Arts & Life

Ask Me Another
6:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Movie Favorites: Act II

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 10:17 am

We continue the hour of our favorite games about the silver screen. Can you think of a movie that does not star Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, or Anthony Hopkins? Go on, name one; or just play along with "He Was In That?" Then guess the titles of mashed-up movie plots in "Double Feature." Plus, it seems even movie monsters have a hard time finding love — so we make Godzilla an online dating profile in a game called "E-Horror-Mony." Join host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton as they lead the show.

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Movie Reviews
6:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

A 'Hunky Dory' High School Musical

Free-spirited drama teacher Viv (Minnie Driver) hopes to use a summer musical production of The Tempest to give her students a chance to express themselves in Hunky Dory.
Variance Films

Set in a seaside town in Wales in the summer of 1976 — the U.K.'s warmest summer on record — Hunky Dory follows the passion project of Vivienne (Minnie Driver), a free-spirited high school teacher who wants her senior students to stage an unconventional production of The Tempest that David Bowie would be proud of. When Viv promises contemporary music and a freer classroom environment, the students are sold. That is, until the last two weeks of school arrive.

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Arts & Life
5:59 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Man Freed after Two Decades In New York Prison; Doubt Cast On Murder Conviction

"Sir, you are free to go."

With those words from a judge in a New York court on Thursday, David Ranta was released from custody after serving 23 years in prison for a killing that authorities now doubt he carried out.

Weeping and surrounded by relatives, Ranta tried to describe his feelings to the media.

"I'm overwhelmed," the 58-year-old told reporters. "I feel like I'm under water, swimming."

The AP reports that, ahead of freeing Ranta, the judge acknowledged the failure of justice in his case:

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Arts & Life
5:52 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Indian Supreme Court Upholds Prison Sentence For Bollywood Star Linked To Blasts

The Indian Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed more than 200 people.
Chamila Karunarathne AP

Twenty years after multiple blasts ripped through India's commercial capital, Mumbai, killing more than 200 people, the country's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a leading Bollywood actor for his role in the attacks.

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Movie Reviews
5:37 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'The Croods': 3-D Cartoon Cavemen For The Whole Family

The prehistoric family in The Croods takes a visually stunning but comically tired road trip in the latest outing from DreamWorks Animation.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:17 pm

The makers of the animated Vikings comedy How to Train Your Dragon have come up with an animated caveman comedy that might as well be titled How to Train Your Father. Instead, they've called it The Croods, and centered it on a cavegirl named Eep (Emma Stone) who has a dad she sees — entirely accurately, let's note — as a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

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Arts & Life
5:30 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Dozens Killed By Suicide Bomber In Syrian Mosque

Dozens of people, including a prominent pro-government cleric, are dead in the Syrian capital following a suicide attack inside a mosque.

Syrian TV reported 42 people were killed and 84 wounded in the attack on the Iman Mosque. The pro-government cleric was Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, a longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad and imam of Damascus' Ummayyad Mosque.

Here's more from al-Jazeera:

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Movie Reviews
4:08 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

An 'Admission' That Moms Might Not Know Best

High-strung Princeton University admissions counselor Portia (Tina Fey) finds old love — and a surrendered child — when she visits the Vermont prep school where old schoolmate John (Paul Rudd) is a teacher.
David Lee Focus Features

Half an hour into Paul Weitz's new comedy, Admission, it dawned on me that I was watching an Americanized About a Boy -- which admittedly was also directed by Weitz. Both movies are adapted from other people's novels; both cobble together families out of the waifs and strays of modern life.

