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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Father Figurine: Mike Mills's "Beginners"

    There won’t be a dry cheek in the house after sitting through Mike Mills’s tearjerker Beginners, but that’s only because of all the cuteness that practically drips off the screen. In fact, you might want to wear a trenchcoat to this pornographically precious romcom masquerading as a poignant working-out of daddy issues. Mills conceived of his second feature, following the oddly hyped but frivolous yawp of teen angst Thumbsucker, as a tribute to his father. After his wife’s death, the seventy-something man had admitted his homosexuality to his son, much to the latter’s immense surprise, before dying himself a few years later. To convey this deeply personal tale onscreen, Mills casts eminently elegant Christopher Plummer as pops, cuddly Ewan McGregor as himself, and Inglourious Basterds’ it-girl Mélanie Laurent as his beautiful French fling, and calls it a day. There’s no denying the chops and attractiveness of this cast, but perhaps that seamless professionalism and charm is the problem: once translated to film, this potentially intriguing age-reversed coming-out scenario becomes the stuff of movie-movie-land. Ultimately, Mills seems to have less interest in finding out what made his late father tick than going through the motions of another idiosyncratic American indiewood product about an emotionally closed off young man who just needs to open his heart to the right woman. Read Michael Koresky's review of Beginners.

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  • The Playlist
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    Benedict Cumberbatch & Rebecca Hall To Star In HBO Mini-Series 'Parade's End'

    As we reported earlier today, Benedict Cumberbatch had to bow out of Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," but believe us, he has a good reason for what sounds like yet another first rate television project.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Can You Name Sitcoms With Your Favorite Theme Music? (Survey)

    Everyone usually has more than a few favorite television sitcoms from the past but what about the music for sitcoms? Do you have a list of musical sitcom tunes that, whenever you hear them, seem to bring a smile to your face?

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    LAFF Adds Artists in Residence Erykah Badu and Daniele Luppi, Galas Devil's Double, Attack The Block

    Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival has chosen its 2011 artists in residence: Erykah Badu and Daniele Luppi. The fest is also adding Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine to it series of Conversations, and Gala screenings of SXSW hit Attack the Block (pictured) and Sundance entry The Devil's Double (check out the hot new poster and the trailer below).

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  • Shadow and Act
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    "Viva Riva" Gets A Red-Band Trailer. Watch It Now!

    In my review of Djo Tunda Wa Munga's crime drama, Viva Riva!, I highlighted the film's audacious depictions of the kind of orchestrated sexuality and violence rarely seen in African cinema (specifically cinema of the DRC - the Democratic Republic Of The Congo, where such scenes are taboo).

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    More: Trailer
  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Rachel McAdams Forgets She's Married To Channing Tatum In Trailer For 'The Vow'

    And We Don't Blame HerHey guys, guess what movie you're getting dragged to next Valentine's Day. We can already feel our testicles shriveling up inside our bodies.

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    More: Films, The Vow
  • The Playlist
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    Matthew Vaughn Was A Yeller, Already Thinking Sequels & 18 Things Learned About 'X-Men First Class'

    "X" marks the spot! (Sorry, had to go there.) After a long wait, at least quality-wise, the mutants are back and "X-Men: First Class" has arrived and opens in theaters nationwide today. This super hero film also lands with a rather huge sigh of relief to three distinctly different groups of people. 1) The fans: after having to endure two mediocre to abysmal installments of the 'X-Men' series ("X-Men: The Last Stand" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), the Matthew Vaughn-directed "X-Men: First Class," is a nice return to form and almost on-par with Bryan Singer's much beloved "X2" (read our positive review) 2) The non-disastrous quality of the film is also a huge sigh of relief to the cast who were expecting something else. 'First Class' was shot, edited and finished in a lightning-fast 10-month period and actors have already publicly admitted that the uber-rushed-production of the film made them worry they were putting their efforts into polishing a turd. So a remarkably steady picture -- also considering the myriad story threads -- is not only a major comfort, it's a major surprise. 3) The studio: Trying to get their blockbuster brand back to health, 20th Century Fox gambled big time with the rushed schedule of "X-Men: First Class," but thanks to Vaughn they rolled snake eyes. This should be precipitating whoops and cheers from the execs, frankly.The film wasn't cheap to make, the actual production was one huge question mark, but now their franchise is back in good standing with critics (and soon to be fans) and sequels will surely be on their way (and yes, everyone in the cast is signed up for a trilogy, as is de rigueur these days). The film's arrival is good news to everyone.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    DC Black Theater Festival This Month; Rain Pryor, Doug E. Doug Melba Moore, Others Performing

    The DC Black Theater Festival taking place in Washington, from June 12th to the 19th, will bring a host of stories written and presented by African American playwrights from across the country.

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    More: Theater
  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch Episode 4 Of Chiwetel Ejiofor's New BBC Crime Series "The Shadow Line"

    A little late in posting last week's episode, episode 4. Episode 5 aired this week; but episode 4 first.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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