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  • Eric Kohn
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    The Tragedy of Michael Bay.

    The best part of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" has no transformers in it. In the first act of Michael Bay's two-hour-plus threequel, regular transformer pal Shia LaBeouf fights a harder battle than any Decepticon has ever forced on him: Finding a job. In a humorous montage of ill-fated interviews, LaBeouf reminds us that he posseses legitimate acting talent beyond those countless reactions shots to CGI. (Remember "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"?) In a vain display of self-confidence, the erstwhile hero repeatedly gets put in his place by striking out. Even a bemused John Malkovich doesn't bat an eyelash when LaBeouf proclaims that he saved the world twice already. When he tells another potential employer that he received a medal from President Obama, the hustler hits another wall: "We're mostly Republican here," comes the reply.

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  • The Playlist
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    Danny Boyle Wants Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson To Join James McAvoy In 'Trance'

    Zoe Saldana and Mélanie Thierry Also In Contention, Michael Fassbender Definitely OutIf there was every any doubt, after work like "Shallow Grave," "Trainspotting" and "Sunshine," Danny Boyle has firmly planted his feet among the A-list of directors: he's had two Best Picture nominees in a row, with the first of them, "Slumdog Millionaire" winning a Best Director Oscar; he's scored a big stage hit in "Frankenstein"; and he's been handed the responsibility for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. While the latter will take up most of Boyle's next year, he's not going to be totally absent from the film world; it was announced a few months ago that he's planning a new heist thriller, "Trance," a remake of the 2001 British TV movie.

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  • Press Play
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    STEVE NEAVE ON FILM: ROCKY (1976)

    STEVE NEAVE ON FILM: ROCKY (1976) (HIGH QUALITY) from Matt Zoller Seitz on Vimeo.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Silent Masterpiece Sunrise Boasts New Score: For a Single Guitar

    When German director F.W. Murnau subtitled his 1927 silent film Sunrise with the phrase “a song of two humans,” he almost certainly meant those words to be understood figuratively. In a few weeks, though, Paolo Cherchi Usai, an Italian film archivist and director, and Giovanni Spinelli, an Italian-born composer based in New York City, will premiere a project they have been working on for the last two years that will change that subtitle, quite literally, to “a song of one human.”

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  • Press Play
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    REVIEW: POLYTECHNIQUE, by INCENDIES director Denis Villeneuve, marries politics and melodrama

    By Simon AbramsPressPlay contributor

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    You Can't Force Funny: Jeff Daniels Sings the Blues

    Watch Jeff Daniels strum his stuff in Funny or Die’s absurd riff, “Forcin’ the Blues with Jeff Daniels." There’s a particularly silly shout-out to his impeccable acting choices towards the end.

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Festival Review: 'Salaam Dunk' A Colorful Portrait Of Modern Life In Iraq

    Of the majority of images and video to be coming from Iraq right now, “Salaam Dunk” stands aside from the pack. Colorful, hopeful and charming, ‘Dunk’ follows a women's basketball team at the American University of Iraq -- Sulaimani. We see their wins, their losses, what brought them to this team and how being a part of it has changed and shaped them, because for many of the girls it was the first time they had ever picked up a basketball, much less played on a sports team.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Lush International Trailer For Studio Ghibli's Latest 'Arriety'

    Despite the patronage of Disney and John Lasseter, the work of Hayao Miyazaki has never quite made the impression abroad that it has in its native Japan, where his films number among the all-time biggest grossers: in the U.S. 2009's "Ponyo" is his most successful film, despite the raves given to "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away." At the same time, it has at least been demonstrated now that there is an audience for both his films and those of his professional home, Studio Ghibli, and it's now common for those films to get a U.S. release, even if Miyazaki himself isn't at the helm.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    HBO Doc Shows Why DA Needed Exiting Sex Crimes Unit Chief Friel's Division in Strauss-Kahn Case

    HBO Doc Shows Why DA Needed Exiting Sex Crimes Unit Chief Friel's Division in Strauss-Kahn Case

    There's no question that my reaction to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case was influenced by having seen Lisa Jackson's Sex Crimes Unit, which played at the Los Angeles Film Festival before beginning its run on HBO June 20. Jackson got unprecedented access to the respected Unit of the New York District Attorney's office that specializes in sex crimes. You see how the attorneys work under unit chief Lisa Friel, who unexpectedly announced last week that she will be leaving the division.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Video: A Quick Look at Google +

    I have not been invited yet to Google +, although frustratingly, others have invited me to join. But Google had to shut down that option after too many people rushed to sign up. Check out Google's demonstration video for Google +. If you're like me, Facebook has become this huge mass of disparate folks ranging from close family and friends to work colleagues and acquaintances and people I don't even know. Twitter is easier--anyone can follow me, and I can select who I follow. But when one group starts live-tweeting a movie or football game--that could be done as a Google + hangout without either imposing it on disinterested Twitter followers or asking people to temporarily unfollow you.

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