John Cusack

Test Your Knowledge of the Direct-to-Video Vehicles of Yesterday’s Movie Stars!

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Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a little something called Absolution, an action thriller that teams Vinnie Jones (remember him?) with Steven Seagal. It’s the third film in which the former Under Siege star plays contract killer John Alexander, and if you’re not familiar with the series, don’t worry — you probably aren’t aware of of most of Mr. Seagal’s recent filmography, which (with the exception of his jokey cameo in 2010’s Machete) has consisted of low-profile movies, usually shot in Europe or Asia, and released straight to home video.
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It’s Time For a Moratorium on Celebrities Talking About Politics

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In the spring of 1969, newlyweds John Lennon and Yoko Ono decided to turn the nonstop coverage of their unavoidable celebrity into something worthwhile. They invited the press to join them in Amsterdam for their honeymoon, where they sat in bed for a week and talked about peace. “Yoko and I decided that we knew whatever we did would be in the papers,” Lennon would later explain, so they determined that if they were going to be in front of reporters, they might as well talk about something important. This general perspective has led countless subsequent celebrities to use their fame as currency to speak out on issues they care about — which is, in many ways, admirable. But they’re often blissfully unaware of the full context for Lennon’s influential use of his celebrity.
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How ‘Love & Mercy’ Tells Brian Wilson’s Story and Breaks the Music Biopic Mold

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Tomorrow, director Bill Pohlad’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy hits theaters — though it seems a bit reductive to classify it as yet another music legend biopic, as the film takes such great pains to eschew the conventions of those movies and tell Wilson’s story in a unique, unexpected way. I was so taken with the film after seeing it at SXSW that I asked Flavorwire’s music editor/fellow biopic exhaustion victim Jillian Mapes to accompany me for a second viewing, and to share her thoughts on where Love & Mercy falls amid the quietly exciting reinvention of movies about the people who make music.
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