‘Blackfish’ Is Slowly Hurting SeaWorld

It’s hard not to wonder about the impact of documentaries – while expository of all kinds of human hideousness, they’re so… Read More

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‘The Giver’ Is a Poor Imitation of All the Teen Dystopias Lois Lowry’s Book Inspired

The main theme of Lois Lowry’s classic book The Giver is “sameness.” The Giver takes place in a dystopian society — disguised as a utopian one — without change, without choice, and without differences. Everything is identical, and no one has any emotions. The story shoots down the idea of sameness as an ideal. The movie adaptation accidentally embraces it, resulting in a film that tries too hard to be similar to YA adaptations with vaguely similar premises. It tries to force emotions out of its viewers, tries so hard that it becomes laughable. As a book-to-movie adaptation, The Giver is terrible. Even just as a movie, well, it’s still pretty bad. … Read More

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So This Is an Awkward Moment to Release a Movie Called ‘Let’s Be Cops,’ Eh?

Back in 2012, Fox had what sounded like a sure-fire summer comedy hit on their hands: Neighborhood Watch, starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade as four desperate losers on a neighborhood watch patrol. The studio had posters and a trailer in theaters in February, when neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin — and suddenly, Neighborhood Watch didn’t sound so funny after all. The studio changed the title to The Watch and altered their ad campaign (less Jonah Hill threatening to shoot kids, more alien invasions), but to no avail; the picture was sunk by its own accidental yet spectacular bad timing. And now, the same studio finds itself in the same predicament again, releasing a zany comedy called Let’s Be Cops the very week when Americans are most likely to respond, “Hey, let’s not.” … Read More

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‘Life After Beth’ and Aubrey Plaza’s Sexual Revolution

The problem with creating and refining a distinctive persona is that if you do it well enough, people will assume you can’t do anything else — that it’s just who you are, that you’re “playing yourself,” and that all the work you do will fall within the same frame. The undercurrent of that idea runs through much of what is said and written about Aubrey Plaza, who burst onto the scene in 2009 (via a featured turn in Funny People and a supporting role on Parks and Recreation) with, it seemed, a fully formed comic sensibility intact: a kind of weary, impatient, ironic detachment, chiefly expressed by a vocal delivery dry enough to start a brushfire. But she started coloring outside those lines almost immediately, and with her latest film, Life After Beth (out Friday) she makes her furthest departure from her “type” to date. But she doesn’t just do it by playing undead; she does it by continuing a fascinating exploration of onscreen sexuality. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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A Cop Reviews ‘Let’s Be Cops’

So Fox decided that critics had the right to remain silent (ha ha) about their new comedy Let’s Be Cops — out today in wide release — choosing not to screen it in advance for media. This is usually a sign that a movie is irredeemably terrible! (I mean, c’mon, studios screened Trans4mers and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for critics.) But since your film editor apparently wasn’t the target audience for this one, I decided that if I was going to check it out on opening night, I’d bring along a more interesting (and interested) party: a real New York cop. … Read More

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The 10 Best On-and-Off-Screen Couples in Movie History

Hollywood lost one of its last lions yesterday, as the legendary Lauren Bacall died at 89. She had a long and storied career, performing on film, radio, stage, and television, but America first knew her as the whisky-voiced marvel who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle. Bacall and Bogart were just one of the many Hollywood couples whose onscreen relationship became an off-screen one; let’s take a look at their famous pairing, and those of a few more great movie couples who kept their chemistry going off the set. … Read More

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Lauren Bacall, 1924-2014

Lauren Bacall, the legendary actress and one of the last living icons from Hollywood’s classic era, died yesterday in… Read More

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