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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    The Muppets Ring Christmas Bells

    [Hat Tip: Movie Marketing Madness]

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    More: Video
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Happy Domino Holidays

    Dominoes Everywhere for the holidays from Jared Lyon on Vimeo.

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    More: Video
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Conan O'Brien's Nativity Scene Goes to the Dogs

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  • THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall
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    Vic Chesnutt

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    More: Personal, Music
  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    R.I.P. Vic Chesnutt

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Merry Christmas

    I'll be off the blog until New Years Eve, I've decided. Joyous family stuff trumps all the list making this blog has promised. I'll leave you with this list instead. Happy Holidays!

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Best of the Decade #6

    The first decade of the 21st century, even with all the technological changes that have greatly expanded knowledge of our origins and pointed towards our potential futures, holds no monopoly on the great unending debate of what the word “human” means. But this troubled decade may well have produced one of the purest artistic examinations to date of what makes us us. Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence only seemed truly landmark to a few hardy souls back in the naive summer of 2001 (as an aside, if it weren’t for A.I., a true cinematic rallying point for myself, my co-editor, and several other Reverse Shot writers, this journal itself might not exist). Here in 2009 it seems downright prophetic, but not for the obvious reasons. The film’s speculative trappings—the rapid onset of global warming that drowns coastal regions, the walling off of industrialized nations into fortress-islands against human migration, advances in robotic technology approaching what some label “the singularity” (that moment when robots outpace human intelligence)—speak to a holistic prescience that films like The Day After Tomorrow, Terminator Salvation, and An Inconvenient Truth can only bite off in pieces. A.I. skips over the sum total of these films in a few minutes of prologue narration. No, the worth of Spielberg’s greatest achievement to date lies not in its frightening accuracy, but in how it uses its future setting to divert our attention back to those most basic and eternal of existential questions in a manner as emotionally devastating as it is intellectually searching. Read Jeff Reichert on A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Dried Up: Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"

    The aughts haven’t been particularly kind to Terry Gilliam. In the Nineties, when he proved his critical, commercial, and cult mettle with The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, he rebounded from the editorial and legal disputes that blunted the distribution and reception of his major post–Monty Python Eighties efforts, Brazil, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. It’s tempting to view the crushing, quixotic struggles to mount his Don Quixote as a breaking point that explains away the muddled and (meddled-with) The Brothers Grimm and the abhorred Tideland—until 2009 his only cinematic output this decade. After the scuttling of his long-cherished dream project, one could excuse the man somewhat for withdrawing, producing distasteful, confrontational art, walking off a film in the face of fiddling producers. Unfortunately, his touted “return to form,” The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, puts to rest any charity one might want to afford the director. For sure, this is a Terry Gilliam film through and through, it exhibits his unmistakable stylistic tics and pet themes, but those of us who grew up wearing our allegiance to his earlier work proudly won’t be pleased to note that Gilliam-esque now seems little more than a fraying bag of tired tricks. Maybe he produces his best work within ten-year cycles? Read the rest of Jeff Reichert's review of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    It's Complicated

    If you love watching Meryl Streep, are enjoying the renaissance of Alec Baldwin as a comedic actor, and like Steve Martin playing it straight, you’re a candidate to enjoy It’s Complicated as much as I did. With Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) at the helm as...

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Faltermeyer!

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