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TV Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Top of the Lake' Recap 2: Bringing Out the Dead and Missing

    While last week's two-hour premiere of "Top of the Lake" dealt with the blunt one-two shock of a pregnant pre-teen girl and then her disappearance, this week's episode deals with the classic detective-story trope of obsession with a missing person. As is often the case, an obsession with the missing...

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  • Indiewire
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    In 'Phil Spector,' David Mamet Turns a Real Trial Into a Queasy Hollywood Fable

    How to describe what Al Pacino does in "Phil Spector"? He dons the wigs and the time-warped fashions, he gnashes his teeth and rolls his eyes and bellows to the heavens about shaping the music industry and how he knows how the game is played: "They kill men for telling the truth!"

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Phil Spector' Killed Lana Clarkson, But David Mamet's Movie Presupposes, Maybe He Didn't?

    With production on the film starting all the way back in the summer of 2011, it's been a curiously long wait for David Mamet's "Phil Spector," and from the first moment, one gets the impression that HBO's lawyers were a bit nervous about the effort. Before we even see one frame of the picture, an op...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review Roundup: 'Phil Spector' a Sinfully Entertaining Treat Starring Wigged-Out Al Pacino

    HBO's "Phil Spector" (March 24) directed by David Mamet and starring a tantalizingly wigged-out Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, is mostly receiving praise from critics. Pacino's performance is being touted as "compelling, both despite and because of the wigs," while Mamet's direction is called "sinfully...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    HBO's Accidental Feminism, From Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath to Laura Dern's Amy Jellicoe

    With the recent finale of the second season of “Girls,” and the “Enlightened” season finale still resonating in my mind, I’ve been thinking more and more about the characters from both shows. The upcoming new season of “Veep” is only a few weeks away, too, and, even though it’s a more stylized comed...

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  • Indiewire
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    'Girls' Closes Its Season With a (Mostly) Happy Ending, But Was It Earned?

    "Girls" wrapped up its second season last night with an episode that offered two remarkably conventional romantic comedy moments underneath a gloss of Brooklyn quirk and sexual frankness.

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  • Indiewire
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    Jane Campion's Masterful 'Top of the Lake' Uses a Mystery As a Window Into a Community at the Edge of the World

    There may be no filmmaker better at portraying the differences between men and women than Jane Campion, whose latest work, the masterful seven-part miniseries "Top of the Lake," premieres tonight, March 18th, on the Sundance Channel. Putting it that way has the potential to make her output sound str...

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: After An Adventurous Season 2, 'Girls' Finale Plays It Safe & Conventional

    It has been a pretty adventurous second season for "Girls," and one has to look no further than the experimental, format-breaking mid-season episodes. The nearly standalone short film "One Man's Trash," the Staten Island-set "Boys" and Jessa one-off "Video Games" were all fascinating detours from th...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Girls' Recap 10: Saving the Worst for Last

    If last week’s episode dealt with body horror (ass splinters! lodged Q-tips!), this week’s episode deals with the horror of finishing things. Hannah struggles -- but not too hard -- with wrapping up her barely inchoate manuscript, while “Girls” struggles with capping off its second season in a coher...

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  • Indiewire
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    Why You Should Catch Up on Genuine Guilty Pleasure 'Banshee' in Time for Tonight's Season Finale

    "Banshee" is the TV equivalent of eating batter-fried cheese wrapped in bacon and washing it down with a full pint of well bourbon. You know you'll regret it even as you gorge, but the moment itself is pretty damn swell.

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