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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Attention J.J. Abrams, Adam Scott From 'Parks & Recreation' Has Some Advice For 'Star Trek 2'

    If you saw J.J. Abrams' franchise reboot "Star Trek" and thought, "Nyota Uhura and Spock? Really?" you're not alone. On this week's episode of "Parks and Recreation," Adam Scott's perfectly nerdy and awkward character Ben Wyatt went on a mini-rant about the budding romance and warns Abrams about the Internet fallout that will happen if he follows through with it in "Star Trek 2." It's amazing. And Adam Scott knows what he's talking about. In case you forgot, he earned his Trekker cred as Defiant Helm Crewman in "Star Trek: First Contact." Watch below (the bit starts at 13:50).

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Fantasia Barrino/Mahalia Jackson Film Project All Jacked Up Now

    That Mahalia Jackson biopic with Fantasia Barrino to be directed by Sugar Cane Alley director Euzhan Palcy is now pretty iffy if it ever gets made and those behind the scenes are blaming Barrino.

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    More: FYI
  • The Playlist
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    VIFF '11: Thai Existentialist Hitman Film 'Headshot' Proves The Genre Still Has A Pulse

    The hitman genre has been done to death. If cinema can be a reflection of the times we live in, and a recorded piece of history of what the filmmakers are concerned with at the time of inception and production, then it’s amazing any of us are still alive. When done well, the genre can be a lot of fun – as well as dramatic, escapist, cool and artful – but there’s just too many professional killers running amok in the movies.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Abe Sylvia Talks "Dirty Girl"

    For a fun time this weekend, check out Abe Sylvia's irresistibly sassy directorial debut "Dirty Girl" - a raunchy, 1980s set comedy that details the story of smart, slutty Danielle (the transformative Juno Temple) and overweight, gay Joel (Nicholas D'Agosto). I chatted with Sylvia back at last year's Toronto Film Festival, where the film debuted. Please excuse how awkward I am, and enjoy how charming and genuine Mr. Sylvia is:

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    More: Clips
  • The Playlist
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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Sleeping Sickness' A Morality Tale That Doesn't Fulfill Its Promise

    Poor Ulrich Köhler. His first feature "Bungalow" was a quiet, very reserved tale about a young soldier going AWOL. Instead of finishing his service, he gives into lethargy, laying around and doing nothing while hoping the military doesn't catch up with him. Once he's introduced to his brother's sweetheart, he finally finds his purpose: get in her pants at all costs. No, it wasn't terribly ambitious, but it was a relatively solid debut and was interesting enough to make those who actually saw it keep an eye on the new German filmmaker. Four years passed and finally his sophomore picture "Windows On Monday" was unleashed with a whimper. This film -- about a wife rejecting her routine middle-class life and responsibilities -- saw the director slightly refining his style, but also failing to make a truly deep impression in its festival run. Neither of these films were bad (in fact, this writer quite liked 'Windows'), but their meandering nature and unattractive simplicity didn't do them any favors when pitted against things like "The Free Will" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" at Berlinale. The ante had to be upped. Sensing this, Köhler uprooted and went to Africa for his latest endeavor. Would a fresh landscape invigorate his sauntering aesthetic? Now that his German brethren are stirring conversation and acclaim with their "Dreileben" trilogy series, it's an even greater chance to finally catch the attention of festival goers. Unfortunately, "Sleeping Sickness" is a lot like his previous films, much to its own detriment.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekly Wrap: Previews, Cronenberg's Menage A Trois, Scorsese's George Harrison Doc, Marilyn Trailer

    Weekend Preview: Ides of March, Real Steel, The Way, Dirty Girl, War Doc Hell and Back Again

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: African Basketball Doc Elevate Echoes Hoop Dreams

    Here's the trailer for Anne Buford's Elevate to be released by Variance Films October 21 (NY) and November 4 (LA and expansion). The documentary follows West African teenagers with the height and dreams to play with the big boys in the NBA--but first they have to get a scholarship to study, live and play in the US. With footage spanning four years and two continents, the film echoes Steve James' more in-depth Hoop Dreams. Here's more. The full synopsis is below.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Strike Back Renewed for 2012 – Episode 8 is Classic Adventure Story

    Strike Back Renewed for 2012 – Episode 8 is Classic Adventure Story

    David Chute is happy to report that Strike Back has been re-upped.Cinemax action hit Strike Back will be back to strike again in 2012, powered by strong ratings and a growing cadre of passionate fans – including many who held mock funerals when 24 was canceled.

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    More: TV, Reviews, HBO
  • The Playlist
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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Once Upon A Time In Anatolia' A Masterful, Slow-Burn Epic

    Minimalist art filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan spent a long time crafting very personal and breathtakingly photographed tales. His work has never been big on plot, nor have they ever been anything other than glacially paced. Indeed, his general aesthetic isn't very welcoming to the impatient, though those willing to give their attention are always struck by something special. His black and white debut "The Town" is a real toughie, containing less of a story and more of a collection of moments -- but without the presence of a narrative, Ceylan is free to discover and exhibit universal beauty that isn't dependent on deep characters or drama. A "scene" in a classroom becomes magical when a feather floats into the room, with a few children continually blowing it to stay in the air. Let the tales be told elsewhere, because without being too pretentious, this was life he was capturing in its most undiluted form.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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