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  • ReelPolitik
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    America's Dubious War on Drugs: Pot Busts and Eugene Jarecki's Sundance Winner "The House I Live In"

    Yesterday, news broke that New York City police had arrested more than 50,000 people on low-level marijuana charges last year despite being told dubious tactics--such as "stop-and-frisks"--should not be used. According to reports, marijuana-possession arrests account for about 1 in every 7 cases in the city's courts, and not surprisingly, the vast majority of those stopped are black or Hispanic (about 87% vs. only 10% white, despite the fact that "young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young blacks and Latinos,” according to sociologist Dr. Harry Levine. If you saw Eugene Jarecki's new documentary "The House I Live In," which continues to be a talking point for me with family and friends, this latest data continues to prove several of the film's theses:

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Denzel Washington Wins A Golden Camera Award (Germany's Oscar)

    Denzel Washington will be honored this Saturday (Feb. 4) with the Golden Camera Award, Germany's equivalent to the Oscars or Emmys, for "best international actor."

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  • Spout
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    The Doc Option: Instead of "Big Miracle" See "The Whale"

    I can understand the appeal of "Big Miracle," the cheesy looking new movie about a whale trapped in Arctic ice. I was once a preteen kid obsessed with marine life and I definitely would have gone to see it. Now I'm a thirtysomething kid obsessed with documentary so I have other films to see. If you're with me on wanting a more grown-up alternative, I've got another Doc Option for you:

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Stuart Craig Talks the Long Road of 'Harry Potter'

    If anyone could rightly be called the face of "Harry Potter," it's production designer Stuart Craig, the architect of this fantastical world of author J.K. Rowling. He was there from the beginning to the end of the most successful franchise in movie history that touched off the millennium—and now beyond,

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Gabourey Sidibe Promoted To "Big C" Series Regular + Cast In Feature Comedy "Seven Psychopaths"

    I watched 2 episodes of this during its first season in 2010, and I wasn't hooked enough to keep watching; besides there's just too much competiting for my time, so if I'm not immediately taken with something, there's a good chance that I'll be saying goodbye to it sooner than later.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Talk: Guild Update, 'The Artist' vs. 'Hugo,' Clooney vs. Dujardin

    On this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I agree that "The Artist" is a runaway train that will not be stopped. While that doesn't mean that it will win everything, George Clooney has reason to be worried.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Brief New 'John Carter' Featurette Continues Us Down The Road Of Cautious Optimism

    "John Carter" is now about a month away from hitting screens and it remains, largely, a mystery. The first live-action feature directed by Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (who previously helmed "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E") has been plagued by bad buzz and rumors of massive budgetary overruns. While there's still a lot riding on "John Carter," we do have to remember that the script was co-written by Michael Chabon, that the film was largely developed at Pixar, and that Stanton could very easily make just as seamless a transition from animation to live action as his Pixar cohort Brad Bird did on "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." While the trailers haven't inspired much awe, a new micro-featurette (via Bleeding Cool) does lift our spirits, showing new footage and an actual sense of the tone and scale of the project.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer Book New Projects

    Smart women.  Strike while the iron is hot.  Octavia starts shooting Diablo Cody's directorial debut shortly, but she also has booked her next role which came to me yesterday in one of the Hollywood Reporter's Breaking News Alerts.  Those kinds of news alerts make me happy.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Diahann Carroll In Conversation About Her Film Career

    The pretty great film wesbite (well not as great as S & A) which is part of Turner Classic Movies called Movie Morlocks, which is devoted exclusively to older classic films from the 1930-1970's, just this week posted an long and extensive interview with actress and singer Diahann Carroll about her film career.

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  • The Playlist
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    Rotterdam Review: Takashi Miike's 'Ace Attorney' A Stylish, Bizarre Video Game Adaptation & Legal Satire

    Takashi Miike made his first big international splash in Rotterdam, with "Audition" in 2000, and then began a run of productivity that few filmmakers, even famously prolific ones, can match. This is the man who made "Visitor Q," "Ichi the Killer" and "The Happiness of the Katakuris" in the same year. Even crazier, that was less than half of his output in 2001, a year in which he made seven feature films. He made fifteen movies in all between 2001 and 2003, including "Gozu," which savvy critics rightly acknowledge is his best film. Perhaps Miike has mellowed in recent years. He’s only been making two or three films anually for the past half decade.

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