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  • Press Play
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    The Sensible Craft of Ben Affleck's ARGO

    Ben Affleck's third directing effort, "Argo," is funnier than expected, is expertly paced, and has a fantastic 70s look (the most convincing since Zodiac), plus knockout supporting performances by Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, and John Goodman in very colorful roles.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Recap: Coppola's 'Charles Swan' Trailer, Jon Hamm's Next Comedy, and 'Homeland's Damian Lewis Sings 'White Wedding'

    - The trailer for Roman Coppola's high-style comedy "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" (here and below) features Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman sporting a major Afro. It's clear that working with Wes Anderson has had a strong influence on Coppola's second feature. - Jon Hamm is considering starring in "Epic Fail," a Kevin Costello written comedy about a high school teacher who attempts to fake some heroism by hiring two of his students to stage a kidnapping of his wife.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Things I Learned on the Oscar Party Circuit

    It's been quite a week. Oscar parties are in full swing. This is the period when Oscar campaigners are trying to get their films seen, circulate their talent. Quentin Tarantino showed his final cut of "Django Unchained" to the Directors Guild Saturday to two standing ovations, while Peter Jackson finally unveiled "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" over the weekend in both super-sharp 48 fps and 24 fps (which is how I saw it Sunday). He'll be making appearances this week.

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  • The Playlist
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    Benedict Cumberbatch Overlooks Ruined London In First Poster For 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

    We remain continually impressed by the extent to which J.J. Abrams is able to keep things under wraps on his major movies; less than six months to release, and all we know about his "Star Trek" sequel is that it's got a title -- "Star Trek Into Darkness," a vague logline, and the internet's boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. But Abrams' mystery box can't stay shut forever, even for a guaranteed hit like next summer's blockbuster, and the floodgates are soon to open, with a trailer on its way next week, and nine minutes of IMAX footage from the film set to play before "The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey" next week.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Catching Up With Chaplin, 3-D, Hitchcock And More

    So many movie-buff discoveries, links, DVD releases and publications cross my desk that it’s not possible to keep up with them all, but I’d like to try catching up a bit. Let’s start with a Charlie Chaplin radio documentary. I don’t know how it escaped my notice for almost two years, but BBC radio in England produced a two-part documentary about the Charlie Chaplin archives.

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO: An Evening with Lawrence Jordan, Pioneer of Experimental Animation

    At an energetic 78, Lawrence Jordan may be riding the peak of his career. A major underground film figure since the ’60s (he co-founded the indispensable filmmakers co-op Canyon Cinema), Jordan has amassed a stunning body of work over the decades, with his pioneering collage animations holding firm as his signature creations. While films like Duo Concertantes, Our Lady of the Sphere and Orb made him a solid fixture on the experimental scene, his recent works like Enid’s Idyll, Beyond Enchantment and Solar Sight (his first to use color photographs) show him as joyfully engaged as ever in vision quests. As Michael Atkinson wrote on Keyframe earlier this year, “Nobody’s films come packing so many spontaneous ecstatic moments, in a recognizably and rapturously gorgeous context as Jordan’s.”

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire’s ‘Margate Sands’ Is A Bloody, Intense & Satisfying Finale To Season 3

    On the ropes all season long, it appeared that Atlantic City kingpin and bootlegger Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) would finally succumb to rival mobster Gyp Rosetti’s (Bobby Cannavale) attack. At the beginning of the season, Rosetti, a hot-headed gangster, was an irritation, but his hubris grew and grew and his meddling continued. When his counter-attacks backfired, his boss, New York mobster Joe Masseria (Ivo Nandi), essentially gave him an ultimatum (though Rosetti begged for the opportunity): wipe out his enemy Nucky Thompson or pay the price for his mistakes.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Rick McCallum Exits Lucasfilm To Make Indies w/ David Oyelowo & On Sierra Leone Child Soldiers

    Since completing Red Tails, McCallum has relocated to Prague, his wife's native country, and he is now in development of a slate of smaller, independent films that more closely resemble the projects he was involved with prior to his association with Lucasfilm. "I have a Russian film about the Babi Yar Massacre in development that is being directed by Sergei Loznitsa. I am also working with Tomás Masín on a Czech story about two brothers who escaped Czechoslovakia during the Cold War while being chased by 28,000 Soviet soldiers in what is still the largest manhunt in history. I'm also working on a film with David Oyelowo and developing a film with Laurence Bowen about the Boy Soldiers of Sierra Leone."

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Video Report On World Premiere Of Kenyan *Superhero* Drama 'Leo' In Nairobi

    Recapping... Directed by Jinna Mutune, the film is titled Leo, a film about a Kenyan boy who dreams of becoming a comic book superhero... Though the boy ends up realizing that there's more than one way to be a superhero.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    The Fugees' Pras Michel Suing Over Ownership Of Somali Pirates Doc

    Like most lawsuits this one gets somewhat complicated. So let me try to explain it in a clear and understandable way

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