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Amy Winehouse in "Amy"

Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Movies You Need to See in July

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The arthouses are positively bursting in July, which is a relief, since we’re looking at a pretty weak-looking studio slate this month (Pixels? Self/Less? Effing Minions?). In fact, there are so many good ones that we’ve busted out of our customary ten-or-so format to recommend a baker’s dozen documentaries and indies, ranging from icon profiles to no-budget dramas to star-driven comedies. Dig in:
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Nate Parker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in "Beyond the Lights"; Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams in "The Fisher King"

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Beyond the Lights,’ ‘The Fisher King’

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We’ve seen some grim weeks for new releases in the half-year or so that this column has run, but never one quite like this — I mean, seriously, try to find a movie you’ve even heard of in this sad bunch. Luckily, the week’s not a total washout, thanks (as usual) to Netflix and Criterion; the former is debuting a gripping documentary, an earnest love story, and one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final films, while the latter gives us a Terry Gilliam classic and a German antiwar film that you probably haven’t seen, but should.
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Newspaper Reporting Once Again Ranks Below Pest Control as “Worst Job”: Links You Need to See

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Today is many things. It’s both #TaxDay and the day in history that the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It’s the day when CareerCast’s new rankings are making the rounds, and “newspaper reporter” yet again edges out everyone else for first place on the Worst Jobs Ever list. No longer revered as the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins of the world, reporters are now on the down and out, below funeral directors, garbage collectors, and pest control workers. I should have listened to my parents, who advised me that the world will, after all, always need morticians.
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Vince Vaughn's fake stock photo for "Unfinished Business"

Vince Vaughn Is in Desperate Need of a Reinvention

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“In Hollywood,” Eric von Stroheim famously said, “you’re only as good as your last picture.” These days, the assumed appendix seems to be, “so get your next one lined up before your last one tanks,” a principle unquestionably present in this week’s unfortunate box office. At the top of the slowest weekend of the year was Chappie; director Neill Blomkamp was wise enough to land his cherry gig helming the next Alien picture before critics (29% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences ($13.3 million opening weekend) got a look at his mash-up of Short Circuit and a Die Antwoord music video. And then, way down at the bottom of the top ten, was Unfinished Business, logging a miserable $4.8 million, the fifth flop in a row for star Vince Vaughn and a performance that would no doubt prompt the “Is Vince Vaughn over?” question, had he not already landed a much-ballyhooed spot in the cast of True Detective’s second season. So instead, the question becomes, “And what then?”
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‘I Smile Back': Why Did Sarah Silverman Need a Serious Drama to Become a “Serious Actor”?

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PARK CITY, UTAH: Since its premiere Sunday night, one of the biggest stories of the Sundance Film Festival has been Sarah Silverman’s revelatory performance in the addiction drama I Smile Back. Indiewire called her “completely riveting.” Variety insisted, “rarely has a performer striven so concertedly to shed any trace of his/her comedy roots.” And Hollywood Reporter wrote of her “gutsy performance” “annihilating almost every trace of her comedy persona.” On the ground, the skill of her turn has generated nothing less than surprise — she’s so good, and so dramatic! But it should no longer shock anyone that a comic actor is also skilled at drama, not just because there’s such precedence for it, but because comic actors are too often regarded simply as second-class thespians.
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These Are the Halloween Costumes That Make You an Asshole

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Look, there are loads of funny topical ideas out there for Halloween costumes. If you’re after ideas, we humbly suggest that you start here, or just skip the deliberations entirely and go as the Not All Men Kool-Aid guy (which, frankly, I am horrified at myself for omitting from our original roundup). The point is, there are a whole lot of things you can dress up as without being an asshole about it. Sadly, this has never stopped anyone from, y’know, being an asshole — last year it was dickheads dressing as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. This year, it’ll be the taxonomy of assclowns you’ll meet in the following pages. Don’t be these people. Just… don’t.
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