Arts & Life

The Two-Way
6:57 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Book News: Should Ayn Rand Be Required Reading?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:37 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Arts & Life
11:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Lawsuit, Investigation Loom Over Lance Armstrong

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong on Jan. 14. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, reversing more than a decade of denial.
George Burns/ Harpo Studios AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:41 am

There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.

The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.

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Immigration Suit
4:54 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

New Suit Filed Against Alabama Immigration Law

Alabamas immigration law is coming under fire again.
Credit Florida Atlantic University

A coalition of civil rights organizations is suing to stop part of Alabama's immigration law requiring officials to post lists of illegal immigrants in the state's court system online.


The federal court suit was filed Thursday on behalf of four Latinos in Montgomery County who were accused of fishing without a state fishing license.


Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Kristi Graunke says the law is designed to humiliate and make life difficult for immigrants regardless of their status.

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Movie Interviews
4:33 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Warm Bodies' Director: Teen Romance, Undying

Nicholas Hoult, Rob Corddry and Teresa Palmer lurch through a scene in Levine's zombie romantic comedy.
Jonathan Wenk Summit Enterainment

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:50 pm

This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.

Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Warning: 'Side Effects' May Include Eye-Rolling

In Steven Soderbergh's medical thriller Side Effects, Emily (Rooney Mara) goes through an emotional crisis — and then a psychopharmacological one — after her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison.
Eric Liebowitz Open Road Films

It's the drug's fault, man. That's the defense offered by the perpetrator brought to trial in Side Effects, a stylish, vaguely Hitchcockian dud. But what excuse does this fatally silly movie have?

The film, reportedly the final big-screen effort for prolific director Steven Soderbergh, begins in a New York apartment where something bad has happened. Blood on the floor, smeared and tracked by footprints, suggests murder, suicide or extreme clumsiness.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Sheen's 'Swan' Is One Ugly Duckling

Charles (Charlie Sheen) is a none-too-likeable ladies's man in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
A24 Films

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:40 pm

There's no separating Charlie Sheen from Charles Swan, the titular representation of the male id at its most self-obsessed in Roman Coppola's uneven A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But for better and decidedly worse, that's the point.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Lore': After Hitler, An Awakening For The Reich's Children

A band of virtually orphaned children (Nele Trebs, Mika Seidel, Andre Frid and Saskia Rosendahl) trek through southern Germany seeking shelter — and answers — at the end of World War II.
Music Box Films

It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A Sorcerer, A White Snake, And Lots Of CGI Magic

The demon snake sisters (Charlene Choi and Eva Huang) disguise themselves as beautiful women in The Sorcerer and the White Snake.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:14 pm

In the opening sequence of The Sorcerer and the White Snake, two monks step through a giant gate and find themselves in a new world — one made entirely of computer-generated images. Only Fahai (Jet Li) and his disciple Neng Ren (Zhang Wen) are human.

"Don't believe everything you see," the older man warns.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun

Donna (Molly Parker) is the drunk, distracted matriarch to Maggie (Olivia Harris) and her nervous siblings in The Playroom.
Freestyle Releasing

There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Identity Thief': Nearly Two Hours, Stolen

An overextended Sandy (Jason Bateman) must prevent the raunchy Diana (Melissa McCarthy) from continuing to use his identity as a financial crutch in Identity Thief.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:09 pm

The new road-trip comedy Identity Thief — about a guy who confronts a woman who's wrecking his credit rating — is such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.

The setup: Sandy Patterson, who works in a Denver financial firm (and is not supposed to be mentally challenged), blithely hands over his Social Security number to a stranger on the phone who says his accounts have been compromised, at which point his accounts get compromised. No tricks, no subterfuge, no laughs — he's just stupid.

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Arts & Life
2:24 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Mr. Bean's Supercar Crash Racks Up $1.4 Million Repair Bill

Rowan Atkinson (in character as Mr. Bean) in 2007.
Lisa Maree Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:15 pm

Rowan Atkinson, the British comedian who's probably best known to Americans as Mr. Bean, is in the record books for something that's not all that funny.

According to reports from The Scotsman and other news outlets in the U.K., Atkinson's insurers paid 910,000 British pounds (about $1.4 million) to repair the McLaren F1 supercar that he wrecked in 2011. That's a U.K. record, newspapers say.

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Arts & Life
2:07 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NOAA Names Louis W. Uccellini As National Weather Service Director

Louis W. Uccellini.
NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named Louis W. Uccellini the 16th director of the National Weather Service.

As The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports, the NWS is "reeling from recent controversies over its budget and an exodus in senior leadership."

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Monkey See
12:51 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'The Americans': When You're Rooting For The Bad Guy

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play a spy couple on FX's The Americans.
FX

The new FX show The Americans follows the Jennings family — a typical American family in Ronald Reagan's America, who happen to be Soviet spies. With Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) at the center of the show, viewers will find themselves rooting for the couple that's secretly working for the KGB and against anyone who might blow their cover.

Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever notes that this is just the latest in a slew of TV shows that focus on deeply flawed leads.

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Media
10:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

NLGJA President: When Political Is Personal

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:28 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we want to turn to the challenge of bringing diversity to the newsroom. You've probably noticed that all kinds of issues and stories relating to sexual orientation have been in the news recently - from same-sex marriage to the Pentagon's plan to offer benefits to same-sex partners to the debate over what role gays can play in the Boy Scouts.

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Movie Interviews
10:04 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bradley Cooper Finds 'Silver Linings' Everywhere

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film Silver Linings Playbook.
Jojo Whilden The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:14 pm

Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as the bipolar Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he and director David O. Russell approached the role with the idea that Cooper would "play as real and authentic as [h]e could."

The role is informed by Russell's son, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Says Cooper: "I definitely felt that anchor for [Russell]."

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