James Spader

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‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and the Inevitable Onset of Superhero Fatigue

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Superhero movie fatigue is a real thing, and I’m afraid your correspondent has come down with a case of it. Sure, there have been dribs and drabs before, in the grim solemnity of Zack Snyder’s joyless Man of Steel or the endless recycling of the Spider-Man franchise. But amidst all the clutter, the Wolverines and Ghost Riders and Green Lanterns, the Marvel movies have been an oasis (y’know, Thor movies aside). Iron Man gave us a hero with real dimension, acted sharply by Robert Downey Jr. and directed with intelligence by Jon Favreau. Captain America: The First Avenger had a golden glow of nostalgia and a giant heart at its center. Joss Whedon injected the series with a shot of genuine wit in the first Avengers — he insisted that blockbusters could be (in fact, should be) funny, a notion taken up well by Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s back at the helm of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has several thrilling action sequences, a great many good jokes, and an unshakable sense that everybody is just going through the paces.
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Original poster for "sex, lies, and videotape"

How ‘sex, lies, and videotape’ Changed Indie Filmmaking Forever

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It began with three brief items in his notebooks. “A film about deception and lost earrings,” went one. “Everybody has a past,” went another. And finally, “Friend on the couch. Affair with the wife.” The filmmaker jotted down those three ideas in 1986; three years later, the movie those three ideas spawned became the sensation of the nascent Sundance Film Festival, the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and an international box office smash. The young writer/director was Steven Soderbergh, the film was sex, lies, and videotape, and its release 25 years ago was, author Peter Biskind would later write, “the big bang of the modern indie film movement.”
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Compelling Tales of Sexual Exploration in Cinema

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If you’re interested in watching another studio comedy that tries very hard to make married sex appear really cool, therefore making it seem incredibly lame, Sex Tape hit theaters this weekend. For the rest of us, read on.

Sex-obsessed cinema is rampant in Hollywood, but few films actually capture the honesty, anticipation, and sometimes dark side of sexual experimentation. Here are ten films that feature characters who explore their sexuality and venture to brave new worlds.
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‘The Blacklist': Why James Spader’s Red Reddington Isn’t America’s Next Top Antihero

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The Blacklist, which premiered last night on NBC, is something like a mash-up of Silence of the Lambs, Alias, and Homeland. All of which makes it a little schizophrenic and the kind of thing that might have sailed out there and died within three episodes in other circumstances. But in these circumstances, the ones that led to James Spader being cast in the role, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from the screen. He’s as oily as you’d expect, and possibly even a little more so, in the role of Raymond “Red” Reddington, a spy-turned-rogue now come in from the cold. His motives for turning crimehunter are a little opaque in the pilot, but by being so deliciously slimy Spader doesn’t need the script to give them to him. It’s all there in those heavy eyelids.
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The 10 Sexiest Movies Ever Made [NSFW]

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Good news for people who like sexy stuff: amongst tomorrow’s catalog Blu-ray releases is Bound, the debut feature by future Matrix creators the Wachowskis, a cracklingly good noir­-tinged thriller with a generous helping of seriously hot love scenes. Now that those scenes will be available in high-definition video and sound, we thought it might be worth taking a look at some of the sexiest movies ever made; they’re assembled (along with a dozen runners-up) after the jump, so feel free to concur, disagree, or amend in the comments.
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Strange Love: 10 Weirdly Erotic Films

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Nine ½ Weeks hits Blu-ray today — which means if you’ve been having fantasies about sleeping with Whiplash, performing a striptease to a Randy Newman-written song, and force feeding your loved one, then you should be a very happy person. While much of Adrian Lyne’s film reads as totally goofy and not nearly as erotic as the world was led to believe during its release in 1986 (the plethora of bad ’80s tuneage doesn’t help matters), there are a few glimmers of real sensuality. It doesn’t all add up, but it inspired us to explore other weirdly erotic films that take an unusual approach with their cinematic carnal pleasures. The darker, surreal, and completely unexpected await you below.
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James Spader Is Leaving ‘The Office’

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Well, James Spader only made it through one season of The Office — which has been pretty lackluster, though the last few episodes centering on a corporate trip to Florida gave fans a few nibbles to chew on. The Boston Legal actor will be retiring his eccentric regional manager, Robert California after he… Read More

The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. Devastating news: Last night at the National Dance Institute’s annual fund-raising gala, Alec Baldwin told Vulture that the next season of 30 Rock will be its last: “Our contracts are expired [in 2012], and Tina is gonna have a big career directing films and writing. She’s going to be the next Elaine… Read More