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Worst Picture/Best Picture Series: Cocktail and Rainman (1988)

Cockman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Autism) Tom Cruise began his film career in 1981 and soon he became the heartthrob everyone knows him to be. Whether he’s shooting pool or shooting his M16, it’s tough not to be wooed by his pearly overbite. By the time the smash Top Gun flew in, Tom was man of the 80s. In ...

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MUSIC REVIEW: Madonna – ‘Rebel Heart’ (★★★½)

Madonna’s had a tough couple of months. Just before Christmas last year a handful of demos from her new album were leaked to the public and she and Interscope had to frantically release six finished tracks for an album that was three months from release. Then, in February, the entirety of the Super Deluxe version of the album, Rebel Heart, ...

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REVIEW: ‘The Comeback’ Season 2 Finale

If you didn’t keep up with The Comeback’s unlikely second season, you missed some of the most compelling television of the year. If The Comeback had remained a one season wonder it would have been enough: the first season was a sharp satire of show business with a finely drawn character at the center. Valerie Cherish, thanks to Lisa Kudrow’s ...

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REVIEW: ‘Into the Woods’

Stephen Sondheim’s musical treatment of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales has been all but canonized by lovers of “highbrow” musical theatre. As such, the selection of Rob Marshall to helm the film adaption of Sondheim’s Into the Woods was not a that inspired much confidence: his disappointing Nine drew glaring attention to his repetitive tricks and ticks as a director ...

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REVIEW: ‘Annie’ (2014)

It’s been three decades since the last time we saw Annie on the big screen and with a winking poke at the traditionally (white) red-headed and cheerful moppet we’re used to it lets you know right off the bat that this isn’t the previous generation’s Annie; it’s a modernized, Twitter-ized and street smart update. Quvenzhané Wallis, the Oscar-nominated star of ...

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REVIEW: ‘Still Alice’ (★★★½)

There is a scene early on in Still Alice where Julianne Moore’s Columbia University professor Dr. Alice Howland is giving a speech on linguistics to a group of college students and she forgets what she’s saying mid-sentence. There is a pause and Alice snaps back with a self-deprecating comment, “I knew I shouldn’t have had that champagne!” to the audience’s ...

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Music Review: Perfume Genius – Too Bright

  A term I have never particularly cared for when it comes to discussing music is the term “grower”. Ideally, this term should be applied to artists whose music is almost so seamless that it takes multiple listens to really uncover the hidden layers and intricacies scattered throughout the album. More often than not, though, it’s used to apply to ...

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37th Mill Valley Film Festival Capsule Reviews: The Imitation Game, Whiplash, Force Majeure, Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum) Alan Turing won World War II. The creator of the decoder of Germany’s legendary Enigma machine, Turing’s genius and persistence was thanked by a charge of “gross indecency” for homosexual acts and he was chemically castrated as a result. It was only last year that Queen Elizabeth pardoned Turing of this charge. At times, The Imitation ...

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