dueling biopics of the auto industry’s fallen angel, John DeLorean -- the car magnate and creator of the DeLorean vehicle perhaps best remembered for its appearance in "Back to the Future" as the time ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    More New And Notable Film Books

    A few weeks ago I did a survey of recently-published film books. Here is a second installment, drawn mostly from quick skims and first impressions. I don’t pretend these are full-fledged reviews based on reading these volumes in their entirety. They all look interesting and I hope they fulf...

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: 'The Tree Of Life' Trailer Finally Arrives Online, Will Blow Your Mind Malick Style

    Fuck "Thor," "Cowboys & Aliens," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and whatever other geek movie trailer countdown that happened this month. This is the trailer we've been dying to see ever since it started unspooling in front of "Black Swan," and for us, if the movie news year ended rig...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Roger Ebert Launches New "At the Movies" on PBS January 21--Without Elvis Mitchell

    Elvis Mitchell strikes again. The elusive film critic/interviewer has a long history of committing to jobs (and magazine deadlines, and dinner dates) without necessarily coming through. And he was supposed to cohost the new PBS Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies weekly TV series with AP critic Chris...

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  • The Playlist
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    IFC Confirms March 11, 2011 Release For 'Certified Copy' & Future Criterion Release

    Some good news for arthouse fans this morning. IFC Films has confirmed that Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy" which made the festival rounds this year, will not only hit theaters on March 11, 2011 but will also be prepped for a future home video release by The Criterion Collection, marking yet ano...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'True Grit' An Old-Fashioned Oater Only The Coens Could Make

    Judging by some of the early reviews of "True Grit" you would think that the Coens had left their bag of tricks at home when making the film, delivering a respectful if overly formal western. However, it seems those reviewers who got an early look forgot that the Coens are often found at the height of their creative powers when operating with a genre milieu. Take "Miller's Crossing," "The Hudsucker Proxy" or "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- all films with giant nods to filmmakers of yore, yet each imbued with the Coens' own distinctive thematic obsessions: this all continues with "True Grit." Wickedly funny, undeniably compelling and yes, touc...

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  • The Playlist
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    Nicolas Cage To Try On Some Bling-Bling For 'Medallion'

    Nicolas Cage's well-documented tax problems have made him the bitch of shady production company Milennium Films. The company's protocol seems to be to make cheap exploitation pictures before selling off the rights to individual territories, a touch-and-go philosophy that produces the occasional gem ("Leaves of Grass") alongside output that, dictated by the law of averages, ends up going straight to DVD. While the studio has few consistent collaborators, Cage starred in their "Wicker Man" remake and now has "Trespass" and "Drive Angry" slated for 2011. Joining that fleet is the upcoming "Medallion," making that four collaborations between Cage...

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