Last week’s “Oh Shenandoah” will likely be remembered as the real finale of The Newsroom, a perfect summary of the show’s issues with mansplanation and the 21st century before it goes off the air. There’s almost no point to “What Kind of Day Has It Been,” because at this point, there’s nothing this finale could do to change the reputation “Oh Shenandoah” sealed for the TV ages. At the very least, it’s a more likable sendoff to a show that’s not especially likable, centering on one of The Newsroom‘s most inoffensive characters: Charlie Skinner.
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Welcome to “Contempt,” or: “The One Where Will and Mac Get Married–for Journalism!,” also known as “The One Where Jim and Hallie Break Up—for Journalism!” and “The One Where Maggie and Professor Ethicist Break Up—for Journalism!.” It’s an episode that’s the culmination of various Sorkin tropes, so much so that it’s less exasperating than a perfect example of the creator’s tics, to be passed down to Screenwriting 101 students throughout the ages. Except for that rooftop scene.
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Well, it happened: in a plot line about half a sentence removed from an Onion story, The Newsroom decided to take on the Boston Marathon. Character-wise, we begin the final season almost exactly where we left off, except Meryl Streep’s daughter is now working for ACN as a blogger, complete with a roped-off little blogger pen proclaiming she’s a part of “ACN DIGITAL,” not the actual News Night team. Anyway, Aaron Sorkin has claimed that one of his biggest regrets from the show was giving journalists the impression he’s telling them how to do their jobs. That may be true, but “Boston” sure doesn’t show it.
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Dumb and Dumber, the 1994 slapstick classic, doesn’t seem ripe for a sequel. The movie, though it succeeded impressively… Read More
The Emmys last night were very long and very boring. I’m not sure poor Neil Patrick Harris got to crack a single funny joke all night, and by the time he lifted the champagne glass at the end, he really seemed to need it. So did the audience, I think. This was an unusually pointless Emmys, and it’s not like there was a high bar to begin with. But 2013 distinguished itself with too many in-memoriam segments and long interludes, and not a single speech of note other than the one near the top of this list. Luckily, Flavorwire watched the Emmys so you didn’t have to. Here are the 10 moments everyone will be talking about this… Read More
What gets your attention first about Rian Johnson’s Looper is its speed — on a basic level, it’s just a very fast movie, the text, cuts, and exposition coming at the audience hard and sharp. That pace is established in its opening scene, in which its hero (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) stands in a field, checks his watch, takes out his earbuds, and waits. The second a hooded body magically appears in front of him, he blows the poor soul away. Boom, cut, next scene.
Looper is a movie that wears its jazzy, ebullient style on its sleeve. Writer/director Johnson, who previously crafted the smashing Brick and the enchanting Brothers Bloom, is one of our giddier filmmakers — he’s intoxicated with the sheer act of movie making, and his enthusiasm is infectious. But he’s also got a magician’s gift for diversion; in retrospect, one of the most remarkable things about Looper is how it starts as one movie, and then slyly transforms itself into something else entirely.
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