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Now and Then

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    Now and Then: With Recent Controversies, Maybe Critics Matter?

    Something changed this week. As the days passed, each became part of a snowballing narrative about critics that seemed to me to portend a future less than bright. The New York Critics pandered to the Oscar horse race and ended up muffing the whole deal, losing their one chance a year to go out on a ...

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    Now and Then: In TCM Battle of the Blondes, Who Comes Out on Top?

    Now and Then: In TCM Battle of the Blondes, Who Comes Out on Top?

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    Lumet's 12 Angry Men a Classic, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

    They’re talking about a switchblade. If the murder weapon in question is one of a kind, linking the young defendant to his father’s death, they can return a guilty sentence — and the mandatory capital punishment — in mere minutes. "But what if it isn’t?" Juror...

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    Apocalypses Now and Then: Von Trier’s Melancholia vs. Anderson’s Magnolia

    In his “Now and Then” column this week, Matt Brennan examines two visionary directors’ takes on the end of the world as we know it — controversial Dane Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (on VOD now, in theaters Friday) and Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling 1999 classic ...

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    Brand New Spy and Cult Classic Alias Play Spy Game--by Different Rules

    In this week’s “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan takes a look at two players in the small-screen spy game, the new Sky 1/Hulu comedy Spy and J.J. Abrams breakout cult hit, Alias.

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    Now and Then Sees Double: Margin Call/Wall Street and Weekend/Before Sunset

    With a couple of superb new indies making well-deserved waves, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column pulls extra duty this week by taking on two double features for the price of one: Margin Call vs. Wall Street, and Weekend vs. Before Sunset. Trailers below:

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    In The Tree of Life, Malick's Experimentation Gets Under the Skin

    With the debate about its Oscar chances heating up and the film now available on DVD and Blu-ray, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column this week revisits Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life marks director Terrence Malick’s fifth feature in the 38 years since his debut, Badlands. It’s an output that might seem thin at first glance: Woody Allen, in the same period, directed 40 (!) films, some of which (Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives) deserve to be saddled with the word “classic.” But Mailck’s genius — and, watching The Tree of Life again, I think that’s a fair word to use — can’t be seen in traditional terms....

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    And the Nobel Prize for Film Goes To...

    Seeing that the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded last week, to Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, Matt Brennan got to thinking: What if there were a Nobel Prize for Film? This week’s “Now and Then” column revels in some of the possibilities. Check out the trailers and post your own picks in the c...

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    Now and Then: The Transformation of Michael Bay to Sunday Hangover Auteur

    Occasioned by the DVD release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon last week, and a few too many drinks Saturday night, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column celebrates director Michael Bay, Sunday hangover auteur. Trailers below:

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    More Than Just Funny: How Women Took Comedy by the Balls

    On a weekend in which the multiplex was mainly a man’s world, Matt Brennan's "Now and Then" column this week focuses on news from the small screen. With Bridesmaids now available on DVD and a flurry of funny women hitting network TV, he got to wondering: are we in a golden age of women in comedy? Trailers below:I know. You already have seven problems with this column and all you’ve read is the teaser. So let’s slow down and lay out some of the assumptions I’m working with here: first, that women are funny, and not only to other women, despite what Christopher Hitchens might have to say on the subject; and second, that I recognize there are pr...

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