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  • Spout
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    New Yorkers Ought to Appreciate Sidney Lumet's "The Wiz"

    Three years ago I was very upset with NYC's Film Forum for excluding "The Wiz" from an otherwise decent Sidney Lumet retrospective. I mean, they didn't include much more than the hits and classics. It too lacked his sole, Oscar-nominated, under-seen documentary "King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis" (which I spotlighted over at Nothing But the Doc yesterday as something I need to see) as well as most of his lesser works. But while "The Wiz" is not one of the favored classics, having been a box office failure and still critically disregarded, it is both historically and fantastically important to the Big Apple. If anyone, New Yorkers should be able to appreciate parts of it, and the series could have been a great opportunity for a Q&A discussion (with production designer/costume designer Tony Walton?) of the musical film's inspired employment of the city's landmarks.

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    More: Obituary
  • Eric Kohn
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    In Praise of "Superjail!"

    "Late one night a few years back, I was flipping through channels and happened upon a cartoon experience that blew my mind several times over. It was beyond inane and irreverent, reaching a point of heightened nonesense. A smarmy milkshake pitted his ego against housemates made of fries and uncooked meat. Their front yard was filled with hungover fratboys from another planet who promptly killed themselves by wandering into an invisible forcefield. And before all of that, a mad scientist plotted evil from the Jersey Shore by yanking out his brain. He fell down dead, but his brain fired lasers at the doc's clueless assistant. Um, what the hell?

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  • The Playlist
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    Guy Pearce Talks His Kinship With Kate Winslet In Todd Haynes' 'Mildred Pierce'

    There hasn't been a character like Monty Beragon on the screen -- big or small -- in quite a while. Played with rakish charm by Guy Pearce in Todd Haynes' masterful mini-series "Mildred Pierce," he's the devilishly handsome man who falls in with Kate Winslet's titular character and in what is truly a case of opposites attracting. A part owner of a fading fruit company, Monty lives as he always has, with not much thought for tomorrow and usually with a good amount of money in his pockets thanks to his regular dividends. His life revolves around his country club and Mildred and beyond that, not much else. His lifestyle runs counter to Mildred's, she is divorced and working nearly around the clock to make a name for herself and more importantly, earn whatever she can to get everything her daughter desires. Yet in each other, Mildred and Monty find something missing in their own lives. The five-part series allows for plenty of room for the actors and characters to breathe and while the film is primarily about Mildred's fractured relationship with her daughter Veda, her affair with the beguiling and bewitching Monty is given equal time and is just as crucial to the film's heart-wrenching closing chapters.

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  • The Playlist
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    Nick Cassavetes Replaces Liam Neeson In Reshot 'Hangover 2' Cameo

    So far what we've seen from the highly anticipated sequel "The Hangover Part II" hasn't impressed in the slightest. The first trailer feels like a warmed-over rehash of everything from the first film but simply transplanted to Thailand. But if anything, Todd Phillips is determined to get the small role of the Bangkok tattoo artist right. First he had planned for Mel Gibson to take the part, but objections from the cast (mostly Zach Galifianakis) put the kibosh on that. Next, Liam Neeson was called up, but as Phillips readies the film for a Memorial Day release on a tight schedule, he still didn't have the scene he wanted and now someone else is stepping into the role.

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  • The Playlist
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    Tobey Maguire Reteams With Ang Lee For 'Life Of Pi'

    It's been a while since we've had news on either Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" or on actor Tobey Maguire, but it looks like the two are coming together once again.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    The Philadelphia Story

    Of all the famous Katharine Hepburn movies--and she is the longest-lived (in her career) and most honored star in picture history--the one I’ve had a little trouble really loving is The Philadelphia Story (available on DVD). It’s got an impeccable pedigree: the last and most popular of four comedies she did with Cary Grant, three of them directed by George Cukor, who not only discovered Hepburn for 1932's A Bill of Divorcement, but also directed her in seven other movies (two for TV); and quite faithfully adapted from a successful Philip Barry play that had been a hit vehicle for Hepburn on Broadway. In fact, The Philadelphia Story is credited with reviving Hepburn’s picture career after she had left Hollywood a couple of years before with the weight on her of a powerful exhibitor’s comment that she was “box office poison.” She negotiated to control the play’s film rights and was instrumental in getting Cukor, Grant and James Stewart to do the movie, thus essentially authoring her own triumphant return to the screen. For his performance, Stewart won the Oscar as Best Actor. All the star players have some excellent scenes and the supporting cast is splendid. So what’s wrong?

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  • The Playlist
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    R.I.P. Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)

    The streets of New York City have lost one of their greatest cinematic voices as legendary filmmaker Sidney Lumet has passed away at the age of 86.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Gregg Araki Retrospective Kicks Off Tonight

    In more awesome Toronto screening news, TIFF Bell Lightbox is kicking off a retrospective of Gegg Araki tonight with "Kaboom" and "The Living End," and continuing through his entire filmography, including his rarely screened 1987 debut "Three Bewildered People in the Night" (which I've never seen and am so pumped for). Araki himself will show up tomorrow night an onstage conversation, and the 2 weeks of following screenings should be necessary viewing for anyone who hasn't seen most of his work on the big screen (me included, despite "Nowhere" and "The Doom Generation" being obsessive mid-teen viewing via VHS).

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  • Caryn James
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    Watch: Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski, Yankees vs. Red Sox

    It takes a lot for me to notice sports, like some college basketball game forcing Letterman into reruns. But Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski are two of the funniest actors on television, and even I get the Yankees vs. Red Sox rivalry, so this new commercial transcends sports.

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    More: Web Video
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    The Academy: Who's the Boss? President Tom Sherak Explains Changes

    The Academy: Who's the Boss? President Tom Sherak Explains Changes

    As president of the Motion Picture Academy, Tom Sherak was very much the guiding force behind presenting Dawn Hudson to the board of governors before their ratifying vote Thursday night. The meeting lasted more than five hours before they brought new CEO Dawn Hudson and her COO partner Ric Robertson in to meet their applause some time before midnight.

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