But where About a Boy was both funny and wise about urban alienation, Admission settles for skin deep.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

A 'Devil' In The Details Of A Brotherly Rivalry

Brothers Rash and Mo (James Floyd and Fady Elsayed) live in the rough working-class London neighborhood of Hackney — but which sibling is the titular designee in My Brother the Devil gets harder and harder to determine as the film goes on.
108 Media

Shot entirely in Hackney — a mostly ungentrified London borough — My Brother the Devil has a strong odor of authenticity. The main characters are of Egyptian origin, but their friends include people rooted in West Africa and the Caribbean. All are linked by poverty, alienation and a gangsta worldview popularized by American movies and hip-hop.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'No Place On Earth': Underground, A Story Of Survival

Sam and Saul Stermer, members of a family who hid in an underground Ukrainian cave in the early days of World War II, return to the hideout in No Place on Earth.
Magnolia Pictures

Christopher Nicola, the avid spelunker who introduces No Place on Earth, has an appetite for the dramatic.

"Every cave I enter has a secret," he intones, as the documentary cuts between Nicola's New York City home and his progress through tight underground passages.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'Gimme The Loot': The Tagger's Life, Lightly

Sofia (Tashiana Washington) and Malcolm (Ty Hickson) are two hardworking graffiti artists with a romantic chemistry that only they don't notice in Gimme the Loot.
Sundance Selects

For the Bronx graffiti artists of Gimme the Loot, Adam Leon's sweet, vibrant debut feature, "Bombing the Apple" is the holy grail of tagging achievements.

"The Apple" in question is the protuberance that emerges from behind the center-right wall in Shea Stadium — they refuse to acknowledge the corporate name Citi Field — every time a New York Mets player hits a home run.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'Spring Breakers': A Square Trip To The Seamy Side

The girls of Spring Breakers (from left, Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine and Selena Gomez) live in the kind of fluorescent world where skimpy bathing suits fit within court appearance dress codes.
A24

In the '70s and even into the '80s, exploitation movies used to come to us naked and innocent, rarely pretending to be anything more than what they were. Now, pictures intent on delivering cheap thrills tend to arrive dressed in art-house costumes, much like the ones Harmony Korine's killer college girls wear in his arch little sociological study, Spring Breakers.

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Arts & Life
4:01 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

At 'Stop-And-Frisk' Trial, Cops Describe Quota-Driven NYPD

Adhyl Polanco, an eight-year police veteran (shown with lawyer Jonathan Moore, right), testified that if certain quotas were not met, an officer could be denied days off and overtime, and be given a poor evaluation.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 5:00 pm

Police officers testifying at a federal trial challenging New York City's stop-and-frisk policy say they were ordered to increase their number of arrests, summons and 250s — the code for stop, question and frisk.

Some 5 million street stops of mostly black and Latino men have taken place in the city in the last decade.

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Arts & Life
3:50 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

In A Long And Bloody War, A Potential Breakthrough

Masked demonstrators show support for jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday. Ocalan called for a "new era" and a cease-fire in a battle against Turkey that's nearly three decades old.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:57 pm

Kurdish rebels have been fighting for nearly three decades against Turkish forces in the southeast corner of that nation. But the most prominent rebel leader said from prison Thursday that it was time for a "new era" that includes an immediate cease-fire.

Abdullah Ocalan heads the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK. He was captured by Turkey in 1999 and has been imprisoned on an island off Istanbul.

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Arts & Life
2:20 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

NOAA Predicts Warmer Than Normal Spring For Most Of U.S.

A map showing above-normal temperatures in an orange hue. Below-normal temperatures are shown in blue.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a warmer-than-normal spring for most of the United States.

It reports:

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Television
12:54 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

You Can't Trust HBO's 'Phil Spector,' But You Can Enjoy It

Helen Mirren and Al Pacino star in the new HBO film Phil Spector, which was written and directed by David Mamet.
Phil Caruso HBO Films

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:37 pm

The HBO movie Phil Spector is a production that demands attention because of the heavyweight names attached. First, of course, there's the subject of the drama: Spector himself, the man who invented the "wall of sound," and recorded hits for everyone from the Crystals, Darlene Love and Ike & Tina Turner to the Beatles and the Righteous Brothers. Oh, and who also went on trial, in 2007, for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

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