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Seth Abramson

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    METAMERICANA: Is James Franco a Creep? Thank God We'll Never Know

    The main reason not to care whether James Franco is or is not a creep is that it's far more interesting not to know than to know.

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    What's Behind the Puzzling Bum Rap TRUE DETECTIVE Has Gotten?

    There's something about the recently concluded first season of the HBO program "True Detective" that's driven certain normally cogent television critics batty. Usually one can follow naysayers' objections to a program's narrative arc or episode-to-episode execution, but in the case of "True Detectiv...

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    METAMERICANA: SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH Is a Fantasy RPG That’s All Too Real

    Playing "South Park: The Stick of Truth" is the equivalent of being a role-playing kid who’s role-playing a role-playing game. But as with so much meta-art, these several levels of remove from the “real” thing feel as or more real than the “originals.”

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    METAMERICANA: Paolo Sorrentino's THE GREAT BEAUTY Is Exactly That

    "The Great Beauty" is not only one of the most visually arresting films in years, but also one of its most eclectic: each scene develops a distinct internal atmosphere through the auteur's selection of color palette, stage direction, and (most notably) musical score.

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    A NEW PRESS PLAY COLUMN: Seth Abramson's "Metamericana"

    Greed, Martin Scorsese suggests in his new film "The Wolf of Wall Street," is now executed in U.S. financial markets on such a colossal and audacious scale that it no longer has the capacity to scandalize us.

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    Shia LaBeouf: Plagiarist or Genius?

    By now, most movie buffs have stumbled across the imbroglio involving Hollywood megastar Shia LaBeouf, whose short film "HowardCantour.com" was allegedly rife with plagiarism of cartoonist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes. Meanwhile, LaBeouf has flooded his Twitter account with apologies—all apparentl...

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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt Dons the Jerk Gear for DON JON

    If "Don Jon" is successful in its satire of contemporary living, it is primarily in reminding us—as if any reminder were needed—just how invasive and insidious gender typecasting is in America.

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    You Got the Miley You Paid For, America

    If indeed Miley Cyrus has offended or done damage with her straight-from-the-playbook youth rebellion, I'm more insulted by those who are insulted than by the one purportedly doing the insulting.

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    Why AMC's HELL ON WHEELS Is a Hot Mess

    "Hell on Wheels," whose third season premiered just two weeks ago, is widely and justifiably regarded as the worst offering on AMC to date. The reason? Bad acting, bad scripts, a bad concept, and a long line of small- and big-screen Westerns that have done everything "Hell on Wheels" aims to do, but...

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    John Luther and the New Face of Evil

    Those with only a passing interest in the BBC detective drama "Luther," or who've watched the program only half-heartedly, will wrongly say that this is a show about a dirty cop. In fact, what it is is a program about a man trying to be heroic in all the wrong ways.

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